back to article Catalan town hall seriously downsizes monarch

Representatives of a Catalan town hall have been ordered to appear before a judge after fulfilling their legal obligation to display a portrait of the reigning monarch ... using a passport-sized portrait of King Felipe VI. The 17-strong council in Torredembarra, Tarragona, voted unanimously to downsize Phil the Sixth on the …

  1. Christoph Silver badge
    Devil

    "the law obliges it to hang the king in the council chamber"

    No comment

  2. phuzz Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Dear Oregon militias, *this* is how you protest government regulations you don't like.

    1. Peter Simpson 1
      Thumb Up

      A bit too sophisticated for those boys, I'm afraid

      // can you really call a group of 20 armed men a "militia"?

      /// note the use of the more polite term "Men" as opposed to, say, "delusional fools"

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Technically, a militia can be one. That's why the ruling against gun control ordinances in Chicago and DC and the declaration that bearing arms is an individual right (since an individual can be a militia).

        That said, the men in Oregon probably figured (correctly) that any kind of effigy or symbolic protest would be ignored (unlike in Europe, men of power in America can usually overlook these kinds of things as just self-expression and not a direct attack on them personally). If you want to get an American politician's attention, you're going to have to be somewhat more forceful in your expression.

        1. Anonymous C0ward

          They're supposed to be well organised though.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            "well organized militia"

            Obviously that lets out the guys in Oregon then, as they weren't even organized enough to bring warm socks.

            1. Bitbeisser

              Re: "well organized militia"

              The exact term the Second Amendment starts with is "A well REGULATED militia..." and regulation is what all those gun nuts are ferociously objecting against...

        2. elDog Silver badge

          "f you want to get an American politician's attention,

          you're going to have to be somewhat more forceful in your expression."

          The only way you get these bastards (and I should include the female ones too) attention is to threaten their only source of income.

          Now, some would say that they get a fairly nice salary and a shit-load of perqs that normal people don't get. But they can't generally survive on these "in the manner to which they have become accustomed."

          Interestingly, only one of the current crop of 2,187 presidential contenders for the next USofA election is the Independent Bernie Sanders who runs his campaign on small donations.I think all of the rest have their lips firmly wrapped around the spigots from wealthy/powerful donors.

          Oh, I should make an exception for The Donald who got at least $100 million as seed money to start his people's campaign.

          Sorry, I got carried away with US politics. And I won't call it "American". Most of the rest of the two American continents are more reasonable than the USofA.

        3. BurnT'offering

          Interestingly

          the gender of 'militia' is feminine

      2. James O'Shea Silver badge

        if the louts in question had been black they'd already have had a visit from the Feds and/or the National Guard. Indeed, they'd probably be on their way to Gitmo by this time.

        1. Dan Paul

          James O'Shea

          Really, you should stop commenting on situations that you are unable to comprehend.

          It is LEGAL to carry guns openly in many states in the USA.

          Next, if you even knew what predicated the takeover you might agree with them but that's apparently beyond your ability to understand.

          Finally, under the Obama administration, black people are allowed (nay ENCOURAGED) to kill indiscriminately, commit arson, riot, loot and otherwise cause mayhem without ANY penalty.

          1. BurnT'offering

            Re: James O'Shea

            "Finally, under any US administration, the police and military are allowed (nay ENCOURAGED) to kill indiscriminately, commit arson, riot, loot and otherwise cause mayhem without ANY penalty."

            FTFY

          2. James O'Shea Silver badge

            Re: James O'Shea

            Don old boy, I live in Florida. The state legislature is currently debating a bill to allow open carry here. The vast majority of the state's sheriffs (47 out of 67) are against it. http://opinionzone.blog.palmbeachpost.com/2015/10/21/florida-sheriffs-oppose-open-carry-legislation/

            the bill seems to have got clear of committee anyway. http://postonpolitics.blog.palmbeachpost.com/2015/11/18/over-opposition-from-sheriffs-open-carry-gun-bill-squeaks-through-house-panel/

            And, oh, yeah, I know what " predicated the takeover" and I _don't_ agree with them. And I stand by my statement that if they were black, they'd be dead or in Gitmo as I type this. That's just how the authorities in the US roll, and always has been.

            1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

              Re: James O'Shea

              I'm going with body bags rather than "gitmo"

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Felipe VI? Please!

    Maybe they were just big fans of the Pet Shop Boys' debut album?

    1. Ashley_Pomeroy

      Re: Felipe VI? Please!

      It doesn't have the same ring as Shaddam Corrino IV, Padishah Emperor of the Known Universe.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Inheritance

    Personally think rulers by inheritance (monarchs, emperors, sheikhs etc) should of been left in the 20th century.

    OK so their great, great grandfather was a psychopath with bigger sticks than our great, great grandfather, why should I pay and follow their inbred chinless wonder of a sprog?

    1. Richard Wharram

      Re: Inheritance

      Two quibbles.

      Firstly "should have" not "should of".

      Secondly the Spanish Monarchy has a history of being anything but chinless. See Charles I and Habsburg Jaw.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prognathism#Mandibular_prognathism_.28progenism.29

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Inheritance

        For a moment there I though I was going to have to accuse you of being lippy.

    2. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Inheritance

      OK so their great, great grandfather was a psychopath with bigger sticks than our great, great grandfather, why should I pay and follow their inbred chinless wonder of a sprog?

      In terms of chinless wonder-sprogs, ole Harry has been to war for this country more than most of us. I'm certainly no royalist, but then I'm not much of a republican either.... However Harry has certainly earned my respect as a bloke.

      The possibility of King Harry the whatever or President Blair... well, I know which I'd take and it ain't the treacherous lying coward with the awful wife and red tie.

      (yes yes I know ginger bonce was only second in line for the throne and now will never be king but at least William managed to find an attractive wife, which is more than can be said of his Tonyness)

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: Inheritance - However Harry has certainly earned my respect as a bloke.

        Normally I like to disagree with everything LucreLout writes, but on this occasion as the son of a friend has served with both of the Windsors and has passed on his opinion, I have to agree with this one.

    3. Frederic Bloggs

      Re: Inheritance

      You mean like the "arrangements" in Venezuela? They are ostensibly "democratic" but now that the president's aura is waning, he continues to cling on with grim death. No, I stick with a nice constitutional monarchy, thank you.

  5. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Devil

    If only they were so inventive when it came to sirving the electorate instead of each fiefdom constantly fighting the rest.

    It's looking likely that the both the Catalan and the general elections will have to repeated because nobody can agree with anyone else. Don't worry, there's money for that...

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Inventive?

      They were obliged in law to do it. Would you have preferred they spent thousands on a huge picture?

      Bloody smart solution to a stupid problem.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Inventive?

        Quite right. And there must have been a picture of the king when they got elected, hopefully, they flogged it on eBay to get some cash back.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Inventive?

          > there must have been a picture of the king when they got elected

          Probably not. As it happens, the current Spanish king hasn't been there for long, and with most Catalan towns being governed by nationalists or independentists (not the same thing), Spanish symbols do not exactly abound. I can't see them rushing out to buy portraits of the head of State, much less with him being a Bourbon¹, and a much unfortunately named one at that².

          It is the same with Spanish flags, which are supposed to be flown on every public building but are conspicuous by their absence in Catalonia, with certain amusing exceptions, from which this latest example was likely inspired³ (usually, if asked, majors will claim the absent Spanish flag is either in the laundry or has been stored to protect it from deterioration⁴).

          ¹ Before the raise of Republicanism in the early 20th century, Catalonia was a bit of a Carlist stronghold.

          ² His namesake Phillip V's "Decretos de Nueva Planta" marked the loss of Catalan "independence"--through it being part of the Crown of Aragon, something which is remembered to this day every 11th of September, the day in 1714 on which Barcelona fell to Phillip V's troops.

          ³ CUP types not being exactly known by their sophistication in protocol, legal, or most other matters.

          ⁴ Of the sort caused by liberal amounts of petrol and an open flame.

      2. NotBob

        Re: Inventive?

        From the sounds of it, they had a big picture and decided to downsize - this cost more

        1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: Inventive?

          "From the sounds of it, they had a big picture and decided to downsize - this cost more"

          A council stopping worrying about the big picture and concentrating on the detail is surely progress.

          1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

            Re: Inventive?

            It is not.

            The rule of law should be respected.

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: Inventive?

              Which rule of law? There are so many to choose from...

            2. Chris G Silver badge

              Re: Inventive?

              A down vote for you Aitor.

              The rule of any law should be constantly questioned and if found wanting should be removed or replaced with something relevant.

              Many laws are passed as a result of political/personal manouvreing , I personally don't see a problem with having a picture of the ruling monarch if you live in a monarchy. If you don't like it leave or try to change things democratically rather than just being rude.

              What this is all about, obviously is Catalunia's desire to devolve from Spain, I have been looking for a house to buy for my retirement in the next couple of years; some of the cheapest in Spain are in Catalunia. Why? Because in spite of them thinking they have 60% of Spains wealth there is no work there, if they devolve, they will be below 3rd world status about ten minutes after it becomes law, most of the major businesses there are either leaving or planning to leave if devolution goes through.

              Not inventive just small minded when they have much bigger fish to fry.

              1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

                Re: Inventive?

                "The rule of any law should be constantly questioned and if found wanting should be removed or replaced with something relevant."

                And in England and Wales the law is whatever a lawyer manages to persuade the judge is correct on a given day.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Inventive?

                > if they devolve, they will be below 3rd world status

                Erm... Chris, could you please point me to a list of recently created or emancipated countries (anything since the end of the Cold War would do), of any size (you can even include Kosovo, and remember we sponsored that one), which have become failed states?

                I am most curious about this oft-repeated claim that newly formed states, especially smaller ones, cannot succeed, when all the evidence points to the contrary.

                Oh, and your numbers are wrong, btw, as is your spelling. Neither Catalonia represents anywhere near 60% of Spain's GDP (they'd be long independent if they did) nor is unemployment more serious than in Spain as a whole--in fact, it is 8% (3.7 percentage points) below the mean.

            3. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: Inventive?

              The thing is,once a law has been allowed out into the wild the lawyers then get to hunt it down and use it. The rule of law is often not what the law-makers intended.

              (Which, BTW, also counts for the US's "Right to Bare Arms".)

              1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                Re: Inventive?

                >"Right to Bare Arms".

                And for so many of them waiting for the rupture ?

                1. BurnT'offering

                  Re: Inventive?

                  To heaven on bingo wings

              2. DropBear Silver badge

                Re: Inventive?

                ...wouldn't that be "Right to bear arms"...? I'm not aware of anyone particularly being prevented from baring his arms...

                1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                  Re: Inventive?

                  Looks like YAAC forgot the Joke Alert. I guess you haven't heard of comedian Larry the Cable Guy, have you? He actually made a joke of that, and his typical outfit happens to be sleeveless.

                  Another joke take of this is to "arm bears". Imagine a poster with an upright bear (a la Smokey) carrying a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun.

                  1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

                    Re: Inventive? - Looks like YAAC forgot the Joke Alert.

                    If you have to explain that it's a joke, it isn't funny.

                    I suspect Dropbear was being ironic.

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Inventive?

          I'm not too knowledgeable of the laws in Spain, but I suspect, like most monarchies, that presenting the reigning monarch in a less-then-respectable light can result in penalties, so that would be what this case will be assessing. What needs to be determined is just where the line is located, and if crossed, just how grossly was it crossed by this diminutive expression? Would it be better or worse, for example, than hanging the original picture upside-down?

          1. Mark 85 Silver badge

            Re: Inventive?

            Look to Thailand for a reference on where the line could end up. I can also see certain "democracies" (US included) in using this for revering the President.

          2. JohnG Silver badge

            Re: Inventive?

            "...I suspect, like most monarchies, that presenting the reigning monarch in a less-then-respectable light can result in penalties..."

            In places like Thailand or Saudi Arabia maybe but unlikely in any of the European monarchies. Way back in 1977 (during the Queen's Jubilee), the Sex Pistols released the single "God Save The Queen", with some fairly controversial artwork - nothing happened.

            1. graeme leggett

              Re: Inventive?

              It didn't get played on Radio 1, as I recall.

            2. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Inventive?

              That's why I said "can" instead of "will". In places where freedom of speech is not strongly assured, dissing the country's leadership will draw at best dirty looks and at worst LEOs. Your mention of the Sex Pistols expression probably showed England is tolerant enough to let the isolated case slide as a nonviolent protest. In the Catalan case, it appears to be somewhere in between: a summons to explain oneself.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Inventive?

                > In the Catalan case, it appears to be somewhere in between: a summons to explain oneself.

                To be fair, this is nothing to do with the royals. The Spanish government have a number of "representatives" in the so-called "autonomies" whose job, as far as I can tell, is to waste their time and taxpayers money being arseholes and nitpicking on purely symbolic stuff such as whether you have a Spanish flag on the façade of your public building or not.

                With that said, yesterday the royal household refused to receive the chairwoman of the Catalan parliament in audience to communicate the inauguration of the new Catalan president. They asked they fire off an email instead. I wonder if they're more sour about the Catalans going independent, or them going for a Republic¹.

                ¹ In theory, nothing excludes a royal being head of state in a republic, but that's definitely not crossed their minds.

            3. MonkeyCee Silver badge

              Re: Inventive?

              It's illegal in the Netherlands. Same deal as Thailand. Don't be mocking the fat german fucker, the former Prince Pils, that's currently in charge.

              There's even been people charged with it in recent times, someone threw something at him.

      3. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Inventive?

        File under "each fiefdom constantly fighting the rest".

        The court case comes up... Another waste of money.

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