Category Archives: Commonwealth

Catatonic Catalunya

I have visited Catalunya three times. Each time I stayed in a big hotel in Malgrat for two weeks. I am not a club or beach tourist. I saw some of the tourist sites of course, Barcelona, La Rambla, Picasso’s place, Sagrada Familia, the architecture of Gaudi. I got pickpocketed, probably by one of the many Somalian pickpockets in the area. I liked the people apart from the thieves.

Now here’s a thing.

The Catalan people seem to want to be separate from Spain but Spain apparently does not want to let them go.

Last year poor young Catalans were demonstrating about not having jobs, and were blaming the Spanish government.

Now poor young Catalans are demonstrating against tourists because they say they don’t get the money but it goes to AirBnB owners, pushing up housing costs and all the jobs go to East Europeans.

The poor young Catalans have had no luck with protests against their government, so they are now scapegoating the tourists.

So here’s what I think. I am sad that I am no longer welcome in Spain/Catalunya, but I saw Spain/Catalunya before it became an unfriendly country. As usual, once again (as per history – civil wars, Basques etc etc) Spain is tearing itself apart. Fortunately I don’t need to go back there – I’m looking outside the EU for my holidays – maybe South Africa, China, Canada, Japan.

I think the people demonstrating in Spain are wrong, because the money the AirBnB owners get is spent mostly in the Spanish economy and pays Spanish taxes. I also think Spain is wrong because it lets Europe allow cheap labour to flood its market unlike Britain, that has said it will leave Europe so it can stop that problem and control the labour supply to the UK.

British tourists react very quickly – think of Tunisia. The IS attack in La Rambla has frightened some away. Spain’s attitude to the EU negotiations and Gibraltar is making more Brits think of boycotting Spain. The anti-tourist protests and attacks on tourists that are spoiling British, German and Dutch people’s holidays really are the last straw.

I think that maybe many British tourists, and maybe German and Dutch ones as well, might teach the foolish anti-tourists a deep hard lesson and very few at all will go to Spain as a tourist for many years. Then I think the East European cheap labour would go away from Spain as there would be no jobs in the empty hotels, bars and restaurants. There would be no income to all the AirBnB properties to be spent in Spain. There would be no taxes from the hotels, bars and restaurants and tourist shops. There would also be no subsidy from the EU to support Spain any more as the EU would be supporting all the extra jobless East Europeans that Spain would have created, and would be doing that without a third of the EU income – only Britain, Germany and France have any money, and Britain is taking it’s money away.

Perhaps the Spanish anti-tourist protesters would be left dirt-poor with no jobs to even compete for against the East Europeans, their rich class having no income from the AirBnB to pay tax for their welfare system, so their government would have no income to help the poor, the EU would not be able to help them and there would be not even jobs in fishing (because Britain is taking back its waters). These protesters would be left to share their country with their unwanted guests, the Somalian pick-pocket gangs. Maybe Germany could lend them some money then become hated as has happened in dirt-poor Greece. Meanwhile the drug dealers who lost their most valuable asset, lots of tourist customers for the clubs and bars, would probably be looking for the heads of whoever drove their customers away. Britain won’t even buy salad from Spain if the EU exit is not favorable. Britons can buy some nice salad from Africa and help to develop some nice new tourist places there, in the Commonwealth.

Catalunya could become a broken torn-apart land populated by poverty-stricken people, angry drug dealers and Somali pickpockets. Tourists would not want to visit, anti-tourist protesters would have got their wish.

So then it would be Hasta la vista Catalunya – oops I mean – a reveure Catalunya.

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Looking outwards, forward, up.

Imagine a group of nations working together for the institution of world peace; promotion of representative democracy and individual liberty; the pursuit of equality and opposition to racism; the fight against poverty, ignorance, and disease; free speech; free trade; opposition to discrimination on the basis of gender; environmental sustainability; and freedom of movement between citizens of their countries.

Sounds familiar?

No, it is not the European Union.

Imagine something bigger than that, more diverse, bigger, more energetic and free of big brother technocracy. Firmly established for many decades, with 52 nations as members. With a flag and a real person with no power other than purely symbolic at it’s head. A group of nations that could have four times more trade with Britain than the European Union. A group covering 20 percent of the Earth’s surface, spanning all six inhabited continents with 2.3 billion citizens. With GDP of over 10 trillion USD accounting for 17 percent of the world’s economy.

You can stop imagining.

It exists.

Britain is a member.

Britain founded it.

The British Queen is its figurehead.

It is called the Commonwealth of Nations.

This is the flag. If you are a Brit like me it is your flag.

Embrace your citizenship and your bright future and rediscover the world full of friends you had almost forgotten you already have.

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Flag image fair use from Wikipedia see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Commonwealth_Flag_-_2013.svg
This blog article is a potted summary of some the most important facts about the Commonwealth, garnered from Wikipedia, which I consider to be a fairly authoritative source. No plagiarism is intended – fair use only (about 3 paragraphs of basic facts from about 50 paragraphs of detailed information in this case).

Here is a lovely radio station to listen to from one of our fellow commonwealth nations – Kaya FM from Gauteng, South Africa – website http://www.kayafm.co.za listen live at http://www.kayafm.co.za/listen-live-player/