So, a very merry Christmas to all of you who come here regularly, to those of you who come less frequently, and to others who just stumble across this blog. Twelve years it has been going, and it has been ten years since it went daily, which it has been except for the occasional break, both planned and unplanned. I sometimes wonder if I hold some sort of record.
Not wishing to have my own Christmas message, which would be somewhat presumptuous and indeed preposterous, just a note about King Felipe's. His tone regarding Catalonia moderated yesterday evening; he had been forceful in October in condemning the independence drive. While he referred yesterday to the need to adapt to changing times, he obviously wasn't advocating secession, but there was a hint of recognition that there has to be some move towards a satisfactory accord. Whether there can be will be up to the politicians, and news that there could be further arrests in Catalonia makes one fear that the situation will just be made worse.
Regardless of constitutional and legal matters, putting politicians (and potentially the former head of the Mossos) in jail solves nothing and merely inflames. Felipe was alluding to a maturity in approach. Sticking people in jail is not mature; it is a manifestation of failure - by those on both sides of the argument. And the swiftness with which "justice" has been dispensed raises awkward questions. The comparison with the otherwise slow-moving nature of the legal system - e.g. Urdangarin still awaiting the outcome of his appeal - has been striking.
A Christmas wish would therefore be to resolve Catalonia. But can it be resolved, once and for all? I very much doubt it.