Now years ago the only people living in Spain on a permanent basis were the wind swept and interesting, pot smoking, dropped or kicked out, off- spring of the well heeled, millionaire elderly gay gentlemen looking for Moroccan boys or bohemian artistic types looking for themselves.
Whereas all these people were undesirable enough in their own right, they did at least contribute something to Spain; even if it was only billions of Pesetas and a legacy of purple painted strangely named Fincas dotted around the place.
But times do indeed change and those pioneering free spirits from the 70's all grew up and became respectable, teachers, lawyers, writers or died young of something enviably outrageous. ItÂ’s a sad fact that as soon as the last VW camper turned tail and headed back to Blighty; coming in the opposite direction was a positive vanguard of Bedford Lutons full to bursting with whole generations of folk from Â“oop-t-northÂ”.
Now I am not at all racist and I am sure that the nether region of Great Britain is a marvelous place and I do know they produce some very good coal. The truth is however, that when you listen to any kind of news reports from the UK there is still a very real north/south divide in respect of unemployment, crime, education and the general dispersement of wealth. Relocation, therefore, will not alter a whole genre (look at Gengis Khan).
English television networks still seem to have a love of turning out programs for the masses that extol the idea of selling up the family council house and Â“living the dreamÂ” in Spain. But the truth of the matter is that, if you werenÂ’t Â“living the dreamÂ” at home, then why should all that change in a foreign country?
In reality, the language barrier, a whole host of legal requirements and the simple fact that there are not enough jobs for unskilled labourers to go round, can make those flowery clichĂ©s about Â“living the dreamÂ” more like Â“living a nightmareÂ”.
In England, if you want to become a plumber, bricklayer, carpenter, electrician or indeed any kind of Â“skilledÂ” tradesman, you will be required to attend a training course in your chosen field, and after that time you will have a bright, shiny certificate to prove your competence for the job.
Why then, is Spain so full of ex pats, whoÂ’s only previous training was where to mark X on a Giro, but are now Â“skilled tradesmenÂ” ? The answer is simple, the loss of access to said Giro, necessitates suddenly acquiring a trade.
This practice of becoming the Lone Ranger overnight is not only illegal, but potentially dangerous to unsuspecting customers; after all you wouldnÂ’t employ the local drunk to perform brain surgery, so why should you let him loose on your electrics? So the next time you are in a bar, and happen to mention that you want a patio laid, if a tall, red eyed, man with a moustache says Â“I can do thatÂ” it might be better for you to graciously decline his very kind offer.
I would like to start this comment by saying that although I can sympathize with the "author" of this articles' disappointment in many of the 'guiris' out here on the coast, ie. lack of attempt in the language area, the general colonization of things right down to having an Iceland supermarket etc....however, what I failed to comprehend was the finger pointing at ex-pats from Northern UK. What the cretinous article was messily trying to say was, that all losers and criminals (who apparently are all from northern England), are the cowboys and gangsters who now live as ex-pats on the costa del sol. Speaking in response to this ridiculous and uneducated accusation, as Geordie tri-lingual BA (hns) graduate who has been resident here for over a year, I think that your blast was not only ignorant but plain stupid. In your case, I dont think that you have even realised how much of a 'guiri' you are after passing such judgment, and may I also say that your lack of style and eloquence not only in your writing, but in your 'north vs south' conclusion, only makes you look like a bigger fool in the eyes of the public. Your extremely primitive views are what keeps racism alive, but I would imagine that your ignorance could never appreciate that. Best of luck in improving your dire writing skills.
Rated: 1/5 (20th September 2010)
Editor's comments: Thank you for your comments. I'll pass this on to the author who by the way has left to go back to Northern England. The Editor
"Editor's comments: I followed your advice and watched Eastenders. I could not fail to notice that none of them are on the dole. Please correct,me if I am wrong." "None on the dole"? ...err is that perhaps because in the script writers misty eyed view money grows on trees and one minute they are unemployed and broke and the next driving a fancy car throwing money around as if grows on trees? The following are or would be unemployed in real life: Janine, Bianca, Carol Jackson Billy (now conveniently shipped off to Afghanistan), Whitney, Lucas Johnson Syed Masood, Billy Mitchell, Glenda Mitchell Stacey Slater Arthur Fowler Owen Turner Darren Millar's lazy slob of a father etc Ryan Malloy,
Rated: 1/5 (18th August 2010)
The person writing the last response must be from your neck of the woods, down south as he can spell!! Ha' Ha' I really think you need to listen to the accents of the paupers arriving in Spain, as I am sure you will find that in the main they are from southern England. I must take from the article that you have never ventured north in England otherwise you would never have written such a ridiculous article.. With regards coal I think you will find that most of the country's hi tech industry and communications are now based up north, as the south has been loosing its grip for the past 20 years, this is despite the governments trying to bankrupt the northern economy. To sum up the south 'Watch East Ender's'
Rated: 1/5 (23rd January 2010)
Editor's comments: I followed your advice and watched Eastenders. I could not fail to notice that none of them are on the dole. Please correct,me if I am wrong.
However, we are all sure you are aware of your sorry predicament.
Rated: 1/5 (20th April 2009)
Editor's comments: Blimey! It's taken you over 2 years to make a comment and all you can come up with is "uneducated toss pot"? Thank heaven for the the divide!
If all northern dwellers are poor how can they all afford to go and live in southern spain? Also have you seen Marbella Belles? They all come from Surrey! Entertaining article but ultimately flawed.
Rated: 5/5 (5th February 2009)
Editor's comments: Obviously a Northener!!
Very prejudiced article obviously writen by someone who is bitter and uses generalisations as a means of putting a point of view forward, if there is such a thing as a North South divide then its people like this author that keep it alive .
Rated: 3/5 (1st February 2008)
Editor's comments: There has always been a North/South and a class division in Britain so why pretend there is not? Have you lived on the Costa? Why would it be prejudicious to tell what is true?