He had some critical words for some of the media in Spain. ‘Reading the headlines,’ he said, ‘could make you think that the country is up in arms’. In Peruga’s view, compliance with the law is very good, with a marked contrast between what is reflected in the media and the reality of the situation.
This man understands why the media is so important to the government. Whether people observe an unpopular law depends in part on whether people think it is generally observed: whether it is in fact enforceable. This is certainly true of the smoking ban. The UK press told of the success stories and high compliance levels. Almost certainly the same degree of observance is not evident in Spain.
How symptomatic of our times that a World Health Organisation representative, an official of global governance, should address a national conference in Spain in such terms: that the law must be seen to be enforced. Only a law that is likely to be resented by large numbers of people would be discussed in such a manner.
We need to ask, what the need for a law that will clearly cause economic damage, and what the need for a WHO delegate (at whatever level in the hierarchy) to insist on the importance of enforcing such a law? The government of Spain is elected and can be blamed for the economic fallout of its policies. No one can touch anyone in the World Health Organisation.
And what is actually happening in Spain?