When the dress code is pink

THERE is an expression we are all familiar with; ‘it’s what happens when the lunatics are running the asylum.’

I never cease to be amazed at the jaw-dropping uselessness of those who find their well padded backsides on seats of government-related influence.

Take for example tourism boards given the task of attracting desperately needed tourists to a country or region. We often find they couldn’t run a party in a brewery so how do they find themselves in these positions?

Are they vetted? Do they have marketing backgrounds? Is their performance monitored and are they accountable? Are they elected or parachuted in?

Their salaries are never performance related; otherwise they would be as bankrupt as the multiplying shuttered shops and hotels.

It is institutionalised incompetence with a dash of back-slapping self-serving corruption that puts people in seats unsuited to their backgrounds. Fail! As a consequence of their inertia people become dispirited.

This perhaps is what motivated delightful Latvian blonde, Marika Gederte, to throw off the gloom by doing something to lift spirits.

With considerable élan this remarkable woman pulled her capital city’s blondes together and organised the now internationally famous Go Blonde Festival.

It is a wonderful tourist booster for Latvia.

Each spring the enchanting street-cafe culture of Riga turns pink as more than 2,000 cheerful blondes and their fans, converge to take part in a parade, organised by the Latvian Association of Blondes.

The festival includes many fun activities such as a fun run and a contest for impersonating Marylyn Monroe.

The dress code is understandably pink; the more outrageous the better.

It is a colourful celebration of femininity during which the entire city parties. The event is organised and run, let’s be honest, by mostly blonde event amateurs.  Blondes, unfairly ridiculed as being none too bright, have successfully placed Europe’s ‘Little Canada’ on the map.

Killed by its own success the Festival is unlikely to be held next May due to mushrooming organisational costs. Where then is the deadwood charged with taking a good thing and making it better? No doubt fast asleep after their expensive jaunts and lunches.

It was the same in Liverpool.

Tourism and event amateurs created the Mersey Sound Music Festival; a celebration of the city’s musical heritage. A fun thing it soon took off and the festival was to attract up to 500,000 free spending fun loving visitors; it was bigger than the New Orleans Jazz Festival, a welcome shot in the arm for the local economy.

Again it was killed (nearly) by its own success; the dead hand of authority took over its organisation. One event was cancelled within days of its start after tens of thousands of visitors had already arrived.

Whatever gold these apparatchiks turn their hand to quickly turn to dust. Here in Spain the wonder-kids in charge of attracting tourism think baking paella in London’s Oxford Street is going to fill the Costa coastlines. Dream on.

I cannot see a turnaround until local authorities are forced to strictly vet, monitor and make accountable all employees, including those of quangos. Until they do so the idiots will be running the asylum.



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