Sunday, 18 July 2010

Government Advertising, Unite and Clive Golt: a Unique and Quirky Form of Democracy?

Two disparate pieces of recent news, with one connecting fact, Clive Golt, keep coming back into my mind. The first is the justification by Peter Caruana for denying the New People government advertising whilst government advertises profusely in the Seven Days. The second is the recent attempt by the union Unite to show how valid the GSD's socialist credentials are, why? I really do not understand.

Much has been said about the appointment of Clive Golt as Media Director of the Government. I do not intend to dwell on his abilities, that is a value judgment on which agreement may or may not be reached. There will be those who say he has all the attributes and those who may disagree. Only time will tell. I remain neutral and wish him well and much luck.

What I cannot help but comment on is the revelation by Fabian Picardo that the New People has for 15 years been owned by Mr Golt, who stood as a GSLP candidate in 1996 but not by the GSLP or any member of its executive, yet Mr Caruana justifies that the Government does not advertise in it because he considered it to be a GSLP party organ. Well, what does Mr Picardo reveal about the Seven Days? He says that it is owned by a GSD supporter, yet the Government does advertise in the Seven Days.

Surely. applying Mr Caruana's own criteria the Government should not be advertising in the Seven Days. I suppose the fact that the owner of the Seven Days has not actually stood for election as a candidate for the GSD is a distinction that could be drawn. There is no doubting, however in my mind, that the editorial policy of the New People favours the GSLP and that of the Seven Days favours the GSD. Does anyone disagree?

The problem is that the whole argument that Mr Garuana deploys to justify not advertising in the New People is flawed. To decide that a newspaper is a party organ or not (whether based on ownership or editorial policy) should not be the criteria by which any government should be deciding where to place or not to place its advertising. It is a subjective judgment that is not capable of objective justification. It is , therefore, fraught with the danger that any decision will be tainted with political bias, especially if the decision is taken by a politician, and so be advantageous to the person making that decision and his party. This is intolerable and unacceptable in a constitutional democracy.

The decision should be one for the Civil Service to take applying objective standards. What are these? Simple, answer two questions. First, is the publication in question a Newspaper, as defined in the Newspapers Act? Second, is it necessary and in the public interest to inform the public about something? If the answer to both questions is in the affirmative, then any government advertisement or notice should appear in any such newspaper that has a reasonable readership, after all the need to advertise is to ensure that people are informed. Informing the public is the public interest justification for such advertising. Starving the public of information and free speech is not in the public interest.

Turning now to the Union Unite. I was taken aback that it should be welcoming the appointment of Mr Golt as Media Director and in the same breath attempting to justify the socialist credentials of the GSD on the basis that GSLP executive members and ex-union officers were now aligned to or are ministers/ex ministers in the GSD Government. This logic is fundamentally flawed.

It is not the identity or passed allegiances of any person that informs an opinion or decision as to where in the political spectrum a party lies. What defines a party in terms of left and right are its policies. I believe that the GSD have undertaken certain social democratic policies. I do not consider that this allows it to be described as 'socialist". Certainly the recent budget cannot be described as left wing. It favours regressive rather than progressive revenue raising measures. In terms of capital expenditure, in the main, this is on projects more akin to that favoured by a right of centre party than a left wing party. More could have been done for the needy and for social cases, also.

All in all, I am confused. Either Gibraltar has a democracy that I find difficult to understand or it is just unique and quirky. Can anyone throw some light on all this?


  1. Robert

    As the saying goes 'nada es verdad o metira todo dependes del cristal con que se mira'
    Frankly I just don't know anymore. Gib is just unique, aqui se cambian mas las camisetas que los footballers in the transfer season

  2. I have quite frankly given up on Gibraltar! Unfortunately for now Im stuck here. I don't like the Gibraltar I see and the Gibraltar I have to live in every day where nothing is real, and most seem to have no "amor propio".

    In Gibraltar, I am saddened to say, "todo es mentira, y nada es verdad"! With most happy to stray away from their true selves for a bit of power or for a pat on the back from those in power!

  3. I agree with Anon 00.11
    Do we have yet other so called trade unionists (closet GSD candidates)coming out as we had in the last elections?

  4. I remember the GSD's first manifesto stressing the need for 'checks and balances'.
    I now think that they meant 'write out the cheques and forget about the balances'
    I could go on but perhaps you would not publish the full comment.

  5. Mark A, Independent Commentator19 July 2010 at 10:47

    LWRV said: "There is no doubting, however, in my mind, that the editorial policy of the New People favours the GSLP and that of the Seven Days favours the GSD. Does anyone disagree?"

    Yes, but only slightly. Prior to the 2003 general election the New People started favouring the Labour Group over the GSLP and Clive even called for Bossano to go in his editorials. At that stage, the NP couldn't be seen to be a GSLP party organ. It was a left-wing paper. However, to be fair, it did carry scathing criticism of and satire on Caruana in columns such as Peter The Python and Maximus. But then if Private Eye can do it, why not the NP?

    Clive used to say that he supported the left in general i.e. the newspaper of which he was the sole owner wanted the left to get back into power but not necessarily the GSLP.

    As regards Gareth and Clive's appointments and Charlie Sisarello's plans see my analysis in this coming Thursday's issue of the New People (in a letter to the editor).

    Trying to be impartial, does Caruana have a point when he says that neither the NP nor The Gibraltarian ever received Govt ads when the GSLP was in power (whoever owned the shares of either paper)?

    The Vox used to receive Govt ads when it supported the GSD, and the Government even sponsored business pink pages in the Vox for some time. However, it all went sour when the Vox turned on the Government.

    The 7 Days is owned by Gerardo Gonzalez, who I believe is Edwin Reyes' brother-in-law (can anyone verify this?). Gerardo clearly supports the GSD but the 7 Days is not the GSD's official party 'rag'. It is a very amateurish paper full of photos of society events. However it has strayed into dangerous territory as seen last year for example by publishing full-front-page attacks on Fabian Picardo's professioinal integrity last year disguised as factual reports on a certain legal case.

    The problem is that the 7 Days overstepped the mark when it reproduced scathing criticism of Fabian Picardo taken from a blog published on the Benzaquen & Associates website as 'Editorial GG' I think that sounded the death knell for the 7 Days.

  6. Mark A

    Have you spoken to Gerardo of 7Days???? It is really disturbing how he idolises Peter Caruana!

  7. All that Government advertising buys a serious amount of idolisation !!!!!!!....Max

  8. Dear RW,

    I believe that there is a big difference between someone who has stood for election and also owns a newspaper and someone who merely supports a political party. I believe it would be very difficult to find someone who owned a newspaper and yet doesn’t have a political view.

    I agree with your point on the application of objective standards up to an extent.
    I believe it depends on how you define advert or what type of message the advert is putting across. I suppose the message can be classified into Political and Non Political. If the message is political then it can be classified as propaganda since as it is well known in law - especially in the law of Trusts, namely Charitable Trusts – the courts have already decided that political ideologies lie outside the courts ambit. Meaning that the courts cannot say which political ideology is correct. This has been found time and time again e.g. McGovern v AG where it was held that Amnesty International could not be a charity since it campaigned for political change in many countries. So if the courts cannot rule, and rightly so, on political ideologies who then would implement objective standards?

    I note that also you mention that the “public need to be informed” if I remember correctly the Labour party tried something similar, they tried to start a charity fronting it as an educational purpose i.e. educating the public of the beliefs of the labour party. I believe this also fell through.

    However if the information is non political then I agree with what you say, surely any newspaper with a big enough audience would suffice, it shouldn’t matter who owns it.

    Also do you plan on writing an article on that buffoon Sanchez and his ridiculous plan to demonstrate? I think that might attract more posts.


  9. Clive Golt is a good sort. Leave him alone! Leave Clive Golt alone! Stop having a go at him! What has Clive Glot done to any of you? Clive is a great journalist and socialist. He is a self made man and a good Christian gentleman. Leave him ALLLLOOOOOONNNNNNNNE!

  10. Anonymous at 19:31:

    I do not think either the blog or any comment criticises Clive Golt so your plea is totally unnecessary.

  11. Orwell:

    I fear you argue against yourself in the first paragraph. If, as you admit, it is difficult to find someone who owns a newspaper and doesn't have a political view, then whether a proprietor of a newspaper stood or did not stand for election makes absolutely no difference.

    Your legal arguments are irrelevant. We are not dealing with party political propaganda. We are referring to GOVERNMENT advertising. This also applies to your analogy with the labour party.

  12. I'm in something of a quandary...

    Which "trade unionist" will stand for the GSD in 2011?

    Charles Sisarello or Sukh Khaira?

  13. Mark A, Independent Commentator21 July 2010 at 10:22


    Read my letter in tomorrow's New People and find out.


    I don't think anyone here is having a go at Clive Golt. On the contrary he is a popular, if somewhat controversial, figure. He has livened up political life for some years in this small town by editing the New People and I think most are glad that he at last has a well-paid job, even if he didn't get it until the age of 64. But good for him. Like, LWRV, don't know what you're on about.

  14. Sorry but some people are picking on Clive Gotl and my message to them is leave him ALONE! Find someone else to pick on and my message to Clive is you are wonderful and have put up with a lot from the GSD regime; now its your turn to cash in your chips, everyone else seems to have done it. I admire you and a lot of people are jealous of your intellect and how you came up from nothing in the Patio Casola without a silver spoon in your face or as we say in Gibraltar "con el pan debajo del sobaco". My worry is how your going to explain strane things like the Midtown rescue or OEM but as press officer that is what you will need to do but whatever you do, Clive, do not sell your sole.

  15. Anonymous at 19:47

    That is not so on this blog. I suggest you take your complaint elsewhere but you make valid points that can only be judged with the passage of time like do not sell your soul ...

  16. I know that you are a good lawyer Mr. Vasquez but please do not try to put words in my mouth. I meant that Clove Golt should not sell his sole which is a well known expression meaning Clive's size 5 1/2 Marks & Spencer shoes i.e,. don't change you working class shoes for uppper class shoes like Guccis or whatever you people of the pish wear. Please do not patronise me or Clive.

  17. Let us just agree to differ Mr. Vasquez y tan amigos (although we have never met). We do seem to agree that OEM and Midtown need some explaining and it will be a sad day for those of us who think that Clive is a giant of Gibraltarian journalism despite his small feet if Clive tries to waffle out of explaining why Midtown is the only business in town that has government financial support in these times of enocomic uncertainty. I bet that he would rather resign than sell his soul or soles or whatever.

  18. Hi Anonymous at 20:09

    I am not patronising anyone but I insist that there is nothing that picks on Clive Golt here ... you say sole not soul despite saying it in the context of mentions of OEM and Midtown ... to me the meaning you attribute to sole is the meaning that I intended for soul so we are agreed despite the semantics.

  19. Dear Robert

    Is was reassuring to see our Leader on Newswatch tonight as he explained away the contents and the outcome of the meeting with the other delegates under the umbrella of the Cordoba Agreement.

    As for Clive Golt, personally I have the utmost respect for him. He saw (CLive Golt) his errors of his ways. He asked to be forgiven and our dear Leader forgave him.

    Perhaps more should follow his wise steps.

    A Loyal Supporter

  20. Loyal Supporter..

    Your 'dear leader' forgave him for what ??? For not being the grovelling embarassment that you are?

    As for Cordoba...check the queues at the frontier every day...very cordial n friendly lol !!!

    I'm afraid that YOUR 'dear Leader's' days are now numbered, and about time too!!!!!....Max

  21. I agree with Loyal Supporter. Repent! Our Dear Leader deserves utter and unconditional support. The latest disgusting slur from the enemies of Our Noble Leader (that is, the enemies of Gibraltar itself)is that the scrapping of tender procedures for the millions of taxpayer £s to be bequeathed on chosen elements of the "construction industry" is somehow suspect. Oh what filthy minds some people have!Remember the tobacco smuggling you ingrates!

  22. Mark A, Independent Commentator22 July 2010 at 10:19

    Just as Peter Caruana has been reconciled with Clive Golt after 14 years of feuding I am predicting that Peter will try to reconcile with cousin Robert by appointing him Deputy Mayor next year (when Tony Lombard steps down and Julio Alcantara becomes Mayor), just in time for the next general election.

    You read it first on Llanito World.

  23. I sincerely hope that those behinf teh "Dear Leader, repent, forgave, etc " statements are kids messing around!

  24. That Clive Golt is a true professional nobody can deny. That it is the reason for employing him, I, do not believe.
    Maybe Caruana is deperate or he gets his kicks by having the guy he has spoken so ill off at his beck and call, or maybe Danny Boy "paso una palabrita" after all Clive supported Danny for a while.
    What I know for sure is that I would be unable to work for Caruana if I were Clive, not even for all the tea in China.
    As for Unite, they should get on with what is really their work, stopping illegal labour, getting us better wages and conditions in the
    Private Sector ect ect ect. And stop playing at politics.

  25. government should advertise in papers which have a proven distribution and readership.

    surely that is the most important thing given that getting the message out is the main point of gov adverts.

    I imagine it is difficult to quantify the readership of 7 days as it is just given away.

    does anybody here know the following;

    has seven days always appeared with government advertisements or did it have any or any significant life before that?

  26. Dear Spartacus, many of us TRUE Gibraltarians see Mr. Peter Caruana as OUR LEADER. We are not kids playing around. Before Mr. Clive Golt Mr. Daniel Feetham saw the error of his ways and now he knows his place and is a trusted and valued member of Peter's Government. Other people of the Left like Mr. Luis Montiel and Mr. Edwin Reyes have flocked to Peter like businesmen of the calibre of Mr. Joseph Holliday and Mr. Nigel Pardo; all together for the greater glory of our OUR GIBRALTAR! A Gibraltar which is truly blessed at having PETER CARUANA as its favoured son. Long may he govern us!

  27. Spartacus.......... is this guy for real? I can't believe it.

  28. Loyal supporter there is nothing loyal about you.

    Your contributions and responses by "others" are becoming a mummer's farce. You are obviously a GSLP supporter mascarading as GSD and you/your friends probably respond to your own posts.

    As for 7 days, what about Joseph Garcia sr who stood as leader of the GNP (now the liberal party) in 1992 and is editor of the Panorama. His editorial line is far more anti-Government and pro-GSLP/Liberals than the tame and rather bland 7 days. He gets government advertising. The New People is just a complete political rag mag - an assortment of anonymous articles with no balance or journalistic quality to it. You cannot say that of the Panorama. For instance he does give people a right of response and will attempt to call people before publishing stories about them. Juan Carlos Perez treats the NP like political leaflet and that is what it is.

    Interestingly I seem to also recall that when a report came out several years ago (I think it was the ombudsman but I cannot be sure) criticising the Government over its treatment of the NP, Garcia said he did not agree with the points made in the report about the non provision of advertising in the NP and there was a distinction btwn the NP and the Panorama.

  29. Anonymous...

    In relation to your comments fair enough. but if you are an adult, you should respect the fact that we do not all see him as our "Dear Leader" or "favourite son". also, your comments smack of fanaticism and I am not a fan of that in a democracy!

  30. Oscar

    Nor time nor patience for this kind of person. My previous post was the last ever directed to this person. I will refrain from telling him / her what's on my mind just to keep civility and good manners in this forum.

  31. Loyal Supporter....I am beginning to wonder if you are just having a laugh at our expense or you REALLY believe all that crap about your 'Dear Leader', 'Favoured Son' and the one who obviously walks on water and is divine enough to forgive the 'sinners'!!!

    I am sure that your 'dear' Leader loves such slavish devotion but (equally) must be worried that there is definitely a 'looney' element creeping into the GSD's membership...Lol....Max

  32. Anon 20.26....I have no idea who 'Loyal Supporter' is though having heard this kind of rubbish from other GSD supporters before I am 100% sure he is not a GSLP supporter in disguise, as you attempt to suggest....I find his posts irritating and quite frankly embarassing....Max

  33. Time will tell but I sincerely believe that in years to come future generations of Gibraltarians will raise a lofty monument to Peter Caruana in the Piazza or some other prominent location, perhaps on reclaimed land which we have still not even dreamt of or perhaps even at the top of the Rock to glower balefully at our enemies. He truly is the Leader, Maestro, Guide and Shining Light of the Gibraltarian nation, the architect of our constitutional development and the designer of our hopes and aspirations, the draughtsman of our future and inspiration to our youth; an encouragement to our ambitions and engine of our economy. A lawyer, legislator, statesman and personality for our time. I would not be surprised if the Irish Town of his birth were to have its name changed to Peter Caruana Street or some school, hospital or psychiatric unit or other public building or great park were to be named after him. His face may even ennoble our £ notes and children will be taught rousing patriotic hymns evoking Peter Caruana which grandmothers will sing to naughty children to keep them in line. Books will be written about him and his political genius (proved most recently by his appointment of Clive Golt as media director) will be the subject of treatises in the principal universities. At least that is my view and I hope that someone does n't attack me for it; we do live in a democracy!

  34. Anyone 17.04.....Excuse me for a moment as I reach for a sick bag!!!

    The Psychiatric Unit is the only thing I agree with you on....Seriously you have got to be having a laugh. Nobody can be that nutty!!!...Max

  35. RV I am one for freedom of speech and the the likes, but please spare us from the comments of this Loyal Supporter. It is clear he is just taking the mickey and that his only desire is to provoke others in the forum. IN my opinion he is contributing nothing to the discussions posed. On the contrary, I think he is just provoking others and turning this forum into a mock and putting off others from coming in to comment and hold healthy open minded discussions.

  36. to anon 17:04 I am new to this blog.Reading all that you say above can be either a joke or very very frighteningto think that a politician can be glorified in such a manner. I would rather believe the former. Having said this I totally agree that one of the things you mentioned above to honour YOUR leader, that is the naming of a psychiatric unit after him.
    Rest my case!!?

  37. I think the Anon at 17:04 would benefit greatly from the most basic of human acts. But will we be able to find him a female who is just as loyal a supporter??

    RV-Know you probs won't post this lol, but I just needed to type it out lol

  38. anon 17.04 must be Pete himself contributing to this blog

  39. Llanita from Gibraltar says...

    if naming the promised, but never delivered, new psychiatric hospital after PC is what it takes for it to be built, then make it so, our psychiatric patients deserve a better deal than the one they have been dealt by this Government.

    I suppose there are more important things to provide for a community, like office space, for example!

  40. Loyal Supporter 10.19....I suspect that your unconditional devotion to 'dear Leader' has somewhat clouded your judgement!

    You firstly say that 'Peter'(can you be that familiar with a demi-God?) had to step in to 'prop up' the Midtown project and then say that 'Nigel does not need bailing out'... I am confused (excuse me I do not have the superior intellect of 'Peter'), why then did 'dear Leader have to 'prop up' the project??????

    Why do you think that Golt isn't coming out in defence of Your Goverment? I believe I am right in saying that he hasn't become a member of the GSD and is in fact a Civil Servant. I don't think that his job description would include responding to 'bloggers' that don't share your somewhat warped views.. Lol....Max

  41. I will be away on holiday for 10 days so I will ignore Max's snide remarks. Because of Peter Caruana's expert handling of the economy civil servants such as myself have never had it so good. As I while away the time in Orlando, Florida I will think of suitable answers and get back to you all after the 4th August. Repent and change like Clive, Danny and countless other happy Gibraltarians have done. Remember there can be no Caruana without Gibraltar and no Gibraltar without Caruana who shoved the Joint Sovereignty treason where the sun don't shine in London. A happy Caruana is a happy Gibraltar. Caruana wears Gibraltar's smile. Don't question what he does because you can be sure it is all for the very best and if you do not like it why don't you emigrate to Spain or UK or Malta or wherever your ancestors came from. We don't want miserable agitators in OUR GIBRALTAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. What a saddo! It'll be fun to try and find out who you are just to be able to laugh in your face!

  43. Loyal Supporter....Hope you enjoy your holiday but can't see how you could bear to be parted from the One you love for as long as 10 days!!

    You could of course text Him daily to remind Him of your slavish loyalty lol !! Not surprised to hear you are a Civil Servant...Probably spend most of the day reading the Chronic and drooling over pics of 'dear Leader' with lesser mortals like the Pope etc !!!!

    I do question what your 'dear Leader' does and will exercise my democratic right to vote him out of office next year....Though you would undoubtedly prefer me to emigrate I'm afraid that's not an option pisha !!!!....Max

  44. LOL

    The Loyal Supporter is a Civil Servant. He is going on Holiday to Orlando! LOL ROFL Es un Living Stereotype Total! No doubt Loyal Supporter will spend his Late Summer August Bank Holiday Weekend at the Chiclana all inclusive LOL.

    On a more serious note, Loyal Supporter, hope you enjoy your holiday in Florida. Watch out for hurricanes and alligators!

  45. The plain manipulation of most of the media in Gibraltar by the ruling party is plain to see.

    If we take the rule that he who pays the piper
    names the tunes, then this is what we presently get.

    Government subsidizes and thus controls both GBC and the Chronicle. The bosses of these entities have to secure their paypackets and cannot put at risk the livelihood of all the staff as well.

    These editors or general managers are more interested in financial stability than freedom of speech or the rights of fellow journalists.
    This is where the whole issue seems to lie.

    Divide and conquer.

    My argument is that if all local journalists had supported Mr Golts position when he was not recognised by his present employer of his professional accreditation as a journalist, we would not find ourselves in todays predicament.

    If the Chief Minister, apart from not advertising in the New People, refused to invite Mr Golt to government press releases, why didn't his fellow journalists boycott all press releases?

    No local journalist should have attended these when one of them had been blacklisted for no apparent democratic or valid reason.

    They preferred to rub shoulders with reporters from far and wide instead of showing the solidarity that Mr Golt's situation required.

    No, being the way we humans are, it is normal
    that survival comes first and morality and values later in this day and age.

    GBC,Chronicle and 7 Days in my opinion are total puppets of this regime. They sold out a long time ago to survive ,sacrificing along the way all their credentials,morality or values that their professions require. People
    have fought hard for freedom of speech and many
    have died and been persecuted for this right.

    The Panorama is quite independent but has to toe a fine line to maintain Government advertising. New People continues to struggle against all odds without Gov advertising and Vox has ceased to exist for financial problems.

    It is very sad that this persecution still continues here today in Gibraltar.

    That a ruling party has the power to dictate which publication receives advertising or not,
    thus denying an equal playing field for all newspapers ,does not say much for our supposedly modern constitution or for the state
    of press freedom in Gibraltar.

    That Mr Golt is the best man for this job I have no doubt. He is a top professional and proud to serve Gibraltar A man who has stood for election and sacrificed his own financial security, because he believes that he can do
    something for the good of Gibraltar is quite rare indeed.

    That he has been persecuted for a long time is now in the past. Lets look to the future and let Mr Golt prove himself.

    There lies the Gibraltar we much need and desire. A Gibraltar where we can put past differences aside ,decide to work together and concentrate on the things that unite us.

    The Chief Minister has shown courage in opening the door to Mr Golt .He should now open the door to real freedom of the press.

    Next step should be government advertising for every newspaper or none at all.

  46. Anon ....... 25th July 2010 00:48.

    I was really enjoying reading your post "hasta que metiste la pata". How can you say that it shows courage by Caruana to open the door for Mr.Golt? after the man has for fourteen years tried to prevent him from earning his livelihood. Maybe the visit to the Vatican served a purpose other than spin. "se le remordio la conciensia" and he has just done what he should have done fourteen years ago allowed him to earn his living.


  47. Fred says:

    Come on guys, stop biting on Loyal Supporter's comments, it's warping the discussion, and he surely cannot be serious.

    Also, go easy on calling people "nutters", or saying that people like Loyal Supporter have psychiatric issues. Mental illness is too serious a problem to trivialise it in such a manner.

    I am with the commentator who said that we should be investing in mental health services, which brings me to Gibraltarians having to stay abroad because they cannot practice their profession at home, and the cost of all these media shennanigans.

    There's a young Gibraltarian mental health professional who is in Birmingham and hoping that a vacany arises in Gibraltar soon - surely we should be spending our hard earned tax cash on people like him and not the likes of Mr Flower (given that we now have Mr Golt who is probably necessary) and all this unnecessary advertising? How many mental health professionals could we employ with this cash? Has everyone forgotten the harrowing case of Mr Celecia in KGV?!

    The public must be kept informed of government activity, but there are cheaper ways and in any case the stuff in Seven Days is propaganda, not adminstrative information.

    Finally, I have to come out in defence of at least one journalist in the Chronicle "que no lo puede comprar nadie", that is Mr Reyes. I am also quite certain that Mr Searle is not in anyone's pocket. Unfortunately for Mr Oliva it seems that his apparent attempt to be annoited as Mr Cantos' succesor came to nought - oh dear.

  48. Fred....IF he is serious then I stand by what I have said. The guy is nuttier than a fruit cake!!....Max

  49. Anon said: I can understand that GSD supporters would now like a truce after the behaviour of their government over the last 14 years so that they can get away with the miseries that they have inflicted..."

    I wish to echo his sentiments. One area where locals have really suffered is the Leisure Areas Licensing Act and Regulations inflicted on the unsuspecting local population in 2001. Because the Government lost a court case against Casemates House residents, he rushed in this new Act to ram all-night revelry down their throats.

    Long-suffering Casemates House residents were forced to move as they could not endure the all-night noise. A discotheque (which shall remain nameless for legal reasons) was permitted to open and operate an open-air terrace outside Casemates from August 2001 (strangely coinciding with the enactment of the new Leisure Areas Licensing regulations) causing many sleepless nights for nearby residents of Portland House, the Montagus etc.

    Locals were reluctant to sue the discotheque for fear of reprisals but eventually an English lawyer did sue resulting, directly or indirectly, in the closure of the disco last year after residents had suffered from intermittent all-night disturbances for nearly a decade. Unfortunately it has reopened under a different name.

    I think the Leisure Areas Licensing Act and Regs 2001 are a good example of the miseries inflicted on Gibraltar by our autocratic ruler, as highlighted by Anon above.

  50. Pedrito

    You make some very interesting observations, which would be much easier to read if you used paragraphs. I think you'll find that ministers' salaries have now risen to the £80,000 range with the Chief earning over £100,000. Government should make MP's salaries (inclusive of the Parliament allowance) much more easily accessible to taxpayers.

    MP's serious wage inflation reflects that of civil servants, nine of whom earn over £100,000 (Chief Technical Officer, Chief Secretary, Financial Sec, Principal Auditor, Accountant General, Commissioner of Police, Attorney General, Chief Justice and Puisne Judge).

    Top civil service salaries have now doubled in not much more than a decade and show no sign of slowing down. Unfortunately, the Estimates of Revenue & Expenditure (which can be purchased from No. 6 for only £5) do not reveal the even higher salaries of top officials at a number of Government agencies and statutory bodies as that would reveal a much truer picture of how much all this is costing us.

  51. It's a joke.....Money no object for the privileged few n screw the rest..Change is SO overdue !!!!!!!!!!!!...Max

  52. Here are some more from the Estimates:

    Director of Civil Aviation £84,810
    Chief Fire Officer £76,253
    Director of Media & Communications £65,499
    Senior Law Draftsman £65,000
    CEO Buildings & Works £62,839 (think the Ombudsman would have something to say about this one)

    To the cost of the above selection we need to add the cost of their non-contributory pensions when they retire (with the exception of contract civil servants such as Gareth and Clive, who get 25% of their salary as a tax-free gratuity each year, bringing their total annual remuneration to £65,000 and £82,000 respectively). Not bad, if you can get it.

  53. You've all missed it.

    GSD gives and throws away and the next government will have to do the cuts to public expenditure.

    Who's who now?

  54. anon 09:49 has it spot on.

    the public sector is bloated and inefficient. the private sector is paying. the discrepancy between public private workers is not sustainable - nor is it fair whilst the public sector continues to badly underperform.

    Meanwhile our Government is borrowing millions to fund projects like the airport, airport tunnel, hospital, housing - maybe even the midtown. These are debts which the public will continue to have to pay for up to 50 years. Some of them may be necessary for Gibraltar. Some of them seem hard to justify.

    The Government harp on about how well our economy is doing - comparing our GDP to that of large nations like the United Kingdom. Such comparisons are meaningless. The Gibraltar economy is highly vulnerable to external economic and political factors. What happens if online gaming migrates to another jurisdiction or collapses due to ECJ rulings permitting state gambling monopolies to continue in Europe - or any number of other similar moves which could affect any successful area of our Finance Centre economy. Gibraltar's prospects can change quickly and without warning. It has happened before.

    If things go well perhaps loyal supporters will be hoisting statues in years to come. If things don't go well, well we might not look so favourably upon our current CM. In my view the fact we are already so very exposed to the luck of the draw is indictment enough of our current CM.

    The nature of our economy is such that we must be far more strict in respect of national debt levels than other western european countries. We must spend today with one eye to the future. I am no fan of the GSLP “rainy day” type hoarding. But I do think that this Government has gone too far the other way – that we should be reigning in unnecessary expenditure (airport and bloated civil service).

    In this context, projects like the airport are not just potential white elephants - they are potential albatrosses round our necks.

  55. my english grammer is not very good but i see people here going donde mas caleta el sol people for power put there pant down sell there soul what a shame and i wish caruana will be booted out of power

  56. ANON at 24 July 2010 20:27 tells us "We don't want miserable agitators in OUR GIBRALTAR!!!!!"
    In real Gibraltar political terms it translates:

    WE = GSD and its core
    DON'T WANT = will make life hell or difficult of
    MISERABLE = happy or fun people
    AGITATORS = who are intelligent, clever or competent and believe they and others have rights and freedom of speech and who try to exercise them
    IN = and it does not matter who they are or where they come from
    OUR = because we have taken full control and are not accountable to anyone but every living soul is accountable to us, our views, our policies, our laws and regulations and anyting else we decide or dictate
    GIBRALTAR = since it is for our exclusive benefit and it is for our exclusive benefit and agenda alone and we shall spin, spin and spin whatever or whoever who dares disagrees and we benefit who we want, when we want and how we want.

    What do we call people like ANON 24 July 2010 20:27 or how do we label them?

    “Insults are the arguments employed by those who are in the wrong” (Jean-Jacques Rousseau)

  57. Caruana & the GSD may end up dead and buried, politically, at the next election but his 14-year government of Gibraltar, his architecture and physical layout of the Rock and economic policies may continue to rule everyone from his political grave for many years...ANON at 26 July 2010 09:49 and ANON at 26 July 2010 16:16 are right.

    The last person to leave usually switches the lights off. This time he may also have to give the keys to Moratinos or Rajoy.

  58. the GSD's a dangerous mixture of Champaigne Social Democrats and Champagne Socialists.

    It's a double-spin of terminology if even when "Champagne" is left out.

    It's a mix-up-and-all-in-one "Association of Champagne Social Democrats, Champagne Socialists & Cherry-Pickers".

  59. I have been retired for several years and maybe do not have the real pulse of what is really going on in Gibraltar these days. On the one hand we are told that the economy is buoyant and on the other hand we are told that the private sector is suffering and it is only a matter of a short time before people are laid off. I have heard that some companies have agreed salary cuts and that few new jobs are available. Is it right to talk up the economy in the hope that reality meets spin or should we be more honest and identify the problams so that they can be solved? I would welcome Mr. Vasquez views on this. He seems to be the only one who rises above the proaganda and fear these days. EJC

  60. Da people of Gibreltar donna speak openly man!

  61. I went for a casual walkabout in the Laguna Estate yesterday afternoon to sound out public views of the current government and PC in particular.

    Regrettably the responses I obtained are not postable, nor are they repeatable in polite society for that matter.