Matthew d’Ancona: The Catalan dream will not be extinguished by force

“Rajoy’s strategy has been spectacularly unnuanced. At every turn, he has scorned the independence movement as no more than a plot “to liquidate our constitution”, a “criminal” conspiracy, and “a clear violation of the laws, of democracy, of the rights of all”. King Felipe VI has loftily chastised Catalans for trying “to break the unity of Spain and its national sovereignty, which is the right of all Spaniards to democratically decide their lives together”. With dependable insensitivity, Jean-Claude Juncker declaredon Saturday: “There isn’t room in Europe for other fractures or other cracks – we’ve had enough of those.” The Brussels naughty step is getting rather crowded.”

“The notion that politics is simply a branch of economics is no longer sustainable (if, indeed, it ever was). The issue of identity has assumed a fresh importance that we ignore at our peril.”

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