Sunday, 29 May 2011

Local or Expat?

Someone made a comment under my last blog that I should write on this subject. I promised to do so today. It is a fraught issue that will undoubtedly result in much debate and possibly heated debate. The commentator in question was of the view that

"Why don’t you ... write about the Government's policy on recruiting British Expats to lead Administrative and Constitutional Posts while the Gibraltar Tax Payer pays for their lucrative salaries and 25 % of their annual salary Tax Free bonuses each year.
For example:
Attorney General.
Chief Executive Gibraltar Court Service.
FSC Chief Executive."

I would like to start the debate by picking on a different office. My example is, why should the Governor not be a local? All the same arguments arise, so why not? I believe, that by taking the discussion to this extreme, one can start truly to debate the very real issues that arise when decisions to appoint persons to certain posts and offices, not just in Gibraltar but actually anywhere, are made. I do not pretend that I know all the arguments but, hopefully, my views will prompt the type of debate that will over a short period of time elicit a wide variety of opinions from which an informed view might evolve. I believe it is an important subject on the road of evolution that Gibraltar (and in fact any society in a small territory) has to travel and is traveling along.

The fundamental constitutional role of the Governor is to be Her Majesty's Representative in Gibraltar. This immediately defines the essential quality required by all Governors, loyalty to Her Majesty. Simple really, all Gibraltarians are loyal to Her Majesty. This has been proved over and over for years on end. We demonstrate our desire to remain British, our children serve in Afghanistan and Iraq and are honoured with the highest awards for bravery, we have UK passports etc. etc. 

Is this enough? Perhaps not because distinctions are made by the Gibraltar Government and the UK Government as to the responsibilities of governance "in right of Gibraltar" and "in right of the UK". It seems an element of split personality is a required attribute for anyone appointed to this office. This does not militate against a  Gibraltarian appointee, there can be no greater difficulty in a Gibraltarian navigating his or her way through this duality than a citizen of the British Isles. It is a question of defining responsibilities and identifying where ones loyalty is in the performance of any particular responsibility.

What about experience and qualification? Well, in the past, in the main, we have had senior military personnel appointed as governors, with two ex-senior civil servants and one ex-minister being the exceptions. I would imagine diversity of experience and knowledge both of persons and situations and how to handle both is essential. It seems to me that a Gibraltarian may have some difficulty in reaching the heights of experience and qualification achieved  by past incumbents but it is not impossible. The reality is that no one has yet achieved these. Qualification for the post of Governor is a more disparate concept. There is no specific recognised professional qualification, like perhaps there would be for some of the posts identified by the commentator who started me on this subject.

Independence is another important requirement. There is no doubting that Gibraltar has a complex and intertwined community. The threads are not just based on family ties but also on friendships, enmity, business, professions, employment, personal relationships etc. This is a difficult consideration. The Governor needs to retain some distance from people to retain dignity and independence, whilst at the same time mixing in and becoming an active participant in the community whilst he is in office. It would be difficult to argue that this is not easier for someone who is not Gibraltarian. I have seen over the years the sacrifice that some local individuals have made by reason of appointments to certain offices; two immediately come to mind and both were Supreme Court Judges, John Alcantara and Felix Pizzarello.

This leads me to the last ingredient (not least because length of posts require me to be brief on what is a massive and hugely complicated subject), choice. There has to be a group of people from amongst whom the incumbent for the post of Governor can be picked. If the choice is limited, then the likelihood is that mediocrity will creep in. Allowances will be made and over time the standing of the office will start to suffer. If the standing of the office suffers then we are on the road of decline. Decline in administration leads to decline in society. Instead of striving for the best, people will settle for less and make excuses. This is not what it is about.

Let us see what that same commentator goes on to say (and I add immediately not suggesting the office of Governor):
"I believe we have the calibre of Gibraltar born lawyers like you who would be able to discharge the posts which I have referred to above."
Well, the first question is would someone like me want to do the job? The second question is would someone like me truly have the required qualifications and experience? Thirdly, would someone like me bring the necessary independence to the post without huge personal sacrifice? Fourthly, after taking all these considerations into account will there be sufficient choice?

The answer to the first question, is, yes there probably are Gibraltarians who want and aspire to hold the various posts mentioned. I hasten to add not me! It is once that question is answered that the other more thorny issues arise. Qualification does  not mean just academic and/or professional qualifications. These, thankfully, are abundant In Gibraltar. The word qualification has to and does encompass the  concept of experience. Someone who has no or little practical experience within the field that he seeks appointment to is not qualified for the position. 

Put simply, to be Attorney General, one must have long term prosecutorial experience. To be the Chief Executive of the Gibraltar Court Service, one must have lengthy on the job experience of administering courts. To be Chief Executive of the FSC one must have experience of international regulation and supervision of financial institutions, always remembering that due to the resources available, sometime, in Gibraltar the responsibility on these shoulders exceed those of regulators in other larger jurisdictions with much larger resources.

Do I believe that Gibraltarians should fill the most senior posts in Gibraltar? Yes, of course I do. But I also believe in horses for courses and not in dumbing down. I believe that diversity and competition for jobs and posts are essential factors to ensure Gibraltar's competitiveness in the world. I believe that taking these factors out of the equation to accelerate "Gibraltarianisation" is not beneficial to the common good and has proved disastrous in other ex-colonies. 

That said there are examples of Gibraltarians having worked in various fields outside Gibraltar, who have gained more than the necessary experience to do certain high posts, yet being ignored, even for consideration for appointment. This is unconscionable. I consider that some fault lies in unofficial political interference and/or influence in selection processes. Political interference in the selection of public offices and posts is an ingredient of a banana republic. It is essential to strive for objective and independent appointments processes. Until this is achieved, there is a likelihood that lack of political independence, in the sense described above, may hamper the choice of ideal candidates to posts and offices.

I consider that the correct approach is to appoint the right people to the right post. Simultaneously there is a need to ensure that our young highly academically and professionally qualified people are employed in positions that will provide to them the necessary experience to be promoted to those posts and offices. They will also acquire wisdom  as to the level of independence (judged objectively) required with its attendant sacrifice. It will take time but no one is born with knowledge and experience. One never knows, in this manner, we might even, one day, end up with a Gibraltarian Governor!


  1. peter caruana has blown all the possible myths over colonial peoples and many of the limitations traditionally imposed on of the traditional ones being "experience"

    he had no experience whatsoever as chief minister but no one can doubt his leadership qualities despite what you might make of his politics...he is a remarkable individual second to none in england, spain or anywhere else

    peter caruana is not the gibraltar exception to the rule but the general trend in 21st century gibraltar

    we are entitled to make mistakes and to learn from them in our life-long journey of self-determination

    if "experience" largely continues to determine appointments as between gibraltarians and outsiders, and "experience" is determined by what outsiders think it means, ought to mean or must mean for gibraltarians and gibraltar, and these outsiders continue to set this measure, there is little chance of any further advance

    there is one advantage that gibraltarians will always have, their love for their homeland and pride in it, and for that outside experience is no real substitute

    have you never heard that experience has taught gibraltarians over the years that many are only here for the beer?

  2. Robert

    Absolutely brilliant article. Drawing an analogy between the comment that triggered off your article and the appointment of a Gibraltarian as Governor is lateral thinking at its best. I would love to see that advertisement in a vacancy column.

  3. I've often wondered why Joe Bishop is fit to advise the UN on disaster management and yet he has never acted for GoG despite having returned to Gibraltar many years ago

  4. Anon@14.08

    Peter Caruana was elected he did not apply for the vacancy of Chief Minister. You are off the mark. Read the article most of it makes sense.

  5. Anon14.38

    Why doesn't Joe Bishop express his opinion on this blog. By the way, do you have his authority to comment on his behalf?

  6. no Denis, I don't have his authority, I don't even know him personally, I'm just curious. When he gives interviews on the news during some disaster or another, I often think why we haven't enlisted his expertise before, that's all.

  7. anon @ 14:08

    feel free to speak for yourself when you idolise the CM. I certainly don't agree that he has exceptional leadership qualities or that he is remarkable.

  8. Extremely interesting article. Enjoyed the manner you navigated away from the main topic and arrived at the same destination using the appointment of the Governor as the thrust of your argument.

  9. Grateful to hear your views on the Civil Service Reforms and why you think the Unions are having a dificult time convincing its members.

  10. am Cucumberbear and here I am again...LOL.

    Experience is a process of making mistakes, learning from them and not repeating them.

    It is a component of intelligence, the correct application of thought.

    And as several contributors to the collective effort bring experience and intelligence so the the collective effort becomes enriched instead of the lonely blundering of the sole operator, particularly when the operation is by decree and not consensus.

    The more blunders the CM makes, the less he seems to learn from them and the more he repeats them, the better to illuminate the public into realising the consequences of his exclusive brand of bigotry.

    Hopefully it will help to further accelerate the demise of the GSD ...I have frequently the most entertaining and comical confrontations with him by the way...

  11. Those are really lofty qualities you (Anon 19.59) mention. Am I to believe that you know someone who has those Almighty attributes.

    Please let me know, so I too can come and pay him homage.

  12. Cucumberbear

    My apologies ... minor glitch now corrected :)

  13. Cucumberbear now replies to your question above.

    Yes you can, but he is dead, but he truly embodied all the qualities of leadership any Military Commander, Politician, Statesman, Mayor or even Boy Scout leader should aspire to.

    Horatio, Viscount Nelson,
    Admiral of the Fleet,
    and victorious at the Battle of Copenhagen, The Battle of Trafalgar, and the Battle of the Nile, so there.

  14. lolololol.....

    Well that's no help, but funny you should say that because I've just read a non fictional book which includes Horatio...

    Truly a remarkable fellow, however there are some question marks over his impetuous behaviour resulting in many a loss of lives. Also not quite the diplomat, and did indeed indulge in some nepotism of his own...

    Nevertheless if he's already dead...what the heck!!

  15. Once again guys, we are veering away from the topic.

  16. Cucumberbear now replies..

    he book you ought to read about Nellson is Nelson by Carola Oman, the world recognised biography. It is published by the Naval Institute Press, 118 Maryland Avenue, MD 21402 - 5035
    Here is a toll free telephone 800-233-8764.
    If you contact them they will send you an illustrated catalogue .

    Next please...

    Phew ! Isn't PC lucky that I am not interested to stand..LOL.

  17. Cucumberbear now replies..

    "Once again guys, we are veering away from the topic.."

    Apologies for briefly going off what next ?

  18. lololol...

    I am still left with no one to pay homage to.

    Alas! I will take my Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh and keep it until the annointed one arrives.

    But how will I know it is him?

  19. Excellent article.

    However I would like to take issue on one point and that is the... “Simple really, all Gibraltarians are loyal to Her Majesty. This has been proved over and over for years on end. We demonstrate our desire to remain British, our children serve in Afghanistan and Iraq and are honoured with the highest awards for bravery, we have UK passports etc. etc."

    In our quest for more autonomy and dare I say independence (hopefully not) I fear that our allegiance or should I say our desire to remain British is slowly being eroded without us really grasping the reality of becoming more Gibraltarian and less British.
    That is not to say that we should not be proud of our heritage and our own “Gibraltarianess” but we should also seriously consider the downside of our continued approach to less influence from the UK.

    Your article quite rightly points out the difficulties that removing “ExPats” from key positions and I commend you for your considered views. There is I agree no shortage of capable men and women who could carry out certain roles but to choose a Gibraltarian for the sake of nationalism with all the inherent problems with this kind of choice, can in my view, and as you so rightly point out lead to a level mediocrity that we cannot afford.

    All in all a wonderful, thought provoking article.

  20. Cucumberbear, you state

    "The sooner there is a change of government the better for all of us, regardless of shade of political opinion".

    Is there a potential political candidate in the horizon possessing the exacting qualities of leadership that you list?

  21. Fred says:

    This pointless thread by Cucumber-basher and Caruana-sycophant have demeaned a thought provoking post from Robert.

    I for one think that there should be more Gibraltarians in posts of responsibility, but it serves us well to have Governor's who are ex-military officers - not least because they understand the MoD, which (flawed as it is in many ways)is our one true foil against the machinations of the Euro-lovers and sangria-swillers in the FCO and HM Embassy in Madrid. Or have we all forgotten Tony "Ole" Blair, Jack "Pasodoble" Straw, and Peter "poor-Aparteid-blacks-must be saved-but-we-can do-what-we-like-with-the-Gibbos" Haines?

    What I would add is that we should make the expats we have inflicted on us more accountable..., oops that's what we should also do with our politicians, but democracy does not seem to work that well... Krypteia anyone?!

  22. This is my kinda article! :)

    Great piece RV! :)


  23. Denis, Cucumber here. I have a checklist. In this check list are included all the attributes I list above. I do not consider that the current CM satisfies all these qualities. I am going to cross question the opposition leader to see how he measures up. From what I already observe he satisfies more of them already, but I want to be absolutely sure. I have been baffled for more than two years by all the rhetoric and the masking and the evasiveness of the GSD to come clean and tell us, the electorate, what we are entitled to know. We are not getting answers. We are getting replies, yes, but the replies we are getting are not proper answers. We are being replied to as if we have no right to ask. Additionally when we ask we are treated with disdain and fobbed off. Additionally the ministers in the cabinet are treated as if their views count for little. I know many have given up battling and just follow orders for the sake of peace though they mutter and grumble among themselves but not a single one dares to challenge. Then they blame each other for not challenging or at least being the first to challenge. So they are resigned to not contradicting. All they protect is their very handsome incomes but not the electorate they were elected to serve. Their leader, the CM, percieves himself to be the owner of Gibraltar and whatever he decides must be right, and does not readily tolerate what he calls dissent but is actually the life blood of a proper cabinet in which ministers are allocated responsibilities that they discharge. NO, in this cabinet in this government many ministers have been reduced to yes men. It is a shocking and it must come to an end. We need proper government in which the elected members are committed to fufilling their responsibilities and answerable to the public that elected them, and not the other way round which is the unacceptable farce that has developed because of ministers succumbing to the will of the CM. The CM sees himself infallible, and decrees what he wants and no one dares to contradict. This is not what democracy is about and if unchecked leads to grief. The fact that Gibraltar has substantial income to spend clouds the perception of the electorate. But the electorate, not all of whom are highly educated, are not stupid by any means. The public may be ignorant. Ignorance is due to not being given the correct information. Ignorance is not stupidity. The public is not stupid. It may be lazy or disinterested or apathetic, but stupid it is not. They percieve injustices. They spot favouritism. They identify malpractices. They recognise when abuses are committed and what these abuses EXACTLY are, very clearly, as all this is transparent at a grass roots level. The vast majority of the electorate are too busy holding down jobs, looking after the family etc., to concern themselves with digging relentlessly to get to the bottom of things, just to uncover the truth. I sympathise with the majority of people who have just lost interest. They have given up, and become apathetic. They are further confused when sweeteners are offered, the free bus service and experimental sand on the beaches and play areas for children and other stunts in a desperate attempt to curry favour and popularity in advance of an election they know now they cannot win, and what is more, to try to hide broken promises, costly and avoidable blunders culminating in spending without sufficient accountability. When challenged, the CM seems to get offended. So I recognise they cannot be allowed to remain in power, they have to go. I will cross question FP. Once I have all the facts, I will then let you have my opinion.

  24. Denis Almeida @ 29 May 2011 14:55

    it's an analogy and the major premise of the critique was 'experience'

    arrogance, however, seems to be fast becoming an epidemic in this town!

  25. Anon 29 May 2011 21:36 " but to choose a Gibraltarian for the sake of nationalism with all the inherent problems with this kind of choice, can in my view, and as you so rightly point out lead to a level mediocrity that we cannot afford"

    forgive me for thinking that this is an ex-pats trying to justify his appointment to an important local job or for denying a gibraltarian a post to an ex-pat

    and a clear attempt to turn the tables into a false premise...gibraltarian status should not be the passport to jobs as indeed family ties and economic or friendly ties should not do so either...

    but neither should we import unless these ex-pats are of truly exceptional stock in their own homeland as opposed to ex-pats with 'experience' or F & C O approved!

    Would you like another beer?

  26. Anon@00.32

    I can't wait to read the result of the cross questions that you will be setting the leader of the opposition and how he measures up to your exacting standards.

    Call me old fashioned if you like but before I vote I keep an open mind. I analyse past performance, the party manifestos, the quality and commitment of the team within each party and then I make up my mind.

    Have I got it right?

  27. Anon@21.04

    You will know it is him for it is written: "The anointed one will be bearing a cucumber".

  28. Anon@21.04

    You will know who the anointed one is for it is written: "The chosen one will be bearing a cucumber".

  29. Anon@01.55

    I apologise for having misinterpreted the gist of your comment and for having come across as arrogant.

  30. well done cucumberbear for making it a point of finding out for yourself whether someone is worthy of your vote or not, instead of blindly going where you have been told to go and not going where you have been told not to. You show you have a mind of your own.

    I'm sure there are some that have never heard of this and the concept might just blow their mind and even lead them to ridicule.

  31. anon 29 May 2011 21:36 "a level mediocrity that we cannot afford"

    what a load of rubbish and what an ignorant but dangerous insult to the gibraltarians

    gibraltar has many graduates, very well qualified and skilled, who have excelled at university in all fields of study and competent individuals who would well for gibraltar if given half a chance

    Many, unfortunately, have to stay abroad or are unable to obtain a suitable job because the doors have been shut in their faces on the pretext that they are over qualified or do not have the required 'experience' or just didn't have a good interview whereas an outsider fitted the bill

    the mediocrity stems entirely from the negative and destructive way we seem more than predisposed to judge our own people by...or is it local jealousy, envy or protectionism of some kind working in tandem with the ex-pat factor?

    Another beer or shall we now switch to red wine?

  32. Denis Almeida @ 30 May 2011 10:53

    you've done it again...hahaha

  33. Denis Almeida say that arrogance is fast becoming epidemic in this town. I wonder who is the king of arrogance and who as made an art of this. Would Almeida care to admit who this is?

  34. Anon@12.23 How can you construe an apology as arrogance.

    Anon@12.41 Just say who you think the king of arrogance is and I shall say whether or not I am prepared to admit it.

    We now have cryptic comments under the veil of anonymity.

  35. "The Gibraltar taxpayer pays for their lucrative salaries and 25 % of their annual salary tax-free bonuses each year. For example... FSC Chief Executive". I am surprised that Robert, as a former FSC member has not pointed out that this is incorrect. Am not sure whether the FSC still receives a Government subvention, but the bulk - all if subvention has ceased - of the FSC CEO's remuneration package is funded by financial services licensees, not the taxpayer. The original Anon who wrote this is no doubt confusing the FSC's CEO with another senior official.

  36. Anonymous at 14:04

    The focus of my piece is not on the precise and discrete issue that you raise. It is on the subject of employment of expat. Therefore, I must admit I did overlook this detail that you castigate me for. Additionally, it was a quote from a third party commentator not a statement made by me. I will deal with it now that you have raised it.

    Historically there has been a subvention from taxpayers which has just ceased, for the time being. In this regard the statement made by the commentator who I quote is correct in part. Further the FSC is a statutory body. It is funded, as you rightly say, by compulsory fees paid for obligatory licenses required by financial services businesses so that they can operate. This is a "tax" in all but name, despite that it is paid only by a selected group. It is a compulsory payment recovered from a section of the community for "public" or "quasi public" purposes. You are splitting hairs.

    Before anyone else takes the point I do not know whether or who receives a 25% annual tax free bonus but again that is not the thrust of the discussion.

  37. Anon 14:04 this is just one of many examples that give credence to my argument that under this Government many of our people are treated like second hand citizens in their own land.

    This is OUR Gibraltar and the Government of Gibraltar that was incidentally put there BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE should ensure that the Gibraltarians should get preferential treatment in their own land.

    The FSC, the GHA, the Private sector in general, the abuse of the Government training schemes by certain firms. This Government is in my humble opinion turning a blind eye to blatant discrimination of Gibraltarians.

    There are hundreds of unemployed graduates, which are too ashamed to register themselves as unemployed, therefore the “statistics” that the GSD government provide the public with are far from accurate in my opinion.

    Furthermore there are other issues that concern me the 2009 Employment survey report portrays a pessimistic picture for the local youth of tomorrow. According to the figures listed in the aforementioned report the number of non local workers in Gibraltar nearly surpasses that of local workers, additionally they tend to earn more than the average Gibraltarian. Please note that all of the stated is public information and easily available to those (like me) wanting to access it. Additionally I very much doubt that the large numbers of unregistered/illegal cross border workers were taken into account when these figures where summed up. That was 2 years ago imagine the numbers now……

    Food for thought?


  38. to anon at 14:04 and RV at 16:46, the fact that these individuals enjoy tax "lite" packages i.e. at Cat 3 rates and tax free bonuses indicates to me that the taxpayer IS subsidising their remuneration because they are not paying the same full rate of tax as the rest of us. A question for RV: is it lawful to have different rates of personal taxation for expats and locals and does this constitute a form of state aid?

  39. Anonymous at 17:40

    Good point in the event that any tax breaks are enjoyed by any of the individuals concerned. My knowledge of "state aid" does not extend sufficiently to enable me to answer your question. Perhaps someone out there can answer the question. My intuition tells me that it is unlikely to amount to "state aid". It may be discriminatory treatment under Part 1 of the Constitution if the persons are or become "Gibraltar belongers (sic)". I would need time to research and consider this point to answer it categorically.

  40. what about other perks besides tax, like free education to their children, university tuition fess, student grants and health services?

    would they be included? and if they are, should they?

    Anna Conda

  41. State aid covers corporate tax only so Cat 2 and HEPSS schemes do not contravene the rules, although I wouldn't be surprised if they were targeted by the EU as discriminatory at some stage in the future. Likewise 'non-dom' status in the UK.

    I don't think you can compare the FSC, which is currently funded by those who can most afford to pay i.e. licensed financial services firms whose shareholders and directors invariably enjoy much higher remuneration packages than the average worker with wholly-owned Government companies or agencies which are funded by all taxpayers across the board.

  42. Anonymous at 18:30

    My question is, to what extent is a business that is permitted by law to employ persons who have a special tax status aided, when contrasted with the discrimination suffered by a business that is in law not permitted to employ the same person at the same beneficial tax rate? Is this "state aid"?

  43. The post of Finance Centre Director is held by a local, would that post also have Cat 2 status?

  44. Anonymous at 18;42

    This information is classed as confidential so this is not known.

  45. Why is it classed as confidential?
    Are all civil servant's salaries and job details also confidential, including the top-paid jobs too, or is this post not deemed to be part of the civil service, even if it is paid for by the government & reports directly to the minister of justice.

  46. Anonymous at 18;56

    My understanding is that holding a special tax status is personal confidential information. I do not know why. I believe he reports to the Minister of Finance who is also the Chief Minister. One can only speculate as to why the need for 2 titles for the same person?

  47. Robert you are right, my typing error, I meant minister for Finance and not Justice.

  48. This post along with a few others in Convent Place are among the top-paid jobs of the Gibraltar Development Corporation. One wonders how they would have been affected, or not, had the civil service reforms gone through.

  49. To Anon 18.56

    Civil Servants Salaries are not confidential and can be obtained from the Book of Estimates published by Finance Department situated in No.6.

  50. anon @ 19:56 does this book of estimates include salaries of those employed by GDC?

  51. And in addition to 2013, does it include salaries for GoG "operated / funded / affiliated and similar" - agencies?

  52. Just Civil Servants, I think.

  53. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I understand that some 3 year contracts for specific posts given to priviledged locals receive 25% of annual salary as a gratuity tax free. Why should this be tax free? Some of the posts held do not even require any expertise.

    La ley para uno y no para los demas.

  54. When I read most, if not all, the responses to the main topic, I always find that anything written is either twisted and politicised in favour of either main political party.

    I had hoped that this topic would have raised the merits of choosing between a local and an "ExPat".

    RV's analysis is wonderfully articulated and I was extremely impressed into the insight regarding the sacrifices made by two local dignataries who held important posts. I wonder whether our own Local Judge is also having to make similar sacrifice.

    I agree with RV's view that Gibraltarian' s should have top jobs but once again as RV points out this should be done with caution. The following excerpt from the article, I think sums up my concerns.

    "I believe that diversity and competition for jobs and posts are essential factors to ensure Gibraltar's competitiveness in the world. I believe that taking these factors out of the equation to accelerate "Gibraltarianisation" is not beneficial to the common good and has proved disastrous in other ex-colonies.

  55. Anonymous at 21:21

    Unfortunately Gibraltar is increasingly divided into two "tribes". It is this fact that comes through on the comments, magnified by the likelihood that certain activists purposely hijack comments. It is something that I cannot control in light of the habit of commentators adopting anonymity.

    I imagine that the current CJ and Puisne Judge are in similar positions to that I have described our former judges were in. I did not mention them only because I do not have the first hand knowledge that I gained from observing the two judges that I have mentioned.

  56. Perhaps a topic to write about in future editions..."The rise of the Political tribal mentality in Gibraltar and the aim of its unmaking and how to achieve it"

  57. Anonymous at 21:57

    Yes ... it is what I try to do constantly with the policies that i advnce and the topics that I write about on this blog

  58. unfortunately the 'if you're not with, you're against us' mentality reigns, but at the end of the day we all have an opinion and we will all veer towards it however unbiased or impartial we try to be.

    I confess, despite trying hard to remain so, I sometimes feel obliged to defend my corner too when I read between the lines of some comments.

    I also confess to becoming increasingly cynical at the best of times and find myself looking for the 'cat's fifth leg', as it were. Even anon @ 21:21's opening comments led me to believe this smacked of somebody using the tribal argument as a way of avoiding the need to offer any explanations as to why civil servant's salaries were made public but not those of GDC employees and other GoG funded employees.

    In the interest of mature debate, I offer my apologies, if indeed I was mistaken.

    Perhaps we all need a break!

  59. Pebian Piruana: There are no tribes only groups of vested economic interests and a lot of innocent people in the GSLP the GSD and even the PDP who do not have the faintest idea of what goes on in Gib and think that the lead politicians are sincere. Sad really.

  60. Pebian Piruana and I thought I was the cynic!

  61. pebian piruana has banged it right on the head of the gibraltar nail. reality and not cynicism.

  62. Fabter Carucardo: Following on Pebian Piruana. When did the other Alliance MPs find out about Noble and Blueprime? The word is that Garcia, Bruzon and Linares found out in the press and the new candidates Perez, Cortes, Jurado, santos, Borge, (Marilu???) etc still have n't found out!. So much for Fab's collegiate approach. What do the 2 nd tier government ministers like Netto, Beltran, Delagua and Reyes know of the direct allocation of the multi million consultancies? Nothing. The new blood in the GSD Ellul-Hammond, Ramognin, Almeida etc have not even asked! Most if not all these people know less of what is happening in the corridors of power than the average man in the street. That is the trick a hard core of astute business minded politicians surrounded by an outer layer of wolly minded ingenus. Que verguenza.

  63. Anon 08:19, that is easily the most ridiculous comment I have ever seen on this blog, and there have been some serious contenders!

  64. Anonymousbat 10:46

    I must agree, that is the reason for publishing it ! It seems no one knows anything just the cleverbones ha ha ha!


  65. Think the senior GDC official mentioned above must be Cat 3, not 2. The CM has now stated publicly that he will include salaries of wholly-Govt-owned companies and agencies in the Estimates book published around this time each year. But that will not reveal the whole story because the figures for salaries do not include the hidden perks such as the additional 25% of salary as a tax-free gratuity each year, tax-free monthly rental allowance, special tax status etc. The Govt should come clean and publish the full picture. After all, taxpayers are paying for all these perks so they have a right to know.

  66. po si Garcia & co didn't know about Noble, no leen Llanito World regularly por que los del GSD llevan tiempo ya meneando la olla, mucho ante ke se estrenara el Pita en el tema.

    Same goes pa lo greenhorns del GSD, por que hasta yo me enterao de lo contratito y eso ke el Bobby V no deja un chollo de pasa.

    Ahora, tambien te digo... alomejo es verdad, alomejo to los nuevos estan nulo and if that's the case po ke se vayan poniendo al dia ya ke si saben cobra la pagita de ministro ke tambien sepan lo ke hay dando vuelta.

    Aqui lo ke hay es mucha tonteria y el quita y pon ke no falte.

    Bobby V, pon orden, ke pa eso ere el chief del llanito-world (igual ke disney-world, pero con menos rides y ma mickey mouse!)

    Marujita del Monte

  67. We all comment that all these key post should be filled by Gibraltarians and not "Ex-pats" but has anyone bothered to think who will be making those appointments? Well think no more guess what.... it will all boil down to who ever is in a CM's good books!
    I think that it is a very dangerous game to wish for all key posts to be filled by Gibraltarians... this will PROBABLY equate to more nepotism by the establishment...
    Before we bring up the fact taht the Special Appointments Commision would regulate these appointments, this Commision is set up by guess who... the establishment/CM..
    Which ever way one looks at it a CM would be a God Almighty figure.
    Are we sure we want all this power vested in one single individual?? Look at our current administration! Imagine any CM advising/appointing a local Governor/AG/FSC Commisioner etc.... more puppets to be controlled...

  68. Dear Robert,

    I know this is not related to the topic at hand.

    However I believe that through your medium I can highlight an issue which I believe is of extreme importance within Gibraltar.

    Today there has been a very unfortunate accident in the port with one individual seriously injured. My worry is that all emergency services are caught up in this incident.

    I believe perhaps you should consider initiating a blog to determin whether or not there are adequate and or sufficient resources available within Gibraltar to deal with the advent of a possible major incident.

    Currently from what I see today Gibraltar lacks significantly on the resources to deal with such incidents. A worrying concept considering increase terrorist threats, port activity, and airline activity.

  69. Anon 18.03 I agree.

    A multi-million pound Airport.

    We then have a fire utilising all available emergency resources and the airport is now closed since there are no Emergency Fire Services for landing aeroplanes.

    I think that demonstrates how lacking our Emergency Service Resources are here in Gibraltar.

    God help us should we ever suffer a major incident.

    Perhaps the C3 committee should consider this as a priority.

    As usual in Gibraltar we have all the fancy labels for committees like C3 but lack the essential hardware and man power.

  70. Anon@18.03

    At the moment we should all be concerned with the fast recovery of the person that has suffered injuries rather than making inane comments for the sake of it. Why should you relate a multi-million pound airport with what has happened today? Please note that it is a rhetorical question please do not bother to reply unless you do so under your own name.

  71. Dennis,

    I agree that we should be concerned with the injured person. But that doesn't mean the whole Failure of an adequate Emergency service cannot be up for discussion. Perhaps we should debate it when the incident is over, but this is yet another incident that clearly shows how unprepared we are.

    I highlight the above having experience in the subject. Unfortunately as you will understandf, I cannot speak in my own name as the current rules do not allow me to. Many people in Gibraltar work within sectors which are now involved in the Emergency Response, and many, if they could, would highlight their concerns that we are not prepared or fully organised for major catastrophes. As you are aware, the CFB, Police and similar Emergencty Response agency workers CANNOT publicly make comments, and so, the inadequacy of our Emergency Services through lack of equipment etc will forever remain a myth that people like yourself will always dismiss due to the people KNOWLEDGABLE on the subject not being able to put a name to their comment! Dennis, unless you have worked in most sectors in Gibraltar, it is IMPOSSIBLE for you to know everything! Not everyone in Gibraltar is a liar or fabricating facts for the sake of dirty politics.

    Good on you that you can post in your own name. Unfortunately not everybody can, due to regulations within their profession, or out of fear - because whether you like it or not, there are repurcussions for those who dare contradict! If you do not kow that to be true - whether in a small or large degree, then I fear Mr almeida, you may be living in Gibraltar, but you are defintely walking around wearing ear muffs and blinkers!

  72. Anon 19.13..

    I suggest you look at GBC with the C3 committee in action.

    Mr Leslie Edmonds is supposed to be the expert dealing with such incidents.

    Instead we have the Chief Minister running the show rather than the expert!!!!

  73. anon @ 20:55 perhaps your post, in some way answers the question posed in the third post of this blog, in which Joe Bishop's absence from the C3 committee was highlighted.

  74. Anon 21.12...

    I agree Mr Bishop a local Gibraltarian qualified/experienced in such matters would be an asset.

    It's Ironic I was having this discussion with an old school friend approx 1 week ago???

  75. I am no expert and I am sure Joe Bishop can bring a lot of expertise and knowledge to bear on these situations but this does not seem to me to be one of the lessons to be learnt from this incident. Lack of capacity in terms od equipment seems to be prevalent leading to reliance on Spanish assets. It seems that the reality, once again, is that our size has some bearing on the resources that can be deployed. Are there any existing arrangements for mutual assistance from and to Spain and if so are they sufficiently resilient?

  76. Robert, have you spoken to your cousin Peter today????

    You and he have actually said the same line today "I am no expert". I hope GBC keep the interview where he ACTUALLY SAYS THIS on tape for the rest of days! This one wuill surely go down as one of the CMs most Momentous statements! it definitely should have a guaranteed spot on GBCs Review of the Year!

  77. Anonymous at 21:37

    I have not spoken to my cousin Peter today or for a long time. I am, in fact, in London, so I have not even heard him on GBC.

  78. Where is Mr Leslie Edmonds in all of this.
    I thought he was the local expert???

  79. Robert you didnt miss much.
    Although the chief said he couldn't comment and wasn't the expert.
    He made sure he chaired the C3 committee.
    Mr Edmonds was not even sat at the C3 table on GBC, he was in the corner.
    So much for involving the experts????.?

  80. No gear and no idear?

    That's how we deal with local emergencies!!!!

  81. Same issue occurred with the Federa incident.

    Although many chiefs came out blowing their trumpet for their respective Dept.

    Those that were there know how ill equipped we were.

    Example during this Federa incident someone had the bright idear of making a circle with the emergency vehicles illuminating the ground in order for the helicopter to land.

    When the flameout occurred to the heli luckily the pilot managed to land without taking out all essential/emergency vehicles??

    Great thinking!!

  82. I bet that was omitted from the Federa final C3 report?

  83. The issue really is at what cost does one gain experience? Does one one to risk one´s family´s well being in the hospital for example.Many professionals in the health service learn 90 percent of their skills after they qualify. The GHA is not a teaching hospital. I think the English have been very good to the Gibraltarians considering that Gibraltar was theirs long before the first Gibraltarians arrived. They actually fought the Spanish for it. Its the case of the squatters now asking the owners to bugger off esp when the owners kindly allowed them in and fed them and gave them jobs and security. Gibralatar is no colony of the British. It was a British base and people moved in to provide the base with services. You´d think the Gibraltarians actually evolved from the pre historic man and came out from St. Michael´s cave.Its the usual embellishment of the truth that Gibraltarians are famous for.And the truth is that you have ask any company that wants to make money and not live on govt handouts such as the civil servants, hospital, etc, the last person that want to employ is a Gibraltarian. They are hardly well known for their work ethic.

  84. Anonymous at 00:18

    Are you serious? Where does your argument on Gibraltar's leave, for example, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc.?

    My own company employs 90% Gibraltarians and the work ethic is fine. Maybe expatriate management is at fault? All the management in my company is local so logic dictates there is lack of ability in expatriate management. I am being sarcastic and using your own nonsensical style of justifying your arguments!

  85. reply to 23:31

    Cucumberbear now replies to you:~

    Of course experience comes after qualifying and not before it. What silly staements you make. It seems as if you post without thinking first.

    Are you a driver ? When you passed your driving test you gained the mechanical skill to drive a motor vehicle but you did not have roadcraft which is the awareness that a driver develops by being exposed to driving along different roads and streets under many different conditions.

    Now re examine the statement you have made. Isn't it naive and silly ?

    Obviously you know very little about the history of Gibraltar. You ought to read about our history before you make again the silly comments that you make.

    The capture of Gibraltar was not a battle. It was bloodless. General Rooke landed on the rock with eighty marines and planted the Union Jack and declared it to be, from then on, British Territory.

    The rock was not deserted. There were already people living here. So again you talk a lot of nonsense.

    Your description of the evolvement of the base is back to front. I am now getting bored in engaging in tittle tattle with you for the sake of it.

    About work ethics also you appear to know veery little.

    At the outbreak of the Falklands War ships had to be refitted and made ready in a hurry.
    Faslane could not do it, Portsmouth could not do it, nor Liverpool, nor the Clyde in time at the schedules set.

    The Ships were sent here.

    Night and day people toiled in the Dockyard, doing extra shifts and on a voluntary basis (not getting paid for it) to get the ships finished inside six weeks, to the amazement of everybody.

    It seems to me you have several bees in your bonnet. You ought to go back to Blighty and clear them.

    If you don't clear them stay there and don't come back is the best thing for you to do as you find fault with everything here whereas back home you can look forward to absolute perfection and completely to your liking...LOL.

  86. Aren't expats people that leave their country to settle in a foreign country e.g sangria swiggers on the Costas? This term is not correct for British Citizens living and working in British Gibraltar. We have long been referred to as UK Nationals by the Press and anyone else that needs to differentiate between llanitos & guirris.

  87. Yes there were people living her but they were asked to leave and many moved to San Roque. This was purely a British base. The English fought the siege: The history of Gibraltar is well documented in many books available locally. There are no true gibraltarians except maybe we can consider the decendents of the soldiers who actually fought Spain to keep Gibraltar British: Everybody else were immigrants from Malta, Portugal, Genoa, Spain etc. There is a lot of bull going on about decolonisation etc. The thing is we all know who really pulls the strings and to pretend otherwise is silly. The FCO lets the locals play silly politics as it does no harm to their strategic interests. And local pòlitics here is equivalent to a local council politics in any small town of 30000 in the UK. Its about housing, traffic management. schools,etc. The big issues are decided in London