Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Street Cleaner

Faced with the apparently insatiable demands of the Corporate Time Monster in the next few days, I’m going to have to do some blogging while I have the chance. Those of you unfortunate enough to live outside of Madrid may have missed the latest initiative by the city’s Mayor on how he proposes to make the streets of the capital a better place. Alberto Ruiz Gallardón proposes to ban the “hombre anuncio”, those people whose job consists of carrying an advertising hoarding around the streets. Most of those I see in Madrid are bearing sandwich boards offering to buy gold. Gallardón also wants to ban the handing out of leaflets at the entrances to Metro stations. The claim made by Gallardón is that the job is degrading, although many see the real motive as being a Chinese style measure to improve the appearance of the capital for when we get a visit from the International Olympic Committee. You can’t pretend to have a bustling, modern, economically thriving city if at the same time you have people whose only income comes from being mobile advertising hoardings. The alternative being offered by the city administration to those who face losing their jobs is, er, to be unemployed. In the midst of an economic crisis.

No comments: