Monday, 5 September 2011

Election Fervour Starts?

No one, except for the Chief Minister, can know when the election will be called. Speculation that it will be soon is rife. There are some who say that it may be called as early as Monday with the election being held on the first Thursday of October. I still think it will be a little longer before it is held. I maintain the likely dates are either the last Thursday in October or the first Thursday in November. For the CM to leave it till later is for him to reduce his options and make the date of the election too obvious. There is also little that he can now do to improve his party's chances of success at the ballot box by prolonging its present term of office.

In reality the date does not matter too much. The GSLP has started its campaign already. They are jumping into a massive political vacuum that has been, very unwisely, left by the GSD's failure. Its failure to do that which was one of the fundamental reason for the GSD's original electoral success in 1996: to deliver democratic, fair, open and transparent government. The delivery of that policy is not a subjective one but one that it should have delivered systemically and objectively. 

The failure of the GSD to deliver reforms to the electoral and parliamentary system in Gibraltar, following its promises in 1996 to introduce more open and transparent government, is unforgivable; more especially so following the implementation of the 2006 Constitution. The GSD Government has tampered around the edges of providing open and transparent government. For example, the 2006 Constitution has provisions that allow for reforms. It has enacted, for example, a Data Protection Act that includes disclosure of information provisions. These are limited both in law and more limited in practice, by reason of the restrictive (and wrong in my view) interpretation given to the exercise of his powers by the Data Protection Commissioner. The requirement to enact such legislation is an EU requirement. Therefore even the introduction of that law was not a voluntary act on the part of the GSD Government. It also, by way of example, established an Ombudsman with restrictive legal powers. Further, it has undertaken reforms of tribunals and authorities but in a manner that centralises power back to the executive, meaning, in practice, the Chief Minister. All in all a cynical, churlish and very selfish charade to give the impression that the GSD Government was providing the open and transparent government that was so central to its policies in the 1996 election, when, in reality and on careful analysis, it has not done so. 

The reality is that the GSD, despite the inclusion of the words "social" and "democrat" in its name, has proved itself to be a right of centre party with some of its elected members being much further to the right than others. It certainly has a Catholic social conscience but the Catholic leanings of some of its elected members did not permit it, initially, to change laws in conformity with its legal obligation to do so contained in the 2006 Constitution and international law. This is proven by the fracas that arose from the attempt to change the law on the age of consent for sex. The basis of the objection was on Catholic religious teachings, which are fine but it is for adherents of Catholicism to keep to them, as is the requirement not to sin.  This theology, however,  should not be imposed on the community at large by a secular government.

This self-same philosophy and ethos, is also that which has led to self-righteousness amongst some of the higher placed members of the GSD. This is the belief that they are the arbiters of right and wrong in our democracy and that it is they who subjectively deliver democracy, openness and transparency. This belief is what the history of the last century has taught us can be dangerous, leading to autocracy. Democratic, open and transparent government is not delivered subjectively. It is delivered objectively and guaranteed by systems and checks and balances that are established and need to be institutionalised. The GSD promised in 1996 to deliver to us democratic, open and transparent government. It may feel that it has done so at a subjective level. It is not for them self-righteously to judge this. It is for the electorate to do so at each election. Subjective delivery is not sufficient, even were it to be true that it has been delivered. I would argue that it has not. It was the duty of the GSD, arising from its solemn promise to the electorate, to undertake early on a reform of the electoral and parliamentary system. The aim of this reform being to deliver objective safeguards to guarantee continuous democratic, open and transparent government by all and any elected administration. The GSD has singularly failed to do so. 

The most inexplicable aspect of the GSD's bahaviour, or better still its omissions to implement systemic and objective changes to ensure open and transparent government, is that it has allowed an enormous political vacuum to develop. It is the vacuum that has been referred to, so frequently, in this blog as the "democratic deficit". This issue has now become the subject matter of a very instructive piece by Leo Olivero in a recent edition of Panorama newspaper. It is politically naive, in the extreme, for the GSD to have allowed this void to develop.

It is a vacuum that is now being filled intelligently and with honesty and vigour by the GSLP. I have reason to believe and hope that the GSLP will over the next few weeks continue to fill it as it announces its agenda for democratic cabinet government. It is such an obvious area of deficiency in democracy in Gibraltar that the GSLP has simply walked in and started to fill the political hole left by the GSD and first identified in this blog. It is too late for the GSD to do anything about this debate that is developing in the political arena. Any reforms that the GSD belatedly says it will bring about, or that it takes steps to bring about will be seen as a cynical attempt at doing too little too late and opportunistically in order only to improve its electoral chances. That the GSD has been driven reluctantly to move on its promised reforms is obvious to see. I do not believe that the electorate is so gullible. 

The argument that some important GSD supporters are propagating is that the GSLP will not actually give effect to any of the democratic policies that it is now beginning to roll out. They support this argument with the same boring historical evidence, namely, that in the last GSLP administration it did nothing to espouse such democratic policies. This argument is falacious in several respects. First Fabian Picardo is the Leader now. He has more modern and democratic credentials than Joe Bosanno, who is a true red socialist of the late 60's and 70's. Few such socialists believed in absolute democracy. They believed rather more in the left wing principles and dogma of the then trade union movement. Second the policies are being made public by the GSLP in detailed and well explained press releases. It would be truly foolish of the GSLP to believe that it could attain success at the polls at the forthcoming election only then to ignore such central policy statements whilst retaining an expectation of re-election 4 years later. 

I happen to believe that the GSLP will implement the reforms that it is announcing also because it is and has always been committed to self-determination. The 2006 Constitution is with us for a number of decades. One way to self-determination that is open to Gibraltar, for the present, is for our own government and people to maturely debate and walk a path of modern and democratic government by itself, without any need to convince the UK. We need to undertake major reforms that are possible and permissible within the 2006 Constitution. These will reduce the scope for the exercise by the UK of its extensive reserve powers under the 2006 Constitution because such a move would be so palpable anti-democratic. This path is so clear and obvious to me that I cannot conceive that the GSLP has not seen it also and that it will not follow it. As for the GSD, I am afraid it is too late for it to have any credibility on these issues. It has allowed, by not doing it itself and leaving the ground open to be filled, the GSLP to step into undertaking the very policies that it was the GSD's manifesto commitment to have implemented in the last 16 years. It has failed itself, its adherents and Gibraltar on this fundamentally important issue. 

Can I categorically predict that the the GSLP will win the next election? No, of course, like all others, I cannot. I can say two things, however, first that I get the distinct impression, from talking to people, that change is in the air. Secondly that the majority of the opinion polls predict a GSLP win. I accept that Opinion Polls do not necessarily accurately foretell the actual result of an election. I accept that the only poll that counts is the election result itself. All that said, one cannot ignore the evidence wholly. Also, the mere fact that the GSD have allowed the GSLP room to move into a policy void that was its domain is an enormous strategic error that it is too late for the GSD to redress.

Whenever the election might be, I believe that the GSD has not left itself much room for maneuvre on what will be central issues in the next election. I predict that these will be in the domestic and not the international arena. Policy on the international issue, Spain, is clear and all political parties are clear on it. The noises coming from the Spanish Government signal a failure of the GSD policy of rapprochement on practical matters. Sovereignty is not being allowed to be discussed within the tripartite forum, as the GSD proclaim that it would have liked. Domestic issues will reign at the next election. The GSD cannot rest on what it perceives to be its past economic, housing and other successes. These are in the bag and being enjoyed by the electorate already. Additionally the GSD Government has committed many errors that I have no doubt will be exploited to the full by the GSLP at the forthcoming election.

Personally, I would counsel the GSLP to run a constructive and clean campaign. after all it is the GSD that considers itself to be the clean "good boy" of politics. Does and will the GSD's behavior support this? Calling the Leader of the Opposition a liar and introducing  a Motion to be debated in our skewed Parliament indicates otherwise. Time alone will tell. but could it be that the GSD will become the bullies during the forthcoming election campaign? That would be a complete reversal of positions as perceived during the 1996 election campaign, when the GSLP were the pariahs.


  1. I expect the election to be called just after the last of the multitude of play parks is opened. It is no ordinary park as it will be the jewel in the crown.

    This splendid creation will probably be opened with GBC showing the hoards of delighted children as a backdrop for some Minister to crow in front of.

    Now here comes the cynicism...

    This park in the Alameda has been closed for the entire summer holiday. The tired old park was functional, so could its refurbishment not have waited until the children went back to school...but then it wouldn't be ready before the election would it?

    Amazing how they care more about making an election gimmick work, than the children that it is supposed to benefit.

  2. receiving you loud and clear

  3. I am no GSD supporter but strongly believe in Catholic concepts on right and wrong, I think most people do, but those who think themselves trendy try to deny it. Based on those ideals, which have been developed through the experience of millenia, Christian countries have provided their peoples with rights and prosperity which most others have not – communism and fascism are good examples of ideologies that ossified and died. Secularisation will go the same way; it limits itself to the idea that things like gay rights and abortion are not just worthy causes or “inalienable” rights but are the very end of a great historical progress. Beyond that secularism offers nothing and it is therefore right that a party aspiring to govern a progressive community should look towards a deeper ideology to inform its policies. History shows that there is none better than Christianity. Moreover, Christianity is by no means right wing. Even Tony Blair and Gordon Brown define themselves as Christian socialists! Christianity is bigger than politics and if by some awful mistake we have allowed others to enter into “international obligations” on our behalf which offend against Christian morality, Christians have a right to objectm politically and in whichever ways they think fit.

  4. What are you talking about vacum?

    Just check out the GSD website. That will fill you in on the details that YOU need to know thank you very much...

  5. Charles Gomez

    I too am a Catholic. I too believe that Christianity has a moral code that is one that should be followed. I accept fully that christianity and socialism are not exclusive of each other. I also accept that Christianity can be utilized wisely in a left wing context. I agree with your examples of both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. However, they understood that they could not impose their Christian views by law on a multi-cultural society. The law is one thing, a religious moral code another. It is for each individual to maintain his respective religious moral code, the concepts of sin and forgiveness are central to Christianity. It is for religions to preach and advocate adherence to these morals. To punish criminally those who choose to live different lives or in Christian terms to sin. Even the Catholic Catechism recognises the existence of gay individuals. What makes the GSD right wing is not its Catholocism but the attempt to impose Catholic moral standards by law on all. I hope I have clarified my opinion, although I do feel that I have not equated right wing tendencies with Christian beliefs in my piece but rather the manner of attempting to impose these.

  6. Anonymous at 10:55

    Yes, exactly, it exemplifies everything that I say in 2 words "keep trusting"! :)

  7. Tyrone Duarte says:

    Robert, YOU obviously need to acquaint yourself better with the propaganda of a specific party according to anon 10:55!!! Por Dios, don't people realise that it is RUDE to use capitals when writing on the net? It's the sort of chest poking that puts one of even listening to a message. I will not be visiting the GSD webpage.

    Separately, I agree with your analysis of the distinction between the law and personal morality. El Pais refers to these religiously motivated right-wingers as "catolicistas", and i think it's an apt term for those who take religion into politics in order to go about their outdated gay-bashing.

  8. It is evident from previous blogs and conversations I've been involved in that there is a need for change in the current administration.
    The GSD have burnt their bridges by strangulating freedom of speech, incurring a substantial defecit, and displaying an arrogance in their decision making; with little to no consulation with the public.
    The GSLP under the auspices of Fabian have demonstrated initative by addressing these deficiencies, demonstrating an insight as to the requirements of the local community.
    One is curious to determin what other concepts arise from this corner?

    Devils Advocate

  9. Just as groups like gay rights can present their take on morality and by agressive lobbying change the law to suit their own sectarian agendas, Christians are free to do the same. If a political party espouses Christian beliefs and is elected by a community which includes substantial minorities of other faiths and none, then surely those Christian morals, which in the main are replicated in the other religions represented in our city, should be reflected in the law. You cannot accuse Catholics within any party of trying to impose anything. They stand for election and the people can vote for or against them. I find discrimination against gay people repugnant as does the Church. That is however different from wanting to protect young gays from the increased medical risks associated with buggery. It is the liberal / politically correct and secularist fringes that have succeeded in imposing their often half baked dictatorial ideas on our society and the result is clear from the decline in standards of behaviour and freedom of speech e.g. in England where these notions have gone uncontested by lazy clerics and a distracted society which has been too easily cowed by strident, shrill accusations of a myriad "phobias" every time they have wanted to express an opinion. We must not allow the same to happen in Gibraltar but can take comfort from the fact that history shows that common sense always ensures that the fashion for permissiveness comes and goes and unthinking tolerance can be as brief as was the taste for bell bottom trousers and 1970s hairstyles.

  10. Charles Gomez

    you commit the classic mistake of all fundamentalists. The liberal/politically correct and secularist fringes do not "IMPOSE" anything on anyone. First they are not "FRINGES" and secondly decriminalising an act is not IMPOSING it.

    What it is is to allow freedom of choice. Freedom of choice is a basin Christian belief. One has always been free to sin and it is for religions to keep us on the straight and narrow. It all started with Adam and Eve. It is the mission of all of us assisted by religions to avoid sin ... we all try but human failure is acknowledged by God.

    What is wrong is for the State to punish cruelly human frailties. Where do we stop? Llying is a sin, should we send people to prison for lying? I believe you traduce my arguments mistakenly. You are also being judgmental, think about it.

    Morality and the law is a very complex subject. We scratch the surface of it. BTW bell bottoms and 1970's hairstyles have come back into fashion intermitently.

    The issue of the age of consent is given in my blog as an example. It is not the central or even an important part of the argument. I do not wish to distract from the wider piunts made so we will agree to disagree on it.

  11. If the GSD want to be a Catholic party, fine, just come out and say so and allow the electorate to decide whether that is the way they want to be governed.

  12. Tyrone Duarte says:

    Mr Gomez says: "...Christian morals, which in the main are replicated in the other religions represented in our city, should be reflected in the law."

    Will it be Lex Talionis, or turning another cheek that we enact in law?

    If we pass the 10-commandments into law we may have a problem or two, not least that even in rocky Gibraltar we'd run out of rocks to stone people for adultery! Nevermind poking out people's eyes for "coveting thy neighbours wife".

    As for protecting young gays from the evils of buggery(I can't even believe the language used)how about instead protecting all of society from STDs? How about encouraging the use of condoms? Or a public campaign to encourage responsible personal choices? Instead the selectivity of the language used, and the fact that only male gay sex is in the frame clearly indicate that this is an anti-gay agenda masquerading as social concern. Is lesbian sex not an issue for these individuals?

    As for referring to the broad human rights movement as a "fringe" and "politically correct" is merely using meaningless terms with the intent of degrading or insulting.

    And no, I do not personally subscribe to every single liberal or libertine thought, but that does not mean that others should not do as they please.

    Got to go to work.

  13. We must indeed agree to differ. The liberal/politically correct and secularist ideologies impose themselves without democratic or other mandate or open debate. To my mind they offer little that is new or sensible. Their modus operandi is to shout down those who have other views. Whereas in the past authoritarians of the extreme right and the extreme left and religious fundamentalists quelled dissent with threats, now liberals/the politically correct and secularists try to do the same. They must not be allowed to get away with it. You may see allowing buggery among 16-18 year old boys as decriminalisation, I see it as a shameful abdication by the State of its duty to protect the vulnerable. The State in question being the British State which caved in to the clamour from the trendy left wing establishment in the face of medical evidence and which we in Gibraltar now ape.

  14. So the Gsd website is still as uneventful as its party, and we are suddenly told that we are under Catholic rule!

    This just gets better and better!

  15. Anonymous at 15:31

    Have you been able to find an event on the GSD wen site?

    Who has said that we are under Catholic rule?

  16. Mr. Duarte's histrionic contribution brilliantly highlights the approach and style of the liberal establishment which I was complaining of. All spray paint indignation, fuzzy thinking and an obsession with the names of things. Anal intercourse between men has always been called buggery in the English language but Mr. Duarte "cannot believe the language used" - come off it mate! And of course no politically correct discourse could end without an accusation worthy of the Stalinist Gulag courts. Mr. Duarte says that I am anti-gay and any social concern that I might say I have is a "masquerade".

  17. gentlemen, this blog is not about anal intercourse/buggery or about the gay issue ... so let's leave the argument to one side. There is no cure for homophobia ...

  18. Indeed robert!,there is no cure for homophobia!!....
    Just ask peter mandelson!...

    It used to be the case here in the uk,that "Church and State",went hand in hand,but with a more liberal progressive society,less than 4 million people attend weekly church services now!...

    In a real democracy,no-one wants to be told what there sexual prefrences should be,based on church/govt rhetoric.

    Out with the old,and in with the new!,and that includes the GSD,caruana and co on there way out!!...

    Why,i hear you ask!...because you broke your promises,became complacent,weren't upto the job,and took the voters of gib for granted!...

    You were the weakest link peter!....

    regards scotsguy

  19. Tyrone Duarte says:

    My point is that in the rise of election fervour I will be encouraging my friends and family to vote for a political party that:

    Does not intrude into private morality;
    Does not dictate on social/lifestyle choices;
    Promotes and protects the physical and mental health of the entire community;
    Keeps the insidious or direct influence of religion firmly out of politics (whilst protecting religious freedom);
    Promotes and protects human rights, and responsibilities;
    Encourages responsible choices from all members of society.

    As for my "histrionics", as described by Mr Gomez, I was chortling as I typed because of the absurd nature of what would result if religious rules were transposed into law.

    Mr Gomez is quite happy to have gays around, as long as they behave in accordance with his moral dictats.

    If he bothers to ask around town Mr Gomez will establish that I am far, far, far from being politically correct, and far from a fuzzy thinker or do-er.

    His labelling of all those who do not submit to his view of morality and God as "politically correct" and "Stalinist" merely highlights that they just do not get the fact that people should be allow to do as they please as long as they do not impact on the freedoms and rights of others.

    When I referred to the language used I was not referring to the term "buggery", but rather to the patronising language used, which is, however, understandable from the patriarchally minded. Again, in relation to the elections parties would do well not to patronise the electorate.

    He also has not answered if he is concerned about the health implications of lesbian sex and what a government should do in law to protect these young women from the diseases they may encounter.

  20. That is the hazaed one has to assume when writing to a liberal blog like Llanito World. You express your opinion and if it does not meet with strict political correctness you are called a "homophobe". In fact I am nothing of the sort but the entries above are a useful case study on how liberals are incapable of rational debate without immediately dispensing unreasoned condemnation, very much like stalinists or, dare I say the Spanish Inquisition or McCarthyists etc. As to Mr. Duarte's request that I clarify my position on the health implications of lesbian sex, I do not believe that lesbian practices are a medical risk factor but from the research which I had to carry out in preparation for the recent court case I was able to find that the BMA has reported that the incidence of the contraction of HIV / AIDS in men within the age group 16-18 is greater than for other age groups.

  21. Charles Gomez

    I have unashamedly professed liberal and left of centre views all my adult life. You are absolutely right about this being a liberal blog. That is exactly what it was always intended to be: a rreflection of my political views.

    How would you describe your extreme and fundamental views about gays if not homophobic? I really do not know. Your medical risk argument is a load of rubbish. There is medical risk of some greater or lesser degree in all activity. In fact tgere is a medical risk in all activity, including breathing. Do not hide behind this vaporoously thin camouflage.

    ... and that is it no more on the gay issue the central argument of this blog is elections , politics and political leanings, let us debate that, not individual obsessionns on sexuality be they my liberal ones or youe fundamentalist views.

  22. You know what i find amusing robert!...
    Those of the christian faith who make judgment on others!

    “Judge not, lest ye not be judged.” (Matthew 7:1)

    If we believe in god,then its him who we will answer too...

    Maybe the GSD leadership could do with a 3 month re-fresher course,in a thriving multi-culture/cosmopolitian city like brighton..!!!.on all things democratic,fair,and impartial...

    regards scotsguy

    PS thats why the old is on its way out...

  23. Robert, calm down dear fellow. The medical risk argument is not mine, it is that of the British Medical Association which reported that the age group, which was the subject of the recent age of consent case, 16-18, was particularly at risk. For the last time I am not a homophobe but you seem to fear the truth. Like most liberals you are unable to countenance any evidence which undermines the cosy notions of reality.

  24. Charles Gomez

    i am extremely calm, thank you. To support and propagate a discriminatory age differential between hterosexuka and gay age of consent is discriminatory. It has been held so to be in a variety of courts of the highest standing in a myriad of jurisdictions. Homophobia s to be prejudiced against gays i.e. includes to discriminate against them. How you can explain away your arguments as not being homophobic totally escapes me but there you are!

  25. Tyrone Duarte:

    One last deviation of I may: it is likely that the 16-18 year olds are most at risk because they are more likely not to use a condom. I will comment no further on this.

    As regards the politics let's just hope that they all keep it clean, perhaps the Young GSDistas will prevail over their elders worst instincts. Also, that Mr Garcia has a similar effect on the Alliance in order to support Mr Picardo's efforts in this regard.

  26. you might be calm but your cousin is going to have a heart attack!

  27. Vaginal intercourse and anal intercourse are not the same so I do not see why one cannot discriminate i.e. note the obvious difference between the 2 acts. Especially so when there is medical evidence shows that the latter exposes young men to serious illness and death. And as for the Brighton Scotsguy, I agree that the old liberal regime is now stale, past its sell by date and needs to be replaced.

  28. Anonymous at 18:44

    Why is Cousin Peter going to have a heart attack? Please enlighten me ...

  29. just put the radio on Robert

  30. Anonymous at 19:06

    I am in London. GBC does not transmit Parliament online.

  31. Not quite the case, it was certainly a good back and forth effort from both parties.

    The mud was flying by the end of the proceedings though.

    It'll be very interesting to see what the resulting fallout is from some of the things that were said by both the Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

  32. Julius says

    Robert try this website for live transmission of Parliament.

  33. I am a homosexual man and although I do not agree with Charles Gomez on the age of consent he is most certainly not homophobic. His arguments show caring and concern. The problem is that the whole issue has been politicised and there has not been a proper public debate.
    There are still many hurdles which the gay community needs to dealt with including indirect discrimination, hate speech the recognition of same-sex couples and adoption by same-sex couples. Right to change legal gender, access to IVF for lesbians and gays allowed to donate blood. hopefully all these things will be achieved by civilized debate and not by calling well meaning people homophobes and leaving social issues for judges to decide.

  34. Hey Scotsquy@18:21

    You say:

    "Maybe the GSD leadership could do with a 3 month re-fresher course,in a thriving multi-culture/cosmopolitian city like brighton..!!!.on all things democratic,fair,and impartial..."

    Everyone knows that Brighton is the UK's main gay resort. It is people like yourself that incite homophobia.

  35. Anonymous @ 19.06

    Please for the benefit of the rest of us, do tell what happened today.....

  36. Absolutely no, precisely the contrary is my view. The Government has been pushed into putting a timescale on their suggested reforms; have agreed that they have been pushed into this by public opinion and now do not agree that public opinion should be consulted!! Go search, by the way - also confirmed that these elections are now "late" by exceeding the four years .....smells of running scared. PRC has only succeeded in self destruction to-day

  37. PRC has just simply added another layer to his already heavy coat,he has again wanted to ridicule the opposition and FP.In reality what is said in Parliament during the debates and the final conclusions,won't make the slightest difference to the deciding percentage of the electorate who,don't listen to the debate,don't read the press,don't read this blog,but on the other hand will on occasions watch the 30 second condensed version of a five hour debate offered by GBC new.PRC is forgetting the element of identity,the electorate needs to identify with a leader.........more so than the party.
    Does he know the Gibraltarian of 2011?
    don't think so.

  38. L.E.F. says,

    Having just watched a short documentary on Jose Antonio Primo De Rivera ,the founder of Falange the Spanish Fascists, I could recommend a few of his quotes for the centre right party as election slogans.

    'No olvideis que uno de los principios de nuestra moral es la fe en los jefes. Los jefes tienen siempre razon'.

    That is what the GSD is offering us again. Have faith,trust us they say. They want us to blindly believe in the leader. They want us to never question his ability or to doubt his decision making.

    15 years is a long time to have faith that the GSD would implement democratic improvements in our Governing. The reality is they had the chance but did not. Actions speak louder than words and no activity speaks even louder.

    On the religious side without offending anyone. Is not Christianity based on understanding and tolerance. Are not human rights also based on the same morals. That we are all equal.

    Is not love and respect for one another fundamental in Christs
    teachings. Is not to show love and respect to your adversaries a greater show of Christian faith than to impose your faith like the crusaders.

    Having watched the recent riots in the UK,I was totally moved by the father who had lost his son. The crowd was angry and wanted violence.This man turned his pain and suffering into goodness by convincing the crowd to go home.

    His actions alone, prove that in the eyes of humanity he is a truly moral person regardless of his beliefs.

    That is what we need in Gibraltar . More love and respect amongst all us Llanitos.

    More practice and less preaching.

    Vote Change

  39. Fabian actually (suprisingly) held his own very well, I might even go so far as to say that with the Speaker's interjection towards the end of the parliamentry session that Fabian came out looking even better than Peter did, what with his insistance that the Speaker had misinterpreted what Fabian had said incorrectly seemingly because it did not line up with Peter's own opinion.

  40. Robert I would like to you what you think of the motion passed yesterday?

  41. I am grateful for the words of anonymous @ 20.35. At this stage in the 21st century we should be able to discuss important things without being accused of e.g. homophobia as in other times people were silenced with accusations of heresy or even witchcraft or in soviet times, of insanity. Political correctness must not be allowed to be the new despotism.As anonymous @ 00.53 says: "Is not Christianity based on understanding and tolerance. Are not human rights also based on the same morals. That we are all equal". Anon @ 20.35 mentions the issue of adoption. That is certainly not a question that can be decided without detailed research and debate because the fundamental interest is that of the adopted child and not the adopted parent whether heterosexual or otherwise. In the UK no such research or debate took place. I once asked an uber liberal member of the English court of appeal what data there was about the effects, if any of gay adoption. She told me that there was none but that we would know in the future when this generation of gay adoptees grew into adults. Now I do not know whether there will be any negative effects from gay adoption and my inclination is towards the idea that it is better that a child be given a safe environment whether with a hetero or a gay couple but I am appalled at the liberal idea that children can be used as guinea pigs in their speculative social engineering games. I would not like any future debate on adoption to be marred by cries of homo phobia. These cries have already silenced too many debates and views.

  42. Anonymous at 10:59

    I will be writing about that later today or tomorrow. My initial thought is that the idea of having an Independent Commission reporting to Parliament that retains its sovereignty by taking the final decision is the way forward on the issue of electoral and parliamentary reform. After all it is a fundamental reform that needs to be right. Even my ideas may not necessarily be entirely the right way forward. We need input from many quarters within and without Gibraltar on this very important issue. There is a balance to be struck between democracy and ability to efficiently govern. This is a complex matter that needs very careful consideration.

  43. "GBC does not transmit Parliament online"? Does it require a motion or legislation to do that? Surely not, just as we do not need a motion or legislation to institute fortnightly CMQs and monthly Ministers' Qs. Peter could have done this at any time during the last 15 years. Why wait until now? Is it because it now looks likely that he's going to lose and is, in his own words in Parliament yesterday, "poisoning the pill" for the next administration? He claims he is now doing so because of the "clarion call from those outside Parliament". Can only be Llanito World he's referring to. I am inclined to think it's a combination of both i.e. he's at last taking heed of calls for greater democracy from the pages of Llanito World; but is only doing so because he looks likely to lose and is therefore intent on "bittering the pill" (he also used this expression yesterday) for the incoming administration. Why else would he wait 15 years?

  44. Today;s Chronicle reports that the CM has admitted that pressure from online sources has accelerated the programme for parliamentary reform and electoral changes. The Chronicle suggests that this is an oblique reference to this blog. It is gratifying to see that opinion can influence the course of politics in Gibraltar on such a fundamental issue as how it is to be governed. This alone is a major success for democracy and free speech.

  45. Listen you idiots, stop talking about parliamentary reform. You know nothing, NOTHING about it.

    Didn't I make myself clear in Parliament yesterday?

    We know what’s wrong with this Parliament,”

    “We know what needs fixing.”

    “Who is there, out there in Gibraltar, that knows that?”

    “Who is there, out there in Gibraltar, that is not involved in politics in Gibraltar that knows even how this Parliament works, let alone how it can be fixed?”

    Listen, if I want to know your opinion I'll ask for it closer to an election OK?

    Until then, shut up.

  46. Gianni

    I agree and have written in the past that the matters that you identify do not need any major changes. It could all have been done way earlier.

    I do not agree that the reforms are being accelerated because the GSD feel that they can somehow scupper the next administration. Three reasosn, first they will not be done before the next election. second the GSD had the reforms on its agenda and manifesto beforehand and third the reforms do not hinder government they make it more democratic, transparent and open.

    The synthesis of your argument is that a government should bellowed to govern under the present system because it can and would do what it likes. This is a clearly disingenuous argument and completely anti-democratic.

    In any event whether you are right or wrong is irrelevant. What is relevant is that palpable reforms are needed and are essential, as all parties havegreed. The argument that you put forward is, therefor, no reason at all not to proceed with reforming the system.

  47. Regardless of how Caruana tries to dress it up, he knows that these proposed reforms have come about too late in the day to be considered anything but desperate election ploys to the people of Gibraltar as a whole.

    He might be an incredible speaker, gifted with the intelligence, comedic timing and wit that would be the envy of any would-be politician, but even he cannot polish a turd.

    Another misfire by the GSD and the ship continues to sink...

  48. Anonymous at 11:49

    Yes, I read these pronouncement made by the CM. I should be gobsmacked but in truth I am not. They betray exactly how he has a tendency to think about most subjects.

  49. RV@12:00


    I agree with the CM. I am not qualified to make any contribution towards Parliamentary Reform. I would expect the politicians to do that for me. As for a Referendum. I see that as nothing other than the politicians passing the buck.

  50. Caruana has simply done this exercise to tie knots around the GLSP's neck should he lose the next general election which looks likely at the moment...his problem will be if he wins...he'll have a heavy chain around his neck but then again he's very cleverly given himself ONE more year of autocratic government/rule...que verguenza de politicos y ke asco de parlamento!

  51. anon @ 11.49

    who on EARTH are you? You sound scarily familiar..... It wouldn't be an obviously arrogant character would it???

  52. Anonymous at 12:48

    To agree with the CM because you are not qualified to contribute to parliamentary reform is simplistic because the fact that you cannot contribute is not determinative of the issue. There are many within and outside Gibraltar that can and will contribute to get the best reforms possible to meet the special circumstance of Gibraltar.

  53. Parliament is meant to be elected by the people to serve the people, so why should changes in the way it functions not be put for public consultation? I may be a bit cynical, but it seem as if the GSD are worried and trying to ensure they have a better chance of representation in parliament by increasing the numbers, the GSLP are procrastinating because they would like to be in the driving seat when reforms are implemented and the PDP would also like improve their chances of getting some representation by having more seats available. Either way if the main political groups cannot agree, they should put their proposals to the people during the looming election campaign and let them decided how they would like their parliament modernised.

  54. Funny Robert how it’s the GSD who bring about the new constitution, include the 2/3 majority for parliamentary reforms, include that they themselves want to bring about reform in their manifesto of 2007 (the only party to do so)and to boot when they admit that they could have sought to have done it sooner, the opposition who has conveniently jumped on your band wagon have the cheek to agree with the entire motion proposed yesterday, and have a further olive branch thrown at them, but still refuse to participate. The opposition has sat idly for 16 years doing nothing and committing to nothing and they continue to do so. Their exhibition last evening was ridiculous and quite obviously demonstrates the lack of willingness to do anything that might represent responsibility or a signal of a party ready to govern. Picardo clearly demonstrates that he shoots from the hip and his lack of understanding even of the constitution was a farce. To then have Licudi try to further wriggle himself and the GSLP out of the fact that there was clearly agreement and dribble out the prospect of a bi-election was laughable. Incredibly once the GSLP had been outed, they turned to accusing the CM of firing the last speaker of the house and warned the existing speaker that disagreeing with the CM may arrive at that scenario, very parliamentarian. I can only imagine this last spectacle by the GSLP was a last ditch attempt to deflect from the unsavoury and school boy antics displayed by them.

  55. Anon 14:57. This is now the only likely outcome given that the GSLP agree with everything that the motion proposed by the GSD had and to boot were even thrown a further bone. Quite clearly the GSLP have other ideas. Having said this FP's play to the gallery was formidable as was the CM's response in showing the GSLP up fpr what it truly is.

  56. Anonymous at 15:42

    It is not MY bandwagon the reform the governmental system is essential for the bettermen of Gibraltar and for our quest to be seriously self-governing

  57. LW @15:42. Yes you are right and you should be commended for your efforts in this matter. But get your facts right on yesterdays debate in which the party seeking to lead us in the next election leaves much to be desired for. It is wholly unacceptable that the GSLP are incapable in 16 years of expressing commitment to anything. They too are accountable and have a responsibility to the electorate, one in which they are duty bound to debate and be counted for as opposed to abstaining at every given moment.

  58. Anonymous at 16:13

    "GET MY FACTS RIGHT ON YESTERDAY'S DEBATE ..." ???? I do not believe that I have made a single comment or criticism of that debate. If I have please point it out to me?

    Perhaps other politicians would have behaved generally different if the GSD had been more inclusive about its politics and its method of governing? Just a thought.

  59. What of the Young GSD? I hear that they are putting a seminar together this evening at the Elliots and have over 150 people attending. Some bright sparks apparently, seemingly comitted to a party that is out of steam according to the GSLP. In fact Robert, I think you know 1 or 2 of the YGSD leaders personally. Could this be a grass roots and inteligent way to begin a campaign? a seminar in which interested members of the youth can challenge the GOVT and debate on youth issues? quite democratic if you ask me. A thumbs up for the kids, I'm sure you'll agree Robert

  60. LW @ 16:13. You are right apologies, I just automatically assumed that you would have critisized Caruana. I see in some posts that you are actually leaning towards him. Are you ok..:)

  61. Anonymous at 16:20

    All that is truly democratic is to be welcomed. What is most democratic is listening and accepting the valid views of others and not allowing just people to meet and discuss only :) I may well know some of those attending. I wish them well.

    Anonymous at 16:23

    Apology accepted and yes I do defend what I view is right and cricise what is wrong. I do not criciise PRC on the whole. I criticize the GSD Government. It so happens that nothing seems to be done in which PRC does not have a hand. He would have an easier time if he employed Cabinet Government. I have noticed a greater involvement of Ministers recently. I applaud this. Perhaps I have had some influence on that too? I have been highly crucial of FP in the past. Look back and see.

  62. Robert are you coming out of your closet....:)

  63. As a GSLP supporter I wish the YGSD the very best in their endeavours!

    All too often I hear young people complaining about not caring about politics as a whole. This is presumably because many are essentially indoctrinated at a young age by their parents into voting for either the GSD or the GSLP.

    The fact remains however that Robert’s criticisms against the current administration ring true nonetheless. Certainly the GSD have done many great things for Gibraltar, but they have most definitely been lacking in other, important, departments. This is exasperated by the fact they have failed to deliver on promises they have made years ago.

    One hopes that any young individual who gains an interest in politics through either parties’ youth organisations are able to make up their own minds about the political future of Gibraltar as opposed to simply following the leader as it were.

    Yesterday, Picardo for the first time in my opinion inspired genuine confidence and leadership in the way he handled the fierce onslaught of Caruana’s tried and tested, masterfully delivered words.

  64. Anonymous at 16:36

    No, I am not gay :)

    And no I am not a supporter of any of the GSD, GSLP, Linerals or PDP. I believe in what I write on this blog ... what that makes me I do no know. I have been variously described as a loose cannon, idiosyncratic, a shit (and many other expletives).

    I think I am just myself: someone who thinks and says and writes what he thinks. It is called bein honest to oneself. It makes me many friends and few enemies. Those enemies that it has made me, when I have found out who they are, are usually people who I would not have as a friends or people who are wrongly taking advantage of the system, which I decry.

    In short with me you get what you see and you can see what you get by reading this blog. I know it is difficult to believe that in Gibraltar there is such a simple person ...

  65. I understand that minister Clive Beltran made a complete pigs ear of an intervention in yesterdays debate in parliament. Where can I find a transcript of what he said? For too long we have let people in to parliament on the block vote basis without checking their abilities. Transcripts should be put on line so that we can check for ourselves before putting our xs next to the names of people who may not be up to it.

  66. Robert

    You state:

    'It is a vacuum that is now being filled intelligently and with honesty and vigour by the GSLP.'

    If an election were to be held tomorrow the GSD could be justified in claiming that they proposed Parliamentary Reform and that the GSLP/Liberals voted against it.

    Not very intelligent is it? Unless you are a member of the LW bloggeratti which the majority of the electorate is not.

  67. Anonymous at 19:23

    First and foremost that was written before events in Parliament. Your assertion that the GSD proposed and the GSLP voted against is simplistic. The GSLP attempted to get an amended motion through which the GSD refused to accept. That motion proposed a far more mature manner of looking at reform from a much wider perspective.

    I actually believe that the election will be fought around the issue of reforms. I believe that the GSLP proposals will gain more support than the rushed and superficial GSD proposals. We will see.

  68. Hi fellow bloggers :)

    I don't post much these days but just had to after reading the comments from Anon 16:20.

    I think you give way to much credit to the numbers the young GSD has attracted to the aforementioned Elliott’s hotel function.

    I know for a fact that many of the people who attended their last meeting and who’s faces where posted all over the Seven days paper (GSD propaganda publication) are not even interested in local politics! They merely attended out of courtesy and others were “dragged” along by friends.

    How do I know? Because I know them.

    De digo ma.... I will even go as far as stating that some of the people who attended and even allowed themselves to be photographed will not even be voting for the GSD at the coming elections, and you can quote me on that : )

    Ps – Robert la indirect del anon – “I think you know 1 or 2 of the YGSD leaders personally.” Iva for a few family members of yours who attended. One of them who I know personally and do not believe is a GSD supporter (from previous conversations with this same person).

    Con la verdad por delante porfavor! :)


  69. A lot of the changes which are laid out in this motion like more meetings and question times could have been achieved very easily by the GSD a long time ago, I think it’s rather sneaky that simple things like this which the gov controlled anyways have been included in a motion with a statement of principle to increase the number of MP’s. A process of consultation has been started but how can the gov commit, in principle, to an increase to 25MP’s before this has even happened. It was said that backbenchers would only receive a nominal fee and not a salary does this not restrict who stands for election as a backbencher to those who could afford to receive a nominal fee. I would expect MP’s and backbenchers to be dedicated to their roles full time and in order to do that they would need to receive a full salary. I cannot understand why the gov would be against an independent commission to report back to parliament saying the amendment was “a retrograde step” that diluted Parliament’s sovereignty in deciding how it should conduct its own business. Parliaments business is the people’s business as the parliament is there to serve the people. I also can’t understand how a commitment to change the structure of parliament, even if its just in principle, was allowed to pass without the 2/3rds majority. All this being done at the last min by the GSD seems rather fishy to me.

  70. RV@19:39


    You said:

    "I actually believe that the election will be fought around the issue of reforms."

    Remember Bill Clinton in 1992:

    "It's the economy, stupid."

  71. Anon @ 22:25

    Remember the Vox poll?

    That was a lot more recent.

  72. Ohu special K is back. Pero niño a tI que te pasa, a couple of kids get together create a seminar invite 140 guests to debate politics of which 4 were declared GSLP supporters who asked to go and were greeted like any other, y tu tienes que saca la mierda.

  73. El Cornflakes esta fatal, spinning badly a gesture done in good faith!
    So what if the youth were dragged and if they won't vote GSD? It's about listening to what the youth are saying and letting them know they can count on the GSD if they want, it's not about pushing them for their vote under duress!! Que mal pensa alguna gente la verdad!!!

  74. I see I have hit a raw nerve. :)

    Es que la verda duele!

    No spinning Anon 00:33 merely stating facts.

    Ps - "listening" to the "youth"?? A bit late for that don't you think?? No se si llora or reirme.


  75. Kaelan, thanks for that lovely display of support. No-one who attended our event was forced, regardless of whatever 'information' or 'feelings' you might have. It's a commonly heard expression 'I was dragged by friends' I assure you that no-one was literally dragged. Tonight we were happy to welcome youth from ANY political affiliation, so who they choose to vote for is irrelevant. It was about getting the youth re-interested in politics, to get them asking questions and most importantly engage them with the reality that politics affects their daily lives.

    As a friend of yours I'm really upset that you would deliver such a harsh mish-mash of half truths and state it as fact. How you could hope to suggest that most of the 140 guests were 'dragged' and expect everyone to nod along and agree with that statement is beyond me.

  76. Tyrone Duarte said:

    K, regardless of who organised the event at the Elliot's, or who people will ultimately vote for, it should be welcomed that it happened and that folk had a good debate.

    Gibraltar will be ill served if the GSD does not regenerate itself towards more democracy within the party, and if this is their first move in that direction it so be it.

    It may be too little, too late, but people like Ms Ellul are the right individuals to go beyond the next election and would be effective in opposition.

  77. Kaelan, with respect, I think the raw nerve originated from you given that you were the instigator of quite an immature and unnecessary coment on what these young kids have achieved.

  78. A surprise presence at the Eliott Hotel while the YGSD was meeting were Joe Caruana and Charles Gomez, two more mature surprising recruits to the GSD?

  79. Oh yes my dears, I went to the young GSD meeting yesterday in the early evening and I must say, it was very enjoyable and most enlightening.

    Well for one thing they told me all about The Facebook, which isn't a a book apparently, but a place where you can get votes. And then we had a toilet break. And then a nice man from the Ministry of Justice told us all how not to worry about all those off the rails young people drinking vodka and being rowdy. We're to have CCTV cameras. And then we had another toilet break.

    And then we got told all about blogging, which isn't a gardening tip apparently, but something we can use to tell people what to think, and how we had better get into the interweb, and start bloggering. And then we had a toilet break and some sandwiches.

    Well it was all very nice, and even Peter Caruana came, and some people were under 30. And of course no problem parking my shop mobility cart outside the very plush Eliott Hotel.

    The only downside was that I had to queue for nearly two hours to get back across the border.

  80. listening to the youth? what youth? the unemployed youth? the unskilled youth? the future-less youth on the scheme? the youth who's parents struggle to make ends meet at the end of the month? the single-parent youth?

    No, not that youth?

    I see, it was the here's an extra £400 for your maintenance grant youth or the let me give you a summer job where you can work for 6 weeks (leaving time for your holidays away) and let you start work at 10am youth.

    Lol, must have been an easy ride then!

  81. Kaelan, having attended the event last night I can second all that Julia has said. Political affiliation was clearly not the driving factor at last nights event (as there were 1 or 2 avid GSLP supporters in attendance I'll have you know!), what brought everyone together was the want for more information and at the end of the day a better Gibraltar, for the youth and for everyone.

    Also, your singling out of certain people and what their political affiliation may or may not be is neither here nor there. Its a democratic society, everyone is able to vote for who they want regardless of how their fathers have voted or, indeed, who their (distant) relatives criticise and support. Personal accusations like that have no place here in my opinion. Quite frankly it seems you are only here to stir things up and point the finger. Some constructive criticism from you would be nice for a change!

    Well done to the YGSD, it was a very fruitful and enjoyable night for all involved!

  82. Julia that is a bit rich coming from someone who's own friends refer to as autocratic.

    But I guess GSD supporters can very much relate to autocracy can’t they?

    Your “friend”,


  83. Anon 09:34

    I have never stated such things but if you wish to interpret my statements in such a manner then so be it.

    Ps - Isn’t it funny how everyone was “there” and everyone seems to know better than me but hardly anyone wants to post with their name? Por que sera?


  84. Maybe the YGSD is precisely what GSD needs to groom the fresh blood that it so desperately needs to regenerate it. If it were not for the dictatorial/bully/cloak and dagger elements, they would actually have had my vote.

    Although I have now decided to vote for the opposition I am really, simply voting for change. If I don't see that being delivered in four years I will vote for change again!

  85. Oi Cornflakes, you have another few buddies with raw nerves to mentally maturbate with now. Te puedes dar el lote con ello....:)

  86. Anon 16:20 (and Julia). Yes, fine. Great to organise the Eliott 'seminar'. But why wait 15 years to do so? Not because the GSD looks more likely to lose than ever and is getting desperate, surely.

  87. i see people having been touching each others raw nerves. Culo de paja etc unless we get names of the Young GSD we might think that the YGSD is just more hooray henrys and wanabes trying to get up the greasy pole. In Gibraltar adherence to a governing party has made some people quite rich and nobody has ever seriously suggested that all young people are paragons or any less mercenary and desirous of joining the gravy train or putting their snouts in the trough than their elders. Is there a young PDP? That would be interesting given that the PDP is already so young and fresh, is it possible to be younger, fresher and nicer?

  88. I think it is a sad reflection on a 'Democratic' society that most of us feel we have to post our views and comments anonymously for fear of a backlash! I don't consider myself political and I don't often take part in any political debate or 'blog' but there is a 'malaise' and nastiness building up that, unfortunately, reminds me all too much of the build up to the 1996 elections when the GSD first came in to power - only this time it seems to be they who are behaving in a way that leaves much to be desired of a 'Social' and 'Democratic' government. I have always considered myself GSD in afiliation, but I am finding more and more that they have completely ignored Mr. (or Ms!) Average, passing over the needs of the Gibraltarian 'de la calle' for those of the big guys who come in talking millions (even if it backfires afterwards and the rest of us are left to soak up the mess!)- hasn't anybody in Government realised how many people in Gibraltar are hurting? How many small business are collapsing because of lack of help? What happens to those businesses and their employees being squeezed to death in a Gibraltar that is supposedly swimming in surplus cash? Will they too be absorbed into the Civil Service? After all that seems to be the way to go, that way you can be assured of your pay and your pension, who needs private enterprise when the Government can do it all?!

  89. Tyrone Duarte says:

    K, Julia and others,

    I would urge you to please curb your worst instincts.

    Unfortunately we have not had the best example set by some of our current crop of politicians, including those in the Executive, but sarcasm and cynicism bordering on insults is unhealthy.

    We are likely to face a vicious onslaught from a reinvigorated Castellano-Franquista-Catolicista PP and we really need to have a strong democratic process to protect ourselves beyond the protection afforded to us by our British Monarch. This would include the re-generation of the GSD, perhaps led by Ms Elull - now, a woman leading a local political party, that would be a great thing.

    Please note that by "Catolicista" I mean political-Catholicism in the same context as political-Islam, when religion encroaches on politics and away from a pure focus on private faith.

    K, Julia - meet for a a coffee :)

  90. Anon14:20. Interesting notion, why wait so long to create a youth group? One might also argue why the GSLP waited 16 years and four consecutive lost elections to replace its leader, only to replace it with the same pretender to the thrown who witnessed three of the four losses without even whispering a murmur on the fact that it may be an idea to instigate change within the party far sooner that it has. Instead, he cowardly waits his turn until instructed by the dinosaurs of the party. Desperate indeed.

  91. PDP punish the GSLP for wiggling out of responsibilty and accountability. Can the GSLP actually make a commtiment on anything? Or are they just going to play to the gallery whilst falling over themselves eveytime they are challenged?

  92. This morning, in a rush as I left to go out, I published a comment by Calpetano without having read the final paragraph. I have read it in full now. It implicitly made scurrilous remarks against a named individual. He knows
    who he is. I will not repeat the name because the effect of that would be to unnecessarily publicise that name. The comment has bee re-published with that paragraph deleted.

  93. Tyrone Duarte

    I do not need your advice thank you very much.

    Julia is indeed my friend and we do not need “a coffee” to sort things out.

    We have talked a lot about politics in the past and have agreed to disagree.

    Previously though she had never publicly condemned my statements, therefore I gave her the sort of response I would give anyone attempting to do such a thing. That’s about it.


  94. Calpetano said...
    A few weeks ago a received an ultra-religious pamphlet at home, produced in Gibraltar by an extremist fringe group which sought to blame homosexuals, secularists, liberals and other various groups for the "decline" of society.

    I conducted an interesting exercise, and placed the pamphlet alongside the manifesto of Anders Behring Breivik (the Norwegian Christian terrorist who murdered dozens of innocent "liberal" children on the island of Utoya) which I was able to download from the net. Worryingly, many of the arguments in both texts matched, including the proclamation of Christianity as the purest faith and the dismissal of all other faith systems as corrupt, evil, or worse.

  95. what's this PDP man Azopardi doing? Hasn't he ever come across the word "consultation"?

  96. RE Calpetano @16:17

    Has any other blogger received this "ultra-religious pamphlet"?

  97. Calpetano's scurrilous comments referred to me and will have been read by many people before you edited them. I doubt that any half intelligent person would take his words seriously but they were insulting and what is more the invective was clearly aimed at silencing me from stating my views and beliefs. That is something that I will not allow and I sent a response which you have not published suggesting that Calpetano should repeat what he said to my face and not cowardly hide behind anonymity. My phone number for the purpose of arranging a face to face exchange of impressions is 200 73316.

  98. Tyrone Duarte:

    Kaelan, I was not advising, I was urging, pleading if you like. Nobody has "condemned" anything you have said, they have merely replied to your cynical and derisory remarks.

    In any case it would seem that you do not need anyone's advice; have you thought of running for Chief Minister? Seeing as you seem to be cut of the same cloth as those you criticise I think that you would be more than qualified. Best of luck.

    Robert, I agree that you were right to remove the comments from Calpetano's post. However, he does identify a crucial strand dominating parts of current European right-wing ideology that advocate extreme social conservatism and that culminate in the concept of "Eurabia". In the old days it was linked to the right of right wing Christian Democrats and to the Vatican aligned communities (Spaniads, Croats, Italians and Southern Germans).

    If such thinking is gaining ground amongst elements of our community it does need a firm rebuttal. The problem is that the overt darlings of this movement are the likes of Niall Ferguson and they often pass as legitimate historians, when in fact they have already crossed the line into political-ideology.

  99. Charles Gomez

    You attribute to this blog a greater readership than it has in the short period that the offending part of the comment was published. I did not publish your earlier comment precisely not to increase the numbers whonwould know that it was youbwhobwas mentioned but I have no personal objection so have published your follow up at your insistence. I am sure no one would take the offending comment seriously.

  100. Tyronne Duarte "cynical and derisory remarks" seems to be the trend with your postings, seeing as RV needs to keep editing them. Hence the wording “anonymous” appearing just above your name on virtually everyone one of your blog entries. :)

    Please note my comments mimicked my thoughts at the time and were (as per usual) completely spun out of context by the ever eager GSD sycophants.

    Haven’t you noticed that the GSD “posy” instantly jump on my every comment? Por que sera?

    Furthermore I’m I not entitled to an opinion? Or is that privilege only reserved for an elite few?


  101. Tyrone@17:27


    Have you received this ultra-religious pamphlet or do you know of anyone that has received this pamphlet?

  102. Kaelan,

    I didn't 'condemn' your comment, I just gave my opinion on the matter. I didn't attack you personally, in fact I highlighted the fact that I consider you a friend. However, your answer was personal and not political. We have discussed politics many times and agreed to disagree, but above all respect each others opinion. I didn’t appreciate your very personal comment, I don’t appreciate you claiming to have knowledge about the manner in which my friends view me and I suggest that before you make sweeping statements such as the one you made you check that A. you are in the right situation or forum to make those comments and B. you take a wider sample.

    I will continue to agree to disagree with you,


  103. Reading some of the above comments have brought home to me the problems facing Christians for just articulating their ideals. In this blog I have been called a homophobe and compared to mass murderer (which you eventually edited out). Now we are told that we should ignore the changing demographics of the European continent and that anyone who reminds us of the fact that historically Islam has exercised great power at odds with the west is not a serious historian(according to Mr. Duarte). I can well understand why many Christians including Christian leaders especially in the UK have effectively been silenced. In what remains of Calpetano's asinine contribution the suggestion is even made that it is some how wrong for Christians to think of our faith as superior to others. Every faith thinks that; Jews and Muslims do but in the current liberal witch hunt Christians are pilloried for saying so. Anything that does not adhere to liberal propaganda is attacked and insulted. I am strengthened in my view that liberalism and political correctness have created a new tyranny which must be opposed in the same way as communism and fascism before it.

  104. Kaelan Joyce

    I have not edited any of Tyrone Duarte's comments.

  105. Calpetano

    I have inadvertently deleted the last comment that you submitted. Please could you resend it to me?

  106. Robert, the last paragraph of my previous post questioned whether Mr.Gomez agreed with Breivik's manifesto. Given the similarities (in my view) between Breivik's position on the primacy of Christianity and some of the views expressed by Mr.Gomez on this page, I think the question is a valid one and not at all "scurrilous". I think there is a world of difference between enquiring from Mr.Gomez whether he agrees with the ideology underpinning Breivik's manifesto (which I did and which I think is valid) and suggesting, implicitly or explicitly, that Mr.Gomez supports murder (which I categorically did NOT do and which would certainly have been "scurrilous" or worse).

    I naturally accept your role as administrator and moderator and must therefore submit to your decision to delete the paragraph.

    With regard to Mr.Gomez's offer to call him to arrange a meeting so that I can repeat my words to him "face to face", I will not do so firstly because I value my right to anonymity on this blog (and it would seem many others do so too) and secondly because implicit in his offer is, I believe, the threat of violence. That may make me a "coward" in his eyes, but on this occasion I prefer to turn the other cheek.

  107. I apologise then.

    Usually when you do so, such a thing occurs :)


  108. Charles Gomez

    You were not compared ti a mass murderer in actions ... Now you are resorting to propaganda and also committing the mistake of resorting to the tactics of your critics.

  109. Mr.Gomez, I had not compared you to a mass murderer. I had questioned whether you agreed with the ideology underpinning Breivik's manifesto. At no point did I suggest you supported his actions. I have just resubmitted a post to Robert (which I hope he will publish) setting out the difference between what I actually suggested, and what has subsequently been (wrongly, in my opinion) inferred by you, Robert and others. The question I asked of you is, in my view, perfectly valid.

    I can assure you I and the other liberal "conspirators" do not seek to silence you. Instead I appear to have been silenced, or at least muffled a little, for positing what I believe was a perfectly valid question. I do however disagree with your view that Christianity is the superior religion. I would likewise disagree with any Jew or Muslim expressing a similar view. When we enter the realm of considering ourselves superior to our fellow human beings, be it because of the colour of our skin, our nationality or, in this case, our creed, then we enter a very dangerous world indeed.

  110. Anon 15:35

    Dont answer the question with a question which I believe to be a brilliant question.

    Why 15 years wait?


  111. Good for you Kaelan. Julia I think you guys are an inspiration to the entire community and Your attitude is commendable given some of the unnencessary comments listed above. I wish you and your group the very best and look forward to hearing more from YGSD.

  112. Anon@18:57

    I read that last paragraph where you draw the comparison between Breivik and Mr Gomez. You saw Mr Gomez's face on the pamphlet that you 'invented' staring at you. Let us not mention the wish for the loss of deposit if he stood for election again.

    You state:

    "I will not do so firstly because I value my right to anonymity on this blog (and it would seem many others do so too) and secondly because implicit in his offer is, I believe, the threat of violence."

    Firstly, I do not consider that the right to anonymity on this blog gives me the right to deliver personal insults.

    Secondly, please do not judge Mr Gomez by your own standards. I am sure that by "face to face" he is not implying violence. If he had been implying violence he would have called a time and a place and not volunteered his telephone number.

    Thirdly, you could do us all a favour by sending this blog a copy of the "ultra-religious pamphlet" that you received.

  113. Anonymous at 19:41

    I had hoped to avoid this argument by deleting the paragraph in question but Charles Gomez did not allow me to leave it there. There was no comparison in terms of actions only in terms of views expressed. Do you really believe that the pamphlet is an invention?

  114. Anon @ 19:41.

    Firstly, I did not "invent" the pamphlet. Sadly I no longer have the pamphlet with me, but I can tell you that it is entitled "Christian Vision" and the author can be contacted at If you cannot get a copy, I would be happy to submit one to Robert personally when I receive the next edition.

    Secondly, the wish for a loss of deposit at an election is not the wish for a personal catastrophe, it is the wish that Mr.Gomez makes no in-roads whatsoever in the local political scene, not least because I consider a platform which views one religion as "superior" to others as dangerous. I would not want religious arrogance to form any part of my political representation, and so I wish for the loss of deposit. Again that is a perfectly valid position to have in a democracy.

    Thirdly, I have not delivered a personal insult. I have asked a valid question. I have not compared Mr.Gomez to a mass murderer, as he has chosen to believe. I have asked if he subscribes to the ideology which underpins Breivik's manifesto. From my perspective, given Mr.Gomez's stated belief in the primacy of Christianity and the "dangers" posed variably by the "spread" of Islam, homosexuality and liberalism (which must, in Mr.Gomez's words, be opposed in the same fashion as communism and facism were), there appears to be a degree of commonality in the positions. I am seeking for clarification, and look forward to receiving an answer to a perfectly legitimate question, not "face to face", but here on this blog - where we can all make our own independent judgements.

    Fourthly, since you do not know who I am, I would encourage you not to presume to know what my "standards" are. Thanks.

  115. Mr. Gomez is a Christian gentleman, an intellectual and a man of the pen and the spoken word and has not threatened Calpetano with violence although he has certainly been sorely provoked. Charles has the patience of a saint! As I read him he has invited Calpetano to a discussion not a dust up but Calpetano runs away even from that. Consider this: Hitler was a conservationist, are all cosevationists Nazis? Obviously they are n't! I think that it is disgusting that Mr. Gomez should be asked whether he he subscribes to the ideology which underpins the murderer Breivik's manifesto just because Mr. Gomez defends Christan principles, thousands of other Gibraltarians do and 2 billion people do so world wide. Calpetano should be ashamed of himself and he should apologise to Charles who should carry on speaking freely in matters of public concern as he has always done and that is why he got 2,000 votes out of 14,000 at the last election.

  116. Anon 19:41 - The one who mentioned me.

    Thanks : ) I also commend you!

    It very much seems you have mastered the art of brown nosing :)


  117. I suspect that "Calpetano" is just a sad guy trying to be clever but his "question" to me is like an invitation to crawl into a sewer. For all my sense of revulsion I feel that I have to go there and answer his question. Anders Breivik's murders are a brutal affront to humanity. No sane person of any background or religion could view with anything other than violent revulsion what he did to those young people and their families. To even suggest that he was motivated by Christanity is possibly the worst defamation that I have ever heard of the Christian religion. It is, in my humble view an affront to the blessed name of Jesus Christ and it really fills me with horror. Christianity is the polar opposite of anything that Breivik thinks or has done. That is your answer "Calpetano". Now may I suggest that you ponder on your words before uttering them and change your pseudonym - "Calpe" really does not deserve any associaton with you.

  118. I am grateful to Mr.Gomez for his explanation, although all he has done is profess his understandable revulsion at the murders of Utoya. I totally understand (and share) his position that those acts cannot be associated with Christianity, just as I am sure he will agree with me that murderous acts carried out by Al Qaeda cannot be associated with Islam. However, he has chosen to ignore my question, which was not about the murders of Utoya but specifically about the views contained in the manifesto, which include many of the same arguments which he and others have used in this forum and elsewhere before, namely the primacy of Christianity, the dangers of an encroaching Islamism, the evils of homosexuality, the dangers of secularism and the belief in a liberal conspiracy. I do not doubt Mr.Gomez's revulsion at the murders of Utoya, but I am interested to know whether he shares Breivik's world-view on these other issues, which, as Mr.Duarte has already pointed out elsewhere, seems to be the common thread running through the conservative, right-wing philosophy across Europe, including Gibraltar.

    I will not respond to the rest of his piece, or to the earlier contribution from one of his associates, all of which amount to a pathetic attempt at character-assassination - my portrayal as a "sad" person, the illustration of engaging with me as "crawling into a sewer", and the assertion that because I do not share his conservativism I cannot possible deserve the association with Calpe.

    Sometimes, instead of lecturing from the high altar about Christian compassion and understanding, it might serve our local crusaders better if they practised what they preached. So far from being "ashamed" of my views (as Anon @ 21:13 suggests I should be) I am proud of a multi-faith Gibraltar in which Gibraltarians of all creeds (and none) are equal, and I rather think that position is more deserving of an association with "Calpe" than any which is based on religious zealotry and exclusivism.

  119. bertiebirdman said...
    If Mr Gomez is thinking of re-entering politics (..yawn) perhaps he would be so kind so as to explain the significance of the email address used as the contact for the homophobic, fundamentalist, ant-science, unsolicited garbage sent as junk mail under the title 'Christian Vision', i.e. endtimes?

    If elected, would he, like the fundamentalist in the USA be awaiting the Rapture? I'm sure even the GSD faithful (pun intended) would be concerned if their long term investments would need to be sold off at short notice.

    Incidentally if we are being commanded to follow so-called Christian morality, then why do the sexual abuse of children, rape, slavery and genocide not even make the 'top ten'?

  120. In reply to Bertie: I have nothing whatsoever to do with "Christian Vision".
    I do not believe in the "rapture" which I understand is a Protestant concept. I do not think that we are in "end times" but do believe that we are in difficult times.
    Sexual abuse of children ranks at the very top of my list of crimes deserving the very severest punishment (Jesus said the following following of those who harmed children: Matthew 18:6 " it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea".

    This is closely followed by the other crimes which Bertie has listed.
    I continue to be troubled by the way in which people like Bertie argue. Without any shred of evidence and indeed contrary to reality I have not only been characterized as a homophobe and then sharing ideas with a mass murderer but now Bertie chips in and says that I may have protestant fundamentalist ideas, that I have no concern for the victims of child molestation, rape, slavery etc.
    I am beginning to think that some of these people are either joking or barking mad.
    I will leave you gents to your own devices for the time being and reserve the right to answer whenever my or anybody else's religion is libelled or I am traduced.
    Hasta la vista :)

  121. The subject is now closed ... I did try to avoid it.

    I consider that all are entitled to their respective religious beliefs and practices. I simply do not believe in the State imposing it by law on people. It is for each religion to ex sure compliance with ite moral codes by education and persuasion and not for anyone to impose those as absolute standards. That does not mean that I agree with behaviour that is not criminal but may still be morally reprehensible.