ONE of the main gripes many Brits have about their country is that the powers-that- be bend over backwards to appease cosmopolitan ideologies spouted by people divorced from everyday reality.
There has always been a tension between the high-brow elite who believe they know what’s best for the commoners, and the visceral urge most people have to tell these patronisers where to stick it.
Whatever your opinion on how a country should treat its foreign born subjects, Britain is undoubtedly one of the most flexible nations out there when it comes to cultural immersion.
It’s a different story in Spain, where immigrants like the British, Chinese and Romanians can be given nothing but a hard time of it through bureaucracy, taxation, and hugely curtailed civic rights.
Unfortunately decades of fascism, cronyism, financial mismanagement and regional division, has left the Spanish economy in urgent need of a cash injection, with sun strapped Brits happy to oblige.
So inevitably there’s resentment at having to endure these northern hordes simply to pay the bills, and a flaky passive-aggressiveness ensues, especially towards guiris who fail to properly integrate.
In Greece you can see the worst expression of this contorted relationship, with many locals learning Russian to please their new paymasters now that the Germans have left the building.
That’s a matchbox already catching fire, and who could blame the Greeks for rioting? Imagine your business suddenly relied on the whim of foreigners because your neighbours were all broke.
Most Brits wouldn’t last very long being forced to grovel in Polish in exchange for a wad of shiny euros, praying their new overlords don’t return to Warsaw and write a bad review on Trip Advisor.
Russians and Brits, used to getting their own way, would be humiliated by such a reversal, but many Spaniards and Greeks feel exactly the same, after all they were empires too once.
As experience will tell you, letting yourself be walked over doesn’t bode well for your chances of a fair shake further down the line, quite the opposite. It’s remarkably easy to become a victim.
Is it time Spain stood up for itself by cracking down harder on foreigners who don’t fully assimilate, letting off that pent up steam before it explodes all over their already fractured internal politics?
Frankly it’s embarrassing that many Spanish allow Brits and other foreigners to walk all over them, criticising their cultural traditions such as bullfighting, without offering a real fight.
Money talks but personal pride is hugely important to a healthy society. Spain has strong regional traditions, far more so than contemporary Britain, but they’re under serious threat.
A line needs to be drawn in the sand if Spain doesn’t want to become another lobotomised Trojan horse for cultural imperialism, and moaning foreigners should be first up for the chop.