Gibraltar prides itself for being a tolerant society and so it is, with all the emphasis on the word "tolerance". We have a habit of tolerating but not being inclusive. It is a society that tolerates minorities by turning a partial blind eye to obvious inequalities in treatment. The obvious example is Gibraltar's Moroccan brethren and friends who have so helped during Gibraltar's dark days when it was deprived of Spanish labour and who continue to help the community at large.
Legalities are not necessarily what this issue is about or what I will deal with in this blog. Affordability is not what it is about either. It is a subject about human treatment of a minority community that has helped so much. It is about giving to that minority group full integration, inclusion, acceptance and equal recognition and ceasing to take them for granted, for example, the ability to live with one's wife and children in decent accommodation. Also to have their applications for naturalisation dealt with promptly, fairly and with a positive attitude.
I can hear the screams of protest as I type this blog. These screams say: there is not enough physical space, are we to provide more housing on top of what is built for the Gibraltarian, the cost will be prohibitive. Unfortunately these complaints may be valid and have a basis but their very foundation is a selfish desire to provide for ourselves that which we will not provide to the Moroccan community. In this way the Moroccan community is disadvantaged in order not to reduce the ability of Gibraltar's government to provide better lives for Gibraltarians partly funded by the tax revenues paid by the Moroccan community.
The discrimination against Moroccans is palpable and obvious. It does Gibraltar no credit to ignore it for any longer. It is not commensurate with but rather belies the description that Gibraltar is a tolerant society. It is more akin to a society that "puts up with" a minority group rather than tolerates them in the wider and more acceptable sense of that word. Gibraltar needs to change. The economic cost of that change will need to be managed in order to mitigate the effect on the community at large. For example, just the housing aspect could have the beneficial side effect of renovating the older more slum-like parts of Gibraltar: something which, if memory serves me right, the GSD Government said they would do many years ago.