Sunday, 17 April 2011

Europe Minister's Visit Reveals GSD Government Differences with the UK?

The GSD, pre-1996, were highly critical of the GSLP claiming that the GSLP was alienating Gibraltar's good relations with the UK. Remember? Fast launches, tobacco smuggling, the 1st July law and more. Where are we now? Now, we have Peter Caruana on GBC saying words to the effect that he will not allow the UK to "clawback" gains obtained under the 2006 Constitution.

This statement reveals, which previously was not public, that tensions exist with the UK over the exercise of powers by the Government and Parliament of Gibraltar under the 2006 Constitution. Have we not been told by the GSD government that the referendum on the 2006 Constitution was an exercise of our right of self determination? What now? Have we not been told by the GSD government that the 2006 Constitution is the greatest level of self government that can be attained short of independence? Well, were these statements to be accurate, how could there possibly be any differences with the UK on what powers are capable of being exercised by Gibraltar's government and Parliament?

Additionally the statement of the Minister for Europe confirming the UK's well known and often repeated commitment to a British Gibraltar sits uncomfortably in contrast with his statements about the UK's relations with Spain. He considers that the UK wants a "... friendly, constructive relationship with the Government of Spain ...". That Spain is a "... big player within the European Union ....". That the UK and Spain "... share common ground on ... liberalisation of services, renewable energy, climate change ..." . Wait for it and "... we want to deepen our relationship with Spain whether its PSOE or Popular in office."

Can these dichotomies be reconciled? What can Gibraltar do about them? One thing is sure, these contradictory issues require careful analysis, thought and diplomatic handling. Gibraltar cannot afford to pursue a policy that alienates the UK either on any differences over the 2006 Constitution or by acting in a manner that undermines its relations with Spain or its commitment to strengthen these. Can Gibraltar walk this tightrope? Is there a tightrope at all to walk along? I believe that there is but arrogant and aggressive posturing is not the way forward. No one will go to war in defence of Gibraltar over these issues. The only loser, if a tightrope is not found and carefully and acrobatically negotiated by Gibraltar, is Gibraltar.

I believe that other than for the issue of the democratic deficit,  a phrase that this blog re-popularised in Gibraltar recently,  some other issues that will be important at the next election are the ones that I raise in this piece. I will give my views but these cannot be stated briefly. I am afraid that this exposition is going to be a long and slightly complicated. I will do my best to explain my views as briefly as making my explanation understandable permits.

On the 2006 Constitution, one can take an exclusively legalistic view, as Mr Caruana seems to do. I fully accept that such a view is the starting point but politics and diplomacy need to transcend legalisms where international relations are engaged, in this context relations between the UK and Gibraltar. To understand what I mean I have to briefly analyse what I consider to be the legal position under the 2006 Constitution that is relevant to this issue.

Gibraltar's Parliament  is a subsidiary legislature. Subsidiary to the Parliament in Westminster and to the exercise of prerogative powers by the British Crown. The importance of understanding this has several dimensions. One is that the delegated legislative power is circumscribed in the 2006 Constitution by the words " ... the Legislature may make laws for the peace, order and good government of Gibraltar". Although the words in bold give wide and extensive powers they are also words that delimit, in some small degree, the exercise of power by the legislature. This, in turn, delimits the power of the executive arm of government because it can only govern under laws made by Parliament.

There are further restrictions on the ability of Gibraltar's Parliament to legislate. Chapter 1 of the 2006 Constitution gives to citizens all the fundamental and human rights, with power to the Supreme Court of Gibraltar, therefore access to the whole appeal system up to the Privy Council in England, to enforce these rights.

What this Chapter 1 and the words " ... peace, order and good government ... " also do is to bring into play the Governor's responsibility and power to refuse to assent to legislation under section 33(2) on the grounds that it is "... in any way repugnant to or inconsistent with this Constitution" and "... repugnant to good government or incompatible with any international legal obligation." Fundamental and human rights fall fairly and squarely within both these provisions, they are part of the 2006 Constitution and also part of international legal obligations.

The reserved powers are a further restriction. The conduct of external affairs (in consultation with the Chief Minister as may be practicable), defence, internal security and certain appointments of public officers are exclusively the domain of the Governor. The Governor has power to legislate on these matters in the event that, following consultation with the Chief Minister, Parliament will not do so. This begs the question, is compliance with international legal obligations, including fundamental and human rights, an external affair?

Bearing these constitutional constraints in mind the statement by the Minister for Europe that " the implications of that new constitutional relationship are still being worked through ... it is important that the continuing role of the Governor in the Constitution is fully respected" can begin to be understood. What is worrying is that Mr Caruana should talk of "clawback" in circumstances that the UK's constitutional powers are constrained to repugnancy and inconsistency with the 2006 Constitution, issues of good governance and compliance with international legal obligations? What possibly could he or his government be considering legislating on that do not fall within these requirements? What is within the realms of considerations that should not be capable of political and diplomatic agreement with the Governor?

In the background to this analysis there is the UK's nuclear option. The one that, other than for me, no one seems to like to mention, rather like the skeleton in the cupboard. I refer again, of course, to the last clause in the schedule to the 2006 Constitution. It is the one that no politician that supported the adoption of the 2006 Constitution likes people to know about so I will quote it in full once again "There is retained to Her Majesty [let there be no doubt that this means the UK Government] full power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of Gibraltar (including ... laws amending and revoking this Constitution)"

Self determination? The greatest level of self government that can be attained short of independence? There again in the Despatch to the 2006 Constitution what the UK says is that it "... supports the right of self-determination of the people of Gibraltar ... except in so far as ... Article X of the Treaty of Utrecht gives Spain the right of refusal ... independence would only be an option for Gibraltar with Spain's consent".  So how about that, the word used is "supports"? Is the recording of Gibraltar"s non acceptance of this position relevant? Well I have expressed views about that in the past.

I believe that none of these constitutional issues should gives rise to confrontation with the UK. These matters are clearly capable of mature political or diplomatic resolution and understanding. The applicable principles under the 2006 Constitution are not only fair and reasonable but protective of democracy and the people. An essential requirement in a governmental system so devoid of checks and balances and democratic protections. I would suggest that the introduction of electoral and parliamentary reforms will also help overcome some concerns that may exist presently, as greater legislative control and review will be the beneficial result.

Confrontation on the 2006 Constitution is not helpful in resolving the second dichotomy. The issue of the UK's desire to have a strong relationship with Spain, whilst keeping its solemn undertaking to Gibraltar not to allow a change in the sovereignty status of Gibraltar without the freely and democratically expressed consent of the people.

One option to resolve this problem is to agree and negotiate an overall solution of Spain's problem with Gibraltar. The reality is that the people of Gibraltar and the aspirations of Spain are at such opposite poles that, in practice, this is no solution. That, however, is not reason enough for this possibility never to be considered. It is a possibility that needs to be dusted off on occasion and looked at. There may be a boat that needs to be caught at one stage that if Gibraltar misses it will be to its detriment. Geopolitical factors and military considerations involving Morocco and the present unrest in North Africa and Spain's role in that, bearing in mind the constraints on the UK's military spending and capability, may impact on this.

The reality is that right now there is no practical possibility that such a solution is attainable nor acceptable to us, as a people in Gibraltar. The reality is that there has to be an acceptance (albeit begrudging) by Spain that we, in Gibraltar, do not want a change in sovereignty. This was clearly expressed, most recently, in the 2002 Referendum following the joint sovereignty accord. The international relations between the UK and Spain are by far wider and of greater import than the issue of the sovereignty of Gibraltar. I believe that it is not an issue that Spain will use to negotiate its wider relationship with the UK. The broader interests of both countries and the benefits to each are such that the issue of Gibraltar will not break or weaken that cooperation, which is the opposite view to that expressed by Senator Caracao, which I do not believe is the correct analysis.

What cannot happen, however, is that relations deteriorate over Gibraltar. It is in this context that the trilateral process is important. It seems to me that this is the tightrope that Gibraltar has on offer. The unblocking  of the trilateral process is the departing joint message and objective of the Minister for Europe and the Chief Minister. The territorial waters issue is what has led to the present deadlock. If one sets aside the political objectives of Spain and also those of Gibraltar, by which I mean making practical arrangements without prejudice to those objectives, the aims of all parties must be identical, briefly they are territorial security, law and order. It cannot be beyond the wit of man to find a practical solution to guarantee those aims at a practical level. Practical solutions have been found to even more thorny issue, I refer for example to the air terminal and airport. Always bearing in mind that it is sovereignty that is sacrosanct.

Tightropes are not easy to walk along but falling off is far more painful. I think we need to inch forward with wisdom, humility and in a non-confrontational manner but always defending the fundamentals that are sacrosanct to us in Gibraltar, British sovereignty. Let us not engage in macho behaviour to our detriment. Certainly the GSD government should practice what it preaches: a policy of friendship with the UK, after all we want to remain British. They have given us a solemn oath enshrined in the 2006 Constitution, which they honourably maintain. Let us reciprocate with equanimous behaviour and cooperate by walking a path that is beneficial to both the UK and Gibraltar.


  1. In this excellent analysis you say that the Gibraltar Parliament is a secondary legislature. According to the barrister Charles Gomez, the Age of Consent Ruling means that the Gibraltar Parliament does not even have secondary decision making powers in some areas where UK politically correct diktats come in to play. We all want friendship with the UK but what happens when that relationship becomes subjugation?

  2. Anonymous at 08:39

    What has happened in the "Age of Consent" case has already been analysed by me in an earlier piece (click the link in the "Contents" list, top right of page). It includes my views on this issue and the effect of the CM and AG having prosecuted a political issue in the Supreme Court.
    The Gibraltar Parliament has legislative making powers but they must comply with Human Rights Law both of Gibraltar and Europe.

  3. no hay que darle mas hueltas,at the end of the day we gibraltar will have to fight by ourselves and alone every battle that comes our way.if we depend on our so called "friends" alias the uk goverment of what ever colour we shall lose seguro. if not just remember a few years back when our mate tony (LABOUR) nearly pulled the plug on us.gibraltar JOINTLY got together and defeated this scum, so it should not surprise us if we differ from the uk govt. all that glitters is not gold remember.

  4. So what you are saying Mr. Vasquez is that our parliament is not a secondary legislature at all but a third rate one which has to comply with the dictates of Westminster but also Europe WITHOUT ANY ORIGINAL GIBRALTARIAN INPUT. As I understand it, the Gomez school of thought is that the Gibraltar Parliament should have been given a margin of appreciation in the age of consent case but that because that margin was not given by the court, the Gibraltar Parliament is nothing more than a very expensive rubber stamp.

  5. Anonymous at 12:47

    No I am not saying that at all. The Gibraltar Parliament has a wide discretion and decision making powers but in exercise of those powers it must take into account and adhere to our Constitution and International obligations but so does the Westminster Parliament under the Human Rights Act and its international obligations i.e. the EU Treaty. One difference is that in Constitutional theory the Westminster Parliament is a sovereign so it has power to revoke the Human Rights Act, revoke international obligations and secede from the EU. The Gibraltar Parliament does not have legal power to do this. If it did it would amount to Unilateral Declaration of Independence, which is illegal (remember Rhodesia and Smith) and has serious adverse consequences under Article X of the Treaty of Utrecht.

  6. In my view, at the most basic level, the UK provides the people of Gibraltar with a BIG STICK to keep our society in order, e.g., witness the local action taken to clamp down on the Winston Boy phenomenon following the threat of direct British intervention. Whilst I am all for Gibraltar's eventual full emancipation as a people and territory, our democratic, social, physical and political infrastructures are not yet robust enough for us to be fully independent of the UK.

    I hope that the necessary further development will happen in the fullness of time but it will require Gibraltar to actively work together as a people not split along party lines and a sea change in many prevailing public attitudes.


  8. I love the way that you compare the GSLP fast launch, 1st July law, to the GSD and PRC's relentless defence of Gibraltar. Eres un mostru Robert.

  9. Anonymous at 16:01

    I hate to remind you but the 2006 Constitution which is what I analyse and contains the fundamental rights and international requirements that we have to comply with was endorsed DEMOCRATICALLY by a referendum supported by the GSD (with their staunch Roman catholic supporters campaigning in favourof it adoption). It was opposed by me and others of the "NO" campaign.I do not need to justify that with my concept of democracy. It is an example of democracy in action. Nor is democracy about the majority oppressing a minority, Hitler is the perfect historical example of this. He was elected into power by the majority. The argument that you put is the SIMPLISTIC and rather religiously bigoted argument. Jesus preached forgiveness and for humans not to be judgmental. I shall pray for you because believe it or not I am a Roman Catholic.

  10. Anonymous at 16:46

    I do not make the comparison that you allude to. You disseminate as is becoming the GSD habit, partial reading of opinion. What I do is remind people that the GSD policy was clearly that we should not anger or alienate the UK. Please answer that point and explain why the Chief Minister has admitted that there is a rift between the UK and Gibraltar on the application of the 2006 Constitution.

    Soy un mostru because I raise arguments and debate that people would rather brush under the carpet. Why do you not engage with the argument and stop insulting. It really does not upset or anger me. It makes me happy because it proves how bereft of arguments the GSD really is. I think they should just keep quite.

  11. Caruanas position is to maintain a good relationship with everyone including you Robert; what he is not about to do is roll over. Or are you seriously suggesting that he ceases to defend Gib, something that even by your reckoning he has done admirably.
    I do not see how I have insulted, pero mira, cada loco con su tema.

  12. Anonymous at 18:01

    With me :) ????

    Sarcasm is a form of insult.

  13. Pues no te lo tomes tan en serio mi niño...:) the sarcasm I mean.

  14. What of Pocardos promised reforms? Will you be pulling out if he implements parliamentary reforms.
    It's seems as if the GSD are too late on reforms, although they did initiate the idea with the new constitution and manifesto. If they do bring something out will it be because of you calling them up on it, because picardo has said he is going to, or will you accept as something they had planned anyway.

  15. Anonymous at 18:20

    First the devil is in the detail so it depends what the GSLP under Picardo promises to reform and to what extent.

    The GSD have promised and never delivered. Unless it delivers before the election, can they be trusted to deliver after? If they promise again whether it is because of me or not is irrelevant. It will just sound as another hollow promise.

    I am inclined to stand for election anyway. If I get elected, although I accept the difficulty of that as an independent, then I will have a voice in Parliament to push for reforms. If I do not it will have given me a platform to promote and further the debate and push it up the list of priorities.

  16. did you know that the government published the Crimes Bill 2011 that has over 600 sections in 1407 pages?

    Part 24 - bribery offences

    look at the penalties and what about confiscation?

    what about all the other offences and penalties for corruption, corruption of officials and holders of public office?

    why does the minister for europe not say anything about this, if the law is being tightened in UK?

    what about the laws on monopolies and abuse of dominant positions in the Gibraltar economy in all sectors where the government knows EU law doesn't apply and why does it permit it?

    Time? For a new watch or clock and for CHANGE!

  17. 'the continuing role of the Governor in the constitution be respected' so has been highlighted by the UK FCO minister.
    We all know that Chief Minister Caruana respects no one, not even his ministers but does this go as far as ignoring the governor?
    Although Bossano had his differences with UK(mainly due to tobacco smuggling) in Caruana's watch we had the shared sovreignty issue (some say Caruana brought this about)this resulted in Straw being nearly mugged in Gib, and he insulted the governor on the very day the latter landed in Gib.
    Although Caruana is right in defending our acquired rights in the 2006 constitution he has a habit of going about it the wrong way. The UK Govt is fed up with him and he may end up with FCO doing 'dirty tricks' on him as they did with Bossano.

  18. Anon

    "on Caruana's watch we had the shared sovereignty issue (some say Caruana brought this about)"

    Yes, remember that the GSD were elected on a pro-Brussels ticket. Only after they were in power did they ditch Brussels and that was only after the CM was confronted with a massive 'No to Brussels' banner one National Day.

    That pro-Brussels stance led to the infamous Matutes Proposals and subsequent Joint Sovereignty Proposals.

    Come on, Peter, credit the electorate with some intelligence.

  19. Anyone read the Chronicle today?

    Unite pushing to get RID off Netto and calling him an outright LIAR!! Unbelievable!!!


  20. Anon 16:46, 18:01, 18:11, que eres el mismo.
    To you I say that sarcasm is considered by all to be the lowest form of wit!!!
    Pero mira, so be it and as to your posts can we have any substance, arguments as to the topic at hand??
    No, 'cos frankly you don't seem to have any.

    I agree that in the times of the GSLP, the GSD use to criticise them heavily. pero ahora como es Caruana you cannot!! Why??

    tu sabras.
    I would like you to comment on the actual topic and know your views without having to defend Caruana just because he is from the GSD.
    One thing is clear that is that in the GSLP they can auto criticise themselves and the membership is many times critical of its policy and they say so.
    That is real democracy at work.

  21. Uk relations is (for most) the single most important issue for any Gibraltar Government. Without their support and recognition we are nothing, be it politically, economically etc.... Whoever doesn't agree is simply an ignorant. I do not believe that our current CM ignores this, and whilst we should defend our position, we also have to be flexible as they are our partners if not more. With regards the reserved powers that can only be good for us.... Should we ever have a mini dictator UK reserve powers would be a good insurance policy.

  22. Anon 11:18. Tu que ta en serio? You quite obviously have an extremely active imagination. By way of info, I'll remind you that after the GSLP under Bossano left us with the threat of direct rule It was the GSD and Caruana who repaired a very weak and dismal Gibraltar. He was not elected on Brussles, he was elected because the GSLP had been a disaster, Mickey Mouse could have won the 96 election. The reality is that today we are stronger today economically, socially and politically and choosing to highlight the fact that the FCO is pissed off with Caruana only highlights how crucial he has been in our plight and defence of our rights.
    I see Special K is at it again.

  23. Anon 21:06

    The “direct rule” threat was a myth conjured by those looking to diminish the opposition’s credibility as a political party. A conversation between Field Marshall Sir John Chapple and Mike Brufal that was printed in the Gibraltar Chronicle (June 1998) supports my “direct rule” assessment. Mr. Chapple even goes on to state the following, “I never heard of anyone who wished to impose such measures. I had no idea how any such measures could be imposed or implemented, or terminated.” Anyone who knows anything about local politics knows this.

    Yours truly,

    Special K :) lol

  24. Governor Chapple is on record as saying there was never the threat of direct rule.
    The GSD and their spin created this myth.
    Like Geobles said tell a lie continously and people will believe this to be so, i e throw enough muck and some will stick.


  26. Brilliant stuff. So now the entire GSLP fiasco, bad judgement which lead to Gibraltars near down fall is a myth.
    Even better the GSD has somehow spun so furiously as to create a reality that actually never happened.
    Keep at it.

  27. Anonymous at 18:01

    I really do not understand how or why you come to that conclusion ...

  28. Special K, I think the opposition did more than enough to destroy their own credibility during the 90's. The GSD just had to turn up, the reality however was that the GSD presented some very serious characters with a vision and a dignified and well thought out approach to Gib.
    Conversely it is the opposition that seems to think they can just turn up and jump on the bandwagon when convenient with no respect or due concern for the interests of Gibraltar. They have become experts at the art of spin in this regard.

  29. Robert Because they are the ones to believe the lies since even today once it has been denied he has repeated it soooo many times he even takes it as fact.
    Gibraltar's near downfall????!!
    On whose eyes? yours I suppose.
    The Gibraltar that you say was in near downfall was the Gibraltar that your darling Caruana benefitted and a solid economy which has allowed for Him (Caruana) to spend £6m on a hole in the middle of Town and squander even more as has been mentioned before.
    Yo estoy EN SERIO you are the one that needs to wake up and prove all these allegations you continue bringing out which were clearly GSD Propaganda things.
    I presume that you will now go on to say all about the launches etc.
    You know what for me it was the only thing that was wrong of the GSLP admin but you should also know that NOW with the GSD Govt there is much more money being derived from tobacco taxes then even during the peakn of the launches era. pero mira como son los tuyos it is acceptable!!

  30. Anon 19:49

    Point conceded (first paragraph only).

    Pero veremo ve que "characters" saca el GSD este anio.

    Por que entre el Selwyn, el Louis y la Isobel miran bien apaniao!! Vamo pienso yo :) lololol

    El 2011 "Dream team" del GSD mira fuera de serie. NOT! lololol

    K :)

  31. Hey people I am afraid I have a different "spin" on things. I think the GSD's propaganda machine is attrocious. Here you have a territory with enormous stability where everywhere else is unstable. Economic surplus, significant projects that would be the envy of any other small or medium sized territory in this economic or any economic climate, political stability, a constitution that mirrors and in some ways surpasses the ECHR in protecting people's fundamental rights, a civil service that has the luxury of rejecting a gold plated deal when their counterparts in the UK are facing uncertainty and pay freeze at best and at worst redundancy ... I could go on and on. Yet the propaganda as some of you put it is very very poor.

  32. Yes Peter all hail the GSD the wise and ALL KNOWING GSD.

    I shall now crawl back under the rock I came from. :|

    I hope your arrogant patronising attitude does not reflect that of the GSD in general.

    Buena noche


  33. Anon at 23.32 how did the constitution protect young men from the dangers of AIDS.The contitution is a mess and an embarassment to |Gibraltar. We have been made to look ridiculous.

  34. I can't believe that this day in age - 2011 - there is still so much misinformation and ignorance on the subject of AIDS! What do we do with all the youngsters who have celebrated their birthdays (pre-18 even as we all know) with a "service" down at Los lagos and similar???? Doesn't the whole AIDS issue come into play there?? What about all those older generation male and female who have recently gone back into the game behind their partners's backs, prompted by the "discovery" and "adventure" behind internet-made liaisons, and in their not having played away from home base in a while, seem to not be atuned with modern day bed-hopping, and have entered the arena playing without protection. Does AIDS figure into that? The list goes on....

    Some people should really move themselves into little communities which are isolated from the rest of the world

  35. The fact that these people are referring to it as AIDS really shows which time period their mind is stuck in - the 80s. Nowadays, "AIDS" is mostly referred to as HIV, because you get infected with the virus which is called HIV. AIDS is a syndrome and VERY VERY 80s jargon!

  36. K I sometimes think you are not well endowed in the grey matter department. So anyone you does not agree with you or expresses a contrary view to yours is arrogant and patronising. But I forget, we should all your little gems such as GoG encouraging rape of young boys by homosexuals due to the installation of new toilets and because the courts just equalised the age of consent for homosexuals lol. The.voice of gibraltar NOT lol.

  37. I have been a very regular client at Los Lagos and all other similar establishments in the vicinity over the last 20 years and have never seen a pre-18 Gibraltarian there. If I had I would have reprimamded them most severely. Get your facts right anon 15.15, you are obviously not a patron of houses of adult entertainmant and relaxation and do not know what you are saying; you must be a religious fanatic (RV please ensure that this post protects my anonymity).

  38. Anon 1812

    I am Anon 1515h....Read my post again, you either got the wrong end of the stick, or my sarcasm was misinterpreted.

    I was being sarcastic and attacking those "religious fanatics" whom you mention, and stating that HIV can be contracted in many other ways. These Religious fanatics seem to be clueless on the matter and merely want to impose their religious beliefs on others. They state that with the new leg, boys under 18 are now at major risk..when in fact those in major risk are those who approach and practice sex with no care. Sex is to be enjoyed and can be enjoyed and for it to be sano we need to educate opur youngsters and ensure they take appropriate steps to practise and enjoy sex safely. Anyone who is sexually active is at risk...and not like the religious argument states.

    I am all for one to encourage a healthy sexual life regardless of sexual orientations.

    And on the Houses of Adult entertainment, I have seen 17 year old locals there before. I also attend to them ocassionally. I however not considered it my business to reprimand them as you state - each to his own. Viv y deja vivir.

    Aologies if my earlier posting was not clear - but we are on the same side of the argument bar telling teens off for being in Los lagos lol

  39. AIDS is now a pandemic. As of 2009, AVERT estimated that there are 33.3 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS, with 2.6 million new HIV infections per year and 1.8 million annual deaths due to AIDS, but hey according to Anon at 15.25 AIDS is 80s jargon. Let's all be cool and forget the 33.3 million people worldwide living with something that we cannot mention in case we are castigated for being uncool; y los muertos? pues al hoyo....

  40. I think that the person ay 20.20 who admits "I have seen 17 year old locals there before. I also attend to them ocassionally" should be ashamed of himself.

  41. Anon 2126 has obviously twisted the argument!

  42. Anon 15:03

    I beg to differ the only one that seems to be "not well endowed in the grey matter department" is you. Who sees it fit to distort my comments (well beyond recognition), whilst knowing that they are there for all to see.

    I stated that the new public toilets could be seen as potential “hot spots” for rapists, gay or otherwise. Please note though that I was merely playing devil’s advocate when doing so.

    Furthermore these comments could not be further from the truth;

    “anyone you does not agree with you or expresses a contrary view to yours is arrogant and patronising.”

    In this very same blog I have acknowledged and accepted (on more than one occasion actually) some of the statements made by GSD supporters. What I will not stand for though are comments such as Peter’s, which are sarcastic and clearly intended to patronise.

    Ps – It seems some people are oblivious to anything other than their own elevated opinions.


  43. I agree with anon at 21.26 that misguided politiclly correc t propaganda is trying to minimise the horror of HIV/AIDS. Why? I am a gay man of 52 and I believe passionately in equality but I do not think that it is safe for under 18's to anal intercourse. They will have plenty of tiome when the come of age and are better prepared for what like it or not is a potentially dangerous activity.

  44. Cometh the hour, cometh the man!

    What an inspiring address from Fabian Picardo tonight, free of arrogance but with an inner strength and a passion for the future of all Gibraltarians.

    Some may try to take the forthcoming election to the gutter but, after tonight's show of gentlemanliness from Fabian, they are going to find that very difficult indeed.

    Polly Ticks

  45. After reading the Panorama's report on Fabian Picardo's acceptance speech last night, its clear to me that this could be a new era in politics in Gibraltar.
    I am very enthused by his attitude, and I personally think this is exactly what Gibraltar needs, a Leader who is looking to resolve present differences with the Governor and the FCO, and who can be trusted on the sovereignty issue, but always working as part of a team to govern Gibraltar in a manner that seems like the complete opposite to the present dictatorial style.
    The sooner the GSD call the election the better for Gibraltar, I think!

    Barbary Wine

  46. To Anonymous @ 21:55. Two points:

    (1) There is no "misguided politically correct propaganda". There is, however, propaganda from the "Evangelical Alliance" using terminology such as "salt of the earth" which belongs in the Victorian age and not in the 21st century.

    (2) No-one seeks to minimise the horrors of HIV/AIDS. But HIV/AIDS can also be contracted through methods other than anal intercourse. It is also ridiculous to suggest that those "horrors" disappear when you hit 18. If the medical argument is that anal sex increases the risk of HIV/AIDS then surely your argument should be to ban it altogether, not just for the 16-18 age group?

  47. There are certainly very trendy people on this blog. First we are told that AIDS is ooo soo 80's. Now some genius tells us that Jesus' call for his follwers to be "the salt of the Earth" is "Victorian"! Your poster at 12.01 clearly missed all his history and RE classes and is not well read and will be shocked to learn that the salt of the earth thing pre-dates the Victorian age by 1,800 years. His / her last line is intriguing. Anal sex WAS illegal in Gibraltar until last week's court ruling - it was illegal precisely because it was and is dangerous.

  48. Anonymous at 15:17

    What nonsense and misplaced sanctimonious nonsense at that! I commend that you read the Bishop's very human statement on this subject and also that of Cardinal Hume (if you see the comments under my blog on the age of consent there is a link to it). I believe in forgiveness and avoidance of sin which is what JC preached not reliance on secular prohibitions. I believe that you need to pray for enlightenment but it may come to you without prayer if you read what these two religious shepherds have preached on this subject.

  49. Have you been at the communion wine Robert? Which part of my anon post at 15.17 in anyway contradicts the statement of bishop Hesketh and the late Cardinal Hume. I am talking of the protection of young people not their criminalisation. Maybe you have been a lawyer too long to appreciate the difference! Peace.

  50. Anonymous at !9:01

    Although I do not anywhere say that you contradict the Bishop and Cardinal, the contradiction is in distinction that is made by them between the religious/moral position and the considerations that lead to a decision on secular law. There is also a recognition by the Bishop and Cardinal of the relaity of homosexual tendencies in humans.

    The law was not for the purposes of protecting children. If that had been the reason the age for consent for heterosexual sex would not have been 16. Your argument is partisan and so fallacious.

    You also underestimate the knowledge and intelligence of 16 year olds. It is also the duty and obligation of PARENTS to protect their children.

  51. I do not think any right thinking person in Gibraltar specially in the Evangelical Alliance fails to recognise and sympatise with with the reality of homsexuality. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" but that in not the issue at all. I disagree that the protection of children is up of parents. In a civilized society the state must also protect young people. Most young homosexuals would not knowingly risk their lives but the facts show that many do contract HIV AIDS at a young age. You think there is no need to try to protect them. I am gay and a christian and I could not disagree with you more.

  52. Anonymous at !9:48

    You may be gay and christian, I do not know, the point is that the logical conclusion of your argument is that the age of consent for all should increase to 18. This just fails to recognise prevalent social behaviour and the impossibility of enforcement of such a law, aside from the total incongruity of such a law.

  53. What are you talking about? The only logical conclusion to anything is that young people under the age of 18 should not be allowed to gahve sexual intercourse. You are barking up the wrong tree and supporting a PC agenda that does not give a famn for sexual health. And you are also very wrong in suggesting that it is not posible to be both gay and christian.

  54. Anonymous at 19:58

    I am doing neither ... I believe the law should be 16 for all but support that as a religious stance there should be no sex outside marriage. The reality is few of us abide by that religious position as we are sinners something JC recognised. He also preached forgiveness ...

    Anyway either you do not want to understand or do not understand. This blog is not on this subject so ... THAT IS IT MATE!

  55. Was Fabian fabulous or what campers?

  56. he certainly was anon @ 22:24, there's light at the end of the tunnel after all!

  57. Let's hope that light is not too bright, I'd hate for it to blind us.

  58. the chronic today didn't have much to say on last night's events.

    Local spin doctors dejan a Mandelson en paniales!

  59. anon @ 23:02, i think you'll find that for many years the blind have been plentiful however, I am happy to report, many of the blind can now see!

  60. Not much to say. No media allowed in JMHall last night. The event was well orchestrated though.

  61. Of course no media is allowed in, its not a pre-election party meeting, its a Party's AGM for its members only.

    The event was very well organised, but that's only because they've been holding them regularly for the last 40 years, so its just a case of following a tried and tested plan.

    The Chronic however could have managed a little more if they tried/were allowed.

  62. Why is the media not allowed in? There are people who understandable need to shy away from the cameras otherwise they would be on the hitlist of a very vindictive ruler. Careers, jobs and futures would be on the line! Otherwise it was a private members meeting only! GSD be scared, be very scared, people are starting to lose their fear! Its only a matter of time now! A new era is around the corner, a sigh, a relief!

  63. when is the GSD's AGM? It would be interesting to see if they let the media in too, and compare the coverage in the Chronic.

  64. the way I see it, Joe Bossano stepped down as both the leader of the GSLP, and as Leader of the Opposition, an opposition may I add, that obtained about 400 votes less than the Government at the last election. This in itself should have prompted the Chronic to expand on its coverage of this event. They have a responsibility to all the tax payers and not just half of them. If they carry on like this, they will be no better than the 7 days!
    Dominique Searle should take note that although one does not bite the hand that feeds you, the hand could probably change soon and then he'll expect the reverse of attitude from a new Government, than the one he is currently entertaining, por que si no, encima, los nuevos serian los malos!

  65. Fabian came across as arrogant don't you think? But hey at least the tune has changed and he now fully supports the tri-partite process and the constitution. I guess that breakfast in Madrid went well for the nephew. I wonder if the gslp will finally come of the fence and actually deliver policy and vision other than waiting there turn.
    Oh and to the blind guy out there who has found his vision - try taking the blinkers off now and let me know what you see...:)

  66. Ghost says:
    Mr Vasquez! Happy Easter to you and your crew.
    Let's be sure to eat fish people, preferably from Gibraltar waters and if i might be uncharacteristically corny, let's all put our political machinations to one side and be grateful for the security, stability and prosperity that we enjoy in the face of a world plagued with war, poverty, unemployment and social unrest.....
    P.S where's my wine Robert, en Easter te toca a to picha.

  67. anon @ 10.24
    you assume too much!
    First of all, I'm not a guy!
    I will not go down the same road as you and assume you to believe this is no place for women. Instead I'll just correct you and leave it at that.

    Secondly, I was never blind! In fact I have had perfect vision since the very beginning of this regime, and I was pointing out the many Gibraltarians who see as well as I do.

    and thirdly, Fabian was arrogant? How would you know? Would I be assuming too much if I believed you were nowhere near the theatre when he spoke? Take it from me, as I was there, that Fabian was far from arrogant, in fact he spoke like a gentleman, adopting a pragmatic attitude and encouraging a conciliatory style of government for all the people of Gibraltar regardless of political persuasion, personal friendships, family connections, financial status & social class. His election, although uncontested, could have been opposed by the membership, instead they supported him unanimously.

    Perhaps all this may be alien to you: an AGM, an executive presenting motions, a membership exercising their right to vote for party policy, members of the executive and leadership. Even the tone from the Leader, and manner of exercising his role, might shock you, and perhaps that's why you cannot understand these concepts. You even assumed I must be a man!

    I suggest you try coming up with better arguments and not cryptic hints, and stop assuming wrongly if you want to engage in proper debate.

  68. Anon 14:19

    SPOT ON!


  69. Oops I think anon 14:19 is taking it all a bit too seriously. 

    The reference to "guy" is simply to do with the fact that I am male and by natural default I assumed, clearly incorrectly, but really your reaction is somewhat OTT. 

    Never blind you say, well that's a matter of interpretation but let's just say that you clearly only choose to see what you want to see. this regime that you refer to has afterall rendered Gibraltar not at the mercy of all with a blinded youth and a private sector unable to attract any serious business, but rather delivered what most in many parts of the world would give their right arm for. hardly any unemployment, economic growth only matched or beaten by the likes of China and India, political security previously never enjoyed (interestingly young Fab and his Boss are all for this now - I mean his professional boss btw) and social and cultural progress enjoyed at all levels, not to mention the fact that we can be proud of respect politically and economically within international circles, something that affords us the luxury of being confident about our future. 

    I am delighted that the GSLP are exercising there democratic right to elect a leader, the GSD have a leader who to date has won four elections, interestingly it took the gslp 16 years and four electoral losses for the penny to drop very democratic indeed. To boot your new leader has sat patiently waiting for his turn telling us all about his credentials, but unwilling for over a decade to stand up and say enough - mmmmmm why I wonder?

    The cryptic hints by the way are something you really ought to look into, it might let you into who really calls the shots. Democracy at it's best, valiente cachondeo.

  70. Anonymous at 19:04

    And Peter Caruana is the only person in Gibraltar for ever and a day who can deliver what you say Gibraltar enjoys? Oh dear I do hope he is immortal ... otherwise what will we do?

  71. Not said that at all cousin, you really ought not to get so defensive when someone is simply highlighting positive attributes about Gibraltar generated by a vision which to date is proven to work and steered by PRC. Don't be so bitter Robert.
    I have no doubt that there will be many more characters who will play major roles on Gibs political future - maybe even you Robert, but I have doubts about someone who has shown no ability to show leadership, conviction and strenghth, but rather sits on a fence.

  72. And you say I am blind? you seem to be just as blind, as you accuse me of being, and choose to see only what you want to see too. My reaction isn't over the top, but I accept it is the GSD way to ridicule when you find you have made a mistake.

    If you have something to say that is so important, don't be cryptic, be bold and up front and inform the rest of us of whatever it is you are alluding to. After all, if its in Gibraltar's interest, we should all know about it.

  73. I have known both Peter Caruana and Fabian Picardo VERY well for may years and the words that come to my mind when thinking of the forthcoming transition from one to the other is "OUT OF THE FRYING PAN INTO THE FIRE". I do not know whether it is just that people are gullible or that they just realise that there really is no choice.

  74. kusha vratha 19:04

    en ke parte de wikipedia tengo ke mira pa enterarme de tu cryptic hints porke yo no me entero de nah! tu ke travaha pa er mihmo bufete ke el piki y por eso sabe tanto?
    anda cuenta, ke tengo el te y lo bollito hornazo listo :))))

    Paca Garse

  75. Que tio este Anon 19:04.

    Sin duda este anio el GSD tiene un verdadero equipo fuera de serie.

    Con que el Picardo en un "secret mission" en Madrid con Jaime Levy no? Como si Jaime no tiene mejore cosa que se LOL

    Eres un maquina tio!! You should write the next Bourne sequel!!

    Did they fly over in a private jet of was it a helicopter? Who did they meet? Where you the one "tracking them"? Did Caruana send you? Did Batman lend you his BATMOBILE to do so?

    Democracy del bueno es lo que esta pasando con el gobierno y el union. Que al Netto se lo quieren carga for standing up for the MAJORITY of the Civil Sevrants, y ensima ni lo disimulan!

    Viva la DEDOcracia digo... Democracia sorry, demientra que no lleves la contraria claro!

    Valiente cachondeo! Y del bueno amigo :) LOL


  76. Anonymous at 19:29

    Defensive? Bitterness? Where do you get this from?

    No leadership? No conviction? No strength? Sitting on a fence? Really ... I thought I had been writing this blog for 15 months, publishing views and even explained my policies in my "core Principles", which have been published and explained in the Chronic.

    Do you read anything?

  77. Kaelan Joyce you are a breath of fresh air lolol acin ke no pueden con tigo!

  78. I was referring to Fabian Robert, read it again.

  79. Anonymous at 21:26

    I am afraid it does not read as you may have intended.

  80. My word. What a crew, even Special K is in, we've gone from light and tunnel, to blind with blinkers, seeing only what you chose and arrived at, blind leading the blind. All Topped up with Cousin Robert getting all ruffled with anyone trying to highlight anything good achieved in the past 16 years. Clearly we are in desperate times.
    You gotta love this blog.
    Y jaimito Levy, no hombre couldn't possibly have the time ....;)

  81. anon @ 21:32

    clearly you are in desperate times!

  82. hmmm an internationally recognised lawyer como "el sovrino" working behind the scenes with el piki to overthrow PRC? breakfast in Madrid - kosher of course - why that far no se ya ke they work in the same building and must meet umpteen times during the day!
    if all this is indeed true -minus el batmobile - then the question to be asked is why?
    could "el sovrino", like many others, be fed up with PRC's pompous arrogance and style of Government?
    Picardo brings change, and PRC & the GSD are AFRAID OF THIS!

    Johny M Lavo

  83. Anon 21:24

    Thanks :)

    Por trata que no falte :) lol