Tory MSPs slammed over ‘joke’ Spain tweets as Catalan situation worsens

Two Unionist MSPs have been slammed after posting what appeared to be joke references to the increasingly tense situation involving Spain and Catalonia.

Responding to tweets from Tory MSP’s Murdo Fraser and Graham Simpson, Scottish Government Minister Michael Russell said he felt a “deep shame” that the pair should think the situation a joke.

The SNP MSP’s criticism was prompted by messages posted by Fraser and Simpson.  Fraser, in a tweet, said: “Time to book our holiday – will be Spain as usual. Wonderful people – always feel right at home there.”

His party colleague Simpson tweeted: “Agreed. Us too.”

In response, SNP MSP Russell tweeted: “I feel a terrible sadness that two elected Members of the Scottish Parliament should be capable of such disfiguring tribalism given the human cost involved but also a deep shame that they should do so thinking it was all a joke….”

The tweets by the two Tory MSPs coincided with growing anger over the detention in Germany of former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont after the Spanish authorities issued a European Arrest Warrant.  Puigdemont was forced to leave Catalonia last year after the Spanish government began arresting members of his government following the holding of an independence referendum.

There was further anger in Scotland when it emerged Police Scotland were acting on a similar warrant and were planning to arrest Professor Clara Ponsati.  The St Andrews University academic had only recently returned from Catalonia where she had been a minister in Puigdemont’s administration.  Ponsati stated she feared she too would be jailed by the Spanish authorities had she remained in Catalonia.

In response, St Andrews University issued a statement of support, which read: “Clara is a valued colleague and we are committed to protect and support her.

“As her employer and an institution committed to the defence of free speech, we are deeply concerned by recent developments, their motives and potential consequences.

“In the current circumstances, we believe there are legitimate arguments that Clara is being targeted for standing up for her political beliefs.

“That is anathema to us, and we will continue to offer her every appropriate support, while respecting due legal process.”

Pro-Union politicians have challenged claims that Puigdemont and others are political prisoners.  Scottish Labour MP Ian Murray tweeted: “It seems as long as you support independence you can sit above the law. Someone has been accused of breaking the law & should be given the opportunity to clear their name in that country’s court. We would expect the same so respect the law (even if you disagree with the law).”

Labour councillor Scott Arthur tweeted: “Fake news. Spain is not seeking to arrest “independence supporting politicians”, it is seeking to arrest people it feels broke the law.”

However Catherine Stihler, a former Labour MEP for Scotland, wrote to Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European commission, urging him to condemn Spain’s use of the European arrest warrant.

Stihler said “I urge the commission to ensure the fundamental human rights of these individuals are respected when they come to face trial and that European arrest warrants are proportionately used where there is a significant risk to the public– such as terror-related incidents – and not with the intent to settle domestic political disputes,”

Meanwhile in Catalonia the situation remains tense with peaceful demonstrators being beaten by Spanish police, and video clips of police vans being driven at speed towards other protestors.

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18 thoughts on “Tory MSPs slammed over ‘joke’ Spain tweets as Catalan situation worsens

  1. Jockanese Wind Talker

    These comments regarding Spain are as natural to BritNats like Murdo Fraser as ones about “The Queens 11”.

    Dog whistle, playing to the audience statements.

    Divide and rule to win enough votes to personally stay a list MSP and to protect their ‘precious Union’.

    Human Rights and Democracy are only for those the BritNats and their NeoCon bedfellows decide are worthy not Universal Rights as we expect.

    These boys are itching to have their clamp down on us Indy Scotland supporters in the same way hiding behind their newly emboldened Union Boot Boys.

  2. bringiton

    Irish and Scottish Unionism is now the preserve of those whose political beliefs are founded in authoritarianism.
    It reminds me a little of those British communists who supported the brutal regime of Stalin’s Russia decrying the victims as having broken the laws and being bourgeois reactionaries.
    There are none so blind…..

    1. grizebard

      Too right there.

      Except now we have a curious inversion: the unseemly spectacle of Red Tory Ian Murray cheering on the fascistoid Rajoy regime. But the same principle applies.

      We of course eagerly await a correction from his boss the Saviour JayCee. That will set the record straight.

      Won’t it…?

      1. Jockanese Wind Talker

        This Hypocrite?

        https://mobile.twitter.com/MrMalky/status/911764023372320769

        Corbyn holds the flag of the International Brigade but won’t condemn the violence in Catalonia.

        Rajoy and his Party are the successors of Franco’s Falangists.

        The UK Labour Party claim to be the successors of the International Brigades.

        The Red Tory Conference was sponsored by Spanish Energy Company and not a peep was heard as the Paramilitary police beat up the Catalan Indy Referendum voters and seized ballots.

        These charlatans claim to be ‘Radical’ and ‘International Socialists’.

        Just like Corbyn claims to be against nuclear weapons in his role as Vice President of CND but would not three line whip his Party vote down the renewal of Trident.

        Same with their BritNat Labour’s current campaign of courting of exUKIP voters with an anti immigration, pro-Brexit message.

        All about staying on the UKOK gravy train for the Red Tories.

        Never about representing the workers.

        BritNat Labour sold out their principles and the people with Blair’s illegal invasion of Iraq at the request of The US Iron Triangle.

  3. Philip Maughan

    In the Sunday Herald , ‘FM claims indy is the only way Scotland can reach potential'(25.3.18), Murdo Fraser is quoted as saying, ‘…Everyone earning over £26K is now paying more tax than south of the border, yet we’ve still seen no improvememt in public services…’ While Murdo is critical of the SNP he clearly thinks they are miracle workers as the new taxes haven’t even been introduced yet.

    1. Robert Peffers

      Eh!

      You comment, and I quote, “While Murdo is critical of the SNP he clearly thinks”.

      Has anyone informed the MSM and BBC of this startling discovery?

      Can you confirm what scientific evidence supports this startling claim?

  4. Mary F Sinclair

    The comments from Ian Murray and his side kick Scott Arthur,both avid British Nationalists, are typical of Unionists terrified of giving the people a choice. Legality is a function of power : it may not be either fair or just. Aparteid was legal. Homosexuality was illegal would they have sided then with the ‘law enforcers’.

  5. Robert Graham

    The only thing keeping this union together is the compliant media headed up by the BBC in Scotland .
    Take that 99.99% support away and it dissolves then perhaps people will waken up to what has and is going on in this country

    1. Rick H Johnston

      We’ve already had the dry run of 2014.
      We’ve learnt what to expect with Indyref2.
      The people know after the attempt at the power grab that there is no real union.
      When the whole edifice starts to crumble
      It’ll be like the Berlin Wall – unstoppable.
      The first sign will the rats leaving the sinking ship.
      Keep yer eyes peeled.

  6. gregor

    Self-determination is perfectly healthy and normal, and is a well established core principle of international law

    Peaceful democratic expression and the fundamental Right to self-determination is not a criminal issue. Such arrests represent a fundamental attack on our core principles and values, as a society, European Union and international community.

    Authoritarian fascism and State brutality is enemy of democratic society and has no place in the civilised world.

    Democracy is a good thing (a free and open participatory process) and is the fundamental underpinning of cohesive civilised society, and is the most efficient and effective means of realising our collective potential. Democracy should be widely encouraged and embraced.

    Those who truly value such vitally important core principles and values that bind us together and help protect us as a common and interrelated community should be strongly condemning such arrests as unacceptable in a sign of solidarity with our fellow civilised national and global counterparts, and most importantly – the discriminated and systematically abused people of Catalonia.

    Duplicitious pro-authortraian freeloaders such as Fraser, Simpson and Murray bring our core values and principles into disrepute and diminish democracy. Thankfully given that such clowns live under a democracy (unlike Catalans are experiencing), and not their fascist utopia – you can vote them out while you still have the opportunity.

    Preservation and protection of universal core values and principles hold far greater precedent over State actor ass-licking.

    Is the public aware that the corrupt BBC (‘Flagship beacon of Great Britain’) steadfast refuses to disclose what a UK core value is (apparently UK core values are not BBC remit).

    It’s good to know who your real friends and allies are…

    1. gregor

      Public should take note of corrupt BBC’s exploitation and weaponisation of the term ‘separatist’.

      Sinister and devious BBC selectively cherry-picks how it applies the term, and exploits the term as a weapon against its percieved adversaries.

      For example, Yemeni rebels are BAD! (Saudi $$$); Syrian ‘rebel’ (terrorists & affiliated terrorists) are GOOD! actors; Scottish independence movement BAD! separatists. Catalan democratically elected leaders BAD! separatist leaders (who and what they fundamentally are and stand for is of no relevance to Fake News). Great British Brexiteers are not separatists (Great British democracy is bloody brilliant).

      Separatism is a consequence of the process of self-determination (a fundamentally important process to civilised humanity) and should not be weaponised and exploited as discrimative derogatory badge of shame.

      According to the BBC, it has high standards and is impartial.

  7. Jas

    I seem to remember supporters of the Queen’s 11 football team were made to ‘feel right at home’ too, once upon a time. Bet you Mudro’s got a picture of Greigy holding up the trophy in the confines of the dressing room. Meanwhile, outside, police batons gave the Teddy Bears a taste of Spanish democracy.

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