Saturday, January 10, 2004

If you are thinking of buying property in Spain, you should consider attaching skates to your feet. House prices are reported to have risen by an national average of 16% in 2003. This follows a similar hike in the previous year. The increase in some regions – all of them with sunny coasts – was appreciably higher. The exception was Murcia, which came late to tourism and was down at a mere 8%, or twice the inflation rate.

If you are looking for reasons to leave the UK, try Theodore Dalrymple’s article – Escape from Barbarity – in the 3 January edition of the Spectator magazine. You can read this on-line at
If you merely substitute Spain for France and delete the reference to immigrant ghettoes and national pride/ arrogance, you will have the case for emigrating to Spain.

Talking of cultures, it is noticeable how much less class conscious Spain is than Britain. To be sure, there is an obsession with wealth and, perhaps even more so, with celebrity but class is appreciably less relevant. We are all middle class here. Even more impressively, elitism is at least tolerated and possibly even encouraged. It coexists – as it should – with popular culture. Indeed the national newspapers and some TV programmes [albeit only a few] are unashamedly dedicated to the elite of the country. There is none of the pusillanimous and doomed attempt to appeal to all tastes that characterises the BBC, for example, and which results in dilution towards the lowest common denominator. You can’t have tabloidisation without tabloids. Thank God.

On a lighter note – The queen was reported in the Spanish press today to have ‘baptised’ the QM2. Nice thought.

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