Sunday, 20 June 2010

GSD Running Scared Following Opinion Polls?

It is just as well that Peter Caruana's view is that "Polls are not things we usually pay attention to ...". If he (or it, one assumes he means the GSD Government) paid attention to them we would get a dedicated edition instead of just two and a half FULL pages in the Chronic (Thursday 17th June 2010).  Of course, he was not  reacting, for one second, to the recent adverse opinion polls in the Chronic and the Panorama, the timing is entirely coincidental.

It may be that he just felt like boasting a little about his GSD Government's achievements.  It is a pity that  he did not check them off against the list of Commitments that they set out on page 4 of their 2007 Election Manifesto.  If he had the story would sound somewhat different.  It is too boring to undertake that exercise here.  I leave it to readers to undertake it themselves.  You can find the Manifesto on Remember it is governments that have to make good on Manifesto commitments.  This is not the function or in the gift of the Opposition or any other political party.

One matter deserves mention, not least because it has always been close to my heart.  In the Commitments List it is described as "Reform of Parliament's way of working".  This promise is enlarged upon at page 51 of the Manifesto: "We will reform the way our new Parliament conducts its work to ensure that we have a modern Parliament that meets this community's modern needs".

A few paragraphs earlier the GSD remind us that it " ... will remain committed to open, transparent, fair and good Government.  This is the cornerstone of the quality of life in Gibraltar. It is vital that the huge progress made not be lost by a return to how things were done in the past".  Those who remember the ascent to power of the GSD in 1996 will remember it's promises of being a "team", "good governance", "transparency", "tenders" and that the GSD would rid Gibraltar of the climate of fear so people could express their views without fear of repercussion.

Hello Mr Caruana, hello GSD, you can boast as much as you want about what you perceive to be achievements but people look at how these have been undertaken and achieved.  I would venture to suggest that many of the promises in the previous paragraph have been sacrificed on the altar of expediency.  Much may have been done (much greatly delayed and much has not even started, for example where are the new mental health facilities promised?) but has much or any of it been done in accordance with, having in mind and acting in accordance with those principles that the GSD espoused in 1996 and reminded the electorate of in it's 2007 manifesto?  Each elector can make up his own mind.  To me the abandonment of the the reform of Parliament  sufficiently palpably shows that it has not.

Change, as highlighted in an earlier blog, can come from within the GSD.  It does not need to mean a change of governing party.  The time has come for the GSD to stop relying on, to quote Mr Caruana, the electorate knowing "...what Gibraltar was the last time it was under a GSLP government.  a lot of people will be asking themselves whether they they want to trust Gibraltar into the hands of people who brought Gibraltar into the hands of people who brought it to its knees once before."

Perhaps what the people are asking is, are we not in a similar place? There is no team, no transparency, few tenders, questionable fairness and no Parliamentary reforms to deliver good governance. In case you had not noticed, Mr Caruana, it will have been 16 years since the GSLP last formed government, times and have changed, so have the policies of the GSLP.  Also, there has been a near total change in the identity of the candidature fielded by the GSLP.  These are significant factors that an electorate takes into account, especially if they agree, as some will, with the argument on the GSD's failings made in this blog.

It is all very well to say "... sooner or later the electorate will tire of me personally and will want Gibraltar in somebody else's hands.  I am determined to pre-empt that and co-operate with any change."  Three issues with that, first, how will you know if you do not heed opinion polls, will you wait to lose an election ... that is not pre-emptive?  Second, Gibraltar wants what you promised it, a team to govern well and transparently, not " ... somebody else ...", as in another personality.  Lastly, is it not you, who criticises change as "... silly and rather cheap psychology ..."  Perhaps if you simply deliver what you promised in your manifesto, then change may be unnecessary, either within or without the GSD.  It is in your hands as the clock ticks down to the next election.


  1. Hey Robert, thanks for providing the link to the GSD mani-Feste-o. I can now sit down to read it. Unfortunately the hard copy given to me at the time of the election was used during a toilet emergency!

  2. GSD running scared LW? I think they are resigned to their fate!

    Fourteen years of propaganda are wearing thin on the electorate and the mood is now for REAL change.PC has constantly demonstrated his right wing, ultra conservative plumage and the electorate are turning massively against him!!

    Hardly surprising....Fu i.........

  3. Brown Cow said…

    I don't think it is fair to brand the GSD "ultra right wing conservatives". That description only fits some very specific policies that the GSD have.

    To be fair you also have to recognise that they are a party that have invested to a very large extent, both politically and financially, in policies that might be described as "left-wing".
    Thoughts on the lengthy interview with PC in the Chron;
    i) Instead of saying that he doesn’t pay much attention to polls PC should publicly recognise that they are the public’s mid-term assessment of him and that in that assessment he has been found wanting. PC needs to publicly eat some humble pie and soon. I am not sure he is actually capable of doing this –party because of his character and partly because he genuinely can’t see why he should. He will pay for this - and so will the GSD if they don’t have the balls to do something about it soon.

    ii) PC concentrates far too much on criticising the GSLP. By concentrating on the GSLP PC is not dealing with the very legitimate concerns that are actually responsible for the general anti Government feeling. By doing so he lumps together dissatisfied voters with the GSLP - a sort of “you’re either with us or against us” mentality. He needs to clearly separate and deal differently with disaffected voters and GSLP voters. His apparent failure to recognise the difference between opposition criticism and public feeling is insulting for many voters. In my view the opposition are NOT benefitting significantly from the general mood of dissatisfaction with the present administration. But if PC continues to push disaffected voters away, he will be pushing them into the arms of the GSLP.

    iii) Activity and productivity are not the same as good Governance. When the interviewer asked “has the Government run out of steam” he clearly didn’t mean “why is the Government sitting around twiddling its thumbs”. He meant is the Government tired of discharging the onerous duties of public office? PC completely misses this in his answer. The public perception is that increasingly the Government has little time for genuine public involvement in public affairs. Whether or not this is true doesn’t matter. What matters is that this is what the public perceives as being true and PC and his Government need to deal with it. In my personal opinion the Government is tired of involving the public – the list of examples is endless from the complete lack of information about the numerous and substantial public works being carried out across Gibraltar, to the “public consultation papers” whereby the Government invites public participation only to ignore it, to the lack of tenders, direct land allocations, and political appointees (salaried and otherwise). PC promised change at the last election (both in his manifesto and in his winning address) and he has failed to deliver. Further promises will ring hollow. New hands on the helm are, in my opinion, the only way that the GSD can steer a course to an election victory.

  4. And there are persistent rumours that Peter Montegriffo is waiting in the wings to step in and try and rescue the party that he founded from electoral disaster next year. Interestingly, Peter 2 has since departing from Govt in 2000 consistently stated categorically that he will not re-enter politics so very telling is the fact that when last asked by GBC two or three weeks ago his reply was, instead of the usual categorical 'no': "no comment".

  5. Peter Montegriffo's "no comment" in Llanito speak is: "I am assesing the scenario y si PC me deja y a mi me conviene, entro en pala". He's simply used the layman's version of "without prejudice" so much loved by the legal fraternity. lol!

    Really,his move would rule out the GSLP getting into office at the next elections.

  6. Easy says

    Robert V has made a perfect analysis of PC and his Government's failings. It is no good for PC to keep referring to the GSLP last 4 years in Govt. That was 14 years ago! He has had time to put everything right by now. Hopefully the GSLP has learned its lesson. There is more fear of Caruana than there ever was of Bossano or Hassan.
    As to Peter Montegriffo coming back to politics, come on, is this a joke? How many times has this man come and gone. At least Caruana has stayed put

  7. Peter M will only come back as leader, of course. No Granita pact. He learnt his lesson the hard way the first time round.

  8. I certainly hope that if Peter2 DOES come back, which I would like to see, it won't be to join the sinking ship that is the GSD. I think the man is more intelligent than to join a sinking ship and where the captain is intent on keeping put. Cannot see Peter2 joining the ranks of the GSD to come under Peter Caudillo - wasn't that the reason why he left in the first place????

  9. Dear Llanito World

    It would the height of political disaster to see yet another GSLP adminstation after their performance when in Government.

    Do you remember the Fast Launches, Ribs and our relations with Spain and when it used to take me 3 hours to knock off daily to Sotogrande. We cannot trust the GSLP.

  10. hey chaps, we definetly need a change. Our identity, thanks to our beloved prince of doves (PC), is slowly been eroded. Y si entra el rey de los palomos (PM) ni os cuento!!!

    Lets stop lowering our pants to our 'beloved' neighbour and start to defend our patch with pride. It's about time we do so!!!

    Keep up the good work Robert!!

    Oh and by the way more jobs for the 'natives'

  11. Ok ok.... ni tanto ni tampoco guys!

    YES surely the GSLP must have changed i mean, of course they must have learnt SOMETHING from their fracas with the lanchas at the end of their last term in office, but lets not be petty and focus on just that, just like the prince of doves, -lets be fair, aint really the dove he is made to be! He has represented Gibraltar very eloquently over the years.

    However, there is a lot to be said for the idea of a change. However, this doesnt 'have to be GSLP' necessarily. If people are unhappy with PC, he should just do the chivalrous thing and bow out, and let the next generation take over. THats all that needs to happen here.

    N.B. Dont hold your breath guys over Peter2. He's just loving the attention. Fact is, he doesnt have the balls to step in. If he didn't have the balls to choose his 'passion' which he claimed was politics at the time when was ripe for him to do so, simply because he didnt want to abandon his growing legal career, he's never gonna do it now when hes sitting todo cushti... ie. he's not a real politician with the real interests of Gibraltar at heart, he is thinking more about his wallet and his ego, (in that order probably) so lets not waste our time with him. -at least Feetham and Caruana have accepted financial cuts from their legal professions to undertake their positions.

    Whats needed i think is a 'new and improved GSD'. They have shown it can be done, its just that the Top Banana got too cocky and people just dont like that. PC you so and so! You could have been a little less arrogant and done us all a favour!

    Surely there are able people around or about the party who could step in and revamp the party rather than force us to swing to a GSLP vote if the GSLP aint our cup of tea..... no?

  12. Anonymous 2326

    I remember the Fast launches, the corruption of MY generation, the scenes I witnessed at school, the misisng people at Sea.and so much more. unfortunately, like many other Gibraltarians, I too lived it at first hand and it tore my family like many others apart.

    Nonetheless, I think Gibraltar has evolved. a number of years have passed since those dark days. And more imprtantly, I like to give my Society and Community credit! We have evolved as a people too, and I think we would not tolerate not even a hint of a possible return to them days. Also, I do not think the GSLP would be as stupid as to try that one again!

    Come on mate, use your head!!!!! If the GSLP come into power it won't be a "Reset Button moment". The GSD have done good things too, and Society has evolved. We are an INTELIGENT crowd in Gibraltar!

    If the GSLP come into power I can guarantee you we won't have a "Dallas moment" where we will step out of the shower to find that the last 14 years have just been a dream and we are back to them Dark Old Days!

    Summer's here now. Thank God Fish is on most menus for a while now!

  13. Hi Sweet Betty,

    Completely agree with you - "Whats needed i think is a 'new and improved GSD and "Surely there are able people around or about the party who could step in and revamp the party rather than force us to swing to a GSLP vote if the GSLP aint our cup of tea..... no?"

    Unfortunately Our Beloved Peter Caudillo will NOT step down. His recent interviews show no sign of this, or any recognition on his part that the GSD is losing favour, and even less acknowledgeent on his part that the GSD is losing favour due to HIM!

    There are probably good poeple who could take over, unfortunately
    1) None of them will be allowed to by PC
    2) Will have the balls to challenge PC
    3) The GSD Exec is either DEAD, suffering from Rotting Brain Disorder or Too Scared of PC
    4)The GSD has become a llanito adaptation of Jim Henson's Muppet show!

  14. Spartacus

    It wouldn't be a Granita pact. Caruana would step down and Monti would take the party that he founded to next year's general election as leader. Question is: where does that leave Danny Boy who so wants to be leader but has never really been accepted by the GSD rank and file? And with Caruana out of the way, will that open the way for Keith Azopardi to return to the fold? PDP Deputy Leader Nick Cruz is now inactive so what's to stop Keith responding to overtures for his return to Government as Deputy Leader - and leader in waiting - under the leadership of former colleague, Monti? If there's going to be a Granita pact of any sort it'll be between Montegriffo and Azopardi - not Caruana and Montegriffo.


    Yes, that's a really important reason to keep the GSD in power. So that you don't suffer any delays getting home to Sotogrande after work! All of us who live in small flats here in Gib will vote for that! But I know you're just winding us up, of course.

    Sweaty Betty (good name)

    You said: "Whats needed i think is a 'new and improved GSD'. They have shown it can be done, its just that the Top Banana got too cocky and people just dont like that."

    That's interesting and increasingly what I'm hearing. People want change - but not necessarily for a GSLP Lib administration. If Peter C doesn't go it'll be a landslide victory for the GSLP Libs. However, if he does finally retire and Monti takes over as leader, possibly with Keith back by his side, it could be a closer contest.

  15. To all those who insist in reviving the fast launches, the dark days, the corruption , where are those individuals now, have they moved to other parties?
    Who built so many houses that did away with the housing list? Who gave the chance to every child to study? Who left such a land bank that even today the GSD government is selling the land and making a profit? Who paved the way and brought the first gambling company that is one of the pillars of the GSD economy? Who left community care in place to help our pensioners? Who strenghtend our identity as a people, that being called llanito was a thing of pride not shame? I could go on and on and on. Some of you can only repeat what has become established GSD propaganda , I can rebut every argument, but even in this blog you are afraid of saying to much. Is it because I am lying? No, it is because I have no lawyer in the family and no money.

  16. Hi All:

    Highly amused this morning on reading the Chronic headline story "Gib Govt and Unite Negotiate Far Reaching Deals in Public Sector".


    Well, suddenly it is " ... an agreement with Chief Minister Peter Caruana and RELEVANT MINISTERS Fabian Vinet (B&W), Jaime Netto (Social Services) and Yvette del Agua (Helath) ..."

    Are we now, 14 years too late, seeing attempts at team building?

  17. If people desire change in Gibraltar but don't want to vote GSD or GSLP/Libs, then vote for the PDP. It is that simple.

  18. Honney Bee says...

    Yes...having read the article online I must say that it did occur to me that anyone who had bought the Chronic that day had indeed got good value for their 50p`s worth !

    I had hoped to hear of plans to address general concerns being aired and instead all we got was more of the same living in denial approach. Is it just me ..or have we been in this spot at least once before ??

  19. RV.....Even after their World Cup debacle I would still fancy French chances of 'team building' before that of the GSD!....Max

  20. What will it take for PC to check his perverbial and see the expired best before end date???? Talk about DENIAL... that denial is whats gonna get the GSLP boys back in rather than allowing GIB to have a shot at a new GSD... THanks PC! thanks a LOT!

  21. I personally hope that PC stays on as GSD Leader!!

    He has undoubtedly become their biggest liability and his unbounded arrogance will ultimately be his parties downfall.

    Certain individuals I am acquainted with (who are unfortunate enough to have to deal with PC regularly, or previously did)have provided some harrowing insights into the nature of the beast!

    I will not for one minute seek to betray their confidence as the consequences for them would be dire.Suffice to say that I am bloody glad I have never been in PC's employ!

    The one moment I remember most vividly about PC's last 14 years in charge is in truth of little consequence but spoke volumes about the man.I don't recall the specific event but there was another of those 'PC unveils a plaque' moments at the foot of the American steps. As our glorious leader readied himself to pontificate an 'unruly' empty packet of crisps wafted in on the wind and straight into the view of GBC cameras!

    Big deal right? Well it was to PC!! A senior Civil Servant was summoned with a pointed finger (and no words) to retrieve the offending article....which he dutifully did!!

    To humiliate anyone in that manner is totally unacceptable. On the PC scale of things it may have been one of his 'lighter' moments but I found it particularly distasteful!!

  22. Anonymous 2327

    I too recall that Peter Caudillo "Litter Moment". As you rightly point out, that is one of his MILDEST moments.

    Everybody has heard other Nastier stories and this being Gibraltar we all know someone who at some time in the last 14 years had dealt / continues to deal with him in a person to Beast capacity.

  23. Agreed Anon 00.17...Some of those stories are not for the faint hearted!

  24. Anon 23.27

    I remember it well. I thought it was a piece of paper from a speech but maybe it was a crisp packet, as you say. Anyway, Denis Hook, his Principal Private Secretary at the time (now long retired), picked it up but doesn't seem to resent the incident because he accompanied the CM to an audience with the Pope a few weeks ago.

  25. Robert,

    I think that despite the recent trend in the opinion polls, the GSLP/Liberals should get their act to together and elect a new Leader of the Opposition as soon as possible, so that this new leader can have a good crap of the whip before the next election. Mr Bossano has held the mantle for way too long and is demonstrating to be just as domineering in his own party as PC is with his control of Govt and his Ministers. If Mr. Bossano does not intend to contend the next election as Leader of the GSLP, then why continue to head the party right into the eve of the next election? For me this demonstrates that he does not have much trust in his potential successor (whoever it may be) and wants to guide him every step of the way just like a father does with his child, when teaching him how to ride a bike. I fear this could have serious repercussions for those of us who feel change is necessary, as he is the last remnant of the old GSLP, which (regrettably) many people in Gibraltar still associate with the fast launch activity of the 1990s.


  26. To the many anons:

    Subservient qualities are essential to work with El Caudillo. Very few, if any, respect him though many fear him.
    The question to be asked is whether it's a quality aquired when in the post for so long or is it part of his genome.
    I know which if the two I would bet on!

  27. Lex... You may now feel that a change of government is necessary. WE, by we I mean those of us in the GSLP have always felt that government was the right place for our party to be. We choose our leader by a democratic vote, the only party in Gibraltar which every two years has the right to get rid of their leader if they choose to do so. We in the GSLP are delighted that you have seen the light at last, and, you are very welcomed to vote for us if you so wish, but who we choose as leader is our business and if you want to have a say join the party. Mr.Bossano is the GSLP and the GSLP is Mr.Bossano, and, he is making sure that the GSLP will continue after he is gone, and, he will help the next leader to win.
    Those who want to get rid of Mr.Bossano want to get rid of the 35% of stable votes that have always been their for him, election after election. He is making sure that they are there for the next leader.

  28. Mike....It's definitely the latter!!...Max

  29. Anon,

    I dont believe that comment of

    'We choose our leader by a democratic vote, the only party in Gibraltar which every two years has the right to get rid of their leader if they choose to do so'.....

    If that is a right as you claim, it certainly hasnt been exercised despite the vast amount of GSLP supporters who are up to their neck in disbelief and anger that Bossano is still there. So many of you talk about 'Que pena que no se va' 'como quitamos a este del medio?' 'debe de dejar a Fabian de seguir' etc. i hear it ALL THE TIME...

    What good is a 'democratic system' as you claim if you dont exercise it?

    Is there really any difference between Groucho and the so called 'King of Doves'?

    Me no thinks so!


  30. Elen,

    First of all I am a Liberal Party supporter and so have block voted for the GSLP/Liberals in the last 2 elections. Given my initial post I can understand how you could have construed otherwise. Nevertheless, I still think that the GSLP are mistaken in not passing the mantle to whoever is going to lead the party into the next election by now. FYI I have been to a GSLP leadership election in the John Mackintosh Hall back in 2003, where he was unanimously voted in as leader by open ballot and conveniently enough he stood unopposed. This is no way to hold an election, even if it is for party leader. There is a good reason why open ballot has been abolished in every democratic country I know and that is to avoid imtimidation or undue influence of any kind. Furthermore, I believe Mr Bossano has done a great deal of good for Gibraltar (and continues to do so) and unlike the present Chief Minister is prepared to admit that he is not without flaw. All the same, Mr. Bossano should resign as Leader as soon as possible and take a back seat as he promised he would do 2 years ago. Please enlighten me if the situation has now changed, given the recent opinion poll.

  31. Mike, the latter, its obvious

  32. I am a democratic small conservative, but I don’t support the GSD Party because it’ has b increasingly become an undemocratic and autocratic under PC. I know better than the government what is best for me. I resent the constant meddling of authoritarian socialists or paternalist GSD in my life. I am frustrated at the scandalous waste of taxpayers’ money, destruction of our Gibraltar, the corruption of our values and undermining of social cohesion. The GSD have become extremists who have personal private agendas on 90% of our population.

  33. Lex......

    We may be brothers in arms but that does not give you the right to meddle in our internal affairs. We do not meddle in yours.

    If you were present in a leadership election of the GSLP you must have gatecrashed for only members are invited to our meetings when an election takes place.
    A general meeting is held every year were half the members of the executive are elected, the next year, the other half and the party leader stand for election. Nominations are invited for all these positions. If there is only one candidate for the leadership there is no need for an election under the rules, the same applies for any post in the executive. When there is more than one candidate for a post, it is always done by SECRET BALLOT.
    Last year Joe Bossano stood for election. He was the only candidate, inspite of this he asked for a secret ballot to answer critics from outside the party like yourself, he was still elected.
    When did the Liberals, PDP or GSD last elected their leader. You are wrong in saying that he promised to go two years ago, in fact he promised eleven years ago that he would only stand for election as party leader for 12 more years. He has one more year left.
    Next time get your facts right.

  34. I think these last few years of a disillusioned electorate is more about the public perception of how the political parties have been presented in the media, because people’s political consciousness is shaped by the media. If the ‘table tennis’ game of one badly written (and ‘one-upmanship’ or ‘jumping on the bandwagon’) press release from one party, in reaction to another, is replicated in the media verbatim, without investigation, without reaction from interested parties or without following-up from previous exchanges, and this becomes the story of the day, of course the public become disheartened with politics! There is no real debate, or probing, or even embarrassing of politicians when they fail to answer the media.

    And it is this that the public want change from too: the portrayal of an unchallenged style of politics, from both sides of the House, which is legitimised through convenient reporting, or rather 'announcing'. The media has a duty to instigate change (look at the UK as a case in point!); the media has easy access to politicians so they should be holding the Government and Opposition of the day accountable, on behalf of the electorate, and asking those difficult questions the public want answered. That is what the media should be about, forcing the issues, creating public awareness and debate and instigating that change (like this blog...well done LW!), and not discussing the World Cup on two 'Viewpoints' in a row!


  35. Grumpy....Gib media is toothless and totally subservient to PC, and that's just the way he want's it to be!!

  36. Elen,

    For your information, I was invited to attend that meeting by a GSLP Member of Parliament, so I most certainly did not gatecrash the party (pardon the pun). During this time there had been certain calls from a former member of the executive (who is now a Govt Minister) for the vanquishing of the old guard. In response to this mutinous call, those present at the meeting were asked whether you wanted Joe to remain as leader by show of hands. After an overwhelming number of hands were raised calling for Joe to remain as Leader, it is quite obvious that no-one even if they wanted to would have lifted their hand when the second option (of getting rid of Joe)was presented, especially with so many hardline party supporters present. In those days I favoured his continued leadership of the party, but now believe he is a spent force.
    Also you seem to forget that as a Liberal Party supporter, my party is in alliance with yours and thus on the same boat. I applaud the democratic process in place for GSLP executive membership, but cannot speak for the Liberal Party internal workings as I am merely a supporter of their policies. I wish to add that with the GSLP being the most popular party of the alliance I welcome their control and am happy to see this arrangement continue.
    Unfortunately, I feel as though Mr. Bossano has served his purpose, and as stated previously, the successor should be given a fair crack of the whip as leader before the next election comes along.
    With regards to your "get your facts rights" remark, I am still quite sure that Mr Bossano did say in the press over 2 years ago that he would resign halfway through his term as Leader of the Opposition. Regrettably, I have not been able to retrieve any document to corroborate this (the Chronic's archive search engine is abysmal). If I am wrong I beg your forgiveness, but in the meantime I will try to find an article which verifies my assertions. Lex

  37. Anon 00.20...This has been the case for years, during the eras of JB and JH it was also true!!
    Here's a question: "In a small community like ours, is it ever possible for the media to be truly independent and able to conduct balanced, investigative journalism?"


  38. Mark A, Independent Commentator24 June 2010 at 09:23

    "If the ‘table tennis’ game of one badly written (and ‘one-upmanship’ or ‘jumping on the bandwagon’) press release from one party, in reaction to another, is replicated in the media verbatim, without investigation, without reaction from interested parties or without following-up from previous exchanges, and this becomes the story of the day, of course the public become disheartened with politics!"

    Awfully long sentence but that's the best description of the local media and the reason for the local disenchantment with politics I've heard in a long time.

    Joe Bossano has repeatedly confirmed that he will not put his name forward as leader next year. However, if no other names are put forward he remains leader by default under party rules.

    How often does the GSD hold leadership elections? Has it ever held a leadership election? What about the other parties?

  39. Lex.....
    Let me tell you that inspite of being invited by "That member who is now a government Minister" you still gate crashed, for he had no right to invite you and you had no right to be there. "Por la boca muere el pez" you are no Liberal supporter, you are a DB supporter trying to create mischieve between the Libs and GSLP. I will not give you any more explanations you do not want facts, you have your own agenda.
    We in the GSLP know what our leader said as regards his permanence as leader, and I challenge you to produce otherwise evidence.

  40. lets not all get on our high horse about the media Grumpy.
    if you want to complain about them, why don't you first use your own name instead of posting as anon?


  41. Individual freedom and privacy
    I support the seven principles of a free society advanced by The Freedom Association: Individual Freedom, Personal and Family Responsibility, The Rule of Law, Limited Government, Free Market Economy, National Parliamentary Democracy. I believe in small, limited government that exists to serve the people, not act as their master. In Gibraltar we have experienced a rapid and disturbing erosion of democracy and liberty that must be tackled. Government has undermined our hard won freedoms, and justice system, removing our basic protections from state intrusion and turning all of us into suspects. free-press in Gibraltar is a dream, PC is a control fanatic and will never allow any kind of human rights freedom.

  42. Elen,
    I do not know who or what the abbrevation DB stands for, so I can assure you I do not support DB. I suggest that before you lecture someone on getting his facts right, you practice what you preach - as you have gone off on a real tangent with this bogus claim.
    I am first and foremost a Liberal Party supporter and in so being am also a GSLP/Liberal Alliance supporter and want what is best for the Alliance. However, just because I happen to disagree with you and some of the party's decisions does not mean I am creating mischief. I am merely expressing my opinion and I believe the best interests of the party would be served by electing a new Leader pronto. If it doesn't happen, then so be it, I will give Joe my vote as leader in the next election.

  43. Elen,
    Further to my previous post, I wish to add a few things.
    I failed to realise earlier that you wrongfully assumed that I was there with a now Govt Minister. I do not understand how you can jump to that conclusion when I quite clearly wrote "I was invited to attend that meeting by a GSLP Member of Parliament". It now seems apparent to me that you must have misspelt DB instead of DF. I can assure you that I have no association whatosever with DF and remembering the meeting well he was no where near the vicinity of that meeting. In fact he had already been thrown out of the party by that stage.
    I also have reservations with your statement "you had no right to be there", as in those days I considered myself more of a GSLP guy than a Liberal. Moreover, last time I checked the GSLP have an open policy of inviting new people into the party and is still actively seeking new members to join. So I highly doubt they would exercise your closed shop mentality, simply because I happen to have a distinct point of view on the leadership, which you and others might not like.

  44. My dear Robert
    Censorship is everywhere; this includes your blog, right?
    Anonymity is my tool in this democracy.
    Sad, very sad.
    I know you will not publish this one either... that's ok, this one is for you.

  45. Anonymous at 21:01:

    It is not that censorship is everywhere but there are laws on defamation and these CANNOT be transgressed.

  46. Elen is just completely indoctrinated. Go to GBC news or look though old editions of the chronicle. Bossano said in 2001 that he would stay as leader for 12 more years. That would take him to 2013. There were no statements prior to that. Ironically he stands a greater chance now than ever as the polls indicate. He will not only stay as leader by public acclamation but he will refer back to those interviews and say he is acting entirely consistent with previous public statements.

  47. what a sinister post by anon 21.01. Is that the kind of change you want to usher in I wonder? The cloak of anonymity to knife people in defamatory ways! That is called cowardice not democracy.

  48. Robert, I am not a learned friend, but is that not the excuse used by the media that is so often criticised? Have we gone full circle?
    Surely, laws on defamation would not be transgressed if what is said is true and can be evidenced or is in the public interest, right?

  49. Anonymous at 13:30

    You are right to a degree. If what is adidis true and can be proved to be true it cannot be defamation. The issue then is twofold can it be proved to be true and secondly if the comment is anonymous will the proof be forthcoming?

    So there is a price to be paid for anonymity, namely that if i do not know something to be triu or fair comment, I cannot publish. In addition as i vcannot edit comments, even if there is only a phrase or sentence that is defamatory the whole comment cannot be published.

  50. So, getting back to the theme of this thread, the GSD does indeed appear to be "running scared". No sooner was the damning Panorama poll published then the CM made an appearance at Laguna Estate, guided by Julio Pons (was that visit pre-arranged? We don't know). Then he got Dominique Searle to publish an unprecedented nine-column interview in the Chronic (17th June 2010), adorned with a photo of a smiling, very congenial-looking Peter Caruana on the front page and another of him addressing the Accountants' annual dinner on page two. Very good of Dom to give the Chief such prominent coverage. The third thing is that the GSD are offering to train their members in internet use, even urging them "How about bringing a friend along? It does not matter if they are not members of the party"! Clearly they have become aware that the GSLP are very active on the internet with Joe Bossano and Fabian Picardo having their own Facebook pages. It is only a matter of time before the GSD start to play catch-up on the internet. But is it too late?

  51. Mark....If the GSD are really 'offering' to coach the faithful in the ways of the Web then they have really lost the plot!!

    For 'Pete's' sake, in this day and age who doesn't know how to use it??????

    Maybe it's all an exercise in know your 'Anon' Socialist.....Laughable!!!...Max

  52. Has anybody told Petie that the internet is nowadays a tool for Social INTERACTION?????? Don't think he knows this. He dislikes interaction and prefers delivering orders and monologues!

  53. Maximus

    It's absolutely true. In a leaked letter to members they enthuse: "The internet really puts the world at your fingertips - Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, MySpace, Bebo; the list is endless and you will literally find it hard to believe how fast the world is moving in technology terms"

    They go on: "We would like the opportunity to share with you the wonders of the internet in a friendly, non-intensive manner...if you happen to be in town you can pop in for a cup of coffee and a (sic) browse the web in a friendly atmosphere. We want you to learn, to understand and to enjoy the benefits of everything the internet has to offer."

    So it seems the coffee is also free. Why don't you drop in?

  54. Hi Mark

    Don't they get taught how to access this blog?

  55. I'm sure they will, LWRV, because the CM lamented on 7 June 2010 on Newswatch that "there is insufficient debating of issues of public importance" so he and his party will surely want to promote your blog and other writings in order to stimulate further debate.

  56. Mark...As a coffee addict I am tempted but somehow think I might not be welcomed with open arms!!

    That 'leaked' letter is a little patronising to say the least. I can only assume that GSD high command are under the impression that 'ruffian' Socialists are a little more savvy on internet use than their more 'refined' supporters.

    That would presumably explain the lack of pro-GSD posts in this particular blog?? Or have the faithful already thrown in the towel!!...Max

  57. Maybe they have. Businessmen, in particular, are probably already courting the GSLP behind the scenes. But not GG. He GG hasn't thrown in the towel and looks like he is determined to go down with all guns blazing (understandably, of course, considering what he stands to lose). This is what he said in this week's 7 Days paper:

    "Solo por sus exitos en el foro, el pueblo de Gibraltar deberia levantar un monumento a Peter Caruana, en lugar de oir ese rum rum que trata de derribarlo, con ese argumento sin sentido de cambiar por cambiar, para dejar lo bueno y enfrentarse a la incertidumbre.

    "Claro que se puede cambiar a Caruana, pero para que? Para que haya problemas cada dos por tres, para que se cierre la frontera otra vez..."

    I rarely read the 7 Days paper, of course. Usually just a repetition of the week's press releases plus photos of various events and possibly an interview - but the massive 'CARUANA FOR SURE' headline (English headline to a Spanish article) with prominent photo of our dear leader caught my eye as I walked past.

  58. Its scary to see that such a party obsessed paper exists this day in ae in a democratic society. I cannot eblieve it states things that we should put up a monument to Caruana - how obsessive is that! Scary!

  59. So if PC goes the frontier is going to close??7 Days is a Mickey Mouse publication and very representative of the Government it so loyally serves!!...Max

  60. Spartacus...We already have a monument to Caruana. It's being built next to the frontier at a cost of 50 million !!....Max

  61. Dear all

    For those of you who make fun like bullies do at the playground, the internet courses which are being run by the GSD are not an attempt to be 'patronising' (as someone has described this) nor has it been engendered for some obscure or ill intentioned reason . If you had all read the entire letter (which you say has been 'leaked', although that would suggest it was secret in the first place) you would realise that the letter implicitly suggests that these internet courses were been, and are been offered, to retired persons who would like to use the internet but who have not had the opportunity to learn how to access or use it.

    As to other people on this blog suggesting that the GSD do not access the internet and that Joe Bossano and Fabian Picardo are avid bloggers, I seem to recall that Danny Feetham wrote a very insightful comment (on 22nd May 2010 at 22:02) on the article posted by Robert on 17th May 2010 entitled "Sex and Danny Feetham

    This is the first comment I am posting and I am not doing so anonymously. It is very easy to make snide accusations, be cynical and disrespectful when you are hiding behind the veil of anonymity. I therefore take the opportunity to congratulate Robert on this blog for what he has set out to achieve (incite debate) and largely accomplished. I respect differences of opinion, indeed welcome it because it allows all of us to think independently and laterally. It would be much better though (this is not Robert's fault of course) if people were to post their comments using their names. "

  62. I have to agree with much if not all that Nyreen says.

    I do not know the facts of the internet letter sent by the GSD but do not doubt the accuracy of what she says.

    Propagandist and/or inaccurate comments do no favours but are detrimental to the interests of any political party in whose favour they are made. They also carry little or no weight. They are detrimental to and not an exercise of freedom of speech. In fact they give freedom of speech a bad name.

    The fact that they are made anonymously is even more pejorative. I do my best to moderate out comments on the basis that I will and do not (as far as I can) publish defamatory or outrageous comments. I am not privy to all information so inacuracies may creep into the comments that are published.

    Readers are reminded that the views of those who comment do not necessarily (or usually) refelct my views, even if i do not answer.

    I have been intending and will be writing a blog on this very subject.

    My view is that going forward, whilst anonymous comments or comments under pseudonyms will be published, I may well ask for persons to identify themselves to me before I will publish their comments anonymously or under a pseudonym so that, at least, I know who they are.

    I am trying (to the best of my ability) to write an "issue based" blog rather than a party or personality based blog. If the overall slant is percieved as beng against the GSD that is only because it is in government and having to take decisions. If there were to be a change in government the incumbents may well be faced with the same or greater criticism. It will depend on their performance at the time.

    I am grateful to Nyreen for having the breadth of mind to understand, accept and thank me for what I am attempting to achieve. My sadness is that one individual has to expose himself and that the established media does not do more of this. Democracy is the loser. I did not persist through a closed frontier fighting a dictatorship to end up muzzled in my own homeland. I think if people were to write in their own names democracy would get a major boost, which is much needed now that we are governed under the 2006 Constitution. This is not a party issue as the next party in government may well be a lot worse that the presnt GSD government.

    I continue to admire Peter Caruana for voclaising that, whilst he may not agree with what everyone says, he will defend their right to say it to the end. All I will say is, it is one thing to say it and another to practise it. In my case there have been absolutely no adverse effects on me emananting from tthe GSD government resulting from what I write on this blog.

  63. Nyreen (and RV if you will indulge me!!)...Firstly I just want to say that I genuinely admire you for posting in your own name. I don't know who you are (or your age) but I hope you can try to understand that in a small town like ours being on the wrong side of the political divide can be precarious.

    Hence we see a lot of Anons/pseudonyms and you may indeed have noticed that these are not just restricted to those that share my (and others)views.Even GSD supporters seem reluctant to reveal who they are, so you really shouldn't suggest that those who don't follow PC have a monopoly on this.

    You rightly highlight Daniel Feetham's contribution to a previous debate.I congratulated him on it as freedom of speech is so important and thats why I also believe RV is doing a sterling job!

    With an electorate split down the middle we will always agree to disagree but doesn't that make life more interesting? I try to inject a bit of humour into my posts but understand that may not be to the liking of some.

    We can all be guilty of taking ourselves too seriously sometimes, right??....Max

  64. Max

    Yes, some take things - and themselves - too seriously. Nyreen (is it really Nyreen or someone posting in her name?) says the leaked letter "implicitly suggests that these internet courses were been (sic), and are been (sic) offered, to retired persons who would like to use the internet".

    I imagined that the purpose was twofold: one, to teach older members, as she says, but also, two, to encourage ALL members to take to the internet more actively to try and counter the very active use of social media websites by Joe Bossano, Fabian Picardo etc.

    This was made clear in the covering letter, also leaked: "We are offering a series of seminars for all...". Note: "all".

    Nyreen (if it is Nyreen) must be a GSD member, otherwise she wouldn't have been so familiar with the letter(s). As the title of this article suggests she, like her fellow members, must be "running scared". Hence her sensitivity to the leaking of these letters sent to GSD members.

  65. Llanito World .......

    With all due respect, of course there would be no adverse effects on you emanating from the GSD government. What can they do to you? also if there were it would prove why people are afraid to use their real names. Anyway you are now in the public eye and it would be too obvious.
    Are you a civil servant? Are you waiting for a promotion? Are you seeking a job for you or any member of uour family? Problems with housing? How can you compare your situation with a great deal of us out here.

    Using her own name (Nyreen) to write in favour of the government is no brave act and it is certainly not detrimental in any way, in fact it may score points. What is hazardous is writing AGAINST the government.


  66. Isabella Ramognin29 June 2010 at 16:52

    Dear Mr Vasquez

    I hope you will allow me to clarify regarding the text of the letter sent out to GSD members. I can talk about it with propriarty, because I wrote the letter titled "GSD Events July-December 2010" the part of the text that is causing so much controversy is,as follows;


    "Getting Connected"

    We are offering a series of seminars for all who would like to use the internet but do not know where to start! Well, let us show you how. Please read more about this on the sheet attached.

    End Quote.

    That is it, no more, no less. No agendas, no ulterior motives.

    This came about simply because some of our senior (and some younger)members have often commented about how little they know about using computers and someone, many months ago, came up with the idea of offering short seminars, for small groups to show them the basics. How to write an email, make an attachment, surf the web,use Social Networks and photo storage etc. The gentleman who will be running the Seminars, wrote up an information leaflet, which I attached to my general letter to the membership.

    If anyone would like to see a full copy of the letter sent to the membership they are very welcome to come in to the office, or I could cut and paste the whole thing on here if you like? Although most of the letter is taken up with information about forthcoming social events.

    Thank you for your time & congratulations on your excellent blog.

    Isabella Ramognin

  67. I am grateful to Mrs Ramognin for clarifying the she says

    "We are offering a series of seminars for all who would like to use the internet but do not know where to start! Well, let us show you how. Please read more about this on the sheet attached."

    Key word here being ALL, and not just pensioners as has been alleged.

    I still find it hard to believe that there are droves of GSD supporters who don't know how to use the internet! The comment I have often heard levelled at those of us who lean to the left is "Que son burros"....Maybe they were a bit hasty in pinning the tail on the donkey!!...Max

  68. Isabella Ramognin29 June 2010 at 21:29

    Oh for heavens sake Max,please call me Isabella que tan vieja no soy, but you really are splitting hairs here!

    Yes, the offer was open to all members, but we expected it to be taken up, in the main by our senior members. No, there are not droves of members who are computer illiterate, but there are many & more who just lack the confidence to use the damn thing. I am self taught so I know how they feel & my knowledge is limited ( as is my spelling & command of the English language) !!), therefore, pa burra me pongo yo primera but if you pin a tail on my Ass you will probably get a smack!! by the way, I also lean to the left somewhat, but I try not to let it show too much :)

    P.S. Could you tell me how to do a spell check on here please, if not you will have to put up with my spelling.

    Thank you

  69. Isabella....You have a sense of humour and I like that!!...Max

  70. Isabella Ramognin29 June 2010 at 23:51

    Thank you Max, I appreciate that....Goodnight.