CATALONIA’S journey to independence continues. The Catalan government had planned to present the results of last Sunday’s referendum to a session of its Parliament on Monday, and it was widely expected that this would be followed by a unilateral declaration of independence.

However, on Thursday deputies belonging to the PSC, the Catalan branch of the Spanish PSOE, a party which is allied to the British Labour Party, presented a case to the Spanish Supreme Court claiming that the Catalan government was violating the rights of the deputies. Naturally, the Spanish Supreme Court agreed with PSC. It has ruled that Monday’s session of the Catalan Parliament is to be suspended.

Legal action is also being taken by the Spanish state against the head of the Catalan police force, Lluis Trapero, and senior police official Teresa Laplana, and the leaders of two of Catalonia’s most prominent independence organisations, Jordi Cuixart of Omnium Cultural and Jordi Sanchez of the ANC. All four have been accused of sedition and appeared before a judge in Madrid yesterday. The charges carry a potential sentence of 15 years in prison.

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Despite the legal actions and the ruling that the session of the Catalan Parliament must not take place, the Catalan foreign affairs minister Raül Romeva has vowed that the debate will go ahead regardless. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont confirmed yesterday that he would address the Catalan Parliament on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish Prime Minister, has been making not so veiled threats against Puigdemont, telling him to drop the question of independence in order to avoid “greater evils”.

Rajoy ruled out negotiations on independence, and was quoted by the pro-independence Catalan digital newspaper Vilaweb as saying: “We cannot be seated at the same table as those who recognise neither the constitution nor the law.”

Madrid remains as intransigent as ever. As far as Catalonia is concerned, Madrid doesn’t want a solution, it wants surrender.

It’s difficult to see how Mariano Rajoy sees this ending. He’s acting as though the desire for Catalan independence will simply go away if he keeps stamping his foot and staying no. He’s as much in touch with reality in this regard as his fellow conservatives in the UK are in touch with the realities of Brexit.

Unfortunately, what happens in the real world is that for every ramping up of Spanish opposition, Catalan determination only becomes more entrenched. The desire of millions of Catalans for independence isn’t going to go away just because Madrid tells them that it’s illegal.

All Rajoy is doing is to make it more likely that Catalan independence comes about, and that it comes about through civil disobedience and yet more counterproductive violence from the forces of the Spanish state.

Some Scottish opponents of independence have been arguing on social media that the Catalans voted for the Spanish constitution when it was approved in a referendum in 1978 after the death of Franco. That’s certainly true. However even at the time there was considerable disquiet about the decision to include the Francoist slogan about Spain being one and indivisible in the new constitution.

At the time, Spanish democracy was fragile. Indeed there was a coup attempt in February 1981 when Colonel Antonio Tejero of the Guardia Civil and his followers held the Spanish Parliament hostage at gunpoint. That’s the same Guardia Civil whose members were assaulting Catalan voters last Sunday. Tejero now lives in retirement near Malaga, but only a couple of weeks ago he wrote a letter to the Spanish press demanding that the Catalan government be subjected to criminal proceedings for their “destruction of Spain” and referred to the Catalan referendum as a “coup d’etat”. He went on to demand the immediate imprisonment of Puigdemont.

Spain’s old fascists still have their supporters. The day after the Catalan referendum, Sky News broadcast brief interviews with people attending an anti-independence rally in Madrid. Many of those at the rally were carrying banners and flags bearing the symbols of the Falangists, a fascist party which was the only legal political party during Franco’s reign. The news reporter didn’t make the nature of the protest clear, but it was obvious to anyone familiar with Spain.

The clause now being used by Rajoy to oppose the Catalan referendum was included in the democratic constitution as a reassurance to the Francoist generals as a way to get them to return to the barracks and refrain from interfering in politics.

At the time, there was a real fear of a new civil war. Catalans, along with many in the rest of Spain, voted for the new constitution as it was the lesser of two evils. In the Basque Country, on the other hand, the referendum to approve the constitution was widely boycotted.

From a Scottish perspective, one of the most upsetting things about the recent events in Catalonia is the number of people in Scotland who are prepared to defend and justify the violence of the Spanish police and the intransigent response of the Spanish government. There are actually people in Scotland whose opposition to independence is so hard line, so vehement, so unthinking, that they’re prepared to excuse more than 900 people being injured by the police and the criminalisation of millions of Catalans for daring to try and vote.

You expect that sort of thing from Tories, a party which has an authoritarian streak as wide as some of the chancers whom they choose as candidates, and a party leader with a penchant for dressing up in army uniforms and posing on tanks.

However, some of the most vocal apologists on social media for Spanish state brutality seem to be Labour supporters. These are the people who deny the democratic legitimacy of the Scottish Government’s mandate for another referendum, and who at the same time complain that they’re the victims.

The Spanish state claims it’s a victim too. The real victim is Catalan democracy, but the Catalan people will ensure that they have their say. An independent Catalonia is now more certain than ever.

Most of those who wanted to vote on Sunday did not vote for a constitution which forbids the right of Catalonia to self-determination. People in 2017 cannot be held to account for the votes of their grandparents almost 40 years ago.

Scotland’s Unionists are very keen on trumpeting that a referendum should only be held once a generation. It seems that in Spain they’re not even going to support one every second generation.