back to article As halfwit, would-be dictator buried by UK judges, Spain would like to dig up a very real one

The Supreme Court in Spain has ruled that the government can exhume the remains of General Francisco Franco, who became dictator after the Spanish Civil War in 1939 until his death in 1975. Franco, against his wishes, was buried in an enormous cathedral and mausoleum built into the side of a mountain in the Valle de los Caídos …

  1. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Half wit?

    Kept that well hidden.

    1. oiseau Silver badge

      Re: Half wit?

      Kept that well hidden.

      Think so?

      Then you have not been paying attention, it becomes bloody evident everytime he opens his mouth to speak.

      For example this time.

      He's clocked a few more of these in his short gig as PM.


      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Half wit?

        I believe the contention might be that even half of a wit is a surprise.

  2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    Interesting way of expressing it

    Franco, against his wishes, was buried in an enormous cathedral and mausoleum built into the side of a mountain

    Reminds me of the bring out your dead scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. "I'm not dead."

  3. LDS Silver badge

    "to bury his remains somewhere less controversial"

    Ah, good, I was afraid they wanted to reinstate him at the helm of Spain...

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: "to bury his remains somewhere less controversial"

      Actually, that might not be a bad idea and not just limited to Spain. Maybe every country should elect a dead person to high offices. Less wars, less BS, less stress on the citizens. And for the those in the US... less Tweets.

      1. Uncle Slacky

        Re: "to bury his remains somewhere less controversial"

        To be fair, he was technically dead for about the last 6 months of his reign (see SNL's "Weekend Update" circa 1975).

      2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: "to bury his remains somewhere less controversial"

        Works perfectly for North Korea, oh wait...

  4. Blockchain commentard

    30,000 gaves and only 2 are named. Are the Spanish grave markerers that lazy?

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Go to British WW1 cemetaries, and the graves are mostly marked "A soldier of the Great War, known unto God". It is not that easy to identify mangled remains of someone killed in war, especially when DNA testing hasn't been invented yet.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      You never read or have been in combat then. Many people are blown up with very little left to identify them. Or because of the battlefield situation, it's impossible to get them all buried rather quickly. It is said there's still many bodies still unburied since WWI and WWII in places.

      However, with the advent of DNA identification, that is changing for many militaries.

  5. RonWheeler

    Yes writers, you are fashionably left wing

    Well done posturing


    As half-wit, would-be dictator buried by UK judges,

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yes writers, you are fashionably left wing


    2. Jason Bloomberg
      Thumb Up

      Re: Yes writers, you are fashionably left wing

      As half-wit, would-be dictator buried by UK judges

      It's the best - and most accurate - one-sentence synopsis of today's ruling I have seen.

      I can't agree with the "half-wit" appellation though; that's merely a façade to delude, deceive and discombobulate the gullible and those who un-ticked the 'critical thinking' checkbox.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Yes writers, you are fashionably left wing

        "merely a façade"

        Is it? He's a damn fine actor, then. And has managed to keep it up for decades, too. That is an extremely difficult thing to do ... some would say impossible. There was a dude who lived in Ockham a while back who would probably have muttered lex parsimoniae under his breath about here ...

        1. SonofRojBlake

          Re: Yes writers, you are fashionably left wing

          @jake: He is indeed a damn fine actor. He even has a stage name (you know "Boris" isn't his first name OR the name his friends call him?). And he HAS managed to keep up the facade for decades.

          Consider: Johnson's family were well able to afford to pay full fees for little Alexander to attend Eton. They did not pay those fees, because he passed what is often held to be one of the hardest exams in the world, to be a King's Scholar. One of the benefits of that is reduced fees. You can buy a place at Eton, but you can't buy a King's Scholarship.

          You can't buy a scholarshiip to study Literae humaniores at Balliol Oxford, either. He won that. This despite school reports complaining of his idleness.

          So... applying Ockham's razor, which is the simplest explanation:

          1. he is a halfwit who has somehow managed to bluff his way through one of the toughest exams going, and get a 2:1 from one of the world's top universities

          2. he is so staggeringly bright that despite documented laziness and general incompetence, when tested on academic brilliance he passes well beyond the top 1%.

          If he really were a halfwit, I'd worry a lot less about him. He is lazy, over-entitled, dishonest, lacking in any empathy and entirely out for himself, but "halfwitted" he is definitely not.

          The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was getting the plebs to call him "Boris" and making them believe he was a buffoon.

      2. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

        Re: Yes writers, you are fashionably left wing

        It is a stupid political posturing.

        Nobody reads TheRegister for political commentary. Especially this stupid.

        It is a sign on how this mental illness caused by Brexit referendum took over that people don’t even realise how stupid this is.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yes writers, you are fashionably left wing

      You do realise this dictator killed thousands? Are you proposing it's left wing to oppose and mock murderous nationalist dictators? Here was me thinking people on the right had at least some common sense.

      1. dvhamme

        Re: Yes writers, you are fashionably left wing

        Did you not read the dig at Boris Johnson in the headline?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Curious tourists who've watched Andrew Graham Dixon's "Art of Spain" series also visit. A quite intensely horrible place, the cathedral in particular left me feeling nauseous and physically shaking. Wherever it is Franco ends up, may he rot in hell.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      There's not many people make me wish there was an afterlife but he's one.

    2. baud

      Yeah a communist Spain would have worked SO much better.

      1. jake Silver badge

        As my Great Grandmother was wont to observe ...

        ... :::sniff-sniff:: Smells like a red herring ...

        She also instructed us on the concept of two wrongs not making a right.

      2. cynic56

        Baud ...

        Presumably you have the same sense of relief about Germany not suffering from communism in the 1930s?

        1. LDS Silver badge

          They tasted it too, 1945-1989, in DDR, and wasn't much different from Nazism... and I'm afraid an axis Berlin-Moscow would have been much more dangerous than the Berlin-Rome one.

          Not that they didn't invade Poland together, anyway.

          1. martinusher Silver badge

            Oh, please read some history -- proper history, not popular 'as served up on TV". One of the Fascists selling points is that the ideology was anti-communist which made it difficult for the Russians to organize an anti-Nazi coalition. Coupled with that you've got the general level of affection of the 'nice' ruling people in countries like Britain for the organized, disciplined Fascists.

            Everything is pretty easy to understand, you don't need to put revisionist "they're all the same" noise, it just serves the purpose of today's fascists ( you thought they went away in 1945.....big mistake.....)

            1. Diogenes

              Fascists selling points is that the ideology was anti-communist

              That does not make either ideology any less bastard factional 'children' of socialism, refer the rhetoric & actions by the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks towards one another between 1903 and 1931

            2. david 12 Silver badge

              Yes, the killing between the communist and socialist and "post-socialist" organisations created by ex-socialists was just as bad as the killing of the Trotskyists by the Stalinists.

            3. LDS Silver badge

              Please read some history too. Your knowledge is severely lacking and still imbibed of communist propaganda.

              I never said that nazism was better the communism - they are pretty equal - just look at my other post. Yes, they are all the same. Lenin and Stalin were no better than Mussolini and Hitler. Those who try to assert communism was better despite the *facts* still dream of communist dictatorship. Frankly, I prefer a liberal democracy which keeps both far, far away.

              Fascism used the communism fear to obtain power - that's history. Just that fear had strong ground in reality. Lenin and Stalin killed, deported, and enslaved millions. And that's history too. Maybe it's missing in your little books printed in Moscow? Of course letting fascists take power was no better than letting communists, and brought the same bloodbath. Utterly wrong and deadly solution to an actual problem - but there are people who are very able to build on fears and obtain power. Just look at today.

              Just, in the end, it didn't protect part of Germany to fall under the communist dictatorship - East Germany had to suffer that too - and shown what could have been a communist Germany. STASI is still a word that means the worst kind of dictatorial control. And that's history too.

              A communist Germany, under Soviet control, would have been no less dangerous than a nazi one, and equally aggressive. Russia was aggressive - just ask Poland, Finland and the Baltic Republics - that's history too.

              Stalin would have used it to attack the rest of Europe too. World dominance wasn't in Hitler mind only.

              I wish we could today avoid the same dangers, but as long as there are people that think that fascists or communists are "very fine people", I'm really scared.

      3. LDS Silver badge

        It's very bad when you can only choose between a fascist or communist dictatorship - as it usually ends in bloodbath and loss of freedom anyway. Unless you're one of the winning butchers, of course.

        Anyway, let's remember that Orwell became disgusted with communism in Spain.

        1. Danny 2 Silver badge

          Orwell became disgusted with Stalinism in Spain. Stalinism isn't communism, it's just another dictatorship. I'm not a communist, I just know some fairly pleasant communists.

          [Has anyone else noticed there are very few political and current affairs articles here now? It's mostly tech articles for some reason.]

          1. LDS Silver badge

            Stalinism WAS communism in the 1930s. He had total control on communist parties - and actively killed whoever tried to take it away from him.

            And communism, even without Stalin, was and is a dictatorship not different from fascism. After all, Mussolini too came from the socialist party.

            You can have met some pleasant communists or fascists, it doesn't really change what communism and fascism are.

            1. Danny 2 Silver badge

              Stalinism wasn't communism in the 1930s, and you already admitted that in your reply - he wouldn't have had to murder so many communists if you were correct.

              Communism is a dirtier word, more extremist, in the US than in the UK.

              I've got a slightly funny, slightly telling, anecdote for you.

              I was stuck for hours in a stifling hot crowded summer US consulate applying for a holiday visa in the eighties. The wee granny in front of me hadn't filled out her application so the clerk had to shout out the questions to her so he could fill it in.

              "Are you, or any member of your family, ever been a member of the Nazi party?"

              "No, son, we never liked the Nazis"

              "Are you, or any member of your family, ever been a member of the Communist party?"

              "Well, yes. My man was the head of the Ayrshire miners union, and he was a Communist. People would come around looking for his help. But I wasn't, and I forbid them from talking politics in my living room. I just want to visit my daughter, she's working in Texas and I haven't seen her in years".

              To the credit of Reagan's America she got her visa. It just amuses me that she was forced to shout her dead husband's politics in a tiny crowded room.

    3. Uncle Slacky

      Also featured in the recent doco by Jonathan Meades, "Franco Building":

  7. Anonymous Coward

    So many serious responses to this article!

    Where is the usual devil-may-care, what-me-worry attitude that made these forums one of the wonders of western civilization? Especially when there is an obvious pun just hanging out there, begging to be used in connection with this story.

    I give you--Franco-stein! (Urrhhh, friend gooooodddd, communists bad!!)

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: So many serious responses to this article!

      There is still plenty of signal here, mixed in with all the political noise. Squint a little harder, you'll find it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So many serious responses to this article!

      When 90% of the written press and all TV news output, and so on, is on the side of the headline ( ie: Tories/Brexit bad ), then it's not exactly cutting satire - it's yet another pro-establishment jab at the proles.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: So many serious responses to this article!

        I'd love to know the mental gymnastics behind 'Tories bad' being a "jab at the proles".

        The Conservative party has not historically been known as the party of the workers...

  8. martinusher Silver badge

    Franco was a Fascist. Period.

    Maybe it was my upbringing, a childhood warped by a mother who had a tendency to throw things at the television whenever Franco appeared on it, but I was brought up to understand that Franco was a fascist in the Hitler/Mussolini sense. He was installed by open help from the Nazis and passive help from democracies like the UK and France who regarded an elected socialist government in Spain as an evil that needed rooting out. Franco survived WW2 merely by not actively participating in it -- at least not in the war against the UK and US (the Spanish did send a couple of divisions to the Eastern Front, part of 1941's 'Coalition of the Willing').

    Anyway, to everyone today, I know you've been steeped in anti-communism, anti-trades unions and what have you from the cradle but flirting with fascism is a really bad idea. These people are not your friends, they will promise you prosperity and status but they do not have your interests at heart (they just have the finance to buy really good propaganda!).

    1. Teiwaz

      Re: Franco was a Fascist. Period.

      Anyway, to everyone today, I know you've been steeped in anti-communism, anti-trades unions and what have you from the cradle

      Too true - The amount whatabouterist fearmongering concerning Labour of late and comparisons made of the EU and Germany by some, and the promises made to the public lately have just lacked stylized depictions of happy 'Volk' or joyous hard-working peasants in fields to look like early 20th Century propaganda.

      I'd say we're ten years off the running war of politically charged gangs, but they'd probably all be stabbed in the back by drugdealing youfs eventually if they tried that right now.

  9. Jemma

    Franco.. Half wit?

    Umm.. No

    Braindead Boris would have problems out thinking one of the zombies from Shawn of the Dead.

    Franco might have been the utter bastards utter bastard, but one thing he wasn't was an idiot. He was a very astute politician who managed to play off most of the rest of Europe during and after the war (not exactly rocket science to be sure) - including playing a game of hide and seek with Hitler and the Allies that kept Spain out of the war and completely unharmed (bar being broke from the SCW) - so it's deeply unfair to liken him to Bloody Stupid Johnson.

    I'm in no way saying that I support the guy in any way and it wouldn't surprise me to find that Priti Patel has a poster of Franco on her bedroom wall (that she strokes lovingly with claw like fingers), but likening Boris to Franco is the same as likening "Duh-fender" McGovern and Ettore Bugatti.

  10. chivo243 Silver badge

    What would Chevy Chase say?

    "Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still valiantly holding on in his fight to remain dead."

    1. Cardinal

      Re: What would Chevy Chase say?


      Excellent link. That bit about "shouting the news as Chase read it.", had me chuckling for quite a while.

      1. Uncle Slacky

        Re: What would Chevy Chase say?

        If you've never seen his original performances, Garrett Morris also did it in the 2006 Family Guy episode "Barely Legal":

  11. Danny 2 Silver badge

    War against Fascism

    I was brought up thinking WWII was a just war against fascism but the fact is we left fascists in power in Iberia and worked to install them elsewhere.

    My old dad still hates Germans so much I had to ask a German girlfriend to pretend to him that she was Swiss, embarrassing for all of us.

    It's a sad fact that the far right has been on the rise in the UK for the past two decades, is becoming more violent and will need to be slapped down. The Brexit chaos for us is an intellectual debate but for them it is an entry point to leverage for recruitment.

    There are two Scottish books I recommend about Franco. "Homage to Caledonia", about Scots in the International Brigade, and "Granny Made me an Anarchist", about a Scot who tried to assassinate Franco in the sixties.

  12. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

    With titles like this I am considering to stop reading TheRegister.

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      At the very least you could stop commenting. You know, as a silent protest.

    2. Francis Boyle

      Well, I'm considering that you won't be missed at least by people who like reading minimally grammatical comments.

    3. joeW

      Ah, you only like when the Register takes the piss out of people you also don't care for?

      Grow a pair, snowflake.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I was just thinking the same thing.

      Yet another place taken over by the left. As least it's not as bad as Ars Technica, I suppose.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        As they say in the States, reality has a well known liberal bias.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Yes, American "liberals" say that.

          It's part of their smugness, which directly contributed to getting Trump elected.

          1. jake Silver badge


            I have never heard anybody say that until today. Perhaps it's a figment of the British mass medjia's imagination?

  13. Joe Harrison

    TZ Nazis

    Spain is pretty much due south of UK and should be on same time zone as us. The reason for Spanish time being one hour ahead of UK is because in 1934 Franco wanted to be on CET the same as Nazi Germany. So on the next occasion that you have to get up stupidly early for your flight to Benidorm it will be because literally Hitler.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: TZ Nazis

      Another historical fact:

      Generalissimo is alive and well; working in an all-inclusive hotel confiscating drinks from unsuspecting Englishmen who aren't following the completely arbitrary and unposted rules.

      1. Jemma

        Re: TZ Nazis

        I thought he was living peacefully in Stonely myself.. (just don't go exploring in the canal tunnel).

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