Sunday, 6 March 2011

Silence is Golden for the GSD and GSLP?

Two weeks ago the Coalition for Reform's proposed Core Principles were published. A week ago the proposal to establish an Anti-Corruption Authority was explained more fully. The reaction from the GSD governing party and the GSLP opposition has been silence, why?  My intention over the next weeks is to carry on publishing explanations of each principle.  I would suggest that it would be very telling if they are all met with silence from these two parties. Alternatively, it would be a complement if, in their respective manifestos,  the issues were adopted with adaptations. This raises another question would including such references in their manifestos be enough?

One of the central philosophies of the Coalition for Reform's proposed Core Principles is to strive to make them so reasonable that any argument against introducing them becomes weak and spurious. The corollary of this is that any person or party aspiring to be elected should be clamouring to agree to the principles or an adaptation of them. If they do not agree to them or to some of them,  surely they would be quick to show how mistaken and misconceived they are and that their own policies are so much better?

None of the main parties have spoken, other than for the PDP. It has re-emphasised their own proposals for democracy, transparency and accountability, good for them, at least there is some hope that the issues are being taken seriously by some. The opposite seems to be true for the other parties. The GSD government have been conspicuous throughout 2011 for one thing, virtually absolute silence not just on this issue but on most issue. Its silence generally is  conspicuous but certainly it is so on the subject of the cessation of works in one of the main infrastructure projects in Gibraltar, the airport tunnel; no explanation of any depth has been forthcoming.  It is the rumours, once again, that are flying and being fueled by lack of information.

It may be that silence on core issues like democratic and electoral reforms and the establishment of an Anti-Corruption Authority (can anyone seriously oppose this suggestion?) is down to the GSD and GSLP not wanting to elevate and give credibility to the Coalition for Reform (CIR). If that is the reason shame on both of them.

This reason would be palpable evidence that they do not believe in democratic debate, accountability or transparency. It is evidence that that their main concern is to maintain their selfish electoral advantage to the detriment of what their true objective should be, namely working to improve Gibraltar. This is one more reason why I fervently believe that voters should vote for people and not parties at the next election, even if their ballot papers are a mishmash of  candidates from different parties. Let the elected members argue afterwards how they will form government, from amongst themselves, to deliver what is best for Gibraltar.

Let us briefly analyse where we stand on electoral and parliamentary reform.

The PDP set out its stall as long ago as 2006.  One can argue about and disagree on details but, to this party's credit, it does have a programme. Unfortunately it has not had the opportunity to implement it due to its electoral failures but neither has it acted in any way in an effort to push the Government and Opposition to take the issue up. Beyond publishing their policies, it seems to jealously and selfishly guard it as a policy that they have to distinguish them from the others. Is this the right attitude?

I would say not. I take the view that a political party, that has beneficial policies, has a duty to push the incumbent Government to take them up and implement them. It is for this reason that I have made clear from the very beginning that my ambition is not selfish but that, if  there is credible evidence that such reforms will be implemented by the existing parties,  then I would go away and not stand for election. My ambition is simple, to achieve democratic reforms for Gibraltar.

What we now know, thanks to that recent illuminating article by Brian Reyes in the Chronic, that a cross  party Parliamentary Committee was set up to look at such reforms. It met once and no more. It seems that the Opposition GSLP did not consider that any reforms are needed. In turn this gave the GSD an excuse not to pursue its own promised (in its manifesto) agenda to undertake any democratic reforms. These events are critical of both the GSD and the GSLP but more of the GSD.

More critical of the GSD because it is in Government and so it has the legislative power to give effect to the reforms that it promised in its manifesto. It has not delivered them. It is cynical for the GSD, which has never been stopped from implementing any policy by the views of the Opposition, to rely on the lack of cooperation from the GSLP Opposition as an excuse for not giving effect to one of its own promised policies. It is not enough for the GSD to, again, make the same promise in its manifesto for the next election. If the GSD is to be trusted it must take active and positive steps to implement democratic reforms prior to the next election.

The GSLP are in a slightly better place. Although it may be accused by the GSD of not having helped to advance democracy by cooperating on reforms, it has not had any ability to implement reforms, in any event, because it has not been in Government. The GSLP's problem is one of credibility, if it now promises reforms in its manifesto how will it convince the electorate that it will give effect to them? The change in leadership may help them achieve the credibility and trust they need but this is not the best way.

The best chance of promoting democratic reform, by either the GSD or the GSLP, is to vote for people (as opposed to parties) who are committed to improving democracy by reform. In each and every party there are such people, I know, they have individually told me so and the PDP has made its position public. I challenge them to make their individual positions known to the voting public and not to be held hostages by their respective parties in the belief that their individual electoral chances are enhanced by towing party lines. If none will "come out", well, then give some votes to the Coalition for Reform (CIR). It has at its core the desire and ambition to reform and improve democracy for the commonweal. If it gets a few candidates into Parliament, not only does their election give out a strong message but they can use their position as MPs to further this cause.


  1. robert, sometimes i wonder were the politicians are. I agree with you, the Ministers have been silent throughout 2010/11, you only see them opening something in photos the Chronicle or on GBC news, and even then, its either Edwin, Danny or the Chief himself.

    I can't remember what Mr Montiel looks like! Is he still active?

    It almost feels like they have no need or desire to interact with the electorate.
    It is a shame, as it smacks of a certain amount of arrogance on their part!

    I would love to see them passionately defending their position on programmes like viewpoint, etc. Instead, all we get is the odd docile GBC news interview which is always positive & upbeat, after all they aren't going to put out a negative press release are they, so the interview will always reflect this.

    I regularly watch BBC question time, and I love how politicians there get a grilling, but at the same time show spirit and enthusiasm in defending their actions and views.

    I reckon the electorate deserve better. Ministers here have an inflated view of their position and its about time they realised they are there for the people, by the people, and not only available to those politically close to them, and in 'safe' situations where they cannot be challenged or questioned!

  2. Anonymous at 13:05

    One important question is what is the cause of the silence of Ministers, MPs and candidate? I put it down to various factors

    (a) overpowering party leaders
    b) lack of specific policies, purposely so to ensure reliance on the party leader
    (c) the perception that stepping out of line reduces electoral chances and so the ability to earn decent salaries and perks and
    (d) the electoral system helps all this.

    Ah yes two more, possibly, lack of political principle and cowardice?

  3. It is a measure of how Gibraltar has evolved in recent years that this issue has become ever more apparent. This is the era of instant communication, the internet and rolling 24 hour news coverage. Not all modern developments are necessarily good for society but it is hard to argue against the need for our MPs to express and defend their opinions in public on a much more regular basis.

    The onus of our political system should be about empowering our citizens to nurture and develop our society, not to defend narrow party lines that may be out of step with the greater long term needs of Gibraltar. The silence of the main parties regarding the issues that LW has highlighted is as deafening as it is damning. Ostriches sticking their heads into sand spring to mind.

    I look forward to the main parties coming to this realisation as soon as possible and changing tacks accordingly.

  4. Very good blog entry Robert, and I agree with all three comments set out above.

    I particularly look forward to what certain regular commentators of LW have to say with regards to this issue (if they choose to respond at all).

  5. Robert.

    I can share some of your frustrations at the lack of public response from either of the two main political parties but not your surprise. This close to an election they are hardly going to give anything meaningful away until the date has been set, April now being a hot bet. Hardly time to enter into any debate, perhaps its too late to expect that.
    The PDP will answer anything really as they actually seem totally unable to attract any credibility with the electorate. Little wonder though when they claim to be experienced in Government business and ignore that loads of people are saying why now and not then. Why build the hospital in the building reserved for offices, ending up with an expensive compromise in building design and creating our present shortage of office space. It's not as though Azzopardi left on account of major issues of policy. It's not as though he said, I leave because Gibraltar needs more democracy....
    What actually worries me the most though is the total lack of unbiased and good reporting by the local press. What good are any measures designed to increase democracy if they are all going to be made subject to such an obviously controlled media like we have in Gib.
    There is were we should concentrate our efforts, if we had an engaged and effective press, these politicians would not be getting away with it in the first place.

  6. Anonymous at 19:45

    I take your points but your argument on GSLP disclosures applies now, my criticism goes back for years.

    I accept your points on the media. It is not only an issue of control. It is one also of culture within the institutions, guidance and perceptions created over time of what their role is.

    April election ... very unlikely .. my bet is still on October/November. If it is April I am standing on my own!

  7. Robert you can challenge till the cows come home but mainstream politics in Gibraltar does not attract thinking people only pelotas and they leave the thinking to their party leaders. The only excception possibly is the PDP whose leader is so careful that it is not clear what he thinks or stands for. I think that he is waiting for an invite to join the GSLP / Liberals to form the GSLPGLPPDP (como para un tartajoso, where is Liomnel Logue mow that we need him?).

  8. Are journalists harassed while covering the news?
    Are newspapers or broadcasters subsidized?
    Is government advertising allocated fairly?
    Are journalists prosecuted for what they write?

    These are questions we are supposed to ask ourselves in determining whether we have a free press. A no brainer right?
    The World Press Freedom Committee provides a Charter for Free Press which we should seek to implement locally with the same determination as you are tackling other democratic issues.

    Consider this; “A free press is the cornerstone upon which all other freedoms rest. It is the key underpinning of democracy.”

    Louis D. Boccardi
    former President and CEO of The Associated Press


    I am a firm believer that Gibraltar needs a more open and involving democratic model.

    Surely this is a quicker more effective way of forcing the hands of those entrenched in the past.

    Rather than play at their game, let's call a "game over"

  9. What if Charlie G a.k.a "the Pope's bother boy" or "chirpy charlie" stands would he be part of the COIR????????

  10. How can there be an 'unaffected' Press Corps in Gib since who gets the advertising which funds the 'paper' is in part determined by who holds Government purse strings? What of those who are too concerned that their businesses' or their children’s' future might suffer if they speak out? How can we all stand idly by and allow all this mis-Chief to continue and we all remain muti compa? Unite, the Union, allegedly sticking its snout in the trough on anything from the age of sexual consent to how our Moroccan brothers and sisters must vote in selecting their Workers association if they are to have a 'voice'. I WANT TO BE HEARD! How can a nation of our intellect tolerate the way GBC is? (Never mind the 'tame' reporting. Some may suggest it's non-existent!) They should change GBC's name to the History Channel because by the time we get anything of any import from them, it seems it has run the gamut of time and has become less relevant! Le Chronic publishes in colour you know! I wonder how they manage to do that now? What about honest to goodness investigative journalism? Hush now. PLEASE! We're British. Lo! And colonised! Could one foresee, in the 21st. Century, that we continue, as a people, to enjoy Coloniotic Irrigation? Smile, PLEASE! No Foreign intervention. Pah! What happened when the F and C O was caught red-handed two days ago by never-mind which side across the Med with falsified passports and arms? Once we boasted the Rolls Royce of the Diplomatic Service. Now it's more like the Reliant Robin! However, we are not alone in this little corner of Britain in the sun! Who holds the purse strings in the English Press? Plus ca change... O be in England, now that Murdoch's there and there and there! Sky News? A piffling pawn sacrificed on the altar of greed. Little wonder that Kings scuttle away from the stuttering’s of Hague and Cameron and that the Deputy Ole Prime Minister's Flamenco-dancing wife seemed to need to distance herself from the Libyan connection at her workplace. Our Gibraltar is but a microcosm of what going on in the big wide world. Silence can be golden but we need to be unbridled in our defence of true democracy. One at a time, a day at a time, the number of those who cannot remain silent any longer grows ever greater. Women and men of integrity and valour need to stand up and be counted and end the arrogant and bullying cynicism of those who continue to ignore the will of the people. Remember the adage, "Slowly, slowly catchee monkey!"

    Blas Infante Pernocta


  11. Read the Comical today and it seems that Loddo does not believe that the opposition is not doing anything since he criticises them for complaining about everything. Caruana has stated the same on numerous ocassions about the opposition. "COMO le ponemo al Ni~no." The opposition seems to be damned if they do Damned if they don't.

  12. Anon 14:18 is spot on in his observation in my opinion!


    Anon 13:07, I'll repeat something I wrote in another of Robert's blogs:

    "...I wonder if you have ANY actual idea of just how much some of those employees are paid and how hard they work or whether you're being facetious for the sake of being controversial.

    The GBC and its employees generally do the best they can with the limited resources at their disposal. If anything, because of the restrictive budget that's in place its harder and less cost efficient than it would otherwise be to just simply put together a news report.

    Before you jump to any conclusions I do not have a personal vested interest in the GBC (aside from being a local who would enjoy a higher standard of local programming), nor am I a GSD supporter. Whether you choose to believe that or not is your prerogative.

    I'm well acquainted with a couple of the individuals who work there and have a pretty thorough understanding of what goes on, and so I think it's sad that people are quick to point the finger at the GBC staff for the quality of their programming output when it's really the budget that they have been allocated within which they have to work that restricts and directly influences their ability to produce higher quality programming.

    By the by, I'm not a fan of Talk about Town, nor do I agree with many of the panelists views."

  13. Anonymous at 15:17

    I do not believe that anonymous at 13:07 is criticising the staff at all but rather the product of GBC. You defend the staff ion the basis of available resources. Your observations are very likely to be correct but whatever the reasons the criticims of what GBC produces that is made can be made. It is made in the context of the democratic defict that exists. It simply strengthens, in my view, the arguments in favour of having electoral and parliamnetary reforms to counteract the democratic deficit.

  14. You're right Robert, I am mistaken.

    My apologies 13:07, I was in a rush and I did not read it in as much detail and care as I should have done before jumping to conclusions. :)

  15. Tony Loddo is a great guy but he sees politics in Gib two dimensionally. He thinks it is like it was when he was in the old House of Assembly. He does not realise that the Government now handles hundreds of millions of pounds and that 90% of what goes on is completely behind closed doors. I think many of the people in Parliament do not have a clue of what goes on (Bruzon, Montiel, Linares, Vinet, Dr. Joseph etc).

  16. A free press means a free people. To this end, the following principles, basic to an unfettered flow of news and information both within and across national borders, deserve the support of all those pledged to advance and protect democratic institutions.

    Censorship, direct or indirect, is unacceptable; thus laws and practices restricting the right of the news media freely to gather and distribute information must be abolished, and government authorities, national or local, must not interfere with the content of print or broadcast news, or restrict access to any news source.
    Independent news media, both print and broadcast, must be allowed to emerge and operate freely in all countries.
    There must be no discrimination by governments in their treatment, economic or otherwise, of the news media within a country. In those countries where government media also exist, the independent media must have the same free access as the official media have to all material and facilities necessary to their publishing or broadcasting operations.
    States must not restrict access to newsprint, printing facilities and distribution systems, operation of news agencies, and availability of broadcast frequencies and facilities.
    Legal, technical and tariff practices by communications authorities which inhibit the distribution of news and restrict the flow of information are condemned.
    Government media must enjoy editorial independence and be open to a diversity of viewpoints. This should be affirmed in both law and practice.
    There should be unrestricted access by the print and broadcast media within a country to outside news and information services, and the public should enjoy similar freedom to receive foreign publications and foreign broadcasts without interference.
    National frontiers must be open to foreign journalists. Quotas must not apply, and applications for visas, press credentials and other documentation requisite for their work should be approved promptly. Foreign journalists should be allowed to travel freely within a country and have access to both official and unofficial news sources, and be allowed to import and export freely all necessary professional materials and equipment.
    Restrictions on the free entry to the field of journalism or over its practice, through licensing or other certification procedures, must be eliminated.
    Journalists, like all citizens, must be secure in their persons and be given full protection of law. Journalists working in war zones are recognized as civilians enjoying all rights and immunities accorded to other civilians.

  17. Qui tacet consentit.

    (He who remains silent consents).

  18. I agree with 15.53 that too many people in Gibraltar at all levels including even in politics and at the highest levels do not have the foggiest idea of what is going on. Only a very few people in business are in the know. Gibraltar may not be Gibraltar PLC but it certainly is Gibraltar Limited. It seems to me that a very few "shareholders" se lo guisan y se lo comen todo. Los demas including a lot of people who think that they are very clever, Mr. Loddo and the others mentioned by 15.53 but also many many others estan haciendo el papel del oso and live in cloud cuckoo land. Mientras hablamos de Andlaw, de los botes de la Guardia Civil, del Police Authority etc etc algunos are laughing. We all owe Llanito World a huge debt of gratitude for allowing exchange of views and information. This will spell the beginning of the end of any abuse taht there may be.


  19. Re press freedom.
    The son of a Gib minister is a journalist on GBC. Should this be allowed? Would this journalist be likely to report unfavourably on his father or his fathers party?
    On the other hand should this person be barred from being a journalist because he lives in such a small place like Gib?

  20. Viewpoint is still not up on GBC player. Was there anything anti govt/GSD why they would delay the posting of it???

  21. I, like anonymous 18.50, have been trying to watch Viewpoint on the GBC player to no avail. I have contacted asking when the programme will be uploaded.
    Perhaps others want to join me in doing the same??


  23. Anonymous at 18:46

    I do not know that a minister's son is a journalist in GBC nor if one is who it might be. I do not believe that this alone is a bar to his employment in this job. It is a consideration as to what his assignments can be, as it would seem that a conflict of interest would exist on most political stories in light of his family relationship. It would be for the editor to manage that conflict.

  24. in Gibraltar, there exists 'journalism', a reporting of current issues, as and when they come in through the fax, an email or a telephone call.

    What we/the politicians desperately need is 'investigative journalism', where the journalist goes out there and looks for the news, questions the news-makers and brings in the opposing view to ensure balance.

    Anybody can get a press release, change the wording to include 'Mr so & so said' now and again, and out it goes, sometime even with the same typos, the press release came with, in the first place.

    Anon @ 15:57, I disagree completely with your view! Estan muy comodo and its easier to plod along and do a basic job than to do introduce a little energy into the daily routine. The only time you see that spark is at the end of the month on payday!

    I understand completely though, after all here I am contributing to this blog anonymously! I am well aware of the perils of speaking out against those in power, so I can empathise with them, but this is the job they have chosen, and this is a job they should be doing properly.

    Its time our journalists showed a lot more courage and not just the ability to 'cut and paste'!

    and if anon @ 18:50 is right, and I don't doubt he/she is, why is viewpoint not up yet? tanto miedo hay? tanto control hay?

    no doubt, the press release from GBC will be issued soon, you know, the one with the big excuse and the whopping technical explanation, I can't wait! lol

  25. The "Minister's SON" at GBC is in fact The Minister's NEPHEW. It should make no difference and there should be no problem with him working at GBC.

    That said, for the "type" of reporting they do at GBC....its more like an ECHO Service where they just repeat word for word Govt PRs. There is no actual reporting involved. The real stories are heard out and about on the street. Perhaps if GBC was not based in the lonely South District and they moved closer to town, they might be able to "capture" the real stories!

  26. ALcapone says: Anon@20.24. WE are getting closer but THEY are too arrogant and will not realise that WE are on to THEM until the very end. That is how it always happens.

  27. Journalism
    The highest form of journalism, pure journalism, real journalism, the reason journalists exist. At their best investigative journalists serve the public interest by revealing secrets, exposing lies (and liars), uncovering uncomfortable facts, evading censorship and, sometimes, risking their lives to act as eyewitnesses to events.

    "News is something someone somewhere doesn't want published - all the rest is advertising".

    By its nature, investigative journalism usually involves writing against the grain, confronting the prevailing political orthodoxy and often subverting it. Inevitably, investigative reporters are treated with suspicion, sometimes hostility.
    They tend to be accused at worst of being traitors, in order to demean and degrade what they write and broadcast.
    Any local news paper other that dare publish the truth or indeed risk any form of pure journalism would forfeit government and GSD supporter’s private advertising and forced to close shop in our so called banana democracy.


    La forma más elevada de periodismo puro, periodismo, periodismo real, la razón, los periodistas existe. En sus mejores momentos, los periodistas de investigación servir al interés público por revelación de secretos, exponiendo mentiras (y a los mentirosos), descubriendo hechos embarazosos, evadir la censura y, a veces, arriesgando sus vidas para que actúen como testigos presenciales de los acontecimientos."

    Noticia es algo alguien en algún lugar no quiere publicado - todo el resto es publicidad".

    Por su naturaleza, periodismo de investigación implica generalmente por escrito en contra de los granos, que enfrenta la ortodoxia política prevaleciente y a menudo subvertir. Inevitablemente, los reporteros de investigación son tratados con sospecha, a veces la hostilidad. Tienden a ser acusados en el peor de ser traidores, con el fin de humillar y degradar lo que escriben y difusión.

    Cualquier noticia local que se atrevan publicar la verdad o cualquier forma de riesgo puro periodismo perdería gobierno y GSD seguidores publicidad privado y se ven obligados a cerrar negocio en nuestros así llamados banana la democracia.


    GIB Banana

  28. There will never be free press in Gib. Its simple publishhing costs money. the press's main source of funding is through adverts. Inevitably the people who advert control what the press says.

  29. I have to tell you Robert that the topic of bribery and corruption is now being discussed in surprisingly influential places. You have broken the dam and now people are talking openly about this. It is only a matter of a little bit of time before everything comes out into the open.

  30. A certain blog contributor has been noticeable by his absence thus far. :)

    Anon 08:51 is correct, a great number of people are now talking openly about this matter over cups of coffee and pints of beer around Gib, you should be proud Robert.

  31. The last comment from Anonymous at 8:51 is the most ridiculous posting yet from people who want Robert to think that change is imminent and that there is little to do. Gibraltarians have always chatted openly and notoriously about everything under the sun, in particular, rumours of government corruption and bribery. Such talk has always done the rounds in watering-holes. The proof, as always, will be in the proverbial pudding: only when there is formal government reform on this issue will Robert's worthwhile concerns start to bite and then depending on the detail relating to the powers of an independent anti-corruption commission.

    Robert: do not give up highlighting these and are issues of important public concern in spite of the now seeming deluge of open chin-wags in cafetrias, pubs and palaces of influence. Talk is cheap.

  32. hmmm

    last thursday's viewpoint on at long last!!!
    what a few simple emails can achieve

  33. Is this being discussed over Mojitos in "KE"?

  34. Viewpoint is available now, I phoned up GBC and moaned about it. Only halfway through the show and Albert is very good; he knows his stuff and clearly cares about it.

  35. Anon at 12.40 I agree with you but there is already a law against bribery and corruption as there is for theft or murder. It just needs to be implemented if any cases arise.

  36. Reality check and public opinion honours to:

    Albert Garcia
    Caroline Wahnon Robles
    Joseph Pau
    Manuel Wahnon

  37. anonymous 7 march @ 15.17

    you gave the same answer to a comment I made about GBC in a previous blog.
    Since you claim to be very well acquainted with some of the Staff at GBC maybe you could enlighten us on the terrible conditions of work at GBC!
    Why dont you start by telling us how much they earn?
    And why do they need a bigger budget to produce 10- 15 mins of news?
    You also claim that they are restricted, RESTRICTED BY WHOM?

    Eagerly awating your reply

  38. Well put anonymous @ 21.55
    Totally agree with you.

    Anonymous 7 march @ 15.17

  39. Power2thePeople, my response to your comments (and those of others) was more of a reminder that one really shouldn't make assumptions and more importantly, vitriolic remarks based on a very limited (if at all existent) understanding of the circumstances on which you are passing judgement.

    I feel that it is not my place to comment on the issues you raise for the following reasons:

    1- My technical understanding of exactly why the GBC's facilities are comparatively less efficient than in other news reporting institutions is limited, but I based my observation on facts and opinions expressed by those that work there. On what basis did you form your opinions?

    2- It is not my place to reveal what anyone else earns. Go find out for yourself if it's publicly accessible information, but I can assure you that in most instances, it is in all likelihood a far less glamorous amount than the figure I can only assume you may have in your head, and that they most definitely work long and hard enough to earn that sum. Filming 10/15 minutes of news involves more than standing around with a video camera for half an hour or so.

    Surprising, I know.

    3-I never claimed that GBC had terrible conditions in which to work, only restrictive ones.

    4-I imagine they would need a bigger budget to allow them to procure equipment that would greater facilitate the filming and recording of news, as well as their ability to produce their programming without having to rely on sponsorship as much.

    5-Your last point I can answer, they are restricted by their budget and the equipment at their disposal (as I set out in the conclusion of my initial post). No need to type in capslock, I can handle the regular sized font. :)

  40. Anonymous @ 18.24
    You claim that I am making assumptions and vitrolic remarks on a very limited understanding of the circumstances I am passing judgemnent on( I am not passing judgement, I am only giving my opinion)

    You claim not to have a vested interest in GBC, well I do, and so should you, after all it is our taxes that pays there wages ( whether Large or small)
    In my opinion it has nothing to do with Budget.
    All I am asking is for is profesionalism in their jobs. That to me means doing investigative reporting (Not just reading official statements) Non-biased interviews etc etc.
    In other words all I want is, That they do the job they are getting paid for!

  41. Anon @18.24

    Whilst agreeing with you on the limited resources at GBC and how his affects their output, something as simple as uploading programmes to the website in a timely manner cannot be put down to resources. This is in my experience a common occurrence and me thinks that it`s more likely to be a case of lax administration and poor performance on GBC`s part. In all probability a la nina de la officina se le olvido de hacerlo !!

  42. anon @ 18.24
    You claim that I am making assumptions and vitrolic remarks on a very limited understanding of the circumstances I am passing judgemnent on( I am not passing judgement, I am only giving my opinion)

    You claim not to have a vested interest in GBC, well I do, and so should you, after all it is our taxes that pays there wages ( whether Large or small)
    In my opinion it has nothing to do with Budget.
    All I am asking is for is profesionalism in their jobs. That to me means doing investigative reporting (Not just reading official statements) Non-biased interviews etc etc.
    In other words all I want is, That they do the job they are getting paid for!

  43. Power2thepeople:

    Perhaps not EVERYONE in the GBC is as professional as they could possibly be, but I think you'd be very hard pressed to find any organization within Gibraltar that could make this bold statement.

    The majority of individuals that I know and work there are extremely hard working individuals who invest a lot of time and effort into what they do.

    With regards to your comment regarding vested interests, may I direct you to this excerpt from my initial post-

    "Before you jump to any conclusions I do not have a personal vested interest in the GBC (aside from being a local who would enjoy a higher standard of local programming)"

    I echo your sentiments in that as a tax payer, I would also enjoy a higher quality of local programming and reporting, but I mainly attribute their inability to do so because of their restrictive budget which affects their ability to report and gather news in simple ways you wouldn't even think about.

    As for you voicing your opinion as opposed to passing judgment, the condescending and mean spirited posts in the other blog entry seemed to suggest that you were dismissing the GBC as being run by a collection of lazy and untalented individuals who are only interested in getting paid at the end of the month. I apologise if this wasn’t the case.

    Anon 20:07, something as simple as uploading programs to the GBC “iplayer” can be attributed to lack of resources, as it was probably a case of resource prioritization.

    Yes, I agree the delay in the time it took to upload the program was excessive, but I imagine there was a genuine reason for this delay.

    GBC isn't perfect, it's got a lot of flaws, but it's also got a lot of heart. We shouldn't put it on a pedestal because some of our taxes go towards it, of course it’s important that the quality of reporting and programming should be as high as it could be but we have to keep things in perspective. There’s only so much you can do with so much money.

    “You don't treat the symptoms, treat the illness.”

  44. "Anonymous said...
    Re press freedom.
    The son of a Gib minister is a journalist on GBC."

    Why are we so afraid to mention names, even when posting anonymously? Michael Beltran is the son of Dennis Beltran, not Minister Clive Beltran. Dennis is Clive's younger brother. Yes, Michael did interview his uncle, Clive, last week but not on anything politically sensitive or controversial so I didn't see anything wrong in that. Did anyone?

  45. Does anybody know why the GSD "pulled" its party political broadcast due to be broadcast on GBC last Thursday?

    Apparently it was intended to launch Selwyn Figueras.

  46. Which Selwyn the one that perceives Nationalism to be a bad thing? THAT Selwyn?


  47. Interviewing in a professional unbiased manner, unlike the manner the author of this blog was interviewed, has nothing to do with lack of resources. Throwing more money to the GBC would not make them more impartial.

  48. A fair point, but perhaps having a larger budget would make them less reliant on sponsership for their programming, which would in turn reduce the outside influence and "fear" that might be imposed upon them.

  49. if the GSD's party political broadcast was as naff, naive, out of touch and arrogant as Ms Ellul-Hammond's was, I'm not surprised it was pulled out!

    Isobel showed us a woman's perspective, a happy sunny main street where you can enjoy a bit of shopping and then end up in the market to get some food to feed the family.

    Maybe Selwyn's had a more manly approach?

    Maybe someone should tell the GSD, we live in the twenty-first century and perhaps using Mr Andlaw as a role model for their campaigning is not such a good idea lol!

    by the way, last night on GBC news, Mr Cartwright, TAT's unbiased presenter, was interviewed about the passing of the late Mr Ken Anthony. Did anyone else notice this interview took place in the car park behind No 6, Convent Place? I din't know that area was open to the general public!

  50. Your “nina de la officina” comment shows just what an ignorant and arguably sexist person you are. You claim the footage isn't streamed efficiently on to the GBC website, and therefore it must be a woman's job?

    If you want proper quality from your local broadcasting station then not only is a new station needed (which isn't crumbling at the touch), but also new equipment (preferably from the 21st century!) and also help on a human resources level. Or do you expect the employees at GBC to be miracle workers?

    No doubt every work place has their problems, and GBC has theirs. There will always be workers that don't measure up to the ideal standard, the only difference is that what you may do in your work place may be rather private (or not really capable of being put to public scrutiny beyond any superficial level), GBC is public for the likes of you to criticise due to the nature of the work that is carried out there.

    Having said that, there is a core of extremely dedicated employees at GBC who invest large amounts of personal time and dedication in to their work and with every negative comment from uninformed people like you their motivation and moral depletes even further.

    Isn't this “Llanito World”? Aren't we supposed to be proud Llanitos sticking together as a community?

    Tell me, have you actually ever been to GBC and seen for yourself what goes on there? Or how many employees are emotionally involved in their work? I think it's disgusting that in a small community like Gibraltar people can be so eager to criticise and pick fault with each other.

    As for this idea about GBC's lack of impartiality, in my estimation it would seem that just as many Opposition press statement are released every day, if not more, than Government's. The same goes for the PDP. As for the interviews, I think we have to be realistic here. We all want our news readers and reporters to be of a higher standard but we must consider again their level of training (which again is impacted by resource allocation). If they were trained appropriately, and by the same standard as a world-class broadcasting station, I would assume a far more polished and balanced interview would be achieved on a consistent basis.

  51. Michael Beltran has a good future in journalism. The only thing that slightly peeves me is that he pronounces "Los Barrios" as "Los Barios" - Jonathan Scott has the same very minor fault. Otherwise he is a most entertaining Radio announcer. Roll your r's chaps!

  52. Hate to break it to you K but nationalism isn't exactly a good thing, just look at what happened in Nazi Germany.

  53. Robert you shouldn't worry about the Gov not replying to your announcement.
    They have not replied to two quite prominent GSlP statements on "tendering for the 11 millions" and "jobs for the (swiss) boys"

    Both issues are important and one would have thought that the Government would have wasted no time in alaying the electorates concerns that there might be something in the statements. Apparently not.

  54. Anon 13:30 that example is completely out of context.

    When things are taken to extremes they are definitely not a "good thing".


  55. LOL nice one anon 13:30 .....yo me rio con los comentarios del K-walker

    if this is the future of gibraltar god help us all!

  56. anonymous said......

    Anonymous at 13.30

    What world do you live in? You are comparing K and whatever government were in power to Hitler! I don't think so. Think again.

  57. I would never compare him to Hitler, he seems like a nice guy. You guys have done that. However in agreement with anon16;36 his comments are sometimes ridiculous. And if taken to the extreme could become dangerous. Thats why it's best to put comments like those down at their infancy. Afterall if it were up to K it would be an offence to employ foreigners and they would be 2nd class citizens

  58. In relation to the GBC comments I might agree with anon 10:42 The problem being that Mr King has been employed to do someting about GBC. If he is not able to do so for the reasons that you have explained then he should come out from his perceived bunker and say so. It all very well to be the general manager of GBC and get the salary he gets and GBC doe snot change to the better. if GBC are short of cash then why have King and if we have King then King let us know what state GBC is in and it would be helpful for employees of GBC to demand that the report that King did is published so that everyone can judge on how KIng perceives it to be.
    So cricising the critics is not the way forward but to demand the General manager to do something about GBC.
    I believe that all the people at GBC are unionised and therefore I suggest that you all go to the union and demand that they look after the staff and make public the conditions that staff have to put up with.

  59. Charles Gomez.9 March 2011 at 19:15

    Nationalism, says anon at 13.30 is "not exactly a good thing". I strongly disagree; e.g. the rampant self-interest of the UK (at least before it became soft) allowed for the accumulation of wealth which underpins the cradle to grave welfare state of the mother country and attracts to it millions of people from less happy countries. Other nationalistic countries include the US, France and most other succesful nations. No one should be ashamed to be a Gibraltarian nationalist or to have to apologise for his / her Gibraltarian patriotism. Mention of Hitler in the context of healthy Gibraltarian nationalism is in very bad taste.

  60. Landlords ARE VERY concerned Property prices can only go one way. And this time it’s DOWN. For years landlords have been able to charge outrageous rents on commercial and residential property. But that is about to change in a big way. Landlords throughout are struggling to find paying tenants. And with house prices falling sharply, there is now a serious downwind for property prices. Many experts are expecting gradual decline in house prices this year. But think it will be a lot more dramatic than that. Everywhere I look I see evidence of gaping imbalances in the property market. USING OUR TAX MONEY TO FUND ANY DEVELOPMENT PROJECT WHO WILL BE IN DIRECT COMPETITION WITH OUR PRESENT LANDLORDS AND OTHER LESS FORTUNATE DEVELOPERS IS MADNESS. CAN WE HAVE SOME COMMENTS FROM THE LANDLORDS, GSD, GSLP, DPP, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND ROBERT VASQUEZ LW It is unfair competition and discrimination? Landlord

  61. It’s easy to present Kaelan’s views disingenuously when he has set them out in detail in other blog pieces, as opposed to this one, isn’t it Anon 18:15?

    Anon 13:30, it’s genuinely disappointing to see someone so quick to jump on ‘Godwin’s Law’.

    Charles Gomez is spot on in his views concerning nationalism.

  62. Anonymous at 21:22

    I do not believe that funding developments with taxpayers, money is appropriate unless and if (a) it is absolutely the only way to provide for a shortage that is essential for the economy and (b) it is offered equally and fairly to all developers.

  63. Anon 18:15

    "After all if it were up to K it would be an offence to employ foreigners and they would be 2nd class citizens"

    What are you on about? All I have implied is that OUR people should have a slight advantage in OUR land, especially if they have the relevant experience and qualifications.

    I have also explained that my 15% quota theory was more along the lines of wishful thinking.

    Furthermore I do not understand how you have confused this theory for anti foreigner sentiments. Please care to elaborate...

    Thank you Charles and Anon 21:22

    PS- I do apologise for not being as active on the blog lately (some have hinted so) but I have been heavily involved with the boxing event that will be taking place 2morrow at the Victoria Stadium and have had little free time.


  64. I believe that the general offering of GBC could be improved but that GBC staff give their all in very difficult circumstances so attacks on them are unfair. Anyone who has watched a current affairs programme go out in the UK (and I have on ITN) will know the number of correspondents, reporters, editors,producers, directors etc etc it takes. One issue that could be corrected is to have more incisive interviewing of politicians. It seems that they get an easier time than other interviewees. Those GBC interviewers that have interviewed me will know that I have always invited them, before the interview, to hit me as hard as they can. I believe that if I am defending a position I should be o[pen to full examination.

    I also see that Mr King comes in for criticism. I have to admit that he has come into more criticism than I have published because many comments I felt were unfair and close on defamatory. My question is, where is the Board? If GBC needs more resources what are the Board doing about it? It is an "independent" board. It should be fighting GBC's corner with everyone including the government!

  65. To make a correlation between Gibraltarian nationalism and Hitler is, as Charles Gomez says, in very poor taste indeed. Extreme forms of nationalism are, of course, not good things. There again, extreme forms of ANY political philosophy are distasteful. But nationalism can also be a force for good - nationalist movements in the Baltic states were fundamental in their struggle for independence from the USSR, for instance. I feel entirely comfortable declaring myself a Gibraltarian nationalist.

  66. Caruana, like Bossano, should now step down from the leadership of the GSD.