Sinn Féin confirms support for partition

Perhaps the biggest recent election in Europe was not in Greece, but in Catalonia.

Support is rising in Catalonia for partition. Not only should Spain be partitioned as the more businesslike and culturally distinct northeastern Catalonia Region seeks independence, but even the Catalan Lands themselves should be split, with Valencia and the Balearics left joined with Spain.

One cannot help but draw parallels 100 years on almost exactly from a similar partition not just of Ireland but of the province of Ulster, with Monaghan and Donegal (and Cavan as of 1613) separated from the rest of Ulster to remain joined to the Irish Free State.

So the Catalan case is strikingly similar to the specifically Ulster Unionist case 100 years ago, right down to accepting a split in the Catalan Lands if it comes to it. (I have some sympathy myself, though I must say my instinctive preference would be to try a properly federal Spain first, just as it is for a properly federal UK.)

Which does make one wonder, just a little, why that Catalan case is so strongly backed by Sinn Féin. Turns out partition of a longstanding single state and obvious geographical unit is right after all?

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2 thoughts on “Sinn Féin confirms support for partition

  1. I have to say I’m not convinced by your Catalonia/Ulster comparison. Closer may be if northern Ulster folk obtained formal recognition by the new Irish state that they were a distinctive nation within the state (as Catalonians obtained in the 1974 Spanish Constitution), but then subsequently ignored in the succeeding decades (as the Catalonians have been by dominant Spanish parties). The Catalonians have had enough.

    Another comparison are Turkish-Cypriots. Heck, they still (just) identify with a singular Cypriot nation, don’t want independence, yet the Greek-Cypriot state treats them horribly. (Will Turkish-Cypriots go the way of Catalonia some day?)

    Perhaps a better analogy is Scottish nationalists, wanting and getting recognition as a distinctive nation within the United Kingdom, but still some clamber for independence. There’s just no satisfying some folk.

    As for Sinn Fein and the Catalonians, I don’t believe Sinn Fein. As Catalonian regional president, Artur Mas, explained to us (at an event I attended in Barcelona some years ago), Catalonians see themselves as a cosmopolitan, internationalist and wealth-creating people. The opposite of the parochial, isolationist and statist orientation of Sinn Fein’s historic nationalism.

    • I think Ian was talking about the partition of Catalonia, I’m not sure if Sinn Féin support that. Irish republicanisms links to the Spanish Civil War is a large reason as to why they support regions such as the Basque Country and Catalonia getting self-determination

      Certainly independence movements can be left wing or right wing, Catalonia seems to be more to the right of Sinn Féin while say the Basques are closer. An all-Ireland government might be to the fiscal right and possibly even social right of where Irish nationalism in Northern Ireland would want it to be.

      The big problem with partition in Ireland was that it created two sectarian states … Protestant North and a Catholic South … and far from having the sort of relationship Protestant Germany has with Catholic Austria … the “partitioning of people” in both states along religious lines emerged.

      As for the comments on Scottish independence, independence is not about being recognized as a distinctive nation … it’s about having the power to make decisions. Same reason why a lot of British nationalists want to leave the European Union … not that a lot of them have anything like the research the SNP did on their exit.

      The Republic of Ireland has been able to lower corporation tax, bring in investment, determine laws, trade, defense policy … as part of the United Kingdom Southern Ireland was left to feel abandoned due to the Famine and forced into conscription, sure it was “recognized as being Irish” but big woop. Similar reasons are why Iceland left the Kingdom of Denmark.

      People create their own borders and unions, and there are reasons why internal borders are being looked when external unions seem to fail.

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