Yesterday morning I was sitting outside a bar in central Palma having a coffee before I went to work. To my amazement the president of the Balearic government, Francina Armengol, wandered past. There was not a security guard or official car in sight. She was simply walking to work. I thought to myself, how refreshing. Until very recently the Balearic president had a security cordon which appeared similar to the one which follows around US presidents. In some cases it consisted of three agents, an official car and control car. It was quite extraordinary. But thankfully those times have gone and now the Balearic president walks to work through Palma.

It is a sad reflection of our times that many leaders have to be protected at all times by a so-called ring of steel. Spanish politicians have for many years been forced to deal with the threat from the Basque terrorist group, ETA, in the same way as their British counterparts where always under threat from the IRA. But the people should be able to see and question their leaders. They should not be locked away behind a security cordon. I think also official cars should become a thing of the past especially for so-called junior leaders. At the moment many of the lower ranks of the Balearic government or even the big councils have their own official vehicles. This needs to stop. I would encourage junior members of the local authorities to use public transport. It is just as affective as an official car.