I find it sad that a good quality newspaper such as "The
Times" should send a reporter, Tom Chesshyre, out here to the island to cover
a story which was published in "The Times" travel section of their newspaper
last Saturday's (28th July) with the headlines: "Where drugs are sold like
sweets" and "Ibiza: the Med's best-stocked recreational pharmacy?"
I would have thought this subject had been well and truly
documented and exhausted by the tabloid newspapers and also by the television
companies such as SKY who have attracted huge audiences covering these types of
goings on, simply because, that was their main aim.
when SKY television made their first appearance here on the island during the
early summer of 1997. Before they had unloaded their equipment and got down to
work their programme directors, Tom Quicke, came into my office here to introduce
himself to me. Local people, who had said that I'd been living here for many a
year and could probably be assistance to whatever they were about to film, had
given him my name.
Tom and I both had an in-depth conversation
about Ibiza and our initial meeting finished by me supplying him with information
and loaning SKY footage of film on the island. Some of the film was taken on the
island in 1932 which was two years before the start of the Spanish Civil War.
heard nothing further from Tom until halfway through that summer season when he
came back in the office again to introduce me to one of his colleague's - who
asked me if I knew any local policemen? I enquired for what reason and was told
that they would like to follow one and film him as he was doing his nightly rounds
in the notorious West End of San Antonio.
I promptly directed
them both to the San Antonio town hall and suggested they go upstairs and ask
to speak with the deputy Mayor, who would surly fix them up with a suitable policeman
for that night.
It wasn't until the end of the summer season
that Tom Quicke made a third and final appearance in my office to return and thank
me for the loan of the unique film footage on the island of Ibiza.
apologized by saying that the information I'd given him and the film was really
good and that they would return one day to do a good quality series on the island.
However, none of this would be used in their Ibiza Uncovered sequence because
their brief this time was simply to get as many Brits as possible on film that
were pissed and shagging.
Since then the majority of the
media have jumped on this bandwagon about Ibiza solely being about "Sex &
Drugs & Rock 'N' Roll" and it's sorrowful to think that their imaginations
only stretch this far.
Getting back to last Saturday's
article in the travel section of "The Times". I am not condemning what
was written as lies but this sort of activity can be found in every city, town
and village throughout the world and especially in the UK.
was a truthful quote in this article from the manager of the Ibiza tourist board,
Jorge Alonso. Tom Chesshyre had asked him: "Why not try posting a few officers
at the doors of clubs to check people entering - surely this, combined with the
occasional raid, would have the desired effect." Jorge Alonso's replied:
"Look, we are a place for holidays. OK, you could put police in front of
each disco, with dogs and scanners - but this would not be what most people expect
of a tourist destination." I ask - do we really want to make a police state
here on the beautiful Ibiza?
Tom Chesshyne then asked:
"Isn't that just avoiding the issue? Jorge Alonso: "No, we want clubbing.
Clubbing is good for Ibiza. The music we play in our discos here is what other
countries are listening to around the world in six months' time. As an industry,
clubbing earns us millions of pesetas. It takes the name of Ibiza around the world.
And many educated, sympathetic people come to enjoy the clubs and not take drugs,
people mainly aged 26-50. It is only a few, younger, British people who take drugs,
so it is really a British problem. The British police should come to Ibiza to
check their own citizens."
Alonso also blames the
British tabloids for creating an "image of drug use in Ibiza". He says
they are "obsessed" with drugs.
I know this drug problem does exist here on Ibiza, but it's only rife for a short
three-month period of the height of our summer and then it disappears when the
maddening crowd decides to vacate the island and go back to where they came from.