¡Viva la Pepa!

Spain is celebrating this year the Bicentennial of the first Spanish Constitution, the Constitution of 1812, known popularly as la Pepa since it was promulgated in Cadiz on St. Joseph’s day, 19th March 1812. Joseph’s name is familiarly known in Spanish as Pepe, the female is Pepa and the Constitution is feminine in Spanish.

This Constitution was one of the most liberal of her time and although the Bayonne Statute issued in 1808 under Joseph Bonaparte is indeed earlier, it never came into effect.

La Pepa established the principles of national  sovereignty, universal male suffrage and division of power into the legislative power – with a single parliamentary chamber – the judicial power, and the executive, with the monarch’s executive power limited by strict parliamentary control. Freedom of press, education and property were recognised and La Pepa supported land reform and free enterprise. A new administrative system was set up based on districts and provinces. All citizens were seen as equal before the law. Catholicism was stated to be the only religious faith permitted, seen today necessary to gain the support of the Church in the struggle against the French. The Inquisition was abolished.

Unfortunately her life was brief and intermittent. Six weeks after returning to Spain, on 24 March 1814, king Fernando VII abolished the Constitution of 1812. La Pepa was briefly in force during the Trienio Liberal from 1820 to 1823 , and again between 1836 and 1837 during the preparation of the Constitution of 1837.

From 1812 to 1814, la Pepa was never really in full effect: much of Spain was ruled by the French and the rest of Spain was in the hands of interim governments focused more on the resistance to Bonaparte that on the establishment of a constitutional regime.

I was going to write about la Pepa when I saw Aly Monroe article HERE. For additional information you can click at Wikipedia and at The Political Constitution of the Spanish Monarchy: Promulgated in Cádiz, the nineteenth day of March.

Long life la Pepa! ¡Viva la Pepa! was, for a long time unfortunately, a cry associated with our desire of freedom in Spain.

Monuments and sites linked to la Pepa.

A Liberal Blueprint for the Spanish World The Cádiz Constitution of 1812 (in English)

Consorcio del Bicentenario (in Spanish)

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: Complete BBC Series [DVD] [1979] Part II

In 1979, the 1974 spy novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by British writer John Le Carré, was dramatized into a seven episodes television series of 50 minutes each, by the BBC.

The BBC series was produced by Jonathan Powell, directed by John Irvin with screenplay by Arthur Hopcraft based on Le Carré novel. The music was specially composed by Geoffrey Burgon, and the photography is by Tony Pierce-Roberts.

Starring: Alec Guinness (George Smiley), Bernard Hepton (Toby Esterhase), Terence Rigby (Roy Bland), Michael Aldridge (Percy Alleline), Ian Richardson (Bill Haydon), Ian Bannen (Jim Prideaux), Alexander Knox (Control), Michael Jayston (Peter Guillam). Anthony Bate (Oliver Lacon) and Hywel Bennett (Ricky Tarr).

Control, the Head of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) is convinced that there’s a mole in one of the highest posts of the Service. To unmask him, he sends an agent (Jim Prideaux) on an un-official mission to Czechoslovakia. The operation goes terribly wrong, the agent is taken prisoner, Control is discredited and he dies shortly after. His deputy, George Smiley, is forced to take an early retirement. The Circus, as the SIS headquarter is known, is now run by Percy Alleline, together with his deputies Bill Haydon and Roy Bland, and, working for both, Toby Esterhase.

One day George Smiley tries to avoid a casual encounter with an old friend of the Service, Peter Guillam, but when Smiley reaches his home, he finds that Guillam is waiting for him sitting in front of his fireplace. Guillam drives Smiley to a meeting with Oliver Lacon, the Civil Service officer responsible for the Intelligence Services. Lacon recruits Smiley back into the Service to investigate, without the knowledge of the Circus, the story heard in Portugal by a maverick agent, Ricky Tarr, that there is a mole inside the Circus.  

Yesterday I was able to finish watching the second DVD of the two in the series. There is little more I can add to the praise it has already received. It’s a great adaptation, perfectly made and executed. The interpretation is superb and both, the photography and the music, fit in the narration to perfection. I enjoyed it tremendously and I highly recommend it.