Saturday 3 July 2010

Catalan mayor's doublespeak piffle lifts the veil and sets me free!

This colyoom has made its position on the banning of the burqa very clear, but it is the imperative of the colyoomist to appear single-minded. Moderation doesn't make good copy, yet I am human, so it lurks within me, alongside doubt and flexibility.

My conscience has wrestled with the stance I'm taking. When I find myself opposing groups who claim to stand up for gender equality and human rights, I have to wonder if I'm just plain wrong.

The right to worship over the right to be equal? Ridiculous. Nobody should have to choose such disparate and subjective abstract notions, just as nobdoy should try to legislate whether we choose more kidney transplant programs or MRI scanners.

Lots of big words and big ideas, but no nearer being sure that my strong instinct that these bans are evil and phenomenally dangerous, is correct.  And then I saw my answer sitting there, on page 23 of today's Guardian. Giles Tremlett's story reports the banning of the burqa in Catalunya, and includes a quotation that set me free.

Thank you thank you thank you to Socialist mayor Ángel Ros of Lleida, who attempted to explain why he was doing the right thing:

"This is not Islamophobia. When the Right does this it is guided by xenophobia, but we are guided by equality."

Fantastic. Free free, sets me free. Code Blue. This bullet comes to you courtesy of the good guys. Yes we killed you but we only did it 'cos we love you. By taking away your human rights I'm allowing you to be free. Orwell eat your heart out. Hate Week finally came about, but it's not Goldstein, it's the other mob that's getting it in the ear.

Stick my fingers in my ears and hum. Laa laa da daaa daah. Going to sit in the garden and feel smug.


Anonymous said...

Catalans are the past masters at using Orwellian skills to change the meaning of words, especially racist or nationalist ones, to make them sound more acceptable. So Catalunya is a nation but not a country, it is an autonomy but not a region. But still over 20 immigrants live in one single apartment in Catalan villages. Or a group of illegal Chinese building workers burnt to death in Vic and the owner was quoted saying he was proud to have offered them work. Thanks for pointing out another anomaly. Keep up the incisive work.

Charlie Adley said...

Thanks to you, Anon, for those fascinating insights and illustrations.

Shame really, because when I first started to visit Catalunya 25 years ago, I loved the Catalan separatist spirit, but somewhere along the line it became nationalist and then turned ugly, exclusive and elitist. Maybe Franco's ghost will have the last laugh yet.