Sunday, 19 June 2011

To be or not to be ... a Colony?

We are again in UN 4th Committee and UN C24 season. All the politicians roll out their different shades of thin slicing  political argument (to give an impression of difference and greater nationalism) on the issue of Gibraltar being delisted from the UN list of the 16 remaining non-self-governing territories. Where does this actually get us?

So much that is said is so irrelevant to today's Gibraltar. So much of what is said is for internal consumption to gain electoral popularity. So much of what is said is sterile and boring argument between politicians on issues that are of no or little concern to the electorate. For these reasons, I decided to take a look, once again, at what  this subject is really about. I decided to go to the core documentation to enable me to come to my own conclusions on the issue of Gibraltar and its UN classification as a non-self-governing territory. It is not an issue that one can be right or wrong on. It is an issue on which one can have an opinion. For what it is worth I write about what is now my view.

What struck me first is that the UN Charter does not define or refer to "colony". It deals with "non-self governing territories". Article 73 talks of nations  " ... which have or assume responsibilities for the administration of territories whose peoples have not yet attained a full measure of self-government " and of the UN recognising " ... the principle that the interests of the inhabitants of these territories are paramount"  and the UN accepting "... the obligation to promote ... the well-being of the inhabitants of these territories ..." It is self-evident that the thrust of the duty imposed on members of the UN, which includes Spain, relates to inhabitants and not to issues of ownership of or sovereignty over the territory itself. How does the UN say that "... a full measure of self-government ..." is attained? Well the answer to this is provided in General Assembly Resolution 1541 of 1960, which provides three methods, independence, free association or integration.

Well we all know, now, that independence is not, in the eyes of the UK, possible without Spain's agreement because the UK consider that it is bound by the option of first refusal in favour of Spain contained in the Treaty of Utrecht. In my view this position of the UK is the determinative of this option, albeit that it is not accepted by Gibraltar. This raises an interesting thought, that it is not the UK that is the member of the UN which is preventing delisting Gibraltar but rather Spain. Spain argues that the road to delisting is not independence but rather integration with Spain. This suggestion, however, breaches the fundamental  duty imposed on Members of the UN by Article 73 that the duty is towards inhabitants and not territorial ownership or sovereignty. Spain should not be permitted to use the UN to advance its sovereignty claim, that is not within the remit of the UN.

It is interesting to see the evolution of this concept of caring for inhabitants. It is vocalised in General Assembly Resolution 1514. It asks UN members to be mindful of human rights, the dignity and worth of humans, equal rights, social progress and better standards within larger freedom. Further to be conscious of the need for stability by respecting equal rights and self-determination, of observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms without discrimination. They further recognise the desire for independence and are aware of the conflict and threat to peace that this desire brings, whilst recocgnising that lack of self-government prevents economic cooperation and impedes social, cultural and economic development.  It affirms the right of people to freely dispose of natural wealth and resources. It talks of "liberation" to avoid serious crises and to end segregation and discrimination and the right to "complete freedom".

So where are we on this list of wishes?  I think we can all agree that protection of fundamental, human and equal rights is included in and protected by the 2006 Constitution, which binds the UK. Gibraltar is stable and peaceful. There is no conflict or threat to peace through lack of independence. There is such sufficiency of self-government in Gibraltar as allows for economic cultural and social development. It  allows us full control of our means of "production" and economic prosperity. We are "liberated", save from ourselves due to our lack of desire in our own elected political classes to reform the  electoral system and Parliament to provide greater accountability. There is no discrimination or curtailment of "complete freedom" in the modern 21st century accepted sense and as available in any other territory or nation.

Does that mean that we are decolonised? To me, it most certainly does, especially in light of the reigning realities of how Gibraltar is run and governed as reinforced by the modern relationship that exists with the UK and the respect shown, in practice, by the UK towards Gibraltar's institutions and government. I have no complex whatsoever on that subject. I do not feel at all self-conscious about Gibraltar's relationship with the UK.  What I describe is my view of the reality of today's Gibraltar. which is not a "colony" in the sense of an oppressed or disadvantaged people that have no or few rights.

Does it mean that we have exercised our full and complete right to self-determination? No, unfortunately there is a reason why this cannot be and is not so to the ultimate degree but it is important to understand that this is a matter of degree. The reason is the continual reaffirmation by the UK of Spain's option under the Treaty of Utrecht combined with Spain's intransigent emphasis on its territorial claim and not the rights of the inhabitants of Gibraltar. These territorial aspirations in disregard of the inhabitants are contrary to Spain's obligations under the UN Charter. It is these factors that lead to the restrictions on absolute self-government that are included in the 2006 Constitution that I have repeatedly written about, namely the Governor's powers and the reserved right of the UK to impose direct rule. This does not detract from the practical reality that today Gibraltar is for all intents and purpose and in practice a self-governing territory.

Do these constitutional restrictions matter in reality in manner that detracts from self-government? I think not because the Governor's powers on defence, security and international obligations are matters that Gibraltar could not deal with effectively and their application by the UK are, in any event, circumscribed by international law, convention and practice. The UK's right to ensure good governance under the 2006 Constitution is a safeguard to democracy and so inline and consonant with the objectives of the UN as expressed in its Charter and applicable resolutions.

Additionally, avoiding interference by the UK on the ground of breaches of good governance is the responsibility of and totally under the control of our elected government and the manner in which it behaves and exercises its powers. The ability to improve on the delivery of good governance lies with Gibraltar's government and Parliament through effecting electoral and parliamentary reforms. It should effect these soonest.

I really do not believe, nor can I conceive that Gibraltar's lack of ability to exercise a final right of self-determination by arrangement with and act of a member of the UN, Spain, renders us, applying 21st century concepts and principles, a non-self-governing territory or a colony. This is so clearly outside the mischief that the UN has vocalised in its resolutions, as briefly explained above, that it wants to prevent. I hold the view that this fine distinction between being a "colony" and not having exercised the absolutist's and purist's view of self determination can be drawn in today's world. If it does render Gibraltar a non-self-governing territory, the finger must be pointed at Spain and not the UK.

It is Spain's politics,arisng in part fro Spain's opportunistic use of the UK's adherence (for reasons of its own and never fully explained) to outdated historical treaties, that is prohibiting an advance that the UN seeks should be achieved. The UN requires this advance to meet its stated aim, importantly, for the benefit of inhabitants and not physical territorial aspirations of a third party nation, Spain. The 2006 Constitution deals with the vast bulk, not to say all, criticism that could be levied in terms of the considerations of the UN on ridding the world of non-self-governing territories as summarised above.

In this scenario one should consider the stance adopted by the  UK at the UN 4th Committee in 2009. Briefly the UK states that it has a modern relationship with its UKOTs. This relationship is based on partnership, shared values and self-determination. It is not based on an imposition of independence. If independence is an unconstrained option it is willing to grant it, so long as the relevant inhabitants so desire but whilst the link with the UK is relished, so be it. Surely the UN cannot possibly be critical of this? The UK emphasizes its commitment to good governance, political and economic transparency, enhanced security and reduced vulnerability to natural and man-made disasters. In summary, the UK's fundamental aims are "... high standards of probity and governance .. ." with " .... no wish to micromanage its relationship with ... " the UKOTs. Its commitment is " ... allowing each to run its own affairs to the greatest degree possible ... "

This brings me to the recent controversy, to go or not to go to either or both of the UN 4th Committee and/or the UN C24?

One thing I am sure of: the reason given by the GSD Government for not going to the UN C24 is no reason. It is not accurate to say that the UN 4th Committee deals with sovereignty and the UN C24 with decolonisation, both committees deal with decolonisation.

The answer seems obvious to me, whilst there is any doubt in the minds of the UN as to Gibraltar's status, we must go. We must go to put our case to both committees, namely that we are not an oppressed people  but a free people under a good constitution and that we are self-governing. We must go to support the arguments of the UK. These seem to me to be eminently sensible, simple and in line with what the UN has identified that it wants to achieve and to  avoid in so called non-self-governing territories. We must go to tell the UN that if they want Gibraltar to achieve absolute self-determination it is the position adopted bythe UK (its adherence to the Treaty of Utrecht) and the opportunism applied by Spain, relying on this right under the Traety of Utrecht, in furthering its claim before the UN that prevents it but that if given a choice between one or the other, we are happy with our lot, our constitutional advances and our treatment by the UK.

We should not go and act in manner that will worsen our relations with or to confront the UK. This will simply please Spain. We should not go in order that our politicians make speeches that are mere electoral posturing for home consumption. We should not go to highlight internal or external conflict. It is easy really but why is it not done?


  1. RV,

    As always another interesting and eagerly awaited article, but I'm left to rue my opportunity to comment on it. ( I will continue to think about it!)

    It seems that when the matters become, somewhat, agitated you of all people question one's anonimity.

    eg .Previous post

    "Llanito World-Robert Vasquez said...
    B. Lou Prime

    Publish in your name and get the facts right and then we might talk in the meantime
    you got it in one its MY blog."

    I think I have commented on this issue previously and at the expense of sounding repetitive, let's just say that many cannot do so, i.e. publish their names. Simple.

    I fully understand that some do so for the wrong reasons but the fact that it is allowed should not be turned around against those who do so. You either allow them or you don't. Simple. At the end of the day its your blog and you have the final say.

  2. Thank you Disciple X. Thats exactly what i thought!

    We are allowed to be anonymous until it doesn't suit?

    B. Lou Prime (cousin of Genevieve Penny Nobel)

  3. Disciple X and B. Lou Prime

    I have no issue with anonymity but I do have an issue about party fanatics and aparacthic hiding behind anonymity to make accusations against any individual. I will not be publishing any more anonymous comments about Blue Prime, Noble or any other such issues ... OK?

  4. Robert, se te esta viendo el plumero. A plumero as big as the one our ex Governor used to wear. LOL.

  5. Anonymous at 20:47

    Why do people like to jump to conclusions and brand others with "plumeros". It is so childish. We really must evolve a little more politically, accepting that each person really can have his own view.

  6. We are evolved!!!!!! Graft happens everywhere!!! I know that there are many in the police who would dearly love to investigate the nobs.

  7. Robert, believe it or not I am not a party fanatic.

    I am just a Gibraltarian Citizen who wants answers about our potential leaders, before i draw that curtain and place my cross or crosses!

    What is wrong with wanting answers or explanations? Especially with such a huge issue at stake? Why do you brush it to one side Robert?

    I consider it truly serious.. it wont go away just because we don't discuss it!

    Please reconsider!

    B. Lou Prime

  8. B. Lou Prime

    Ask Fabian or investigate elsewhere because i know nothing more than what has already been published elsewhere so I cannot enlighten you further. No one else seems to be commenting in a manner that clarifies anything. Everyone just asks the questions over and over again so it is a pointless exercise unless someone in the know with evidence can help us.

  9. Robert,

    I dont know Fabian personally, but I hear he is quite the gregarious type.

    I also don't think he is the adequate person to ask, because he is running for leadership, so if there's a stink about him he's not going to tell me is he? Especially when he made errors about the Necora trial and Triay and Triay on Viewpoint. Doesn't strike me as a man with credibility from the outset to be honest.

    Surely there must be legal papers somewhere that clarify the position or not? Can you tell me where they can be found? Like a judgement or something? Or maybe we could publish them on the blog for all to see the facts and make up our minds?

    B. Lou Prime

  10. The name of the case and the fact that it is reported in the All England Law Reports has already been published on this blog months ago ...

  11. Oh sorry, i will check your previous posts. Thanks Robert.

    Im seriously not trying to cause problems, i am genuinely concerned that there is the possibility of electing a CM with pending legal issues.

    I don't think its good for us or for Gibraltar. I am truly worried. Hopefully reading the reports will put my mind at rest

    Thanks again

    B. Lou Prime

  12. B. Lou Prime

    For someone who claims to be so uninformed you have picked a very significant pseudonym and your previous comments are indicative of greater knowledge than you want to admit to... pero ya sta no more!

    let us try and stay on topic ...

  13. Robert, pseudonym is tongue in cheek, and i AM related to Genevieve Penny Nobel!

    But to know more about this, wrong... i dont think any of us know enough. Thats the problem!

    OK no more on this!!


  14. B. Lou Prime

    I love your style.

  15. anon @ 10.57

    Thanks a million

    blush blush.... nice to be appreciated ;0)

    Its very simple for me... I just like to get to the bottom of things...

    B. Lou Prime

  16. I hope that is the B. Lou Prime Appreciation SWociety over and done with! :)

    Now let us see if anyone has any comments on the topic of this blog ... none so far!

  17. The dirty-tricks department is obviously running out of ideas and has resorted to this very infantile behaviour. Everybody can see through them and the fact they have nothing to contribute on the current topic or any other for that matter, conque dejalo Robert, they are just shooting themselves in the foot.

  18. Asdrúbal el Bello20 June 2011 at 18:37

    Sorry for the sudden interruption in his entertaining digression:
    Was Hong Kong a colony? Yes, Chinese territory ceded to Britain under a treaty. Is Gibraltar a colony? Yes: Spanish territory ceded to Britain under a Treaty. Because that is, after all: —ut Proprietas supranominata Magnae Britanniae cedatur, sine Jurisdictione quapiam Territoriali—. Gibraltar is Spanish territory colonized. Gibraltarians will remain Gibraltarians as and where they wish, in Gibraltar or elsewhere, but Gibraltar remains as Spanish territory ceded to Britain by a treaty imposed by force.
    Years will pass and dinosaur still will be here. And new kerbstones.

  19. 18:37

    what are you on. I have never seen a dinosaur in Gib. As for the rest of your comment. Did you know that you can get treatment for your condition.

  20. 18:37

    Ab abusu ad usum non valet consequentia. Veni vidi vici et cetera. I hope that I have made myself clear.

  21. Asdrubal el Bello

    The definition of cede is "Transfer or surrender" it is unconditional.
    In Spanish "ceder" is "to hand over, give up, part with, to give in, yield"
    Do you need further help in understanding language?

    I will not bother explaining the difference between the circumstances of Hong Kong and Gibraltar, on the basis of your comment you would likely not understand it.

  22. Asdrúbal el Bello20 June 2011 at 21:56

    Treaty of Nanjing (Nanking), 1842
    It being obviously necessary and desirable, that British Subjects should have some Port whereat they may careen and refit their Ships, when required, and keep Stores for that purpose, His Majesty the Emperor
    of China CEDES to Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain, etc., the Island of Hongkong, to be possessed IN PERPETUITY by Her Britannic Majesty, Her Heirs and Successors, and to be governed by such Laws and Regulations as Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain, etc., shall see fit to direct.

    The Catholic King does hereby, for himself, his heirs and successors, YIELD —cedit— to the Crown of Great Britain the full and entire PROPRIERTY —proprietatem— of the town and castle of Gibraltar, together with the port, fortifications, and forts thereunto belonging; and he gives up the said propriety to be held and enjoyed absolutely with all manner of right FOR EVER —in perpetuum—, without any exception or impediment whatsoever .

    But that abuses and frauds may be avoided by importing any kind of goods, the Catholic King wills, and takes it to be understood, that the above-named propriety be yielded to Great Britain without any territorial jurisdiction and without any open communication by land with the country round about.

    Dinosaur still is here.

  23. L.E.F. say,

    Asdrubal ,hombre, don't you worry about us Llanitos and our land Gibraltar.

    I appreciate your concern for us but please concentrate on your country's current problems , where your wisdom might be put to better use.

    This rock and its people will continue to prosper and multiply , long after we have witnessed the total disintegration of the Spanish state.

    Forget Gibraltar , which has been British for longer than it has been Spanish , and be careful that Pais Vasco and Cataluna do not go down the selfdetermination road and end up as independent states.

    One day when it happens if you are lucky, we might even consider widening our territory and might take in all of the campo area and even might make you all Llanitos.

    Cheer up Asdrubal .Hard as the Rock.

  24. Asdrúbal el Bello20 June 2011 at 22:44

    Gibraltar is not your land. This is where you live, a place taken to their rightful owners. The british will go when its costs outweigh its benefits. And they agreed upon with Spain. And you and we will stay. And the question then is: What are going to keep you? What do we recover? Could it be a "Kingdom of Gibraltar" in the Crown of Castile, Spain and Europe open (What Europe may be a territory that prohibits the installation of European population?) to govern itself? Or will all roads blinded by intransigence in which we live?

  25. empezar aquel que se denomina el Bello tendria que haber sido horroroso de feo...pero vamos pa alguien que murio cerca 221 a.C valiente cara tiene pa venir aqui a predicarnos de tu sabiduria.

    It is no wonder, con las tonterias que dice que no te hayan asesinado mucho antes!

    Anda vete ya y conquista, si tiene valor, a otros habitantes de lugares mas lejanos.

    Vaya con Dios, pedazo de murga!

  26. RV,

    Back to your topic....(I couldn't resist)

    You say or your view is that we decolonized and that the relationship we have with Britain suits both parties, for the reasons that you mention.

    Yet you still feel that because we have not exercised our right to self determination according to UN rules we are still perceived as Colonials.

    Is that in a nutshell your argument.

    My apologies for my naievity.

  27. Disciple X

    In a nutshell yes but I would add one thing that the the manner in which the UN perceives colonies as outdated and not applicable in today's world and to Gibraltar's relationship with UK and vice versa.

  28. Paco says-

    Oh, don't worry about old Asdru... he's been saying much the same to little effect on the Panorama forum for some time now.

    Regarding your question Robert... At a very basic level, I think that life in Gibraltar is still very colonial in nature, regardless of the modern nomenclature currently en vogue in both Whitehall and Number 6.

    We still have a Governor in residence at the Convent. He is now ostensibly the representative of the Queen of Gibraltar as opposed to the Queen of England but legal semantics will only go so far in shifting perceptions of reality.

    We also still have an archaic and opaque mode of Government; the drawbacks of having inseparable legislative and executive arms of Government have been well described by you. I would therefore be very uncomfortable if Gibraltar were allowed to run its affairs without the Convent possessing an electoral "reset" button and the power to impose direct rule.

    The reason why we have not been able to provide a united front at the UN is therefore precisely because we have not yet come of age as a mature people and democracy. Forget Spain and the UK for a moment or even the UN. Who are we trying to kid?

    Being decolonised is not just about being financially self-sufficient. When the day finally comes that we have an openly transparent and accountable Government, a Parliament that readily holds itself to account on a regular basis, a town that does not keep itself in self-denial about its severe social problems amongst other things... then I think that we'll be genuinely decolonised via many acts of self-determination. That is when we will see a genuinely united front at the UN.

  29. Twice yesterday and once today I have been told by civil servants / employees of govt agencies that they are too busy to get on with routine tasks needed for my private sector business. Last week someone was rude to me for calling a few minutes after 2.30 when a certain department closed to the public. In 15 years of business I have never seen it so bad. Who is in charge of the civil service? The public service have never had it so good and now that we are in the middle of a world economic crisis they want more. That is a good way to ruin Gibraltar. Have a nice day!.

  30. Gosh!

    Anon 10.28 where has that come from?

    The fact that you may have called a bit late and the fact that someone was rude to you are two separable facts (the latter you can report to the Head of Department. Note there is always two sides to a story!!)

    Hence the fact that you called in late was your fault. The fact that someone was , alledgedly rude to you was another. Having said that, my question to you is, were you rude to the Civil Servant? Were you expecting special privileges, i.e. to be seen after hours?

    Many are under the impression that anyone can be disrespectful to a the Civil Servant and yet act act differently towards the clerk sitting behind the desk, say at a bank.

    Hmmm... before I am rebuked, I know both are different scenarios but the real essence is the same.

    Golden Rule:

    Do unto others what you would like them to do to you.

    Enough preaching for the day...

  31. Ah!

    Almost ignored that other part of your comment!

    "Who is in charge of the civil Service?"

    Again....lets not go there!


    RE: 10:56
    Civil servants are not Rude!!
    95% of the civil servants working behind public counters are not only Rude They are also Useless!! They would not last 1 hour in any private sector job,let alone a day.
    Maybe it is not their FAULT, MAYBE IT HAS TO DO WITH MANAGEMENT!
    Wherever the FAULT LIES it should be SOUGHTED as soon as possible.
    They HAVE A VERY CUSHY NUMBER ( summer hours started last week even though it was not SUMMER ) at least they should make an effort in the few HOURS they "WORK"

  33. Just for the record. Rearding Adrubal's comment that Gibraltar should be handed to Spain on the same basis as Hong Kong. Asdrubal is right in quoting the Treaty of Nagking of 1860 when he says that Hong Kong was handed over in perpetuity, like Gibraltar.

    However, In 1898, the British and Chinese governments signed the Second Convention of Peking, which included a 99-year lease agreement for the islands surrounding Hong Kong, called the "New Territories."

    The lease awarded control of more than 200 surrounding small islands to the British. In return, China got a promise that the islands would be returned to it after 99 years.

    On December 19, 1984, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration, in which Britain agreed to return not only the New Territories but also Kowloon and Hong Kong itself when the lease term expired. China promised to implement a "One Country, Two Systems" regime, under which for fifty years Hong Kong citizens could continue to practice capitalism and political freedoms forbidden on the mainland.

    A movement in Hong Kong argued, as we do, that Hong Kong should be retained on the basis of the right of self-determination of the inhabitants. Britain responded that Hong Kong had become unsustainable without the new Territories, and handed two parts to China together.

  34. So, sorry, Asdrubal, perhaps the Campo could have been our "New Territories", but it never happened... Wanna negotiate a lease for the Campo? :-)

  35. Excellent interview with th CM in today's Chronicle. It answerns many of your bloggers questions, doesn't it?

  36. Anonymous 21:33

    This will be the subject of my next blog :)

  37. L.E.F.says,

    I agree with Paco's reasoning wholeheartedly.

    The day we learn how to govern ourselves properly and are able to recognize our collective failures as a people ,then and only then ,will we have come of age, to not consider ourselves a colonial people with a colonial mentality.

    It is up to us to keep our house in good order.
    Tranparency,Accountability,Integrity,Responsibility,Fraternity should be the foundations of our house.

    We are not yet mature enough,nor ready as a people to convince ourselves, let alone the UN , that we are a united people, ready to fight for our rights.

    We have come a long way as a people, but a colonial people is what we are in the eyes of the world and the international institutions and organisations?

    Until we do not face and tackle the UN on a united front,Gibraltar and Britain together, our future will hang in the air.

    We need to close this chapter, once and for all , and the sooner the better.

    I believe that one day, when we eventually come of age,we will achieve full independece .

  38. Paco says:

    L.E.F.- I think that we all know what is required for Gibraltar to continue along its path to emancipation. I also think that it was quite telling that Mr Caruana, at this very late stage, tried to make some noises about wanting to press ahead with electoral and parliamentary reform.

    Better late than never I suppose but there is no excuse for yet further delays or token box-ticking exercises.

  39. Al Carajo said:

    Robert, I really enjoy reading your discussions and debates on your blog. However, coming up to this very important general election I really feel that we need to discuss the pro's and con's of both our potential future leaders for the next 4 years i.e Caruana vs Picardo/Bossano.

    We really need an in-depth discussion (and I mean in-depth!!!!) on these two individuals, thier leadership qualities, thier track records, thier strengths and weaknesses etc. Gibraltar is a unique place where we need SAFE STRONG LEADERSHIP especially in relation to our "special relationship with the UK & Spain". We cannot afford for one second to risk the advances that we have made as a people and commmunity for the sake of "change". As the Americans we would say: "if it ain't broke....why fix it??". Therefore, I ask that we expose all (and I mean all, leaving no stones unturned) the legal problems that Picardo is involved in both in the UK & Spain and what consequences this can have on us as a people if he is elected as Chief Minister of Gibraltar. The people are not to be fooled by being told that this is the usual legal problems that any lawyer is involved in....ask any decent lawyer and they will not agree. Will we be held to ransom by the UK and Spain because of Picardo's legal problems???? a legal opinion would be helpful here like that the electorate can take an informed decision before going to the ballot box. I for one will not risk my children's future. Caruana may have his faults....but my God how Gibraltar has progressed since the GSD has been in power!!!

  40. Al Carajo

    I hear you and fully understand and appreciate where you are coming from. My own position on this is that this is not the forum to have that discussion. Primarily because it is a blog that I set up to debate issues and politics. Impotrtantly also because I simply do not have the resources or time to investigate these issues in the detail that is required to ensure accuray and fairness. There are also issues taht matters might possibly being sub judice, which could cause problems. Other considerations specific to me may also impact.

    I really think that the matters you raise are issues for professional journalists to deal with. They have the time and resorces to look into matters in depth.

    I have taken a policy decision not to publish any further comments on this subject. I have also taken a policy decion not to publish (so far as possible) any personal accusations of any sort. The rumour mill is rife with allegations but but not here please, let us stick to issues and politics. Let those who are better resourced undertake the investigations, enquiries and analysis to deal with issues such as you have raised.

    I agree change for the sake of change is not the right basis upon which a voting decision should be taken. The decison to vote is taken on many factors including record of performance in office. The record includes the ability to see one's mistakes and failings and uncompleted manifesto promises with an expressed intent to rectify. It seems that we may be getting there with the GSD from what the CM said in his recently published interview. An analysis of that interview will form the basis of the next blog.

  41. The world is becoming a more dangerous place. If and when we "come of age" and independent as LEF @ 22.45 says we are likely to risk military invasion. Independence is not a practical option any more than I will ever become a millionaire playing premier league football or Robert by becoming a rap music senstation. Our future security lies in being able to continue to make strategic alliances / connectiions. Aside from the UK, our best bet is Morocco since the expected bullying of Gibraltar by the next Spanish PP government will be met by the ratcheting up of problems in Ceuta & Melilla at a time when the Moroccan monarchy urgently needs a patriotic resurgence.

  42. Asdrúbal el Bello22 June 2011 at 15:08

    anonymous on yesterday at 21:36.
    The "New Territories" of Gibraltar are the Isthmus and waters. And as Hong Kong, without those "Territories" the colony is unworkable (airport, bunkering, expansion). Of course you can always talk to Araujo and Villar, who surely would be delighted to lease La Linea.

    Anonymous at 13:31. What do you want to repeat the move in July 2002 and the crisis of Parsley Island in another spanish rock?

  43. "That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves." (Thomas Jefferson)

  44. Al Carajo replies

    Robert, thank you for your reply and comment on this very important if not THE most important matter facing Gibraltar this year. I respect and can understand that you may not want to discuss this in your blog. However, your blog IS political and you should at least allow some sort of debate on the facts and NOT of course the rumours. It is as I am sure you know a very hot political subject at the moment whereby probably the respective foreign offices of both Spain and UK are rubbing thier hands on the prospects of having Picardo as the next Chief Minister of Gibraltar. Seeing that this blog is about people and not parties should n't we deeply debate the merits and demerits of having Picardo or Caruana as our next Chief Minister? Surely, this is what people want to talk about. I await your reply.

  45. Al Carajo

    If you tell me who you are and give me a fully secured indemnity against all damages and costs arising from any claims based on defamations we can start to talk :)

  46. Robert, I shall tell you who I am next time I see you :) I Promise! :) There must be some sort of way we can discuss and debate the FACTS. Come on you are a lawyer.... where is democracy and freedom of speech if not in Llanito World? i await your reply.

  47. Anonymous at 23:22

    Exactly I am a lawyer ... the FACTS need to be provable ...

  48. The facts are known and admitted. Picardo simply says lawyers get embroiled in unsavoury matters all the time and he is assisting the uk and Spanish authorities with their enquiries. The issue is whether we want a CM who is caught up (in whatever way) in England and particular Spain in relation to two major major cases. Sorry this is not rumour Rob.

  49. anonymous at 23:41

    I have never said it is rumour ... this same comment has been repeated at nauseam. I do not know about anyone else but I am bored with hearing it and like el cuento de la buana pipita ,,, it will soon lose all traction in convincing people one way or the other ... YAWN!

  50. Well stick your head in the sand but when business goes down the tube because people stop having confidence in Gib as a consequence of unsavoury stories in the international press we will all pack up and emigrate simply because Picardo could not wait until these cases cleared before he decided to climb to the top of the greasy pole. There is nothing to YAWN about. If I were the Spanish Foreign Office wanting to cause damage to Gibraltar's international reputation I would wait until he was CM before embarking on my campaign. Has anyone notice how quiet this issue is in Spain despite the spats here in Gib? There is a veil of secrecy shrouding this issue in Spain. WAKE UP PEOPLE.

  51. Al Carajo replies:

    Robert, I am confused. Facts need to be provable? lets not change the facts...there is a UK high court ruling on Picardo. What is it with us people? Do we want a Berlusconi????? who does what he wants and just gets away with it?????????? Robert one thing is to avoid claims based on defamations and another is to change the facts! lets be fair.

  52. Al Crajajo

    Es mi blog eso es lo que hay take it or leave it ...

  53. Al Carajo replies:
    Robert, I have to say I am very dissapointed with your stance. Stick your head in the sand!!

    The GSLP needs Licudi to urgently step in. He is their only hope. Having Caruana or Licudi as CM would have Gibraltar in safe hands. Having Picardo is deadly vis a vis Spain, UK, the finance centre, international reputation etc etc the list is endless. The PP in Spain is waiting for Picardo to get in to get us once and for all by the short and curlies!!! how naive of the GSLP to vote him in as leader....Robert you freely talk about our current CM...why don't you do so about Picardo??

  54. Al Carajo says:

    You are probably right Robert. What we need is real investigative journalism on the Picardo cases. Eddie Campello would have had a field day with Picardo and his cases. Campello would have trully exposed everything to the people of Gibraltar. He would have had the guts do so!! All I say before I go to bed is que se agarre el finance centre y los abogados como entre Picardo que entonces si que se va todo al ...... You are a lawyer, I am sure you know this already!!!:)

  55. Al Carajo

    I have explained over and over again. It is an issue of time and resources. I have not written about the CM other than on political issues. Reference to the Noble case was first made public on this blog. I have also written articles on external factors influencing party leaders. I want to move the debate on. It is an issue that needs to be aired but in other fora.

  56. Al Carajo says:

    I still think we should carry out a SWOT Analysis/discussion (strengths,weaknesses,opportunities and threats) on our 2 potential leaders i.e Caruana & Picardo- to form the basis of a future blog. I am sure we can "safely" carry this out. It would also be very helpful to the electorate to see all the cards on the table......I am sure many people would welcome this discussion instead of beating round the bush!!!

    By the way, Robert what is your position now that Picardo has put the spanner in the works for parliamentery reform before the coming election??? I await your reply. Many thanks, AL Carajo :)

  57. Al Carajo

    I just love being cross-examined :)

    My position is that, whether as a result of my persistence or for other reasons, both the GSD and the GSLP/Libs have now promised reforms to be achieved in a short period of time. The PDP had already included this commitment in their manifesto and later statements. I will, therefore. wait to see what is delivered before the next but one election.

    I will then take mmy decison on the basis that, if the elected government and opposition go back on their commitmenst or do not dleibver sufficiently robust reforms, and so give me rope by which to hang them I will do my best to achieve that end. If reasonable reforms are enacted then, I hope, they will open the door for people to enter Parliament without ministerial office and concentrate their abilities in an effort to enhance the democratic process in Gibraltar. I would hope that I can put myself forward as one of those perosns.

  58. Sorry about going off on a tangent but has anyone else heard about the tours taking place on the blue buses? Not by the drivers themselves, but by tour guides taking it upon themselves to use the free buses as a convenient form of transport for their business?

    Is this an isolated incident? I've only seen it happen once myself but I've been told it's been happening on a fairly regular basis.

    Inspector Clouseau

  59. 12:41

    I have even heard of local people being KICKED OFF the buses by tour guides!! It happend to a relative of mine.

    I called Viewpoint last week and highlighted such a point.

    Very much seems like a Monte Carlo like mentallity to me..........

    Our OWN people being treated like second hand citizens in their OWN land!! Valiente poca verguensa!


  60. Anon@12:41

    I can not see what's wrong with this as long as they don't divert the buses to suit the guides wishes. If the route is free it is free for everyone.

  61. First let me say that I do not know if there is any evidence of the nitty gritty of anything of what I am about to say but it needs to be said. I have just read an article in this week's New People by John Clear which paints a very bad picture of the GSD government when it comes to awarding million £ contracts which go wrong. John Clear mentions OEM, Bruesa, Luis Roldan and Haymills. On the other hand the GSD continually mentions Fabian's not very fun pastime of helping the authorities of other countries with their inquiries. Some questions for electorate this year are. Are many top politicians in Gibraltar undertaking their duties correctly and prudently? are only some of them doing so and if so who? are none of them doing so but some are not sufficiently competent?

  62. I do not like Caruana as a person. I would never have a beer with him!!:) or have him round my house.....que tio mas despota.

    Churchill was not a nice guy either but he won the war against the Nazis!!! Thank God for Churchill!!

    Gibraltar still needs a STRONG LEADER!!! With the anti-Gibraltar Partido Popular winning the next elections in Spain- We need Caruana more than ever!! That is the truth. Caruana owes nothing to the UK and Spain. Picardin has court cases pending in both the UK and Spain. He cannot put a strong fight for us!!! Caruana will!!!

  63. I agree with Al Carajo in that we need to carry out a detailed SWOT analysis on both Caruana and Picardo. The results will be predictable...but a good excercise.

  64. Indeed, there has been much demand that Picardo should be open about his matters (and rightfully so).

    However, perhaps the GSD as a whole should be just as transparent?

    Why for example has Caruana made such an effort to keep the contents of the letter he sent to the FSC concerning Robert such a secret? Why has this letter been withheld from Robert himself?


  65. Anon:14:49

    I cannot believe that the New People has painted a bad picture of the GSD Government!! I am glad that, according to the NP, Fabian is only helping authorities of other countries with their enquiries.

    I am sure that the NP will help us, the electorate, decide on who to vote for.

    Me cai de un guindo!!

  66. Anon 14:42

    Apathy is a dangerous thing indeed.



  67. Kaelan@17:18

    I know that apathy is dangerous it can lead to indifference.

  68. Coño Robert this blog is a real eye opener. If it were not for llanito world most of us would not know what our political elite has been doing all these years keep it going whatever you do. ñññ