28 June, 2013


The news broke a couple of days ago that 21 British and Irish had been given suspended sentences in Albufeira, southern Portugal, for conducting or witnessing illegal gambling.

The event took place in The Yorkshire Pub, and it was claimed that the gambling was a bingo game, being played for biscuits. There was a report on the matter on the Today programme on BBC Radio, with the guffawing presenters clearly taking the side of the Brits and Irish.

I thought it very silly of 'Today' (I think it was Sarah Montague and Evan Davis, but I may be maligning them).

What had happened was this: Portugal is in very severe economic difficulty and its people are suffering. There is a foreign pub and people, speaking English, playing a foreign game which is illegal. All forms of games of chance in a public place are illegal in Portugal without a licence, which is not much different to Britain, where you also need a licence for singing. The police were not to know, and we still don't know, whether the biscuits won were quietly exchanged for money later on, like chips in a casino.

One of the landlady's complaints was that she had to wait in the police station until the interpreter arrived. She had lived and worked in Portugal for nine years without having the common politeness to learn the Language.

This was a piece of common, ignorant barbarism by mulish, rude people who, as guests in a country, make no effort either to integrate or even understand the feelings of their hosts. It is, alas, all too common here in Italy. As far as I'm concerned they're lucky the sentences were suspended.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said Tim. And well done for being able to tolerate the patronising Today programme in the first place!