Friday, 7 January 2011

"New Years Message" or "State of the Nation Speech"?

Well you heard it last night, the Chief Minister's annual "State of the Nation Speech".  "State of the Nation Speech" and not "New Year Message" because it really was not a message for the festive season.  It was an unapologetically party political and electioneering speech.  I do not believe that such an opportunity is given to the Prime Minister of the UK.  It seems unprecedented that a Chief Minister should be given, on such an occasion, an unchallenged right to make such an overtly party political statement on a public service broadcaster, which is what GBC is.

A festive message should be permitted, perhaps, even then I believe that such a message is more appropriate from a non-political source.  In Great Britain and the Commonwealth, Her Majesty the Queen, at a local level, H.E. the Governor, who did it admirably in his Christmas Message.  It was very heartening to hear the plea for people to put forward names for more State and local honours.  The rather low number of awards has been a matter of comment amongst people in Gibraltar for some time.

What was astounding in the CM's speech was his personalised and vitriolic attack on the Leader of the Opposition and the Opposition itself.  Such attacks should have no place in politics at all and even less so in a "New Year Message".  Describing the Opposition as having an "... instinct to lie and deceive ..." on a matter in which a value judgment is called for is really unacceptable behaviour by anyone let alone a Chief Minister, especially in what is styled a "New Year Message".  As the Chief Minister himself has said much of what he is doing is about having a vision for the future so only time will tell.  Perhaps his vision is not as 20/20 as he so stridently asserts.

Undoubtedly much good has been achieved by the GSD Government throughout its terms of office and also in 2010.  It is for each political party to analyse each item of expenditure and decide whether it is or is not as beneficial as the CM says that it is.  The reality is that spending money where there is money is easy.  The politics is about what priorities are set.  Has the GSD got it right?  Is there a need to prioritise matters that have stayed behind, power stations, mental health homes and more expenditure on social services?  Each person can judge for himself.

The reality is that for Gibraltar to succeed economically, it has one valuable natural resource.  I call it leverage, fiscal leverage, jurisprudential leverage and regulatory leverage are examples.  Fiscal leverage is the ability to have a direct and indirect tax system that makes Gibraltar an attractive jurisdiction.  Jurisprudential leverage is ensuring appropriate laws to make Gibraltar an attractive jurisdiction.  Regulatory leverage is not having a less strict regulatory regime in all areas (including gaming) but having a fast, efficient and easily accessible system.  All these are always capable of improvement.  On the whole, the GSD government has got it right.

Get the leverage right and Gibraltar's economy will prosper.  Thereafter it is all about the manner in which the  custodian of public (our) money, our elected government, spends it and what it prioritises.  Without much room to manouvre on how revenue is produced in Gibraltar, political parties should perhaps concentrate on explaining, in their manifestos, how they will spend the money generated.  It is in this area that there can be clear blue water between the policies of each party.  The opposition parties might well want to consider this aspect of politics, if they are to seriously challenge the GSD at the forthcoming elections.  A party with expenditure based on a greater social conscience might prosper at the ballot box.

All in all and thankfully, Gibraltar moves forward but the vitriolic confrontational style of politics that has developed is destructive, even as seen in comments made in this blog as a reaction to the CM's "message".  We need to get over it.  The only way to do so is for there to be electoral reforms that will encourage more people into politics.  The party political system that has now evolved into the policy of personality cult has to be reformed.  A system that encourages individualism will improve even the party system that exists today because it is not a party system built on political ideology.  It is one that encourages gangs of individuals behind a gang leader.  Parties, in an electoral system that encourages individualism, will mainly prosper if they are based more on political ideology rather than ambition.


  1. This is an excellent post. Mr. Caruana had his say last night and many of the people who sent in their views in your previous post exercised their right of reply - strongly. It would not be right to write off as partisan the vitriolic criticisms of his distasteful abuse of the traditional new year message. Many of the contributions to the previous post raise real issues which the government has not dealt with properly. In fact few reflect the condescending tone adopted by the GSLP, so it seems that the CM has annoyed a great many independent minded people. You are right to highlight the bourishness of levelling accusations of deceit in a festive broadcast. Rarely has such ill feeling been exhibited before the water shed. Your analysis that:The reality is that "spending money where there is money is easy" hits the point straight on the head. The standing of Gibraltarian politics and broadcasting took a severe blow last night - the whole thing was very unpleasant a sign of falling standards. It has certainly awakened many to the need to approach the next General Election with a great deal of care. Gibraltar deserves no less.

  2. Speaking of GBC, is the Instituto Cervantes paying for its advertisements on Radio Gibraltar or are these included as 'public service announcements' (which would then beg the question as to whether it is the Gibraltar or Spanish public which is being served), or are these borne by the Gibraltar tax-payer?

  3. Bertiebirdman My understanding is that the Cervantes is paying for all their advertisement. The cervantes is not a Gibraltar "public service" so it isn't covered by such. It is a private organisation and pays its own way - other than the freebies Government gave them initially

  4. Ghost says:

    Robert that fever has gotten to you I fear. Are you truly suggesting that no other politician takes the opportunity to score political points in a new year’s message? Give me a break. To be honest I thought the opposition got off lightly. The only offering we have had from the opposition to date is that either they have absolutely no confidence in Gibraltar’s ability to prosper, or that any success or intent by this Govt to create further success is automatically shunned and by doing so, scaremonger the electorate / Gibraltarians into some sort of frenzy.

    Nothing is perfect Robert and Govt cannot be held responsible for failings by others (you mentioned OEM, Bruesa etc), it is how they react to responsibilities and the tough decisions that are taken, such as unions, el patio chico, MOD workers and ultimately the social and economic livelihood that a community / society enjoys which will inevitably be the scoring card on a job well done or not. It is exactly this that PRC is not afraid to highlight and to which the GSLP are so afraid of and hence feel the desperate need to play so irresponsibly with issues. Does he have a right to outline and explain the year gone by in his New Years address, of course he does, he is our elected Chief Minister, it is his right. In doing so he describes exactly what Gibraltar has encountered, achieved in the year and what we look forward to in the year ahead; he’s a politician for Christ’s sake. As an aside (although related) and in contrast, one might argue how ridiculous it is to have Joe B go off to the U.N and do his party piece when we already have an elected leader with a mandate to do so.

    If you don’t like what he said fine, but please spare me the farce of your questionable intimations on the content of the address with regard to the political point scoring; something which is part and parcel of life in politics, new years or not.

    Your leverage examples are good and I agree with you that PRC has unquestionably “got it right” and over and above most other economies worldwide btw - thank God for that man, your fever must have subsided by this point.

    It is exactly this socioeconomic success that allows us all to lead the lives that we so enjoy today and unfortunately to which some seem oblivious too; something I consider quite sad and hard to understand given the suffering and disastrous circumstances many first world countries out there are going through.

    Que te mejores.


  5. Ghost
    You have this very amusing habit of reading into what my pieces things that I have not written. This is an old propagandist trick. Where did you learn it?. Unfortunately you needed a better teacher because the trick is to saty closer to the original text and not distort it!

    First, nowhere do I say that no other politician has not done the same. I compare to the Prime Minister of the UK only. I also suggest that you read the guidelines for the BBC similar ones apply in GBC but do not seem to be followed. Other CMs may have done it. This does not make it right. The GSD came in with a promise to clean up and put things right. Where has that promised disappeared to? Opportunism of this type is not conscionable.

    Second, nowhere have I mentioned Brues, OEM and others. As far as I am aware an anonymous commentator mentioned these.

    I do not agree with you on the right of any CM to make a party political New Year Message as suggested by you. We will agree to disagree.

    Joe Bosanno is equally elected, although he does not form part of the Government. He speaks for those who voted for him. My understanding is that all have a right of audience at the UN. Didn't the SDLG not go and speak one year?

    My leverage examples are not the invention of PRC or any recent government. Every Government since 1969 (and before) has understood this and done its best to achieve leverage. Historically well before 1969 with many items supplied from Gibraltar to Spain i.e. coffee, tobacco, car spares, penicillin etc.

    Socioeconomic factors are certainly important and all politicians in Gibraltar now recognize this. International factors have affected us in the past and will continue to challenge us in the future .

    It is a pity that you do (and other GSD adherents) do not understand that form and presentation are equally important as substance. If you are going to castigate the GSLP for their pre-1996 behaviour at least acknowledge that the GSd has also failed on democracy, transparency and accountability with broken promises.

    I think you must have drunk too much EVO this lunchtime :)

  6. Surely GBC has codes and protocols that regulate broadcasts of this nature.

    Perhaps making these available to the public would clear this. After all, we pay for GBC.

    Digo yo.

  7. When he described the Opposition as having an "instinct and willingness to lie and deceive for their electoral gain and therefore tells you something about their political integrity" he must have been referring to their insistence that Andorra is joint sovereignty, which it clearly isn't. Don't want to go into this Andorra debate all over again but Andorra is independence with sovereignty vested in the people. Ask Cambridge scholar Jamie Trinidad. Yes, there are co-heads of state and we would of course reject Andorra just as we rejected Brussels, which the GSD also supported, but Andorra is not joint sovereignty whichever way you look at it and boy has it been examined con una lupa.

    Yes, it is ironic that Peter should accuse the Opposition of "politicking" when that was precisely what he was doing in his New Year party political broadcast but then we are in an election year so you can't blame him for getting off the starting block without delay.

    About six months ago it looked like the GSLP Libs were ahead in the polls but they appear to have been resting on their laurels and have not done nearly enough to secure victory. In particular the main Opposition "hopes" have been concentrating on their legal work and have devoted very little time to politics unlike, say, Dr Joseph Garcia who is devoted to the cause full time.

  8. Francis

    In the days when I was on the GBC board there existed Governor's Guidelines which dealt with many issues. Most importantly they dealt with political neutrality and fairness. I can only imagine these continue to exist and are well known to the GBC Board and management. For reasons that always escaped me at the time they were a closely guarded secret. I agree these codes should be public. Certainly the BBC publishes its own.

  9. Fabio

    I do not want to reopen the Andorra argument but if you go back to that blog you will see that there are those (including me) who disagree with Jamie Trinidad, Cambridge STUDENT or not.

    In any event it is a matter of debate, hence my reference to "value judgment" in my blog, so it is not an issue about which anyone can be deceitful or can lie. That is my point. It is dependent on one's understanding of the word "sovereignty".

    On the simplest level (and it is more complex) a State can be both independent and a joint sovereignty. The UK and Spain each have a single sovereign from whom all power emanates. If there are 2, like in Andorra, it is perfectly correct to argue and describe it as a joint sovereignty, hence no deceit or lie.

  10. Don't get me wrong, we're all as opposed to Andorra as we were to Brussels and don't want to turn this into another debate on Andorra so suffice it to point out that in the case of Andorra sovereignty is vested in the people - not in the 'co-princes'.

  11. Fabio

    I agree let us not get into the argument again but if sovereignty is truly vested in the people it would be a republic and it is not.

  12. Ghost says:

    Too much Evo indeed...:) OEM Bruesa accepted and apologies.
    On the rest Robert, I regret that you may have had that great teacher in the art of propaganda, but I would say that wouldn't I..:)

    With regards to Joe your interpretation is technically correct, but lets be real, are you really suggesting that when the leader of any nation democratic or otherwise speaks at the U.N the opposition leader goes too?

    Can you imagine David Miliband joining David Cameron at the U.N in matters relating to foreign policy to give the opinion of his percentage of voters; it brings to the fore the lack of respect, the arrogance and the ridiculous shown by the GSLP. It is this example and many more that should at the very least give highlight the fact that no attempt by the GSD to create cleaner politics is possible with the cowboy antics that the GSLP have been playing at for 15 years. And on this basis its game on I'm afraid.

    On the leverage examples, you must have gone into another high fever here Robert. Can you honestly say that the GSLP leveraged any aspect of the economy to any form of success (other than begin to create the foundations of a finance centre, which was essentially the brain child of Hassan and his nephew). The performance of our economy in past 15 years are acknowledged by worldwide organizations, high profile politicians, even Spain as an economic model that shows prudence and delivers the quite obvious reality we find ourselves in today; please do not attempt suggesting that previous examples such as tobacco trade in the 90's are on a par as a form of leverage to what has been achieved so far.

    I do acknowledge failings of the GSD and when I hear someone including the GSLP and you bring any up, I will be the first to join in and agree. To date I am still waiting to hear anything other than hot air and a poor excuse of an elected opposition who are there to execute intelligent forms of checks and balances and do a dismal job of it.....god even you have agreed on that one're gonna accuse me of propaganda again aren't you?

    Lastly me has pegao el refriao cabron...:)



  13. Ghost, Ghost, Ghost

    You are right as a student I attended dialectic thinking lectures and tutorials organised by the Communist Party of Britain Marxist Leninst. It has proved very useful in my career and life! :)

    Different circumstances and yes opposition spokesmen in Parliament do travel and meet politicians from other countries and hold discussions with them. If I remember correctly even David Cameron visited the troops in Afghanistan whilst he was Leader of the Opposition.

    Cowboys and Indians but which party is which? That is what an election decides :)

    The finance centre pre-dates Hassan's nephew it goes back to the Merchant Shipping (Taxation and Exemptions) Ordinance and is successor the Companies (Taxation and Concessions) Act bothe pioneered by J E Triay QC (although enacted by the then Hassan Legislative Council).

    I am going well back from the '90s in my examples to pre- and post-Second World War (there I go showing my age!).

    GSLP Government screwed things up but they did set a foundation for future growth and achieved economic growth in their time. Certainly legal firms experienced that growth in the finance centre.

    I have repeated over and over again the failings, democratic deficit, lack of transparency, lack of accountability and autocracy. All things that they promised to do away with and haven't. I repeat, sad, because in time it will lose them an election and it would be so simple to correct.

  14. Ghost

    Y no stoy resfriado tengo gastric virus ...y no se kien eres conke como te lo voy a pegar? :)

  15. Ghost says:
    Robert, you see we, are already finding middle ground...:)
    You are right you could not have possibly infected me with the cold or a gastric virus.......that PWC Xmas drinks part at el patio was too long ago to carry a virus..;) Shame you had to leave early, a few more tintos and I might have given you a lesson on whats what in politics.
    May be too late to introduce myself now given your condition you will likely be unrecognizable next time I see you.
    Take care man.

  16. apologies for delving into the Andorra topic once again....... but Fabio you cannot paint a wall red and say it is white, the Andorra solution no matter how you try and disguise it involves some sort of joint sovereignty, whether you like it or not. If not look at the new constitution (and please don’t only read the preamble read art 43-49).


  17. It was a great state of the union. Que viva la vida BUena ! Regardless of politics it was all true. So it's gonna take a great deal to piss off the leader who's essentially got it right. It's a free ride.

  18. Rompecucos says:

    Kaelan yo toy igual de majareta que todos los demas aqui, I just accept it!

    y hablo y puedo hablar todo lo que quiera del buildings and works employees porque vivo con uno!! ahora que como se te queda el chaleko?

    son todos unos PAGAS MUERTAS!! van a pica las 8 la maniana y dpue a dar vueltas se ha dicho!! and thats a fact!!

  19. Rompecucos:

    I do not know for a fact whether or not you are right but assuming that and if you are right the finger cannot be pointed at the workforce alone. The Civil Service that manages that department must bear the full responsibility and the MINISTER with that portfolio must take full POLITICAL responsibility.

    Lack of MINISTERIAL responsibility is another of Gibraltar's democratic deficits. It is built into the system as the effects of a resignation are dire for the governing party. The result is that we all merrily accept less than we deserve and get less value for money for our taxes.

    And the Opposition? Well they need those votes and they may get into government so they do not want the same accountability.

    THE MERRY GO ROUND GOES ON AND ON AND THE MUSIC KEEPS PLAYING! and you know what smile :)! Cos there is nothing else to be done until there is systemic reform.

    HEY GHOST lets hear from you on this one :) ,,,

  20. Fabian Picardo for CM that is all i have to say!!

  21. Did you see Newswatch last night (check it out online)? where Bldg & Works representative Mr Compson admitted publicly, in an answer to James Neish, that some workers clock in at 8am and then go off to take kids to school! Not being at work when supposed to is surely gros misconduct and could/should have consequences. What does the Union and management now have to say about this admission, on TV!!?

  22. Rompecucos

    I take it you were responding to one of my previous postings on a different LLW topic.

    Now for my reply....

    Like me remind you it is very easy to make wild and unsupported accusations as an anonymous blogger whilst in the comfort of one’s home. Furthermore you continue to state that the B & W, son una “paga muerta” but offer no proof of this other than your OWN word, which (as an anon blogger) does not count for much.
    Let me elaborate, you state that “vives con uno”, “van a pica las 8 la maniana y dpue a dar vueltas se ha dicho”. Says WHO? Tu lo dice? Y tu kien ere? Como sabemos que estas diciendo la verda? Yo puedo decir MUCHAS cosas pero que sean VERDA ya es totalmente diferente! People tend to feel especially “brave” when no one knows who they are and subsequently are not obliged to justify what they have written.

    On a last note, si tu “vives con uno” (or so you state), why would you want to cause them distress and anguish? Why brand them in such a detrimental manner? I believe you to be an envious individual with ulterior motives.

    PS – El Chaleko me queda de escandolo ;) LOL



  23. Anonymous 18:29

    For the love of God!! Are you for REAL? Do you REALLY believe workers leaving work for a few minutes (to take their children to school), to be gross misconduct???

    WHO hasn't left work before for a few minutes, to move their car/moped or to pay some bills?

    These are REAL people with REAL families to support! Please THINK before you post.




  24. Ghost says:

    Joder Robert con lo tranquilito que estava yo watching Easy Rider.......that'll be a blast in the past for you...;) How you feeling man? Is Gib still holding any stock of Imodium..:)

    I see you are off on one of your Sat afternoon rants to wind up us mere mortals. "The Civil Service that manages that department must bear the full responsibility and the MINISTER with that portfolio must take full POLITICAL responsibility." You are beginning to sound like Fabian already; by this I mean that the realities and well intentioned logic of your statement are a far cry from the reality and the practical process of reforming civil servants and departments in general. It is quite a task to change the attitude of those who have been a law unto themselves for so long without going through a structure of reforms that factors this into account.

    Without a sensible and practical approach all you are unlikely to achieve anything that may evolve into progress and therefore it is sad but true that in order to avoid antagonism, unrest and anything that might affect our daily lives, the slow process of massaging egos and drafting spanking new contracts with wage rises is and remains the best way to hold to account civil servants who do not meet our collective expectations. An example of how this may evolve into the most suitable approach is the Postal workers.

    You might ask, why it is that it has taken Govt so long,why wait 15 years to start to tackle these inherent problems which we have all talked about at dinner parties, coffee mornings and in the showers at the Gym (kinky I know). Well in my view in order for the establishment to make fundamental changes such as these which are in the main highly political and reactive, you require trust, respect, relationship, and strong leadership from all parties involved; overriding all of this, is good government and it has taken this long and the political will and support from this Govt that has won the minds of many who in the past would never have agreed to any changes or new contracts and which essentially hold CS's more to account. My meaning is simple, Robert's quote above is correct and should be the course of action, but it is neither practical nor realistic.

    It will be finding the middle ground that will win you the day toward a more accountable service across the board and save you the unrest and inconvenience which we all so desperately would wish to avoid. In short its called good government.

    Now there's some more propaganda for you Robert.


  25. Ghost

    I agree! Even on "Easy Rider", which I saw as a schoolboy when premiered!

    ! BUT ... let us see if it gets done and if the powers that be take political responsibility for both success or (dare I say it) failure.

    Believe Gibraltar will not escape all the effects of the economic downturn. We always get hit later, less hard and for a shorter period but there will be a need for belt tightening at some stage.

  26. Ghost

    Think you'll find it's Ed, not David, Miliband although latter should have won and wouldn't have it the unions hadn't pulled out all the stops.


    I understand that it was neither Hassan (or his nephew) nor J E Triay QC. I am told that the latter's cousin, Louis W Triay QC, pioneered the tax-exempt companies. Maybe J E pioneered the Merchant... Act and Louis the Companies... adaptation?


    Yes, I have read Articles 43 - 49 of the Andorra constitution, thanks to lawyer and Cambridge scholar Jamie Trinidad pointing them out in another online forum. The Articles do confer certain important powers on the co-princes but do not vest sovereignty in them.

    Robert makes a good point, though, when asking why then is Andorra not a Republic. The answer is that its situation is unique as is that of Monaco and San Marino, each one in different ways. Sovereignty is an evolving concept as seen, for instance, in the inexorable ceding of sovereignty by EU member states to Brussels.


    Yes, poor Jason Compson. He should never have agreed to do that interview with some media training. Should never have publicly admitted to what we all know happens (for his sake).

    And it's not just the B&W that do it. I am aware that it is a tradition in certain other departments to go for coffee at 10 am in groups to coffee shops that I will not name and stay there for an hour or so. Sure, they're entitled to a coffee break but it should be ten minutes at their place of work, not at.....

  27. Fred says:

    Mi madre vive en un estate y la han llamau tres vese de No.6 pa preguntale si le han arreglau el techo ke se le llueve, y la humedad ke le entra por toda la pared.... el reporte lleva con building and no-works por mas de tres anyos.

    Ke se dejen de cuento el building and works ke son ma flojo ke ke a wet kit-kat!

    Why staff in No.6 are calling my mum beats me!

    Reform? Lo ke le hace falta a mas de uno es una buena patada in the posterior, ke se vive muy comodo en Gibraltar pa el ke no trabaje en el private sector.

    PS - Happy New Jear Robert, y ke te alivies pishon!

  28. Fabio

    The Louis\J.E. Triay debate is an ongoing one .... best left there!

    On Andorra, any amount of sovereignty is enough for most in Gibraltar. If you are right (and I disagree with you) two points first why does the CM suggest it as a possible solution for Spain's claim and second why did he expel Peter Cummings from the GSD for making the same suggestion? Hypocrisy or substantive reason? I think the latter.

    On Jason Compson, I believe the issue is not what you highlight the issue is that ALL interviewees on GBC should be subjected to the same probing aggression including the CM! I recommend you listen to the Today program on BBC Radio 4. If that does not happen then there is bias in the treatment of interviewees.

  29. Ghost says:

    All political parties will have success and failure; it's what they are remembered for that dictates their longevity. Under current circumstances the mood swings to the former and is further assisted by a weak opposition struggling to break into any direction.

    I am told that the "nephew" has even considered getting involved due to concerns about the GSLP leadership..... maybe just a rumour.

  30. Aboga'ete: The "nephew" runs Gibraltar's most influential "business" and does not need to enter politics. Internationally he has more clout than Peter Caruana and in current conditions needs to be at the helm of his late uncle's firm. I do not think that we will be seeing him in politics any time soon and just as well he does most good where he is now. But I am sure that he shares the concerns of many of us that there is a vacuum where the opposition should be and that is not good for anyone least of all Caruana who has now been on an extended and ever more serious bender of bad tempered, ill mannered arrogance. We really do have a problem and you will excuse me if I break with convention and do not LOL let alone ROFL on this occasion. I really am worried. (PS anon at 20:46 has unwittingly disclosed his id by using his trademark "pishon" cuidao N!).

  31. Robert

    Am trying hard not to get sucked into another Andorra debate but will just answer your two questions:

    "Why does the CM suggest it as a possible solution for Spain's claim?" I don't think he quite said that. He said it might be a possible solution to the Gibraltar problem and although he said he might even recommend it to the electorate if it were ever possible, he did admit that it was highly unlikely ever to become an option. This is for the simple reason (my view) that Spain would only ever accept any form or adaptation of an Andorra solution if it was an interim measure towards recovering sovereignty.

    It was wishful thinking (aloud) on your cousin Peter's part, who would love to leave the people of Gibraltar an ultimate solution as his legacy but it just ain't gonna happen.

    "Why did he expel Peter Cummings (sic) from the GSD for making the same suggestion? Hypocrisy or substantive reason?" Because Peter Cumming was way ahead of his time but, more importantly, he deviated from the party line. You can either be a member of a party or an independent but it's extremely difficult to be both in our current political system.

    "On Jason Compson, I believe the issue is not what you highlight the issue is that ALL interviewees on GBC should be subjected to the same probing aggression including the CM."

    Let's not forget that Christine Clifton Psaila interviewed Peter Caruana aggressively a couple of years ago. She was reduced to tears after the interview and is now rarely chosen to interview the CM. But James Neish has recently adopted a more aggressive interviewing style, possibly the result of some course he did abroad. Let's see whether James can 'take on' the CM. Venga James, dale duro.


    "I am told that the "nephew" has even considered getting involved due to concerns about the GSLP leadership..... maybe just a rumour."

    Yes, I've heard that rumour too (at least the first part). I have also heard that Joe Bossano was asked directly whether there was any truth in the rumour and his answer was: "Algo hay"! The nephew has recently turned 60 so he must be thinking that, much as his wife is desperately trying to persuade him not to do so, he must take the plunge now. It's now or never.

  32. Fabio

    On why he said it ... a weak explanation.

    On Peter Cummings ... less than 4 years difference in timing (CM clams he said it in 2002) ahead of his times? WOW talk about weak excuse!

    On GBC and CM interviews, your example proves the point spot on, thank you.

  33. And your view on the possibility of the nephew taking the plunge (no 's' at the end of 'Cumming', by the way)?

  34. Fabio

    I really do not know on that subject ... there have always been rumours and they have never come to being.

  35. Peter Cumming was way out of line as evidenced when he later stood for election as an independent with the British and Spanish flags on the cover of his manifesto.

  36. Cyril

    So where does that leave the CM now? ... in line?

  37. Peter Cumming displayed the British and Spanish flags because he believed Andorra was joint sovereignty, which it isn't as explained by Fabio above. The CM has assured us that no Spanish flag will fly over Gibraltar.

  38. Cyril

    So the issue is flags not where sovereignty emanates from (as explained by myriad others )including me) Fabios' explanation is not gospel or mathematical. The extent of joint sovereignty in Andorra is existent. it is not a mathematical certainty that it does not exist.

    he argument gets weaker by the minute. It seems some think Gibraltar's fight to stay British is abouta flag! Dear oh Dear!

  39. Que de tonterias dice el Fabio este leche! LOL

    Article 43 (1) of the Andorra constitution states the following:
    “In accordance with the institutional tradition of Andorra, the Co-princes are, jointly and indivisibly, the Cap de l'Estat, and they assume its highest representation.” Please note the words, jointly, indivisibly and highest representation. When put in layman’s terms this means that even though the Sovereignty of Andorra is vested with the people of Andorra the Co-princes will have the final say in all matters. Furthermore the aforementioned article cannot be altered as it is part of the very foundation on which the Andorra constitution was built upon.

    The CM PROPOSED it!! Let us note that there is a BIG difference between responding to such a proposal and making the proposal oneself!
    The CM cannot retract on what was said (and recorded). You can even view it on YOUTUBE.

    Finally I would like to point out that the CM NEVER EVER at ANY POINT in the Seville Conference said the following "he did admit that it was highly unlikely ever to become an option", concerning a possible Andorra arrangement for Gibraltar. Mentira!! I have seen the footage over 50 times and this was NOT said.

    Con la verda por delante porfavor!! :)



  40. I agree that parties, in an electoral system that encourages individualism, will mainly prosper if they are based more on political ideology rather than ambition. On paper and in idelogical terms the GSD is an attrcative broad church although the ideology of its elected members seems very watered down by member ship of their party and in practice the GSD seems to lack ideological depth. The GSLP seems to pay only lip service to socialism with many of its member past and present having major business interests which anywhere else would mark them out as unreconstructed noveau riche capitailsts. Like the Liberal party the GSLP presents as more nationalist than anything else, but mainly capitailst. The GSLP under Fabian Picardo would probaby be New Labour circa 1996. In ideological terms the PDP reflects the GSD although its leasder has a much softer touch than Peter Caruana and one can imagine that there is more internal democracy in the PDP . At the last election independent Charles Gomez came across as a populist although I believe that he defines himself as Christian democrat and comes across as an individualist with nationalist inclinations. Peter Cumming is probably also a Christian democrat is an uncompromising individualist but obviously less nationalistic. The other independent at the last election Mr. Martinez stood on a social justice platform. It would certainly be great if in the future candidates were allowed to present their ideological credentials outside the blandness of the block vote seeking, all powerful leader style of the main parties.

  41. Britain in in severe decline and naturally uninterested in Gibraltar , Spain is bankrupt and looking for scape goats (Gibraltar being its traditional scaopegoat of choice) and Gibraltar is led by a faltering autocrat with no credible opposition. I hate to be negative but "Houston we've got a problem

  42. Kafab continues with his focus on rants about PRC selling Gib. This is quite ridiculous has he not heard the new years speech? Has he not enjoyed the furious defence that PRC has been key to over the past 15 years? This desperate attempt by the GSLP and it's crew to undermine Caruana is really quite laughable.

  43. Anonymous at 13:08

    This habit of taking other peoples arguments to an extreme that they themselves have not taken them to in order to defend the CM is a huge sign of weakness. It really does not do him any favours.

    No one has suggested that the CM is selling Gib. The focus is on two issues. First, diid he put forward the Andorra model as a possibility that he may support? Yes he did. Second, is the Andorra model joint sovereignty? At one level clearly it is at another level it is not.

    What is laughable (although I believe this is a totally inappropriate description of matters of debate) is the resort by GSD supporters to crass arguments, like the one you make, in purported support of the CM. If you want to help him do so, do not help to sink him.

  44. I think the extreme is the line that LW takes in defending the indefensible whilst protecting itself by using technical arguments with no basis or supportive arguments and therefore allowing suggestive remarks that PRC is essentially pro joint sovereignty. You allow a weak and desperate opposition to seek a line based on total misconceptions. Your blog is fun though.

  45. Anonymous at 13:24

    I do not wish to start an argument. Weakness is shown by wide unsubstantiated statements not ones that can be supported and debated with the eventual outcome being capable of different people reaching different conclusions.

    There is no absolute mathematical right or wrong on this issue. Your bland and unsupported statement is a sign of weakness. Your concession that there are arguments "technical" (and I disagree with this description) or not gives credence to my position and undermines your own.

    The remarks about PRC are not suggestive. They are a factual and accurate precis of what he said in Seville. I assure you I have watched the clip enough times. Have you?

    I do not allow anyone or anything, let alone a weak opposition to seek a line. They plough their own furrow. I give my own views which are personal to me and perhaps idiosyncratic because of their independence of though and analysis. I may get it right or I may get it wrong but I do give my honest opinions and try and argue them in support. Why don't you try and argue in support of yours?

    I am glad you think my blog is fun. The feedback I get from all political quarters is positive. One of the main comments that I get is that at last there is some additional analysis and comment in Gibraltar, which is much needed. The established media do not seem to deliver on this too greatly.

  46. Anonymous said...
    My argument is based on the allowance of misconceptions which you do encourage by defending or agreeing with opinions (limited as they are) which are geared towards discrediting arrogant leader like him or not who has defended this rock in ways which would have been unimaginable just a decade ago. Andorra was a comment of example to the forum y una indirecta a Madrid on how undemocratic Spain is. You choose to spin the issue for what exactly? Free speech? If u were as open and free to scrutinise as unsay u are, why do you choose not to publish other posts from me on the professional actions of some looking to be leader in gib but with issues facing them. I guess it's not convenient or you have already been told what you can and can't get into.
    I do not wish to argue this with you either. Aside from this, I do think highly of you on a prsonal level.

  47. Anonymous at 14:29

    Part 1

    I do not allow misconceptions. I allow valid and supportable opinion and value judgments that may not coincide with the GSD's view (not that it has expressed any on this issue, what a surprise! Certainly no other Minister has defended the CM) or the CM's view or your view;

    FACT: Andorra has two Heads of State (read joint sovereigns). Do we give up swearing allegiance to the Queen?
    FACT: The two Heads of State of Andorra have certain constitutional powers.
    FACT: Peter Cumming was expelled from GSD for suggesting the same model.
    FACT: The CM volunteered (a) the possibility and (b) his possible support of it.
    FACR: It was put forward as a possible way forward to Spain's claim to sovereignty so there must be a concession built in there.
    FACT: The CM in the same talk discarded independence for Gibraltar so he must think Andorra falls short of independence. If not, why did he not just suggest that Gibraltar becomes an independent republic?

  48. Anonymous at 14:29

    Part 2

    I do not take instructions from anyone. I do not know what makes you suggest such an outlandish statement, having accuse me already of making laughable statements. The reason why I have not published the posts that you refer to are:

    (a) they are not political in nature and this is a political blog;
    (b) Elected politicians have not made them political;
    (c) they consist of unproven claims;
    (d) they are sub-judice;
    (e) the manner in which you wrote them could make me liable for defamation, which I am not prepared to risk. Even this last post has had to be edited by me.

    I cannot imagine that you are a lawyer but I trust you will understand my explanation. I do not suppose that an apology will be forthcoming ... GSD behaviour again? Sorry you deserve that snipe! :)

  49. Ghost

    Yes you might have read it, but let us be frank, your opinions in this blog have been rather subjective through out and as to Mr Trinidad let us just say that i do not agree with his prognosis as i have previously stated. Nothing personal JT ;)

    In reference to you’re.... ‘The Articles do confer certain important powers on the co-princes but do not vest sovereignty in them’ ...... i personally am a believer in that Spain should not hold any powers over Gibraltar, no matter how diminutive they may be. However, you are right in that sovereignty is vested in the people of Andorra, but you fail to mention that under the constitution of Andorra the co-princes do have certain powers that override those of the Govt/Council and allow them for example to replace members of the Andorra council....... We can go on for hours and hours on the technicalities of the Andorra model and we still would not be able to agree, but please bear with me in my very brave attempt to provide you with some food for thought :)

    I agree in that the substance of the Andorra constitution may be interpreted in many ways, especially when one tries to define the concept of sovereignty as you have so eloquently done for us. In layman’s terms the fact of the matter IS that the Andorra model does involve some type of joint sovereignty if not it would not be the Andorra model. I will concede that the preamble states that sovereignty is vested in the people of Andorra, but such depends on you definition of sovereignty. However, such does not defer from the fact that the foundations of the model requires two co-princes. If the latter was not the case then it would be a republic wouldn’t it? or perhaps we should also examine the definition of a republic.

    If you wish we can discuss the factors which lead me to believe that the CM ‘proposed a model which involves some type of joint sovereignty’. In my humble opinion the CM randomly and uncalled for ‘through into the basket’ this proposal whilst been interviewed in Spain, which begs me to consider that such was a ‘PROPOSAL’ to the Spainsh Govt . I believe it reasonable to assume from the video footage that he was ‘INVITING’ the Spanish govt to open up discussions on sovereignty directly with him in the Tripartite Forum (not only with Britain) so to seek a final solution to our ongoing problem. Funnily enough the CM has previously mentioned that the 2006 Constitution was the best that Gibraltar could aspire to, so why propose such a solution, if we had already reached the end of the road with the new constitution and why propose it to the Spanish govt if it does not involve some type of joint sovereignty?

    perhaps i am biased in what i say and feel, but we all know our history with our naughty neighbours. So G i ask you, can you blame us for cringing with fear at the mention of any type of ‘mother and daughter’ relationship with spain?

    and Fabio in reference to your last question i believe it to be the former :)


  50. Again you choose to conveniently take the stance that PRC is proposing Andorra and herein lies your compete misconception of your argument. The forum was one in which he blew Spain to pieces, the example of Andorra was a reference to the inept democratic credentials that Spain holds. It is because you are a lawyer that you have been able to stick to this ridiculous campaign which from word go starts on the wrong foot thanks to yet another local lawyer who reads The New Scotsman everyday!

    Why does Bossano’s field trip to Andorra not gain the same spin from you, or why did 2002 comments from PRC go unnoticed and unchallenged? If you are going to attempt to be fair on the issue, try and be objective and base your arguments not on technical matters that play no relevance, but on past performance.

    And yes I understand issues of defamation, but fail to see how suggesting concerns that the general public gave on some issues concerning a potential political leader fall within this category. There's something you can write about!

    Good to see you are feeling better, although it seems that diarrhea is manifesting itself verbally now.:) Excuse any spelling errors or grammar, I am writing from phone.

  51. Anonymous at 16:07

    You re-write history. He suggested it as a possible alternative status for Gibraltar that he may possibly support in a referendum of the people of Gibraltar. Watch the clip.

    What I find telling in the extreme is that no one defends the issue on the basis that they would want that status for Gibraltar. Not a single Minister not a single GSD supporter.

 If it is so much not joint sovereignty why is this? The defences are all academic or a retelling of the story in a different way. Is the Andorra model such a bad thing is surely the question?

    I do not know about any GSLP trip to Andorra save what has been said on this blog. If it happened and it was a trip to understand its status and learn about it, so what? Slightly different from the CM's situation.

    At least you do not argue against my factual assertions ... very telling.

    On defamation trust me but I do give additional equally strong reasons. If the issues are so crucial why do other elected politicians make no reference to them? 

    This is a political blog and I will write about the political issues that concern me. If what you allude to becomes a political issue and subject to my not being professionally conflicted, I will write about those matters. In fact if you go back to my blog "Does the GSLP/Lb Alliance have the Will to Win?" of 21st October 2010, I raise some political concerns on leadership issues.

    Yes thanks, I am still ill in bed but feeling better. Answering on this blog is keeping me really well entertained. I am really enjoying it!

  52. In response to Anonymous 16:07

    You say...‘Again you choose to conveniently take the stance that PRC is proposing Andorra and herein lies your compete misconception of your argument. The forum was one in which he blew Spain to pieces, the example of Andorra was a reference to the inept democratic credentials that Spain holds’

    maybe you should examine further (begins min 1:08:58

    Sometimes one needs to sit back relax and read in-between the lines to open their eyes :)


  53. J, I could not agree more. I have noted the exact time you refer to and would urge you to do as you preach and read between the lines by using the premis of the entire debate as well as the quite obvious defence of Gib that PRC has demonstrated.

  54. No re-written history, just a mere attempt at reflecting the intention of the statement accurately and with regard to the entire mood of the forum and PRCs strong and historical stance. My mention of the GSLP field trip was to show that it could quite easily be argued the trip was investigative and showed intent to pursue.

    No elected GSLP mop would dare bring up the acts of their own. The GSD cannot bring up the matter as it would be seen as dirty politics but I suspect you are a big fan off the key.

    I imagine the GSD would much prefer that free press covers this.

  55. Part 1

    Anonymous 13:08

    I did indeed watch the CM’s New Year’s message on GBC. What is ridiculous is the manner in which he responded to the Andorra “accusations”. A great man would have realised he had made a mistake, admitted it and then corrected it. Furthermore his attack of the opposition during his “New Year’s message” (if you can call it that) was a clear sign of desperation. Only a man on sel-conscious that he may be on his way out would resort to such drastic measures.

    Anonymous 14:29

    I believe you are either reading too much into things or just plain naïve if you REALLY believe that the CM was dandole “una indirecta a Madrid on how undemocratic Spain is”, when he proposed an Andorra type solution for Gibraltar.
    It was what it was! The CM proposed and Andorra type solution for Gibraltar. ASIN FLAT! Furthermore please note the CM stated the following in Seville (please see video forward to 1hr 10 min); “una propuesta para Gibraltar, que es un problema para todos en cierta medida, seria un estatus como Andorra”, “Yo incluso no lo veria impossible RECOMENDARSELO al pueblo de Gibraltar”. He should NEVER have said that! He had no right! We DO NOT want to be Spanish, be it 50% or 2 %!! We VOTED we said NO! Enough said!

    By Kaelan Joyce

  56. Part 2

    As for the Building and Works ongoing saga (and I know you don’t agree with me on this one RV). I sincerely believe the workers are not at fault here, the people who manage them are. The solution would lie in addressing these mismanagement issues rather than "SELLING" the B & W workers jobs off to the Private sector. The Gibraltar Government only wants to do this because they are once again thinking with their pockets and not their heads. They perceive this strategy to be eminently rewarding (especially financially), as by hiring Portuguese, Bulgarian and Spanish workers instead of local ones and paying them substantially less it would definitely be so (in the short term at least).

    Personally I do not mind paying higher taxes as long as MY people benefit from it. We can't just TAKE TAKE TAKE from our community. It is this type of individualist and selfish approach that has got other Countries such as the UK, Ireland etc. into the dire economic straits that they are currently in. There is also a need to “GIVE back”. By doing so and by employing OUR people we ensure OUR money stays in OUR COMMUNITY this is clearly beneficial to ALL (in the long term more so).

    Un pocito AMOR PROPIO gente please!

    Ps- Calling for the resignation of the Minister in charge though does sound a tad farfetched Robert. LOL

    By Kaelan Joyce

  57. Kaelan

    It is not that I agree or disagree with you on Buildings and Works. I have no opinion as I simply do not know. If there is a problem it has to be fixed. Management has responsibility to do so with ultimate political responsibility on the Minister. If the solution fails or the problem is not tackled, then resignation should flow, not otherwise.

  58. Anonymous at 17:25

    Here the debate endeth!

    An attempt by you to get into the head of the CM and explain what he meant? If that is not rewriting history I need a new dictionary!

    If no elected GSLP member is going to raise the matters that you allude to for the reason you state. No GSD member is going to raise it because it is dirty politics (how any truth stated, if it is true, can be dirty politics is beyond me, usually it is in the public interest and a public duty). The "free" press do not raise it. Why the F*** should I play those dirty politics or raise it or take any personal risk on it.

    Whether I read the Key or not is irrelevant. This is your second attempt at insinuating that I am a GSLP activist. I assure you nothing could be further from the truth. I just have very independent and idiosyncratic views. If I need to criticise a government I do not fear doing so. I just wish more people would and governments would be more open to it. It is NORMAL in a DEMOCRACY. How weird that I am the odd man out in Gibraltar!

  59. Kiki: Thanks for bringing us Llanito World which is a breath of fresh air. I do not think that you are the only person in Gibraltar to criticise the two main parties. Mr Gomez had the courage to stand for election in '07 precisely on that platform and I think that he made a lot of people realise that the political parties have more in common and more vested interests that they lead us to believe. He got about 1,500 votes which means that about 1 in 10 voted for him. Is he going to stand for election this year?. I think that he will get more votes this time because more people are no seeing throu the hypocrisy of the party system and that there is no real choice. Someone like Mr. Gomez needs to be in Parliament.

  60. Kiki

    You are absolutely right Charles is another lone voice but I was not intending that to be taken absolutely literally. There are more :).

    should add that being one of the odd men out is actually not very lonely, how about that. Perhaps a difference can be made! Hope has rested eternal in me since I returned to Gibraltar permanently in 1976.

  61. Kiki: mejor solo que mala acompaniao!

  62. Robert the vitriolic attack you got from
    Anonymous at 17:25 is just an example that we have from pseudo-political analyst form the GSD ranks. I personally have given up since no one will ever get any sense or normal political debate from them.
    I have seen in your blog people arguing from both sides and the difference is that you can see the underlying venim from the GSD as oppose to the arguments that might be put by the GSLP supporter, who at times are also blinded by there support to their party.
    One sees this by the way in which they try to change goal post and try to mis-intepret what people say and twist things to suit them.
    I believe that you have hit a raw nerve with this blog because it is becoming clearer by the day that people are allow in here to express opinions and arguments which these pseudo-academics cannot counter and it also and more importantly people from all walks of life to say what they feel without have to indulge on insults.

    Good for having set up this blog and hope you get better and don't fall into the trap that some are trying on you to quit.
    Don't let them win ver democracy.
    Whether the GSD or the GSLP win the election is not the point at all but if the GSD do win it will mean we will be getting more of the same.
    Just one anedote I remember being present at the Mac Hall on the election results of 2003. I felt for once in my life in Gibraltar real fear fear because it was not like the days of the launches or the tinted mercs etc since we knew where they were coming from yet in that hall I saw the psychofans all with there right arms halingand shouting PETER,PETER. There gestures and faces where with an intensity that was truly frightening.

  63. Anonymous at 20:50

    Thank you, I have no intention of giving up and certainly not because I am gagged by anyone. I will keep writing and I will be as prolific as availability of subject matter and time permit. I will also try very soon to edit the first year into a book by re-writing each piece into a chapter taking into account comments, my replies and any changes of opinion that may be consequent. Lets see if I can find the time soon.

  64. All the best with your book Robert; if it helps act as an impetus for the type of general reforms that Gibraltar needs then so much the better.

    One thing that events of the last few years have brought into sharp focus is that Gib's continuing development is being hamstrung by its rudimentary infrastructures: political and physical amongst others.

    Our current political system may well have been suitable for the sixties with the nascent sense of Gibraltarian self but it is not fit for use anymore for a modern society that expects and deserves better from its leaders. If the current system remains unchanged, I envisage that our society will become progressively more disenchanted and apathetic towards the politicians of the day.

    You are correct in stating that political responsibility should be taken for the failings of Government departments. It is difficult however to see how penalising the minister in charge of a department will help matters when staff are unwilling or unable to adequately perform their duties. A change in minister or Government per se will not automatically improve entrenched poor attitudes and/or practices of some Government employees. Gib Plc will only really thrive when its public sector pulls its weight in the same way as the private sector. The need for value for money springs to mind.

    There needs to be a substantial general shift in attitude to how Gib Plc runs itself, unless we are happy to continue limping along with a Parliament that does not really work and a society that is increasingly pulling and being pulled in different directions.

    The need for a more balanced and accountable democracy is plain for all to see. How we get to this point is an issue that I think needs to be picked up on generally. Suggestions limiting the terms of Chief Ministers are well meaning but do not go far enough to tailoring Gibraltar's needs to the demands of the 21st century.

    The tone of the present CM's New year's address may well have been unwarranted and its length probably rivalled some of his excellent presentations at the UN. It was certainly symptomatic of the deficiencies in our society; would a society with a robust Parliament whose members held each other to account on a daily or weekly basis have need of such a lecture? Images of Fidel Castro legendary addresses or Hugo Chavez with his talk show also pop into mind!

    Our Parliament sits this week for the first time this year. No doubt hundreds, if not thousands, of statistical questions will be asked by the Opposition. Some of the questions will of course hark back to something that may have been of interest last summer but are of no consequence now. Our civil servants will have no doubt racked up an impressive amount of overtime recording the answers. The CM may or may not reply to a few questions. Inventive insults between MPs will be bandied about. At no point will anyone walk into the public gallery apart from possibly a journalist or two. GBC will play stock footage of everybody in Parliament staring about whilst there is a voiceover recounting the insults, sorry, "debate" of the day... It does Gib a disservice to carry on with this expensive, inefficient semblance of democracy!

  65. Paco. Couldn't agree more on this one. Exactly what I've been saying in the Politiqueo group:

    (copy and paste link into browser and you'll see. There are a number of comments from former politicians.)

  66. Caruana in his New Years message mentions the fact that his Government is repairing all the estates that were built during the time the GSLP were in power. The real fact is that it was built by a private developer that was run by an individual who now Caruana has contracted as a consultant to complete all his "wonderful" projects. "The pot calling the kettle black"

  67. Gibraltar would benefit greatly from improved access to information. How are we able to assess the performance of the Government of the day – all those matters referred to in the CM’s NY address – when we have little idea of the context in which decisions are being made. By way of example; GJBS has gone from being a relatively small Government company carrying out minor works to Gibraltar’s largest contractor in the space of only a few months. Principally this has come about because GJBS has taken over public works where the contractor has gone bust. One cannot help feel that there is a real conflict between the GSD’s political need to see major projects completed as soon as possible, and the responsibility of Government to ensure value for tax payers generally. The airport – the new airport is the result of a political agreement between Gibraltar/Spain/UK. Prior to that announcement there is no mention in any GSD manifesto of the need to build a new airport – and certainly not such a large one. Now the airport is part of “the vision” We are entitled to ask what specifically is this vision? And what is the vision based on? Can the government point to any objective evidence upon which their vision is based? Studies, research? So far they have not referred to any. My problem with the “vision” thing is that it is always announced after some physical manifestation of it is already under construction. Rather than looking forward, the “vision” thing seems to look backwards as a way of explaining things away. The CM’s comparison of the GSLP’s record on housing, with his own administrations record on building works begs the question why is it that some of the key people and companies that were involved in the GSLP mess ups still doing such good business with the Government of the day, and indeed closely advising the Government on their projects? Public toilets – we are to have a fantastic new set of public toilets – if you believe the New People (to which I hastily add I regularly do not) – they have cost a fortune. Regardless as to whether the NP story is true – how were these facilities procured? I find no record of a tender on the government’s website. There are no planning applications for the sighting of the facilities. There is no record of new public toilets in the GSD’s last manifesto. AS a citizen and tax payer why is it that I cannot have a say in these matters? Maybe one day the Gov will decide to put a public loo outside my front door and the first I will know about it is when they start digging up the ground. That is not right. Maybe people find these issues, particularly the last one, boring. But I think they are important. My view is that there is no way in which voters in Gibraltar can properly assess how the Government is performing because it is nearly impossible to assess on what basis decisions are made. Perhaps the public loos represent the best investment ever. But perhaps some Minister just decided we needed them off the cuff, cause after all there ain’t many.

  68. Anon @ 19.40...

    I`ve always found it ironic, to say the least, that the present govt has made political capital out of the supposed GSLP`s failings with regard to the Westside home ownership development, whilst, as you rightly state conveniently omitting that the involvement of a group that went on to bigger and better things with the GSD.

    Anon @ 19.43..

    Funny you should mention about the `public loo outside your front door` because I recently heard a very similar story but with a bus stop instead ! Someone I know came out of his house recently to find no parking signs blocking off his allocated parking space. It later transpired that there were plans to set up a bus stop which would have stopped him accessing his parking You gotta laugh !!

    Only in Gibraltar...

  69. I am glad that already two bloggers have mentioned the fact that the GSD continuously delve into the past when the GSLP were in Government and that some of the criticism launched by the GSD in opposition then are coming to haunt them. The GSD were very critical at the way Harbour Views and Montague Gardens were built during the GSLP administration and that now they are repairing the damages. The fact is that on the one hand some then involved with and engaged in the construction of these developments during the GSLP administration are now contracted by the GSD Government to overlook and make contracts on building projects. On the other you have a GSD Government who promised homeowners that they would repair the damages and even compensate them to the tune of £3000. I wonder how many homeowners have actually received these promised monies? As to the repairs It must be recalled that the GSD Government obtained a substantial amount of money from the litigation that was already on the way in relation to the suing of the contractors. All political parties at the last election promised that they would repair these homes. These are things that the GSD government have to explain. Further I wonder how many of the homeowners who have subsequently sold their homes have lost monies?

  70. Yep the last three postings almost certainly underpin the downfall of the GSD. Strong stuff. I can just see the electorate up in arms about it when they hear about it.

  71. Completely agree with anon 19;43 in that the GSD who came into power on the ticket of being democratic and consulting people has failed misaerably. On another note can someone tell me how much the taxpayer will have to pay for all the repairs that have to be done at Cumberland buildings and all other projects that should have been done by OEM?

  72. Pero este tio que esta en serio con los pensions y lo civil servants? He's worse than bossano with his Pre election freebies. If you watch the news you might find that one key problem in Europe is the exorbitant pension schemes with no place in modern economies. Pero todo por amor propio. Valiente cachondeo esto. Si no es Robert con lo del S of U es el otro defendiendo el patio Chico.

  73. Why is it that no-one mentions this private developer who gets all the contracts by name? Even the New People refers to him as "the mystery man". There's no mystery. Everyone knows who he is? But why is everyone afraid to mention his name? Surely they have nothing to fear in our democracy.

  74. any views on Mayor Lombard's piece in todays £1 Chronic?

  75. Anon 19:30

    Exorbitant pensions schemes? Gibraltar has a population of only 30,000. Comparing us to other EU countries si que es un "cachondeo". What will you have our Government do next? Force our future generations to pay for their Education? Maybe we should take note of the current UK situation, where Tuition Fees have triggered Student Riots. Yes we best “learn” from our EU neighbours they definitely know what they’re doing. NOT!

    As for the B & W I won't go into that one now. I did before and Robert altered my comments beyond recognisability lololol So I shall give it a pass.

    On a final note, si amor propio pisha. Lo trabajo en Gibraltar para los llanitos ANTE y DESPUE para la gente de afuera.
    There are still people around (like me) who advocate preferential treatment for OUR PEOPLE in OUR LAND. In a non-xenophobic way of course. :)



  76. The Union leader said that craft and some non-craft grades will be getting an 18% pay increase, with a 12 % increase for the rest of the workforce. Additionally, employees will benefit from a productivity agreement that amounts to 25% of the new pay, plus a £500 attendance allowance to reduce absenteeism, and three months retrospection on acceptance of the deal.

    “All told, employees can expect an increase of around 43% of their earnings,” said Mr Sisarello.

    And the workers are still unhappy with Mr Sisarello for negotiating this deal!!!!  Some people in Gibraltar have no clue!!

    Valiente cachondeo!

  77. anonymous at 01:04

    From the tit bits that I have heard I probably do have views on Mayor Lombard's opinion piece in the Chronic. Unfortunately, I was ill so I missed it. I tried to find it onlinne last night to no avail. Perhaps if someone drops off a copy at my office (28 Irish Town)?

  78. Anon 10:47

    It seems YOU have no CLUE.

    If all were "Hunky dory" as you portray do you REALLY think the B & W workers would be so vehemently rejecting the new contracts? Pero que te crees los hemo caido de un arbol?

    A 43% pay rise? How did you work that one out? I take it arithmetic is not one of your forts.

    What about loss of pensions and possible redundancies? What about locals been replaced by foreign cheap labor? Y que conste! Que lo de lo redundancies lo dijo tu colega Sisarello en GBC! You “conveniently” forget to mention those points.

    Your anti-nationalistic way of thinking si que es un “cachondeo”.

    Valiente poka verguensa.



  79. What I find excellent from this blog is the fact that people like anon 19:30 are well exposed for their double standards and how GSD supporters cannot back up arguments and will use twisting and turning and putting out smokescreens which we can easily be exposed here. Thanks Robert because many things are coming out about there hypocracy.
    As to anon 20:20 no one will mention his name because of fear of being sued for libel or repercussions from the powers at be which enforces the debate which has been had in previous articles in this blog on freedom of speech. I wonder why anin 20:20 come out of anonymity and also mention the persons name?

  80. Mayor Tony made some interesting points in his long 'cartapacio' in the Chronic. He says that, as in the UK, it should be the premier that recommends the persons who should be recipients of 'state awards'. In the UK, the candidates are selected by several committees responsible and under the auspices of the PM. The PM then prepares a final list which is submitted to the Queen under the euphemism of a "recommendation". However, "in reality it is a fait accompli," says Tony. The Governor, he submits, as representative of the Queen of Gibraltar, should transmit the recommendations of the CM and not act on a 'muto propio' basis. Whatever the merits of the system we are stuck with (and I believe awards should only be given for UNPAID charity or community services for many years as I mentioned in Politiqueo, not for doing the job that you've been paid to do) Tony is of the view that Gibraltar is being "shortchanged" and we don't really know why. He says that "numerous awards were regularly bestowed locally, averaging some eight per annum from 1951 to 1974 ... one knighthood was granted annually from 1961 to 1964" whereas now we only have two knights, Sir Bob Peliza and Sir Alfred Vazquez who are both around 90 years old. Why have Gibraltar's awards been reduced to "the now almost token and solitary MBE bi-annual award", Tony asks.

  81. Ghost says:

    “All told, employees can expect an increase of around 43% of their earnings,” said Mr Sisarello.

    The statement above (if true) is absolutely scandalous. Anywhere else in the world there would be demonstrations by the private sector interests and opposition parties in dismay and outright disgust at the fact that the establishment is prepared to offer what amounts to nearly 50% wage increases to those who hardly know what a hard day’s work is. To boot we have to put up with the fact that some are not willing to sign up because essentially this new contract actually means they have to pull their finger out and work.

    Robert, I recall stating that I would be the first to jump in and agree with the GSLP on issues, but argued that they are incapable of being accountable as an opposition and in the last 15 years have fallen severely short off the mark that measures proactive democracy, offering good checks and balances. If ever there was a case for the GSLP to stand up and take a bold stand with respect to the shenanigans of El Patio Chico and GOG’s offer, it is NOW! We all know however that the GSLP is incapable of taking these decisions of policy, particularly because they count on many at the PWD to vote for them.

    Gibraltar has essentially been held to ransom by a sector of “workers” who knowingly have the support of the GSLP and would kick up such a fuss if challenged, as to be worth not considering by the GSD; who therefore resort to offering such mind blowing contracts that would make Sir Fred Goodwin look like an amateur. We could loan these guys to the U.N. to help negotiate poverty in the third world!


  82. Que Cara dura tiene anon 19;30 Bossano con los freebies?? So doing the projects at the last minute like the Europa point Now the refurbishing of all playground since the opposition have mentioned it in two broadcasts. And wait for it all the goodies lined up in the next budget.

    As to anon 10:47 Why don't you criticise Caruana for allowing all these increases that according to you would be given to pagas muertes?!! Isn't it then an act of irresponsibility from your sweetheart! and wouldn't it be trying to buy the people of el patio chico Y ellos no han picao? You cannot have the bread buttered on both sides mate.

  83. Hi Ghost (or is it Chris P.......)

    You are learning from me but great attempt just not good enough!

    Criticism of the cats of a government canot be attched to the Opposition. The Government remains responsible for its decisions.

    It is shameful that the Government are offering this deal if indeed (a) it involves a 43% increase AND (b) the allegations that B&W do no work are true. If both are true then the Government has it wrong. It is the Government that should be castigated for it by the taxpayer at the election not the GSLP.

    The naked political act of extoortion that your suggestion represents is worthy of the worst Chinese mafia :) It is government's who carry the can not oppositions.

  84. It's not buying el patio Chico it's incentivising. The reason it's got to this extreme, is because otherwise bossano would have a party with them and hijack the serious issue that it is as he usually does and with no duty or consideration to the rest of us but his own fuelled self interests. the result of which is four lost elections as leader of the opposition. There's your bread buttered on both sides at our cost.

  85. Ghost says:

    Robert wrong on all counts, not least identity (good try though..:). Your ability to remain as rigid and far drawn from the realities are uncanny.

    GOG has no choice in this matter unless it is prepared to accept unrest at the cost of a few. Something which neither of us would deem as worthy of a cause. If we had proper accountability from the opposition there would at least be an attempt and a mandate to organize what has become a joke. Because the GSLP cannot see beyond their own self interests we are left with what’s on offer.

    This is not the way that democracy should work. Opposition parties have a big role to play in democracies and one in which the betterment of society is at play. The baggage of self interests that the current GSLP has, far outweighs that of the GSD's; el patio chico is a perfect example of this. You don’t need to be a genius to work out that Bossano in power of his party for over 40 years defeats the entire concept of democracy.


  86. Ghost:

    :) and yes (except that I am wrong, save on identity LOL!)

  87. Mark:

    Tony's statement that in the UK it is the premier that recommends belies the reality of the open divers and careful system that exists in the UK based around independent committees, the honours directorate, the Cabinet Office and only after all that a depersonalised recommendation from the Prime Minister. This link takes you to an explanation of the system:

    A Chief Minister already has an enormous degree of patronage in Gibraltar. Adding to this any additional patronage in the field of honours or any other recognition would be disastrous. It is also not the reason why more honours are not being given. I believe that there is a need to publicise more that anyone can propose anyone else for an honour. H.E. the Governor seems to have started this process in his Christmas Message.

    People should be careful not to rush into change for the sake of change without giving careful thought to important considerations like independence and avoidance of patronage. "Gibraltarianisation" should not be at the expense of fairness and transparency.

  88. Mayor Tony forgot to mention that we now also have the Gibraltar Medallion of Honour, awarded to Bernard Linares last year and to Messrs Netto, Canepa, Gaggero and Xiberras the year before that. Where does the Medallion fit in with the state honours and the Governor's Medal? Did we need a third type of award and isn't it all becoming a bit confusing con tantos diferentes tipos de medalla?

  89. Ghost i am on my BB, so i will keep this short and sweet.
    There are two questions that you should have asked yourself before reaching the above conclusions. First of all why is the GoG offering such salary increments (and other packages for the over 48’s) and secondly why the employees at B & W are up in arms. Once done you will no longer be able to defend the un-defendable;)

  90. What's all this about a 43% increase? This evening's Newswatch said 12%. Who's spinning it?

  91. Yes! The Queen's Honours List should also be a constitutional responsibility of the GSD government. The GSD alone, in its judgement, wisdom and full discretion should advise the Queen of Gibraltar who the recipients should be - year in and year out!

    A most natural, absolutely legitimate, perfectly dignified, totally reasonable and patently obvious tangible benefit for Gibraltar!

  92. Andrew

    Bien dicho!

    WHO is spinning it?? I would certainly like to know!

    As I stated in my previous posting.

    A 43% pay rise? How did anon 10:47 work that one out? I take it arithmetic is not one of his forts.

    Con la verda por delante amigo.



  93. Hence why there is govt. Winning elections means a mandate and includes many decisions and priviledges, just because you don't like it does not mean that we should change the goal posts for you. It's not about the GSD being dictatorial it's about the GSLP loosing 4 elections and not having a bite a the cherry. Not long before the GSLP is taking those decisions or not. Afterall the electorate votes for legitamacy in their chosen party and dignity amongst the individuals who ask for your trust. Not to mention integrity and democracy within the party.

  94. Kafab, David, it's a quote from the Chronicle a few days ago. If you read it, it says "all told" meaning when you add all perks including the ridiculous attendance bonus it amounts to approx 43%. If u saw he news last night you would have also heard that there is a suggestion that there is another entity at work trying to convince workers that they should but sign the deal because that will be offered better propositions in future. I wonder who that could possibly be? It's like kaverner all over again .

  95. Ghost, good point on ''what there is left''. and ''bossano being in power for all those years rendering democracy redundant''. Although, they are both unequivocally linked! Like your style... sometimes!

  96. Brown Cow rants;

    Deals like the building and works deal make me despair of Gibraltar.

    Just like the post office deal before it, the deal will reward some of the worst abusers of the privileges of being a civil servant/government employee. HOPEFULLY the public will see results - but at what price to equity and equality? Will new recruits get the same deal, or will they do the work whilst others get the perks? (just like in the post office).

    I just don't understand Gib sometimes - MoD doesn't need a Gibraltar workforce? our gov will make sure that nobody looses their job. Serco being made reduntant ? well gov will step in and pay all existing workers to do jobs that the MoD doesn't need done anymore (or won’t need done in the future). Haymills goes bust? JBS takes over their workers. Government competing in the market place against all sorts of businesses. I'm half surprised that the workers of MArrache and Co were not absorbed into a newly formed Ministry of Private Practice! Why not? Why should they lose their jobs when Pepito who has spent his hard working life guarding the runway by watching DVDs all night in his little hut has his job protected?

    Free market economy? Soon we will be in a Government run state - with the public servants living the life with no threat of redundancy, whilst in the private sector individuals pay increases are tiny or non-existent, summer hours gone, competing against government as well as generating the taxes which keeps Gov going in the first place.

    I am not in favour of letting the markets rule the roost completely. I am very much in favour of Governments creating employment, especially in times of economic hardship. But please please, let Government show some restraint! Lets hold them to account when they spend more and more of our hard earned taxes keeping operations afloat when history and circumstance have confined them to the dustbin. Let Government not reward Departments that should be disbanded!

    If people don't do their job, fire them, don't reward them with new deals and pay rises. Don't appease the majority at the expense of equity (see the GHA paydeal which was supposed to implement Agenda for Change in Gibraltar for the benefit of service users and instead just gives the majority (nurses) a pay rise whether they deserve it or not).

    Gibraltar is rotting from the core outwards. We are funding the employees of today with the money of tomorrow. We are selling the land that will house future generations of Gibraltarians, to private developers who build empty blocks of flats. We are borrowing money to build airports we don’t need. We are paying Government executives hundreds of thousands in salary to keep their mouths shut. Our civil service has one brain, one desk and one pair of hands.

    Meanwhile I can’t even pay for my MOT using a debit card!!!!

    Rant over.

  97. Brown Cow rants; Deals like the building and works deal make me despair of Gibraltar. Just like the post office deal before it, the deal will reward some of the worst abusers of the privileges of being a civil servant/government employee. HOPEFULLY the public will see results - but at what price to equity and equality? Will new recruits get the same deal, or will they do the work whilst others get the perks? (just like in the post office). I just don't understand Gib sometimes - MoD doesn't need a Gibraltar workforce? our gov will make sure that nobody looses their job. Serco being made reduntant ? well gov will step in and pay all existing workers to do jobs that the MoD doesn't need done anymore (or won’t need done in the future). Haymills goes bust? JBS takes over their workers. Government competing in the market place against all sorts of businesses. I'm half surprised that the workers of MArrache and Co were not absorbed into a newly formed Ministry of Private Practice! Why not? Why should they lose their jobs when Pepito who has spent his hard working life guarding the runway by watching DVDs all night in his little hut has his job protected? Free market economy? Soon we will be in a Government run state - with the public servants living the life with no threat of redundancy, whilst in the private sector individuals pay increases are tiny or non-existent, summer hours gone, competing against government as well as generating the taxes which keeps Gov going in the first place. I am not in favour of letting the markets rule the roost completely. I am very much in favour of Governments creating employment, especially in times of economic hardship. But please please, let Government show some restraint! Lets hold them to account when they spend more and more of our hard earned taxes keeping operations afloat when history and circumstance have confined them to the dustbin. Let Government not reward Departments that should be disbanded! If people don't do their job, fire them, don't reward them with new deals and pay rises. Don't appease the majority at the expense of equity (see the GHA paydeal which was supposed to implement Agenda for Change in Gibraltar for the benefit of service users and instead just gives the majority (nurses) a pay rise whether they deserve it or not). Gibraltar is rotting from the core outwards. We are funding the employees of today with the money of tomorrow. We are selling the land that will house future generations of Gibraltarians, to private developers who build empty blocks of flats. We are borrowing money to build airports we don’t need. We are paying Government executives hundreds of thousands in salary to keep their mouths shut. Our civil service has one brain, one desk and one pair of hands. Meanwhile I can’t even pay for my MOT using a debit card!!!! Rant over.

  98. Brown Cow

    What a fantastically brilliant rant! More of that please!


    It can't be true a full 24 page supplement on Gib that shows such a positive stance. Impossible!

  100. Robert I concur!

    Brown Cow that was....well.....BRILLIANT!

    Furthermore after investigating the ongoing B & W issues and coming across new relevant information (especially a certain letter in today's Chronicle). I retract my previous statements in regards to the aforementioned issues. Though I STILL do not like the fact that the current Government seems set on privatising as many departments as it can.

    To which I will add I am man enough to admit when I am wrong :)



  101. Rants indeed brown cuw! Trust RV to agree. The whole point of offering these new contracts is so that Govt is at least able to have the option of dismissal. At present they do not have that luxury unless we are all prepared to put up with tantrums and politicisation from the GSLP that would make Arthur Scargill look like an amateur. If we had consensus and democratic accountability of the sort that we are entitled to from opposition parties then your rant might border validity. Life ain't as black and White as RV might have you all believe. What choice is this govt left with?

  102. Anonymous at 17:37

    I have not said that I agree. I think it is brilliant to hear people vent their pent up frustrations. My agreement or disagreement is irrelevant. What is relevant is how people feel.

  103. Ghost says:

    Bert you are a long way away from Glasgow. Delighted to be of entertainment and grateful that like Robert, you come round to agreeing with sense..:)

    Given your native countries disastrous and unfortunate overrun with regards to the Scottish Parliament building (£400,000,000 was it?), you might want to enlighten some of LW's bloggers of how fortunate we are in Gibraltar...;) You choose to quote me with ''bossano being in power for all those years rendering democracy redundant''. I have to admit that my comment, true as it is, may have been a little strong; a more appropriate and light hearted description of the GSLP might best be described with your 1995 album "When the Circus comes to Town".............


  104. G

    In reponse to your comments regarding "bossano rendering democracy redundant".

    Please let us note that the GSLP is the ONLY politcal party in Gibraltar that democratically (via member votes) elects a leader EVERY year.

    I wonder if the GSD do such a thing. Actually I doubt it!



  105. Kaelan I don't think you are wrong. As explained by Lawrence Bautista in yesterday's Chronic the pay rise will indeed be 12% or £2,505. However, the incentive bonus falls from £9,813 to £5,846 with the result that their salary will fall slightly from £30,692 to £29,230. Now, approx. £30,000 is I believe just above the average salary for Gib so not bad at all. But there must be more in the package such as attendance bonuses (as in the new GHA contracts) and productivity bonuses, surely...

  106. Thank you Andrew :)

    I didn't think my calculations were wrong either. Yet I retracted my comments as I wrongfully assumed that the workers were earning "peanuts" per annum. I thought to myself "ensima que no ganan mucho le van kita la pensione ahora tambien a lo pobre?” But after speaking to a few B & w workers and reading certain articles in the press I knew I had misperceived the situation.

    The deal is a good one or so I have been led to believe.

    There are still a few issues, which we need to look at though such as:

    (1) The demise of numerous Government departments. If Gibraltar is indeed doing as well financially as the CM stated in his New Years “message” why the need for such a thing?
    (2) Future generations of Gibraltarians will no longer be offered the pension schemes of the past. Not that it affects me directly, but I do care. Is this fair?
    (3) The dictatorial way in which the Union has carried out proceedings. Should the Union representatives be subjected to some sort of internal tribunal? Their job after all (in essence) does consist of listening to their members and keeping them happy. Yet no one seems to have much faith in Mr. Sisarello (and not just the B & W workers) so why should he remain in charge?
    (5) REDUNDANCIES - will they happen? And if so HOW many? And IF they happen who will be held accountable?
    (6) Will the “Agency” proceed to employee Cheap Foreign labor to replace local workers? Should the Government ALLOW this to happen? After all this is OUR LAND!
    (7) Should there be a SET quota on the amount of locals that are required to be employed by each private firm? Personally I will ALWAYS advocate preferential treatment for OUR PEOPLE in OUR LAND.

    Food for thought guys.



  107. Ghost,


    Bossano is a great man and his policies were more geared to Gibraltar's people than its image. But, his name precedes him and I don't think that's ever going to let him win another election. Having said this, I think that constitutionally mandated term limits, making ANY party leader ineligible to run for a third consecutive presidential term should be policy in Gib. It would certainly make things fairer.

    LW's bloggers don't need enlightening with how lucky we are in Gibraltar (digs?!). Like yourself, I think we are incredibly fortunate. That doesn't mean I agree with the way things are. Or are you more akin to my 1965 album – ''It Don't Bother Me'' ? ;)

    LW is getting more people involved in politics than anyone has in a long time and it would be nice to see these words manifest themselves in some capacity. If he ever intends to publish extracts from the blog, I recommend him commissioning a good cartoon satirist. If a picture tells a thousand words, he's going to need a lot of pictures! (I'm thinking Gerald Scarfe, unless some one else gets him first!!!- though he did usually work for the Times, not the Gaurdian)


    G'night :)

  108. Ghost says:

    Bert! "toma"........ strong stuff.

    You're a PDP idealista aren't you? Ohuu. Have you guys come to terms with the fact that siding with the GSLP in the last election was a bad idea? Are you still of the opinion that attacking the GSD on the basis that they are on their way out is the right strategy.....;)

    Mandatory two terms is great USP for you but has no place in our political system I'm afraid. Democracy is about choice and adding conditions limit the ability of a successful leadership to continue if the electorate so choose.

    I will assume that your reference to the 1965 album was a jibe in jest as you could not be further from the truth.


  109. Ghost

    Democracy is more than about choice, you are more intransigent than me. Please read what I write about democracy. If you do not believe look it up in Wikipedia. It is certainly not just about leadership. It is more to do with checks and balances, which are so lacking.

  110. Ghost! (Or should I say, Casper)

    Just read this now, NO TE EMPARRE! (Oh what an illustration this would make). I do not adhere to any Gib political party, yet. I have voted blank in every election I have voted in... I don't think the GSD are on their way out either, not this election anyway. If your anonimity allows you, can I ask where your Gib political leanings lie?

    The ''TOMA'' was in reference to Gerald Scarfe usually illustrating for the Times, in light of PC's recent article in the Gaurdian, not you, culo paja :-)

  111. Ghost,

    forgot to say, if the electorate are in a position of dependency, who are they going to vote for and in what way? 2 terms could help protect against self interest pisha

    Having said this, how much do ministers earn?

    Must say, your electro-magnetic 'style' frequencies which I so liked before are flagging... ''Who u gona call??''

  112. Ghost says:

    Robert you have taken my post above a little too literally. I was only having some fun with the Scotsman.


  113. Ghost, you have answered/ addressed none of the above. Not much fun there :(

  114. Ghost says:
    Bert I've got a splitting headache man. But hey I don't think we are far apart and I for one welcome your thoughts. Where are my political leanings....? According to RV I am a capitalist, marxist leninist, propagandist......I'll let you ponder on that one. However, much like Robert and you I suspect, I like to push buttons and see what comes back; in other words I am always prepared to be influenced and able to change my mind on issues.

    Oh and on "culo paja" ........vete a chuparla cabron..;-) The Guardian piece was good, but a propaganda piece nonetheless.


  115. Ghost, I also thought the Gaurdian piece was good too. But how much (of Gib tax payers money)must it have cost to put 6 pictures of the same man on the same article! ay que darnos CANIA!


  116. Ghost says:

    With his looks an absolute fortune...;)


  117. Ghost, thats poor form! On your political leanings, besides the capitalist- marxist/ Leninist, propagandist titles that you say LW has attributed you, I have picked up on elements of political teleology with a penchant for functionalism- which, although ain't a bad thing, have less place in current Gib politricks!

    (I had written this in an earlier post but there must have been a glitch in the connection)!

  118. whatever system is used in gib politics be it one vote one party, independent,coalition,independent groups or come what may.It will always be robotic politicians controlled by a one man joystick syndrome.gib is a very small place and a change of this nature will take generations IF the change ever comes.