Sunday, 3 July 2011

The Lesser of Two Bad Choices?

There are some who have suggested that the best way for the electorate to show its feelings about the choice available at a general election is to vote in blank. Certainly this is an option but it is an option based on apathy and negativism. A far stronger message can be delivered by voting rather than not voting. It is in the manner that one votes that a more powerful and louder message can be sent to those who put themselves forward for election. In this blog ( and in furtherance of the "fierce independence" that the "7 Days" newspaper has complimented Llanito World on) I explore some possible reasons why Gibraltar might be where it is electorally and provide an alternative way of casting a ballot paper at the next election.

One of the opinions that is more and more often voiced and heard is that, if one comes to the conclusion that the choice is not good either in favour of the GSD or of the GSLP/Liberal Alliance, then the only option is to decide who is the least bad and to vote  in that manner.  It is not a conclusion that I support or advance. This conclusion is predicated on the wrong argument. If put into effect it will deliver exactly the wrong government. It accepts the status quo that has been sold by the propaganda of the political classes, namely, that one has to choose between one party or the other and vote accordingly, ignoring the individual attributes of each candidate. Voting in this manner will not deliver the democratic revolution that is required to improve the system of government that is needed to improve and defend Gibraltar.

The wrong argument because it is predicated on the perceived strengths and weaknesses of each of the leaders of each party, presently, Peter Caruana and Fabian Picardo. I have said what I am about to say ad nauseam, the election is not an election to elect an all powerful and autocratic president. The election is to elect a representative legislature, a PARLIAMENT, from which a government and Chief Minister subsequently results. It is important to understand this fundamental attribute of our "Westminster" style of government and democracy. The "Government" results from the grouping that can rely on support from a majority of MPs. The Chief Minister is the person who has the confidence of those who are part of that majority.

The party system is an evolution of that basic concept that I have described. It is the obvious and most beneficial (for power seekers) manner in which the system can be played: rather than wait to see who is elected and then seek to form a grouping to gain power as government and Chief Minister, form the grouping before the election. If the grouping (party) is formed before the election then the grouping can choose its most popular and charismatic (as they see it) member of that grouping. They and he/she then proceed to"sell" him/her as the person to be Chief Minister.

The other members of the grouping then have an easier task all round, at the election and after being elected. They simply have to hang onto the coattails of the leader, get themselves elected and earn their salaries (and pensions after 8 years) by toeing the line and policies of the leader. Toeing the line because not to do so, threatens their individual ability to earn larger salaries than most of them would earn in the big wide world.

This party based system that has evolved is a perfect recipe for a corrupt system of government in any small jurisdiction. A corruption which is aided and abetted by weak internal party structures. Weak structures because traditionally in Gibraltar parties do not adhere, as strictly as they should and which is the norm in western democracies, to democratic methods of choosing either their candidates or leader. This criticism can be levied more against the GSD than the GSLP.  At least the GSLP do have some party structure and have some form of elections for its candidate and leader. I am just a little skeptical as to how this system is given effect to and operates in practice.

So what should a voter do when faced with these circumstances? My first suggestion is that he/she should ignore the leaders of each party. My second suggestion is that he/she should ignore party labels against the name of each candidate.  Doing this opens up the electoral choice of each voter massively because there then remains a massive choice to be made from amongst each individual candidates, from whatever party, who puts himself/herself forward for election. Each voter should analyse the individual attributes and failings of each and every candidate, irrespective of party allegiance, to decide which individual candidate deserves one of his/her vote. Having done this, it is those individual 10 crosses that will go onto one's ballot paper.

The practical effects of doing this could be very interesting. There is no doubting that each of the parties have a substantial following of committed voters, so this will not likely change. Each of the parties will receive this basic support. There is also no doubting, as can be gathered from all Opinion Polls, that there is a large number (and so hugely powerful) block of voters who are called the "undecided" who I would label as the "uncommitted", in science "free radicals". It is this block that I am appealing to.

If a large proportion of these were to follow my suggested course, one of the first effects that would be noticeable is that the leader of each party may not get as many votes as  traditionally each has. They may not even top the polls: now that alone would send a powerful message of discontent, wouldn't it? My suggestion brings more into play those who offer themselves for election as independent and those who do so within the PDP, which, presently, is not one of the two major parties, yet presents some very capable candidates. Electing some persons who do not belong to the major parties would enhance the workings and effectiveness of Parliament substantially. Another effect is that it may well get the "best brains" ( a frequently heard mantra), from amongst those putting themselves forward for election, elected into Parliament. Additionally, within the system as presently exists, it is an excellent way in which the electorate is able to flex its muscles and show those individual leaders, who consider themselves to be indispensable, that it is the electors who, in the final analysis, govern not them and that, just perhaps, none of them are as indispensable as they and some others may consider them to be.

One fear that constantly concerns me is the fear that Gibraltar should suffer a governmental and administrative vacuum. The present electoral, parliamentary and party system militate against some idiosyncratic talented persons who have much to contribute to politics, government and administration putting themselves forward for election. We must accept that, whilst Gibraltar produces a disproportionate number of talented individuals, its size is a limiting factor that does not permit it the privilege of having a system that discourages anyone from active participation in politics and government. This deficit can be resolved, to a degree, by electoral and parliamentary reform, which I have been championing for some time. Although, it is salutary to see that all the parties are now convinced of the wisdom of enacting such reforms, this is not enough (and needs to be judged once enacted), electoral behaviour is an important element in the democracy equation, which will continue to have its place irrespective of any reforms. This is a core benefit of democracy.

There are moments, I believe that we are facing one now, when the electorate should be revolutionary in its behaviour (peacefully, I hasten to add). The only advantage of a vacuum, such as the one that I have written about, is for the UK and Spain. They can exploit a vacuum for their own respective objectives, aims and policies; objectives and policies, which, by reason of the respective sizes of the UK and Spain and the ambitions and responsibilities of each, may and will from time to time transcend those of tiny Gibraltar and may not be in  its interests. Everything possible should be done to avoid that happening. It is the responsibility of the political classes to put into place objective safeguards and systems so that the chances of a political vacuum coming into existence are reduced. It is a wise electorate, carefully choosing each individual candidate and voting accordingly, that can force the issue and make it happen.


  1. Robert if i may refer you to paragraph 2, it seems that everyone in Gibraltar votes in this way. Therefore are you implying that the GSD is the wrong Government?

    Yitzack el rabi in

  2. Yitzack el rabi in

    A literal interpretation delivering a possibly wrong conclusion. First I write "will" meaning in the future and in the circumstances presently faced by electors and reigning in Gibraltar. Secondly i am not making this statement in a party political sense or context. Having clarified that, I will say that yes the GSD and every government before it have been the "wrong government".

    I base this conclusion on the philosophy that I believe in and espouse. "Wrong", not in a party political sense. "Wrong" in the sense of having delivered presidential government by an individual leader, rather than collective government. "Wrong" in the sense that "wrong" individuals have become "ministers" and have sat on the government benches leading to weakness that has allowed, at different times and from time to time, an autocratic individuals to govern. "Wrong" in that persons who do not have the required ability have been elected into government and are carried. "Wrong" in many other regards but I believe I have given enough examples.

  3. Why should I choose between evils? I am with Charles Gomez and unless there are big changes in the party line ups I will take his learned advice and VOTE BLANK.

  4. In Gibraltar party leaders always get the most votes because they surround themselves with weaker candidates so we always get a government not of the "best brains" but of the worst ones. i will likely put in a blank vote.

  5. Anonymous at 15:11

    You choose not to understand my argument. I agree with you except that a blank vote is a wasted vote. Do not choose between "evils". Choose the better candidates, irrespective of party or leader, from amongst all candidates.

    Anonymous at 17:01

    This is precisely my argument that party structures lack democratic credentials.

    Both of you:

    Blank votes get you nowhere, voting for the "better" individuals who offer themselves up for election, irrespective of party or leader, makes a positive statement that will force change in the system.

  6. Is it true that the Cursillo leaders are saying in the prayer meetings that we ought to vote GSD if not the GSLP will bulldoze the Retreat Centre?

  7. I am an undecided, or better still as Robert puts it, an uncommitted and in the past I have always voted for individuals whom I thought would be the best for Gibraltar.

    This system, though, shows very little for itself on the Friday morning after an election, and even less during the next 4 years, so this year, I thought I would vote for a party instead, but which party?

    I see so much mismanagement from the GSD and lately hear about decisions been taken that tie us down to so much spending, that I fear another term would bankrupt us and our only alternative would be to accept Spain's interests as UK can't and won't afford to bale us out. I don't like to give too much credence to rumours but when you hear about certain things going on, it would be very naive of me to dismiss them outright. Just because they cannot be proved does not mean they are not true, after all this week its been proved that if a rumour needs quashing, Government will go out and do it.

    My alternative lies either with the GSLP or PDP. The PDP, however, is a non-starter. I feel many of them are ex-GSD unhappy with decisions taken at the time of their leaving. Over time they have recruited new members but their roots lie with the GSD.

    That leaves the GSLP. Picardo's cases seem to have captured the imagination of the GSD so it makes me wonder whether all this noise is just a smokescreen engineered by them because attack is sometimes the best form of defence. Moving away from this, I look at the possible complete line-up and I see good, hard working individuals who in their normal day to day lives away from politics, have earned my respect, so why not vote for them?

    I believe in giving people a chance to prove themselves. I don't know if this line-up will prove to be more involved with the central decision-making of the CM, but I do know that the current lot are not involved at all, so I can only give the GSLP the benefit of the doubt, as the GSD has proved to me I can't.

  8. I thinks there is nothing wrong with choosing 10 people on the basis of their individual qualities. In previous elections around 20% of people have done this. This does not change who gets into government, but it does dictate how the opposition will be composed so it is not entirely a wasted vote.
    I think most people will block-vote as they will want to choose the next Chief Minister.

  9. No not true. There are several prominent catholics in the GSLP like Bruzon and Cortes and most in the GSLP are catholics though Bossano and Picardo say they are atheists so the GSD need is going to have to come up with some other story line to explain matters like the £19.7 million which seems to have been borrowed by the public purse to aid the Mid Town development.

  10. Anonymous at 18:32

    An excellent argument for a diehard GSLP supporter to make, perhaps???

  11. Is Picardo an aetheist ? I thought he was a church goer.

  12. Robert V re 18:32 - perhaps indeed! The wool is firmly over this ones head me thinks. In his opinion our debt is so delicate that we could be bankrupt in the next dour years. Brilliant stuff, pigs flying in formation over la mesquita so to speak with a few loop de loops.
    If there was any cause to be concerned over our future it is the way in which the GSLP and it's sychopants are re-writing history, stating with Picardin who apparently suggests that it was his own socialist party who was responsible for a boom in our economy during 88 - 96 and goes further to say that this was the last economic leap Gibralrar has seem . Of course the next will be when he and the GSLP genius swan in and bring further growth. PLC.
    Security, political and economic are not delivered by a team sat on a fence throwing stones when convenient and waiting their turn. It is not delivered by leader with questionable international judgements over his head ( which are very real btw and very delicate too). The GSLP have not changed one bit, they provide no substance and are out of their depth. Running Gibraltar is not a game; the last time they had the reigns it very nearly did lead to the biggest threat we have witnessed in a long time.
    What saysxa great deal and is a real measure of the political barometer is the very obvious hardship that Picardin is going through in attracting any credible characters to join him.
    I wonder how long he'll be able to hang on to some of the big guns like Licudi and Costa? If he falls in Madrid or London he takes them all down with him.
    Change you can trust. PLC

  13. Is Anon 21:07 for real???

    Surely not.....


  14. Thats slightly rich Coming from you special K. Are you getting into comedy now too?

  15. Oi cornflakes, Tampico tiene cara tu. Last time I checked you were advocating quotas on employment and moaning about how bad Gib's economy was. If I'm not mistaken you also feel our unemployment has never been worse. Maybe you should call for scooby doo to cone and help. Actually no, correction, you've got Picardin, Dr J y el equipo A.

  16. The level of maturity and debate all round is certainly a sight to behold.

    Robert, a good piece, thanks for sharing it. I also agree that blank voting is very unlikely to achieve anything in either the short or long term. I look forward to seeing the electoral candidates that will be on offer this time around. The current crop has fallen short of my expectations.

  17. L.E.F. says,

    I agree entirely that a blank vote is a wasted vote, but the alternative as suggested to vote for the best individual candidates, is also doomed to be a wasted vote if there is no unity or coherence amongst the 'free radicals'

    Those of us who truly value democracy and want a change in the way we have been governed, do so with no party allegiance or preference in mind. What we want is change for the betterment of all Gibraltarians.

    The current democracy we have in Gibraltar , echos Jeffersons sentiments perfectly.

    'A democracy is nothing more than mob rule where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%'

    I am tired as so many other Llanitos of being part of this 'either you are with us or against us' from both parties.

    We are Gibraltarians first and foremost and shame on us as a people for not being able to see past party rhetoric. We are all important, we are all equal,we all have a say in our community,and we all want what is best for our children even if we do not see eye to eye on the way forward to achieve our common goals.

    Leaders come and go,being human they do good and also bad, parties are born and then die a natural death, but we Gibraltarians will continue to be here long after GSD or GSLP so lets start acting more like a united and mature people and get our act together.

    I would suggest we propose a list of 10 mixed candidates on this blog so that those of us 20% undecided at least have a realistic chance of making an impact at the elections.

    Even if nothing is achieved a 20% block vote of the population can surely achieve more than a 20% blank vote.

    Even if we can only decide on 1 person for us 20% to vote, at least we are backing someone for change. That must be better than not doing anything with a blank vote.

    I am sure that even some of the party faithful are also tired and want some change, unfortunately your header clearly illustrates the democratic deficit we face as a people if the only choice we have is the lesser of 2 evils.

    Lincoln said,
    'As I would not be a slave,so I would not be a master.This expresses my idea of democracy'

  18. Marlene Hassan Nahon3 July 2011 at 23:25


    As usual you make some compelling arguments, although I must say, in the end, the way the parliamentary infrastructure is set up at the moment, the 'block vote' system ends up been the cleanest and most workable one WITHIN THE CURRENT EXISTING STRUCTURE.

    One could argue added democracy measures till the cows come home, but until the 'reforms' are implemented, your suggestions are merely 'tactical maneouvers' to dodge the present setup. Surely that can't amount to much LONGTERM.

    I agree however, that candidates who stand, should be individuals of substance and intellect, we depend on them, we NEED to know they are fit to SERVE AND REPRESENT US. But unfortunately, everywhere in the world, not just Gibraltar, we see unsatisfactory and substandard candidates making it to the top!

    For Gd's sakes, look at the United States, their democratic system couldn't be more diverse than ours and the UK's and you still get the likes of Bush (senior and junior!) and Raegan (the actor) representing a colossal country!!

    I think it is down to the executive of each party to ENSURE that they provide US with quality candidates, and if they fail to do so, that in itself is enough to question the credibility and integral motives of the particular party in question.

    Nevertheless, having said that, I would also like to add that it is very common for any party to have difficulty in recruiting these 'best brains' because the 'best brains' are too busy making money or a good name for themselves in their own fields. - who could blame them? It takes a lot of time, effort, mental stamina and commitment to forgo one's professional formation to stand for election and serve the people 'por la cara'! So its a bit of 6 of one and half a dozen of the other in my humble opinion! (Maybe a way round this is to offer higher salaries to parliamentarians? -just a thought, don't wanna start a hot potato with that one, but it may be 'a way' of raising standards).

    In conclusion, I would like to say to Yitshak el Rabi in, that i found it in very bad taste for you to use and bastardise a pseudonym of a relatively recently assassinated Israeli Prime Minister. Please do not assume I only feel this way because I am a Jew. Of course it hurts on a more personal and ethnic level, but I would have felt just as offended had he/she used a pseudonym like Lady Di Ana or anything equally tactless. We should try to keep things bonafide if you ask me.

    Marlene Hassan Nahon

  19. its a pity that after sharing my thoughts on who to vote for at this coming election, anon @ 21:07 sees fit to ridicule me.

    I did state I was uncommitted which means that even if I am leaning a little towards the GSLP over the GSD or the PDP, I am not a member of the party, and a lot still depends on who they come up with in their line-up, their manifesto, etc.

    And yet this poster decides to make fun of my concerns. Am I right in assuming this person is pro-GSD? If so, does he reckon belittling me like this will get me to sway towards the party of his choice?

    Somehow, I don't think so!

  20. Marlene

    Good points we can agree for once :) lololol

    Anon 22:26

    Quotas on employment? Then you must have checked over six months ago, as I have not advocated such a thing as of late.

    Realistically I know the implementation of such quotas would be impossible and very much illegal (under current EU law), but one can dream! Not that the EU cares much about us anyways.

    What I fail to do though is understand why you mock such "quotas", especially when it is taken into account that such a system would ensure that the locals (people like me, you presumably, your children and their children after) get preferential treatment in their own land!

    I will now and ALWAYS advocate preferential treatment for MY people in THEIR land!

    It is not about equality but rather about REAPING WHAT YOU SOW! Let us remember that CHARITY STARTS AT HOME!

    Why should people be given everything in exchange for nothing?

    The UK has encountered great economic turmoil due to such mentality and have certainly paid the price for their lax immigration laws and controls.

    Are my thoughts that different to Iain Duncan Smiths the highly respected conservative politician? Who this past week urged British businesses to employ more British youths ahead of immigrants. I think not.

    If I may ask? Are you actually Gibraltarian? As you seem to have a hidden agenda of some sorts.

    Just a thought, just a humble thought....

    Ps - I may be a "radical" but at least I am looking out for my people's best interests and not my own! I wear my heart on my sleeve and think with my head and not my POCKET unlike others!!


  21. It is perhaps a good moment to remember that the animosity between politicians in Gibraltar is not based on ideological differences or even on personal grudges based on past minor slights and forgotten perceived insults. I have come to the conclusion that the real issues are commercial. I honestly believe that many of the party faithful,even some candidates may not be aware of this. I am still undecided myself but the prospect of a blank vote or voting for just a handful of candidates seems ever more logical to me.

  22. Marlene

    I do not accept the premise that the "block vote" is the cleanest and most workable system. Even you qualify that statement with the words "under the current system". It is the cleanest and most workable system for the politicians and not the electorate, so it turns democarcy on its head.

    I agree that my strategy is a short term one. It is predicated essentially on the basis of (a) it is for this coming election (b) it is to teach politicians a lesson and (c) it is to help force reforms so that democracy is enhanced for the longer term. It is intended also to force some greater maturity in the manner that our politicians play the game of politics.

    I accept your argument that everywhere there are less and more capable politicians. This is unavoidable. My point is that our electoral and parliamentary system encourages mediocrity rather than excellence. It is this that has to be changed for the better although perfection will elude us.

    Politicians sitting in the comfort zone will not make the change. The electorate has to make it uncomfortable for them before they will make it. How do we make it uncomfortable? Well first by making the issue current and important, second by having these become an election issue for at least one of the main parties, thus making others react and also by the electorate flexing its muscle to force change by demanding it and making its demands known.

    I will not join issue on your choices of "bad" USA Presidents, suffice it for me to say that the news today has been full of high praise for Reagan having brought the Cold War to an end peacefully.

    Giving in to the executive of each party to deliver good candidates further turns democracy on its head. They will only do so if they see and haer the dissatisfaction of the electorate with their choice of candidates. Voting in the manner that I have suggested precisely does this .

    My reference to "best brains" is carefully limited to making a choice from amongst those who present themselves for election. More people will stand for election if there are reforms that will enable them to remain as parliamentarians and not be forced to become Ministers or simply Opposition Members.

    There is no doubt that improvement for the long term will only come about with reforms.

  23. would complete proportional representation not be the best way forward then?

    If Politicians need to fight for a seat just from their respective residential districts, it would be far easier for independents to get in, and far harder for parties to monopolise the Government and Opposition seats.

  24. I wonder if Gerald Teuma's interview with the CM, broadcast at lunchtime on GBC radio, will be shown on Newswatch or even Newsplus tonight.

  25. Dear Robert

    My 84 year old grandmother called me tonight in a state of panic. According to her the GSLP are stating that each of us owes £16000 and that we are going to be made to pay it over the next 12 months!!!!

    Your comments Robert please

  26. Anonymous at 21:07

    This is the most ridiculous reverse psychology propaganda from the GSD that I have ever come across. If that is the level of intellect in the GSD god save us!

    The debt is large per capita but is repayable by the Government not any individual. It is also not repayable in 12 months. Please grow up!

    What is disturbing is the tone and content of the CM's replies to the GBC TV interview. The language of hostility used by him is worrying to the extreme.

  27. Good reply RV.

    These people it seems will stoop to all time lows. Quite simply pathetic.


  28. Fellow Bloggers

    This is just another attempt by the GSD to create apathy over the GSLP / Liberal opposition.

    Guys lets get stuck over figures and not fiction.

    480 million gross debt is reality!!!

  29. Que lastima that GBC had to air the tame interview of the CM on tv tonight. (Bueno, I say tame, but in actual fact le goteaba the bad milk enough as it is)

    Poor Gerald, will he too make his way into the black book now?

    to coin an often used GSD phrase on this blog, que verguenza!

  30. I suppose GBC did not find Gerard's interview of the CM as broadcast on Focus at Lunchtime, worthy of being played on Newswatch tonight!

    I agree! El Gerard el pobre is joining "one of the GBC sisters" in the CMs black book!

  31. I don't understand why everyone is going on about CM's interview but failing to comment on Picardo's, who failed in my view to remain partial to party hostilities. People only see what they want to see. Don't delude yourselves!

  32. hablando de budget y de dinero...y ya que esta de el judgement de picardin y de caruana. Estos ultimos meses nos bombardean con ideas y propaganda en el 7 days (que tiene una malaje tremenda) de lo poco 'metal' que tiene picardin para ser CM. La verda como solo tiene un camino voy hablar a continuacion con varios puntos debiles del GSD y el poco judgement que tienen: Por nombrar algunos: - £5m consultants fees para el tunel del aeropuerto que todavia trae problemas porque hay arena contaminada. Esto que no lo miran los consultants? - El contrato del gobierno a Bruesa para Waterport y Mid Harbour. Dejaron todo a media y quien lo aregla...NOSOTROS CON EL TAX! - OEM musho afordable housing pero no lo hacen. Quein lo aregla...NOSOTROS EL TAX PAYER! - £19.7m de government buildings mortgaged para el mid town project. - El aeropuerto...eso para que hablar. - El habia foam ni en el carwash! - E paintballing expdition. - La mierda que tienen las playas. - La montana del eastside that is destroying our marine eco-system and denying many of us our basic right to have a swim in the surrounding beaches as the shores are littered with dangerous construction debris. - Los buses...que no estamo en Madrid ni en una ciudad para tener un inter-change!! - El civil service que no han tenido training ni jefes decentes en anos! - El housing - le dan mejores casa a los que pagan una porqueria de renta al mes en mid harbour y a los de cumberland bayview y nelson que le den ensima que tienen mortgages etc. Ni suelo le pusieron! - The last minute projects que estan costando una fortuna! - The upper rock que esta in dire need of repair. - Our roads are falling to bits! - GBC que no tienen resources para nada and they try hard eh! Please feel free to add to the light of the budget speech today tax cuts could be reduced much more if it were not for all the MIS-JUDGEMENT of the GOVERNMENT something that is obvious to all and something that they attempt to portray as picardin having none of!! Que poca verguenza!!!! PA HINCHARSE!!!! Ai

  33. Anon@10:38

    En este mundo traidor nada es verdad ni mentira todo es según el color del cristal con que se mira. Meanwhile, I shall wait for Mr Picardo's comments on the Budget Book.

  34. 480 MILLION in debt pero no pasa NADA!?!??!?!??!


    The only people who seem to be deluded here (in my opinion) is the GSD and its supporters!!!

    Are these people for REAL?


  35. anon @ 11:48, is that all you can come up with, a la lista que te ha puesto anon @ 10:38?

    Tu que ere torero? LOLOL

    El crystal de tu gafas son bien negra eh?

  36. Viva Christine Clifton Psaila y viva Gerard Teuma! Come the revolution they will have their reward.

  37. I heard the lunchtime interview too and couldn't believe how Gerald Teuma survived that one. Credit it to him, he kept his cool and courage and stood up to the aggressive attitude of the CM. I hope this does not work against him though as he is one of the best we have!

  38. £480 MILLION in debt is nothing for the world's strongest economy EVER. Irse a ch*p*arl* Japon, the USA, Germany, Brazil, Switzerland y San Martin del Tesorillo and all those other countries with economies de dos peniques y medio. Aqui in Gibraltar under the expert management of P.R. Caruana QC we can raise civil service salaries AAAAANNNNNDDD reduce taxes AAAANNNNNDDDD help developers who want to build an office block for the queues of major international corporations seeking economic asylum on the Piedra Gorda AAAANNNNNDDDDD. The £480 MILLION we can pay con la punta del....

  39. Robert

    This is an extract from Mr Picardo's comments on the Budget as it appeared in today's Panorama.

    "And what is more, as we set out in our manifesto, all the existing allowances - home owners, mortgage interest, life insurance etc would have remained in place as deductions before arriving at the taxable income of individuals."

    As I understand it the allowances have not been removed and what is more, taxpayers taxed under the allowance system will receive a tax cut of £300 or 2% of their tax bill, whichever is the greater.

    I am sure that Mr Picardo will clarify this in a future statement.

  40. I was moved to tears of admiration for anon @ 18.54. He is right Gibraltar is the richest country in the world, ever. Only this could explain Peter Caruana's budget. The national debt is miniscule compared to the assets that we have to mortgage it againt including government offices. If the creditors foreclose we can move the civil service into the rents at Eastern Bach. I agree Irse a ch*p*arl*

  41. Someone please put these people out of their misery. Guys the debt is not £480m it is just over half this amount. This represents a 23% reflection of our near £1b GDP, well under normal levels.
    The surplus not deficit as is the case on most other countries together with +70% net debt for example in the UK is £30m.
    You'd think you would all rather see Gib fail than admit that we are in perfectly good shape.
    But hey, Special K and Red Rob are clearly the gurus here and their opinions on our apparent and disastrous economic status clearly hold more weight than facts - economic facts based on international standards of national accounting.

  42. Anonymous at 21:38

    Have I said anything about debt in any comment on this thread to deserve your wrath?

    Now I will, however, first the vast majority of our economy is dependent on external factors over which we have little or no control, second our per capita level of borrowing is significantly higher than that in the UK, which is considered to be over borrowed, third when the GSLP were in power and had all borrowing covered by cash, the GSD and PRC were saying we had borrowed too much, fourth PRC in 1996 was saying £3000 per capita borrowing was far too high, today it is 5 or 6 times that and PRC says that per capita measurements make one an economic illiterate, which is in fact not so, it is a measure that is used internationally although, admittedly, not as much as the GDP ratio ... there you go ... keep borrowing :)

  43. There you go again. Where you get that our per capita level of borrowing is highe than that on the UK i do not know. The UK's debt is at 70% of GDP, their forecast for any growth has been downgraded and last i recall they gave a deficit issue. Not to mention unenployment rates and increasing taxes, they also have what is referred to as am austerity plan., most of Europe is doing this you may have read or in the news.
    Give me a break Robert.
    Oh and tour reference to Caruanas criticism of the GSLP in 1995 is based on an economy driven by illegal activity to the extreme. You do the maths, debt with an economic model supported by 16 year olds on a launch, for the love of God Rob, you sound like cornflakes now. Next you'll be telling us is that Picardo is gonna come out Smelling of roses.
    Valiente cachondeo tienes montao. Menos mal que no eres di picar y pincha...:)

  44. Anonymous at 22:04

    If you can stop resorting to the GSD tactic of insulting and use some intelligence you can do the sums yourself. The statistics are all available on the internet.

    If by illegal activity you refer to tobacco, then I agree the hooliganism has been dealt with by the GSD but not the trade. Why does the GSD government keep secret the figures for government revenues from tobacco and only reveal these to the Opposition on strict terms that it is kept secret?

    There YOU go again and please restrain yourself ... no insults please.

    PS I omitted to add that the amounts due from public sources as debt increases by amounts due from government owned companies that PRC admitted did not form part of the Public Debt.

  45. Hey what insults? All I said was here you go again. My reference to tobacco was not it's revenue but the fact that in 95 we has an economy with a repudiation akin to a brothel and therefore our debt against any figure of GDP was irelevant given that we were running a false economy. My point bring PRC refers to that error and the debt being of concern based on know substance. It amazes me that you have the arrogance and the audacity to suggest that our economy is based on external factors, what a crock. Are you suffering that our finance centre is external and that it's services which include the legal profession in which you factor are external, that there is no intellectual property in Gib creating work income and growth? Amazing stuff.
    You've been drinking too much Evo...:)

  46. Anonymous at 22:23

    You again show your ignorance ... the finance centre is precisely beholden to external factors like changes to regulation, tax laws and other anti-avoidance measures that are taken constantly by other countries ... ask any lawyer ... why was the exempt company regime abolished because we wanted to or because external factors forced us to. Why are advisors in Gibraltar using BVI companies? ... stick to estate agency :)

  47. Robert since you are so keen to give your opinion on all things political, which politicians out there are worth a vote (if any!!!). What about people currently outside of politics? who do you think could stand for election and make a positive contribution to Gibraltar? And no you cannot choose yourself :)

  48. Lol Robert I think you got it in one! Haha

  49. ha ha ha Robert, tu sabe ke yo estoy leyendo lo posts del economic brain este pensando, 'Louis, ke sabra tu de global economy, ni na!' LOL

  50. Anonymous at 22:30

    I intend to give my views on which politicians may be good parliamentarians once each party announces its list for the forthcoming election.

    As to good people currently out of politics, I would give a vote to each of Charles Gomez and John Gomez not because I agree with all their policies but because I consider them to be independent minded individuals who would contribute greatly in Parliament. I am sure there are more that will come to mind ...

  51. The great thing about the brazen and arrogant attitudes some contributors adopt whilst posting is that it makes it all the more satisfying when someone else manages to get the upper hand on them in a debate.

    Good show Robert.

  52. What about Scooby Doo would you vote for him?

  53. Any others? Or do they have be called Gomez??

  54. Robert, cuidao, the 'who would you vote for' question looks like a smoke-screen to cover el estate agent! LOL

  55. To 22:50 that wasn't the plan! It was an honest question

  56. Anonymous at 22:59

    ... and I took it as such ...

  57. The truth is that I meet a lot of good and capable Gibraltarians but they would have to take a pay cut to be a Minister or even Chief Minister. I know some won't like it but its true. Any thoughts on how to improve the quality of person standing? (by this I mean their capabilities not social class!)

  58. Oh dear Robert, could you have scared off this evening's 'economist'? or maybe he's been given 'a look' and he's had to retreat!

  59. Good show RV!!!

    The arrogance of these individuals seems to know no bounds. Even when hard facts are produced they refuse to accept anything other than their own elevated opinions.

    GDP? Irse al CAR*JO :) Gibraltar is miniscule in comparison to the UK!! It is far easier to create job opportunities for a few thousand rather than a few MILLION.

    How can sane person imply otherwise?


  60. Anon at 22.40 Sccoby and Scrappy Doo are already MPs you will be able to identify them on the nightly TV reports on the Budget session where you will also see Mr. Burns, Lurch, Mr. Blobby, Sponge Bob Square Pants etc

  61. The two Gomez gentlemen are self employed and in fact employ many people between them. One in his legal chambers and the other in his restaurant. The rest of us employees are not so lucky that we can afford to be independent minded.

  62. Charles Gomez.6 July 2011 at 13:30

    Robert's endorsement must surely mean that en fin, je suis arrivé. I am suitably humbled. Thanks Robert.

  63. I find it very funny when the many who lip synch Peter Caruana's arguments, phrases etc fail to provide an argument outside the lip synch!!! I also think these people (many ya con sus partes bien negras and on that token grown up enough to have developed the ability to form own opinions) MUST be lacking in a gene or two - at least the gene that makes us blush and the gene of self awareness! Personally me da verguenza ajena when I see them lip synch their act! ROFL

  64. Charles

    It does not mean I will ever necessarily agree with you :)

  65. Que asco de politoqueo en gib! Again, targeting the most vunreable in the community! GSD activists have been at it again, and have been telling elderly citizens that it would be best to vote GSD because the GSLP plans to scrap Community care! My elderly parents have just phoned me up in a panic about this!!!

    A message pa uno como pal otro - If you are going to go into dirty politics, do so, without manipulating the most vunreable in the community, our Elderly. Some respect!

  66. po ganas teneis todo de meterse en politica! I am appalled at the CM's aggressive reply today in Parliament. I could feel the venom in his, como ya se suele decir, vitriolic attack.

    Valor tienen el Opposition de hecharle coj**nes! I also understand how the other nine ministers that make up the Government ni chistan y lo dejan ke el se lo coma todo!

  67. Charles, Robert, one might call it the blind leading the blind...:)

  68. I have serious concerns about Picardins ability to understand the economy. To boot he dares to scare the electorate into believing that a) our debt is illegal and b) that they are liable for payment of a debt that happens to be the lowest in Europe and only relevant to infrastructure.
    Then he goes on to add that he would rather have the tax reduced further to 18% which would cost us £25m, and that our surplus should be closer to £40m. Is this guy really for real ? Can Picardin clarify if we are or are not in good shape?
    Beat of all which I did not know was that he had actually ploted to oust Bossano all those years ago with Feetham and them lead Danny up the garden path only to show him the door and withdraw in such cowardly manner.
    Change you can trust. PLC

  69. Anonymous at 21:23

    1. I have not seen anywhere that Fabian has said that the debt is illegal.

    2. Lowest public debt in Europe... depends what measure is used.

    3. There has been a lot of money thrown away on unnecessary projects and putting right projects that have gone wrong e.g. OEM and Mid Harbours ... so maybe the surplus could have been bigger and tax cuts greater.

    4. In the end analysis the electorate are liable to ay the debt out of taxation.

  70. Anon 21:23

    Let us not talk about Mr. Feetham then shall we? Ese si que es cambia camisa and supposedly the heir to His Royal highnesses throne.

    Selective memory? LOL


  71. 23% of GDP us the lowest in Europe, if you want to include the remaining debt which sits in the bank of England you'd be as ridiculous as Picardin himself. He went further that suggest the debt was illegal he scared the public into believing that we really are in scenario where they are liable to pay per capita the debt. Be serious Robert. The surplus would most deginateky have been bigger had we not had to pay near £50m to repair Harbour Views, Montagu and Gib 5 not to mention the plant on the Eadt of Europa. OEM was a private venture which Govt supported, bailed and delivered.

  72. anon @ 21:23, I have serious concerns about caruanins ability to handle our foreign affairs. To boot he's actually scared the electorate into believing that a)he thinks an andorra type solution is a good thing for Gibraltar and b)that he considers it possible for Gibraltarians to accept such a deal. Is this guy for real? Can Caruanin clarify if he will or he will not suggest such a solution?

    Best of all which I did not know was that he had actually acted as secretary of the PAG all those years ago only do blame it, rather cowardly, on the actions of a young lawyer helping his father-in-law out.

    Is it change you can trust? PLC

  73. Special K if you are looking for a cambia canids you should revert to your leader (Picardo I mean not Bossano) who after all anialated Bossano whilst at school as a student, then set-up the GNP to a disastrous ending in which he deserted them and joined the GSLP. This guy is relentless in the art of BS.
    But hey it's change you can trust.

  74. Anon 21:44. Everything Caruana has done in 16 years would be totally against any of your innuendo. But good try on the word play. You're nit Fabian are you?

  75. well at least we know that Picardo is not Bosanno's puppet if he's been plotting to get rid of him since he was in Bayside!

  76. Anon 21:44 didn't Feetham go from the GSLP to the now defunct LABOUR party and THEN to the GSD? I mean you can change your mind ONCE or even TWICE but THREE TIMES?? And to top it off you join the opposition? Venga ya meng!!

    Anon 21:39

    Que pesao eres con el GDP, pero como vas ha compara el GDP the Gibraltar (that is a DOT in the map) to that of the other EU states?

    There are only 30 000 of us!!

    Valiente equipo fuera serie este GSD :)


  77. anon @ 21:47, I take it you are referring to my post @ 21:43.

    You speak with the benefit of hindsight, something you are not affording Picardo at this stage, and let me remind you his Andorra remark was made only recently re-igniting the suspicion that always hung around his neck since the days of the PAG.

    But tell me, what exactly has Caruanin achieved with the Spanish? Their side of the airport is still to be built, there are still queues to go into Spain, the 2nd green channel still doesn't exist, they still do not respect our waters... the problems we faced many years ago still exist today, the only difference being the Spanish enjoy hugging him when they meet, which doesn't exactly encourage the quashing of the suspicion hanging round his neck!
    and no, I am not Fabian and you're not Louis either as we all know when it's him (lol)!

  78. Anon 23:03. Not sure who Louis is but you sure have Fabians gift.

  79. not sure who Louis is? just scroll up to last night's postings, I'm sure you'll get a clue there.

    as for me, you know I'm not Fabian so stop trying to cover up the fact you have no actual answers to my comments and instead prefer to centre the attention on my identity!

  80. Anon 22:03

    What is PAG if I may ask? And what was the CM's role in it?

  81. Anon 22:54. If you were to pose any real questions that lead to any real substance one might then be able to engage in real debate. So far you have shown absolutely no perspective or realism in any of your comments. You do however show an extreme likeness to Fabian. Judging by your posts I can only assume you will be flattered by that.

  82. I did not feel sorry for the monstering that Fabian recived today at the hands of Caruana. It is not everyday that a man is called a liar in parliament and has to take it. How arrogant can Fabian be to confront the man who humiliated Jack Straw and the FCO and dispatched poor old CJ Schofield with a boot print on his honourable arse, from the position of weakness that Fabian obviously is in? Fabian's involvement in the Noble and Blueprime cases undermines him politically. Perhaps distracted by all that Fabian then buggered up on the Necora accusations and by effctively implying that all lawyers in Gib are habitually having to give evidence in serious fraud cases. He appears to have boobed again by allegedly saying that the government has surpassed its borrowing limit. Fabian has an option, either he goes for the kill or retires from politics. At the moment he looks like a chihuahua bating a grizzly bear i.e. ridiculous.

  83. Cornflakes Bossano went from the IWBP to the GDM to the GSLP, Garcia broke the GSLP manifesto in the leaders debate in 1996 and joined the GSLP In alliance in 1998, Picardo went from campaigning against the GSLP in 1992 and 1996 as part of the GNP and then the Liberal party to jumping into the GSLP in 2002 when Feetham left! And to boot as the Chief Minister said today in parliament conspired to leave the Alliance with Feetham only to see a greater opportunity in staying when the other left. Joyce, Picardo should brief you better pichon!

  84. lol you're all on fire tonight, obviously your leader's temper-temper is catchy but hey desperate times lead to desperate measures, and boy, are you guys facing desperate times today with the tantrum that your leader has had in Parliament of all places. I'm sure you all turn a blind eye to his behaviour in No6 just as long as it remains behind closed doors, but recorded for all to hear on the TV and radio, you can't escape that one, can you?

  85. Marlene Hassan Nahon6 July 2011 at 23:58

    Dear all,

    and I speak for myself, not "Daniel Feetham appreciation Society" lol Kaelan.

    I am talking here in practical terms......

    On the subject of switching sides and been a 'cambia camisa', in my humble opinion, the salient principles of most parties can amount to similar in concept.

    You will therefore find that historically, on each side of the political divide, several individuals who have 'crossed over' -so to speak- more than once, just like you can find parties who have merged in order to gain a stronger voice. This is because in general, and under our CURRENT AND PREVIOUS democratic system, the best way to 'make a contribution' in Gibraltar politics is to ally yourself to one of the two serving parties in Parliament. Otherwise, getting your voice heard could take decades.

    Therefore, for any aspiring politician with the yearn to make a contribution, and in this case, given that Kaelan talks of Mr. Feetham switching sides 3 times, I could tell you as a good friend of mine that he is, that Daniel has been trying to make an honest, fair and positive contribution to local politics since his time in the GSLP. As someone commented above, despite whatever reasons may led to his departure, he has since only contributed positively to Gibraltar and I challenge anyone to argue with me on this.

    And this is what its all about. Its about making a valuable contribution and serving the people. Any other way to look at it is simply immature and to the detriment of Gibraltar and our progress as a people.

    I hope that in the forthcoming elections we put pettiness aside and vote for those that are working for US and making Gibraltar a better place to live in, and a stronger entity to be reckoned with.


  86. Moral of the story.........MOST LOCAL POLITICANS PARTY HOP :)

    Thank you for stating the obvious and clarifying the point I was trying to put across in my initial post :)


  87. I am flattered guys but not because you think I am Fabian, instead because you try and ridicule me and fail to answer my questions, that, as proved today in Parliament, is the GSD's big sign of losing the argument! If only you could shout at me too!

  88. Alex el problema con Joyce es que he hadn't heard of the saying people in glass houses should not throw stones. He is so engrossed in trying to denigrade his political opponents that he does not think. You are doing Norbeto a huge disservice boy.

  89. Marlene we can agree on most of what you have posted.

    Please note I was merely trying to make a point.


    Mikie 00:05 if you read my previous postings you will be able to understand what I meant by that (I hope) :)

    Ps - Norberto probably does not agree with some or possibly many of the things I post. Each to their own, como es el decir :)


  90. Marlene Hassan Nahon7 July 2011 at 02:09


    Im so deeply sorry that you blatantly missed the 'moral of the story' by an olympic mile!

    It was meant to be about so much more than that.....



  91. alguien sabe los lineups?

  92. Caruana in the U.K parliament humiliating MPs and defending Gibratar's rights? It can't be! Only Bossano and Picardo have that gift and sense of patriotism. The same patriotism that led them to play sides on the constitution, the same patriotism that had Bossano involved in the Kavernee tapes, these guys have no shame and are prepared to do anything it takes to get into power with no knowledge or concept of what it takes to lead. Picardins podcast was the last straw at an attempt to frighten the most vulnerable into a reality that is far from the truth.

  93. Who moved from which party when is now the most boring story in town. Caruana has called Picardo a liar behind the screen of parliamentary privilege and wants to pepetuate the LIAR allegation in a parliamentary motion. Picardo's reaction is the thing to watch out for. I think that he will try to turn the issue against Caruana by saying that he is vicious, rurhless and malicious but we all know that and bizarre as it sounds that has often served Gibraltar well. Unless Picardo comes up with a devastating retaliation he will be seen to be weak and not to have the mettle needed to run Gibraltar. Many of us will wonder why with the ammunition available to him to pummel the GSD Picardo does not act and we will think that his baggage has made him a spent force. The ingratiatory style of the international law firm has no chance against the Soviet prosecutorial style of Tovarich Caruana. Bossano must be recalled for duty, his clear minded and razor sharp, lean and mean intellect is sorely missed.

  94. Anon@23:41

    That is how Mr Picardo comes across to me too, a feeble leader in comparison with the CM. I find it frightening that we could have a Minister of Finance with such scant knowledge of our economy. He talks about "true patriots", "the workers" and "Socialism", all the out of date populist cliches and when it comes to the crunch it's Feeble Picardo.

  95. Yawn....

    Listening to Parliament this week makes me think that everyone there should go.

    Listening to Caruana saying "I could get the money back tonight if I wanted" "I could do this with the debt if I wanted"

    Y'know. Its my money, so just fak off with all this "I" "Me" "Liar" "Time for Change" blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

    MPs - I am sick of you all

  96. RV@21:31

    1) Take a look at Mr Picardo's Facebook and Twitter.
    2) As a percentage of GDP. Regardless of whether we have the lowest or not.
    3) You are right but then the projects are completed or nearly completed. All's well that ends well.
    4) No doubt.

  97. Yes Yes Marlene lo que tu diga reyna :)


  98. In viewpoint a few weeks ago Picardin makes it clear that the debt is high but not that bad, he also admits to the economy being in good shape. In Parliament he refers to the debt being too high and then goes on to say that taxes have not been brought down far enough, he recommends an immediate and dangerous 18% which would cost the economy £25m, then he goes on to say that the surplus should be higher up to £40 and not the current £28m and finally he goes on Facebook to tell his followers that the debt is bordering on illegal, its too high and a noose round our necks which would cost each family depending on how many kids you have up to £28,000!!!
    Then people wonder why Caruana loses the plot with him and makes him look like the politically convenient, immature and economic illiterate that he so obviously is.
    What is fascinating is that we all seem to be more concerned about Caruana's style and the fact que a el pobrecito Fabian le han dao un cacao, than actually understanding that FP is either playing with the truth to scaremonger or does not have a clue, or both.
    What was an eyeopnener and which I think someone refers to above is what he did to Danny whilst at the GSLP, is that true?

  99. Robert,

    Name me one good thing Picardo could offer us as CM???

    It really is worrying that an intelligent man like you can be fooled with his spin.

    All I can say is that he reminds me of Tony Blair. No substance. All spin. He is all about Facebook, twitter etc..etc....and no real policies...... A mi no me la pega este picardin!!! :)


  100. Anonymous said...

    Whats your view on Picardin having mentioned your firms name in the GBC interview when questioned about his involvement in the GP noble & blueprime cases??? que tela tiene no????


  101. Anonymous at 12:49 (Patriot)

    Your comment assumes that i have somehow endorsed Picardo. I have not. I have not endorsed any Leader. I have given my opinions, which include not endorsing any leader. In fact i have specifically advocated voting for individuals and NOT leaders in this very piece that you are commenting on. So you call me a fool without reason or the use of any intelligence, that makes someone else a fool not me ... THINK ABOUT IT!

    Anonymous at 14:46:

    I have already written about look back on my earlier piece:

    Sunday, 15 May 2011
    A Dark and Cloudy Dawn but with a Small Hope of a Ray Of Light

  102. Venga Robert whats your view on Picardin mentioning your firms name in the GBC interview???

    que le ve el plumero a este Picardin....:)

    awaiting reply...:)

  103. Okay Robert you do not endorse any leader but if you had to choose between Picardo or Caruana (only these 2) who would you vote for??? who would be best for Gibraltar???

    I want a STRAIGHT ANSWER no beating round the bush AND a no vote does not count!! :)

    I eagerly await your reply :)


  104. Anonymous at 15:13

    I quote from what I wrote at the time (15th May 2011):

    "I fully stand behind, support and repeat the statement, issued by No 6, that Mr Picardo's assertions on the Necora case are untrue and false. The circumstances of where Mr Picardo finds himself professionally are completely different and the cases involving him are still ongoing. He also said that Triay & Triay lost its libel case against a newspaper in Spain. This statement by Mr Picardo is not accurate. The Necora case involved the arrest in Spain of a Gibraltar lawyer who had no connection and had never had any connection with Triay & Triay. Mr Picardo should, as a lawyer himself, know that repeating statements that have been already found to be defamatory is itself defamation."

    Anonymous at 15:22 (Patriot):

    I am not forced to vote for either of them. I have 10 votes to vote for whichever individuals I wish to vote for, so your quaestion is fallacious.

    None of my 10 votes, at present, would go for either of them. I do not like autocratic presidents. PRC is alrady one and his performance in Parliament yesterday was a disgrace in my view 9see tomnights blog). Picardo has the makings of one, although, at least, he makes noises in favour of more democratic government.

    I will not be pushed to make a HOBSON'S CHOICE, which is what our electorate has been convinced they have to make. I am too much of an indepenednt and individualist thinker. I intend to campaign to change how the electorate votes, even if I fail.

  105. Okay then Robert, in your 10 votes, will you vote for Picardo or Caruana??? or both??? or neither??? :)

    I eagerly await your reply.


  106. Whilst I agree with the premise of the latest blog I feel that there are two issues at stake here, one would be to actually count blank votes so that if more than 50% of the voting electorate voted blank it would invalidate the election. Now that would be a powerful message.

    The other is this. I agree it would be great to vote for 'free radicals' or even independents. Unfortunately you did this policy no favours by deciding not to stand after all the beck and call of an independent platform. It is a pity, as until then I followed the blog quite faithfully.

    It is unfortunately easy to preach when you lack the faith of your own convictions to actually stand. What independents are we supposed to vote for now.

    Yours disappointedly


  107. Anon@12:38 I totally agree with your comment what is more Mr Picardo made the following statement in his Panorama refering to the State of the Nation's Debt. “ The Government’s ideas have petered out. Their energy has petered out. The public are saying that its time for Peter to get out.“ After the energetic lambasting he has received from petered out Peter I wonder what other play on words he's working on.

  108. Anonymous at 16:28 (Patriot)

    I said in my earlier reply to you that, at present, for neither!

  109. Marlene Hassan Nahon7 July 2011 at 20:53


    What would actually happen if 50% of the electorate voted in blank? What would be the consequence?


  110. Hi Marlene

    Blank votes are considered spoilt votes. They are not counted. They would have no effect on the outcome of an election.

  111. i don't suppose the CM will be watching the film 'my best friend's wedding' on saturday afternoon!