William Chislett: “I have no desire to return to my country and less with the stupidity of Brexit” – The comment of Santiago González

He came to Spain when he was still a young journalist, and his intention was to stay for just one season teaching English and return to Great Britain. Love and friends put enough pressure for her to stay.

Staying brought various benefits, but one of those that we owe is to tell our history as a country, with more affection than some Spaniards do. Then that book was called: “Spain: What everyone needs to know”, and it tried to answer, by way of questions, the essentials of a country like this. It was a commission for a well-known British collection.

Now it arrives updated, translated into Spanish and with the pertinent updates: “Microhistory of Spain, told by a British man” by William Chislett, who is Senior Associate Researcher at the Elcano Royal Institute and former correspondent for The Times in Spain.

It came with the regime change, and what was to be an adventure as an English teacher, lasted 40 years until today. In those years, he has realized what Spain has changed: “It annoys me that people say that the Transition was a botch, because I highly value the figure of the King and how it was done.”

“I have made an enormous effort to escape the clichés about Spain” and is that he knows the Spanish industry very well, the life expectancy that is greater than in the United Kingdom, but there are things to improve: “school dropouts are still high, they are the lost generation, and part of the problem comes from the huge number of students who repeat a year ”. He regrets that they demotivate the students because there is also no work, and that the educational problems have not been solved.

He says that “Spaniards have low self-esteem, and I don’t understand why.” With the one that is falling now, with the COVID he only gets to say “courage and something else” although he has to think about it, because as a slogan, it does not seem good. What does seem good is the vision from outside, of someone with criteria, of William Chislett, who feels more Spanish than British, “despite my guiri accent.”

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