Josep María Martí Blanch
October 31, 2021 Enric Fontcuberta / Efe
In a still recent past, everything in Catalonia was renamed as a State structure. There was no initiative, project or group that did not aspire to be classified as such. Television, health, education, professional associations, Santa Pau beans, calçots, ratafía, Vic’s sausage, espadrilles, camps’ instructors, anyone could aspire to such a distinction. It was the preferred catchphrase of the governing crew to certify the importance of the group to which they were directing their speech at all times: “You are a structure of State.”
A single leader, let us say a counsellor of Culture, could increase the list of State structures with half a dozen new members in a single day. Forty-two a week. It was enough to have many meetings –even on weekends– and want to satisfy their interlocutors by stating with a certain solemnity: “Of course we understand your needs and we will do everything we can. You are very important, you are a State structure”. The idiom has now fallen into disuse. So things have returned to what they have always been: very important or expendable. And between both extremes, all possible graduations.
Among the very important state structures were the Mossos de Esquadra. Institution to whose wear and tear the Parliament and the Government of the Generalitat have been intensively dedicating themselves for some time due to the inability to understand, and not even intend to do so, the difficulty, particularities and significance of their work. The undercoat work has been done with such conscience that the Mossos are today a rag doll to be kicked the harder the better. Each has their reasons for giving them a toe in the butt. For some they are a ‘Catalufa’ police, for others an ‘Españolaza’ one and, in the event that the flags fail, it always remains to see them as an obstacle to the revolution that will take us, always with Catalonia as the battering ram, to a better world in which the police is no longer necessary because everyone, without exception, begins the day by giving fresh flowers to the first stranger we meet on the street.
The new commission to study the police model of the Parliament, chaired by the CUP, is another step in the progressive and tireless degradation of the Mossos, although formally it is the opposite. And not because it is presided over by the extreme left, which had two proposals in its electoral program to make the Catalan police the most ineffective in the world – elimination of information units and those specialized in public order – but because it strengthens the narrative of the Mossos of today being a serious problem for the preservation of the rights and freedoms of citizens in Catalonia, unless they are urgently put on the waist. The Parliament itself, with the approval of the Government, supports the thesis that we are practically at the mercy of an undemocratic police. We insist, the problem is not that the CUP chairs the commission. The problem is that the gaze of the extreme left on the uniformed police is the one that permeates the government and parliamentary narrative on the issue. Who can be surprised that the Mossos are later received with stones and bottles?
Catalan Parliament and Government support the thesis that we are almost at the mercy of an undemocratic police
The Mossos are a perfectible institution. And nothing is more damaging to a democratic society than issuing blank checks to those who hold a practical monopoly on legitimate violence. The Numantine defenses of any police action are stupid, as it would also be not to assume that among the thousands of Mossos there are those who are not worthy of wearing the uniform. But these are individual casuistry. The problem is that the leading Catalan political class has been elevating them to a category because it has settled comfortably and mostly in the conviction that it is the entire police force that needs a democratic briefing by the emergency route. Nothing is further from reality.
The Mossos, of course!, were also temporarily cataloged, when that was the fashion, as a state structure. But only during the time it took to lift the veil of self-deception and rediscover that deep down they were and are not more than policemen doing their job. So they are back to being the rag doll they always have been. Which is unavoidable in a country without any sense of state (neither its own nor someone else’s).