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The politics of Ibiza19th October 2016

This is a brave new world and I for one am happy to be protected by a body of water; it’s almost irrelevant that it’s the colour of double carat sapphires, a pocket of the Mediterranean that on most days glistens like the twinkly eyes of a wise old soul, taking the brunt of the weather when it comes, protecting us island inhabitants. The people who have chosen Ibiza, whether they realise it or not are the currently derided liberal elite though they are at the same time and paradoxically, anti-establishment. But neither Donald J Trump, nor Teresa May, Jeremy Corbyn or Marine Le Pen and never mind Mariano Rajoy reflect their values, hopes, dreams and aspirations.

When you move to an island you lose your political investment in the state. Not your interest, I hasten to add, but your willingness to be involved or better put, your belief that you can affect outcomes. I know many people who within months of living in Ibiza quickly found excuses not to have postal ballots ready, to miss results of major elections in their countries, to disengage with the minutiae of home politics. It’s not that we are looking to Madrid either, to the sorry mess that has now seen two elections deliver no government, to a close-by Catalonia that has requested and been denied over and over again a referendum on independence, nor to local Balearic town hall politics. No, we look to ourselves and also way beyond.  We are truly liberated in the sense of choice and lifestyle – perhaps that is the ultimate liberal elite. And it might be easy to look from afar and assume an aloof community of privilege- there is a lot of wonderful wealth here, but there are as many families who make sacrifices for a quality of life. People who give up lucrative careers in cities and sell up ever-rising in value property in exchange for a life in Ibiza. That said, it is of not so small consolation that the Spanish property crash is well and truly in the past and that the property market in Ibiza glided steadily forward even through the worst of the recessionary years.

Many of our home countries are at best facing uncertain times ahead and at worst in abject crisis – Brexit, Trump, shameful migrant jungles, regressive views on ‘foreigners’ and women, real and exaggerated terror stories, rising anti-semitism. In Ibiza we learn from each other. British and Northern European people have their edges melted by Mediterranean warmth and the Southerners lament the righteousness that their Northern counterparts expect. This transcends politics. We are citizens of the world. Prime Minister May recently said that citizens of the world are citizens of nowhere. She is wrong. If to be a citizen is to care deeply about your environment and the people around you, then everyone I know in Ibiza is a royal citizen.

We are blissfully basking in a perfectly temperate October sun, while the political leaders of our birthrights are battling for the ideological moral high ground – or in some cases jettisoning the long fought for need to be moral at all. On the beautiful white island of Ibiza we continue mixing with people from all nationalities, backgrounds, view points and of course seeking the best life possible for us and our families. In the end and however it looks, isn’t that what everyone, everywhere is doing?

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