Every week Frank Leavers our man with the dirty Mac and half empty glass of inexpensive vino is looking at what lies just below the sophisticated gloss of island life. Come on folks; tell our Frank what’s really happening in Majorca.
It is not often in life that a single subject can have various people ‘spitting tacks’ about a non party political issue. I talk of course about electric scooters and the fact that it seems that you are either with ‘em or against ‘em, full stop. Apart from a small minority who would reintroduce the death penalty for anyone caught riding these scooters, most folk take the view that mostly they are a good thing, as long as they are ridden with care and consideration towards pedestrians in particular.
Indeed, a Bulletin headline over the weekend must have warmed the cockles of quite a few hearts when it announced “Palma Crackdown On Electric Scooters’. Perhaps reacting to a growing mood of annoyance from the general public, the police in Palma have published a pretty comprehensive list of requirements, plus ‘dos and don’ts’ that make it crystal clear what is expected from those using this mode of transport. Regulations include that scooter riders should be over the age of 15 years and are not allowed to travel over 30kph and are banned from pavements, squares, parks, gardens and most public spaces. I also noticed that the new regs specifically noted that there should only be one person aboard at any given time. I smiled at this, because I have noticed that youngsters in particular seem to be using their VPM’s (why do I think of a Visible Panty Line?) as a sort of courtship accessory. Young teenage couple’s whizzing about town - in-and-out of leaden footed pedestrians causing mayhem and clearly enjoying themselves.
Anyway, enough of all that malarkey, and just as you are becoming exceptionally pleased with yourself on this matter, someone on the MDB’s Facebook page points out that this sort of vehicle could and should be the future in terms of city traffic and the removal of motor-car pollution. A hard point to argue with I would have thought, but as usual we come back to our old friend ‘compliance’ because if there is no follow through with this latest set of rules, the perpetrators of the more dangerous and anti-social elements of electric scooter riding will set the public against any of its uses, even the socially and environmentally friendly of them.
WHO YOU WORK FOR REALLY MATTERS
During this Pandemic, if you had to choose retrospectively what sort of job you would rather have, perhaps you would forget the nature of your career choice, but whether it was funded by the private or public sector. To put it crudely, if you have a job in the public sector you should be okay, given the fact that nobody is going to shut your job down at any moment and your salary should appear in your bank account at the end of the month. If you are employed in the private sector, you won’t be as confident will you? This crude analysis of mine also happens to be true on a number of levels. Can I also make the point that if you are on a state pension of any kind, you should also be able to sleep at night - whether your pension comes locally or from the United Kingdom?
This fact is partly why so many people (including me) are so annoyed at politicians both here in the Balearics and in the UK being so keen on salary increases under various guises. Local politicians are keen to align themselves with other ‘government workers’ whilst millions of private sector workers in all industries are worried where their next pay-cheque will come from. You will have to take my word for the fact that I am not instinctively ‘anti’ the public sector workforce, but on occasions a little self-awareness can go a long way. Indeed, I don’t think it should be beyond the wit of man to ensure that, for instance, Health Service workers should be rewarded for their efforts over the past few months; but a pay rise for every self-obsessed politician and pen-pusher? I don’t think so!
A BEAUTIFUL AUTUMN LIGHT!
I know I can get occasionally emotional as to the natural beauty of this island of ours, but why not! As winter drawers on (there’s a joke there somewhere!) and we are still enjoying blameless sunny days, it struck me that there is something about the ‘light’ at this time of year that is even better than the summer sun. I’m no expert, but October and early November has a light intensity like no other month. For instance, in July and August because of the heat, often the sky is a slightly misty, milky blue, whereas at this time of year the sky above is cobalt blue and the autumn sun throws wonderful shadows and shades across all parts of the island. Just saying!
WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM?
I don’t keep a tally as to the number of migrants from North Africa seeking to come ashore on this island, but day-after-day, there are reports of many landings and boat sightings mainly on the South and east of Majorca. Nevertheless, these landings beg the question as to what happens to these migrants when they land ashore. For instance are they seeking to get beyond the coast and merge with the local population, or - do they expect to be caught and are testing the immigration system to its fullest? Indeed, just having a casual interest in the situation, leaves me to consider that there must be hundreds upon hundreds of migrant landing on our shores. What happens to them?
THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION POPPY APPEAL
As I’m always happy to be called ‘Bonny Lad’ by anyone, I’d better share a message I received from Sheila Bower just recently regarding the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. Sheila pointed out that without the Cricket Club Bonfire Night bash and the limitations of Covid-19 on general public fundraising, she and her colleagues are having a difficult time this year. Indeed, she asked me via this column to pass on the following - “If any person or business out there would like to contribute to this important annual appeal or distribute British Legion Poppies, please contact me on 606 810365. Thank You.” The best of luck Sheila and your small team of volunteers.