Sunday, 3 March 2024

Liberal Future – Days In Europa (3) – The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma, Mallorca

MANY PEOPLE believe that we’re now living in a post-truth era.  According to the online Cambridge Dictionary – https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/post-truth – 

this relates ‘to a situation in which people are more likely to accept an argument based on their emotions and beliefs, rather than one based on facts’.  Some would also argue that ‘post-truth’ means that particular facts – and even entire histories – might be fake.  

With the above in mind, Liberal Future feels that it may be an opportune time to restate our position relating to Europe & the European Union (EU).

First of all, many people (some deliberately?) confuse Europe & the EU.  They believe that one equals the other.  Let’s make it clear from the outset that this is completely wrong.  Europe & the EU are not one and the same.

Europe is one of the continents that make up the world.  It’s normally considered to be the area bordered by the Artic Ocean to the North, the Atlantic Ocean to the West, the Mediterranean Sea to the South & the Ural Mountains in the East.

Europe has a population of around 745 million & covers an area of about 3.93 million sq miles (10.18 million km2).  Russia is the largest country – in terms of population & physical size – in Europe.

The EU, on the other hand, is a political & economic union.  It has a population of around 448 million & covers an area of 1,634,469 sq miles (4,233,255 km2).  Crucially, it doesn’t include Russia.  

As we noted in part 1 (see link below) of Days In Europa:  

‘It is important to distinguish between the European Union (EU) and Europe itself.  We feel that the EU is a rich man’s club for powerful corporate big business and banking elites. Here, their underlings – also known as politicians – are happy enough with the trappings of power.  

For us Europe isn’t about money, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or profit margins.  Europe – from the Atlantic in the West to the Urals in the East & the Arctic Ocean in the North to the Mediterranean Sea in the South – represents a shared culture, history & heritage.  In short, for us Europe is about people.’  

To put it in a nutshell, Liberal Future believes that the EU is institutionally corrupt.  It’s all about elites, control, money & power.  We view Europe in terms of freedom, nations & ordinary people.

Now that we’ve made a clear distinction between Europe & the EU, it’s time to consider our place is in Europe.  

We live the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland.    And, as we’ve made it clear, we’re more than happy to be considered Europeans.  Why wouldn’t we be?  The UK is geographically part of Europe & the indigenous people of the UK are Europeans.  

Sadly, however, many imperialists, jingoists & reactionaries believe that one cannot be both British and European.   

They seem to harp after the ‘good old days’ of the British Empire.  But those days have long gone – and the Commonwealth is also changing.  There is absolutely no way that the Empire can be revived.   

Also, there’s absolutely no way that the UK can stand alone in the world, as it did when Britannia ruled the waves hundreds of years ago.  Those who genuinely believe that we can ‘go it alone’ are deluded & have completely closed their eyes to the realities of the modern world.  

Liberal Future absolutely despairs of these narrow-minded points of view.  

We believe in Self-Determination for all.  It’s literally our raison d’être.  This means that we have absolutely no wish or desire to tell other peoples & nations how to run their lives.  

Therefore, our position is one of rejecting the EU but supporting European co-operation and solidarity.  In addition, we believe that it’s absolute madness for the people and nations of Europe to be at each other’s throats.  We’re progressive nationalists, so we completely reject petty nationalism & infighting.   

Once again, we’re more than happy to be considered both British and European.   

The first part of this article has been about exploring the differences between Europe & the EU.  The second part – as is usual in this series – will explore the beauty of Europe, particularly through its architecture.   

Palma in Mallorca (which is one of the Balearic Islands) is arguably one of the most beautiful capital cities in Europe.  And one of its most iconic buildings is the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma (more commonly known as La Seu, or simply Palma Cathedral).  

It sits within the old (Roman) city and enjoys spectacular views over the Parc de la Mar and the Mediterranean Sea.

The cathedral was begun by King Jaume (James) I of Aragon in 1229.  However, it was only finished in 1601.  It sits on the site of Moorish-era Mosque & is built in a Catalan Gothic style with – intriguingly – Northern European influences.

In addition to this, both Antoni Gaudí and Miquel Barceló  have been involved in subsequent works.

Anyone who has visited the cathedral will know how vast it is.  Indeed, it’s one of Europe’s largest Gothic cathedrals – with a length of nearly 400 feet (121 metres), a width of 131 feet (40) metres & a height of 144 feet (44 metres).

The cathedral remains one of most famous monuments of the Mediterranean.  It is still very much alive and hosts many events during the year.

• ALSO CHECK OUT:  

Liberal Future – Days In Europa (1) – St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow, Russia https://nationalliberal.org/liberal-future-–-days-in-europa-1-–-st-basil’s-cathedral-moscow-russia  

Liberal Future – Days In Europa (2) – Parliament Buildings (Stormont), Belfast, Ulster  https://nationalliberal.org/liberal-future-days-in-europa-2-parliament-buildings-stormont-belfast-ulster  

• FOR MORE information about Liberal Future – the youth wing of the National Liberal Party – check out:  https://nationalliberal.org/liberty-wall-3/liberal-future  

• LIBERAL FUTURE would like your views on both this article & our ideas for a future Europe.  Simply post your comments when you see this article posted on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/706779429376233 and/or the National Liberals Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/52739504313  

• READERS MAY be interested in the logos which feature at the bottom of this third Days In Europa poster produced by Liberal Future – the youth wing of the National Liberal Party.   

The circular black & orange logo (on the left) symbolises the fusion of progressive nationalism and liberalism.  Here we give equal weight to ‘national questions’ (concerning all of the nations & peoples of the British Isles and in principle, beyond) as we do to ‘liberal’ questions (concerning the individual and freedom).  

The square orange logo (centre) is the official symbol of Liberal Future.  We’ve used it since 2014 when the idea of creating a youth movement for the National Liberal Party was first mooted: https://nationalliberal.org/liberal-future-–-a-manifesto-for-our-youth  

The logo on the right represents Mallorca.  It features the distinctive red & yellow colours of the Senyera, which is based on the coat of arms of the Crown of Aragon.  A castle (adopted from the flag of the Kingdom of Majorca) also appears on the logo. 

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