Sunday, 8 May 2011

More Democracy in the UK ... Less Here?

The quest for electoral and constitutional reform is not a quest that is unique to Gibraltar. In the United Kingdom the last Labour Government made substantial improvements to the constitution and consequently to improving democracy in the UK. It is important to understand that this is an ongoing process in the UK, which now continues under the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition. The UK was already streaks ahead of Gibraltar on the democratising front. Gibraltar needs to catch up  on many fronts, even if, mainstream politicians do not, at the present moment, aspire to allow the people as many democratic safeguards as are envisaged for the UK. I am personally of the opinion that democratisation is long overdue in Gibraltar.

The Labour administration made substantial constitutional changes in the UK to improve democracy during its time in power. Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales achieved greater democracy with devolution. The much criticised (by the European Courts, because it broke the rule of the separation of powers) ) office of Lord Chancellor was divided into its three constituent parts., The Supreme Court of the UK replaced the House of Lords as the highest Court in the Land. Proportional representation was adopted for elections to the European Parliament, devolved assemblies, the Greater London Assembly and direct election of mayors was introduced. The process now continues under the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition.

One area of reform that I have proposed for Gibraltar is electoral reform. This week, the UK has voted against electoral reform in the form of the Alternative Vote system. Opportunistic politicians in Gibraltar might want to jump on this bandwagon to argue that Gibraltar's electoral system also does not require change. This would be to come to the wrong conclusion. The UK has a constituency based electoral system, in which direct representation by an MP is the focus. Gibraltar elects MP's territory wide; that is the main reason and an important distinction making the requirement for electoral reform, in favour of Proportional Representation, more pertinent to and fairer for Gibraltar. My suggestion of district MPs also provides a system of direct representation of people in Parliament, which puts right another major failing in our system.

Despite the results of the UK referendum, the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition intends to embark on constitutional reforms in the UK. One part of the plan is to reduce the House of Commons from 650 to 600 members by redrawing constituency boundaries and making them the same size, numbering 76,000 electors in each. A fixed term of 5 years is also planned, which would remove the element of surprise that now exists with the power to dissolve Parliament (within 5 years) being vested, at present, in the Prime Minister.  In Gibraltar that same power is vested in the Chief Minister.

Additionally there are ongoing discussions to improve democracy by electing Members of the House of Lord, possibly to be renamed the Senate. This House of Parliament would be reduced from approximately 790 to around 300 members. The proposal is thought to be that about 80% would be elected by proportional representation and 20% appointed as is the case now. The idea behind this is to ensure that the appointed element comes from necessary professions that provides required legislative expertise, for example scientists, military men, judges, professors etc. Hereditary peers and most Bishops would cease to be members. Electing the upper house would give it much greater sway with the House of Commons by the mere fact that it becomes representative of voters. The requirement to break with the tradition of an unwritten constitution begins to come to the fore, not least, because of the need that would arise to regulate the relationship between the two Houses of Parliament.

Why do politicians consider that it is important to reform the system in the UK in this manner? Many believe that the incentive is the demands of the public. The expenses debacle in the UK undermined confidence and trust in politicians. Surveys have also reflected this public lack of confidence and trust. Does this sound familiar? Not fiddling expenses but the lack of confidence and trust in politicians? This deficit certainly comes through loud and clear from comments made on this blog.

Well, the GSD have been promising democratic reforms for 16 years and delivered next to none. The GSLP now talk of democratic reforms if it were to be elected into government. Will either deliver? Well, surely, it is too late to believe the GSD. The GSLP might deliver but there again ... Perhaps, if an enlightened electorate were to break the "Block Vote" and force a coalition government then the much needed electoral and parliamentary reforms may become a reality, otherwise I do not know whether it will happen.

The ability of any government anywhere to govern is down to trust and confidence. If that gets to an unacceptably low level, anarchy is round the corner. Its happening in North Africa and the Middle East now. It would be a disaster, both socially and economically, if any unrest were to develop in Gibraltar. It will only advantage Spain. It is time for our politicians to be mature and selfless. They must practice what they preach in their rhetoric and treat the electorate as a mature people. They keep saying we are. It was the main argument that they marshalled in support of the 2006 Constitution.  They need to give more democratic power to the people both to restore trust and confidence in the political classes and to accept the responsible exercise of democratic oversight by a mature electorate. Failure to do so could have dire consequences, not least, that the UK is still responsible, even under our new Constitution, for good governance in Gibraltar.


  1. You have it wrong again. The GSD has delivered on democratic reform by backing and delivering a new constitution which has given us a level of self government that the AACR and the GSLP government of the early 1990s could only dream of. You also say that the GSD have not delivered on parliamentary reform but you forget that a select committee was set up from cross party members. Why do you chastise the GSD whilst giving the GSLP the benefit of the doubt as if they have had no part to play in the select committee? I admire you but your credibility is dependent on not allowing your dislike for your cousin to stand in the way of rationale debate. Bossano's public position on constitutional reform has been that it is nor GSLP policy and has not been persuaded that there is a need for it. Surely you watch TV.

  2. Anonymous at 22:42

    First, I have no personal dislike of my cousin. I have political differences, which I am entitled to have, especially as democratisation was a manifesto promise of the GSD. I have explained this fully in earlier articles. Please scroll back and read them. That I have a personal dislike of my cousin is a false rumour being spread by GSD activists on purpose, I know him well just as he knows me. He clearly said on TV that I had a full right to express views freely. Don't you watch TV?

    Secondly the 2006 Constitution by itself delivers no greater democracy than existed before. Greater democracy is dependent on laws that are required to be passed by a two thirds majority in Parliament. This was one issue that I and other members of the "NO" Campaign in the constitutional referendum tried hard to debunk and very nearly succeeded in doing. You yourself prove this by your reference to a Select Committee having been formed for precisely this purpose.

    Third it is the GSD who are in government. There is no need for cross-party agreement on reforms. The GSD was elected in the knowledge that Bosanno did not support democratic reforms. That is why the GSD promised them in its manifesto. That is why many of us, including me, voted for the GSD. They have failed me and them. There is and was nothing to stop the GSD from publicising its proposals. Where are they?

    Fourth, Fabian Picarcdo has said he will provide reforms now. This will show that he is his own man and not under the control of Bosanno. It is one of the policies that I believe will differentiate the GSLP under his leadership. He will fill the void if the GSD fails to publish its own proposals although it will be belated.

    fifth, whatever else, I do express some doubt about the GSLP delivering the reforms and so am asking for the "Block Vote" to be broken. So my original post is not solely doubtful of the GSD. It doubts both main parties, so why the accusation about my personal dislike for my cousin? Very odd!

    Please read the argument and understand it before you try and spin for the GSD otherwise all you do is show up its failings and hurt its electoral chances.

  3. Anonymous said...
    Rob, I have to agree with Anon 22:42. I really used to look forward to you blog but increasingly so, and more so since you launched the CIR, you are becoming obsessed with your cousin and it appears that you only aim is to have him booted out and take the credit for it.

    You are no doubt a very intelligent man but this obsession you have is not going to lead you to anywhere good.

    Marie Connor

  4. Do you know what the irony of all this Robert?

    That you opposed the New Constitution and it is that Constitution that allows for the type of parliamentary reform you propose. It is the New Constitution that allows for backbenchers by making provision for an increase in the number of MPs capping the number of ministers. It de facto envisages backbenchers.

    It is also not a question of whether the GSLP or the GSD deliver on it. Increasing the number of members in the house requires a motion in parliament supported by 2/3 of members and then legislation. It cannot be delivered unilaterally.

  5. Picardo cannot deliver substantial parliamentary reform of the type you advocate without cross party support. Increasing members of the house requires a 2/3 majority in a motion. Just as the GSD could not deliver without Bossano support. It is the New Constitution that has allowed that increase and thus, the creation of backbenchers. Don't be blind!

  6. The constitution requires a two thirds majority to pass parliamentary reforms ( I think). A cross party meeting was held two tears ago. Bossano wanted nothing of it as is normally the case with anything GSLP.
    Picardo will say and do anything at this stage. Your cousin (Robert) has delivered a Gibraltar that is string, democratic, free and much more. It amazes me that you chose to ignore the countless misgivings behind the GSLP and still have the audacity to say that you have nothing against your cousin other than political ideology.

  7. Pedro said:

    Well maybe Robert does not mean increasing the number of MPs to allow for bsckbenchers when he talks of parliamentary reform but I have to admit that I thought that was the central plank of the policy. Robert?

  8. The 2006 Constitution was opposed precisely because of what has happened. It was inadequate and left democratic reforms to our politicians who have not delivered on it. The 2006 Constitution made room for backbenchers, which is only one of my issues, the GSD promised to deliver these changes ... where are the changes and what are the GSD's proposals? Exactly where we who opposed the 2006 Constitution thought they would be ... nowhere. Now the fight for democracy will be had.

    The cap on Ministers whilst there are 17 members is 10, which is all the Government bench. There is a requirement for a two thirds majority. There is no reason why a free vote in Parliament might not have delivered that. Also this is a self imposed restriction that the politicians had no need to include in the 2006 Constitution had these issues been reslved, as they should have been, before the adoption f the 2006 Constitution. Mathematically the 2006 Constitution sets the limit on Ministers, if there are more than 17 MPs, as half the MP's plus 1. This does not guarantee many backbenchers in practice bearing in mind maintaining Parliament at a reasonable size.

  9. To all recent anonymous:

    I assume that the GSD will support democratic suggestions made by the GSLP. That would be the logic of the position that you are arguing here. In that case I shall be immensely happy and have achieved something.

    The request for more democracy that I have proposed is included in GSD manifestos. If you knew how many GSD activists have agreed with me on this point you would be astounded. How can you say that I have a personal dislike of my cousin ... my arguments are entirely political and to boot request what the GSD promised. Do not attribute to me the view of other commentators. Is the GSD not a party? Is it just my cousin?

  10. Pedro said...
    Pero Robert lechuga, under the old constitution you could not have had an increase to 25 MPs to allow for meaningful numbers of backbenchers. You could have had 6 ministers and two backbenchers from the 8 but that was not realistic. Estas tan testarudo como tu primo lol.

  11. Pedro

    We are agreed on that point ... the issue is that we still do not have them ... backbenchers I mean ...

  12. Pedro said...
    But we do agree with parliamentary reform not with your central criticism that it has not happened because the GSD have not delivered on their electoral promise. It takes two to tango on this one is the point we make and it has not happened because there has not been an appetite on the other side. I believe and hope there will be substantial movement on this.

  13. Pedro

    I look forward to the proof ... On the GSD can you explain to me what its proposals are for more democracy and where and when they were published? Then I might agree that it has made efforts in that direction ... otherwise there is no tango at all!

  14. Pedro said...
    I am pretty sure I heard Caruana talk about this in 2009 when the select committee met. But there are rumbles within the GSD that now that Picardo has said he wants to progress this that we will finally see progress because you cannot reform the parliamentary system without tacking this point. Otherwise reform becomes cosmetic as far as I am concerned. You can televise parliament, have chief minister's question time and the like but having backbenchers on both sides of the house is critical. Once you have that you can then have select committees along uk lines. I have been to GSD activist meetings where this has been discussed and supported at the very top.

  15. Pedro

    Great to hear it ... look forward to it ... and maybe if I agree I won't even have to stand for election ...

  16. Pedro said...
    Por favor no. Life would be far too boring!

  17. Pedro

    OK I will keep going do not worry :)

  18. The point is that the GSD have been in government and so have or should have had the responsibility to move the democracy agenda forward by at least publishing their proposals. If it had done so then the finger could clearly and decisively be pointed at the GSLP for any failure to implement any reforms. That is not where we are. The issue has come alive very recently ... perhaps I have helped it on a little bit ...

  19. L.E.F. says,

    Yet again it is clear that we Llanitos cannot see past the end of our noses.

    There would be no need for electoral reform or checks and balances if the GSD Government had implemented the changes in democratic improvements we were promised way back in 96.

    If we cannot see the same deficiencies of this present GSD government to the GSLP Bossano Government,( secrecy ,lack of a proper tender system , no transparency , favouritism shown to certain contractors , favours for the party faithful , no proper accountability , no respect for our Parliament , a controlled press , granting of jobs of high positions to party followers, lack of transparency ,lack of meetings of the house ,the full force of the administration against dissenters, the list is endless,) then we do not deserve the right to vote in the name of democracy.

    Many of us who pinned our democratic hopes on the promises of the GSD, have been let down waiting for these changes for the past 15 years.

    All that was needed all this time was a willingness on the part of the Government to improve what they saw ,at the time, as all the negative things of the Bossano Government.

    We as a people deserve much more from our democratic institutions. We should demand responsibility from our elected members.

    For us to correct the democratic deficiencies we must be first willing to admit that wrongs do exist. It is no good for Gibraltar if we cannot collectively see the faults in ourselves ,which we so easily see in others.

    Two wrongs never make a right, so it is no good saying GSD is better than GSD or vice versa. Shame on both parties on taking us down this divisive path and maintaining this status quo.

    Our future government to be elected , has a duty and obligation , to govern and treat all Gibraltarians equally. They will represent us all not just the party faithful.

    This is much more than GSD or GSLP. This is our right to demand Transparent Democracy. Reform is needed to ensure that any future Government or Leader has to abide by certain rules for our good governance.

    Enough of rumours , scaremongering and dirty politics .

    Let us unite as a people and realize that we are all in this together.

    Vote Change, Vote Mr Vasquez and use your 9 other votes wisely

  20. Parliament to be televised?!?!? I know that telebasura allows a bizarre assortment of mediocrities air time but Parliamant on TV would really be pushing the boat too far. Jsut what GBC needs to cover up its lack of production. Is there a TV standards authority I can complain to before this is allowed to happen?

  21. Anonymous at 22:42 and Marie Connor:

    I have re-read my article after a good nights sleep. I really fail to understand why you have reacted the way you have. The article in the main deals with UK constitutional reforms. It then criticizes all mainstream politicians of both parties for failing to deliver democratic reforms in Gibraltar.

    It does not concentrate solely on the GSD, although the GSD does have the greater degree of blame because the GSD made promises and have been in government for 16 years. The article does not say that the GSD has not delivered anything. It says it has delivered next to nothing. Inclusion in the 2006 Constitution of the ability to deliver reform without either putting forward actual proposals or making a serious attempt at delivering reform is not good enough to support a case on this issue in favour of the GSD.

    It is decidedly odd that when I write articles critical of the GSLP and/or Fabian Picardo I do not get any reaction! I also do not get any reaction when I write favourably toward the GSD and my cousin and agree with him or it e.g. the article just before this one.

    Finally, Marie Connor, you say that I have an obsession that will not lead me anywhere good. This could be read as a threat but I have chosen not to do this ... I do not believe that it is the style of the GSD to issue threats ...

  22. The electoral reform we need is very clear.

    a- Who votes?

    1- ALL Gibraltarians (is the Gibraltarian register) have to be able to vote, even those living abroad.

    2- The 6mths residency rule needs to be changed to a longer period of time.

    b- Electoral System

    1- If we have a party system the voting system should be changed to vote for parties instead of individuals. Proportional representation

    2- If we want a system based on individuals, we should have one person one vote.

    I really don’t think it needs to be more complex than this.


  23. Good to see people highlighting the 6 month rule once again. It NEEDS to be changed.

    But will the GSD Government even contemplate such a thought? Does it suit them?

    I have been looking at a few Facebook online surveys e.g "Who would you vote for?". And most of the people who have ticked on the GSD column I can honestly state I have never seen in my life! Furthermore many of them seem to be non locals.

    Some Anon mocked me the other day (on this same blog) stating that non locals would never waste their time voting in our elections, but believe me they will if it suits them.

    We should care because of TWO important reasons:

    1. Every day there are more and more Spaniards who are becoming eligible to vote in OUR Gibraltar. The next referendum (if there is one) might be more evenly contested.

    2. Gibraltar in times of dire socio-economic distress is “thriving” (or at least according to the GSD Government we are). This has in turn given way to a steady influx of immigrants as of late, which are in turn eligible to vote shortly after arrival. In my humble opinion this seems extremely precarious for obvious reasons.

    Think of our children and their children after MAKE A STAND before it is too late.


  24. K is 100% spot on and may i add that those Gibraltarians forced to live in spain are becoming part of the osmosis effect as i know some that have their children in spanish schools.who are those kids going to vote for in case of a referendum?


  25. My understanding is that in referendums affecting the sovereignty status of Gibraltar only persons registered as Gibraltarians under the Gibraltar Status Act can vote. I believe this has been the case in the past.

  26. Robert I mean no disrespect but......

    Who would have thought 20 years ago that homosexuals would be legally entitled to engage in intercourse (buggery) and be able to get married?

    Laws will inevitably be altered to revolve around the society that it governs. If that society is Pro-Spanish or mostly Pro-Spanish, things could soon be different Robert.

    In my opinion we should be very wary that the people of Gibraltar do not have their core social values indoctrinated by this ever increasing Spanish presence.

    This could be done in the form of a Pro-Spanish polical party maybe PAG would indeed fair better these days......maybe that is..


  27. Pero este K que esta tomate o que le pasa.

  28. Can I agree with everyone saying that the 6 month rule has to be changed.

    I have lost my right to vote in any general elections. I can no longer vote in Gib as I have not been a Gib resident for the last few years and cannot vote in Malta where I live as only Maltese citizens have the right to vote.

    Maltese citizens living abroad even get gov subsidised flights, to ensure that they vote in general elections no matter where they are living. So a Maltese citizen living in gib for 6 months would have the right to vote in gib and even get cheap flights to come to Malta and vote here. But I don’t get the right to vote anywhere. I am not advocating that the gov should subsidise flights in this way, but find it incredibly unfair how I have lost my right to vote.


  29. Kaelan your scaremongering is resulting in a loss of credibility on your part.

    I think its so sad that when a Chief Minister has FOR A FACT proved to serve in Gibraltar's best interests and tirelessly defended us against Spain's claws for the best part of 16 years, (yes Andorra-total booboo but in practice, he has always come through) that you should bring up your latest conspiracy theory of PAG. Its poca verguenza de verda.

    Whether you agree with Caruana or not (I personally dont particularly like the guy, so dont worry im no 'sycophant') its shameful to let hints drop at those sinister possibilities.... venga ya cornflake que se te ve el rabillo ya!!!


  30. Come on boys stop scaremongering. Only British citizens have the right to vote in general elections; no Maltese (LG) and no Spaniards (special k). This point has made before on this site and yet you choose to repeat what is false.

    It has also been pointed out in the past by Robert and others that only Gibraltarians were allowed to vote in referenda. In 2003 this was extended to British citizens who had been resident here for 10 years I think.

    Only GSLP nationalists are trying to whip up hysteria and anti British feeling to go with their campaign that the Brits are taking jobs away from locals. Shame on you.

  31. Can u guys give this 6 month thing a break. It is really quite ridiculous to suggest that Spaniards are gonna come in to vote at their leisure. To vote you require residency, to live here one would imagine you do so because presumably you like and care about the place, and as a result have in interest in it's future.
    I guess scooby doo and the gang don't like the idea if people liking our Gibraltar.
    Que verguenza.

  32. Robert,

    What i am trying to say that these kids going to psanish schools are somehow registered as living in Gib hence they can vote when their age permits it.

    Normally this situations come up when one of the parties married is spanish.


  33. Actually as Malta was formally a british colony, a lot of maltese particularly with british ties do hold dual citizenship or fall under british overseas citizens and would therefore be entitled to vote in gib after a 6 month period

  34. Have a quick check online and you will see that maltese nationals would fall under the british nationality Act of 1981 and would be eligible to vote in Gib. So please don’t accuse me of scaremongering or giving false information or being xenophobic before you get your facts straight. So where is my right to vote???


  35. Dual citizenship was severely restricted under Maltese law from independence in 1964 until 10 February 2000, when all restrictions were removed. Dual citizenship had been allowed in limited circumstances from 1989, but only for persons born in Malta who met specific residence criteria.

    Maltese citizenship was conferred at independence upon persons born in Malta who had a Maltese-born parent. Generally they lost British citizenship.

    You cannot generalise and keep trying to scaremonger keep or whip them into anti foreigner mode for GSLP ends.

  36. I do however agree that Gibraltarians living abroad should have the right to vote. How you define Gibraltarian in these circumstances is not easy.

  37. Pero how many Maltese people with dual nationality are there in gib? Is this really a problem? Isn't the bigger problem nationalisation of morrocans living here?

  38. Read above about British nationality act 1981 nice you have proved that you can read wikipedia. all I want is my right to vote. I hold no allegiance’s to any particular party or am I trying to scare anyone into voting for anything. I repeat all I want Is my right to vote, cause apparently at the moment I don’t have any. Personally I think that the EU should step in and ensure that the freedom of movement within the EU does not mean that people should lose their democratic rights and that once you are no longer eligible to vote in your country or origin you should be able to vote in the one where you reside.


  39. LG in most countries you would be entitled to vote by virtue of your EU citizenship and residence. Gibraltar and apparently, according to you, Malta, you need to be a citizen of the country. Here you need to be a British citizen. That is more restrictive than most countries. But I agree there is a case for allowing Gibraltarians abroad to vote.

  40. Kaelan,

    Please give us a break, can we have a serious debate on the subject matter. We are now tired of the same BS.

    A frequent visitor to the blog.

  41. ya sabe Kaelan, a calla, ke lo frequent visitors to the blog se estan molestando, anyone would think this wasn't a democracy where everybody is entitled to their opinion however much anybody else disagrees with it!

    sorry, Robert, de ke topic era este blog en particular? No creo ke alguna gente se han enterao todavia!

  42. Robin Hood says [2 part blog I’m afraid]:

    [Part 1] There was an earlier post by RV 'Depersonalise comments to improve this blog', but it seems that some people have

    1. Failed to read this post
    2. Did not understand it
    3. Decided to pasarselo por los mismisimos...

    and from where I am standing it seems to come mainly from fanatical GSD supporters who appear to be incapable of actually engaging in proper debate and instead prefer to lash out with insults and ludicrous allegations. I would strongly urge all those who have been able to see through the heart of the current government to refrain from retaliating to such comments and instead focus their energy in making strong and clear arguments for improving the situation. The only people who can be criticized, perhaps in a positive way in order to provide them with feed back about their shortcomings, is the ruling party. There is no point in comparing them to the opposition they are not the ones in power. Pointing out the failings of the current government, of which there appears to be many, seems to get them rather defensive and rarely do they come back with adequate reasons for their actions. The reason these failings need to be pointed out is because the GSD has now been in power long enough to have delivered on their promises, and it is important for them to give reasons as to why these have not been kept. It will be interesting to see how the last minute rush to deliver some basic requirements to the community, will be received by the voters, especially if they knew that it will be costing the tax payers much, much more as a result of the poor planning and pressurized working conditions that contractors are being subjected to. Could all this not have been managed better? I would have more respect for a government who set out a plan of action over an 8 year term, even a 12 year term and delivered at a realistic and properly organized manner than one who delivered on reactionary comments in an haphazard and illogical way. In other words if I was told that a particular manifesto commitment was not going to be delivered in the first term because of other priorities, I would give that party another chance at the next election if they had delivered on most of their other commitments. If they had promised me the earth and delivered a small fraction of this I would be hesitant to vote them in again. It is the politician's job to prioritize projects, political commitments and manage resources, and he will be judged on how best he has delivered this to its people.

  43. [Part 2] The state of Gibraltar after the long stint this Government has enjoyed is something that I am not convinced is all that great, despite all the up beat comments and glorifying propaganda that appears to have hijacked this blog of late. Yes there has been some progress in some areas, but one would expect something anyway. That record is not good enough for me and I just need to look at some of their shortcomings:

    1. Why have we had to endure so long with power failures and still paying for this through our noses?
    2. Why are most of our road networks still in such a deplorable state? You do not see this in other cities and towns [compared in size and topology to Gibraltar] and they are still capable of growing and manage to have decent roads and pavements
    3. Why have a whole generation of children been left to grow up without a park
    4. Why is there still such a big mountain of rubble on the east side and our beaches struggling to be anywhere decent this summer?
    5. What happened to the dream and hopes that went into the East Side project?
    6. Why has nothing been done to replace the berths that were taken out by the storm at Western Beach all those years ago?
    7. Why does Gibraltar still not have a theatre?
    8. Why is our public library falling to the ground?
    9. Why is our upper town in such a deplorable state of neglect?
    10. Why is our noise and fume/dust pollution so bad and uncontrolled?
    11. Why are our children's schools in such a bad state of repair?
    12. Why is there such a large gap in the property market between those paying private rent and those paying rent to the housing department?
    13. Why are there still such long queues at the border
    14. Why are we allowed to be bullied by spanish civil guards out at sea to the point where one is afraid to go out fishing for fear of being harassed?
    15. Why are there no cycle lanes and is it so dangerous to cycle around Gibraltar, which should be doing everything possible to encourage such means of transport?
    16. Why is our media and cultural services so heavily controlled by the government?
    17. Why does this government not offer proper explanations for their handling of public finances and tax payers affairs?
    18. Why has RV not been given a copy of the letter written by gog which lead to his resignation?
    19. Why are government projects exempt from planning laws and public consultation, if these are modelled under the same legislation as the UK?
    Ok i'll stop at 20....
    20. Why do we need single toilet cubicles of such high sophistication and unjustifiable costs?

    Perhaps someone else can pick up the thread and add to the long list of questions, so the next government can take a long and hard look at our current situation and figure out ways of improving things for the benefit of us and future generations.

    These are just some basic questions that I ask myself, and perhaps followers or members of the GSD, may be able to answer for me to somehow justify their performance and once again gain my trust in their ability to govern. There is no use in telling me that they have been able to achieve things like dialogue with Spain or provide a new leisure centre, or that the economy is doing great [or is it really?]. Of course they have been able to deliver on things, but it is the long list of failings as opposed to the short list of successes that I am currently balancing out in my mind.

    Robin Hood

  44. Robin Hood,
    21. How much have we paid to the owners of the ICC in rent for the Primary Care Centre, since it opened in 2000? How much have we paid in parking fees to them, because when you exchange your ticket, stamped by the nurse to verify your visit, it registers 2 hours, even if you've only been 10 minutes!
    Could a purpose-built building not have been paid off by now?

  45. 22. Why has there been so little investment in the upper rock & tourist sites in the last 16 years?

  46. Robin hood you talk about propaganda but you dish it out like there is no tomorrow. Where do you want me to start on the economy, on international relations, on what the GSD has done to improve the lives of ordinary people, on health, education, housing or all. There are 150 extra jobs in the economy for every 100 jobs there were sixteen years ago, the economy is more than twice the size, the finance centre is thriving despite the international climate, the economy is in surplus and growing year after year despite a huge global recession, Gibraltar is prosperous, people want to come here ( just ask your friend K who constantly complains about foreigners coming in). Gibraltar is so prosperous that whilst the civil service in the uk face massive cuts and pay is frozen, here our civil servants can afford to reject gold plated deals. We can afford in the words of dominic searle to want our bread buttered on one side and have olive oil on the other. Our pensioners pay no tax and have perks that are the envy of other countries whilst everywhere pensioners are afraid for their futures. We pay less tax than ever. On 100,000 pounds the maximum you will pay is 27 per cent whereas in the uk tax rates hit 50 per cent. The GSD has built rental housing for the first time since Varyl Begg Estate was built in the 1970s plus all the other coronership developments. Gibraltar has a new constitution with a guarantee by the UK that they will not enter into any form of negotiations or discussions on sovereignty (not merely an agreement) without our consent. Gibraltar talks to Spain directly in the tripartite and the Brussels process is confined to the dust bin of history.


    1. Power Cuts only lasted 1 week/maybe two
    2. Think back to GSLP roads...never did anything to them
    3.Parks? for 30,000 there are more parks per km2 than in the uk and you still want more? ave si te ponen un columpio en la casa.
    4. Rubble on eastside...te la doi it looks awful.
    5. eventually it will come...but not of the scale intended.
    6. Berths were replaced with the coaling island facilites which are top notch y ensima se paga una mierda con fob y to.
    7.Inces hall? ive seen some shows there in the past year...pero tambien ta la doi theare royal = un pastiso.
    8. Macintosh Hall does need upgrading
    9. Upper town is neglected however, i talk from experience, people there do not help the situation as they do not care for the government housing leading to the housing agency giving up on the state of the blocks.
    10. 30,000 we all have at least 2 cars per family its the way of the llanito...try and restrict it to 1! civil war!
    11. I beg to differ on the state of schools...our students achieve higher grades in gcse as and a2 that in uk. thats what matters. The day they start to fail...lets worry. if its not broke dont fix it!
    12. You must be joking...the same as point 10...subes la renta a los government estates (the rates of which are 3rd world) and se lia la gorda!! lo social cases quema no. 6!!! usa la moya robin! Private rates are set by private landlords - the price = what someone is willing to pay. demand = pay my price.
    13.Queue = spain being spain and difference in prices on products that have a restriction on how much you can be exported from Gibraltar therefore creating a queue i.e. tobacco and alcohol. You can't expect an open border no robin?
    14. Patrolling gibraltar waters is the duty of HMS navy not rgp therefore nothing to do with our government...all they can do is pressurise UK to carry out their duties...pero they need 1 hour notice!
    15. Cycle lanes...we can barely fit roads in some areas and you want cycle tuvieramo campo pa tira vale pero en GIB? never going to happen mate.
    16. Panorama? Vox? The New People? Que son de Caruana?
    17. What do you want explained...the budget figures are published every year for the public to know where the money is going.
    18. Has he not? Controversial Red Rob might be hiding it...
    19. Government projects are not exempt from planning laws. These prjects go out to tender and then the public is allowed to inspect the proposal at Europort enterprise offices and place an objection which will be taken on board by the planning commission. its all gravy.
    20.Because to be a reputable place...a destination for cruises etc we need infrastructure, amenities and yes toilets...a basic necessity. If we fail with that we fail in every way. The self cleaning will save the tax payer money on cleaning hours in the long run as it does it itself.

    Before writing out the 20 cereal commandments ask your self questions and don't be so blind. I am not a 'sycophant' pero mate montate en un columpio en el paque nuevo de la farola y despejate la cabesa. Maybe special K joins you.

    oats so simple

  48. oats so simple

    18. Controversial Red Rob :) is hiding nothing especially not the letter in question others seem to be hiding something however.

  49. Red Rob 00:25

    Could wikileaks help you on that one? The Ace of spades?

    Oats o simple

  50. RV @ 00:25

    Who and what are they hiding?

    Pa conder se

  51. Robin hood reminds me of Wilkins Micawber, a character from Dickens’s novel David Copperfield who thought he could bluster his way around talking in wild optimistic generalisation which he hoped people might accept without challenge. The reality of opposition politics is that it always overstates it's case. It never just simply concentrates on it's best points. It has to say the government have done virtually nothing or things are worse than ever. Shows us vision, policy what you want for Gibraltar that is not being done today. come on make it challenging!

  52. Robin Hood, easily one of the best comments I’ve ever seen on LW. Those are my problems with the current administration in a nicely written nutshell. I could go into the despotism and the shameful GSD stance on the recent epidemiological Cancer study but I digress as that’s not really what I want to go into in this instance.

    All too often the GSD fanatics that frequent LW resort to slinging mud at K and others as opposed to actually discussing issues constructively. The irony of this being that their decision to mock an individual brave enough to show his face and express his opinion whilst they hide behind the cloak of anonymity makes them look like vitriolic puppets with no opinion of their own.

    I imagine if they were to discuss issues and posts with merit and they managed to do so constructively without throwing their bottles out of their prams they might be able to convince swaying GSD voters that they shouldn't be thinking of using their votes elsewhere.

    Glad to see some contributors are already changing their tact somewhat. I've already practiced what I preach in other blog entries I assure you.

  53. I see I have been dearly missed!

    Mona Lisa

    There is no PAG conspiracy as such I was merely stating facts. Can a leopard really change its spots? One does wonder and YES especially after the Seville statements, as in my humble opinion an Andorra type “solution” does indeed mean some form of sovereignty agreement with Spain. There is no way round it, it is what it is.

    It seems that even though you are no sycophant (or so you state) your views are indeed “slightly” blinkered: )

    Furthermore if you read my last post properly you will see that I never mentioned Caruana as such. What I did do was imply that with a strong Spanish presence ever looming we should be ever wary. Political formations such as PAG will always be a threat to our identity as a people. Therefore there is a need to be distrustful and raise awareness.

    As for credibility I didn’t know I had any to begin with? But thanks! : )

    Anon 20:10 and 20:50

    You guys (or girls) just don’t get it do you?

    Things are not always black and white but shades of grey.

    There are many ways in which a Spanish national could become eligible to vote in our Gibraltar. Through marriage for example (as another anon has noted), through long term residency or by virtue of dual nationality (one parent being of Gibraltarian nationality) and more.........

    Please stop thinking about the here and the now. You are being typically selfish by doing so.

    We must ensure that the Gibraltar of tomorrow is as British and as Gibraltarian as it is today!

    Do not be fooled by the preacher that attempts to spew honey into ones ears. Things are not always what they seem..........

    When have you ever seen Gibraltarian nationals hanging Spanish flags from their windows and parading themselves in Spanish national team shirts? 20 years ago such behaviour was frowned upon. Come on guys OPEN YOUR EYES!! Something is not quite right!

    I suggest you get better informed next time in order to avoid jumping to such incorrect conclusions. Either that or give Scooby and the gang a call I am sure they will be rather eager to help. In return for a Scooby snack of course: )


  54. Robin Hood says [2 parts again I’m afraid]

    Annon 10 May 00.18 and 00.19

    [Part 1] Thank you both for taking the time in engaging in debate and putting across your side of the argument although I do detect a certain emotion that comes across as rather derogatory and condescending. As ever you are unable to respect anybody else’s point of view without trying to ridicule and insult but enough said, I will choose to ignore that and go through the points again.

    1. I cannot agree with your comment that the power cuts lasted one week. I have been suffering power cuts and power spikes and surges for a great deal longer than that as I am sure it can be proved, and I have personally been trapped in a lift twice.
    2. I do not need to look back to what happened 16 years ago and I am not comparing the performance of the GSD to their predecessors. I am looking into the future and frankly, I am not convinced that this lot know what they are doing with their traffic management plan
    3. I cannot think of any decent parks being available prior to the beginning of 2011, can you? Infact most families had to go to Spain to have any decent play areas for the kids. I am not sure I agree with your comparison with other cities, have a look at google earth and you will find that even London is littered with open spaces and parks everywhere. I do remember being able to enjoy much more leisure areas when I was a kid, when we could go to the Montague Swimming area, there were swings in Catalan Bay, which also had a lido, you did not have to pay £50 to go fishing at the detached Mole and we had use of a number of football playing fields. Even with the large areas passed over from the MOD we still do not seem to be any better off
    4. Agreed
    5. I would have thought that if there was a time for it to come the time would have been now! As an investor looking for a place to invest Gibraltar would be ideal at the moment, a low pound, a neighbour with ample resources willing to build for a cheap rate given the state of their own economy and what we are told is a thriving local economy to drive demand forwards. So why then have capital heavy investors failed to see Gibraltar as a suitable place to invest and build up the local economy?? Could the local economy and its four key pillars not be as robust as we have been lead to believe?? Bringing a few men in suits to tell us that our economy is doing great on the strength of a short visit and a chat with our finance minister does not put my mind at rest over this issue. I would like to see financial projections going forwards, when all these high liability projects are complete and we are left with an ongoing bill for their future maintenance, and perhaps one of the pillars becomes a bit wobbly. Have we any plans to diversify our own economy??
    6. Also agreed, I did forget about the new Coaling Island facilities and it is a good facility but sadly this now seems to be a closed shop for anyone else trying to come in. Before anyone who wanted to own a boat could own a boat.
    7. Yes there is a theatre there but as you have said it is a pastiso and I believe we could do much better than that.
    8. Agreed
    9. Agreed, but I am of the opinion that people can also be a victim of their environment and improving their surrounding goes a long way to giving them a sense of pride and joy. There will always be the difficult characters but the trick is to out number them.
    10. Education, Education, Education. The llanito does love his/her car but there is an emerging society which is becoming more sensitive to the problems we face and slowly people and beginning to accept that we need to be more environmentally friendly. Does not need to be civil war, all it needs is a proper plan and good leadership

  55. [Part 2]
    11. I am not talking about academic achievements as thankfully we are blessed with very good and dedicated teachers. I am talking about the school buildings. Wasn’t there another school promised in the area of Mid Town??
    12. Yes it is a political hot potato, but you leave these things festering for so long and before you know it the tail is wagging the dog. Do you think it is fair that people living in housing estates are being subsidized by the tax payer to be able to afford expensive cars and holidays, and even houses in Spain, whilst others coming back from completing their college education are unable to find a place to live and often resort to having to go and live in Spain or with relatives??
    13. No I do not expect an open border but I would expect our political leaders who secured deals without a mandate and behind closed doors to hold their partners under agreement to their word, and ensure that the frontier fluidity that was agreed to and promised to be delivered. Instead we have had to witness how they have even tried to introduce toll roads
    14. That may be the case, and I do agree with you on that point, but I do believe it has a lot to do with government also and their handling of the situation. The problem is that I think this government must have under estimated the intention of our neighbours and initially thought that we were perfectly capable of dealing with this problem ourselves. This was clear from the tally ho attitude demonstrated by our government who was asking individuals to deploy flares and threatened to lift up the survey equipment deployed by our neighbours in the bay. It was only the brutal reality of the situation which made us go belly aching to the British Government, despite the embarrassing and deplorable welcome that our present Governor and representative of the British Sovereign was given on arrival. The message was loud and clear ‘Aqui mando yo’, could it be that they are now saying 'por ahora joete'.
    15. Yes this may never happen, but again we see a clear example of government putting the cart before the horse. I believe that Gibraltar is now going to have a system of cycles for hire and cycle parking is being introduced everywhere. So how is this mode of transport going to be made safe? Introducing cycle lanes is not that difficult and government missed the opportunity to address this problem properly when the current development plan was drafted
    16. No, these are papers trying to survive without any government revenues unlike the 7 days, the Chronicle and GBC, which do actually appear to belong to government
    17. The budget figures only present a roll over account of our economy on a yearly basis but it does not give the full and clear picture of our economic health as a whole. Nor does it make any projections going forwards anticipating rising costs for the future and identifying possible areas for growth
    18. I believe Robert has answered this one himself
    19. Is this what actually happened with the government rental housing at mid harbours, and the airport terminal. Remember what happened with the Rosia Cottages which not being a government project did go to the planning commission and what a performance that was
    20. Not sure whether we actually need to spend £250,000 on a single toilet unit and whether 50p or a Euro is going to cover the cost of the self cleaning system, especially when it goes wrong. They do look good, but under my own list of priorities I think I would have opted for more traditional toilet arrangements as I do agreed that we need them.

    I might go and swing on one of the columpios in la Farola, which do look very nice, before one of seasonal storms blows the whole thing to kingdom come.

    Robin Hood

  56. I still think there is a case for revising this 6 month residency rule for general elections, this should be a lot longer, cause you would be surprised how many different countries (EU and non EU) are loosely defined as British and would have voting rights in Gib general elections. I don’t believe this cause foreign nations are more inclined to vote for any particular party but because you may not be granted the same courtesy in their home, and end up losing your voting rights where they have gained double ones. I don’t think that all Gibraltarians living abroad should have a right to vote either, as it has been pointed out, this would be very tricky to define and ultimately if they didn’t have intentions of returning to gib, that would not be fair either.
    I am amazed at how quickly ppl were encouraged to brush my argument aside as being false and rubbish and how automatically I was branded as being a xenophobic, scaremongering nationalist for daring to question the status quo. I must be the worst nationalist ever seen as I haven’t even set foot in Gib for years. Maybe those who are soo quick to judge should have a good look at who exactly is being insulting scaremongering and should be ashamed of themselves.
    Mr Vasquez has a good point that some reform could be a good thing in gib, in order to avoid that stagnation that I think exists in politics, what that reform may be, who knows.
    Thxs for providing a forum for issues like this to be discussed, In future I will only ever visit this blog as a spectator as sadly its been hijacked by political zealots’ from both sides. Now I leave you to bicker and tow your party lines arguing about pretty much the same things as you would have 8 years ago.


  57. Robin Hood... pure poetry !! Couldn`t have put it better myself in a million years.

    Just like to expand on a couple of points.

    Education - said it before and I`ll say it again, the biggest improvement in education was the change in policy, pre-GSD which allows all students with a University place to continue their educations. This has had a massive influence on the quality of life we enjoy today.
    In so far as the buildings themselves - how long have the residents of the Westside area been waiting for their children to have a decent school which does not have it`s playground right next to one of our main roads?? Where are our priorities when we cant get schooling right but can afford to spend hundres of thousands on a few public loos ??

    Planning - I would remind anon @ 00.19 that the DPC received near 600 objections to the new development adjacent to the Rosia Cottages, none of which received replies. Some of these objectors requested to be allowed to make representations in person at the DPC meeting ( which is standard practice in the UK with public galleries provided for any Tom, Dick or Harry to attend if they so wish). Again none of these received replies. It was only through the residents committee that these were notified that this would not be allowed. It was later learned that the developer HAD been present at the meeting !!

    The GSD included as a manifesto promise before the last election "more openess in the planning proccess". I`m still waiting and no doubt like many other "promises" they will be making an appearance again before this next election.

  58. Anon 23:02

    Que hago si esta gente se creen que saben todo? One even had the cheek to state that the all previous boat owners had been given suitable allocation.

    NEWSFLASH – No they were NOT!

    That is the reason why the small boat owners association has been up in arms for the better part of 6 years!! Only 75% of the boat owners at Western beach were given a place at the new Coaling island location. I would know because I had to fight tooth and nail for my “spot”, others unfortunately were not as lucky.

    Arrogant, deluded and with a false sense of importance. I think that pretty much sums up a GSD sycophant.


  59. Robin Hood says:

    Anon @ 10 May 2011 00.32

    I do not know who Wilkins Micawber is [or was] and quite frankly I could not care less. You ask me to make it challenging but you do not appear to come back with any substantive argument to back your opinion. You simply broad brush a statement with mockery and empty words and entice me into making it challenging? You refer to the reality of opposition politics but I fail to see how this has a place in this debate. My questions are not about opposition tactics and I have nothing to do with the opposition. All I am doing is taking a good long hard look at the decisions that lie before us in the run up to the next election and it is answers and comments such as these, which keep pushing me further way from what you advocate to support or represent.

  60. Robin Hood says:

    Anon @ 10 May 2011 00.18

    I cannot see how I am dishing out any propaganda. I am simply asking a few questions which you, and the party you so passionately defend do not seem to have any answers to. Try asking yourself these questions and then formulate an answer as follows:

    A. Defend the argument by bringing to light an explanation or mitigating reason, as to why the Government has chosen to act in a particular way. A convincing argument may persuade me otherwise as I consider myself to be an open minded person willing to listen to reason
    B. Admit that it has been a cock up by the government which is of no consequence to you because you are not personally affected by it, but will continue to support the ruling party and come to terms with the fact that you are indeed one of the many ‘pansistas’
    C. Admit you do not know what you are talking about in which case there is no point in carrying on with the debate with yourself personally

    Economy: You talk about the economy as a positive contribution by this government. I ask myself,

    23. if the economy is so robust why is the Mid Town development still in the Doldrums, and local tax payers being gang pressed into bailing out this project?

    24. What are we to expect with the promise of all those flights coming to Gibraltar in the short to medium term? By the way is that ferry to Algerciras still operational and how profitable a business is it?

    25. Why is our public debt of such gigantic proportions that we risk being held to ransom by our creditors if any further global financial stability should occur in the near future?

    On international relations: this government appears to have lost the plot. GOG invites Moratinos to Gibraltar so he can be told to his face, in his country and infront of all his people that Spain will not give up on her quest to recover sovereignty of the Rock and happily brushes aside the issue of the Territorial waters which started boiling at that moment in time.

    26. Why is our CM diplomatically described as ‘a tiresome presence???- not sure I got this right’ by our British friends. Even the program documented by the Channel 4 TV station shown across the UK, dedicated to the ruling Monarch had to be marred by despotism and embarrassing comments that put Gibraltar to shame.

    Jobs: There are perhaps plenty of house cleaning and shop assistant jobs in Gibraltar but I am not so sure it is that easy to get a job as a fireman, a policeman, a customs officer, or some other job in the civil service. It seems that betting companies discriminate against local employees and top executive jobs are filled with imported talent, despite the high level of education we receive in Gibraltar. I also seem to have read something about a young lad who told a minister to his face that he was being taken for a ride by a local shipyard company. So not all perfect, but still i grant you that it is better than other places at the moment!

    more to come........

  61. Robin Hood says:

    Anon @ 10 May 2011 00.18


    Visitors: I agree with special K then, that like the Venetians who also find it a bore to have their homeland invaded by visitors causing congestion and frenzy, Gibraltar too is a honey pot of interest and attraction. But it is good for the economy we are told, so we shall accept and bear it and in some ways it may be the lesser of evils. And yes people do want to come to Gibraltar because it is indeed a naturally beautiful and special place full of history and natural attractions, which is sadly being destroyed by overbearing, insensitive developments.

    Civil Service: The problems currently faced by the UK could very well be the same ones that we may face in the future once we finally get the bill from this spendthrift government. This Government has indeed been very lucky to have started off with a very sound economy and been able to pick up some important goodies along the way like the sudden influx of gaming companies based on the rock and MOD land transfers.

    By the way I did not totally agree with the new constitution and my vote was against it. Your last sentence reads ‘Gibraltar talks to Spain directly in the Tripartite Forum’, but it seems to me that she is not listening…..and wonder whether she ever will.

  62. I have been considering your political ideas for several weeks now and have to say that they are mainly bollocks. Who is pulling your strings MR. VASQUEZ?

  63. Wow these essays are indeed poetry, althoug I thought that this blog was factually related and not fiction where poetic licence is taken to a new level. Good efffort for the hard work in trying but the realities of all of your points are really quite extraordinary.
    You should take note of Picardo the fair and equal - he's really milking the team effort bit, awesome performance on GBC from the oxford grad

  64. Anonymous at 20:12

    And perhaps you could explain why you consider them to be bollocks and why you think someone might be pulling my strings?

    AND if you are going make such statements you might at least have the guts to tell me who you are.

  65. Anon 20:54, Q.E.D!

  66. Robert, he needs not explain why they are bollocks, he has spoken, and us minions should do well to pay heed.

    God save the Queen (Victoria, no? ke como habla este parese ke todavia esta ella ahi!)

  67. "He clearly said on TV that I had a full right to express views freely."

    Rob, any progress in trying to get hold of the letter he sent the FSC?

  68. How do you know he has sent a letter to the fsc?

  69. Bueno returning to the topic of this thread, the Government has issued a press release stating that they are making proposals for Parliamentary reform to the Opposition. Keep our fingers crossed this includes enlargement of parliament to allow for backbenchers.

  70. Anonymous at 20:39

    The Data Protection Commissioner has confirmed its existence to me in writing whilst refusing to let me see it.

  71. Yes, it will be interesting to know what they are but I said some days ago that there was an appetite for this. The release says that there appears to be greater consensus both inside and outside parliament about the desirability of reform. No doubt you deserve a lot of credit for pushing this issue.

  72. I think Robert does indeed deserve credit on this issue of parliamentary reform. It seems though that GoG was keen on doing this in the first place otherwise why include it in their manifesto. What is evident is that the opposition in it's wisdom and acting in the best interests of the community threw it out the window when it was proposed to them going back 12momths or so ago. I wonder if there tune has changed?

  73. government by opposition & discussion blogs!

  74. Anonymous at 21:47

    Well let us not complain about that now ... for me it is the best democratic progress I have ever heard of in Gibraltar... ITS GREAT!

  75. Well we will see whether they have any appetite for reform to take place in time for the General Election. They may play it long if they think they will win and don't really want reform.

  76. I take it that everyone is okydokey on Fabian having an exclusive on none other than viewpoint. I ask because if it were Caruana it would be deemed as the usual
    manipulation of GBC.

  77. Anon 21.47 Caruana has said that he tried to move on this when the select committee was first formed but Bossano had no appetite for it. It cannot be done without cross party support.

  78. What you mean anon 21.55

  79. Anonymous at 21:55

    No it is called democratic progress ... let us not knock it please ...

  80. Well last time Caruana had an extra minute on newswarch it was deemed as outrageous by the GSLP crew. I take it it's ok now that Fab is getting an hour to tell us all about his vision of Govt by committee ideas. The play to the gallery on a round table policy of Govt is truly touching. Our very own King Arthur.

  81. Si Robert democratic peogress............Fabian and the knights of the round table.

  82. An hour on gbc? Do you jest?

  83. robert, I'm not complaining, merely stating & celebrating your influence and that of others voicing new and fresh ideas!

    anon @ 21:55, it doesn't surprise me in the least, after all Parliament has a new Leader of the Oppostion, an opposition, may I remind you, that recieved 45.49% of votes in the last election. Surely this new appointment merits the dedication of at least one viewpoint!

  84. Anonymous at 22:19


  85. Viewpoint is a debate. Who is he debating with himself?

  86. Why don't we just allow change for the better to happen? Let us look forward to a new dawn and not backwards. It is called progress for the better ... by the way it happens in many parts of the world and people welcome it. Let us d the same ...

  87. Sorry what change do you mean? Picardo debating with himself for an hour or parliamentary reform.

  88. Anonymous at 22:59

    That different politicians get a chance in GBC and Gibraltar so that the electorate make an informed choice ... please I beg you do not be so negative and reactionary

  89. in Burma, opposition politician, Aung San Suu Kyi isn't given much airtime either, in fact she's only recently been released from house-arrest, perhaps we should do the same with Picardo! Happy now?

  90. But it's you lot that whinge about GBC not being fair to the opposition and seeing conspiracies everywhere!

  91. Those GSD supporters who are not pleased about Fabian having been given the opportunity to talk to the people of Gibraltar must be feeling rather insecure and unconvinced about how their party has performed during this last electoral term.

    It shouldn’t matter whether he’s speaking for 1 minute, 1 hour, or 1 day. If you adhere to party politics and genuinely believe in the GSD as a whole then Fabian’s presentation shouldn’t be of any concern to you (as long as Peter’s given an opportunity to do the same in the future). As Robert correctly pointed out it’s important that the people of Gibraltar are able to make an informed decision about who they should vote for based on what the members of each respective party have to say and the facts they bring to the table, and not solely (for example) because of whom their parents say they should vote for, or on the Chinese whispers already making the rounds in town.

    It’s important that each party and candidate is given a fair and equal opportunity to make representations to Gibraltar as a whole, and that people make their choice based on the facts and candidates presented to them. Fabian being given an opportunity to speak and prove his worth as the new leader of the opposition can only be considered a good thing.

    Robert I agree with Anon 21:45 in that it must be said that you deserve credit on this issue of parliamentary reform.

  92. I think there is a case for a different voting system. The present system leads to a two horse race, even if one horse is a two headed horse. However, this is not something that should be rushed into, only to rejected in a referendum as AV was in the UK.
    I would be in favour of something with an element of proportionality.There are a number of different choices which are used in different countries. But this is something that would take years to decide on.

  93. well maybe all that whinging has been listened to by GBC.
    The ripples of change are building up into waves... hold on to your surfboards, chaps!

  94. Francis BUTTIGIEG12 May 2011 at 15:59

    Anon 22:59
    Mr Picardo will a debate with the people of Gibraltar. The people want and deserve to get to know better the new leader of the opposition. Surely you are not advocating censureship, are you?

  95. the PDP does not like it either...nil votes for PDP!

  96. Oh so it's ok for Fabian to have an exclusive and entire viewpoint programme for himself. Pero Aqui que pasa, if it were Caruana, most of you would be up in arms.
    I for one can't wait to see him, a whole hour to get to know Fabian. He'll no doubt tell us all about the advent of weekly meeting down at GSLP HQ.

  97. you're back! you have been missed.

    I'd just like to say that I now understand why the GSD fans were having a fit about the prospect of Fabian's appearance on viewpoint last night. After watching his interview, I believe he will sail into No6 in the next election.

    To me, he came across as mature, responsible, sensible and very knowledgeable. I believe his ideas reflect the millennium we live in and the need for a different style of Government and management of our affairs.

    I think he will make an excellent replacement for our out-of-touch Emperor and his followers, and they know this, well maybe the emperor doesn't but that's only because the yes-men around him dare not break the nasty news to him and risk his renowned wrath.

    I am looking forward to this election and the tidal wave of change that is coming!

  98. Anon at 19.56 I don't agree. I think it showed he is very superficial. He is a socialist because he cares for the working classes but today we are all working classes hence socialism means a panacea to everyone. The economy is not good but he will reduce personal tax to 10 per cent. He is negotiating with people who will provide inward investment but he cannot say who and, and in any event, he will go to tender; what entity will negotiate with a party to provide inward investment for an idea that then goes to tender I ask rhetorically? His interview was riddled with shallow statements but yes he is a good salesman. It is not what I personally want for my Gibraltar.

  99. Fabian last night was like a breath of fresh air...he wants change and change is due now!

  100. My word anon 19:56, that's quite a statement. My view on last nights exhibition was quite the opposite. Not only did Fabian attempt a re-write of history, but he also opened himself up to some questioning on his professional career. To boot his attempt at trying to mitigate by attacking Caruana and Triay & Triay (the law firm) in a case which they mounted in Spain for libel and in which they were completely exonerated because they won it was the final straw . What amazed me even more is that he describes his issues as perfectly normal in the legal fraternity, I wonder what the legal profession thinks about this?

  101. well anons @ 22:28 & 02:58, I respect your opinions, and I am glad you have respected mine. This is the way forward. I am very tired of people ridiculing others for holding a different opinion. The patronisers are the worst!

    Let me say that I consider Fabian's reply to Mr Hewitt's allegation, a clear explanation of the issue. I think there have been many feeding the rumour-mill for some time now, and when he has explained himself, now want to question the explanation itself. Its as if they have to keep this issue open and smelling because perhaps they think it is the only thing they have that could lose Fabian support. From what I hear on the street though, I don't think that tactic is working.

    We really have to debate this election on issues and policies and not turn this into ping-pong match of personal insults and innuendos, because ultimately, it is us, the ordinary Gibraltarians who lose out.

  102. Anon 08:55. What policies are u referring to, the GSLP don't have policies they sit on a fence. To suggest that Fabian has explained his misgivings is putting it mildly, he skirted around the issue and had the cheek up lumber Caruana in the same boat for donating which is incomparable, talk about that fair fight Picardo is after.
    This guy is a real danger to the future of Gibraltar and his baggage confirms this. I suggest you look into it further and really consider whether or not you truly see Picardo as a strong, independent and honest leader.
    Word on the street from where I'm standing suggests he is in Sotogrande for the weekend in his luxury working class villa.

  103. Picardo would not get anywhere near power (or administration as quaintly puts it) if we lived in England, Spain, Germany etc etc, tnese are serious issues which you do Gibraltar a huge disservice by trying to sweep under the carpet. Caruana unfortunately is his worst enemy sometimes and it's not his policies, delivery of them or what he has achieved that will lose him the election. It's pissing enough people off with his arrogance. The question is whether we want an arrogant competent man who has done a very good job or a good salesman with no judgment and a propensity to do crazy things.

  104. anon @ 12:06

    yo lo vi en el mini a la 5 por ahi de la fuente del capullo! yo tu me cambiaba de street, ke el word esta desviao!

  105. Con el mini? Y que le paso hal gaz guzzling Lexus?

  106. po no se, pero yo lo vi en el mini verde.

  107. que tienen 2 coche? ke se an creio ke son llanito normales? lol avra ke ve el coche ke tiene tu anon @ 20:33!