This is for the whistle-playing smack addict who nearly broke my eggs this morning:

King Jaume II … forbade pimps, prostitutes, the crippled and lame, the blind, those with foul diseases, and those who lacked a hand, arm, or foot to enter and loiter around the plaza of Santa Ana in Barcelona. In 1322, furthermore, nonresident beggars were permitted to linger within the city for no more than a day, on penalty of expulsion and whipping; kindhearted residents were discouraged by severe penalties from helping outsiders evade this regulation. (James Brodman, Charity and Welfare: Hospitals and the Poor in Medieval Catalonia, 1998)

As a good liberal, I’d just like to point out that policies like this are outdated and ineffectual. What we actually need is more football. For example, it has been observed that, with the presence in town of 15,000 Celtic supporters, the streets have been virtually free of prostitutes for the last couple of days.

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