Sunday, 3 April 2011

Corruption, What is it?

Corruption is a word that is bandied about frequently. Often it conjures up pictures of brown envelopes passing from hand to hand or secret bank accounts in foreign countries being swelled with money. This is is certainly corruption but it is worth spending a little time analysing what additionally constitutes corruption. Corruption is a massive subject but briefly, what is encompassed by the the word "corruption"? Commonly it is felt that, electoral fraud, nepotism, bribery, cronyism and slush funds are all elements of corruption.

Electoral fraud covers from the obvious, like intimidation and buying votes to the less obvious like misinformation. Intimidation in its crudest form includes direct threats and violence but it also includes, for example instilling or allowing a belief that one has to vote in a particular way to persist. In Gibraltar the lack of simple explanation of our voting system is an issue. I have personally come across an sizable number of people who believe that they are obliged to block vote for the whole candidature of a party. It is the responsibility and duty of the administration to ensure a simple explanation that communicates to all voters that they each have 10 votes that they can use to vote for those individual candidates who they choose to vote for, irrespective of party membership. Misinformation is far more insidious. It includes misleading information about candidates and parties and their policies and at an extreme smear campaigns.

Nepotism, or the granting of favours or positions to family and friends regardless of merit, is a difficult issue in Gibraltar because of its size and the inevitability of webs of connections and family. It is precisely because of the inevitability of accusations of nepotism in Gibraltar that there is a a more crucial and unique need to have objective safeguards. The importance of transparency and accountability comes to the fore in precisely this area as does a robust and all encompassing tendering system. A tendering system that must operate fast and efficiently so as not to allow any excuse for contracts to be directly allocated by reason of a requirement of urgency.

Bribery, an often used expression but is its extent fully understood? Blacks Law Dictionary defines it as the offering, giving, receiving or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legal duty. In practice it is difficult to distinguish between the act and the intent of influencing, so often the act leads to an inference that there has been influence. Therefore, the act is best avoided by those in public office. The act can include not just money and physical goods but advantages and can encompass generous entertainment, like foreign travel and free accommodation, food and entertainment. A robust system of declaring all hospitality is one safeguard. The one preferred in the US is that no hospitality whatsoever can be accepted by an elected representative, minister, public officer or servant.

Cronyism is being partial to long standing friends usually it is practiced by ignoring aptitude or qualification and so merit, to appoint them to positions of influence and/or authority. Cronyism results in the person appointed becoming or being an extension of the appointer as the person appointed will  not try and undermine the appointer or even contradict him or her. Cronyism undermines the intellectual integrity of an administration aside from its obvious inherent dishonesty. It also leads to what is known in Spain as :"traffico de influencia". It is avoided by strict public, open and transparent appointments and tendering procedures.

Slush funds do not require much explanation. essentially a slush fund is an auxiliary or reserve fund that is usually used for subversive purposes or to buy favours. In government they arise absent strict open and transparent accountability and audit. More poignant are those in commerce that are hidden to buy favours from public servants.

The Anti-Corruption Authority that I have proposed is necessary but the ultimate deterrent  to corruption, however, is the separation of powers. An independent judiciary thankfully we have.  However in the area of government that is most susceptible to corruption, the legislature (Parliament) and the executive government (the Ministers) we do not have a separation of powers that is sufficiently robust.  This is one of the aspects that I have referred to as the "democratic deficit" a phrase that has now been adopted in the wider media. The other aspects, which in turn helps to deliver this separation,  is electoral reform. Most mainstream parties in Gibraltar have promised both and not delivered. I constantly ask myself why? Could the reason be that I am just innocent?


  1. Thank you for the explanations. Overall not a bad piece however, the only thing you say we "thankfully have" is an independent judiciary. You make no comment about the other things, why? Do you REALLY believe this or is it that you depend on the judiciary in your chambers for your daily bread and dare not say otherwise. Why else signal out the judiciary. I will leave it at that because you are unlikely to publish this comment if I go on about the judiciary.

  2. Anonymous at 19:31

    The reason that I single out the judiciary is very simple. The 2006 Constitution has provisions to deliver independence. Some may argue that they could be more robust. Indeed, as Chairman of the Bar I made representations to the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reform that could have provided a more robust system. The provisions made are quite robust, however. As for the executive and legislature, the 2006 Constitution does not incorporate any provisions to ensure a separation of powers, The piece that I have written does not and was not intended to deal with subjective arguments. Different persons will have differing subjective views.

    I did express views in the past about appointing judges, see my piece on "Judging Judges" :

    You may not recall also that I was the first lawyer in private practice to publicly show disapproval of Chief Justice Schofield's behaviour. In 2000, as Chairman of the Bar, I caused a stir by not making the traditional speech. An act for which I have personally suffered professional detriment.

    I fear that your accusation against me about looking after my chambers is actually not a valid one and is unfair and unfounded. I do not believe any judge in Gibraltar will be prejudiced against me for expressing a view. Indeed it is my professional duty to represent my clients to the best of my ability without consideration of repercussions to me. This often means arguing with a judge. Judges understand this and do not hold grudges as you suggest that they might.

    You should remember that judges are subject also to an appellate system. The check and balance to the executive arm of government is Parliament. If there is insufficient separation of powers between the executive and Parliament there is no effective check or balance.

  3. Just like I previously stated in your blog “Proposal to Establish an Anti-Corruption Authority” (where you labeled me as a Cynic), I still stand by my statement that this will not work in Gibraltar. But in this blog, I feel that you have come to realise this a little more and have evolved your ideas to come to a conclusion that more importantly than the Anti-corruption Authority is “the separation of powers”. Already the Anti-corruption Authority is being trumped.

    To quote George Shaw : “The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it”

    Whiles Robert Wilson said “Cynics regarded everybody as equally corrupt.. Idealists regarded everybody as equally corrupt, except themselves”

    Lets NOT be an idealist Mr Vasquez ;)

    And to clear the Air, I advocate the CIR and its other core principles up to now.

    p.s. Nepotism and Cronyism will never be eradicated, Gibraltar is made of this and we all know it!


  4. Fatidicus

    Everything helps ... in Hong Kong a similar commission established in 1975 is highly successful you may want to look at:

  5. How do you identify possible corruption?

    Men in expensive outfits that rise to public, commercial and social prominence literally overnight as if they had won the pools several times over, are ruthlessly unashamed of it and arrogantly target the public purse and competitors in any sector of the economy calling it 'business'. They then become dominant members of society and monopolise it.

    Greed is their addiction: money, power and luxury.

    They deliberately set out to short change you with their services and products, abuse legal devices with their ready money to cover their backs and to cover their tracks, avoid detection and prosecution.

    It's a predetermined, professionally planned and well organised white-collar criminal network that stealthily operates like a cancer within the legal framework of the economy and society damaging everything they touch and, depend entirely on inside information, influence and cooperation from their secret associates or partners within key positions in the system in order to thrive and make their profits.

  6. aver si me entero, if for example, I was a public servant in charge of a public building and I had to install a kitchen using public funds, and if instead of using the correct tender procedure to select a company to provide the building with this kitchen, I used the same guys who installed the kitchen in my house 3 months ago. Could that be classed as corruption?


  7. In response to the constant reference to Hong Kong’s ‘Independent Commission Against Corruption’ being your gold standard to template Gibraltar’s own authority, I have to say that the former commissioner of Hong Kong’s ICAC reported the difficulties in setting-up and maintaining such agency.

    In this report he states that many of “these agencies fail dismally to have any impact. Very few can be said to have succeeded at all.”

    This is then proceeded by a full list of why they fail including, ‘lack of resources, unrealistic aim and expectations; due to “erroneous belief that corruption can be eradicated” and most importantly they are given the “wrong responsibility” which divert it from its principle purpose like “policing of election regulations, not merely electoral bribery, and ‘economic crime’ or ‘fraud’ or ‘misappropriation of public funds’ “.

    The latter points are what I feel that you would like the authority to also tackle, please let me know if I am wrong, but something tells me there will be some back pedaling since you had already mentioned, among the list of your perception of corruption, “electoral fraud” and ‘corruption’ with reference to political election strategies i.e. Informing the people that block vote is the best way to go. If the electorate is misinformed I feel its because they have missed the point that they should inform themselves on how to vote and is not a deliberate deception by the parties.

    He also reports that Anticorruption agencies tend to be selective in their investigations, can become corrupt, not given sole responsibility (since other authorities intervene in anti-corruption investigations like the “police, audit department, the revenue services and public service administration”), and political interference (where the agency tends to get aimed at the opposition, which in turn have “every interest in hampering its work”)

    So who will make sure that the authority keeps its intensions true and focus in the right direction? Will the police be told that all anti-corruption investigations should be given up to the agency? Will there be enough resources and support in Gib to keep this going?

    His 1st comment on why they fail is “weak political will”, where the perseverance to tackle corruption might, at first, be strong (which tends to be from newly appointed government) but then tends to dwindle as the “realities of office, the vested interests in the status quo and pressure of more immediate tasks bear on the actions of the government”.

    So there tends to be many matters and affairs that could hinder this authority from operating effectively, and we should consider if there is recourses available to tackle these problems of an ‘ineffective’ agency.

    The report has also listed and explained what should be done to keep such an initiative a chance of success. With the closing statement that says “And it must be emphasized that an anticorruption agency is not in itself the answer to a beleaguered country’s corruption problems. An agency can ever only be a part of the solution. But it is the part on which success depends.”

    So although cynical or skeptical in your quest for an Anti-corruption authority, I will reevaluate and say, if the CIR puts this near the top of its agenda and looks at failing authorities (instead of just trying to simulate ones that have larger resources than we do and corruption is probably on a much larger scale than trying to sort out nepotism, cronyism, and election misinformation in a population of ~30,000) to learn from their mistakes, this could be a step forward to the solution, although I still maintain and feel that the chances are it will not work in Gibraltar, but I guess there is no harm in trying…. Or is there?

    Take a look :


  8. I think that as the electorate, we are entitled to any information, concerning the professional conduct, of any individual standing for election. They should have a clean history and anyone who has any dubious or illegal dealings should be prohibited from standing for election.

    The withholding of such information is clearly a corrupt practice, as it deceives the public and sacrifices the political position of Gibraltar. If there is evidence of any form of corruption of any of our candidates prior to standing, well, then once elected one is safe to assume that such corrupt conduct will continue and only worsen.

    Let's ensure that the candidates are squeaky clean if not we don't want them.

  9. All interesting stuff, but if the anti-corruption campaign has clearly defined rules about do's and don'ts, then as soon as someone is caught out it is just a question of blowing the whistle and applying the full weight of the law, no matter who that person is. UK Ministers had been swindling Tax Payers for years with their allowances, and their excuse was that everyone was doing it. The whistle was blown, the rules were checked and some were caught out and exposed in shame by the media with some high profile careers perhaps left in ruins. With the current arrangement no matter how much you try and blow the whistle in the end there is no way to hold any of this lot to account.

  10. Do we have any anti-corruption laws in Gibraltar; if we have is it another of those fully independent systems we are talking about fully controlled by our Minister.


  11. Julius says,

    To Lola 22.22hrs.

    If a Head of Department requires a new kitchen to be purchased and installed in his department he/she must first apply to the Government Procurement Department which will invite tenders from relevant Companies.

    If any item required is under 450 pounds there is no need to tender although there is a ceiling of 900 pounds if more of the same items are required.

  12. anon @ 17:46

    Thank you for that. Tell me, is a minister subject to the same rules?


  13. The elections must be round the corner. In addition to the mad rush with last minute projects, this week I have noticed a heightened aggression in the 'supporters' camp. They are everywhere! Their desperation is apparent in the level of ridicule they are dealing out to anybody & everybody who dares disagree.

    Its quite sad this party should lower itself to this level!

    Anna Conda

  14. stood up by the PP in Barcelona! pero este hombre no tiene orgullo?


  15. y Anna Conda ten cuidao ke tienen una mala leche de pelicula


  16. Anna Conda 19:33

    Funny you should use the words aggresion and supporters in the same sentence!

    I was stopped down main street the other day, by a party faithful, and was advised, in no uncertain terms, to tone down my criticism of the ruling party!! Ofuuu ke miedo no?

    Then people wonder why so many of us post under pseudonyms or anonymous status's on this Blog?

    Perhaps there are those who should fear; fear of the elections ahead!

  17. Yes, there is definitely the fear factor. In the last election I remember that Peter Caruana in the leaders debate he used the fear factor by saying with his eyes firmly on the cameras. Do you want to go back to the past!!!think about it!!
    Now we have the fear factor in the opposite direction.
    People now fear repercussion that has and is being meated out to any who dare decent.
    The reaction of the supporters mentioned is just a reflection of the way the GSD Govt have governed.

  18. Those who are defending all the good things that the GSD government has done (ie projects, stability, the economy) have got a job to convince the electorate that people should not fear the GSD government. The reality is that there are many who will not put their heads above the parapit for fear of repercussions.
    This GSD Govt rules with an iron fist and will chase you until you are down.

  19. I imagine the main reason the great majority of us are anonymous or using pseudonyms is because of the corrupt society in which we are living in. People are prejudiced against based upon their political beliefs, and more significantly on specific criticisms levelled against the government and the Command in Chief in himself.

    We don’t want our family members, close friends, children, to be affected by our thoughts and opinions and so we hide behind the cloak of anonymity. However it’s not like in other parts in the world where we have to fear physical retribution or even deportation or worse just for speaking out against the current establishment, that’d be ridiculous and in that respect we as a people have always been extremely fortunate.

    The reality though is that people in Gibraltar are generally prejudiced against in favour of those who are comparably sympathetic and supportive towards the GSD party. There are no figures to back up such a claim up obviously, and it might just be conjecture on the parts of those who share a similar view to my own, but it seems that the number of people that have been ‘inserted’ into desirable positions has increased during this last electoral term in comparison to the other years in which GSD has been in power.

    Trying to repay back favours before they’re out the door? Wanting to give people a greater incentive to help them stay on the right side of the door?

    All conjecture.

  20. nailed it on the head anon 4 April 2011 22:36

  21. We need to be ready to transform our lives into that which we desire see happen.

    I believe that is where real power lies.
    Soon, you will see the changes.

    Fear, it being subjective, will soon crumble away and society will become what we desire.

    Corruption would become history.

    Simples! :)

  22. very few seem inclined to discuss this crucial subject...boring apathy or apprehension?

  23. What can one say that is not in a good proportion of people's mentioned above, those who dare to question the establishment are not going to be deported, imprisoned etc, but, they stand for many doors to be shut in front of their faces... the people shouldn't fear government, government should fear the people...
    At the next election we will see what the people think of the current Government.
    Personally I think that if the GSD get re-elected than we are well on the way for another four years of dictatorship!

  24. Interesting to see that some talk of fear and attribute it to the GSD. It seems the GSLP are doing a great job of putting the fear of economy, social prosperity and other related matter up our backsides in an attempt to virtually scare the crap out of us and into voting for them.
    Time will tell will show how many if us truly believe a party with no position other than sitting on a fence and describing Gibraltar as a failed state.
    Clearly the GSLP dont have much faith in what we can achieve. Great prospects!

  25. Damian I'm glad we agree on this one!

    a proud Llanita

  26. I remember when Peter Caruana was campaigning to get into government in 1996 he left his law practice at Triay & Triay and was campaigning vigorously for almost a year. In contrast aspiring Chief Minister Fabian Picardo seems lack lustre and uninterested. I do not think that he really wants to win. so it's another shoe in for Peter. What I do not understand is why Fabian is wasting his and our time.

  27. anon @18:00 has no worries about the state of the economy, so the rest of us should take note and stop fretting. Never mind an attempt at backing his statements with facts, his word is enough, after all, he supports the GSD, and They know everything about everything!

    anon @ 20:32 reckons Fabian Picardo isn't doing enough and, because of this, has decided Peter Caruana has already won the election. Somebody had better inform the Returning Officer so he can make an announcement.

    by the way, by implication, you must then think that if Fabian had given up his job already, and was more in the public eye, Caruana's chance of winning were pretty slim! lol

    Anna Conda

  28. Anna Conda please do not get me wrong I do not want PC to win but Fabian does not seem to have much fire in his belly. Having been accustomed to Hassan, Peliza, Bossano and Caruana who always showed passion for power Fabian is almost colourless. He recites what he thinks are the right things in a business lawyer tone and even uses the word "passion" a lot but he does not convince me. A shame because we need a change it is just that Fabian does n't come across as someone who can deliver. I am sure that he is a great private client sort of lawyer and will get glowing reports in the Legal 500,000.000 but he is not Chief material.

  29. annon 20.32

    What makes you think Fabian is wasting his time? Do you not have your ear to the ground? Are you not aware of his & the Alliances efforts in listening to the electorate by means of private & public meetings?

    Then again I suspect that you would not like to hear what he/they have to say!

    Btw, just because some people come across as calm and genuinely concerned doesn't necessarily make them lacklustre. Not all politicians are naturally arrogant!

    Paca Garse

  30. Paca Garte you are wrong I DO want to hear what Fabian wants to say. I am not that impressed at the idea that he is a good listener. What is he listening for? Has he no ideas of his own? Surely what we want is a Chief with ideas. I never said that Fabian comes across as calm and naturally concerned on the contrary he comes across as uninterested and therefore a bit uninterersting. But I am willing, desperate even to be convinced otherwise - let's hear what you are about Fabian!On the opposition benches I think that Neil Costa and Dr. Joseph come across much much better.

  31. P.A. Mearse says: I agree with anon @ 21.14 I have not seen Fabian in action professionally but he looks like one of those lawyers who would impress the chairman of the board of a major international conglomerate looking at the fiscal advantages of Gibraltar he is just not Chief minister material.

  32. anon 21.29

    If you wan't to hear what Fabian has to say & what he stands for, ask him. I did, and was pleasantly surprised!
    No politician, of whatever persuasion, can aspire to lead a people that he does not listen to!
    Of course he has ideas, but that doesn't mean he should close himself off from what those around him have to say.
    Could it be that we've been accustomed to a brash & arrogant style of leadership for so long that Fabian comes across the way he does?

    Paca Garse

  33. anon @ 21:14

    Cometh the hour, cometh the man! and his hour has not yet cometh! Surely we cannot expect him to assume the role of Leader of the GSLP, until the party votes him in.

    I think its best to reserve our judgement for when he becomes the Leader of the GSLP. In the meantime, I don't blame any of the Opposition Parties if they keep a low profile. The GSD are so desperate they would try anything in their bid to buy any votes they can, including stealing ideas from the competition!

    Anna Conda

  34. All this “I want change but Fabian is not the man for it”, “he has no fire or interest”, “you can’t trust him”.

    Sounds very familiar indeed!

    Do not be fooled fellow bloggers these are clearly not concerned citizens! But rather what seems to be prime examples of the GSD propaganda machine “running through the motions”.


  35. annon 21.14 & 21.39

    what qualities would you consider a potential candidate for the post of Chief Minister should have?
    Did the current incumbant have them at the time he took office, or have these qualities developed as the years have gone by?

    Paca Garse

  36. Fabian will reveal all when the elections are called. As I read somewhere on this blog we have govt by opposition. parental contribution, the brussels office, no tax for occupational pensions, abolition of road tax, etc, etc.
    Fabian is listening in order not only to assess what has to be done as oppose to a GSD govt that thinks that they have IDEAS and think that having toilets all round Gib, expensive bus stops, an unneeded air terminal, the most expensive hole in the middle of town that was supposed to be a Theatre, etc, etc are the IDEAS or visions from the GSD then carry on listening Fabian cos it is clear that what you and your team will be offering is what the electorate want and need.

  37. anon @ 23:10

    mira ke tu lo ke va dici! Caruana es all knowing, y nadie sabe ma ke el. He dosen't have to ask anybody, pk el lo sabe to ma mejon!


  38. apparently a certain future member of the 'Dream Team' has announced civil servants could be asked to do shift hours in summer to cover the afternoons. This dosen't form part of the present reforms, but would be introduced at a later date as part of the development of the civil service!

  39. Braveheart says:

    I would bet my arse on someone like Fabian...born and bred in Gib, a true Gibraltarian, working class background, someone who I have no doubt will defend our land, stand up against external influences and is PRO GIBRALTARIAN.

    Who was PRC before he got in as CM? That is my question. Que mala memoria tienen algunos!!!

  40. Has Fabian heard that, as the title, to this blog implies, corruption is a matter of concern to the people or is Fabian happy to focus on road tax and toilets etc as anon at at 23.10 implies? What "the electorate want and need" is to be traeted with respect and not talked down to by politicians.

  41. Proud llanita... thanks... I am not that bad after all, probably that my sentiments in the other blogg might have been misunderstood.

    Refernce all this critism over Fabian not being the right man, why don't we give him a chance and see what happens? After all in four years time if we are not happy we can vote him out.. isn't that what democracy is about?

    If the people really want change, then they will have to choose in a realistic manner given the electoral system we have... either GSD or GSLP/Liberals. It would be good for a few independents to get in as this would stop the polarization in Parliament.

    Before anybody starts commenting that my post is GSLP and anti GSD, let me make the point that when it comes to local politics, i do not subscribe to any single party blindly or passionately. Like i mentioned above.. for me it is a question of choosing the lesser of two evils.

  42. Damian

    perhaps I did misunderstand your sentiments before, as I certainly agree with you now, and the impression you gave in the earlier blog certainly does not reflect in what you have to say now.

    I agree with you about Fabian. There is a lot of criticism going around, but I suspect the GSD rumour-mill has a lot to do with it. I am sure however, that Gibraltarian common-sense will prevail and see through them, and as you say, this is a democracy and he has 4 years to prove himself. I also hope Robert gets a seat on the opposition benches and kicks up a good old fuss whilst he's there!

    a proud llanita

  43. anon @23:47

    ke dice? tu ke esta en serio?

    como se enteren el civil service de esto, se lia!

    on the other hand, como se entere el chief ke hay algien andando por ahi hablando por lo codos, no vea la ke le va a caer!

    como estan los ninios no? entre el Louis, el 'I believe' y ahora esto! ke pesha de new recruits!


  44. Anon 08:49

    ‘What "the electorate want and need" is to be traeted with respect and not talked down to by politicians.’

    The Government would do well to heed those same words.

    I will assess Fabian’s ability to be an effective leader when he is appointed as the leader of the GSLP party. What leadership potential had Caruana exhibited before he was chosen to be next in line for the crown? None of any significant importance whatsoever. Yet, he was a great leader of our people for many years.

    The impression I get from speaking to others is that the current administration’s attempts to undermine the merits of Fabian as a leader and the rumoured ‘dream team’ line up before they have even been officially announced comes across as desperate and panicky, and it is indicative of a party that realises its facing an election that it will in all likelihood not win.

  45. Fabian might have many good qualities but that does mean he is the ideal candidate. Trust is key. Will voters trust him to lead Gibraltar?

  46. What does Gibraltar have to loose if Fabian is voted as the next CM? like I said, give the man a chance... on the same note, lets give a chance to Robert as an independant and to any other new blood that comes into the local political arena such as Selwyn Figueras. Surely time will tell if the electorate have made the right choice.
    Gibraltar not only needs a different Government, the GSD could also do with an injection of fresh candidates, hopefully candidates that are bold and brave enough to be independant minded and not follow orders blindly from the current politcal master!
    As for independants.. this will should be welcomed and encouraged by the local electorate as they can break Government's monopoly when it comes to voting on any bills, legislation etc in Parliament.
    I definately subscribe to RV's electoral reform propositions. Change for the better is good. Accountability and transparency is good so long as it doesn't bog down decision making by the executive; all within reason: (lets not have a political debate everytime we need change a traffic sign, GoG needs to order a few extra reems of paper at an extra cost of £50, etc!!!!)
    Trust needs to be earned and is a two way street. It is a slow process to gain and it can be lost in a second!
    Thanks to llanito world, the next elections will be interesting and I hope to see real change if their is a change in the ruling party.

  47. Llanito anciano: El union ya esta ayudando al GSD - hoy sale uno de los directivos de Unite en Londres quejandose del comportamiento el GSLP con el civil service en 1991. Como espere Fabian mucho mas "to reveal all" el y sus amigos van a perder el tren y no me sorprenderia que perdieran escanos en el opposition al PDP y al CIR o a algun candidato independiente fuerte. No se puede estar ejerciendo derecho y preparandose para liderar nuestra patria al mismo tiempo. Be serious!

  48. anon @ 11:34

    Gibraltar was able to trust the secretary of the PAP 16 years ago, what more can I say!

  49. Llanito anciano @ 14:20

    La frase "ya esta ayudando" insinua que el sindicato Unite lleva independencia propia.

    Como se diria en el ingles "more like on the payroll"!

    Tal vez tenga usted razon, ya que las canas suelen traer sabiduria, y Fabian pueda perder el tren electoral.

    Lo que no tengo duda, habiendo observado otras eleciones, es que deben de andar con pies de balerina y no descartarse muy pronto. Nuestro Primer Ministro, y sus mindundis y abrazafaloras, son capaces de todo.

    Se aprovechara Caruana del reto planteado por Fabian en el Panorama de hoy?

    Paca Garse

  50. Selwyn Figueras? What are you smoking? Must be very strong stuff.

    On what grounds do you make such a statement Damian? Was it his "I believe" speech on GBC that inspired confidence? Did you actually buy into that? LOL

    Please feel free to enlighten as I am perplexed by such comments.

    What does Selwyn have for example that you and I do not?

    Remember if elected he will be representing OUR Gibraltar. Personally I do not believe Selwyn has what it takes to do so.

    I eagerly await your response.


  51. It is true that on occasion I do take, shall we say, "" proscribed substances but I do so in my own time and in the privacy of my own home and it does not hinder my world or family life but I do agree with the old timer that Fabian @14.20 that Fabian Picardo seems past his sell by date and I agree with Damian that Selwyn Figueras is a young man with great promise. Another bright young light as someone has already mentioned is Neal Costa. I say out with the old and in with the new. Piqui is old politics Selwyn & Neal are the new style.

  52. Gsd supporters seem to be everywhere asking the 6 million dollar question 'When is the GSLP going to reveal all?'

    Running out of ideas, are we?

    Anna Conda

  53. So, Gibraltar's official opposition with an uncontested leadership election. Does anyone believe Fabian is the only aspiring chief minister amongst that lot? Not for a bit. There must have been quite a bit of arm-twisting going on to keep challengers out of the race. So much for democracy!

  54. anon @ 21:48

    es verdad, por que ustedes en el GSD entendei de leadership elections!

    no sabei lo ke deci ya! ke pesha!


  55. anon 21.48

    Perhaps you should go to the Mackintosh Hall on the 20th @ 7 pm, and witness the membership carrying out their democratic right.

    It might even be moving enough to encourage you and others to seek the same within your Party

    Johnny M Lavo

  56. Damian says:

    Hi Kaelan,

    What's wrong with giving new blood a chance? One can vote for an individual and not a whole party... at least he has had courage to stand in front of a camera and attempt to put forward his views. I have know Selwyn personally for the last 25 odd years and before you make any assumptions I am not pro-GSD. Selwyn is a person who has always spoken his mind and I personally consider him to have interegrity and honesty. What is so wrong with encouraging and supporting a new entrant into local politics irrespective as to what party he supports?
    I did not watch his "I believe" broadcast so I can't buy something I don't know..
    At a personal level I have some major issues with the GSD administration, but I will not let my own personal issues from interfering with and poisoning objective and rational debate.
    I suspect that you personally, might have strong personal issues which are affecting your outlook and judgement on political debate. When individuals allow personal sentiments to poison their own outlook and judgement it becomes dangerous especially if that person holds considerable power; we could end up with a meglomaniac dictator... does that ring a bell or remind you of anybody past or present??

    Kaelan, my question to you is why not? Is your objection to Selwyn based purely on the fact that he is GSD?

    It seems to me that whoever you vote for will be representing YOUR view of what Gibraltar should be and not neccesarily what everybody else's view is of what THEIR Gibraltar should be. Please do not try and impose on everybody your views and then attempt to belittle anybody who doesn't share your point of view... you are treading on dangerous ground and starting to turn to "the dark side of the force....."

  57. Kaelan says:

    Damian it seems you have completely misperceived my comments. I was not trying to impose anything on anyone merely questioning WHY you think Selwyn is a suitable candidate. I then just so happened to add that I thought he was not capacitated dealing with the task at hand if elected.

    You very assertively state you are not a GSD supporter yet the manner in which you attempt to twist my comments seems very familiar indeed. Very much reminds me of the manner in which GSD sycophants go along of doing “their business”.

    Furthermore just because Selwyn is “new blood” does not mean he instantly becomes a viable option. Are you implying then that any new comer running for office should be given a chance regardless of their credentials? Blasphemy!

    Please note you are still to answer my question......

    Additionally you also stated the following “I have know Selwyn personally for the last 25 odd years”. This tells me that you are a friend of Selwyn, therefore your views are surely subjective. This conclusion is strengthened by the fact that you responded to my question with ANOTHER question whilst refusing to answer my initial query. Then proceeded to suggest that I am attempting to “brain wash” the LLW bloggers with my own “warped” ideology.

    As flattering as that may sound, I do not believe myself capable of coercing any of the strong minded people who participate in this blog. Please give them more credit!

    Additionally you have previously (via another post) put down your own people and implied they were “lazy and did not want to work”, now you twist my comments whilst neglecting to answer the question poised.

    I do wonder who you are "Damian" as it seems obvious now that you have links to the party you so adamantly state you do not support.

    Ps- it is not Selwyn’s party of choice that concerns me, but rather Selwyn. I have had a few public debates with Selwyn in the past (some on LLW), one of them regarding nationalism. Something Mr .Figuera’s seems to frown upon and something that I believe is essential in today’s Gibraltar.

    If you can find the time to answer my question, I will find the time to elaborate further. :)


  58. RV the responses here trckle down into the same kind of party political wrangling Gibraltar is air to. Petty snipes and ill informed supposition just what political parties like to hear as it clouds the real issues that those with a platform say they want but really once the platform is secure forget to enquire about.
    Since when for instance did this become a 2 horse race ... well only since that is all that seems that people can cope with. Other politicians in other parties including the PDP have valid points that will not be discussed because those that write here only want a 2 horse race that way power like a ping pong ball goes only from one to the other.
    Other comments .. Fabian Picardo is past his sell by date??? The man is about 38 for God's sake. Also if you actually talk to him he has more fire in his belly than many I've met and whether you like him or not he like Caruana will grow into the job. Not heard from him .. well with Smokey Old Joe hanging on like Sherlock at the Reichenbach Falls his couldn't announce anything worthy of political debate once he is leader he can and once the GSLP manifesto is out there will be discussion to have. GSD likewise they are doing lots to hopefully claw back some passion and favours and many will jnot vote out of spite (I didnt get that tender boo hoo) some will just sim ply want change but others will be happy not ecstatic but happy with their lot and don't want the old socialist nonsense back. As for the Liberals well they'll stay under that umbrella it's the only reason they got 3 in last time I think unless they feel they really are a separate party able to stand on their own. That'll be a no then.
    What am I trying to say, well in some ways Kaelan, the 'nationalism' you ask for is precisely why you have the cronyism already rife within this system. It is also why the political element here can get away with what they do and what they don't bother doing after promising it. It is also why external investors aren't as keen as they could be trust is what is needed not nationalism, unionism, cronyism or any other ism.

  59. Anonymous at 16:58

    You are right on your party line division that is prevalent in comments. I cannot do more than write my views and encourage independent comment ...