Saturday, 1 January 2011

Should Anonymity be Necessary in a Democracy?

Anonymity, with or without pseudonyms, has predominated comments in this blog.  I do not consider that anonymity is a good symptom of a democracy.  At the ballot box one understands it perfectly but it is not really understandable when it predominates political commentary in a society that proudly announces that it is a defender of democratic rights.

Anonymity should not be necessary in a jurisdiction that has boasted the inclusion of freedom of expression in its constitution since 1969.  It is not right when we fought for so many years against succumbing to a then fascist Spain in which freedom of expression was not a possibility.  It is not conducive to making the fundamental changes that Gibraltar needs to make in evolving as a truly mature self-governing territory.  It militates against persons volunteering to enter politics and so reduces the candidature from which our Parliament can be chosen at elections.  Unfortunately often there are enormous actual or perceived pressures bearing down on individuals that militate toward their non-participation in public political debate or their participation without identifying themselves.

Gibraltar is a territory in which an enormous percentage  of the working population is employed by Government.  Add to this the large number of persons who are appointed to serve on statutory bodies and authorities or who aspire to do so.  These factors bear down not just on those who are direct employees or appointees but also on their immediate family.  There is a perception that expressing opinions adverse to politicians or, more likely, their policies, whether that party is presently in Government or has the potential to be in Government in the future, might adversely affect their employment or, at least, their prospects of promotion or their appointment or chances of appointment.  All this is a further example of the democratic deficit that exists in Gibraltar.

It can be solved easily.  All there needs to be is a desire by Parliament to legislate in manner that will create the necessary environment to allow the free and proper exercise of all constitutional rights and freedoms.  One first step is to publicise understandable codes for all grades of public employees and appointees to public bodies and authorities.  Such a code needs to be permissive rather than restrictive in the sense that it should only proscribe that which is clearly necessary and essential for each grade or description of person that it is aimed at.  Overly restrictive provisions would simply institutionalise a centralised and regressive "big brother" style of autocracy that exists today by reason of the non-existent of any guiding principles giving rise to the fear that I write about.

The solution does not stop there.  In addition to the codes, there is a need to create an independent tribunal to which complaints of breaches can be referred to efficiently, quickly and cheaply.  The tribunal  needs to be structured so that complainants will get all the necessary help to instigate and process their complaints without the need to resort to lawyers for advice and help.  In short an easy access system of redress modeled on the Ombudsman but with effective power to implement and enforce its decisions.

In the meantime thank you to those who comment in their own name.  I urge those who do not to carefully consider their decision and take the step (sometimes brave, I know, I did it) to identify themselves.  Those who feel they need to remain anonymous, well fine, I will continue to publish their comments, in the hope that in time the safeguards that I suggest might well become law.  Perhaps all or, at least some, of our politicians might adopt a New Year resolution to improve our democracy soon.  It has been promised by many of them, why not deliver it once and for all?

Freedom of Expression in England and under the ECHR: In Search of a Common Ground: A Foundation for the Application of the Human Rights Act 1998 in English Law (School of Human Rights Research) (v. 6)


  1. First and foremost HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL.

    In relation to the topic at hand I must say that in todays Gibraltar we see how people are hammered in different ways for expressing an opinion. We must not forget those who on the one hand vilify those who do not express themselves as eloquently as others and get criticised.
    Then there are those who fear for there jobs and prospect of promotion within the civil service.The civil service already has a code of practice which states whether you are allowed to express opinions but unfortunately No6 (ie this GSD Government)sent a circular curtailing freedom of speech from the civil service. The code has a clear criteria as to who is allowed to express themselves politically. It would be obvious that those officers close to a minister is not allowed to express opinions on what is happening within their department.
    The code has three categories of civil servant in this area.
    1. politically free
    2. partically restricted
    3. Total political restriction

    If we take industrials within the civil service they are in the main politically free yet this government via the circular mentioned above were overnight curtailed. Even if the union now objects and refers to the code it would be very difficult for anyone now to speak up. Why? simples! because they now know that there is objection from the top.
    There are also those who fear expressing opinion just because they feel the fear although they should not have anything to fear. Take for instancea person who knows they have reached the pinnacle of their careers. But then again they have most probably reached that position because they have never expressed a view and those are usually the ones that get to the top. Sad but true!

    The reality is that I believe that all civil servants should be allowed to express opinions on topics which are not to do directly with they jobs. for instant a teacher expressing a view on the GHA or a nurse on the Department of education.
    The problem is that if you criticise openly about the say GHA and one later has to use this service you might fear that your treatment will be different or if you are a nurse and you criticise the education system you might fear that your child will be affected when they have to go to school.
    In making this point I have always said that with this GSD Government and more with the attitude of the Chief Minister the problem of freedom of speech and expression has become more acute in Gibraltar.
    Happy to be the first commentator of the year!! All be it anon

  2. Anonymous at 15:49

    Thank you so much for your comment and for the clarification in it about the existence of a code for civil servants and of circulars. Despite the existence of the code, from what you say, the points made by me remain valid. Your comment in fact supports my call for an independent complaints tribunal or recourse to the JSC as previously suggested by me.

    I was trying to find that code etc. online when doing my research but was unable to do so. I would be very grateful if you could let me know how to access it or provide me with a copy by post.

  3. Happy New Year to all!

    I think that having safeguards in law, not only to protect citizens from possible reprisals after they speak their minds, but also to encourage individual to indeed speak their minds.

    Having said this, people need to assume their responsibility as individuals for what they may fail to say, regardless, and live with it.

    I believe that this blog goes some way to encourage citizens to do just that. For this, I thank you Robert, commendable!

    Ps. Interesting comments on the gifts issue to the law courts. I have refrained to comment because I work there. I will share my thoughts with you in a private chat if you like. :)

  4. Anon

    You mentioned that "No. 6 (ie this GSD Government)sent a circular curtailing freedom of speech in the civil service". Could you scan it and make it available online as a pdf? I am sure that this would be of great interest to many readers, including the many civil servants who have either not seen it or are not aware of its existence. Chronicle may agree to post it on its downloads-only website, You can send it to them anonymously via another website that exists specifically to facilitate anonymous emailing. Can't remember the exact name of the site but you can google it. We would all be very interested to see the circular you have referred to.

  5. Gianni

    Yes, I would be interested to see the alleged circular also, especially as you clearly imply that it does not exist.

    It can also be sent to me at with a guarantee that I will not disclose the sender's identity.

  6. The problem with LW is that people can air their views and sometimes shine a light on the many unwholesome things that happen in secret but what is needed is investigative journalism to check. I believe that there is corruption and nepotism in Gibraltar and that a well funded paper with a half competent professional investigative journalist could cause a sensation in its first edition and bring more openness and fairness into Gib that a thousand volumes of laws.

  7. Quite a shocking revelation if you ask me this really does take the biscuit. I just hope anon has the courage to mail you or someone of note Robert. Public awareness is the only way forward regarding such matters. regards, K
    By Kaelan Joyce

  8. Francis Buttigieg1 January 2011 at 22:48

    It does exists, I have seen it and read it.

    When I get back to Gib on the 10th I will search for a copy.

  9. Thank you Francis, a copy of the civil service code on political involvement would also be very helpful.

  10. Have to agree with the call for investigative journalism. As for nepotism, corruption & bullying, well sadly they all thrive within our society too. Let's face it gog controls everything inc. freedom of speech and the media.......the answer? fresh blood with morales and integrity.....

  11. Anonymous 23:10

    It only thrives because WE let it thrive. If the people of Gibraltar would unite and stand their ground then this would not be so. It is NOT okay for the Government to (allegedly) muzzle the political opinions of its Civil Servants. Is this not a clear breach of article 19 of the Human rights bill? Which states the following, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.

    Furthermore it angers me to see claims regarding the circulation of a formal document that advocates the restriction of such rights. How can this be? Has the GSD Government forgotten that it was put there BY the people FOR the people? (I hope you don’t edit this Robert)

    Getting back to the subject at hand, anonymous blogging should it be allowed?

    The fact that people choose to hide behind the cloak of anonymity is in itself worrying enough. Why if I may ask should an individual feel insecure about openly expressing themselves? Is this not a “democratic” Society? Or is it really?

    I am aware some people have hidden agendas, underlying motives Bla bla bla, but the majority of the anonymous comments I have seen on LLW don’t seem to lead down that road.

    Interestingly I have observed how there is one common denominator with all anon bloggers and that is FEAR. Fear of being frowned upon by their peers. Fear of losing ‘that’ job promotion. Fear of being blacklisted from the exclusive “Government job club”. Fear of being unable to provide for their families. Fear is power (or so it seems) and those in the higher echelons of our society know this and will use it against us.

    That is why I do not and cannot condemn anonymous blogging even though I opt to use my name. I understand that some people are afraid. I understand that some people believe that they cannot make a difference. I understand that they refuse to risk so much in return for what they perceive to be so little.
    What I can do though is tell them that THEY CAN make a difference. That risk is necessary even if the rewards seem unattainable at the time. That if someone like me can express himself openly ANYONE can. To which I will add, fear of failure must never been a reason for not trying!

    I hope those reading LLW will enjoy my two pennies worth today.



  12. Anon Anonymous writing anonymously writes: given the stomach churning allegation that there is corruption and nepotism in Gibraltar should the RGP not have a system similar to that which it operates for drugs and money laundering tip offs for cases of corruption. Strange that the "OPPOSITION" has not thought of that before.

  13. Rob I did not intend to imply that the circular never existed. Francis B has now confirmed that it did. I thought the most likely scenario was that it had been circulated only to heads of department, as is the case with many letters from the Chief Secretary or Human Resources Manager. The problem is that there are certain heads of dept who circulate very selectively (they decide which letters are circulated within their departments and which ones are not) with the result that a lot of the circulars are not seen by anyone other than heads of department. Knowledge is power so they keep the content of many of the missives to themselves and then apply them at their whim or as they see fit.

  14. I must say that it would be astounding if such a circular were to exist having the effect that is alleged to have, which I do not doubt based on the revelations already made here. What is even more astounding is that its existence has not been revealed by any recipient at the time of receipt or thereafter. It is events like this that reinforce my call for an independent Tribunal to look into breaches of rights.As far as the Civil Service is concerned one avenue open to them is a complaint to the Governor and to the Public Service Commission.

    Under the 2006 Constitution, section 54(2), the Governor, on the advice of the Public Service Commission, is responsible for appointments, discipline and termination of employment of Civil Servants. Implicit in this is that he should also be responsible for any unnecessary or unacceptable interference with their ability to independently undertake their duties or to exercise their rights. The circular in question, if it is in its effect as alleged, would likely fall into the definition of being such an interference.

  15. Kafab is off on another crusade here guys. Maybe his call for people to stand up is ignored becuase there is no need in the sense that he believes it is required and not because people are afraid. Maybe Gibraltar does stand up and is heard on important matters like back in 1995, when our youth really was spiralling down into a bottomless pit. Of course Kafab can't remember this.
    Anonymity in this Blog is required by civil servants with views both GSD and GSLP. It is also required by those who do not wish to be branded or harrased in ways already shown in this blog. Kafab makes the point but forgets that it applies more to those who are aware of the GSD success and are afraid of what his crew might be capable of if they were to voice it out piblically in their name. This is simply why his calls to stand up and fight carry absolutely no weight or substance. Sad really. Even more sad is that he will probably brand this post hate mail.

  16. Anonymous at 12:48:

    ""... branded or harassed in ways already shown in this blog". Come on, grow up! All that is used in this blog is words and the power of freedom of expression. This blog has no other power. All that power is vested by the 2006 Constitution in other people and boy do they use it.

    Please stop being a baby cry, grow up and stand on your own two feet. I suppose now you will accuse me of branding and harassing you but I can't can I? You are anonymous. If you weren't you would have to support your brazenly propagandist opinion one of which harps back 15 years with facts.

    Events of 15 years ago cannot and should not influence opinions today. The electorate has moved on, not least because of changing demographics and changes in electoral candidature. Only Joe Bossano is left in the GSLP line up from that era. There are not many left in the GSD candidature who stood for election at that time either. Gibraltar has moved on, circumstances and people are different.

    Move on whoever you are!

  17. LW "an independent Tribunal to look into breaches of rights"? And who would appoint such an independant tribunal? Parliament? The Governor? the PSC? The JSC? The Mayor? Come on, its just not possible in Gibraltar to have anything independent! The Government (whichever it might be) has a finger in every pie. Name me one,just one, truely independant Board, Committee, Advisory Council, Commission etc. etc. We are what we are.

  18. Anonymous 12:48

    Branded and harassed sounds familiar LOL

    What if this document were to exist? And subsequently my comments were justified and carried this weight/substance, which you state they lack. What then? Would YOU still deem my comments to be superfluous then? I am quite certain that you would. Why acknowledge the truth right?
    It is always easier to follow the “Shepherd” rather than question the path he has chosen.

    Furthermore even though I do not wish to deviate from the topic, I do ponder. Who is this person who keeps dismissing my EVERY post? Why does he continue to label me Kafab (Kaelan/Fabian), in a clear attempt to belittle my statements?

    The words hidden agenda and underlying motives do come to mind, but I will refrain from judging you. I will leave that up to the other bloggers.



  19. Tu te lo fries y tu te lo comes LW. Yes you should look at the mirror on the odd occasion and consider what you say. Your best comment yet has to be that it's only Joe Bossano left it the party. Lol!

  20. Anonymous at 14:46

    Si yo me lo frio y tambien me lo como because I speak my own opinion, right, wrong, accepted or rejected. I will let you into a secret, I have the decency and fairness to publish the views of critics of me, like you, do others? Those who have the power to do so should examine their own consciouses.

    One question, why do you hide behind anonymity to criticise me? I can do you no harm as I have no position of power.

    What do you think I should see in the mirror? Come on you are the clever one, tell me.

    If you are going to quote me, at least, have the decency to be accurate. I did not say Joe Bossano is the only one from those pre-1995 days left in the PARTY. I said he is the only one left in the LINE UP. If you are going to criticise me for the reason you do get it right, mate.

  21. The mirror may tell you that you are quite clearly an inteligent character, it may also tell you that you find it hard to accept that some may disagree with you as I do. I choose to remain anon for the reasons I give in previous posts and because you allow me that privelidge.

  22. Anonymous at 17:48

    I fully accept that there are people that disagree with me. I publish their disagreement. I am not obliged to be convinced by those who disagree. I have been convinced by some in the past. I have said so and changed my mind publicly.

  23. Kafab statements with little or no substance do not require belittling. You try desperately to arouse th fight and cause for fundamental changes common in decaying societies. Might your failure in this be a sign of desperation from your crew.

  24. Well there you go then we can agree to disagree.

  25. The only solution to our democratic decline is a change of government but the only options are the New Olagineous GSLP and the PDP. What hope is there for Gibraltar?

  26. Paco says:
    The fact that so many feel that they have no choice but to make political comment behind the veil of anonymity or pseudonym shows the long road that we still have to travel as both a country and a people. The quality of democracy in Gibraltar evidently still has a lot to be desired.

    It is difficult to expect private citizens to stand up and be counted in Gibraltar when our elected representatives do not set the best of examples. Or does everybody think that our House of Assembly, sorry Parliament, is a shining example of constructive, proactive debate?

    The need for anonymity when making any comment in Gibraltar outside the "safe" environs of political parties or NGOs will only lessen when Gib Plc runs its affairs in a much more transparent and accountable way.

  27. "As far as the Civil Service is concerned one avenue open to them is a complaint to the Governor and to the Public Service Commission."

    Does anyone seriously think the Gov'nor or the PSC would dare take this up with our virtually omnipotent CM? I personally very much doubt it.

  28. Norbert Borge says:

    Dear Robert,

    A Happy New Year to you and all the contributors.

    The first anonymous and Mr Francis Buttigieg are probably correct in stating that a code of practice exists.

    However this code of practice does not involve the current GSD Government only. Back in the late 80’s or early 90’s, I was then working as a hospital consultant in the Health Department (the GHA equivalent) and I remember receiving a circular (possibly 2) from the Hospital Administrator at the time, outlining that any statements to the media would have to be approved by him (the civil service). I truly forget which political party was in government at that time but that I consider this irrelevant. My point is that this issue is not new with respect to the current Civil Service. I believe all Gibraltarians should focus on the present and immediate future. The past is long gone and is pure history.

    Irrespective of whichever political party is in government, I believe that Gibraltar deserves transparency, accountability and the Rule of Law. If these fundamental values are currently deficient in our society, I have to say that alas these values have also been deficient in our past. However this undesirable situation is one that should not have been allowed to exist then, should not exist now and certainly should not exist in the future. It may well be that the time of our emancipation has arrived. Clarification of the Civil Service code of practice is just one step in putting our house in order.

    All Gibraltarians, irrespective of political affiliation, who love this tiny piece of planet earth, have an obligation and a duty to our children and future generations, to make it an even better place.

  29. Anonymous 17:57

    On the contrary it is YOUR statements that have little or no substance.

    I see you stay true to form by continuing to criticise my postings whilst failing to produce any adequate counter arguments.
    If you are to make accusations regarding my postings at least have the decency to back them up will ya?

    Ps- Who is this “crew” you speak of? Please feel free to enlighten. I ask because it seems YOU in your infinite wisdom know all. LOL



  30. Ghost says:

    Robert an interesting piece and one in which I myself fall into the should I or should I not, in the case of my anonymity. I choose to exercise my right to choose the latter for now, not because I am a civil servant, which I am not, but because of the nature of our small community and the highly opinionated society to which we all (given the size of this place) are held to account to.

    In matters of politics and religion, a blog such as this is massive in every sense but importnantly because it allows us the freedom to express ourselves openly and without concern of being branded - funny, but we all know the classic rule of not talking politics and religion at the table and this unwritten rule has a place in this debate and hence why anonymity under these circumstances can be of affords us all the right of opinion in an almost liberating way and of particular relevance and freedom given the sensitivities in the place in which we live.

    The matter of civil servants raises questions but cannot and should not be wavered beyond the codes of practice that you fall into if you choose to become a civil servant, that being, the core values and standards expected of civil servants are defined as integrity, honesty,objectivity, and IMPARTIALITY. I highlight impartiality for the obvious reason, that being and as described in the dictionary "not partial or biased : treating or affecting all equally" In the same way that many other careers carry a burden or rule that by pure default has an impact in the ability of the profession organization or entity to function, so too do civil servants carry this.......a gagging order if you like and with relation only to the impact that their political beliefs, if voiced may have on the government and its ability to function accordingly. Hence the code making clear that treating all equal and being impartial and unbiased is crucial to the performance of a civil servant and hence why any freedom of political speech in their capacity is under scrutiny.

    Robert you refer to further codes and tribunals, much like your view on further reforms to ensure a more accountable parliament; this view liberal and accountable as it may seem encroaches on the fine balance of, is it practical, and does it serve the people and the best interests of a working govt? And therefore, why should there not be a blog that allows civil servants and others the luxury and freedom (without being defamatory, which RV regultates well anyway) to anonymously post views and opinions? This is not to do with the immaturity of our democracy as some would have us believe in order to bolster and politicize for their own interests; it is to do with the nature of our community and the sensitivities within, in all aspects, social, political, financial.

    Having said all of this, I am as ever open to reforms that are in the interests of the public at large; I see it a tough ask in the case of civil servants, unless we are prepared to essentially hand over power and influence in which case we end up with Sir Humphrey.


  31. Kafab your crew us quite clearly limited otherwise you'd be up in arms. That's a good thing by the way. Lol. I like how you finish with lol. Is it because you are nit sure if to take yourself seriously? Lol.

  32. Ghost

    Impartiality of course, always. What I seek is clarity and transparency by publication of the code. Its proper and fair application. Also, a system of accountability and recourse. That is what exists in many democratic countries, not least, in the UK.

    Additionally, this circular from No 6, which commentators have confirmed exists, needs to be brought out into the open. It would evidence that, whilst there may be codes, certain people may prefer to ensure that others do not benefit from them.

    I am sure that, as a democrat, even you could not absolve that type of abuse were it to exist.

  33. Anonymous 20:08

    The only person I do not take seriously is YOU, with your poor responses and unsupported accusations. You do indeed make me LOL and very loudly at that!



  34. It appears as if LW has ingeniously thought of a way to combine the use of anonymity in this blog and to attack the government at the same time by arguing that Gibraltar cannot be a democracy if people use pseudonyms.

    It is an appealing argument however whilst anonymity is a repercussion and a consequence of a lack of democracy in places like Zimbabwe it is not the cause here. This coupled with LW’s later retort at 17:13 to an anonymous where he cynically states that he cannot harm anonymous since he is not in a position of power (does LW not have power?? Perhaps its best anon stays anon..) leads us to conclude that LW believes fear of people in power is a major factor in posters writing anonymously.

    I doubt that fear is such a major reason for posters writing anonymously as LW would have us believe. We live in a very small community where everybody invariably will know someone or of someone and will also invariably know of their “dirty laundry”. Therefore voicing your opinion on a blog under your actual name will at some point or another be detrimental to the substance of the comment since unfortunately your opinion will be judged on who you are rather than what you are actually saying. This is not the correct thing to do and I have pointed it out before, and this blog is testament to its existence.

    Another very real possibility is that people who choose to write anonymously don’t want to make their life difficult for voicing an opinion which at the end of the day they are not taking seriously. After all not everyone takes this blog very seriously.

    Finally I find it irresponsible that LW and others should call for anonymous posters to take the “brave” step. Unfortunately not everyone is self employed and the brave step, especially in these times of financial hardship, could be hugely detrimental to any reader who acts accordingly.

  35. Orwell

    First let me thank you for dubbing me ingenious albeit that I only appear to be so..

    Now you accuse me and others of irresponsibility for seeking commentators to identify themselves. Yet on the 27th December 2010 at 15:13 you said about me:

    "May I remind you and all the other readers that the author of this blog was in fact anonymous for a long time. It was me who in fact swayed you to add Robert Vasquez at the end of all comments."

    When I reminded you that on the 14th February 2010, I had already said that I intended to make my identity known at some stage. You shut up.

    Now you defend anonymity on the basis of my very own arguments posted by me on the 14th February 2010. You do so solely to counteract the suggestion that anonymity in some cases may be due to fear. Your arguments contradict your earlier position (27th December 2010) and seem motivated by their self serving nature. You also contradict yourself in suggesting in the early paragraph that anonymity is not motivated by fear and yet giving this as one of your reasons in the latter paragraphs.

    Additionally you ignore the revelation about a circular to public servants from No 6 (see comments above). Also adopting your very own arguments to public servants gives support and credence to my arguments that you try and ridicule.

    Thank you for believing that I do not have "dirty laundry" and thus encouraging me to identify myself. I must be a very brave individual by your own analysis lol. Thankfully no "dirty laundry" has been thrown at me (yet).

  36. Orwell

    I am not self employed yet choose to post with my name, regardless of the repercussions.



  37. What repercussions Kafab. Do you have some teenagers following you around in a black merc with tinted windows? This debate about anonymity has no bearing on our freedoms but yet again you choose to politicize to and create somthing out of nothing in order to arouse issue. Tell me have you started to make banners and plackards? Maybe Robert can help, he has experience from his student days. I doubt you could get any local students to organise protests and stand up and fight as you so ridiculously put it. Lol.

  38. Anonymous at 18:33

    Perhaps you should ask Orwell who is the person who suggested that there may be repercussions.

    Perhaps you should ask yourself as you choose to post comments anonymously. WHY?

    The odd trait that seems to be developing is that critics of those who express views against government do not resort to proper or any argument to rebut them but only to memories of the past or destructive and deprecating comment. Reminds me of those days pre-1995, are we seeing the symptoms of a declining support base?

  39. Robert you'd be a great CSI agent, or maybe a new plot writer for tales of the unexpected. I write anon not because of lack of freedoms but because I can. I will add that I do so also with a certain caution should the GSLP get in this year. I recall the social instabilities of that period and being anon suits me. What's interesting about all if this, is that you have far more anon GSD thinkers than not and a great many GSLP posters in their own name. Might this be evidence of my point or are you going to do a CSI on me now. Oh, I go back to references of 15 years ago because that was indeed the last time that many Gibraltarians lived in fear of making public political statements and the last time that protests and social unrest was evident. It seems that your GSLP possy have resorted to creating smoke to feed their desperation. What's stunning about all if this is that you as a forward thinker and intelectual that I know you are, fall right in line.

  40. Trying to re-write history again LW?!? Just in case you’ve forgotten, at the time when I suggested you put your name down after Llanito-World you were already telling people on the blog of who you really were. I refused to believe you were RV and suggested that if you were really who you said you were you would have no problem in putting your real name after LW. Since then you have written how I suggested. You are grasping at straws..

    It is also comical seeing your reply
    especially after your many rants against anons not arguing against what is said and yet you have fallen into the same hole.

    Finally on the topic of anonymity, haven’t you realised that in other blogs like the Daily Telegraph (which is the most visited in the U.K.) everyone writes anonymously or under pseudonym. It is the norm in blogging, stop scaremongering and being parochial and find a real topic for discussion.

    I have not said anything about the circular because I haven’t seen it, and apparently neither have you. What exactly would you like me to say seeing as I know nothing about it? As any GCSE law student knows judgments cannot be properly made without evidence and hearsay in not good enough.

    As far as your claim to impotence (aimed at anon 17:13 2/1/11) is concerned I beg to differ. You have the power of publishing or choosing not to publish comments and that is a power in itself (with great power comes great responsibility).

  41. Orwell;

    I quote you and you accuse me of rewriting history???

  42. I am a great supporter of LW but on this occasion I think that Orwell is absolutely right on all counts.

  43. Orwell and Anonymous at 10:58

    I trust that I have shown that I do not abuse my power by publishing both your posts (critical of my argument) on this occasion and on so many previous occasions.

    Anonymous at 19:58, I note your agreement with Orwell, thank you for your support.

    I beg to differ that there are no consequences from GOG for expressing political opinions. I know of affected persons but cannot break their confidence.

    As to the circular, I hope to publish it. As to others affected I invite them to comment. I will personally publish my own experience at an appropriate juncture, which has not yet arrived, for reasons beyond my own control.

    Finally Orwell, I have re-read my reply and cannot understand that you feel that I do not reply to the argument, when I so clearly do.

  44. Ghost says:

    Robert you seem to be getting your backside whipped on this one..:)

    Orwell makes valid points as do some of the other anons. I think you've thrown the baby out with the bath water on this one and are looking to search for something that I do not see; that being that our freedom of speech is under scrutiny because there are those who choose to remain anon in this blog. This is entirely untrue, the debate has yet again been hijacked and politicized by those whose only agenda is to scaremonger.

    I am yet to see the circular, but believe that it exists as you do. Whether the assumptions made are correct is another matter.

    One thing I would say is that the civil service in its entirety has always been recognized as a beast with whom one does not readily cross; the suggestions that we hear from you and others is that Caruana has now magically tamed this beast whilst also creating positive relationships with you think he is going to have them assist in his devious plan to sell Gib too?..:)


  45. Ghost

    I shall remain stoic in the face of the arguments made against me. I do not look at these issues as black and white or winning and losing. Different persons have differing experiences. I do not believe that I have either said the Civil Service is a beast nor that Caruana has tamed it.

    Does he have a devious plan to sell Gib? All I have done is comment on what he has stated publicly. Is what he has said selling Gibraltar? I do not know!

    On interferences with freedom of expression let us see what time reveals. I don't suppose reminding readers of how Clive Golt was treated for years, or subventions of GBC and the Chronic are worth the time and effort?

  46. Anon 19:27

    CSI agents, Kafab, teenagers in black tinted mercs and "The Crew". LOLOLOL

    Que estas enserio?

    I will let you into a little secret; nobody is out to get you! PARANOID seems to adequately depict your current state of mind. Are you for real? Or do you mock us all with your statements? If you are indeed being serious I courteously request you seek help and promptly at that.

    When someone keeps quoting “15 years ago” in their EVERY post this can surely NOT be deemed as normal behaviour.

    Furthermore please note I respect the right of each and every individual to express their opinions on LLW, irrespective of their stance. But when these opinions derive from a person stuck in some sort of 90’s time wrap, with a possible personality order. I fail to comprehend how they can objectively contribute to this blog, especially when their statements usually come in the form of spiteful and unsupported accusations.

    Orwell, GCSE Law students? FYI - There is no such thing.



  47. Kafab you are the one reffering to reprucussions not me. You are the one calling out for us all to stand up and fight, because we apparently have no freedom of speech and you are character who so insists that Gibraltar in in such a state that you can't understand why we aren't all gathering at the streets.
    I am simply reminding you that you seem to be struggling in your call to arms and that Fabs insistance in creating smoke all the time is doing nothing for you. I am also reminding you that the last time people really felt the way you'd like them to feel was indeed 15 tears ago. That is all. This will be my last post to you on this topic as I fear RV will likely swoop in with his Whip.

  48. Anonymous 21:41

    It was Orwell who referred to the “repercussions” and not I!

    I DID though call for the people to unite and stand their ground, but NEVER to revolt or gather in the streets. Please refrain from twisting my words (once again).

    I think we should now get back to the subject at hand rather than continue to engage in petty squabble.



  49. Fear Culture in GoG is a reality. It starts at the top and works its way down the management structure. Alas, it is nothing new and we have to look back to when Gibraltar was a garrison and the military who were the bosses, they are the ones we can thank for that.

    Although employees of Gib Gov Depts are not strictly speaking, Civil Servants they operate on similar conditions of service (albeit 10-15 years behind that of UK's).

    The code of Conduct which prescribes the curtailment of public expression by its Members has always existed in the Civil Service. Breaches of which can lead to disciplinary action: to quote a famous one MoD vs Dr Kelly - which incidentally, as a result of the enquiry volumes of the Code was placed on the public domain and is available online.

    In Kelly's case (He knew their were no WMD's), a little known Whistleblowers Protection Act of 1994 could have possibly altered the course of history as far as the Iraq War was concerned had he taken recourse to it.

    Regretfully, I don't see any Gib Govt wanting to introduce legislation to protect a whistle blower here any time soon!

    Gib is too small and he or she who sticks their neck out will sooner or late get it caught! A good reason if any to remain anonymous ;)

  50. Fussy Fellows

    Thank you for a very enlightening contribution. Should I start worrying?

  51. Ghost says:
    Robert, you will be ostracized from the community in no time..:) Book your flight out now! Look what happened to Clive......christ Robert, you'll be polishing PRC's shoes this time next week! LOL.

  52. Ghost

    I find it tiresome enough to polish mine, hardly going to polish PRCs :) ;)

  53. Fussy Fellows:

    The Act that you refer to is the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1989 of the UK. It provides very Interesting and vital protections for all employees who make disclosures about genuine concerns in matters of crime, civil offences, breaches of administrative law, miscarriages of justice, health and safety or the environment or the cover up of any of these. For those who are interested this is a link to a guide to its provisions:

    Gibraltar would benefit from such legislation and protections from an independent tribunal. So my idea is not so outlandish after all.

    I am not sure why you say that Gibraltar does not strictly have civil servants. I bow to your greater knowledge but there has always been reference to "civil servants" generally.

  54. Orwell.
    I intended to respond to one of your previous postings but never got round to it. So here I go now…

    Your comments are listed in numerical order and below them are my replies:

    (1)“I doubt that fear is such a major reason for posters writing anonymously as LW would have us believe”.

    You make a bold statement here yet go on to contradict yourself twice in the same exact paragraph!

    (2)“We live in a very small community where everybody invariably will know someone or of someone and will also invariably know of their ‘dirty laundry’.

    I think we can correctly assume (after reading the above) that you believe people post anonymously because they DO NOT want or are WORRIED about the skeletons “popping out” from their respective closets. That is what you meant right? Is this not FEAR then? Fear of being exposed.

    (3)"Therefore voicing your opinion on a blog under your actual name will at some point or another be detrimental to the substance of the comment since unfortunately your opinion will be judged on who you are rather than what you are actually saying".

    The words “detrimental to substance” and “judged on who you are rather than what you are actually saying“ are the ones to note here. Is this not FEAR then? Fear of being judged by your peers?

    I rest my case.

    Now try and TWIST this one anda.



  55. Nobody has answered Orwell when he said that in other blogs like the Daily Telegraph (which is the most visited in the U.K.) everyone writes anonymously or under pseudonym. It seems to me that not only can nobody rest their tired cases until this point is answered but also that it shows the whole nonsense about anonymity suddenly becoming a mark of cowardice (after RV himself started this blog anon lol!) and a sign of fear in the communittee is so much chicken doo!LOL & ROFL. Robert find a real issue for debate quiiiiiick!

  56. Anonymous at 09:00:

    Orwell is right, in many blogs people comment anonymously and absolutely no problem. I have clearly said that I would continue publishing anonymous comments. No one has said that anonymity is a mark of cowardice but if you read other comments you will see that in many cases it is a sign of fear of various types of repercussions. Even Orwell himself admits this. It is not a nonsense.

    I have said that on the 14th February 2010, I explained the reason why I had started the blog anonymously and that I would reveal my identity. I will write about those issues that I feel are worthy of debate. I will not be coaxed or cajoled into writing what people want to read. If no one wants to read what I write then so be it. So please LOL & ROFL as much as you like. I am glad you are so happy!

    All the best ...

  57. As a civil servant with first-hand experience of "curtailment" myself I can tell you that, regardless of whether the infamous circular exists or not (and it does) the level of curtailment very much depends on what the civil servant has to say. It makes little difference which "category" the civil servant is in. The content of the contribution itself is all that matters.

    In short, if the civil servant repeats the Government line or speaks/writes in favour of Government policy, then he/she will be free of any sort of curtailment. If on the other hand the civil servant takes a position contrary to the Government line (and regardless of whether that position is directly relevant to the work of his/her own department) then you can rest assured that he/she will be reprimanded, either via a letter from the Human Resources Department, or "off-the-record" advice from departmental superiors encouraging them not to participate in public debates in future.

    My advice to any fellow civil servants reading this is to ensure that AT ALL TIMES any reprimand or "advice" is official and put down in writing, thus giving you an opportunity to answer the allegations made against you in full. And, of course, involve the GGCA union at an early stage.

    All this might seem obvious, but from reading some of the posts above, it would appear that some labour under the misapprehension that civil servants have never had it so good in terms of freedom of expression.

    As with so much else, the "new" measures introduced amid much fanfare in 2005 to free up civil servants' ability to speak publicly was long on presentation but short on substance.

  58. Calpetano:

    Thank you that fully reflects my understanding from other civil servants who shall remain nameless.

    Over to Orwell ... Ghost??

  59. Can Gibraltar afford the civil service as currently populated and constituted - salaries & pensions? Should the burden of paying a bloated civil service which enjoys such comfy working practices fall so heavily on the private sector - without any regard for cuts, efficiencies or economies? Maybe the answers to these questions are in the affirmative. If so I congratulate the civil servants for having won el gordo and the private sector which pays their salaries and pensions for being so wealthy and taking on the mantle of Isabelita (Isabelita paga, remember?). Congratulations all round, in fact. On the other hand if the answer to either or both those questions is no, I dread to think how future generations of Gibraltarians are going to pay for the politicians courting of the civil service vote. If any one is interested my view is that Gibraltar is living in a completely false economic state and one false move could be disasterous. Maybe this is one of the important but uncomfortable truths that civil servants want to tell us about but are being gagged.

  60. The discussions on this thread relate to freedom of expression, including the freedom of expression of civil servants.

    The debate over the efficiency, value-for-money delivery etc. of the civil service is itself a valid but entirely separate issue, unless perhaps Anon attempts to blur the two because it suits him (and perhaps his politics) to discredit the entire civil service because some within it have legitimate concerns and grievances against the powers-that-be.

    I would nonetheless welcome a return to our original discussion.

  61. Ghost says:

    Robert I don't think I can disagree with much of what Calpetano is saying, although my take on your recent posts is more to do with almost trying to squeeze out some sort of conspiracy theory on gagging orders over civil servants; something which I believe is about as farfetched as your being a GSLP activist…..well maybe not that farfetched..;)

    Look in my view if there really was an issue here the Unions would be having a field day. Of course there are guidelines and in the case of civil servants (given the nature of their employment) one would expect there to be strict rules on what can and can’t be said particularly with high profile CS’s. But let’s be serious here, what is it that you want?

    Are we suggesting that CS’s can essentially hold GOG to ransom at the whim of keeping Robert and others content for the sake of checks and balances which may signal free society and holy democratic values, but which will undermine the establishment to the point of rendering it afraid of what CS’s may be free to speak of. Basically we end up with a Govt not able to function because its afraid of what its employees might be capable of.

    Is this debate about the freedoms of CS’s or about politicizing the Civil Service.

    This is not about CS’s speaking party line and therefore they are ok (as Calpetano says); they work for Govt and execute instructions accordingly regardless of their political beliefs, remember impartiality, integrity etc etc? all of which carry the burden and responsibility that the job entails.

    It is difficult for me to take a different view; I might be swayed if you were to give a hypothetical based on an experience in which you or other bloggers feel that your rights truly have been affected and in which your opinion or other would not undermine your dept, co-workers or the establishment for that matter.

    P.S. Anon 16:52 makes a hell of a point.

  62. Ghost

    I am ill in bed so do not have the energy to reply point by point (yet) but I do not and have never suggested a free for all for Civil Servants. Of course there are limits but those in turn are controlled by the right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association. The European Court of Human Rights have debated the balance require in various case. I can give you the names if you want to read them, believe me I have read them (and again today).

  63. I'm anon 1st jan 15.49. First commentator of 2011. I have been away for a few days y lo del circular y el code has it seems dominated the debate.
    Well the fact is that I will try to get a copy of the circular and the code of practice as I termed it which is actually called the General Orders and the Colonial Regulations which are both outdated.
    What has happened under the GSD government is that whilst with previous administrations (ie the AACR,IWBP and GSLP) chnages to these mentioned above was negotiated with the unions. I can reveal to you all that I use to take part in these negotiations.
    If I remember correctly and I am going back now nearly 18 years and yes for all you GSD people out there under the GSLP Govt woulod never change any clauses or any part of general orders without first having proposed the changes they intended to do.
    The current GSD Government and more specifically No6 have changed some parts unilaterally and the unions have not even intervened in any way to either object or making noises about this. Why? One can only presume that people like some current ministers who were there had vested interest.

    In the General Orders the part which I think and I will confirm at a later date is involved with political activities are clauses 6.1 to 6.6 and that is where I get the three catergories mentioned above.

    What the circular does(again off the top of my head but will confirm) is that it mentions that civil servant should always show the content of and tell their Head of Departments why they write to the media. It is obvious that there are few if any civil servant who will do this and if they find courage and do so they are discouraged by the head and usually trold that you are at risk of hampering your career in the service.

    I have been there!!

    That is why I write as anon.

    I admire Francis Buttigieg because he is a civil servant. The good thing about him is that he has had courage to put is name down and further has initiated the group against bullying. So if he is bullied he can use the group to at least to protect himself. Isn't it sad that he has had to start this group and that he has identified the amount of bullying in the work place and in the civil service. I leave that to Francis to actually lets us know what is happening.
    One last comment we all know the type of character our Chief Minister has and how he operates and deals with civil servants in convent place. So if this the example we have then things are NOW pretty bad.

  64. Anon 18:55. You clearly have no grasp of the responsibilities of a civil servant. Given your evidence, I suspect that we will see current union members enlisted in the next GSD line up. It seems that those at 6 Convent Place cannot be as disheartened as you would have us believe, considering the staff turnover. You should take the opportunity to speak to them before you make those assumptions, I know I have and it's a very different story.

  65. I agree with anon at 16.52. of course democratic rights of free speech should apply to civil servants but does the civil service provide value for money or is it a noose around the necks of this and future Gibraltarian generations. Everywhere in the world the public sector is being paired back - here there are so many public sector workers that no politician has the benzimes to mention the unmentionable. Calpetano may prefer to keep this thread tame and silly but the real ISSUE is the one made anon at 16.52. We need an urgent value for money review into the public service - fewer members of Parliament and fewer summer hours wise guys then we can have lower taxes and social insurance contributions(most definitely anonymous).

  66. Anon 18:55

    Que FUERTE tio. I am lost for words!

    Thank you for posting and shedding light on such issues.



  67. A Little Off Topic said

    I recently came across this article on the Gibraltar Chronicle
    It appears that the GoG used powers under the Civil Contingencies Act. A brief review of the act reveals that it grants very wide powers to the CM in the event of an appropriate emergency. My question is – was this such an emergency?
    If so it seems to me that we have set the bar pretty low for the invocation of such a potentially powerful act, and that the details of precisely how citizens were ordered out of private dwellings has not been precisely or publicly explained, even to those who were actually living there (see Letter to the Residents .

    Was the removal by Regulation or by direct order of the CM? If the latter were the relevant urgency requirements fulfilled? It is hard to imagine they were – after all the Med Hotel has been where it is, in the state its in for many a year.

    Was this a legitimate use of such a powerful piece of legislation? What prompted Government inspection in the first place? One can’t but help feel that there is far more to this story than meets the eye

  68. I have been told, but not by the person himself, that a certain civil servant appeared on a local television show and had also written a number of letters in the chronicle concerning a topic which was not political, but no doubt not popular with the power that be. I understand that after these contributions a number of enquiries were made about his holidays and that sort of thing and he was given a rather strong hint that in future he might think about keeping his trap shut.

    it was an interesting one because, if TRUE, it seems that the objection must have been more because the individual concerned spoke/wrote eloquently and convincingly about the topics concerned, rather than because they were political in nature. Articulate opposition not to be welcomed, despite what the CM has told us in his New Year speeches (given ironically shortly after he threatened to sue an outspoken monkey advocate into the middle ages).

  69. the unions are part of goverments political machinery . how many government or government owned companies have gone on strike for the last 16 years , well none . unions nowadays are government controlled . and this from a union activist. and yes before just to change regulations you needed union involvement but not anymore . and this goes back some 15 years

  70. Anonymous 5th January 2011 09:00

    It seems that this is a "real issue" for debate. I have had more hits and involvement than on many other topics. Obviously you so lack judgment and discernment. If you are going to try to belittle me at least have the decency to find an appropriate reason!

  71. I am Anon 5th January 2011 and would like to reply in John Lennon's immortal words:
    "I didnt mean to hurt you
    I'm sorry that I made you cry
    I didnt want to hurt you
    I'm just a jealous guy".
    Jealous at the success that you have had with Llanito World. At a time when the Gibraltar Chronicle has gone up to £1 and is too expensive to wrap up fish & chips and GBC is worse than an on board TV channel on a cheap cruise ship, LW is a source of information and fun and free. Y que te alieves - toma tila!

  72. Hello all and happy new year.

    I have just got back to my computer after the xmas break.

    anyways LW, a couple of ideas for your next blog:

    1) GBC appaling coverage of NYE celebrations and whether they are worth the money or not!

    2) I also noticed that every other ad on GBC was aquagib, a state owned company and the only water provider in Gibraltar. why on earth the need to advertise when there is no alternative out there and with OUR money!!

    ps am not intendign to start a new debate on this thread but rather just an idea for a new blog!!

  73. As far as I am concerned, the unions need to go back to basics.

    I believe they have lost the reason for their existence.

    Many have come to DAWN and continue to come stating how the union have not only failed them, but they feared the union have colluded with the employer to his or her detriment.

    One wonders if there has been more of the same in this latest episode with Building & Works.

  74. Rompercucos agreed that the GBC thing needs to be revisisted in this blog. Allan King has been in place for over half a year now and still nothing that was promised. Apparently the Steering Committee that was put together to plan the transition to a new GBC has only met once - that time they appeared before the Media introducing the committee members.

    We still continue to get irrelevant canned programmes on GBC about sea turtles in Asia, non-stop music video fillers, and dated celebrity themed and movie promo shows which are freely available to broadcasters around the globe. And loal production continues to diminish, with a half baked 10 minute news programme and 10 minute news filler show and no real journalism or debate.

    And in the meantime Allan King cobrando el mega salary que tiene que esta cobrando como CEO de GBC and living the expat life on the Rock all of which is being paid by us.

    RV maybe you could revisit the whole media thing in Gibraltar, especially with the Chronicle now charging a pound. Dom was interviewed on Radio today and made comparisons to Europa Sur which costs 1.10E, but at least the Campo Daily has a substantial number of pages, investigative journalism, opinion, columns and features and not 4 pages devoted to TV guide, whole page celeb interviews and whole pages devoted to Horoscopes on Mondays!

  75. I see that Anon 22:36 seems to think that I want to keep this thread "tame and silly". Unless I am mistaken, this thread is about freedom of expression, including freedom of expression within the civil service.

    He clearly has a very negative view of the civil service. That may well be a legitimate position to hold, but it is irrelevant to the issue at hand in this particular thread. His judgement that the civil service does not provide value for money (which may be correct) does not justify actions taken against particular civil servants who, within the rules, express views which are not to Government's liking.

    Unless of course, Anon is uncomfortable with the topic being discussed and would prefer to deflect the discussion on to an area in which he can be both "tame and silly".

  76. A good thing? About bloody time. It seems the Govt believes it can finally pursue a long standing belief by many that civil servants have it too good. In my humble opinion any reform over the very hefty financial burden that is the Civil Service is welcome. No doubt Picardo and Co will be committing to cast iron guarantees that if they get into power Civil Servants can continue to enjoy la buena vida.

  77. That is one of the BEST postings I have seen on LLW so far Francis.

    Direct, to the point and factual.




  78. Calpetano

    I agree that in the Civil Service, like in every other organisation, there are the good, the indifferent and the bad. Generalisations do not take us anywhere.

    I also agree that the point made is no justification for victimisation of those who legitimately exercise their fundamental right to freedom of expression.

  79. To Anon 17:43 is deliberately mixing la gimnasia con la magnesia. Don't try to change the subject. I as a civil servant might agree that there could be civil servants who don't pull their weight. We welcome reform but the GSD government have employed more civil servants than the GSLP ever did.
    So if I went back to the days of the GSLP government like most of you in the GSD like to do in sujects which you have no other relevant answer to or like the Chief Ministerdoes constantly to get out of all the messes he gets into (case in point to the extent of trying to make out that Bossano welcomed an Andorra solution in 1993 which is a lot of cops wollup!!) the fact in this case is that the GSLP deminished the civil service and try to reform it and you lot in the GSD critisiced them for that. Now its OK que hipocracia!!
    Goes to show that you have no arguments left.
    The issue here is freedom of expression by civil servants. Should anonymity be necessary in a democracy?
    Most bloggers have concentrated on the civil service being gagged by the PRESENT GSD govt. Thats the point!!
    As to roberts comment about the Chronicle today I have known about this letter which has been circulating before Xmas and that GBC brought it out and that Charles Sissarello came out the next day saying that GBC was wrong.
    Now it has come out since I believe that Jason Compson was treatened but he has had the courage to come out and speak up.
    That is what the topic is about and what the first blogger on this topic was talking about, the code and the circular by the GSD Government.
    Pity I have to sign as anon because of fear of repercussion by a GSD Government who promised us all that they were going to liberate us from the fear of the previous govt.
    I have stated before the difference is that in the days of the GSLP you saw them coming with the tinted mercs and medallion de oro, now The GSD kiss you on both cheeks but beware the knife that will be stuck on your back.
    Miedo mucho miedo ahora mas que nunca!!

  80. Has anyone read the Chronicle today? The subtitle reads “over 100 members threaten to leave Union”. A letter promptly follows on behalf of the Building & Works drafted by the official Shop Steward Jason Compson. Apparently over one hundred members have signed the letter. In it the District Office Charlie Sisarello is criticised for his actions. The Union is supposed to haggle and hassle until it gets the BEST possible BARGAIN for its members. This does not seem to be the case or so is being publicly stated. To which I will add, the other day I was walking down Main street when this “little birdie” told me some intriguing things. He ranted about how recently employed Civil Servants and anyone employed by the Government from now forth will no longer be entitled to a secure pension plan. Instead there is what is being referred to as a “pot”, when the funds in this “pot” run out so do the pension contributions. Allegedly the Heads of Department have agreed to these new terms, whilst being fully aware of the repercussions. Unfortunately there is an emerging and evident pattern here (assuming the birdie is being truthful), where some Civil Servants in senior positions have this “me da iwal de lo que pase contigo demientra que yo este bien” attitude. The collective mindset of the past and genuine concern for future generations has been replaced by an egotistic and individualist approach. I assume that if the “birdie” is indeed stating facts (as I believe he is) the mythical ‘aura’ the Government Job sector once had, will soon cease to be. Is this a good thing? hmm Regards, Kaelan

  81. Que bien va Gibraltar according to the CM in his New Year Message...y muy importante..que bonito va quedar todo con "pleasing to the eye" constructions and toilets Bring on the General Election anda picha......hace falta un soplo de aires nuevos!

  82. Before I say what I am about to say I want to make it clear that I do not believe that the GSLP or Fabian Picardo are an insult to Gibraltar, to the intelligence of the Gibraltarians and to democracy. The CM used his time on TV to defend the indefensible amid grotesque sniggers. No where in the western World does any leader have so much air time in a seasonal message. Caruana come the next election you will get a rude surprise and were it not for the sliminess of the opposition you would be booted out of office. GO AWAY!!!!

  83. Just heard the CM que estaba muy nervios. He said that his government had "vision for the future. Vision what Vision like the Theatre royal Vision thing which has cost the taxpayer well over £6m for a hole in the middle of town.
    He said that the opposition will try to buy votes. What a cheek! Isn't he buying votes by announcing a Bank Holiday for the wedding of Prince William. Announcing more tax cuts, announcing new bus shelters, the europa project etc, etc. And we will see trying to buy more votes in this years budget lets wait for it.
    Hace falta si o si un soplo de aires nuevos. I agree.

  84. My contribution should have read: .
    Before I say what I am about to say I want to make it clear that I do not believe that the GSLP or Fabian Picardo are the alternative. CARUANA'S NEW YEAR'S MESSAGE WAS an insult to Gibraltar, to the intelligence of the Gibraltarians and to democracy. The CM used his time on TV to defend the indefensible amid grotesque sniggers. No where in the western World does any leader have so much air time in a seasonal message. Caruana come the next election you will get a rude surprise and were it not for the sliminess of the opposition you would be booted out of office. GO AWAY!!!!

  85. Anonymous at 21:26

    By your own analysis the GSD will get re-elected, as there is no other electable alternative.

  86. Why is it that not only is the chief minister allowed nearly half an hour air time but then Newswatch uses nearly all the time it has for news on his speech. Why don't GBC do this to all other politicians??
    During the next months we will see how CARUANAWATCH will be increase in fact it is already happening in the GBC 2010 report. Have a look at it NOW.

  87. That is exactly what I said but it does not detract from the fact that Caruana behaved like a complete bour tonight. When politicians behave like this it signals their end. The GSD could still be reelacted without Caruana.They do have one man who could take over.

  88. It's ok Robert because Dr G has said that it's time for change, the GSD has been in power for too long and the GSLP offer fresh new faces and ideas. Hahahahaha. Four lost elections by the same leader and pretender now constitutes a fresh new look. It's a comedy.

  89. Tonights spectacle has convinced me that GBC is not a force for good. IT IS A NATIONAL EMBARASSMENT.

  90. Anonymous at 21:38

    I do not understand what it is that you are answering me on!

  91. What was the deadline for the elections again??? They still seem so far away! Time flies when you are having it true of the contrary too?

  92. The use of prime time TV for such crass political propaganda is undignified and a sign that our leader has no resopect for the people.

  93. Caruana has shown that he has neither style nor elegance. What an arrogant man he is.

  94. I thought New Year Messages by the CM were meant to be limited to under 10 minutes! Is there a time limitation or are there no rules in place for this? I always thought there was some kind of restriction in the same way there are for party political broadcasts. Also, if this is meant to be a Government of Gibraltar Message, is nobody policing it because it did seem more like a GSD party broadcast than a Government one. Surely the roles should be kept seperate! Does mr King have anything to say? Or is he still standing in a darkened corner sin voz ni voto?

  95. Was he a bore? He wasn't going on about statistics was he. Did he go on about how we were on the verge of economic catastrophe and was there mention of low cruise liner calls, oops no I mean low airline calls (cruise liner is now ok and accepted), did he go on about how gib is trying to over achieve, and tell me was he telling us how at risk we were from the imminent handover of our sovereignty. Que tio man. Were there any cast iron gaurantees. Fuff, when will they go.

  96. No pero bossano tiene un style propio vamo.

  97. Vindaloo: Relax guys look on the bright side GBC has so few viewers that only a small number of people will have seen PRCQC. It is true that Gibraltar at the moment has crap TV and crap politics.

  98. Que Bosano este mas pasao de moda que unos bell bottoms no quita que Caruana esta noche se a portao como se ha portao.

  99. How has the place that could count on men of the stature of Sir Joshua Hassan and Sir Bob Peliza come so low? Tonight I felt ashamed. Mr. Caruana it's time to resign.

  100. Anon 2158 You are right, but that is the usual GSD hardcore line. One would have thought PC would have gifted them with new ones this Christmas, and before I am criticised, NO I am not GSLP...I am not happy with the current state of the GSLP but will NOT VOTE Gsd at the next election.

  101. We need new blood but no one in the GSD the Liberal, the GSLP nor the PDP qualify as new blood. Caruana is the best of a very bad crop.

  102. |Anon 21:56 it is great that people like you have to refer to Bossano who incidently has to use one of the opposition party political broadcast to give his new year message. he might not have un style propio but that in itself show you are on the defensive.
    Can those who are trying to defend Caruana's abysmal show tonight defend him without mentioning the opposition?? Lets see their wit if they have any.

  103. In an advanced country the TV boss would have been fired and a performance like the one that PRC put on tonight would have been seen as the last gasp of a spent politician.

  104. With the lowest unemployment in Europe, growth in the economy, no social unrest, riots, or poverty, money in your pockets, low taxes, summer hours, free education and Bossano, el nino picardo y Micky mouse at the helm, you are stuck with the GSD for some time yet.

  105. oye, what is meant by new blood Feetham? He is in government now therefore he is not new blood. I would say new blood are those who have not been in Government before or those who have new ideas which by definition would be those in the GSLP Bar Bossano or even those in the PDP Bar Keith Azzopardi who have been in Government.
    If we are saying we want new blood why don't the people who are advocating this have courage and put their own names down and stand for election??
    By the way Caruana estaba choreando.

  106. Anon 22:23 It seems that you really believe Caruana. Me da pena if you have actually fallen for the propaganda.
    I resume you believe that Caruana gave us free education, growth in the economy money in our pockets etc. You must believe that Pigs fly and that the world started in 1996.
    ya que pena me da!!

  107. Anon 22:35. No llores mucho. You'll be fine, bossano, el nino picardo y Micky will make it all good for you in no time.

  108. Oh Bloggers of Llanito World who distort the truth and the great work of our Dear Leader, Peter Caruana QC. Your forum only exploits the lies and deceit of the Opposition who seek through this Blog to spread their untruthful statements. But dont fool yourselves the electorate will speak again, soon and they will seat our Dear Leader for another 4 years at his rightful place.

  109. Back to the old tactics, smokescreens and diversions from the real issue. CARUANA was abysmal and you cannot get away from it. I am not advocating Bossano,Picardo or Micky. Reading anon 22:12 he/she is absolutely right you cannot defend Caruana without refering to the opposition or insulting when you cannot use proper arguments.
    Free education was introduced by the church in the year dot when the Christian Brothers came to Gibraltar.Read traverso's book Education in Gibraltar.
    The economy had greater growth from the year 1988 to 1992 under the GSLP Look at revenue and expenditure of those years.
    Unemployment now is higher than from the 1960's when record of this nature started.
    Crime only this year has soared, Four arm robberies, two attempted murders, Muggings has risen and smuggling of tobacco is worse than on the hayday of the launches activity. The proof is the amount the GSD Government gets in revenue on tobacco, Lo que pasa es que ahora no se ve.
    I believe both are wrong anyway.
    Summer hours have been there since the AACR Government and not from 1996.
    Low taxes YES I admit it but we pay much much more on utilities now more than ever before and who benefits those who live in Spain who do not have to pay them.
    Now lets see if we can have a debate without insults and without mentioning the opposition, but the show of this GSD Government.
    We have a growing unemployment of professionals such as Lawyers and Accountants since the GSLP did away with the pointage system which has in itself created a problem which this government has not been able to solve.
    We have a GSD Government who have spent £6m in the "Theatre Royal" or hole in the ground. £80m In an unneeded air terminal.
    ETC. ETC.
    And Sadly a Chief Minister who has given an abysmal show tonight.

  110. Fellow Bloggers

    I must be the happiest Blogger on this -blessed Collective site, for I have seen our Dear Leader himself on TV. To think that he would take time out of his busy schedule of solving Gibraltar's problems, strolling with his wife and hugging his children to speak to all of us! Oh, gracious Peter! But it's not just that he spoke to us, but that he has told us that he has solved everything that was wrong . Yes, Bloggers, solved it. Read this letter; it will bring joy to hearts burdened with eight years of terror, oppression, and socialism under the GSLP.

    Repent, repent and ask for forgiveness Chief Blogger and he will forgive you.

  111. Yes they'll make it all good for him and many more people but the problem is for blokes like you anon 22.49 that have had it very good for very long pero not for mucho mas: IT'S THE END!

  112. GBC is a joke and a waste of time, I say we ALL boycott our licence fees!! they arent worth a penny!

  113. LW this was a good blog, but then you allowed it to be hijacked by those whose sole intention it is to ridicule Caruana, pity.

  114. Anonymous at 11:15

    No one has hijacked this blog. It is a forum in which anyone can express opinions. Equally supporters of the GSD and PRC are free to contribute and make their case. Unfortunately the reality is that such commentators resort to the past and not to justifying the present. There is a lot to be said for the present. Why not say it rather than just criticise? Go on have a go, it really is not difficult. There is a lot of good that can be talked about.

  115. Much as I was interested in hearing the New Years Message I did end up having to force myself to listen to the usual `more of the same`. I did have to chuckle on more than a couple of occassions most notably on the excellence of the affordable housing construction. Yes the one with residents who having moved into brand spanking new homes complain of water ingress amongst other problems. No mention however, of the additional cost of new front doors and changes to the windows which I presume is being met by our taxes ? How much has this cost us, who is at fault and where were the govts technical proffesionals when these doors and windows were approved in the first place for insallation?
    I for one would like to know why someones cock-up is costing me money !!

  116. There is no doubt that a great deal of work is done by the present GSD government. The CM listed the work done in his bizarre New Year Message. The problem is that almost all of his government's decisions have been wrong and have and continue to cost us. OEM, Haymills, Bruesa, Fly Gib... how may cock ups can you make when allocating major publc works? It is no use blaming OEM et al, the electorate needs to know why a government with such major technical resources can get it so consistently wrong. The destruction of the Theatre Royal, the Mediterranean Hotel and the Rosia tanks... the suggested public funding of the Midtown development,...There is a very clear common denominator in all these failures but he seems not to realise that the rsst of us know who / what it is and nothing changes. Nothing that the chief minister said last night in his unseemly diatribe addressed any of the charges laid against his government. But even the least clued in viewer will have been surprised at how what should have been a festive message of good will and optimisim was sullied by his grotesque use of Joe Bossano who he mentioned within seconds of starting this televisual ordeal as a diversionary tactic. I started watching in a good mood and by the end became literally angry that the CM should have come into my home via the pitiful excusr for a broadcaster that is GBC and insulted my intelligence. I think that the 2011 NY Message was an even bigger miscalculation than his Andorra cock up. Time to call it a day, Peter and GBC pay back the license fees.

  117. Part 1

    Does The CM think we are all stupid? Is he secretly hoping that we are? 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. I believe the CM is attempting to use the “If you tell a lie long enough, loud enough and often enough the people will believe it” tactic. What REALLY worries me though is that it actually MIGHT work! Once upon a time it worked for a well know head of state.
    By Kaelan Joyce

  118. Part 2

    Anonymous 22:23 No social unrest? The Gibraltar Fishing Association is up in arms and has been physically demonstrating against the Government, I know because I was there! The latest statement made by them is shown below: “GFSA does not support a solution that allows anglers from across the border to invade Gibraltar's coast line and waters to fish unregulated and uncontrolled. These new announcements and measures mean that all Spaniards and other visitors to Gibraltar can fish these marks as well. Whilst the opening up of the beaches and the North Mole is welcomed the Federation opposes the 'free for all' that will inevitably follow. We have taken one step forward but gone two backwards.” By Kaelan Joyce

  119. Part 3
    No social unrest? The Building & Works employees are on the verge of striking. The latest online comment made by their official Shop Stewart Jason Compson (who was threatened) states the following: “Are we prepared to sign a contract that we have not fully seen or understand? Why will the Union not give us the full contract? Why will the Union not talk to us? The union still wants to have the voting on the 14th WHY? The union has now decided to continue the voting on Friday. If the Union is not prepare to lesson to what we have to say, then we should go to a Union that will. I am no longer willing to pay over £100 a year to a Union that will not defend my rights or me. No social unrest?? Tu no sabe de que hablas amigo!! Do YOU even know what is going on in your OWN BACKYARD? Because I certainly do! Lowest unemployment rates in Europe? Yes this is possible, but when you take into consideration our total population tally, which incidentally comes to around 30,000, this isn’t particularly impressive. Please note there is a BIG difference between having to provide employment opportunities for 30,000 people and having to do so for MILLIONS of people. Furthermore the Government has decided to put all its “eggs in one basket” we are becoming extremely dependant on one particular industry that isn’t exactly what one would call ‘stable’. If this aforementioned industry were to “leave us” (for whatever reason) or collapse then we would have MAJOR unemployment issues. The taxes might be lower indeed but the Government makes up for it in other ways, take note of the comments made by anon 23:27 (utilities etc). 

By Kaelan Joyce

  120. Part 4

    On a final note I will like to add that “el ninio Picardo” is articulate, intelligent and gifted and THAT is the ONLY reason why the GSD sycophants (such as you) have constantly criticised him. His EVERY move is scrutinized and questioned as is his credibility as a politician. Seen as a MAJOR THREAT by the GSD fraction they will stop at nothing to ruin his reputation. Micky talks a good game and backs it up. He is honest and down to earth. Joe Bossano might be capable of many things but what he is NOT capable of is SELLING US TO SPAIN. Always remember that! Regards, K
    By Kaelan Joyce

  121. Anonymous said...
    Kafab, in answer to your second question if the fishing association is your idea if social unrest, you have lived a very sheltered life. Building and works has been a burden and a joke for years and their new contracts with massive pay increases are a concern because it will once and for all hold them to account and possibly get tax payers some return. There is no question about Picardo's intelligence. It is the behaviour of politicians that always needs to be scrutinised.

  122. Fruitcake: In answer to someone's post I do sincerely and solemnly believe that the Chief Minister thinks that others are intellectually inferior. This belief was however alleviated by his sharp mind and the help of the late Francis Cantos. Yesterday's new year message and the Andorra debacle shows just how important Mr. Cantos was for "brand Caruana".

  123. hay que tener cara, porque Buildings and Works han sido las pagas muertas del Gobierno for the last god knows how many years!!

    anda hombre!

  124. Kafab dice que no, que estamos con mucho social unrest y que lo pobres del building and works might go on strike. If they do it's a tough one because thay might not be able to fish either. Pero don't despair el equipo A, con bossano, el niño picardo y mickey estan ensima de todo esto y tienen solution para todo, bueno eso dicen porque hasta hora lo unico que han hecho es quejarse de to sin ofrecer nada meno sus pajas mentales sobre la economia y el areopuerto and not forgetting Andorra que por lo visto en el 2002 se le escapo. Hay que equipo.

  125. Es que tomarse cafelitos por el pueblo requires a lot of contractual to-ing and fro-ing!! and hombre, la verdad por delante, lo que aqui hace falta es menos rumba y mas trabaja! and the same goes for many other civil service departments, nadie nunca sabe nada! pero bien que saben quitarse del medio! and dont get me started on the ministers and opposition! waste of time, all them tanto el GSD como el GSLP! PAGAS MUERTAS todos, y mas tonto los que se ponen aqui a discutir GIBRALTAR POLITICS! sorry guys but there is no such thing!! que politics ni politics aqui en Gibraltar solo hay la politica del sol que mas calienta! AND THATS THE BOTTOM LINE!
    By Rompecuco

  126. :Entre el tonto que me sige llamando Kafab y el Rompeculos (it was that wasn't it?)que se creen que saben todo. Estamos bien apaniados!

    Sheltered life? Gibraltar has developed as have all modern Western civilisations. In this part of the world poverty is a thing of the past. I was fortunate enough not to experience the World War 2 era or the days when the frontier was closed. If you mean “sheltered life” because of this then yes you are right. This though does retract from the fact that the “Perfect Gibraltar” that the GSD Government keeps portraying does NOT exist.

    I find your constant mocking of the Angling campaign issues very distasteful. You might find these issues amusing but a lot of people in Gibraltar don’t and feel very strongly about them. I politely urge you to be humble (for once) and show some respect.

    As for the Buildings and Works employees, it is very easy to make bold and unsupported allegations form the comfort of one’s home. Especially whilst posting as anon or with a silly pseudo name, but let us not forget that these people have families to feed and children to take care of. They are fellow Gibraltarians who we (most probably) know and interact with. So before you throw all of your toys, Vaseline (lol), or woteva out of your prams and proceed to rant and rave about how useless they are please THINK carefully. We are talking about REAL people here with REAL families to support! If you ARE going to condemn their ways though please BACK your allegations up. Give us FACTS! If not SHUT IT.

    On a final note Mr.Romeculos, si nosotro somo TAN TONTO por descutir de “Gibraltar Politics” como tu dices what are you then? You label us idiots for debating about local politics then go on to do the same. Hypocrite!


    Kaelan Joyce

  127. I am not sure whether Rompecucos is a politically corect name. Anyway, in my experience people who call themselves thus are seldom what they say they are. Mr. Kaelan Joyce's inadvertent mistake calling the person in question Mr. Rompeculos is similarly, or more politically incorrect but I suppose that at the end of it all its a matter of sexual orientation although it does rather distract from the weighty isues at hand.

  128. Firstly I would like to point out that the GSD seem to be at a critical point (or so they seem to be portraying). This is evident in the fact that they can only rebuttal arguments made against them by citing the opposition and its debacles. However, the apex of all of this was the CM’s New Year message (a bit nervy and on the defensive if you ask me).
    In my humble opinion the above new years message reinforces the suggestion of many that the ‘core’ media organs in Gibraltar are a joke, as they SEEM to be influenced by a ‘greater force’. Were else in the world would a CM or PM be allowed to broadcast a political party message when in actual fact it was supposed to be a new years message. Such could be seen as condescending.

    Secondly, in reference to the on going Building and Works state of affairs it is valid to state that they are ‘pagas muertas’. I will not shy away from the fact that such department is a joke (as are many other government depts around the world are) and this has been the case for many years, but why bring this to light now, may it be because certain repairs need to be undertaken before election to attain more votes? However as Kaelan rightfully states, we must not detract from the fact that these are our people, with real families to mind. With this said, the govt should study ways to improve the efficiency of them, rather than doing away with such departments as this provides work and security for many Gibraltarians. It is evident that the govts approach has not been correct. Furthermore, the GSD minions have twisted things around and directed the arguments onto the efficiency of such sector, although valid, these are not the arguments been brought forward in this blog, so why the smoke screens? We are augmenting on the manner that the GoG goes about such issues and how the Union has compromised its position (as has been the case in these past years).

    Thirdly, anonymous 14:40……….. You state that ‘It is the behaviour of politicians that always needs to be scrutinised’……….. I believe that is what we are doing in this blog, and hence I hope you will not take offence when your party leader is also scrutinised, as you so rightfully state we should, after all he isn’t perfect or is he?

    Fourthly, anonymous 15:34…………. I love your sarcasm :) but let me enlighten you with my thoughts, I would much rather have ‘el equipo A’ than el ‘equipo P’. At least Bossano and his crew we can see coming from a mile away, but the same cannot be said for the ‘equipo P’. Unfortunately, nowadays in Gibraltar es como dice el dicho ‘todo esta muy bonito por fuera pero en el fondo es un asunto diferente’. Furthermore let me remind you why Mr Peter Cummings was kicked out/left the party …….. For 'proposing an Andorra solution'..... and we do have footage, don’t we? Que pena que la ley no es igual para todos...hmmmmm..... and in reference to the Andorra solution no matter how you try and disguise it a dog is a dog and the Andorra model involves some sort of joint sovereignty, whether you like it or not. If not review the new constitution i attach the link: (and please don’t only read the preamble read art 43-49). Lo unico que esta claro aqui es que unfortunately we are becoming a ‘pueblo’ que va 'adonde el sol mas calienta' and who SEEMS does not feel the need to plough the way for the generations to come. Don’t you ALL realise how special and important this piece of land is!!! I would also welcome a conversation on matters regarding our economy and the airport costs (however I doubt RV will allow this).

    On a final note…….. Rompecuco…… although I do agree with some of what you say, I disagree in the fact that there are no politics in Gibraltar. On the contrary, it is what we do today that will decide our future. So we should be grateful to individuals such as RV. Remember WE are the ones with the POWER, not the Govt. They are elected by us and as such they have a duty to act in our best interests.


  129. Anonymous 18:00

    I am sorry if I have offended anyone with my previous posting this was never my intention.

    I was merely indulging in a bit of banter.



  130. Rompeculos writes: Apologies accepted. In retrospect I can understand why I may have been confused with Rompecuco now let us concentrate on the pollitics.

  131. Cucumberbear now interjects to say...

    Anonnymity ought not to be desireable in a democracy, in a perfectly functioning democracy that is.

    But we are not dealing with a democracy in the truest sense of the word.

    We are dealing with a partial democracy in which the people have a vote, that they may excecise every 4 years, and that is the limit of it.

    Therefore to call what we have a democracy is plainly an insult to any thinking citizen.

    Therefore it follows that anonymity is a cloak that is necessary in the current political climate, in the hope, that one day, with a newly elected govt things will change for the better, allowing all of us to speak freely without fear of retribution.