Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The "Andlaw" Incident and Today's GBC Statement

There has been much controversy over the statement made on "Talk about Town" by Louis Andlaw to the effect that the women's place is in the home and pregnant.  It is correct that Louis should be accorded his full  right to freedom of expression.  It is all the case that all those who have criticised this statement also enjoy that right to freedom of expression and so to criticise him in the strongest terms.  It is not correct to say, therefore, that he is being "victimised", as suggested by Mr Solomon Seruya in his letter published in the Chronic today.   If someone makes a comment that is highly offensive to many women and men he must be prepared to weather the storm that such a comment unleashes.

The Gibraltar Constitution prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sex.  A statement of the type made by Louis may not be a breach of this prohibition, because it is not an act but an expression of opinion, but, certainly, if anyone acted against a woman, in employment or any other aspect of life, on the principle contained in this statement, it would certainly be a breach.  This comment is harmful and offensive to the vast majority of women (Odette excepted, although she did express disagreement with the view) and to a large number of men (Richard and David excepted also).  In these circumstances should GBC have permitted it to be broadcast?

GBC may be forgiven for the first incident, when it was first broadcast on "Talk about Town".  This is a live programme.  It is difficult to prevent, in these circumstance, such impromptu statements being broadcast. The statement made by Mr King today in that context would provide an explanation and would distance GBC from the statement.  Unfortunately that is not the case.  Two whole weeks after the first broadcast, already faced with mounting criticism, GBC positively permitted Louis to restate and reaffirm his belief in the sentiments expressed and, to add more damage to an already appalling incident, allowed Richard, David and Odette to defend Louis.

Mr King now says that Louis' statement do not reflect the views of GBC.  I believe a bland statement to this effect is not enough.  GBC allowed a reaffirmation of the statement.  Implicit in this permissive and conscious act is that, some may well form the view that, perhaps, it does reflect the view of GBC or of some at GBC.  Therefore, and under the principle of fairness espoused by the BBC, the right of reply should be given on "Talk about Town" to a representative of those who have so strongly objected and expressed contrary views.  It is not enough, surely, to have allowed someone to phone in.  It is not enough, surely, for Mr King to say that those who do not share Louis' views " ... are just as free to express contrary views ... on such GBC programme as they might be appearing on", without offering them the opportunity to do so.

The fact that "Talk about Town" is one of GBC's most popular programmes is irrelevant , as is the fact that Louis may be the catalyst that makes it popular.  This is especially so as, other than for the News, "Viewpoint" and one religious programme, GBC does not transmit any other scheduled programmes that it produces.  Harmful and offensive statements will always have some supporters.  The balance on this one is clearly against the transmission of the second programme containing Louis' reaffirmation and defence.  It was not a measured, polite debate, which GBC might wish to host, which would be perfectly acceptable, to argue the merits or demerits of what women might do or not do in today's society.  It was a rude, harmful and offensive statement spoken rudely and offensively, what if its content had been racist or critical of sexual orientation?

It is not just the content of the statement but the manner and fervour in which it was made that has caused so much harm and offence.  A public service broadcaster needs to take care not to cause gratuitous harm or offence.  Behaviour on "Talk about Town" needs to be moderated.


  1. Roberto
    Antes nada CONGRATULATIONS !!! Por la Victoria, me dicen que Eres un Gunner !

  2. It is very unfair to judge Mr Anlaw como un machista specially as his comment has been put out of context.. However, he could have sorted the matter out by explaining that he didn't mean any harm, and excuse himself publicly. It is sad that this issue has reached this point... As you mention TAT is extremely popular.... It provides a far balance on Gibraltar generally..
    Roberto, suerte en Barcelona !

  3. Anonymous at 23:02

    I really do not think Louis' comments are being taken out of context. I saw the programme and I was shocked and appalled. Not only did he make the statement but when Richard tried to make light of it he retorted that he absolutely believed the sentiments expressed. Two weeks later, although he said it was intended as tongue in cheek, he stood by and believed in the statement. How this can be tongue in cheek beats me!

  4. Valiente temita Robert. lololol

    I think I am just going to sit back and watch this one. Should do for a VERY interesting read.

    Ps - Looking foward to next Thursday I shall be there :)


  5. Great article Robert.

    I think GBC have dug a bigger hole for themselves on this one.

    All this entire Andlaw debacle is very embarrassing.

    I hope the Women Association say something about this sorry affair.

    In my view, Andlaw and all the rest should keep their comments neutral when it comes to gender, sexual orientation, creed, colour, religion or race. Better this than what we are having to endure.

    Please, someone 'youtube' this TAT programme. Let’s see what the world thinks of this.

    Would we feel proud of such derogatory comments towards our sister, mother, wife?

    Well done to the young lady that wrote in the papers. I take my hat off to you.


  6. I commented the following in one of your previous blogs, I think its more appropriate here...

    if Mr Andlaw, or anybody else for that matter stated an anti-semitic comment or referred to the blind or partially sighted derogatively, I very much doubt his fellow panellists would have laughed it off and put it down as a pensioner, born in another era, entitled to his own opinion.

    Off course it matters not what Mr Andlaw thinks, we will all get on with the rest of our lives regardless, but why will we? Simply because women have battled throughout history, and specifically during the last century to achieve the level of rights we enjoy today.

    Should he go? I think so, his views are of the past and they should stay there where they belong, however, he should also take the rest of the panellists with him. Their stance on Thursday was as belittling and patronising to the female sex as Mr Andlaw's.

    Ms Benatar's comments that we should teach our sons to respect women were irrelevant to the argument. Perhaps, if we all taught our children, irrespective of their gender, to respect everybody else, then we wouldn't find ourselves in this predicament.

    Mr Bentata raising us up above men because we can raise kids better says nothing about us. There are plenty of men who have succeeded where he has failed.

    As for Mr Cartwright, he should know better. His experience as a broadcaster should have kicked in many moons ago and kept Mr Andlaw in check long before we arrived at this stage.

    Mr King, wake up! You are getting paid handsomely, its time to put your mouth where your money is!

  7. Marcellus Wallace17 February 2011 at 10:01

    Such comments have no place in a modern free society!
    Would the following remark: "A black man's place is in the corn field" be dismissed quite so easily by GBC; as just a pensioner's outdated view? I think not!

  8. The fact that GBC waited a couple of weeks to issue a statement basically says it all and is testament to the culture that generally exists in Gib at all levels when it comes to prejudice and our attitudes. Had there not been uproar over the matter GBC would not have batted an eyelid, contrary to the recent situation at Sky News where action was taken immediately. The fact that Sky took action immediately was evidence of the recognition that such comments and attitudes have no place in a modern society.

    Both GBC and Mr Andlaw had the opportunity to put the matter right in last weeks TAT, unfortunately, they add more fuel to the fire by making a poor attempt at explaining what Mr Andlaw really meant by the comments. Not good enough I`m afraid. People were offended.. I was offended by the `kitchen` and `pregnant` remarks and as such Mr Andlaw and GBC should have made a better effort at an apology.

  9. "It is very unfair to judge Mr Anlaw como un machista specially as his comment has been put out of context..."

    Out of context? He explicitly states that he believes a woman's place is in the home. In what context does that become any less "machista"?

    I'll be the first to admit that there are fundamental differences between the genders (other than the obvious of course...) and there is absolutely nothing wrong with a woman staying at home to look after her husband and her family IF that is HER choice - I can say the same for a man however.

    At the end of the day we cannot change Mr Andlaw's views and he can proclaim them to his heart's content... In a way, it is a positive thing that we can dismiss his statements and not have to all be in uproar as it proves that they have no place to be taken seriously in today's society.

    There are far more worrying views in Gibraltar which affect both the genders such as the seemingly prevalent attitude that the ultimate goal in life is to get maximum return from minimum input - a life time goal which our Governments (past and present) have made tangible to so many in the many (and much coveted) cushy jobs that they provide.

    When this more fundamental attitude changes and we start creating environments that will nurture ambition and a need to feel achievement THEN everything else will follow - for men and women. (Including a past topic that was touched on about all the high paying job being taken by ex-pats: Now we can't be completely blameless for that either can we??)

    And guess where all of this should start? In the home... By setting an example that should come from BOTH parents.

    May I ask - Why do almost all children in Gibraltarian schools study GCSE and A level Spanish when it is a language that we cover perfectly well in our social lives??? and let's not give a ridiculous excuse about learning to use the language correctly - If that was really the interest that we would have advanced Spanish classes for our children in order to give them better opportunities to use Spanish in a business context... The answer is: Minimum input, maximum return.

    Sorry to deviate off topic a bit... I must really get back to my cooking and cleaning now.

    Westside School Graduate

  10. The comments made by Mr Andlaw in themselves do not offend me as I take into account who they have come from. I accept his view and even understand in part how he may have come to form it. What I consider most objectionable is the manner in which the other presenters goad him so as to hear his sexist views and then snigger and giggle (like naughty children) in agreement. This is tantamount to being accomplices. This has, as I have mentioned in other posts, been taking place for a long time now, and we, as viewers, are fed up quite frankly. These comments are not and have never been in the least bit amusing.
    GBC is clearly continuing to adopt the ostrich syndrome of sticking one's head in the sand. This will no longer work. Its time to take responsibility as a Corporation which is ultimately there to serve the people (as opposed to offend them). It is failing in its duty of care to the public. What I actually find astonishing is the pussy-footing that takes place. Why cannot Mr King simply come out and do what is right? And I think we all know what that is. His response is inadequate and falls short. How can he give credence to the sexist views of Mr Andlaw (and the TAT gang) by allowing the presenters the continued privilege of airing their views to all GBC viewers. We are not interested in having to hear these sexist remarks. Not everyone is born to lead, but GBC needs a leader who is willing to stamp out the institutionalized sexism that lives in his corporation.
    I think it is a shame that Richard's long and respected career has come to this. Where is his experience and awareness as a presenter ? Brushing things under the carpet does not and will never work!
    Similarly the Womens' Association have been spineless. I am indeed disappointed.
    So yes I agree with every word you have written in your blog Robert.

  11. The fact is that bar a few public comments here and there from woman themselves, there really doesn't appear to be the public outrage that such an issue deserves! I suppose it's good for some to let off steam on sites like this, although I am afraid that if Gibraltar tackles such matters the same way it has anemically dealt with other social issues than organisations like GBC and prehistoric individuals like Loius (Flintstone) Andlaw and many others will continue to drag this society back to the dark ages.
    Societies don't change by themselves, it's people that live in them that do all the changing, look at whats happening in all these Muslims countries, people power is what makes the difference, we've all seen these changes unfolding before our very eyes!
    We certainly have the people in Gibraltar and the power to make change, although I'm not so sure about the will, desire and social guts to make it happen!!
    If Only!

  12. What has the Woman's Association and Woman's Business Network and all other like groups have to say about this issue? They are conspicuous by their CONTINUED silence!




  14. Shocked by what I saw, and I only saw the second programe, GBC had removed the first one!! Nevertheless does the fact that Gibraltar has a comparably higher religious background than eg the Uk that the comments were accepted without further punnishment?

  15. I agree with anon @ 13:34. Where is the Woman's Business Network and the Women's Association?

    At a time like this, what should we make of their silence? Are they not interested? Do they not agree? Do they not care?

    And yet, should they come out and defend TAT or dismiss the comments as something not worth worrying about, I think I'd be more concerned about the reasons behind their existence, than I am now.

    Perhaps its better they remain silent, after all.

  16. Hi RV,

    TRIED to stay away but when comments from the likes of Anon 11:02 are posted (Westside School Graduate) one cannot do so.

    These comments:

    “May I ask - Why do almost all children in Gibraltarian schools study GCSE and A level Spanish when it is a language that we cover perfectly well in our social lives??? and let's not give a ridiculous excuse about learning to use the language correctly - If that was really the interest that we would have advanced Spanish classes for our children in order to give them better opportunities to use Spanish in a business context... The answer is: Minimum input, maximum return.”

    Do make me laugh.

    Why do English students in the UK study English at GCSE and A level? Or French nationals French? Or German nationals German?

    Well because there is a NEED for them to learn the language adequately. It is called getting EDUCATED. It is not an "excuse" it is a FACT.

    Even though we are not Spanish but British, our first language (predominately) is Spanish therefore we should learn the language accordingly. There is a NEED to for it.

    There is a NEED to learn the Spanish language to a level that will enable us to read, write and understand it accordingly. The Gibberish we learn in the streets is not proper Spanish and is a useless asset. This should be common knowledge I cannot BELIEVE I am having to justify such things!! lolololololololol

    Furthermore I believe you to be a GSD sycophant with underlying motives and current/existing ties to the expat community.

    The manner in which you attempt to clearly DEVIATE from the topic at hand by stating, “all the high paying job being taken by ex-pats: now we can't be completely blameless for that either can we??” - Give credibility to my assessments.

    As do the following:
    “cannot change Mr Andlaw's views”, “it is a positive thing that we can dismiss his statements”, and “There are far more worrying views in Gibraltar”.

    A rather LAME attempt in my opinion to defend a flagrant GSD supporter (which Mr Andlaw is).

    ME REYNA!! Mr. Andlaw’s comments where outrageous no matter HOW you attempt to sugar coat the truth or deviate from the FACT that as a public figure he should NEVER had said such things!

    The most SHOCKING thing was that Mr. Andlaw had the audacity to STAND by his statements. He did not even have the DECENCY to apologise!!!

    If any other person in Gibraltar would have made such comments they would have been fired. Yet as he is part of the GSD "POSSY" everyone turns a blind eye even Alan King, who should know better.


    Que poka verguensa.

    Ps- your "abolishment" proposal of the Spanish language from OUR shcools was also a BIG give away regarding your (suspected) expat ties.


  17. I have always deeply despised men who disrespect women. But to me there is something even more odious around these days and that is the constant baleful bleating and whining of politically correct pond life. DM who wrote at 14.57 wants to "punish" Mr. Andlaw and to libel religious people as mysoginists. I say to those who would shout down freedom of speech and insult religion: "get a life!"

  18. It had to be Kafab that starts on the political agenda and tries to taint Andlaws comments to the GSD. Is this kid for real or on a payroll of sorts.

  19. K
    I am sorry but there is a big difference between Spanish gcse and English gcse. English gcse are geared towards native speakers whereas Spanish gcse is not. Therefore there is a big difference between the exams and perhaps the reasons why most gibs get an A in Spanish whereas they may not in english. This is because the Spanish gcse is a joke for native gib speakers whereas the English gcse is relatively harder.

    From my experiance in school, Spanish classes are a joke in gib conprehensive, we would just lounge around and chat, why not it is basically a guaranteed A as it is geared to non native speakers.

    Furthermore many unis do not accept Spanish A levels from Gibs when they apply, why should they it's an easy A


  20. Errr..excuse me K but my first language has NEVER been Spanish. For that matter it`s never been my mothers either and she`s pushing 70. Spanish would have been a first language for my grand parents and they`re long gone. I know that you are quite a few years younger than I so in all probability your first language is also English as is mine. It is the language you will have learnt to read and write at school as a young child and Spanish as a subject would not have entered the equation until much later.

  21. Mr Gomes
    You seem to have misunderstood me. I consider myself to be religious and according to the three Abrahamic religions there is a strong emphasis on women being the 'house keepers' and are the ones responsible for bringing up children, at least in my interpretation of it. If you see what I wrote, It was just a question for debate. I was not implying anything, I believe the way of god is the only way forward.

    Re Mr Anflaws comments, I have only seen the 2nd show, so I cannot comment on what he said the first time, but there is no way that language or manner is has any space in a publicly funded network that is the GBC.

  22. As usual I agree with Charles Gomez, the voice of reason, that there are too many nerds who delight in attacking anybody who does not toe the politically correct line. Down with political correctness. Freedom of speech for ever! No one has been hurt by Mr. Andlaw except himself and Llanito World should not be stirring this pathetic storm in a tea cup. GET A LIFE.

  23. Mr Gomes
    You seem to have misunderstood me. I consider myself to be religious and according to the three Abrahamic religions there is a strong emphasis on women being the 'house keepers' and are the ones responsible for bringing up children, at least in my interpretation of it. If you see what I wrote, It was just a question for debate. I was not implying anything, I believe the way of god is the only way forward.

    Re Mr Anflaws comments, I have only seen the 2nd show, so I cannot comment on what he said the first time, but there is no way that language or manner is has any space in a publicly funded network that is the GBC.

  24. I am delighted to note that Charles Gomez does not subscribe to any "Core Principles of the Coalition of Independents for Reform". Thank God for free thinkers.

  25. Democrat: Frankly Mr. Vasquez I find your last line: "Behaviour on "Talk about Town" needs to be moderated" highly distasteful and undemocratic. Who are YOU to say what is good and bad behaviour?

  26. As a woman I found Mr. Andlaw's comments silly but no more. The lynch mob reaction of some people I have found more concerning. I agree with Charles Gomez that the rabble rousers should get a life.

  27. Charles Gomez

    No one speaks of misogynists,which is a rather strong word. DM has raised a point that may or may not have a basis but is worthy of debate.

    I am surprised that in defending the religious, you see fit to use words like "despise" "odious" and "pond life"(when referring to other humans).

    Also, I do not think DM wants to punish Mr Andlaw but rather he wants accountability from those who are at fault in this incident. A reasonable request, in my view.

    Where is the "libel"? I do not see it, not that you can libel a group as disparate and undefined as "the religious".
    Let those who are not religious be allowed to equally exercise their right to freedom of speech. If they wish to say anything about religion so be it. Some might say that the religious who damn the non-religious to hell and damnation are insulting the non-religious.

    After all the fundamental message of most mainstream religions, and certainly of Christianity, is tolerance and forgiveness.

  28. Regarding the Spanish exams ....

    The level of Spanish in Gibraltar, especially from the youth, is poor and is getting worse by the day. Evidence of this is that an A in A Level (and indeed GCSE) is not even a guarantee anymore with MANY getting B's and C's. Most of our teenages can't string 4 words together in spanish and come up with blank expresions when someone tries to speak to them in Spanish. They are far far away from the level teenagers had only 10 years ago.

    Instead of having less Spanish lessons what we should be doing is having more Spanish classes from PROPER spanish teachers (from across the frontier) from a younger age. This should be incorporated into the curriculum as a compulsory subject and the exams to be taken extended to First Language options as we used to have in the past.

    Whatever the reasons for the declining levels of Spanish (Sky TV, influx of expats who have little interest in learning spanish, it isn't posh to speak spanish etc) we need to maintain what is a key competitive advantage for Gibraltarians in the workplace. Spanish is quickly becoming one of the most useful languages to have especially in the USA where it is quickly expanding. Not only that we are a BILINGUAL society, this is what makes us different and its our heritage.

    I am appalled that this has totally been overlooked by the education department, this should be a priority (rather than flying around the globe to useless international conferences). We shouldn't need to have a Spanish political institute come in to sort this out.

    I hope that those charged with this in our Govt try and put this right because Gibraltar has lost / is losing its bilingual status very very quickly.

    Johnnie Chimpo

  29. Anon 17:13

    It seems like it from my perspective. I call them as I see them!

    Anon 17:22

    Whether it is easy or not for us is neither here nor there, as is the fact that a lot of Universities will not accept the aforementioned qualifications from locals.

    You are completely missing the point here.

    There is a NEED to read and write in Spanish because even those few hours we do during our comprehensive years will pay off in the long term. Some people (like you) might have viewed Spanish classes as a joke but I didn’t and many of my peers didn’t either.

    The fact it is seen as a Mickey Mouse qualification is irrelevant (let’s not talk about Mickey Mouse degrees shall we?). Engaging in Spanish dialect and debate in an academic manner rather than using the usual Gibo slang is highly educational. We are (during this process) unknowingly taking our Spanish speaking, reading and writing skills to a whole new level.

    I shall concde there might be a need to increase the difficulty of such courses, but we should never to do away with them altogether. Furthermore I know A LOT of people who struggled with A level Spanish.

    Anon 17:44

    Spanish is the first language for over 60% of our population whether you like it or not.

    Incidentally it is MY first language.

    I speak to all my family, friends (most of them), GF and even my Pet (panchito) in Spanish!

    It is part of OUR ROOTS and who we are.

    Deal with it.

    Ps - Buena Johnnie :)


  30. Re the calls for some people to "get a life". I have a life. I rather like it. My life is not based on regarding the woman's place as barefoot, pregnant and in the kithcen. Nor is it based on regarding homosexuality as an abomination, and homosexuals as spawns of Satan worthy of contempt or marginalisation. Perhaps that makes me "pond life". I do not care - I will leave the pathetic name-calling and reactionary indulgences to the Evangelical Alliance and their legal representatives. Let's just hope they never get into positions of power.

  31. Robert you jumped on the anti Andflaw band wagon and you have come unstuck. Political correctness is a thing of the past. It is rotting away in the UK and we must not let it take root in Gibraltar. If you are going to succeed politically keep away from stale ideologies.

  32. Off topic but the New People has stopped its childish references to "the mystery man". Have they got a new editor?

  33. I think that we should all consider the establishment of los Cervantes and make use of it, that's what it's there for and embracing something that could benefit us all has to be a worthy consideration over this silly fear that we might all be brain washed. Our Spanish is generally very poor, particularly vocabulary wise and we should all be encouraged to learn properly and not use this slang which only makes us look and sound ridiculous. Has anyone ever got stuck in their tracks whilst in conversation with a spaniard because of a limited vocabulary?

  34. I live in the UK and huge levels of political correctness exist here. I do not think the lack of political correctness in Gibraltar is a bad thing.

    I do not agree with Mr Andlaw but he makes one good point. Having both parents working is very bad for family life. Unfortunately many people do this not out of choice but because one income is not enough.

    My view is that everyone has a right to an opinion, but GBC is not obliged to provide air time for all opinions. But it should not go out of it's way to censor things either.

    Many people have said things which are not politically correct, e.g. Peter Caruana has said the government should not be giving the impression that homosexual buggery is OK. No minister in the UK would say something like that today, because things have changed so much in the last 20 years, but again this is a personal opinion.

    Don Juan

  35. Anonymous at 18:16

    You cannot be much of am independent thinker when you condemn the Core Principles of the Coalition of Independents for Reform without even having seen them. I would suggest to you that Charles Gomez will at least read and consider them before rejecting them ... He may even agree on some of them.

    Anonymous at 18:22

    Is this a real comment? Undemocratic? I cannot be undemocratic as I have no power. All I have done is exercise my right of freedom of expression after defending this same right as exercised by all others, including Louis Andlaw.

    I am exactly that no one with any power. I am just someone expressing an OPINION, so I cannot be undemocratic.

    Distasteful? To preach moderation is "distasteful"? That is news to me.

    Anonymous at 20:04

    I have jumped on no band wagon. I condemned the statement by Mr Andlaw virtually immediately he made it in a comment more than 2 weeks ago. I write what I believe and give MY opinions. If I succeed politically it will be because people believe in my opinions. I will not mould them to what others think simply to succeed. It is precisely that attitude that is ingrained in our party political system that I am fighting against. If that means I come unstuck so be it but I do not think that this is the case save with some reactionary persons who would never vote for me anyway.

  36. Let's not miss the woods for the trees folks. GBC has continually given credence to the sexist and obsolete views of Mr Andlaw, merely by allowing them to be aired repeatedly. Surely less airspace should be given to people with such offensive opinions.

    Who is to blame?

    Not Mr Andlaw who expresses his views (mistaken as they are). Although he might have done the gallant and gentlemanly thing and at least apologised to those he offended.

    Mr Cartwright and co- presenters? Most certainly for having avoided the issue, patronised the caller, blindly defended Mr Andlaw (who I am sure did not need their defending), addressed the issue at the end of the programme thereby undermining its significance, lacked professional integrity, generally allowing the situation to deteriorate instead of limiting the damage caused.

    Mr King? Of course as the man at the top he should not allow this type of scenario to arise, ( I am certain others individuals would be able to entertain the public equally as well as Mr Andlaw without offending half the population in the process!) Secondly once such a scenario has arisen Mr King should act in the public interest and condemn offensive behaviour and comments. Giving Mr Andlaw little warnings is not enough. I have no faith in his ability to lead GBC (at least not in the right direction!!) His actions (or lack of) reek of cowardice and complacency. I fear that he will only reinforce sexist views.

    I wonder what the female staff at GBC have to say about Mr King and the way he runs his ship? I wonder whether they are subject to sexist treatment of any kind? I wonder indeed.

  37. Anonymous at 21:24

    I think it may be a little unfair to place all the blame on Mr King. There is a higher authority: the GBC Board. This board is charged by the Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation Act to control and govern the Corporation. Has it done so on this occasion? It has certainly been very quiet throughout? Has it even met to discuss the controversy? Have they checked the guidelines that existed when I was on the Board to see whether it provides any rules that are applicable?

  38. Why hasn't Viewpoint addressed the topical subject of sexism ?

    More burying one's head in the sand!!

    Ignoring things doesn't make them go away chaps!

  39. So there are layers of incompetence then. Great.

  40. "Spanish is the first language for over 60% of our population whether you like it or not."...

    Where on earth did you come up with the 60% figure ??? Is this another area of your expertise ??

    I am old enough to be of your parents generation and the fact that (rightly or wrongly) most youngsters under their mid twenties are more fluent in English than Spanish is testament to which language we are most familiar with.

    I can only assume that if Spanish is your first language you must have spent your initial educational years at a Spanish school ???... Not that I`m suggesting there`s anything wrong with that by the way.

  41. GBC should get a life its programmes even without Andlaw are very poor.

  42. Anon 21:52

    The common Llanito/a speaks Spanish mainly. Whether he/she speaks it appropriately or not is another matter altogether.

    Are you denying this?

    I never went to any Spanish school as such lolol.

    There are no stastics to prove or DISPROVE my assessments I am just using COMMON sense.


  43. Westside School Graduate18 February 2011 at 10:33

    Kaelan Joyce.

    Thanks for your reply.

    It's funny that you accuse me of being a GSD sycophant when i specifically place blame on past and PRESENT governments for the attitudes that I believe are prevalent in our society.

    You are wrong in your accusations... both of my political views and of my ethnic background. I am "100% llanita" as we like to state. Mis padres nacieron en Gibraltar. Yo naci en Gibraltar. Mis hijos naciran en Gibraltar. They don't come more Gibraltarian than me, mi rey.

    If you had taken the time to read my comment properly you would have seen the point where I state that we shouldn't pretend that that GCSE and A level spanish are taught because we need to learn the language properly, which is exactly your argument. GCSE and Spanish A level are designed for non-native speakers... GCSE and A level English are designed for NATIVE speakers... I know this first hand as I have all four qualifications. My point is that my time studying spanish GCSE and A level would have been far better spent learning the language to a much higher level, rather than just get a certificate to prove what I already knew... I can happily read La casa de Bernarda Alba in my spare time and fully appreciate it with the knowledge that I was lucky enough to acquire as a citizen and resident of a bilingual territory. Why are we not taught advanced Spanish so that we can better transfer these skills to the work place?

    I am not and would never defend Louis Andlaw's comments - I am in complete disagreement and find them abhorrent. However I can dismiss them because as a woman, I know full well and first hand that that my "place" is not in the home.

    I feel an obligation to reach my full potential, socially AND professionally. I just wish that this was a more widely held view in our society by BOTH men and women.

    As for my party preferences... If it were possible, my ten votes would go to Robert...

    Vive la revolucion!

    On another note I do very clearly see the disparity between the Spanish speaking teenagers of 10 years ago (myself included) and the teenagers of today and I think it is very sad that our bilingual identity is being lost - The goverment and the people should be aware of this and should do something about it. A second language is a priceless asset.


  44. WSG 10:33

    I see your tone has now changed and that you "sing" a very different tune indeed.

    How could I misperceive such comments? Please see below:

    (1) “May I ask - Why do almost all children in Gibraltarian schools study GCSE and A level Spanish when it is a language that we cover perfectly well in our social lives??? and let's not give a ridiculous excuse about learning to use the language correctly - If that was really the interest that we would have advanced Spanish classes for our children in order to give them better opportunities to use Spanish in a business context... The answer is: Minimum input, maximum return.”

    (2) “all the high paying job being taken by ex-pats: now we can't be completely blameless for that either can we??

    Furthermore you are mistaken when you state the following: “I state that we shouldn't pretend that GCSE and A level Spanish are taught because we need to learn the language properly, which is exactly your argument”.

    That is NOT my argument at all on the contrary it is the exact OPPOSITE!

    Please feel free to re-read my initial posting and you will see that what I DID post was, “There is a NEED to learn the Spanish language to a level that will enable us to read, write and understand it accordingly. The Gibberish we learn in the streets is not proper Spanish and is a useless asset.”.

    To which I then added “There is a NEED to read and write in Spanish because even those few hours we do during our comprehensive years will pay off in the long term. “Engaging in Spanish dialect and debate in an academic manner rather than using the usual Gibo slang is highly educational. We are (during this process) unknowingly taking our Spanish speaking, reading and writing skills to a whole new level.”.

    How can you derive from such statements that Spanish (at GCSE/A LEVEL standard) is “NOT taught because we need to learn the language properly”?????? I am completely bedazzled by such comments!! Lololol

    On a final note, I am quite skeptical of your claims regarding who you are and what political party tendencies you have. 100% llanita? REALLY? Says who? You as an anonymous blogger? As for your expat ties....

    You seem to be backpedalling.

    Sorry but I am not convinced, not one bit, not at all.


  45. Can we stop the argument on English/Spanish use of language? It really is beoming a bore and not central to any of the political issues in debate ...

  46. Westside School Graduate19 February 2011 at 12:39

    Ah right yes. You are right. I am a secret ex-pat GSD spy. You got me! Well done... I mean, seriously!?

    Regardless of what or who I am, you miss the whole point of my initial post which isn't about English or Spanish but actually about the attitudes in our society.

    Whether I am Gibraltarian/politically independent (which I actually am whether you choose to believe it or not!) is of no relevance!

  47. Actually I do not find the language question boring at all.

    But to come to the beginning, Andlaw's comments where despicable and while he did have the right to say what he said under the apocryphal statement alluded to Voltaire that ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it’. So okay he said it but that does not mean that we (or GBC) have to continue to air this view, or that we should have equally stridently gone against this view and projected it strongly. Indeed, it is not Andlaw who is a sexist, it is Gibraltarian society as a whole which is. The fact that he could air these views and receive quiet acquiescence from many sectors is a testament to this fact – including the silence from the women’s groups.

    As to the Spanish language question, I can tell you for a fact that we leave in a fairyland if we think we are bilingual. Our repudiation of Spain in which many equate the language with the government has rendered us at best semi-lingual and at worst monolingual. I have worked for many years in Latin America (most of which incidentally speak Spanish without in any way thinking that they are Spanish...) and it was a shock awakening to the dire state of our ‘Spanish’. I am sorry to say that I was ashamed of myself. We delude ourselves in thinking we speak the language at all competently, if not try holding a half competent conversation in only Spanish.

    Being truly bilingual is a gift, unfortunately it is a gift we are losing. Speaking Spanish correctly does not make me less of a Gibraltarian, speaking Spanish is not a sell-out, it should be seen as a tool. I in particular bemoan the condition of our native Spanberish. I do not care if 60% speak the language or not, what is important is that like or not, believe it or ignore it Spanish cultural influence was a major force in the development of our culture, by denying this we deny our own uniqueness and our roots. And lets not forget Spanish is still the 2nd largest world language spoken as a 1st language...

    And with that adios! (with a slight Latin American inflection... ;)


  48. I found Andlaw's or Verano's (like my father used to call him) comments,offensive,sexist and an aberration on his part.

    Those who excuse him or try to make light of his comments are as guilty as he is.

    Are you aware, how comments like these can legitimize victorian sex discriminatory practices, which are illegal under our constitution and European Directives against gender discrimination. (people can be put in jail for saying things like this,)
    Removing him from the programme would be mild treatment.


  49. It was great to see intelligent people like Charlie Durante and Mary Chiappe being asked to attend Viewpoint . There clearly are individuals of such calibre In Gibraltar who are prepared to attend live programmes (like TAT) and make valuable contributions to public debate (without offending viewers in the process). Surely GBC could better select its panel of co-presenters for TAT?

  50. WSG

    Now you SPIN the whole argument!!

    It was ALL about "Attitudes in our society"! How could I MISS it???? lolololol

    Your funny I shall give you that. :)


  51. After hearing all the hype on Mr. Andlaws comment I just had to write. Im a hard working young woman who works approx 60hrs a week to make ends meet and I can sincerely say I dont find his comment the least bit offensive, on the contrary its another way of recognising being a housewife as a full time job, disagreeing with this in a way is agreeing with all the sexists out there where both husband and wife work fulltime jobs but the wife is expected to do all or most of the housework aswell now that is sexist. I tell you what if present gibraltar hadnt forced us into a steep mortgage and my husbands
    sector were employing more locals and permanantly and not so many foreign
    workers enabling him to have a steady reliable job I would be more than
    happy to wake up take kids to school have coffee in town and do the
    housework and hopefully have time to waste on hobbies etc etc Funnily
    enough I took a day off and had coffee in town with some "housewife friends"
    and they where critising Mr. Andlaw between commenting on the latest
    "novela" they were watching, which those of us who work cant watch and I
    asked why they didnt seek a job and one answer was that her exhusband
    would pay less maintenance if she worked! Gibraltar has some very sexist
    issues to work out (e.g. a divorced man pays the exwife maintenance but if
    the husband has the custody or care and control of the children the wife can
    go on with her life as if shed never had kids without paying a penny) and Mr.
    Andlaws is not one of them its what he believes and in a way what I wish I
    could do myself, I am gratefull for the rights we as women have rightfully
    achieved but believe we still have the raw end of the stick on some matters
    housewife/husband is a fulltime job specially with children involved either
    partner staying at home is not sexist sexist is not sharing the housework
    when you both work and many put up with that!!


  52. Would GBC allow a Nazi to air their views on the channel, even if they were to say that it is simply their opinion?
    And if this were the case, what would Mr Sol Seruya, and indeed Mr Bentata & Ms Benatar, say about this?!

  53. Anon 00:49

    Raises interesting points.

    Food for thought I reckon.....


  54. Cucumberbear now comments...

    Luis Andlaw, bless him, has very peculiar ideas about women in general and about heterosexual relationships in particular.

    He is against flirting of any sort.

    He dislikes the idea of any hanky panky.

    He does not approve of people having flings.

    He thinks the best situation for women is to be pregnant and at home.

    The truth is, Luisito by his own admission, is scared stiff of the opposite sex, cannot handle women at all, does not understand them, and is not like me and my friends hoo love hanky panky, flirting and having flings....Ha! Ha! Ha!

  55. Yes, and I would like to be included in the programme "About Town" so that I could provide some amusement to viewers.

    I would create an imaginary character, an old boy, a real carbunkle on the landscape with arcane views on life.

    I would protest against men having mistresses, going to nightclubs or chatting up strange women.

    My character would be against any form of hanky panky and flirting of any sort.

    My character would defend the idea that a woman's place is in the home, pregnant.

    My character would argue that for men to go about freely unchaperoned could be risky, inappropriate, and other arcanities.

    I would make the viewers guffaw, guaranteed.

  56. Tomorrow is "About Town" evening on GBC.. I am looking forward to observing the performance of LA on The Landscape, LOL. Two programmes ago he was prodded by RC who asked LA if his wife C drove the car, to which he retorted: "Tengo cara de chalao o que pasa ?!!" FUNNY. LA is an interesting creature to watch, purely from an anthrpological viewpoint. His daily habits are quite bizarre.From Parliament Lane to the Star Bar across the street, then up Main Street to stop and gossip where possible, always with other men never women,then to the Post Office, (as he is a very important person and has to be seen carrying lots of envelopes and papers under his arm)and then to The Gib Regt Club in Irish Town, again to fetch and carry gossip. It is interesting to note all these venues are predominantly male preserves. It must be mortifying to LA to have to sit so close to Odette rather than far away from any programme participant of the female gender. LOL. FUNNY. Cucumberbear does not like him. Cucumberbear loves women and loves women to love him. This is a deep rift between Cucumber and LA and his fun loving, totty enthusiastic chums. We look forward to further public gaffes tomorrow.

  57. I am Cucumberbear and I am here again, Good Morning...

    I too watched the programme last night. It is becoming more and more obvious that there is a sweeping tide of discontent and disillusionment against the GSD.
    David Bentata spoke up to comment very positively on Joe Bossano's speech at St Kitts.
    The important perspective not to ignore is not the main substance of his address but its side effect. By this I mean the very clear message sent to Madrid about the resolute posture of the people of our beloved Gibraltar not to succumb to Spanish threats.

    The public is frustrated, viz the repeated legitimate complaints of the boat owners and the fishermen, for example, your cousin chooses to ignore. The programme makes an interesting study in body language too, in particular LA's discomfort when political praise contrary to his convictions are aired in his presence. His grimacing speaks volumes.
    I had to smile at RC's stab in the second half also at the mention of no less than 5 women being honoured. LOL.