Earlier this month, I saw a letter to The Daily Telegraph, the UK's favourite Tory broadsheet rag, reprinted in my favourite news magazine The Week in their "Pick of the week's correspondence". Since it was in praise of Malaga, one of Andalucia's most important cities, I thought it would be highly appropriate to quote in this blog.
The writer, from Cheltenham, heartland of solid English values, says this:
"I have just spent three days in Malaga. The marble pavements sparkled and teams of smartly dressed workers cleaned and polished the town. The flower beds around the trees in the squares were lovingly tended and the rows of beautiful shops were packed with expensive goods, with apparently no shortage of customers. Cafes and restaurants, full of local people, were open until the early hours of the morning."
Disgusted from Cheltenham then goes on to compare his home town unfavourably with the Spanish city, citing dirty streets, cracked pavements sprouting with weeds, no cleaners, overflowing bins, boarded-up shops, cheap boutiques and run-down bars.
His closing comment is a corker:
"If austerity measures need to be taken across Europe, it seems that the Spanish people will have to see a significant reduction in their standard of living just to get down to British level. I dread to think what further cuts will do to ours."
While it seems to me that he is more concerned with the superficial appearance of such a beautiful, historic Cotswold town than the state of its libraries, education or health facilities, his point is an interesting one.
How does your Ayuntamiento take care of your town? Are the streets clean, the pavements in good condition? Are the bars busy, and the shops doing good business? What do you think of the living standards here in Spain, compared to those back in the UK?