Yesterday the trials of Catalonian political prisoners in Spain began. The 9 political prisoners and 3 others are on trial for the archaic crimes of ‘rebellion’ and ‘sedition’. The former offence was brought back into use by Franco in the 1940s to prosecute and execute opponents using his military courts. Just pause a moment to reflect on this. We have a leading European state putting 12 people on trial for peaceful political activities, using legal categories that most democracies left behind in the 18th century and were revived by a fascist dictator.