Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Island That Lost Control

I'm looking at a one-litre bottle of olive oil, the light variety, not the extra virgin type. I'm not sure if it would make a difference which sort it was for something I'm trying to figure out without going and trying it. How much oil do you suppose you need to make a hotel corridor (not carpeted) slippery enough in order to ensure that guests slip over? I'm guessing that a litre - of whatever type - wouldn't be adequate. You could do part of a corridor, but the whole corridor ...?

Now I'm looking at a chopping-board and at a ring on the cooker. How long would it take, I'm wondering, for the chopping-board to catch light on a full ring (electric)? Wooden, plastic: I reckon the plastic one would go up quicker. I'm not about to find out. To be honest, until only a short while before writing this, it had never occurred to me that one might put a chopping-board on a ring, go out and trust that it catches light - in a hotel apartment. Nor had it ever struck me that one might pour oil along a hotel corridor.

I've been looking, millions have been looking, at a video. Have you seen it? Fancy seeing someone being beaten and kicked senseless by security guards? A hotel's security guards? A hotel to the fore of a transformation. I don't need to tell you which one, do I. You already know. You'll have seen the video. As I say, millions have. The Mail has seen it too. As has The Star. The victim wasn't a guest as such. The hotel has explained this. What the hell difference does that make? You'll know the hotel. It invites the public in to enjoy its facilities. That makes the public guests. This is a hotel asked, by its relevant town hall, to assist in sending out positive messages for somewhere undergoing transformation. Here's the message: end up black and blue. What does the mayor say?

This is not the same hotel as the one with the items from the kitchen. Which one do you reckon that is? Do you suppose it's the same one that apparently only has one security guard at night for a complex of ... Of, ooh, quite a large size. It is.

Tourism is booming. But you know that. With or without booming tourism there is a need for control. Control of different types. Though when things are booming, you don't really want the absence of control or the wrong type of control to go and cock everything up. I know, I know, it's always been the case that where there has been tourism in Mallorca there has also been its less savoury side: its violence, its misbehaviour, its crime. It's just that I have an uneasy feeling. Far from there being greater and better control, there seems to be a deterioration. This uneasiness stems in part from a further sense of impotence - not mine but that of the rightful authorities, be they police or administrations.

Impunity. That's the word. The point is that efforts are made in one way, and the target of those efforts (the anti-social behaviour or whatever) move somewhere else. You can take the lads off the streets of Magalluf, but you can't take the lads out of Magalluf, except by party boat aka booze cruise. You'll have seen the videos of that as well, no doubt. And no one appears to know how or to be able to enforce control. Impunity. You take the lads off the streets of Magalluf, stick 'em in a hotel, and they (one at any rate) get their heads kicked in by security. Done with impunity, but captured on video. What in God's name were those security guards thinking? Do they think? Or are they incapable of thought? It would appear so.

You put lads and lasses in another hotel with all but non-existent security, and they run riot. Maximum control is to be exerted, says the town hall. Really? One security guard? There's your booming tourism for you. Kerching! Take the money, stick 'em in your crumbling hotel and don't bother to engage any security.

There's something else. It's quite extraordinary. The nightclubs association has been complaining about it. Private houses are being used as nightclubs. People are paying to get in and for drinks. All illegal, and to make matters worse for the association, whose members have to charge the top rate of IVA (VAT) for entrance and drinks, there is not one cent of tax paid. Well, of course there isn't. Impunity.

In this instance, there is also an absence of inspection, from whichever government department or other agency might be relevant: as with hotels, for which there is a total under-resourcing for inspection. So things just happen. Noses are thumbed. We don't care. There's your boom for you.

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