Sunday, 6 February 2011

Limits on Democracy?

The excuses are coming in fast and furious from GSD supporters, obviously, to explain away damaging statements made by the GSD representaive on the GBC program "Viewpoint" transmitted on Thursday and repeated on Saturday.  He said, "We should not give too much power to the people because if we do, the Government cannot then make crucial decisions" and "we can't have a system that has so many checks and balances, so many freedoms within society, that it doesn't allow government to make decisions, crucial decisions, because you're actually giving too much power to the people, so to speak".  He also said "It is highly unlikely that we are going to have intelligent cross-party debate".  Conjoined these statements indicate a disdain for voters and a disdain for the views of others on pure party political grounds, also a disregard for the need adequate representation in Parliament.

Whatever the excuses what was said remains said.  Also, the statements have to be interpreted in context of the recent history surrounding the GSD administration:

  • Is it delivering the open, transparent and accountable government that it promised? Is it delivering collective responsibility, as it promised?  
  • Has it decentralised government so that all is not stopped on the Chief Minister's desk, as promised?  
  • Have they met basic manifesto commitments, like everything will go to tender and Parliament will be reformed, as promises?  
  • Are they protecting minorities, as promised i.e. gay persons?  
  • Have they got rid of the culture of fear that they said existed under the GSLP administration, as promised?   

The list goes on but you get my drift, each of you will have her/his own view.

The point is that what the GSD representative said, in my view, mirrors exactly the manner in which the GSD administration has ended up behaving.  It never happens at the start of any new administration.  It evolves over time. It happened to the GSLP administration toward the end of its second term.  It is this effect that the present system has on politicians that I so despise.   It is a systemic failure that, in turn feeds each character trait and each ego of each politician.

A systemic failing can only be corrected by a change in the system.  It is this that I am campaigning for.  I do not intend to stop until it is achieved.  I believe fervently that a change in the electoral system and some reforms of Parliament will deliver to Gibraltar perfectly strong but much improved government, with greater democracy.  It will go a long way, also, to curing the fear and repression, real or imaginary, that so many people in Gibraltar feel.  Democratically elected representatives, Members of Parliament, owe to the electorate a duty to take steps to dispel the causes of such fears.  The existence of a lack of fear of reprisals underscores all the Fundamental Freedoms contained in Part 1 of the 2006 Constitution, without that these freedoms are mere statements of principle with no significant substance or value.

I agree with Dominique Searle who said, on that program, elections are not the be all and end all of democracy.  Elections are only beginning, the method to choose a government.  Democracy has many more ingredients.  Tomes have been written about what makes up democracy.  It is pointless to write about this subject in depth here but as Vernon Bogdanor said (The People & the Party System Cambridge University Press):

"For electoral systems must be judged by a number of different criteria, and these are unlikely to prove totally compatible with each other.  High priority amongst conflicting criteria would generally be given to such considerations as the extent to which a particular system promoted stable and efficient government, fairness of representation, a wide choice of representatives, and contact between the electorate and its chosen representatives. But there will be disagreement on the relative priorities to be attached to each of these aims. Frequently a balance will have to be struck between them.  Fair representation is a valuable aspiration, but not perhaps at the expense of encouraging the growth of too many splinter groups which would weaken the effectiveness of government.  On the other hand, it would be foolish to pursue the aim of strong government so single-minded as to prevent the natural diversity of opinion amongst the electorate from being reflected in the composition of the legislature."

Both the GSD and the GSLP/liberals have admitted that the balance is not right in Gibraltar.  Both of them in their respective Manifestos for the 2007 Elections.  The former by saying that they would undertake reforms of Parliament (also importanatly in the 1996 they campaigned heaily on the need to introduce checks and balances), the later by saying that they would empower people.  I believe that enough people express this view so frequently, that it is also right to rely on this anecdotal evidence to express the view that voters do not believe that the right balance has been struck.  The balance is heavily skewed at present towards autocratic and unrepresentative government.  In fairness, for the last 16 years the GSLP have not had an opportunity to make any changes, only the GSD has ... so come on get on with it and enact the required reforms.


  1. This is pure opportnism on the part of someone such as yourself with a political agenda. You focusing on statements made by Louis Montegriffo who's unelected, with no political experience, not a member of the government and visibly ill at ease in front of the cameras and interpret them as some kind of Moses finally revealing the truth to the world. Shame on you.

  2. Anonymous at 20:48

    So not only do I have to take criticism from commentators who hit me hard despite which I publish their criticisms of me but I should not criticise on purely political arguments when it is appropriate to do so. This is not opportunism it is the way it is. I suggest that you read the quote in the piece, which in al fairness does give an element of credence (subject to appropriate balance) to Louis Montegriffo's comments. I think I have been very fair. I searched for that quote precisely for this reason.

  3. As with everything, it is a balancing act, which may prove a daunting task to the weak in character and or personality. All you need is a strong ´leader´ and lesser ministers will soon be assimilated, as in Startreck, the Borg.

    I strongly believe that having a system in place that covers to a great extend protocols, conduct, procedures etc. is a very good thing. It would provide to a point checks and balances.

    At the moment these lot believe and behave as if they where answerable to no one. They are answerable to us, the electorate.

    The present administration seem to feed on fear of citizen, fear caused by who knows what interests, or other reasons. People in fear are easier to manipulate. O no?

  4. Francis

    At a personal level it becomes, guess what, bullying!

  5. If there is no democracy within a Party, how can you expect for a party to behave democratically.
    For what is worth the GSLP holds annual conferences where posts are open for members to stand for election. When did the Liberals or the GSD last had an internal party election.

  6. I am happy you understood it Robert. Bullying indeed and this has to stop!

  7. Ghost says:

    Mr V you are well under way to catching the monkey I seems though that there are those like 20:48 who have taken to spanking the monkey a little too much..:)

    Your post does indeed offer balance, this in my view is crucial to the betterment and progress of a democracy and as I have said before in previous posts, no party has offered more in the way of accountability than the GSD and no party has endeavored to communicate with unions, organizations, pressure groups and associations more than this Govt. Democracy is not just about what is written on paper, it is about the will that a Govt or its people has to communicate and the ability to meet half way.

    There is no question that or democracy allows free will and free speech, but do we really have the appetite that you so enjoy and which in my view may well (if nurtured and not hijacked) lead to further democratic prosperity and not just hold Govt to a higher account, but also highlight the responsibility that the people have to feature sensibly in this process.

    To your quote by Prof Bogdanor (which is genius)....I believe that the last para sums up the fine balance that we seek and is described perfectly.
    Frequently a balance will have to be struck between them. Fair representation is a valuable aspiration, but not perhaps at the expense of encouraging the growth of too many splinter groups which would weaken the effectiveness of government. On the other hand, it would be foolish to pursue the aim of strong government so single-minded as to prevent the natural diversity of opinion amongst the electorate from being reflected in the composition of the legislature.

    There is not much more that I can add as the Prof has rendered me speechless, if you knew me, you'd know this is a tough ask. I will say that the GSD has shown capability in various areas touched by the Prof...I fear however that the GSLP do not quite meet any criteria required to represent effective and balanced Govt.

    One last point, does the "Henry Jackson Society" have a better ring to it than the Llanito World Society....:) ?

    It saddens me to think that we are closer in political thought than I had originally thought - no fun! Although given that you are now a distinguished democratic super hero.................mmmmm..:) I'm sure there's margin for a few jibes there.


  8. Ghost

    GSD better democratic credentials than the GSLP, for historical reasons, marginally yes but as time goes on losing the edge at an accelerating rate ... so bring it back... do not fall over the edge.

    ... and looks good at first blush!

  9. Ghost says:

    Marginally? ............vete a chuparla.....:) but hey coming from you I'll take it and run.


  10. For the curious and more academic:

    Vernon Bogdanor, CBE, FBA (born 1943) is Professor of Government at the University of Oxford, England, and a Fellow of Brasenose College. He is one of Britain's foremost constitutional experts and has written extensively on political and constitutional issues. He is an advocate of constitutional reform including proportional representation, but supports the retention of the monarchy.

  11. Amazing, now this Govt is bullying people! This is really getting silly! How do you intend to stop it Francis?

    No government can get everything right, nor can they please everyone and of course, there is always room for improvement, but I don’t think this Govt deserves the barrage now being spewed on these pages and for it’s achievements to be discarded. Before you start accusing me of being a naive GSD sycophant, of missing the point and dismissing & insulting every word I say, let’s remember how much has been achieved for Gibraltar these last few years. How far we have gone in comparison and relative to other European nations and in relation to our past and how we have built on it?

    Yes, there is room for more communication, information & consultation, but let’s not dismiss how far we’ve gone: the Ombudsman Service, the Citizens Advice Bureau, the Consumer Protection Agency, Judicial Service Commission, Equal Opportunities legislation, new Family Law Acts, Financial Service Commission, the new efficient Complaints service of the GHA, the weekly clinics of all Ministers with members of the public, the CM’s bi-weekly public clinics, the excellent GSD constituency office in College Lane which helps so many people and points them in the right direction. None of this existed before...these are many positive steps for Gibraltar and already changes in the system.

  12. Robert,

    There also needs to be reform in the civil service as this provides normal Gibraltarians with much of what those in Government promise.
    If this crucial part of our system fails then we have a problem.

    Those in the civil service need to work more and attend less meetings!!!!


  13. Anonymous at 22:34

    Welcome back Selwyn Figueras ... long time ... LOL :)

    Why no answer Prof Bogdanor? That is about real democracy.

    By the way:

    Financial Services Commission was established in 1989 well before the GSD was thought of.

    The Ombudsman Service has no teeth.

    None of the Citizens Advice Bureau, the Consumer Protection Agency, Equal Opportunities legislation (an EU obligation in any event), new family laws provides any protection against the Government or improve democracy.

    The GHA complaints system is also nothing to do with fixing the electoral or democratic deficit.

    What weekly c ministerial clinics, where are these advertised, if they are not very well ... first I hear of them.

    The CM yes but that is not individual representation of voters by anyone.

    Constituency office? We have no constituencies in Gibraltar, who staffs this ... party apparatchiks?

  14. I don't think you should be naming people who write anonymously.

  15. Anonymous at 22:52

    First its a sheer guess based on style;

    Second, if it is Selwyn, he is a potential candidate for the GSD so he should not hide behind anonymity.

  16. RV is Selwyn really a possible GSD candidate? That explains ALOT.


  17. Amazing how there appear to be two sets of rules on this blog, on the one hand RV defends the right of various anonimi to remain as such, unless they happen to appear to defend the GSD, in which case Robert looses no time in trying to out them? Nice one Robert !

  18. Im loving this! its better than the comedy channel.

    I am now going to put you all straight and retain my name in future correspondence with all you good people of Gibraltar who so crave 'democracy' and aren't yet getting none! lol

    OK, well, ni tanto ni tampoco guys. Lets leave passions to one side and see the wood for the trees vale?

    In principle, i agree of course that one should look forward and not backwards, especially in politics. However, one has no choice but to look backwards in order to appreciate the histology of where a party has come from and what they have or have not achieved.

    Fact of the matter is that we do have a lot to thank the GSD for. Their forming government rose out of the muck the GSLP administration had got us into. A dark deep hole shattering our reputation and credibility as a whole, something that at the time seemed scarily irrepairable. OK thanks a lot Mr. C. you did good, you lifted our profile, you set us straight and you sorted it all out.

    Ke pasa? Que each election they win and as that happens Mr. Caruanas ego grows with their victory (exponentially). He becomes a megalomaniac micromanager who sees this place as HIS OWN. He loses touch with the population including his own ministers, and even though some veer on the edge of autonomy, the undercurrent is always that innate fear for the approval of the big guy.

    All the while, it must be said, he represents us MAGNIFICENTLY abroad (apart from in Seville! lol) and, is majorly into plantas y losetas so Gib's looking quaint and everyone's lalala.

    However......4 elections later, and people are still unsatisfied and worried for the next elections, yet even more fearful of electing the GSLP because as we all know they will just cock up coz their lot are just as useless (por favor they didnt even send a rep to the viewpoint program) as those under Mr. Caruana.

    Then.... from out of nowhere, maverick Robert Vasquez, clean preppie boy himself, jumps out!

    He, for whatever unbeknown reason, has his own mas y menos with the government, seemingly in particular Mr. C himself (family feud podria se!) and he gets a bee in his bonnet to restore 'democracy'.

    Pues me parece fenomenal! It always takes someone. And you know why it has to be like this? Porque any 3rd party who stands never stands a chance as everyone thinks its a wasted vote!!!!

    WAKE UP GIB!!! make a stand. Whether its a blank ballot paper or YOUR SAY on who REALLY DESERVES to take care of our Gibraltar!

    Por favo whats it gonna take for people to realise that the block vote esta pasao. This all came about in the days of Hassan when he was setting up a system to be thick in numbers and lobby with UK, military etc on major internal and external issues... to have a united voice, to have a front!

    How outdated is this today?

    If you ask me, today we should have a top figure, who represents and makes the ultimate decision, the figure head, the Chief Minister of course ... there could be 2 or 3 other members of parliament who assist and work directly with the CM on matters of foreign and domestic policy. The other 6 or 7 portfolios should bear more of a civic slant and less political.

    Thats how i see the way forward. Primarily though in GIbraltar, our figurehead must care and love its people! Unlike in other parts of the world, where the Prime Minister's personality or disposition may be irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, here in Gibraltar it is imperative, and I therefore believe this must be a basic pre-requisite for a Chief Minister in Gibraltar. Because in our small city, honesty, amicability and respect - something which works both ways, is absolutely of paramount significance.

    I just dont know if we can achieve this, or if we have gone to far into Ego Avenue and Arrogant Lane.

    Good luck to all of us, and thanks Robert for getting the wheels oiled up! You deserve a medal JUST for that one my love!


  19. Anon 23:20

    Robert has done no such thing!

    He has merely assumed anon 22:34 was Selwyn.

    Double standards? I think not.

    Furthermore if it is indeed Selwyn I to would like him to come foward as we have unfinished business ;)


  20. Lottie


    No family feud, I assure you. just a great belief in liberal democracy for 4 decades ... and got fed up waiting on politicians to make good on manifesto promises ... glad you think, at least, I have got something started ... now I have to finish it!

  21. By the way, i forgot to mention one thing... Angelito el Louis Montegriffo the stick he's getting. Ok, he's not the best speaker, pero it must be the hardest seat in the panel to represent the CURRENT government when all other hopefuls or observers can so easily pounce! Ke penita me dio... y el nerviosito,,,, blancito angelito. Dont worry rey, you did good, pero no te comprometas mas a representar a ese anda. Yasta! - un besito daling xxx


  22. Lottie you make me smile :))))))))))


  23. Weno vale Robert we will leave the dirty laundry in the washing machine haha... im just joking really...

    Question is, can u finish this positively?? JO todavia no welo un cambio... Que dios este contigo y que te ilumine precioso! A ver si salimos de esta ya. Porque cualquiera aguanta a Mr. Burns otro term anda....


  24. Kaelan ke mono ere. El otro dia te vi and i smiled at you pero claro tu no tiene npi kien yo soy! lol xxx


  25. Thanks :) {blush blush}

    I always try to smile! You never know who is watching lolol


  26. Hi everyone,

    Just to clarify things, I haven't commented on LW since December last year and, more importantly, I have never commented anonymously on any matter raised here. Just thought you'd like to know.

    Selwyn Figueras

  27. It seems that Kafab has a chirpy new friend. Lottie it seems has taken over the role of idealism at it's best with connotations of how we've had enough of the ego and the arrogant. No mention of the idealists though. I think that describing the GSD guy as angelic or nervous is like the suggesting that the PDP came across as a party that believes it could win Monty did not stop f@cking talking and Cruz agreed that the GSD would likely win. Funny that the two top honchos in the PDP jump out of the GSD after more than 8 yrs and suddenly the penny dropped for them on a fairer electoral system with limited presidential type terms as a fundamental.
    Radio Gib this morning suggests that the debate was heated and James had to jump in on a few occasions to split the gang. What angels.

  28. One of GBC's many shortcomings is that they do not understand that political debate is of necessity vigorous and they think that when people clearly say what they mean the debate becomes "heated". The worst thing is that their comperes then make silly interventions in the debates and spoil them.

  29. What does Louis Montegriffo do when he is at home. I have never heard of have before but he has a llanito / public school / flatullent sort of accent so I suppose he was educated in UK and has been away for many years. I think he made the debate interesting. It is not every day that you get someone say that the people cannot be trusted on everything (which is of course true).

  30. Anon 09:19

    The GSD WAS nervous, not that one can blame him for being so. But he was!


  31. Robert

    "Has it decentralised government so that all is not stopped on the Chief Minister's desk, as promised?" Yes, on his desk and strewn all over the floor of his office bound in green-coloured files.


    "Louis Montegriffo who's unelected, with no political experience, not a member of the government and visibly ill at ease in front of the cameras." Can't understand why the GSD would choose lightweight rookie Louis, unless they're either desperate for candidates or are not interested in winning again.

    El Selwyn hubiera hecho mucho mejor papel, no?

  32. Anon 11:27. Yes OUR people cannot be trusted. BUT our Government can! Claro! They are more trust worthy exactly WHY? Because they know best? Please feel free to elaborate as I am curious. As I have always believed it to be the other way round. :) Those who care must make a stand. Who do they think they are? The Government IS the people. Put their BY the people FOR the people. A delluded, arrogant and dictatorial Government is portrayed by such comments and I for one WILL NOT have it. K
    By Kaelan Joyce

  33. I was the contentious anon at 11.27 - there is Mr. Joyce a old saying that a people gets the government that they deserve. After continuing to elect Mr. Burns and his merry men I am sure that OUR people cannot be trusted ;)Last week it was announced that the government paid £11,000 in consultancy fees: nobody seems to know what for and nobody has asked for a breakdown of the bills - OUR people are too backward and cannot be trusted. Llanito remember means plain or simple and that is what OUR people are.

  34. If his contribution on viewpoint was his Job interview creo que Louis Mont would have FAILED to get the job. GSD look for other candidates. Gibraltar deserves better.

    Rocka Fella

  35. This is about as ridiculous as the Andorra statement, it was clear as crystal that what Monty was alerting us of was the fact that too many checks and balances and rights of veto will impede a Govt to function accordingly and that elections free as they are, are the corner stone of our democracy. He also admitted that on his opinion a back bench system was worthy of consideration and that pressure groups, associations and other organisations played a key role in a democracy, far more than the opposition does or has ever done. You want good democracy,Where was the GSLP on the night? That really was democracy at it's best, your elected opposition didn't even turn up.

  36. Mr. Montegriffo chose his words very poorly on his début at GBC's viewpoint. I can't help but feel sorry for the amount of stick he's getting and feel that a whole lot of individuals are jumping on the bandwagon with regards to his choice of words.

    I would like to believe that any rational individual would interpret his words within context. A friend of mine, as well as some other posters above this post have already said that he probably meant that a Government unable to make ANY decisions is no Government at all. I'm pretty sure that if Mr. Montegriffo would be able to redress his statement he would have opted for a more balanced statement. The second statement was obviously directed at the GSLP/Libs.

    However the spirit of what Robert is trying to address in this blog post according to my interpretation is that the GSD have not pushed through with Parliamentary reform as PROMISED in THEIR manifesto due to their arrogance and self serving interests. I would also put out there that the GSLP/Libs are even worse than the current Government because as highlighted on another blog entry, they are sitting on the opposition benches just waiting their turn and all opinions with regards to Parliamentary reform are just lip service to the electorate.

    If this was a real issue with the GSLP/Libs, then EVERY session of Parliament would START with the GSLP/Libs asking for Parliamentary reform and END with the GSLP/Libs asking for Parliamentary reform.

    An end has to be brought to our Master Puppeteer CM and his 9 £80,000 per year yes men.

    Frankly I don't ever see the GSD or the GSLP/Libs changing the current system because they have everything to lose.

    The PDP as a 3rd minority party will try and re-sell their 21 point plan now that a lot more people are questioning the powers that be over their agendas.

    It will most likely be up to the independents to shake up the status quo, WHOEVER they might be...

  37. It has come to my attention that GSD supporters are saying that on TV "Robert tenia cara de loco".

    This is not the assessment of most right thinking people. I have no problem with people thinking or saying whatever about me. Si hay quien piensa que la tenia so be it, es la cara que tengo and I have lived with it for 58 years very happily, thank you very much :)!

    To me comments of that nature are a sign of fear by the GSD of the effect that I am having with this blog and my recent TV appearances. My aim is to change the face of politics in Gibraltar. If I succeed, I believe that much will have been achieved that will benefit many.

    What really upsets me is that I am a fervert supporter of The Psychological Support Group and of mental health charities generally. To criticise anyone on the grounds of insanity, as I am being criticised in order to disparage me, shows a completely discriminatroy attitude against persons who do have a psychological illness. This is reminiscent of the Victorian era, perhaps this is to be expected from supporters of the GSD, I hope not.

  38. HOSNI: The unexplained Consultancy fees=£11,000,000 that is why I agree with Anon at 13.09 1000 times over. Anywhere else this would be political dynamite but here Joe Bossano and his people pass it over as nothing. IS THERE A PACT BETWEEN THE WISE GUYS IN THE GSD & THOSE IN THE GSLP NOT TO BRING UP EACH OTHERS QUESTIONABLE ANTICS SO THAT THE ELCTION CAN BE FOUGHT ON NON ISSUES? Will the PPD summon up the cojones to bring up this issue with vigour? Will Robert?

  39. Anon 13:09

    Shows little faith in our people.

    Whether it is justified or not remains to be seen.

    Anon 16:42

    You raise worrying issues that are hard to dismiss.


  40. Anonymous said...
    Hay que tene wevos fiharse en la cara de Robert cuando tenemo en er Parliament a Caruana, Pepeillo Holliday, Bossano, Picardo y Beltran etc

  41. Anonymous at 13:39

    No one on Viewpoint was talking about too many checks and balances and no one mentioned anything about vetos. All agreed that it was about balance (see the Bgdanor quote in my piece. The problem Louis was faced with is that after 16 years the GSD had failed to deliver, so he had to find a reason for that failure. You are spinning the facts again, as was done by the GSD with the Andorra comment.

    Again you harp back to the GSLP and the past.

    The issue is where are the GSD now and for the last 16 years? It was the GSD who promised a program of checks and balances back in 1996. It was the GSD who have throughout promised greater democracy and a reform of Parliament, culminating with its commitment in the 2007 election manifesto. It is the GSD that has FAILED. Don't blame others.

    As to Louis well, he said what he said. As I say in my piece, I for one am sure it reflects GSD ideology and thinking; history shows this. All the GSD can do to rederess the situation between now and the election is to make good on its promises on this front. It is no good promising reforms again in any manifesto for the next election. Who is going to believe any such promise any more?

  42. Checks & balances my fat hairy arse! We have moved beyond that and the issue is what Hosni is saying. There is no point in closing the stable door now that the horse has bolted we need to get the hourse back.

  43. Is anyone out there man enough to list the consultants who shared out the £11,000,000? The jokers at the New People refer to a "mystery man" (ho ho ho?). Surely they are not impying that all the money has gone to one person?!?!? If it has than the "mystery man" (tee, hee, hee?) has earned more than the Chairman Barclays Wealth in UK one Bob Diamond. This needs to be clarified and why is the opposition scared of telling us?

  44. Mr Montegriffo appeared on Viewpoint I assume in response to an invitation and representing the Executive of the GSD. I also assume that he did it for his own carefully considered reasons. I finally assume that he believes in what he said. Perhaps this politics game is not quite as straightforward as it may seem.

  45. When drafting ur document of principles LW remember that Gibraltar's democratic deficit lies principally in the fact that most day to day business does not require parliamentary involvement. Perhaps parliamentary scrutiny of executive power is also necessary as part of proposed reform.

    I feel sorry for Louis M hr had a hard gig and perhaps did not choose his words well. That was my opinion when watxhing the show. Personally I still think that the GSLP came off worse by not attending at all. It is worth noting however that LM's comments reflect closely the contents of Ghost's commentson this blog even though I doubt they are one and the same person. In my view these are arguments advanced to defend the current CM.

  46. Robert a few words of warning. If you want to be elected you are going to have to move from the academic / theoretical to the reality of what is going on in local politics and I am not sure that you are aware just how far gone we are. You are 58 years old and obviously a passionate man. Think carefully before you take the plunge.

  47. Anonymous at 20:39

    Is this a warning or a threat? If the latter bring it on! If the former spit it out and tell it in full.

  48. Not a threat I am with you but do not think that you know what you are stirring. It seems to me that you see what is happening as an academic exercise and it is not about that at all. It is about £s.

  49. Anonymous at 20:46

    Of course it is about £s ... that is a primary reason why I should continue.

  50. Anonymous at 20:46

    Constantly there are allegations of corruption generally in Gibraltar, which is what you allude to. My question is, if true, why are there no prosecutions? Well, it must be that rumours are untrue. So it must be in the interest of governments and public administration to debunk these false rumours. So read my next piece in which I will argue for an independent Anti Corruption and Bribery Commission.

  51. Dear Robert

    Well done for having the courage to make a stand for what you believe in. I too watched Viewpoint and didn't think you had 'cara de loco', in fact you seemed to be enjoying the discussion and put all your points across clearly.

    I do think though it's a little unfair (post at 16.36) to brand all the GSD supporters as living in 'fear' because of the great following you enjoy with this blog and your potential to instigate thought and change. There are many GSD supporters who follow your blog, enjoy it and do get thinking (including myself)...they certainly do not see you as a threat or think you have 'cara de loco'!

    What does upset me is that you imply that GSD supporters are most probably discriminatory against those with psychological problems. Like you, I am very supportive of the fantastic voluntary work that goes on within the mental health charities and I too feel strongly about this issue as my family was greatly affected by the mental illness of a close relative.

    I am not the only GSD supporter who feels that way and who has experienced tough times as a result of mental health illness in the family and has received comfort from the psychological services in Gibraltar.

    Be rest assured that this GSD supporter would certainly be vociferous against anyone who is discrimatory against those who suffer from mental illness.

    Isobel Ellul-Hammond

  52. Isobel

    i do not brand ALL GSD supporters as you suggest I have done but that some have said ke tenia car de loco es verdad y those must be fearful of some effect of this blog. Again not ALL GSD supporters just those who use mental illness as a disparaging comment. I feel strongly about this. Mental illness is like any other illness or disability and to use disability as an insult is despicable.

    Thank you for your support and one reason that I published this comment was because (a) I am not deterred by insults (b) I hoped the GSd would say as you have said ... I trust that my publication of it will stop such despicable and destructively negative behaviour, thank you again.

  53. Bravo Isobel !! Robert I am a GSD supporter who has suffered the fallout of mental illness throughout my life, so it also sickens me when mental illness is used as a disparaging comment.Unfortunately in socielty there are those who will go for the cheap jibe on physical or mental differences, simply because they have nothing of substance to say. I will not sign my name to this, not because I do not want to, but because doing so would reveal the identity of my family member and that would be unfair. But for your information, I don't know if you noticed a strange woman grining at you inanely when you were sitting outside the Royal Calpe late this afternoon, well, that was me !

  54. Anonymous at 23:51

    Are you being serious. I noticed no one ... nor do I believe what you say beyond agreeing with you that disability should not be used to disparage anyone, as I too have said.

  55. Anonymous at 23:51

    Are you being serious. I do not believe what you say beyond agreeing with you that disability should not be used to disparage anyone, as I too have said.

    Noticed no one at the Royal Calpe ... I was reading and thereafter chatting to friends ...

  56. Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Limits on Democracy?":

    Yes, I am being 100% serious. I was walking past the Royal Calpe, going north you were sitting at a table outside on your own making notes or something & I was pondering going up to you & introducing myself, but I chickened out & was stuck with this silly grin on my face & I thought that in that moment you had looked up, so I walked on feeling a bit silly. Now i feel even sillier. I can assure you I am for real Robert, I am sorry you even question it.

  57. Anonymous at 00:16

    I am sure that you are for real ... never doubted that and you are very welcome to say hi and chat to me ... please do it next time ... I too know how people suffer greatly from mental illnesses ... it is quite a high percentage.

    I assure you that I have nothing but respect for people generally ... talk to me whenever you want.

  58. Well thank you & I will stop you next time and introduce myself. I am glad you now do believe me & I look forward to meeting you.

  59. Isobel be careful that you do not end up becoming a useful stooge for a few clever members of your party. The issue is why the government has paid £11,000,000 in consultancy fees. Remember that the govt already employs dozens of highly qualified technicians. Remember also that is each project there were also architects who were paid separately. Was a further £11m needed? What were the "consultants" expert in, what are their qualifications? Why did n't the "consultancies" go to competitive tender to ensure value for money. Since most government projects over the last 4 years have had big problems should the govt not ask for OUR money back? The £11 m was our children's money. Isobel if you cannot tell us then you should ask your party bosses. If you do not reply I take it that you cannot say that the payment of such large amounts was necessary or proper and as a woman of principle you should resign from the GSD. Isobel, los tiempos de los inocentes ya han pasado, no seas tu la unica.

  60. Robert a FIVER! No one ever pitches up and does so! :P lololol


  61. First Isobel

    Isobel I trust I have clarified my comments on mental health, we are in full agreement.

    Isobel, what I feel is more important, is for you, as a member of the GSD, (and, rumour has it, a potential candidate at the next election) to indicate to votesr what your view is on Louis Montegriffo's statements on dmocracy and elections. These are quoted in full in the first paragraph of my piece above.

    Second congratulations to Joelle Baglietto on her Opinion piece in today's Chronic. It is about time someone brought "Talk about Town" to task. She has chosen the subject of overt sexism. That is an important subject. It is a perfect example of the tpe of totally unacceptable banter that takes place on that program generally inclusive, in the past, of racist comments.

    If the participants cannot be politically correct the program must be changed to ensure it becomes so, by changing the partcipants. It is no excuse to say that there is a lot of jest, especially when one participant denies that he is, in fact, jesting.

    I shall don my helmet for Thursday evening, entre "cousin Robert" y esto, veremos a ver como me ponen en el program!

  62. Funny to see the GSD wannabe "ministers" coming out of the woodwork, embracing debate, blogging, being in touch with the people.

    Must be pretty desparate times. Lo que hace la gente por 80k and a four year contract.

    Johnnie Chimpo

  63. The £11,000,000 could have bought Gibraltar a state of the art psychiatric facility plus top specialists, domiciliary care and therapies for years to come and there would have been money to spare to improve medical facilities. WHERE DID OUR £11,000,0000 GO???????? Isabel if you can't explain this dont bother to write again. We have had enough of being lectured by people who do not have the preparation to do so let alone be ministers. To be nice you need mich more than just smiles.

  64. Sexism and racism must be stopped but for the moment can we see whether we can get our £11,000,000 back?

  65. The £11,000,000 could have bought Gibraltar a state of the art psychiatric facility plus top specialists, domiciliary care and therapies for years to come and there would have been money to spare to improve medical facilities. WHERE DID OUR £11,000,0000 GO???????? Isobel, please explain things like this if you intend to stand for election ...

  66. Teletubbie: Don't blame Isobel she just wants to be in a nicey nicey world where reality and really nasty people do not exist. She probably does not want to understand that the unexplained payment of £11,000,000 of public money is very serious but do not let us spoil her fun just for the sake of the God of Toy town sugar and spice and all things nice don't vote her in at the next election. WHERE IS THE £11,000,000?

  67. Que callao esta Kaelan :) con lo de los £11m (LOL) I would have thought he would have jumped into this one but maybe his bravado is only for non important things and not when the big boys ;)and big money ;] are involved then the little boys in the GSD and the GSLP must shut up.:)

  68. Robert, what's your view on the £11M? Why haven't you answered Hosni of 7 Feb @16:42?

  69. anonymous 16:56 referance kaelan

    when he speaks he always has a point and brings up many issues alot of people are thinking but dont have what it takes to say anything. give the boy a break he has a life, cant be writting here 24/7

    kaelan sigee asii i love reading thiss, its like we share the same thoughts! :)

  70. Anonymous at 17:25

    The issue is not one about any £11,000,000. The issue is far more general. It is that ALL expenditure of ALL public monies have to be explained and accounted for. In addition NO expenditure of public monies can be incurred unless two requirements (at least) are met.

    First that the project on which the expenditure is incurred is a project that is being undertaken has been authorised by an appropriate LAW.

    Second that the expendiryre has been authorised at the appropriate time in the Appropriations Act. The second is not valid without the first.

    If either aspect is missing there is provision in the law for a surcharge. A surcharge is essentially that the relevant person who has expended the money becomes personally liable for it. I need not remind anyone of what, for example, happened years ago in Westminster Council when Council Housing was sold at an undervalue.

    I intend to expand on this subject in a blog soon ... wait for it but as a taster where is the law that authorises the building of an Air Terminal?

  71. Thanks Robert for a very clear exposition but are you saying that no one has received £11,000,000 inonsultancy fees. The Westmister Council debacle in which the councillors were held personally liable for expenditure that had not ben properly approved is an interesting angle but for the moment can we stick to the point i.e. who received the £11,000,000 and for what? Thanks.

  72. The law authorising the building of the terminal can be passed retrospectively whenever Caruana wants to et voila. Now awat about the £11m?

  73. Anonymous at at 18:03 18:07

    I am not saying that no one has received the £11,000,000 in consultancy fees. Why do you suggest this? I just do not know.

    Yes retrospective legislation can be passed to autghorise the building of the Air Terminal but (a) how embarassing for the Government and (b) this is exactly one of the arguments for the need for a separation of powers between the executive and the legislature.

    Retrospective legislation is the beginnings and palpable evidence of a breakkdown in the Rule of Law ... that can result in much much worse beahviour!

    I do not have any information about the £11,000,000 so I cannot help you beyond agreeing that transparency and accountability is needed ... so an explanation from anyone in the know would be welcome ... no ... is required.

  74. The leopard really cannot change its spots. All the talk of the culture of fear under the present government and then the moment someone has the courage to attach their name to a comment relating to an importnat and surely uncontroversial subject, that person is taken to task over unsubstantiated allegations over a missing £11m. The tone of the postings immediately reminds me of the darkest days of '95, a time mant of todays youth will not recall but a time when normal family people in Gibraltar genuinely lived in fear of a smuggling mafia that seemed to dominate society with the seeming support of the then government. Now here we are, 16 years later and still the style of the supporters of the opposition involves insults and intimidation, no change there it would seem. I can't wait for more of the same should the GSLP be successful.

    Because politics is a nasty world full of shady and selfish characters, does this mean that there is no room in it for those who would do good because they choose to. Isobel has demonstrated over many years an altruism that should be encouraged, not turned upon. If more people like her got involved in politics and were not scared off by those of a more bitter disposition who see no goodness anywhere, then perhaps the open, honest, transparent and democratic Gibraltar that we all desire could be achieved.

    I post this in full and blissful appreciation of my own naiivty from a Wifi enabled cafe in Toytown. Must go, Noddy and Big Ears have arrived

  75. Why should Isobel know about this money you talk about. She is not a member of government, whatever her aspirations. She can know no more than you or I. I doubt most of the ministers could answer your questions

  76. Robert I can see where you are going with this one and I LIKE IT!! LOLOL

    Anon 16:56

    I am not a politician, merely a person willing to speak their mind.
    My postings (even though you might not think so) are mostly objective rather than subjective. I base my assumptions on general consensus and facts from impartial sources. The opinions and figures provided by politicians and other high ranking members of our society (CEO’s etc) have little value in my eyes. They all have hidden agendas and even though I do not wish to stereotype, few if any can be trusted. I find it somewhat difficult to trust statements and statistics provided by those who seem to have clear underlying motives. This is MY opinion of course, whether I am right or wrong is another matter altogether. These same statements come into context with my reluctance to post anything regarding those “£11 million” you mention in your previous posting. I know nothing in regards to the aforementioned issue. Posting unsupported and entirely subjective statements is not something I adhere to. Hence why I have opted not to comment in regards to the aforementioned matter. Vamo que pa habla tonterias me quedo callao mejon : P lolololol
    PS- Please note I belong to none of the political fractions you mention. I am no sheep and I have no shepherd.

    Anon 17:25

    Thank you for your kind words!

    It is nice to see that some people actually AGREE with me. : )


  77. So now the qualities required to be a minister is a smile and that people believe you are a "do gooder". Is that the requirement? Apaga y vamonos.

  78. Louis C. Montegriffo says:

    I have noted with interest the reaction by many on my comments during the Viewpoint programme aired last Thursday on “Elections”.

    I regret that there are those who have taken the view that my comments and in particular the last few words of my statement, relating to the ability of Government to function, has in any way or form been construed to mean anything other than representative of a good functional democracy.

    The comments which I made and I quote: “if you are going to have a Govt to lead and where you have free elections every four years, what we can’t do is have a system within that, that actually doesn’t allow them to lead, that has so many checks and balances, so many freedoms within society that doesn’t allow the Govt to make decisions, crucial decisions and effectively giving too much power to the people, so to speak” were in no way intended to undermine or suggest that people have no place in a democracy.

    The point I sought to make to Robert was that in my opinion it would be to the detriment of a democratic society like ours where we have enjoyed strong Government elected democratically in some very difficult times, to impose cumbersome systems, checks and balances and internal scrutiny to the extent where Govt (whichever party you support) will not be able to properly function. The best alternative explanation I can give actually comes from Roberts’ very own quote by Prof Vernon Bogdanor: “Fair representation is a valuable aspiration, but not perhaps at the expense of encouraging the growth of too many splinter groups which would weaken the effectiveness of government.”

    There is no doubt that checks and balances are of the utmost importance in a democratic society such as ours, but there must be proportionality to avoid making any country ungovernable.

    Yours Sincerely,
    Louis C. Montegriffo.

  79. Eye Ore: The problem is that without knowing it Isobel is being set up to distract people from the shit that is happening behind closed doors. The least she can do is to acquaint herself with the issues. If her bosses won't tell her she should resign and ensure that her reputation remains intact. Isobel where is the £11 million? If many ministers do not know what happened with the £11,000,000 they should make efforts to find out. Isobel do not be led to the same place, you are too good.

  80. Please bloggers take note that my statements in regards to "polticians and other high ranking members of our society". Do not apply for Robert (and others, but not many others) as I believe his 'crusade' to be of the genuine kind.

    Just wanted to clarify that as in retrospect my previous comments could have been misperceived. :)


  81. In response to anon 1912.

    It is a shame that you choose to diminish the philosophy of altruism, the belief that the proper action is that which derives the maximum benefit to others, and replace it with the still noble, but in the context that you apply it, pejorative 'do-gooder' implying interfering busy body.

    I'm not sure where Eyore enters the fray, the miserable donkey I assure you is not welcome in Toytown

  82. Louis:

    It is all about balance. Balance has not been achieved. Bogdanor recognises that it is about balance. The GSD recognised that balance has not been achieved in its manifesto. This committed to reform of Parliament. Reform has not happened. This is a failure of the GSD government.

    Anonymous at 18:38

    Isobel is a lovely lady. She has special qualities and a generous spirit. She is altruistic. This does not detract form the fact that she is a potential candidate for the GSD at the next election. She has to go into that with her eyes open. The question about the £11,000,000 is a fair question in that context.

    You overstate your case. There is no comparison between asking this question and the fast launch days. A prospective candidate must go into an election with eyes open wide and expecting to be asked all types of question.

    The £11,000,000 is public moneys. There are probably perfectly valid explanations for this expenditure but because it is public moneys those explanations must be forthcoming. Explanations are owed to the electorate. I am sure that explanations will be forthcoming.

  83. Seeing como esta "el gallinero" now more than ever I will be casting my vote to people who deserve it and are worthy candidates rather than those who are cherry picked to make up the numbers by PC and JB.

    Robert I wish you luck on your project and I hope enough people in Gibraltar have the courage to vote for the people they think are best to lead Gibraltar. It is time people saw past the "vote for the 8" rubbish which we have had rammed down our throats for decades.

  84. LW. When you are embarking upon your project, you should consider before launch, the story of Keith Azzopardo and the Election of 2007. Many are of the opinion that rather than offer a partial slate of mixed ability Keitho should have stood alone. Maybe he would have concentrated the PDP vote and got elected.

    I was just thinking that if your project failed to generate the electoral support for your core idea, which clearly resonates with the electorate, then it might in fact undermine the case for reform or at least give the winning party fair excuse to ignore you. That would be awful.

    I think you should bear it in mind.

  85. Anonymous at 21:17

    A very valid point but an independent alone also has a very difficult task ... catch 22?

  86. Wenas Noshe....

    I've been reading with the utmost curiousity the nature of the above posts.

    Can everyone just take a step back and be positive? Louis has had the good will to write and explain himself, Isobel is trying to contribute in her own choice of party.

    Lets all stop the spin and try to focus on the here and now. Lets all put our money where our mouths are and make a real stand for change at the next election.

    I think anything more than that is such a waste of valuable time


    ps... Hi Kaelan.... ;0)

  87. Leopardo says:

    £11M in consultancy fees? Unidentified invisible man?.......well if the Government would disclose in Parliament the companies being paid these fees, requesting a company profile at Companies House would make the 'invisible' man or men 'visible' to the tax payer. A bit of investigative journalism is what we all need to see where OUR money is going.

  88. Catch 22 perhaps. Just don't rush to a final position. You don't want to be a lame duck in a two horse race. That way you won't achieve anything. A solid vote for one candidate would throw down the gauntlet to the winning party, and if ignored, would be conclusive proof of the deficit of which you complain. I would say "ignored at their peril" but unfortunately it appears there is little risk of that.

  89. The choice and style of the words in the “rebuttal” is interesting and perhaps worthy of The Lord Mandelson or Alastair Campbell at their most eloquent … methinks there is the merest whiff of friction created by the act of spinning, the lifeguards are throwing a buoy perhaps … as our distinguished host and Blogger stated at the very early stages of this piece, “whatever the excuses what was said remains said” never a truer word spoken …

  90. ungovernable country? Wot's this good gentleman talking about? Gibraltar must be the most governable country - Hassan Bossano and Caruana have proved it. Who governs those in control? Let him not even dare speak about cumbersome checks and balances, when few exist and the people are fed up with autocratic governments..spin, spin, spin, excuses, excuses and more excuses.

  91. An £11,000,000 government consultancy should have been advertised under EU law. I will write to the EU Commission asking them to investigate.

  92. Anon 01:02

    Raises valid points.

    Even though one has to admire Louis for publicly coming out and rectifying/clarifying what he meant (unlike others who do not have such decency hint hint). Insinuating that by giving OUR people too much power the Government will be unable to make crucial decisions, is downright preposterous! Pero who does Louis think the CM and his Ministers are? God and his Arch angels? Hoy soy ministro y maniana no soy NADIE!
    It seems some people are in need of a good dose of REALITY. You were put there BY the people FOR the people. In my humble opinion after 14 years in power the GSD Government has forgotten WHY and for what purposes they were elected. Or at least this is what can be derived from such comments. Please feel free to inform the GSD elite to come back to planet earth anytime soon and to grace us mere mortals with their divine presence :) lololol

    Seriously now Louis you guys need to SNAP OUT OF IT. If you want to stand any chance of winning thess coming elections that is. Arrogance and complacency will get you nowhere.


  93. Until now I had not believed that Kaeran ;o( was writing on the instructions and that is why he was being referred to as Fakab. I do not believe he is being realistic on the issue of the £11,000,000 so I feel a sense of loss because I had thought K was an interesting commentator.

    I see also that Ghost has gone permanently back to the other side and Rompeculos has also gone quiet after "yours sincerely Louis C. Montegriffo"s "performance" on View Point.

    This week has been a momentous one for Gibraltar thanks to Robert. The foot soldiers have been routed now let's go for the big guns, the Caruanas, the Bossanos, Picardos and Pepeito Hollidays, the state controlled press, but first, the "mystery men."

  94. Lottie no te avia visto! HIYA :) lololol

    Anon 11:31

    Que hago picha? I can't please everyone.

    If someone were to be kind enough to provide me with some relevant information regarding those £11 Million, I will proceed to comment accordingly. Furthermore I will not disclose your identity, I have made such arrangements in the past.


  95. Ghost says:

    Quite the opposite Anon 11:31, if you care to look I have posted a number of times after Thur last.

    I am unsure what you are referring to with regards to K, but it seems that he is slowly falling down to earth and is finally making some balanced arguments. K, read the statement that Monty made again, I think it is self explanatory and highlights his view on functional democracy as he puts it.

    The issue is not of changing his mind, but putting across the facts as they are and not the convenient political perception to suit as described by the Panorama.

    I will add that in my opinion, Robert and particularly Prof B refer to balance being the key to a successful democracy, one in which the participation and public opinion as well as pressure groups, unions ect feature highly and are respected, but should not (in my view) hold a veto or key to preventing Govt in taking decisions.

    I believe that this debate ranks high amongst the best yet by LW. I fear however and I have said before that good accountable opposition is also key to good democracy. Mr V seems to be doing a better job at this stage, I maintain that he would be wiser to create that society we touched on in the first few comments of this post. An apolitical, independent, free thinking collective, acting in the best interests of democracy. WOW….Robert its spanking the Monkey time again or is catchy catch Monkey..:)


  96. Ghost

    Balance yes, but not skewed. balance cannot have been achieved when over the decades the systme has delivered 3 autocrats: Sir Joshua Hassan, Joseph Bosanno and Peter Caruana.

    Whether they have been benign or not is a matter of where one stands and how each has indiviually affected a person. It is not down to systemic safeguards. The balance has to be found but we are far far away from it.

    No more bullies as Chief Ministers is what I say.

  97. Ghost says:

    Robert, its spanking the monkey then I see.....:)

    Thatcher / Blair and other Prime Ministers enjoyed majority seats and were able to effect strong govt. There is a difference between bully and a strong leadership that requires the power by the people to take difficult decisions which will not always be accepted or agreed to. Free elections are paramount in a democracy, also crucial is effective and accountable opposition.....what brings all of this together is public opinion driven by pressure groups, independent organizations who can feely express opinion and direct policy - we have countless ways of putting pressure on a Govt.

    A Govt will never get it right all of the time and will push its policy through at will and because it has a mandate to do so; it is our democratic right to oust them if we feel they have not acted in our best interests. Having said this I agree that any reforms particularly given that the GSD committed to performing on this should be implemented.

    Again, we are not (in my opinion) far apart on this Mr V.

    Me voy a come....

  98. I do not care what RV does in private, spanking the monkey or whatever but here he has gone to the jugular of the regime (money and the small matter of £11m quid). Let us see how that is explained. Knowing the puppet masters of the GSD Peter and Pepeillo they might even ignore it, laugh it off as a locura or come up with a cock and bull story that the great unwashed masses will swallow as usual. This is not about bullying it is about public money that could have been used to improve our people's lives. Thanks also to the person who has reported this to the European Commission.

  99. Frank: I have worked hard all my life and encouraged my children to study. My eldest graduated 2 years ago and cannot get a job. I cannot believe that in our Gibraltar an unqualified person should earn £11,000,000 for doing an unspecified job. If this is true those responsible should be brought to account.

  100. Ghost no matter how many times I read Monty's statements they still seem to carry the same under tone. You cannot say one thing and then in retrospect state you meant another (you may clarify but not alter). It does not work like that.

    Additionally in regards to these comments:
    "Que callao esta Kaelan :) con lo de los £11m (LOL) I would have thought he would have jumped into this one but maybe his bravado is only for non important things and not when the big boys ;)and big money ;] are involved then the little boys in the GSD and the GSLP must shut up"

    Please note that in matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same (Albert Einstein). The allegedly "missing" accountability of these monies might be of utmost importance to you but not to me. My priorities do not revolve around any form of materialistic order and if you wish I will elaborate.


  101. Well my own view is that the Viewpoint programme failed in one essential way: the ones how need to be in the dock as much as the politicians are the media. Where is the investigative journalism? Apart from Panorama and New People (who are investigative from their own political point of view) what are GBC and the Chronic up to? There has been no-one working at the OHL site at the eastern beach end of the airport for a week. Canal Sur from Seville know it, but GBC doesnt? And why is James Neish so aloof as a presenter. Damp squib, thats what Viewpoint was. AND IT IS for sure time for political change. I dont know who I am gonna choose, but it sure as hell wont be CARUGSD - whether with Isobel, or Louis M or the other Monty. Even if the GSD give out gold bars, I will choose someone else. If the GSLP/Libs actually wake up and do something soon, its likely I am gonna choose them as the only ones who stand a chance. However much mud is slung at Picardo, jokes made of Garcia, and the past of Bossano, I dont distrust them as much as I distrust the bunch who have had 16 years to get it this wrong. OK so not everything has been done wrong, but too much is now building up on the negative side of the equation for me to ever trust the GSd again with Caruana at the head. Maybe after they loose this election I will trust them again once they change the public school dictator that leads them now. Nothing against public school though LW; you are buena gente and even Joe Holliday is not a bad bloke, although I really dont trust him... Pero Caru, wow, what a piece of work. Robert please keep going. I will give you one of my votes. I dont think you will get in, but its worth the protest vote.

  102. Robert, I would go much further, not only no more bullies as chief ministers, NO MORE BULLIES, full stop!!

    Lets bring values, dignity and respect back to the offices, chambers, workshops and every workplace.

    Dignity at work Policy and lagislation NOW!!!

  103. Dear Robert, here is my comment on your third question.

    "Have they met basic manifesto commitments, like everything will go to tender and Parliament will be reformed, as promises?"

    The answer is a redundant 'NO'. But, anyone who cares to look up the GSLP past Election Manifestos will find that the GSD have have taken over all the GSLP populist commitments! Such as the Leisure Centre, tax-free occupational pensions, building 750 Houses for rental etc., Free TV Licences and transport and many more.

  104. This is brilliant! Now the GSLP are responsible for all the populist projects. Next we'll have Robert saying that the economic success are thanks to Peter Pan and tinker bell sprinkling fairy dust over the finance centre. Oh sorry no it was the natural fiscal leverages that strolled in as if by magic.

  105. It could always be the subject of personal opinion as to how one decides on whether something or someone is successful. If an across the board formula could be applied that ability to opine would, perhaps, readily be removed as it would be superseded by fact. Individuals will always have their own “tickle points” for some employment may be of more significance than health and to others absolute fiscal rectitude of supreme importance as compared to traffic congestion and so on. My personal view, one that I have held for some considerable time, is that each body - physical or corporate - that promotes a manifesto to an electorate should be obliged to proffer a specified and predetermind number of keys commitments. These issues would be subject to what is commonly called by those in the northern American continent as CSMART analysis. That is to say they should be Challenging, Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. These commitments would be reviewed by an external and, by implication, independent arbitration service that would decide whether or not the commitments had been met or not. The results would be published at the end of the specified timeframe for each commitment. The words would always be those of the “politicians” and the assessment of “actions” would be based on fact. – Dick.

  106. No, Robert will not say that at all but what he will say is that the finance centre long pre-dates the GSD government and that fiscal leverage also pre-dates the GSD government by decades.

    I will also say, as I have said previously, that the GSD have done well by the finance centre. See "New Years Message" or "State of the Nation" Speech on 7th January 2011 by way of example.

    Cynicism of this type does the chances of electoral success of the GSD no good at all. Why do you resort to it?

  107. I love this CSMART character (Dick) so eloquent, measured, clearly someone of gravitas, with integrity. I am sure someone with these credentials would also agree that cast iron gaurantees of a carbon neutral Gibraltar, unaffordable financial commitments to pensioners and back tracking or siting on a fence in areas of huge concern to Gibraltars political stability and progress are equally worthy of note and ought also to be held to account. Robert I accept your point in cynicism.

  108. Any organisation in a period of 4/5 years is prone to achieve good things, the question is what organisation can achieve higher results without compromising it's viability, in political terms : stability, social enhancement and prudence in our future. Frankly, Bossano had some achievements, land reclamation, completion of the Hassan housing project (montagu gardens) and the believe that we could survive without the MOD. Unfortunately his failures were also quite big, total lack of democracy, the culture of the winston boys (why work).... And worst of all using the worker to active his economic policy. The GSD in turn have made mistakes during their 16 years in power, but also achieved many things.... Alternative, where ????

  109. Dick, let's not kid ourselves, if Government fail on a project etc... And the private entity involved is close to the opposition Aquino no dice el opposition nada.....punt pelota

  110. "punt pelota" pa no llamarte "anonymous", si lo que estan encargao de dici el yes very well o el no, no son de aqui, ni colorao ni azul ni na, diran lo que le obliga el contrato. yo creo que mejor de lo que tenemos ahora! Rico (el primo llanito de Dick)

    anonymous (el que le guasta el CSMART) si lo prometen y no lo hacen, pa fuera porque tol mundo sabra que no lo han hesho. Ahora dicen lo que quieren, hacen lo que quieren y sigen – pero eso tol mundo. PS Gracias por el complimento del uso del lenguaje, si sigo por ese camino no hara falta el Cervantes pa mi. Dick (el primo llanito de Rico)

  111. You are all waffling now zzzzzzzzz.....

  112. Pues este hombre es un gran elemento, el Dick CSMART. Busca la perfecsion en la politica y dispuesto a perjudicar lo que hemos conseguido a puesta de una pandilla con agenda personal. Anda y comele el coco a otro.

  113. RV cambia el tema que ya hay mucho waffling.... Y un buen debate sobre el futuro leader del opposition....eso tiene que ser interesante

  114. Anonymous at 23:51

    I agree I will be writing on something new tomorrow ...

  115. Before we all go some where else I have to say that the excessive criticism of bullies without listening to the reasons for their bullying is tantamount to abuse, indeed to bullying itself. Let us be hard on bullying by all means but also on the causes of bullying. If I were a bully I would have felt bullied by some of the arrogant remarks on this page.

  116. Will you really be posting something on the GSLP leadership? That really would be an enlightening piece, I only hope that you truly explore all areas and consider the very real issues affecting the judgement on some who aspire to leadership.

  117. Anonymous at 09:18

    NO! This is a party matter so it is for the GSLP to debate within its rank (if indeed there is anything to debate) and depending on who is elected, if anything is proven to actually exist,a matter for wider debate. If you know anything that is not defamatory why do you not enlighten all of us? You keep throwing stones but leave it to others to guess what you are alluding to. If it is the Noble case. It has been mentioned on this blog before. The party criticised was not a party to those proceedings, so could not defend himself and what was said is in the public domain because all judgments are public, so anyone who wishes to read it can do so.

  118. Anon 08:33

    What a load of nonsense.

    Anon 09:18

    Clearly has a hidden agenda of some sort.

    Lottie was right! Waffle waffle waffle....


  119. All the peoplegoing on about the 11millions reminds me somewhat of all those fake letters the chronicle used to flooded with all those years ago ( and recently seem to have made a come back onthe theme of the Theatre Royal).
    If there is something fishyabout it let's hear what it is. Building industry consultants (architects surveyors project managers) tend to work on standard contracts, with a range if standard percentages. A simpleenquiry from the relevant professional body would reveal if somebody had managed tonegotiate a particularly handsome percentage.

  120. Airport tunnel works at a standstill. Anti-terror legislation used to oust citizens from private property. How long before the dots are connected.

  121. What a lot of about who or whose entities received £11M
    Everybody knows who he is.

    So if the oppositionn only asks timid questions about this in our so called Parliament and do not present a centure motion on the matter what else can we do?

  122. Everyone is worried about being sued that's the problem or so a "little Birdie" tells me so.

    Who is this "mystery man"?? Where did those "£11 million" REALLY go?

    Who could shed light in such issues? Could I do? Would I dare to do such a thing?? Do I know enough to do so? If I had such information SHOULD it be revealed? Will I be black listed for life if I did so? Would I be willing to take such a risk? I'm I bluffing? lololol

    Maybe just maybe in Robert's next piece :)

    Anon 15:05

    Becareful what you wish for, it might come true.....:)


  123. Kaelan Joyce at 9.58 I agree on both points completely.

    Anonymous at 15.52 if you are absolutely certain do what you are asking others to do and name him/her. If you are correct nothing should happen, if you get taken to court all material information will come out!

  124. Wow what a shocker GBC's talk about town !! A estos elderly gentlemen and the elderly lady se les ve el plumero!

    1- Palos a "cousin Robert" for standing up for the people, laughing him off as an excentric and a joke.
    2- A 15min election campaign piece on the MOJ (minister of justice). I almost wept!
    3- Almost 20mins justifying the unjustifiable comments from one of the members of the panel.

    INCREIBLE !!!!!!

    Johnnie Chimpo

  125. Robert are you watching Andlaw on Viewpoint???!!!!

  126. Kaelan
    I really can't believe you are making so much if the 11m. Have you not realised the magnitude of govt capital projects in Gibraltar? They must easily exceed 200m, if a consultancy company is contracted to run these massive investments they surely need to get paid in line with standard rates. You are wrong in claiming a man is behind, I believe it is an established company with many professional managing and making sure work are completed adequately. If you are so concerned, rest assured that you can easily find out what company I am talking about.

  127. Anon 23:04

    I never implied anything such, I merely referred to this "mystery man" others had previously mentioned. Whether he is accountable for these "11 million" or not is another matter altogether.

    As for your general assessment regarding these monies.......

    You could be right, or you could be wrong. We shall see :)

    Ps - Valiente cachondeo Viewpoint, parecia un GSD supporters tea party :P lololol