Sunday, 30 October 2011

Party Funding: a Defective System?

There is no law or rule that requires any political party to disclose the source of any funds provided to it for any electoral or pre-electoral expenses. In my last but one blog I raised the issue of how timing electoral propaganda expenditure could

"... very adeptly sidesteps the rather archaic rule that any expenditure incurred prior to 30 days before the election does not fall to be calculated within the limits imposed on candidates by the Parliament Act. A reading of section 14(2) is also indicative that, if any expenditure is incurred on materials and services before the prescribed period, then it is not to be taken into account, even if used within the prescribed period (although this depends on the interpretation of the word "expenditure" and "incurred")."

It is also true that the only further control that exists on electoral expenditure is an absolute limit (section 14(1) Parliament Act) of £3,000 per candidate. This limit only applies during the prescribed period stated in my quote above. 

What these rules do not deal with at all is, first disclosure of who is making donations to any political party in Gibraltar. Secondly, the perception that arises that any individual or business that makes a substantial donation to a party does so in anticipation that he/she or it will receive an appropriate favour in return. In the UK there is a requirement for disclosure of any donation made to a party in the sum of £7,500 or more. Making rules to oblige disclosures in Gibraltar needs to be looked at urgently. Obviously the minimum amount that would need to be disclosed needs to be appropriately scaled down from the UK amount, in line with the limit on expenditure per candidate.

Expenditure by the GSD in an effort to get iteslf re-elected has already begun. It seems to be very lavish. Who is providing these funds to the GSD? Soon other parties, the GSLP/Liberal Alliance and the PDP, will be incurring expenditure. The public is entitled to know who is making donations to each political party to enable it to fund its election and pre-election campaign. For example, it would be very telling if the same individual or company were to be funding both major parties. It would be evidence of large favours being expected in return for the donation. There would be no other explanation for a desire to fund both main parties.

The issue of political donations to parties has been debated for years in the UK. The Committee on Standards in Public Life is now looking into it, once again. It is recognised, now, that the current system of allowing donations has to be discontinued. The only alternative is public funding. The debate is how the level of such funding can be determined? The favoured option seems to be to base funding on a per vote levy. The levy may or may not be what is introduced. Any system adopted will have its detractors but that is no reason for not finding a solution to such a palpably obvious defect in the electoral process. The same issue of finding an alternative method of party funding exists in Gibraltar. It is time that it be carefully looked at and debated with a view to resolution. Perhaps, waiting for the solution given to the problem in the UK may be wise. Waiting for the UK to resolve the election funding issue in order to follow it's example does not mean that making compulsory disclosure of donations public in Gibraltar should be delayed.

There is no doubting that putting a cap on expenditure has some small effect. A cap has always existed in Gibraltar. It does not exist in the UK at present, although one may be introduced. However, the cap does not resolve the issue of how funding affects politics nor unfair expenditure for the period immediately preceding the announcement of an election by the Chief Minister. However, what can or could influence policies and decisions is the source and level of largesse shown to a political party (especially if, as in Gibraltar, both factors remain secret), a cap on expenditure does little or nothing to prevent this but funding parties from public funds would.


  1. Another excellent article. Is everything in local politics undignified? OUT WITH THE OLD IN WITH THE NEW. (but where is the new. In the GSLp? I don't think so! In the PDP? nope!)The political class stinks!!!Maybe the Christian socialists in the GSLP can bring things back to principles

  2. Robert the rumour whispered in the streets is that a certain party has received a little gift in the region of 200K smackers.

    Barbary Wine

  3. Would I be mistaken in saying that the current GSD `s funding is us, the tax payer in the sense of millions in the airport , roundabouts , parks , and everything anyone may ask for .... As for the lavish and glossy booklet GOG is a customer of ... Is that not a possible conflict of interest?

    Please enlighten me if I am wrong.

  4. Lets call a spade a spade the Companies which are most likely to support a GSD Campaign are those who have done well these are, or could be or become, the biggest contributors to the GSD camapign because it is in their interests for the GSD to stay in power.How do we monitor this ? idea, they all have the democratic right to support whichever party they like so it is a difficult area to police or regulate.

  5. Anonymous at 21:40

    You do it as I say in my piece
    (a) whilst donations are permitted by having full disclosure and
    (b) by amending the system so that donations are not permitted and funding comes from the State.
    There is no other way.

  6. Robert would you express any views on the issue of a anti-bribery authority. Is this really necessary??

  7. Anonymous at 23:14

    Yes it is and I so said on 2nd March 2011 before the GSLP/Liberal Alliance see my blog at:

  8. Robert

    If parties were to be funded from public funds on a per vote basis, would not that be unfair on a minority party such as the PDP to the advantage of the two main parties?

    Would this not condemn, therefore, any aspiring politician/party to perpetual obscurity?

  9. Better than having multi million pound companies and individuals influencing party policy....As is happening now!

  10. Just read the news on Feetham, as expected he is staying, obviously to lead the GSD in opposition,his little trick of spreading the word that he was not going to stand didn't really fool anyone except Caruana I suppose!
    Lets see how well he does in the opposition benches.

  11. Danny is too ambitious to just throw in the towel he was never going to resign but the charade helped gauge the public opinion on him.He now belives that he is an essential part of the GSD machinery and has obviously convinced PRC that he is the man to take over the helm once they loose the elections.
    Not much repect for his ploy of pretending he was leaving but there you have it the GSD are desparate and if it means having to issue smokescreens to get more votes they are entitled to do it.
    I cannot see FP caring a hoot about the news especially because it has been released on Monday morning (when there is little news content) thus demonstrating to all and sundry that it is just one more empty GSD marketing trick!.

  12. Hi all, please have some respect for Mr Feetham, who went through a terrible ordeal, and understandably had to consider his future in the game.

    let us be human for once and leave the party bickering to one side. the man was nearly murdered for pete's sake.

    words from a neutral .

  13. Agreed.

    Word from a GSLP supporter.

  14. Anon@17:29

    I quite agree.

    Let us take what was reported in today's Gibraltar Chronicle as to how and why he arrived at the decision that he has and leave machinations out of it.

  15. Robert...hypothetically if the requirement for disclosure of any donation made to a party in the sum of £3,500.00 or more was made a statutory requirement in Gibraltar, would several donations of £3,499.00 fall under this requirement? Personally, i am of the view that all donations and contributions should be disclosed to ensure, not an equal playing field, but a transparent process that would essentially bring to light current hidden interests that parties do not wish to disclose and eradicate rumours such as Anon 20:46.

    Notwithstanding the above, i truly believe that such statutory requirement will never be implemented in "Gibraltar Laws" as both the incumbent and the opposition/aspiring contender will have much to lose.

    Im guessing this is an issue that will not be mentioned in this election run up...better still never will be. If it does ever appear i will be amazed.


  16. I agree that Mr Feetham should be respected like any other politician but hey he is in the public eye , he is STAYING, so therefore he will have to put up with our democratic comments whether he likes it or not.To tell the people of Gibraltar that he is staying because he is worried about the spanish issue (with a PP govt in Spain) is a joke,where was he when:
    1) We lost part of our sovereign waters to Spain,
    2) When spanish Police entered and left Gibraltar guns blaring!
    Come on, he is in it and he is staying in it, so he has to put up with our comments because at the end of the day he is our employee and even when he is in opposition we will be paying his salary.
    The fact that he was attacked last year is deplorable but it does not mean that he is immune, if he wanted immunity from our comments he should have retired.

  17. Just saw the GSD party political broadcast, and I was not surprised to the hear Minister Holiday talk about the traffic improvements around Gibraltar and including the Dudley Ward Tunnel, I guess it a case of better late than never...
    By the way an amusing part of the broadcast was the young lady pushing her child on the swing, the child was there in one take then she was pushing an empty swing????
    On a more serious note, Danny did not seem convincing , I am sure he has been handed the leadership if he remained....time will tell

    Rock Ape!

  18. Have just heard interview with La linea Mayor in which she states that she is looking forward to the JOINT USE of Gibraltar's airport can Messrs Caruana and Feetham please explain this statement to the people of Gibraltar?

  19. RV,

    Another controversial article :)

    Your logic and arguments are sound but the somewhat veiled accusation, couched in very diplomatic language, that the GSD is somehow, not breaking, but certainly stretching the rules is somewhat mischievous because it opens the door to countless unsubstantiated comments that are published in this blog. (I am sure you will disagree with my perception).

    The fact that the GSD have published a booklet, at quite a sizeable cost it would seem, before the month of electioneering has began, is not only permissible but also legal. If that time period is considered too little then that debate should begin after the elections as part of the reforms and not now as if some crime has been committed. Mind you, the GSLP and any other party are also entitled to do it.

    This article has left me with the unsavoury taste that some impropriety is going on. Frankly, as you well know from my previous comments, I am neither from one or the other party, but I find it mildly annoying that we should now focus on the need to know who supports which party, on the strength of a glossy magazine, in order to know who will be most likely to seek favours in return.

    I know many do not like to look back but some of us that bit older (or perhaps not) will remember how some were awarded some lucrative favours when the opposition were in power. Admittedly two wrongs do not make a right by any stretch of the imagination but one has to be careful not to throw stones in glass houses!

    However the concern that you raise is an important one because as you rightly say it would be very telling if some individual or company were to be funding the major parties. It would, in my mind also, be evidence of large favours being expected in return for the donation.

  20. Tony Loddo asks in the latest GSD PPB why "change a team that is responsible for everything that we are enjoying today?"

    Apparently the GSD is already doing that of its on accord? 4 or supposedly 5 ministers essentially being replaced.

    Are we supposed to believe then that the GSD as an entity responsible for the well-being of Gibraltar is unaffected by the fact that 5 of its ministers are leaving? Does that not then suggest that those that remain are the ones that run the show?

    That maybe there's only one (or two) consistent voices within the party that have all the say?

  21. Disciple X

    I agree there is no illegality and that is the thrust of my blog. I clearly say that it is all legal. In the absence of illegality there can be no mischief. What the article criticises is precisely that insinuation results from opaqueness which in turn arises from the lack of adequate provision of law which is so blatant.

    The same point and argument that I make in this blog was made in a Guardian article about the UK that appeared last week. Why is it mischief her but fair comment in the UK?

  22. Anonymous at 09:10

    I agree with you that is why I say the per vote levy is what is under consideration in the UK. In Gibraltar the easiest solution is for the State to pay for up to the £3,000 that is permitted to be spent. Additionally there should be a prohibition against all party political expenditure for 12 months before the automatic Dissolution of Parliament. Dissolution should be after a fixed period of 4 years. This fixed period is under discussion in the UK Parliament (it may even have been legislated already. I am not sure).

  23. Whatever you say about Feetham he has bags of courage.

  24. anon @ 23:33 he has? why?

    He's remaining in politics because he wants to, that's not courage, that's ambition.

  25. RV,

    I have not read the Guardian so I cannot make the comparison :(

    My interpretation or use of the word mischievous was not meant to imply a malicious or injurious remark but rather the more playful interpretation of being slyly teasing.

    Hence why I disagree with your comment that "In the absence of illegality there can be no mischief".

  26. Anon 21:32.
    The statement by the the la linea mayor;the joint use of our airport,is the implementation of the 1987 Airport Agreement.
    Shortly after the signing Sir Joshua resigned.
    Check it out. All the 8 requirement in the agreement have been put in place by our GSD government!
    Keep trusting.....que vamos bien

  27. Ahu los temblices que tienen los del GSLP con lo de feetham. Chill out boys or girls.

  28. I had heard there was competition betwen them but has Daniel Feetham replaced Fabian Picardo as Gibraltar's premier policy free politician?

  29. Anon no one has developed more policy than him over the last four years! And in fairness to the other one, he seems to be spouting policy every day!

  30. I belive it is Feetham and the GSD that have "los temblices"....after all they are behind in the polls.

    One final thought....

    A prosperous political party is one that looks to the future not to the past....talking about the 1996 goverment or look how good i`ve been gives the impression of a party void in ideas.

    Could be wrong?

    Rock Ape!

  31. Is "temblice" correct llanito? surely the word is "temblike".

  32. I have no idea what Feetham is thinking but in his interview on GBC last night you could tell he was either uncomfortable or insecure...he knows best but he has taken the decision to stay and must be respected for it especially when what he is looking at is the opposition benches.
    Having read F Oliva's Articles in todays Chronicle on Caruana and Picardo I really do think Caruana should offer a place in his line up to Paquito Oliva, his pro GSD bias is so blatant that it really makes for worrying reading!The electorate will no doubt see thru this but it begs the question is this the Newspaper that favours no political party???

  33. Did anyone see the GSD Political Broadcast last night with J Holiday holding firmly to the GSD glossy booklet which has been produced pre the election campaign? Is the expenditure of the booklet attributable to the election campaign (if use is made of the booklet during the campaign) or does it fall outside the expenditure cap because it was produced before calling election campaign? lots of loopholes being exploited I can see....worried people will resort to these measures but the playing field should be level for all.

  34. Rock Ape@09:57

    We shall have to wait for the respective party election manifestos to see what each party has to offer, particularly on the economy.

    To date we have had all sorts of promises from the GSLP/Libs and not a dicky-bird on the economy.

  35. Time will tell...
    Although boasting about an economy in which we are 1/2 billion pounds in debt is not something to boast about.

    Rock Ape!

  36. Paco Oliva's charactersisation of Joe Holliday as a person "whose private sector background allows him to find useful detours whenever bureaucracy stands in his way" is the most astute and accurate comment published in the Chronicle since it reported that Lord Nelson had died of his wounds at Trafalgar in October 1805. ;)

  37. Rock Ape@12:59

    According to Mr Bossano the debt is £217m.

  38. LOL anon 13:47

    Rock Ape!

  39. RV,

    Anon 10:57

    I thought that Paco's assesment of both politicians was quite accurate. Perhaps a discussion of these two articles would make interesting reading.

  40. RV,

    Rockape are you an economist? I would like to know what the Public Debt really is?

    Bandying these sums in blogs to scaremonger is simply annoying. For my part I'm off downtown to purchase Economics for Dummies. I must get to grips with this topic before I'm taken for a ride. After all... its about the Economy stupid!

  41. £217m or £500m ,in my way of thinking it is still more millions in debt that any previous goverment has left prior to an election.

    If we are going to look at the past the GSLP left the GSD the goverment coffers full , whilst the GSD if they don`t form the next goverment will leave the GSLP/LIBS a hell of a debt.

    Rock Ape!

  42. Disciple X says;



    It surprises me how the bulk of your topic is often and gradually ignored and we enter into the usual bickering between opposing camps.

    (Thank goodness for Disciple X as the neutral)

    On this occasion the publication of the GSD magazine continues to rear its head as the bone of contention as regards pre-official electioneering. Having established, by your own admission, that it is not illegal why do some bloggers continue to harp on about it?

    Surely there should be other “real” issues which should be of more importance than this relatively “peccata minuta”. In my own analysis the GSD magazine has raised three issues.
    1. The pre-election publication by the GSD. (This, I am assuming has already been established as being legal even though one could argue it as being quite relevent.)
    2. The notion that this publication may have been paid private by individual(s)
    3. If so, has this been in exchange for favours.

    If (1) is legal, am I correct in assuming that (2) is acceptable? Perhaps the worrying aspect of (2) is whether (3) comes into play.

    My question for BoB is simple (and the only one I can come up with is), has there been favours granted?

    Unless someone can come up with concrete evidence that that is the case then we can quite definitely have grounds for complaint. In the meantime everything remains conjecture and unsubstantiated.

  43. Disciple X,

    I am sure Desciple Peter would sound nicer,after all he was Jesus favorite disciple.
    Just seen Economics for Dummies on Amazon I will buy it , to see what part of the word "Debt" I don`t anderstand.
    Should you feel you can enlighten me in further economics I will be glad to learn.

    Rock Ape!

  44. Disciple X

    I disagree with you. You miss the point. It is PERCEPTIONS that count not the ACTUAL receipt of favours ... why would anyone give a large donation absent an expectation of some gain? It may be so but then why the secrecy? Let donations and their source be made public. let the GSD, GSLP/Allinace and the PDP confirm that none of them will grant to any person or company that has made such a donation any government contracts. As things stand we will never know!

  45. Rock Ape@16:11

    Mr Bossano may have left a "war chest" but remember that we were the highest taxed people in Europe.

  46. RV,

    Hmmm...Although you disagree with me, I in turn agree with you :) I did not miss the point at all, in fact it is the perception that must be eliminated. But my point is that this is very difficult to eliminate.

    Perhaps I have not put my point across clearly.

    I used the example of the GSD magazine because it is the one which has raised the concerns. My point, to make it clearer (I hope), is that at present it is very difficult, almost impossible, as a lay person to suspect (for want a a better phrase) any party of pre-election expenditure or incurring costs if the system does not regulate it in a more fair, rigorous and balanced manner.

    Additionally and more importantly (hence why I used the three points above), unless there is proof to the contrary that indeed favours CAN or HAVE been given in the past, then the whole argument becomes academic.

  47. Disciple X,

    What`s the point of lowering tax ;I presume PAYE,
    And increase utilities like Water, Electricity ,Telephone and Social Insurance(not a utility).
    Only cross frontier workers will benefit from lower taxes PAYE.
    Remember ,I am not an economist so please excuse my ignorance.

    Rock Ape!

  48. I imagine that if anybody has temblikes its must be the Deputy who, for a moment there, may have been under the impression any serious competition to his eventual crowning was well and truly thwarted.

    Meanwhile, the boys, Nicky and Keith, must sulking in a corner somewhere at the thought that The Pretender isn't leaving at all.

  49. I think Feetham has lost all credibility , on the one hand he tells us about the stabbing and how it affected his children and wife then he proceeds to tell us he is not interested in becoming CM and then he goes on to say he is staying in politics...what is he on about? Just tell the world you have aspirations to be the leader of the opposition and next time round challenge Picardo for the post of CM, las cosas clara y el chocolate espesso!

  50. Rock Ape@17:59

    Lowering the income tax payable gives taxpayers the choice as to how to spend their net income.

    The choice includes how much water and electricity they use and how many telephone calls they make.

    Social Insurance is paid by anybody employed in Gibraltar regardless of residency.

    Please bear in mind that there are a number of companies that have decided to set up in Gib that would have not done so if their employees had not been able to find affordable accommodation.

    Those companies pay corporation tax, social insurance and their employees pay income tax and social insurance.

    Apologies Disciple X for treading on your territory but I could not resist it.

  51. Robert,

    From what I can see, Justice Minister Daniel Feetham gave a true and candid emotional interview from the heart ,after a year of convalescing following a near to death attack and a chest that looks like a zipper.

    How cruel can people be to challenge his interview last night when personal and private questions were asked and he was put on the spot? How many people after going what he has gone through could defend themselves in such an elegant manner?

    The man is simply saying that he wont let the side down especially at such a crucial juncture in Gibraltar politics. Of course he must have leadership ambitions, all you need to do is take a look at the guy, and see that he is leadership material, notwithstanding the hard work he has put in during his 4 years as MOJ.

    Cant people give Daniel a break, and be happy that he is a man of principles who is willing to put the past behind him and do what he feels is right by his party and Gibraltar?

    I could think of many MPs worthy of the 'pretender' title but if there is something Mr. Feetham has proved not to be, its a pretender!

  52. Disciple X, with all due respect, a family of 4 living in Gibraltar has very little choice as to how much electricity and water it has to use.

    Let's try living in the real world for a minute, not all of us can up-sticks and emigrate to Soto Grande, Alcaidesa,etc.

    Its high time we had a Government who put the ordinary Gibraltarian first and not lower taxes whilst raising the cost of amenities which ultimately only benefits the non-resident.

    Barbary Wine

  53. my apologies Disciple X, the post I was referring to is by Anon @ 20:34 and not your good self.

    Barbary Wine

  54. RV,

    Barbary Wine

    :) Apologies accepted.

  55. It dose't matter what anybody says about Daniel Feetham, he is a man who is in the public arena and as such will come under scrutiny especially because of the fact that he has aspirations to the top job in Gib.

    His interview on GBC was abysmal but look let him get on with it and let us see what he does next to convince all of us that he has what it takes to take over the GSD.

  56. Robert, so is it interview time, or 'show and tell' at GSD HQ?

  57. RV,

    Rock Ape 16:25

    You brought a smile to my face (at last).

    No need to re-annoint me as Disciple Peter. "X" is fine with me. It symbolises my neutrality so far. At least thats how I like to see myself.

    In so far as your knowledge on the Holy Scriptures I'm afraid you got it wrong. (I'm just hoping your economics is up to scratch). The disciple John (The Beloved) was Jesus's favourite, not Peter. The latter was the rock upon which he built his church (note that was symbolic parlance).

    Perhaps it might be an idea that you also get the "Bible for dummies" book :)

    PS... I will get back you with the Debt thingy once I suss it out ;)

  58. RV,

    Anon 20:34

    No apologies required. Please note that it is not my territory. It is RV's territory with the final word going to RV himself :)

  59. RV,

    Barbary Wine

    Slightly disagree with your comments.

    1. "A family of 4 living in Gibraltar has very little choice as to how much electricity and water it has to use."
    : That IMHO is incorrect, we all can control how much we spend

    2. "Let's try living in the real world for a minute, not all of us can up-sticks and emigrate to Soto Grande, Alcaidesa,etc."

    : What is the point. I think ( I stand to be corrected) that perhaps a small % of Llanitos live in Spain. Perhaps a bigger % have a second home there. That I think speaks volumes of our standard of living!

    3."Its high time we had a Government who put the ordinary Gibraltarian first and not lower taxes whilst raising the cost of amenities which ultimately only benefits the non-resident."

    :Again, this is short of a wild assumption.

    Come on guys lets look around us and start tackling real issues. There's plenty that can be done to improve Gib especialy for those who are in need for social, physical and structural improvements in their daily lives.

  60. Anon 22.29 I found his interview to have been a sincere appraisal of where he is and I agree with anon 21.03 although I don't know him as intimately as knowing he has a chest like a zipper.

  61. Disciple X everybody in general might save on lowered taxes but its the local resident who has to offset this saving against their increased amenities bills.

    Not 'short of a wild assumption' instead using a bit of logic because not all that glitters is gold.

    A family of 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 do have very little choice when it comes to restricting the use of electricity & water, unless you are suggesting that candles be re-introduced, that the whole family use the same bath-water and that come the winter, the children are kept warmly wrapped up in their scarves and mittens, both inside and outside the house.

    As for Gibraltarians living in Spain, I think you'll find the majority who do have a second home, have this home in Gibraltar as its the one least used, kept on purely to take advantage of free education, including students grants, free complete health-care, community care payments, voting rights, etc. Those that don't have a second home, live in Spain permanently, many taking advantage of adding themselves to a parent's household so as to slowly rise up the ladder of government housing, hence why so many have now been rewarded with a flat at mid-harbours estate.

    If you think its a very small percentage that actually live there, I suggest, one of these days, you take a seat by the frontier on the morning of a school day, and start counting. You will be shocked!

    These are real issues that affect real Gibraltarians everyday

    Barbary Wine

  62. PC knows that without Feetham he can kiss the elections goodbye,there are no strong young candidates with their own track records in the GSD camp who are ready for this elections.
    If Selwyn is ranked as a strong GSD candidate,he'll have to perform better than he did during the last televised debate.
    The GSD have very good young future politicians........but so do the GSLP,but they are not being thrown into the arena,they,like Feetham will come to the fore when they are ready,after all did he not do his apprenticeship with the GSLP.

  63. Disciple X......what is your opinion on the paye rates below and how can a government (gsd) tax the richer less than the ordinary citizen?.....dejate de rollo y shalaura pishon .....time for change!! Que estamos sick and tired of lies and smoke screens.....These are the real issues we should be tackling!!....y no me digas que those rates are there to attract expertise que eso ya no cuela

    • the first £17,000 – 16%
    • the next £8,000 – 19%
    • the next £15,000 – 25%
    • the next £65,000 – 28%
    • the next £395,000 – 25%
    • the next £200,000 – 18%
    • the next £300,000 – 10%
    • balance - 5%
    The above rates can be viewed at: to tax

  64. I know feet ham well. Daany was in England in the 80s and 90s. He returned from the uk at the end of 1999 and left the party in 2000. There was no apprenticeship in the GSLP. On that basis Picardo did his apprenticeship with the liberals. He founded the GNP and then was a member of the liberal executive committee from 1992 to 2003 just before the election of that year.

  65. I don't think PRC is relying on Feetham to win the elections,I think he needs Feetham so that the results will not be completely overwhelming against the GSD.But looking at Feetham closely what has he done? apart from modernising the Legal Profession, not much, he is not at the forefront on any issues and certainly does not have the charisma that Picardo has.On another topic I suppose that now that UNITE have ferociously shed their GSD colours it is yet another fraction of Society that the GSD have lost,everyday someone else comes out with anti-govt positions must be that the results are self-evident and no-one wants to hang out with a loser.

  66. RV,

    Anon 00:46

    I am not disputing your fervour for change but your contribution is somewhat wayward.

    I am familiar with the tax tables (unfortunately) and based “solely” on what you are saying, I am afraid you are not correct!

    For example I have taken time off to quickly calculate the Tax payable on earnings of 20K, 30K, 35K, 40K, 70K, 90K, and 100K.

    The truth of the matter is that as you earn more, the tax payable increases:
    20K - 16.45%
    30K - 18.30%
    35K - 19.26%
    40K - 19.98%
    70K - 23.41%
    90K - 24.43%
    100K - 24.79%

    Obviously this does not represent a true picture because many other factors enter into the equation, allowance, insurance etc. but the essence of the sliding scale suggests that the more you earn the more you pay.

    Please note that I am not saying these figures are fair or that they cannot be improved upon (my wish is to pay less :)

    I am simply saying that in principle, the more you earn the more you pay (relatively)

  67. Anon@00:46

    You have forgotten to mention the fact that nobody earning £8,000pa or below pays income tax and that their is a scaled Low Income Earners Allowance for anyone earning below £19,500.

    I can't wait for the GSLP/Libs election manifesto.

  68. Amused to see the publisher of the GSD propaganda booklets staunchly defending the party on the different FB groups.

    Something doesn't seem quite right.

    So much for professionalism.


  69. RV

    Anon 00:46

    In real terms, however I do agree with you that the wealthier get a slightly better deal.

    But then again other factors play a big part too which require much more consideration. Its a complex issue and not one to simply outline in a few sentences!!

  70. Robert Saw your newsflash on FB and Twitter that prospective candidates were being interviewed at GSD HQ last night. They have also been meeting at 9 am at private office buildings just outside the town area. Guess they don't want to be filmed by GBC entering and leaving College Lane HQ in the morning. More likely to go unnoticed in the evening (except by RV on his way home from Royal Calpe). All very cloak-and-dagger but if the dissolution of parliament is only days away and PRC hasn't yet decided who the candidates will be, could we be looking at an early 2012 election?

  71. K what publisher?


  72. If PRC leaves the election until 2012 he is going to be handing a massive victory to the GSLP.

  73. RV,

    Anon 11:58

    My apologies if I seem to be "el espiritu de la contradiccion" but why would it be a massive victory for GSLP if the election is not until 2012? Why can't it be a victory, say, for the PDP? Or even perhaps, for a group of Independents if they get together before then?

    What is the reasoning behind that statement? Is it the polls of a few weeks ago?

    Just curious thats all.

  74. RV,

    I must be having a bad day porque no me entero de nada :(

    re: K

    What do you actually mean by "it doesn't seem quite right" that the publisher of the "booklet" is defending the party. dare I ask why not?

    I can guess what you are going to say about me

    But for the sake of clarity and transparency it would be nice to know.

  75. RV,

    Barbary Wine 00:27

    You raise a couple of good points.

    But the austerity measures you suggest that I am perhaps advocating is being a bit extreme :)

    However you highlight two groups that are benefitting.

    1. Gibraltarians living in Spain,that have a second home, have this home in Gibraltar as its the one least used, kept on purely to take advantage of.... etc.

    :: Would be interested to know how to curb this. But a good point nonetheless. I presume that you are referring to expats or EU nationals?

    2.Those that don't have a second home, live in Spain permanently, many taking advantage of adding themselves to a parent's household so as to slowly rise up the ladder of government housing, hence why so many have now been rewarded with a flat at mid-harbours estate.

    : Not quite sure why you mention this group. I would have thought that the fact that they have been given a rented flat in a prime site is something to happy about.
    (Perhaps I have not understood your point correctly)

    My comment however pointed to those Gibraltarians who have bought a house across the border or even in the UK, either for investment or purely for pleasure. I am sure you will agree with me that that this is a good sign and reflects a "healthy" standard of living.

    NB I have no probs with anyone wanting to buy a second home!! just making myself clear :)

  76. K

    You mean the London-based graphic designer, Javier Garcia of Miura?


    Sorry, I meant the Gib Arms, not the Royal Calpe next door.

  77. Just finished reading Paco Oliva's article on Fabian Picardo dated 1st November. He points out how Picardo keeps using the Westminster model and the UK system as good examples to follow but that these are far from perfect, and lists the 'cash for questions', the 'allowance scandal' and the 'News of the World scandal' as instances of where the system has failed. I agree with him totally in that nowhere is perfect, but I totally disagree with him when he says that these are not good examples to follow. In each of the situations he has mentioned the people involved in these scandals have been publicly held to account, and the quality of the investigative journalism has meant that all the reasonable facts have been laid bare before the public, even those affecting the prime minister himself, in this way even though there has been a wrong doing justice has prevailed and a reputation restored. I feel that this is much more than can be said about the quality of the local media, and how government is never taken to task on issues like the OEM saga and other dealings like the recently discussed negotiations with Ocean Village to acquire the berths. It is public interests and money that has been used for these negotiations and the public want a break down of this. Very much like all the details of ministers salaries and allowances where published on line during the allowances scandal in UK. The opposition openly asks government these questions and they fail to reply and there is no vehicle to take the government to task and put the public minds at rest on these matters. We are simply told to keep trusting. Why doesn't Paco with all his journelistic savvy and flowery intellect do what the media does in UK and expose all that the public really want to know about, instead of influencing us with his biased opinions and all the hot air that goes with it!!!!

  78. Didn't the Fire Brigade have a Firemen's Wives Association who voiced the concerns they were unable to? It would sure come in handy now.

  79. Anon 11:49 I would tell you but RV won't approve my post! lol


  80. I think that Paco Oliva has lost all credibility as an objective Journalist with the pieces he wrote on Caruana and Picardo.He might as well walk around gibraltar with a GSD sticker on his lapel.One thing is for sure he is trying his best to help the GSD out of the mess they are in and any article he writes from now onwards should be very carefully vetted by Dominique Serle for the sake of the Gibraltar Chronicle.

  81. Disciple X,
    Glad I put a smile on your face,sometimes life should not be taken so seriously.

    As for "bible for dummies", as an Atheist I could`nt have put it better myself.

    Ps just found what political party received a £200000 gift and from surprises!

    Rock Ape!

  82. Anon 16:46
    We don`t have a Firemans Wives Association, but point taken ........

    Fireman Sam

  83. Anon@15:48

    Don't shoot the messenger!!

    Could you please give us an example of when the Opposition asked a pertinent question and the Government failed to reply.

    Please remind me of any questions regarding "the OEM saga" or the "negotiations with Ocean Village" by our vibrant Opposition of any transcendence.

  84. Anon@15:48

    Could it not be that Mr Fabian Picardo keeps using the Westminster model and the UK system as good examples to follow because he has no ideas of his own.

    I hope he does not use the UK model if he ever gets the chance to run our economy.

  85. How insulting can PRC get?!!!!!

    On tonights NW he mentioned when asked about the "completion" of the Airport Terminal that the Terminal has been completed on schedule and at the time it was always meant to be ready!

    LOL ROFL but yet so INSULTING!

  86. Anon 15:34 spot on! I guess it wasn't RV but rather my IE tripping again! lolol

    Disciple X la tienes toma conmigo ever since we had "that" debate over 6 months ago :( Aykeve! hahah

    Ps- Yes it does seem rather odd that the GSD Booklet designer goes out of his way to publicly defend the party in his spare time.


  87. La cara que tiene Caruana 76 MILLION EUROS and counting for an airport that is designed to cater for 1 Million passengers and right now we only have approx 140,000 per annum.This vision thing is going to end costing us £90 or £100 million after the tunnel and car park are finished....was it all worth it in the middle of a worldwide recession???...the answer is no.Oh and by the way in the News Caruana implies that the new tunnel would deal with all traffic but we all know that this is untrue as the design of the tunnel only caters for motorvehicles and not for lorries.This is the reason the people of Gibraltar are ousting the GSD too many vision projects,scant regard for our money and only one ambition... not to loose power by any means.

  88. Anon 20:26

    Go to click on Hansard and just check out some of the answers to the opposition's questions......enough to start a tv series,for the comedy channel.Some of the answers from Beltran,fuera de serie.
    What you seek is in there somewhere,if you have the time,no wonder they didn't want the public to avail themselves of hansard;material for the next Santos production.
    El Parlamento llanito con muchos huevos fritos!

  89. "Keep trusting!"

    (Half of the line-up is replaced including one of the most well liked ministers)

  90. Just checked the Gib Chronicle on line,and shows the GSD candidates as breaking news.
    No surprises there.

  91. RV,

    None the wiser...

    Unknown designer...., then we get to know who he is thanks to Anon..., a contentious glossy booklet....., then Rockape knows about a £200,000.00 gift which we should not be surprised about, K unhappy with me....

    What is going on? Too many veiled comments.

    Sera que estoy muy viejo(a) pero yo no me entero de nada.

    I'll carry on with my economics book. At this rate I could get a job as consultant to the eventual incoming government.

  92. I can imagine tomorrows comments in this blog....
    GSD will be saying that there line up is new and fresh blood.....
    All others will be commenting the lack of experience......

    Robert your next view is highly awaited.

    Rock Ape!

  93. Anon@20.26
    The opposition has asked how government has been able to settle a deal with Ocean Village for the provision of small berths and what exactly GOG has had to concede in order to achieve this, bearing in mind these have been protracted negotiations as described by the Minister for enterprise etc. Any ideas? Do you think we may ever get a straight answer from Government to these questions. With regards to OEM I think the opposition have repeatedly asked for an audit on this. In UK the Government, under pressure from opposition parties, pressure groups and the media would have produced one by now. In Gibraltar it simply gets swept under the carpet.

    Funny you should say that, perhaps he is trying to base them on tried and tested systems that appear to work without pubic outcry and not make things up as he goes along like for instance the contractor's award scheme!! Come on, government direct allocation of contracts as they see fit without opening it up to interested parties or competition. The only reason affected parties do not complain is for fear of getting black balled altogether and getting no work at all. To me this is not open and fair competition, it is simply called oppression. As it happens the GOG is following the policy that the labour party in UK is continually getting so badly wrong which is to over borrow and incur massive debts which the Conservative Party is now trying to clear up. This is why although I would like to think myself a labour supporter at heart, there sometimes has to be a real change in order bring balance and order back to our whole community.

  94. RV,

    Out of context, but now that we know the GSD lineup, do we know if the GSLP line up will be alongside the Liberals? and if so in what proportion.

    These latter two parties should finally merge or else test the electorate by going their separate ways. Just a thought.

  95. There's a minister for girl guides somewhere in the lineup!

  96. Fireman Sam

    The firemen's wives association did exist, did it not? And very vocal it was too, if my memory doesn't fail me. Perhaps you should get it started again.

  97. Anon 23:24

    Will find out, pero not in the last 20 years,

    On another note, three women in the gsd lineup,

    Fighting for the womens vote or putting pressure on the GSLP LIB to go a slate of 10 men???

    watch this space......

    Fireman sam

  98. Where can one see the the results of the previous elections in detail?

    i.e. who got more votes than whom exactly?

    Genuinely don't understand why they've gotten rid of Fabian, and apparently he even got more votes than PRC last time around?

  99. An Omnibus says

    Excellent post. Let's hope that the political elite will grab the bull by the horns and commit to widescale reform of out political system. Party funding has long been a taboo subject. I believe that many people are hesitant to speak up on the matter for fear of retribution. After all they may well be employees of large private donors. We should seriously consider a radical overhaul and introduce compulsory state funding at fixed levels for permitted political parties subject to strict criteria being met. Private funding can disproportionately influence the democratic process leaving politicians open to charges of corruption. Clearly not a healthy situation for a small and vibrant democracy such us ours.

  100. 3 women in GSD line up excellent.

  101. Poor Fabian V, during his first term as culture minister he became very popular to the extent he went on to receive the second highest amount of votes at the last election (second only to the CM himself).

    During this term in Housing, he has had his ups and downs, we cannot forget the bridging loans and lateness of Waterport Terraces, nor can we forget the problems at the Cumberland, Bayview and Nelson's View and then there's the bit about allocating Mid-Harbours estate before the land was even reclaimed.

    However, alls well that ends well I suppose, and lately Mr V has been seen 'mas ancho que largo' (a feat in itself as the chap is quite tall), grinning like the proverbial Cheshire Cat and well proud of his achievements, having netted many more happy voters to add to his previous popularity.

    Poor Mr V... such a meteoric rise does not 'fall' well with the GSDivas and just like in the game show 'The Weakest Link' where strong opponents are axed in order to remove the threat, poor Mr V has been given his marching orders.

    With friends like these...

  102. quality not quantity anon @ 00:04

  103. GSD election line up = prospects of winning the elections down the drains!

    Candidates of the GSLP i.e. the likes of Mr Picardo, Mr Licudi, Dr Cotes and Dr Borge make the girl guide and the other cronies look like school kids in a playground.

    Can this honestly be breaking news...or better said...a breaking end???!!!!

    Que sera sera.....


  104. The GSD have put out a strong line-up

    The new guys will have to work for their votes
    Some of the existing Ministers are unpopular
    But on balance, it is a strong team.

    Good to see Mr Damon Bossino back in local politics. A talented person of the utmost integrity as well as being genuine and down to earth. We need more people like him in local politics.

  105. Who in their right mind gets rid of the second most voted candidate ie Fabian Vinet? only Caruana can do that, what a lack of vision, Fabian has organised a lot of properties for the middle to lower income people and I am sure Caruana has lost their vote (if he ever had it) by getting rid of good old Fabian.Big mistake in line-up but i suppose as Caruana makes ALL the decisions no one can comment.

  106. Article in today's New People on last-minute, pre-election, rushed - and allegedly irregular - promotions of those close to the Chief Minister at No. 6. Sure sign that the Caruana Government is in its last throes.

  107. Anon 09:26

    You deem people who have publicly engaged me in "pelea patio" for the past year or so as strong candidates?

    Very sad indeed.

    In my opinion that is the weakest political line up in the history of local politics.

    Vinet out? Del agua and Hammond competing for the same post? What will Azzopardi be minister of? What can she possible have to offer? Selwyn for the Enviornment? Didn’t faller totally outclass him in the Sacarello debate? Who will be the minister for education? Reyes? And didn’t Netto look ready to quit?

    Come on people stop blindly following party lines.

    A poor line up by any standards, I realistically expect the PDP to attract a considerable amount of floating “votes” this time round.


  108. Anon2nd@23:15

    You state:

    "As it happens the GOG is following the policy that the labour party in UK is continually getting so badly wrong which is to over borrow and incur massive debts which the Conservative Party is now trying to clear up".

    There is a massive difference between being able to borrow and service the loan and still have a budget surplus, which is the situation in Gibraltar and what the situation is in the UK.

    The austerity package that the Alliance has had to put in place is in order to reduce the budget deficit.

    To date all the GSLP/Libs press releases consist of the creation of Authorities, Commissions, additional expenditure on the Civil Service and expensive legislation to name but a few promises.

    Not a dicky-bird on the economy unless they are avoiding having to say "steady as she goes" which would mean that they endorse the GSD way of doing things.

  109. Not very impressed by the GSD line-up. Add that to the disappointment and discontentment of the last eight years, and here's me voting GSLP at this election even though they are yet to reveal their line up.

  110. Not much reaction on llanito world to the gsd lineup - RV himself particularly quiet...does this mean anything?

  111. I havent seen the other parties line ups yet, but it is looking very likely that this time round I will vote for people and not parties.

    no offence to those brave enough to step forward, but I really have to question whether some of those named are capable if running an office let alone an entire "ministry" !

    Same goes for some of the GSLP names branded about!!

  112. Caruana just asked the Givernor to dissolve Parliament and called for a December 8th election. El no estaba esperando que se acabara el aeropuerto...claro que no HAHAHAHAHAHA

    December 8th roll on! Im off to find a calendar to start ticking off the days..

  113. Finally he has called the Elections for December 8th, the end of the Caruana Era is drawing close!.

  114. The completion of the airport had absolutely nothing to do with calling the election... no por los lollis! Y lo peor es que se cre que los demas nos lo tragamos... he has lost touch completely!

    Roll on December 8th!

  115. Anon@12.14
    Government hails a budget surplus as a great economic success but I am of the opinion that this is not necessarily a thing to celebrate. I think it can only mean two things:

    1. You are taxing people too much
    2. You are not adequately spending the money you have budgeted for and therefore under providing on the services you have anticipated to be necessary.

    My understanding is that Government raises revenues mainly through taxes and then spends this money back in the community. The Government undertakes Budget reviews and this culminates in them raising or lowering taxes in order to have the funds to pay out for all the services anticipated, i.e. policing, education, health and of course servicing the debt etc. In the last 4 or 5 years the government has boasted about lowering taxes but I personally have not seen any significant increase in my pay packet, in fact in most cases I have been worse off, except for when I was allowed to go on the Gross Income scheme which resulted in a marginal rise of £2.50 a week. However, fuel is now relatively much higher than we have historically been accustomed to, and energy bills and water have soared. At the same time the new tax act appears to have advanced payment of revenues, all of which would have caused government coffers to swell up, but please note that this only works once unless you start making people paying their taxes in advance. This does not mean that the economy is doing extraordinarily well, but rather that payments are being brought forwards to what we have otherwise been accustomed to. I am therefore of the opinion that we are starting to live beyond our means, seeing that our public debt has increased exponentially over the last few years, and we still have so many important project to complete i.e. a sewage treatment plant, a power station and if we are lucky a theatre and some berths for the local boating community. So how do I think this will affect me? If I was 60 years old, on a pension and with no children or grand children I could not give a flying f@*k about the economy. As I am still a way from retirement and with children who may still want to go to further education I am bracing myself for what is to come. In the UK, pensions, education and the health service is rubbish compared to what we currently have here. The problem is that with this government’s handling of the economy all these wonderful things we had, will be put at risk. But politicians are very good at turning things round and they will say when the time comes, well you have to pay for university education in UK so don’t complain if you now have to pay for it in Gibraltar aswell. The point is that we have enjoyed reasonably good benefits in education, healthcare and pensions in the past, and this is not necessarily all credit to the current government, but there is now a danger that future generations will not be so lucky. To my mind this is largely due to the poor planning, poor prioritisation, inefficiency and uncontrolled government spending, and it is clear that we cannot continue at this rate!!

  116. Anon 00:04

    When looking at a line-up the last thing I do is look at the sexes in the line-up ,I am not bothered if it is comprised of 10 men ,10 women or 5 men and 5 women ,what I look is for a team of people with experience in Gibraltars political arena,a party with new and invigorating policies that will be beneficial to Gibraltar in the future. A clear and open Goverment is at the top of my list also.
    Bring on the elections,
    Rock Ape!

  117. So on December 8th we should all bring out our wheelie bins????

    I hear we should take out our trash on that day! ;-)

  118. Now that the election has been called, could this be the last post on this Blog till the 9th December?

  119. The PDP have a long list of credible candidates to and have done for ages.

    Poor excuse that one lol

  120. RV,

    Finally a date with destiny....

    I have read today's last comments and it amazes me that the bloggers finally have something to look forward.

    Let's hope for a good and fair fight. The gloves are off and if Facebook is anything to go by I will be praying for peace to all men (Oh! yes and women too) and a Happy & Restful Xmas!!!

  121. Anon 15:26

    Not much reaction from me on individual candidates because I said I will not comment about individuals.

    Not much such comment from others because I am not publishing such comments, as I have said, I will not allow this blog to get into personality politics or criticisms during the election campaign. Comments on substantive issues welcome not who anyone thinks is good, bad, indifferent, young, old, bent, straight etc. etc.

  122. Fabian V's statement today is very sad.

    He states he is "not angry, bitter or resentful, simply lost and confused".

    I really don't understand why he was allowed to put his name forward in the first place, if the intention was to axe him at the end. At least Montiel has been treated with a lot more respect.

    If the reason was to provide more women in the line-up then I agree with Rock Ape, its not about gender but about worth and Fabian V was worth two (or more) Yvette Del Aguas anyday.

  123. Just watching the Cms interbiew on NW and its hilarious to see Gerardo's reactions in the background (of 7 Days fame), standing BEHIND PRC!

  124. the CM has stated that at the end of the day, there were 10 better candidates than Mr Vinet.

    Does he and the executive know more than the electorate who placed him before four candidates who did make it in the line-up?

    Keep trusting that they have no idea of what they are doing!

  125. Whilst not a major fan of the GSD for personal reasons, I CANNOT for the life of me understand how Fabian Vinet has been axed, and then a young inexperienced person like Liane Azopardi is included in the line-up??!!!! Is Liane a "token" candidate - it does look that way, especially in a small community when we all know / know of each other!!!!!

  126. Steven Neish telling Dr garcia that he could and view the Airport as a Member of the public!!!!!!!!!!

    Pulitzer prize moment!

  127. Went to see the new airport today, to be honest for 7500000E I wouldn`t expext anything less, but on arrival I was bemused to see people on the roof,to my amazement it was not part of the tour. these people were construction workers,there because the new state of the art airport had water ingress through the roof due to the heavy rainfall,
    Apart from that .......its really big

    Rock Ape!

  128. RV

    Just wondering whether the GSLP will put out a full GSLP slate or will the Liberals join forces?

    And in what proportion?

    Interesting to see how many Liberals will FP allow to hang on to his coat tails.

    I guess some serious GSLP diehards will be expecting FP to field a full GSLP team of their own to contest the election. I wonder, too, whether they'll be thinking that they don't need the Liberals this time round.

    It'll be interesting to also see whether the New People's Chief will want to put his name down and join forces with old pal!

    Exciting times ahead and so much wondering has made me hungry.... be back soon.... Given the occasion may even crack open a cool nice bottle of Chablis Vieilles Vignes 2009 Vocoret (recently purchased)

    Food for thought....

  129. I'm not a GSD supporter but must give credit where credit is due.
    Fabian Vinet has at all time been a gentleman and a politician many could identify with.
    He has handled Housing,one of the most or the most difficult of ministries with the sensitivity and fairness the ministry requires.
    I wish Fabian my best wishes.

  130. RV,

    Delighted to hear that PC and now FP have both dismissed past polls as irrelevent.

    Lo dicen ellos and eveybody is ok with that, lo digo yo in some previous blog y casi me comen! :)

    If FP had said in NW's interview, "It's not all over until the fat lady sings", entonces ya, es que me hubiera caido del sillon!!

    Nonetheless, gratified to hear that they share my view... ;)

  131. fellow bloggers open your eyes. The basis of candidate selection for the GSD is purely based on Facebook popularity, nothing else. I must admit I was surprised to see Mr V go before some of the other candidates. Mr V if you do habit these circles let me say that I do not support your team but I wish you personally all the best for the future because probably you were one of the better guys.

  132. RV,

    Sitting backand now and pondering...with what FP said...

    I always got the hurried feeling from what I've been reading that everyone was eager to know the GSD lineup, y ahora resulta that the GSLP have not even got one in place... In fact FP said (I think I heard correctly) that the dissolution of Parliament triggers off the procedure to start selecting the candidates!!

    What was the hurry then to know?

    I have to say that FP came across as a smooth talker and even carefully crafted his answers to even welcome all new comers (especially those at the GSD).

    Very very suave indeed!!

    The hardcore, blue collar, GSLP member must be running his hand over his stubble, wondering what on earth is going on!!

  133. As someone just told me in Morrisons (of all places) what a shame that Caruana has axed the only Minister who was humble and understanding referring to FV.One thing is for sure I don't know who the marketing people are in the GSD but they have really cocked this one up, no-one is interested in the Airport or the GSD or GSLP line-ups everyone is just shocked at the way that Caruana has dismissed FV, not a good move before the election.

  134. I thought the GSD Press Conference was very telling Caruana had Holiday to his right and Feetham to his left his only trusted minions.What I did not understand was how can Caruana say with a straight face that the Executive found Selwyn,Lianna and Isabel to be superior to Fabian Vinet who obtained the second largest amount of votes in the last election?.
    It is political suicide to get rid of your best performers to run unknown untested candidates, I cannot undrstand why Caruana is just letting it all go down the drain.
    Loved the NW Caruana interview with the Gerrardo the 7 Days Editor grimacing in the background, reminded me of Faulty Towers with Caruana as Basil (Mr Faulty) and Gerrardo as Manuel!!! Sorry couldn't resist it check it out in GBC website.

  135. We know who got into the GSD line up and that Fabian Vinet was deselected. Who else put his or her name down? On the GSLP side I quite fancy Brenda Torres and hope that she is selected. Today we will be told whom the PDP will be presenting. That will make 3 full slates of 10 for each party / alliance. Will there be any independents standing this year?

  136. Agree with anon @ 3/11- 2038

    Is someone being mischievous at GBC?

    Watching newswatch last night with PRC making his usual bombastic statements with the now famous non-English speaking editor of 7 days lurking in the background, was worthy of a Monty Python sketch!!!

    Look at Gerardo concentrating as if he is holding on to every word that Caruana is uttering when he doesn’t have a clue what he’s saying.

    Thank you GBC for the laugh worth watching again and again - side splitting entertainment!!

  137. Anon 21:01


    I might sound politically bias, but doesn`t GBC seem to be more aggressive in interviewing GSLP/LIB that GSD.
    Which brings me to the former GBC newsreader now in politics,can`t wait to see how her ex colleagues will treat her in an interivew.

    And the campain has just started......

    Rock Ape!

  138. I too have been surprised by Fabian Vinet's deselection. I have always found him to be a pleasant and unassuming man and a welcome contrast to some of the big egos that inhabit the political scene. However his departure from front line politics does show a new and therefore startling element of party democracy in the GSD. That can only be for the common good.

  139. I agree that the tone and questioning of the GSLP/Liberal memebers by GBC staff is much more aggressive with GSLP than when the GSD and especially Peter Caruana is interviewed.Any study produced to prove this will I am sure prove this right.
    What i find hilarious is having two days of "I love Danny" letters in the Chronicle, the GSD fans should write "I love Fabian Vinet " letters instead as FV did much better at the last election than diderring Danny did.
    Also it is very telling that Ernesto Teuma has been writing again to the public through the Chronicle PLEADING with the electorate do reinstate his adorable GSD, it is curious how the GSD in desparation have decided to drop the fast launches scare tactics and have now been insructed to play the PP in Govt card.All of it very telling...stinks of desparation to me as the writing is on the wall.

  140. Anon@12:06

    Maybe it's because the GBC interviewers find it much more difficult to get straight to the point, no nonsense answers from the GSLP/Liberal members.

  141. Anon 12:25

    Maybe it's because the GSLP/Liberal members don't reduce the GBC interviewers to tears with their angry outbursts.

  142. Wonder whether PRC is regretting having annouced the line up! The GSD have done themselves no favours and today the talk about town is that they have definitely lost the plot with the axing of FV to insert a young inexperienced memeber of the community con "nada de tablas" en politics and very little life experience!

  143. Ano at 12.06 should not laugh at the "I love Danny" letters in the Chronic. It isnt that long ago that "well done Danny" was common in the GSLP's paper New Peo ple. When DF left the GSLP well done Danny became el nino del traje de rayas and the well dones were reserved for Fabian who had come from the liberal party and must have supported Dr. Garcia's tearing up the GSLP manifesto on TV. let us just accept that politics is a joke.

  144. RV,

    From what I read and hear everything seems to a comedic catalogue of errors which will cause the GSD to lose the election.

    * que si el 7 Days is a political rag and not eligible to Govt Funding via the Publications of the Gazette.
    * that its Editor can't read or write English
    * that the bribery act was there.. but it wasn't...then it was..quien sabe que, even the lawyers keep arguing amongst themselves !?!?!?
    * El glossy magazine
    * Undisclosed expense with the suspician of favours granted
    * Que si FV is deselected because the GSD executive deemed it necessary to change their line up.
    * If DF se presenta o no? Or whether everything has been a put on, to gain sympathy!!
    * Oh! yes and the Airport (y el teatro. This hasn't been mentioned but I will just in case somebody reminds me):)

    IMHO if this is, say 75% (arbitrary %), of the accusations that should topple the GSD, then I have to say that many of us have very short memories.

    Como se ha dicho ante .."Its about the economy, s...d."

    Okay I'm ready....just getting my shield out ... :)

  145. Anon3rd@18:12

    I shall be brief.

    Income Tax is only a part of total Government revenue.

    You should consult a Financial Adviser and sort out your income tax situation.

    Most other tax payers have seen a substantial increase in their take home pay.

  146. RV,

    Just read another GSLP sweetner courtesy of the Chronicle re: Future Job Strategy

    “…should submit an expression of interest application form to the GSLP Headquarters as a result of which they will be contacted and a one to one interview carried out in order to assess the areas of interest and the level of skills that they possess and how best they can be fitted into the programme to ensure their future employment once the policy is implemented in government”.

    Most likely to be carried out by the Future Minister of Employment .JB

    This is an absolutely reprehensible act. This is a blatant case of hoodwinking young, jobless and possibly disgruntled people to join their ranks in return for promise that a job may be on the offing.

    One thing is to have argued for it in Parliament but another is to deceive the innocent to give you their vote for an empty promise.

    Ay!...Just when one thought FP had a hold on the party, strategies of the past come back to haunt me.

    A leopard cannot change its spots……

  147. Anon@15.52

    I don't think brief is the word, you give me very little to go on. My account says that I am not eligible for any more tax breaks and as I understand it the Tax office works out what I should pay so little room to manouvre there. Are you suggesting that I take out more life insurance policies or take out a mortgage. I tried to get in at Waterport Terraces and failed and I am not willing to risk buying a flat at Cumberland or Nelson's view given the poor quality of construction insensitive design. The rest of the properties in Gib are simply out of my price range. I did go and see a Financial Adviser once but there was little they could do for an ordinary working class local other than try and sell me products that I could simply not afford. Anything else you can suggest???

  148. Disciple X

    Are you suggesting that there are that many young, jobless, disgruntled people out there for the GSD to worry about??? I thought the word on the street is that the economy is doing splendid and everyone has a job and is totally satisfied with what the current government is doing, in which case they should not really worry about this ploy by the GSLP. Mind you you if I had been shovelling shit about for the few years because I was out of favour with the current government, I would perhaps be seeing this as an opportunity for a fresh start, particularly if I was better qualified and capable than most of the other enchufaos!!!

  149. Luis dejate de rojo. We know your style.

  150. Devils Advocate

    Good evening Robert,

    Any indication as to what will be the estimated operating costs of this new airport?

    I am also interested in determining the estimated number of increased flights in order to compensate for these operational costs?

    Also has this airport been paid for already or has it been built on credit and repayment terms??


  151. Disciple X what would you suggest then for those diisgruntled jobless people?
    Await another four years whilst we subsidise the unemployed from La Linea with local multi million pound projects.
    Perhaps under those circumstances I would hope the leopard was true to his word, even if that meant I was clutching at straws.

  152. RV,

    I come back to the party lineups.

    So far GSLP have the following:
    the four existing plus five who have put the names in the hat, i.e. the brothers, the teacher, the Small business supremo and now the female lawyer.

    That amounts to 9. I would imagine that the GSLP Executive might have another candidate in their midst.

    That being so where does that leave the Liberals?

    IMHO in a very weak position.

    If however FP announces a combined slate this could be seen as a weakening of the party which relies on the Liberals to get them past the post.

    Either this Motley crew finally join forcrs under the same banner or they will never be taken as serious politicians.

    I would imagine that plenty of soul searching is going on that side of the house!

  153. anon @ 21:50 cual de ello era Louis? I can't make him out!

  154. With all due respect Disciple X I think the Liberals need the GSLP more than the GSLP need them :)


  155. On the sovereignty issue the GSLP/libs has always been tougher on Spain. With the prospect of a PP government and PRC trying to appease them where will that take us?

    Remember that PRC once said with a really smug expression on his face (as if he had just discovered America) that the Andorra model would put an end to the sovereignty claim!!!

    By saying that he also thinks he can take the spaniards for fools as he takes us. The spaniards will never be satisfied with the Andorra model and neither will we.

    I prefer the GSLP/libs line that sovereignty is not open to discussion full stop.

    And if the PP want to talk about sovereignty with the UK let them waste their time. The answer here will continue to be an emphatic NO.

  156. Disciple X 4th@16:01

    I entirely agree with you. Giving NEETs false hopes so that the GSLP/Libs can tick the Employment box that the Gibraltar Chronicle poll revealed as the second area of most concern to voters is unacceptable.

    I wonder how the expectations of these vulnerable youngsters are going to be fulfilled. Will they be promised Government employment or will they force private sector companies to give them a job.

    I believe that it is more a case of making promises in exchange for votes and once in we will think the promise through.

  157. RV,


    I agree with you :). The Libs need the GSLP far more. Hence why I am confused. If FP can get a full line up, why do they need the Libs?

    I have heard (and I stand to be corrected, as usual) that some GSLP diehards want to dispense with the Libs. Given the big possibility that they can win why the Libs. That is my question? Unless of course FP does not think he can pull it off with his own men and women!!! Or he is not confident with his prospective candidates!!

    Would be interested to hear comments on this!

  158. RV

    Anon 19:43

    I am not suggesting anything. All I am saying is that this type of deceptive trap is reprehensible. Not because JB is seriously concerned about the jobless but I am more concerned of his method of using the honey pot method to achieve his own political aims.

  159. Disciple X

    The Libs have two very decent Candidates maybe FP simply does not want to lose them. :)


  160. Anon@10:00

    Interesting comment. I looked up the GSLP/Libs 2007 election manifesto and could not find a page on Employment. I did, however, find a page on Education that contained these gems:-

    Postgraduate Scholarships, Jobs (GDC) for Graduates, The University of Gibraltar and, oh yes, 6 lines on Apprenticeship Schemes.

    No mention of the NEETs.

    Is it the born again "Socialists" or is it the same old GSLP/Libs but post the Gibraltar Chronicle poll?

  161. The GSLP/Lib line-up should be 8 and 2. Too many excellent candidates.

  162. RV,


    True...but I would assume that FP would want his own people. In fact the GSLP exec would want their own members.

    But it isinteresting to note that you only rate only two candidates from the LIbs! What about the third (whoever he may be).

    What would the GSLP candidates who have put down their names for the Part think if their own leader thinks its best to carry along two Libs???

    Interesting decisions to be made...I am eager to hear FP's explanations.

  163. Anon@13:47

    Regardless of your desired GSLP Liberal content/split why is the line-up taking so long to be announced.

    The Leader of the Opposition Twittered-Vote the GSLP/Liberals 10 immediately after the election date was announced.

    The GSD had already published its list of candidates and the PDP has announced it since.

    We are awaiting the GSLP/Liberal candidates.

    Is there trouble at'mill.

  164. KJ@11:46

    Who is this "not very decent" Liberal politician that you refer to?

    By the way, you could give us a clue by giving us the names of the very decent candidates that FP does not want to lose.

    I maintain that you are a GSD mole :)

  165. RV

    Anon 14:34

    It is not my desire....I am just curious to see how FP fairs in a relatively big decision.

    It will say a lot about FP,
    it will say a lot about the GSLP,
    and it will definetly say a lot about the Liberals (especially if they can't field their own team)

  166. I hope that this is not a build up for the GSLP to do a Vinet on Liberal MP Mr....

  167. RV,

    Just been browsing the PDP website.

    There is another mention of style of Government. It would be interesting to read about what this new style entails.

    Its all very well to come out and say that a change of style is required but what would be more convincing would be to learn exactly what this new variation of style will entail.

    Grateful for someone to comment.

  168. GSD team, why wait 15 years to stage a 'meetngreet' in front of the Cathedral?

  169. Vinet's situation was different in that he received the second most votes out of every single candidate in the last election.

    The fact that he was removed from the line-up is a travesty.

  170. Disciple X is being unfair. Of course the PDP cannot define their preferred style of government but it is not because they have not though of a preferred style apart from being nice and fresh. They do not like Caruana's style and they do not like Picardo's style but they are not about to tell you what their style is so that someone can steal it before the election. do you think we was born yesterday ! remember Keith is a very astute politician and was deputy chief minister when Caruana's style of governemnt was OK.

  171. RV

    Anon 15:53

    Well... It will be interesting to see what happens. GSLP/Liberals has been a marriage of convenience whilst in opposition. The truth of the matter is that they are two wholly distinct parties with distinct philosophies.

    For the sake of clarity either they merge and finally come clean with their true identity or oppose each other in the elections...

    PDP has been accused of pandering to the GSD but at least they've had the courage to present an entire lineup and test themselves.

    It should be a simple choice, unless of course there is more to it.....either way they should not be taking the public/electorate for a ride.

  172. RV,

    Anon 18:22

    Thanks for your comment. Fair enough when you say style cannot be defined but I have to disagree.

    Political Management requires a a system of social relations which imposes a certain kind of politics. Political responsibility, management and conscience supposes (and is expected by an increasing knowledgeable public) a high level of professional competence and morality.

    On that basis I expect a far clearer definition from the Parties.

    Those who know him must surely know the kind of man he is.

    Don't get me wrong

  173. The question is whether the Liberal candiates would be selected by the GSLP's executive if they had the chance,given the pool of potential GSLP candidates already known.
    It would be interesting to know who are the potential Liberal candidates.
    I agree with some of the comments,I would keep the DR,the other two..........can fight it out with the rest........and let the electorate decide.

  174. Ano @ 18.09 There is a travesty in the GSD line up! Who?

  175. RV,

    Anon 18:38

    The question is not if..."The question is whether the Liberal candiates would be selected by the GSLP's executive"...that is an academic point and not realistic.

    GSLP and Liberals are two different parties wiith idealogies far removed. Many moons ago the Dr. tore up the GSLP manifesto in a chidish tantrum and it was left to DB to give the defeats speech after the election.

    It is still surprising that GSLP members have not come out against the Dr because of this.

    I am certain that the a brave and honourable man but his political convictions must be put to the test. Hanging on to the GSLP smacks off a desperate attempt to get into power by sacrificing one's ideals.

  176. Sorry but the PDP line up is no much better than in 2007. I hope that the newcomers are better at explaining what the ethos of the party is because so far it is not clear. Nicholars Cruz attack on Picardon on the bribery issue seems to show the PDP as an old style sweep the crap under the carpet party. Not very fresh and certainly not very nice. PS I am all for equality so i am glad that there is a travetsy in the GSD.

  177. Is this the beginning of a witch hunt against Neil Costa and Stephen Linares? The GSLP faithful remeber the mistake of taking Cive Golt to the 1996 election for old times sake and losing the election. Is it time for a Vinet manoeuvre at the GSLP?

  178. How politically naive can some of your posters be, just because someone puts forward his/her name with a view to standing for election if selected, it does not mean that the person would be automatically selected because of a desire to stand. Every time there is an election there are those who are selected to stand by the parties and those who do not make it. On another point, at the last election there were 7 GSLP and 3 Liberals who stood for election, 3 of the GSLP did not make it, thus in the parliament just dissolved there were 4 GSLP and 3 Liberals in the Opposition.

  179. Anon 14:49

    I never stated that this was person was not decent :)

    I believe you have miscontrued my comments.

    As for being a GSD mole please have a look at my GibRadio Podcast -


  180. Anon 14:49

    I never stated that this was person was not decent :)

    I believe you may have miscontrued my comments.

    As for being a GSD "mole" please have a look at my GibRadio Podcast -


  181. I think the biggest travesty in Gibraltarian politics at the moment is the fact that the Libs have been ripped off by the GSLP! Only 3 candidates?! Ridiculous when you consider that ALL 3 got into parliament...I bet the GSLP wish they could have that sort of following. Its even worse when you consider that Fabian Picardo and Gilbert Licudi (probably the best GSLP camdidates)are liberals who moved to the GSLP because the Libs are only allowed 3 spots.

  182. At least the PDP have had the guts to come up with 10 candidates from a well balanced diverse backround that represents Gibraltar today. We need to learn to celebrate diversity and the PDP brings a fresh young team which should capture the imagination of the voters and give them a few seats in the next parlaiamnt. I will certainly vote for them.

  183. Anon@18.43

    I have been looking really hard at the photograph of the GSD line up and for the life of me I still cannot work out who the transvestite is??

    Disciple X
    I have also been following the constant banging on by disciple X who is clearly a GSD activist trying to use a bit of reverse psychology on the bloggers, and playing dumb whilst trying to subtly steer opinion. If Picardo has 2 functioning brain cells he will fight this election with a coalition government in order to guarantee them getting into power, and if whilst in power he can prove himself and show that he is in fact capable of doing the job and put an end to all the scaremongering by the GSD, maybe at the next election he may wish to have a crack at taking it down the GSLP purist route and splitting up the coalition. There are a lot of people who have a great deal of respect for some of the liberals and they will no doubt attract important votes. Splitting the party at this election will definitely weaken their chances and play in the hands of the GSD.

  184. Lost and Confused Fabian Vinet was not at hand in Main Street today supporting the GSD roadshow,I have never seen so many people avoid a stand through diplomatic means.At one point the GSD placard flew off Damon made a run to keep it in place and someone in the crowd shouted " You are falling to pieces guys".The most interesting thing was that none of the GSD reps wanted to talk about Fabian Vinet.They had all been given instructions (apparently) to make no comment on the second most voted GSD candidate in the last election.El pobre Fabian..buena gente.

  185. Anon@20:01
    Naivity is comparing the quality of the candidates this time around to those that were on offer on the last occasion where the GSLP/Lib Allicance were starved of worthwhile candidates.
    That is not to say that a couple of those within the Liberal line-up have not proven their worth again and again during this last electoral term. Much better in all liklihood than a couple of the names that are being thrown around as possible GSLP candidates, and therefore an Alliance between both parties would be more beneficial to the electorate as a whole. But why should a quality potential GSLP candidate be left on the sidelines at the expense of an arbitary agreement between both parties?
    Surely the best possible team made up of the best candidates should be offered to the electorate? This is something that the GSD has demonstrated it is unable to understand by having removed Fabian Vinet from the line-up. The person who garnered the second most votes in the last elections. Any and all comparisons to his removal and the possible removal of the third liberal candidate are complete non-starters.

  186. Anon@00:26

    I am not surprised that none of the GSD reps wanted to talk about anyone who put his/her name forward and failed the Party Executive selection process.

    I do not believe that instructions on common decency need to be issued.

  187. RV,

    Anon 22:00

    Wow give me too much credit!

    I don't mind being labelled what I'm not if it means we can get a discussion going. There is no need on my part to label you or others because of your political inclinations. I have my "own" views based on my experience of seeing and living under different governments.

    I do however find it slightly annoying when each side deliberately tries to denigrate the other for siding with one party or another as if this meant that one is afflicted with the plague! That is a cheap way of trying to scaremonger. That is not my style at all. In fact I am pleased to say that FP will not be falling into that trap at the forthcoming electorate campaign. It will, he said, be about policies!

    The fact that I try to raise an issue on this blog by courtesy of RV, is simply to elicit a response which may lead to a discussion. In fact I am thankful to RV for that even if on occasions we disagree!

    Branding me or anyone else of belonging to one or another demonstrates your unwillingness to engage in debate. I should at this point remind you also that FP is all for debate and discussion when in Government, so maybe you should take a leaf from his book before accusing.

    Regarding my point of the GSLP and Liberals. This is not reverse psychology. This is not an attempt at breaking up anything. My point is simply that GSLP diehards may wish to have their own slate. No more no less.

    If by your statement one is to infer that the GSLP need the Liberals to get in because as you say.."Splitting the party at this election will definitely weaken their chances..." then my inference on that is that FP is of the opinion that GSLP cannot get their 10 people in!

    If that is not the case I am willing to engage in debate on that point.

  188. So anon at 08.59 thinks that Neil Costa the 3td Lib candidate will be shown the door! I know that Neil's guerilla war on the GHA seemed a bit opportunistic and short sighted if you bear in mind that most users of the health service see the huge improvements made in the last few years. He seemed to want to garner the discontent among the supporters of the "Spanish practices" which used to prevail in the old St Bernard's and I am sure he got some votes there but I agree that he seemed to be a one narrow issue politician. Shame because I think that he could have done better.

  189. RV,

    Anon 09:01

    "I am not surprised that none of the GSD reps wanted to talk about anyone who put his/her name forward and failed the Party Executive selection process."

    I guess this applies to the other parties as well! If, for example a GSLP party member puts his/her name down and fails the Party Executive selection process to stand, then we should be able to talk and discuss.

    Mind you, I too would am perplexed by FV's omission. But as Mr.Gomez points out .".However his departure from front line politics does show a new and therefore startling element of party democracy in the GSD. That can only be for the common good."

    I agree..


  190. Anon@08:59

    The GSLP must be cursing the day that the Alliance was created.

    I very much doubt whether an independent Liberal Party today would even take the 4.7% of the vote that it did in 1992 and 1996. What I do not doubt is that the 13.65% share in 2007 was due to the GSLP block vote and not to the popularity of the Liberal candidates.

    Just a feeling in my water.

  191. Anon@9:42
    No, not Costa. His excellent PPB concerning the ambulances for example was a comprehensive end-cap to that ridiculous exchange between the GSD and the GSLP/Libs. Netto and Del Agua should have been voted out by the "GSD executive", not Vinet. But then that may have been a clear admission of failure on their parts, no?

  192. KJ5th@21:08


    I took your advice and watched your GibRadio podcast.

    The magnanimity and protagonism that you have afforded a totally unknown GSD candidate is commendable.

  193. Post Vinet I smell fear in the ranks of the current opposition MPs. Perhaps for too long some of them have had it too easy. Try to think back and see whether any one or more of the following have really earned their salaries in the last legislature: Licudi [] Bruzon [] Linares [] Costa [] and I do not mean just issuing a statement once in a while I mean real work. I think that if Fabian Picardo really wants to be the next CM he is going to have to be brave and it may be time to let some of his current team go.

  194. I agree with anon at 11.30 productivity among many MPs has been appalling. In the private sector they would be fired and even in the civil service some of them would have raised eye brows for their inactivity and that is saying something. Fabian must have the courage of his convictions to ensure that the very best of the people who are willing to fight the election on behalf of the GSLP. Also Gibraltar is about to enter difficult terrotory with the world wide economic srisis and the PP in Madrid so we need the best brains.

  195. Judging by the amount of people who want to join what appears to be the winning team of the GSLP/Liberals , Picardo and Garcia will need to look very carefully at who their executives select.
    What should not happen is the ridiculous stand that Caruana took on the Feetham/Vinet matter.At one point Caruana told us that HE had asked Dithering Danny to stay(Not the Executive) and the next thing he said on Vinet was that the Executive had axed Vinet , and that he of Course did not want Vinet out!!! So what is it , is it the Executive who decide or is it Caruana? and since when have the decisions of the Executive or Executives been made public that Caruana felt it necessary to state on GBC that he had voted for por Loli!!!Big mistake to get rid of Fabian and that is all Gibraltar is talking about.

  196. RV,

    I hope you will permit me to raise the issue of the new Airport.

    I have not had the opportunity to view the inside but I have to say that on the outside the building looks splendid. Like all buildings there will be snags but I am sure they can and will be resolved. Equally a structure of this size will require maintenance form day 1.

    The price tag it seems has become a bit of an issue (putting it mildly) not because of the price itself but because it is not value for money.

    My analogy:
    Where do politicians "normally" buy their shirts. I would think that many of them would purchase their quality shirts from reputable stores (no propaganda here :) None, I am sure would go to the "mercadillo"! Why? Well IMHO ,quality, although more expensive invariably lasts longer.

    My analogy is very possibly very "naive" and ingenuous but the principle is the same.

    Maybe there is some truth in the phrase, "If you pay peanuts you get monkeys'...

  197. Anon 10:35

    She wasn't a candidate at the time, just someone who had via a GSD podcast implied that Joanna Hernandez's plee was little more than emotional blackmail.

    As part of the GibRadio team (the team who brought her story to light) I felt the need to defend such statements.

    I have known Lianne for many years now and even considered her a friend at one point.

    Unfortunately over a year ago she decided to support Spain during the World cup and this led to us falling out. Well she fell out with me, mejon dicho.

    Life oh


  198. In true analytical fashion the GSD days really do seem to be coming to an end.The fact that they have apparently lost the vote of the majority of :
    The Civil Service
    The firefighters
    The Health Employees
    The Middle to Lower bracket earner
    The Jewish Community
    The Hindu Community
    The Police
    The Small Businesses
    The Pensioners
    The Small Boatowners Association
    The Port Employees
    The UK Students
    That only leaves them the ex pat offshore vote, the Sotogrande residents, the characters who have minted themselves with the GSD in power and the GSD fanatics.
    The other problem they have is that the solid Yacht Club vote will be split between the PDP and the GSD (another problem for Caruana).
    So the above losses plus the PDP standing with a full slate really leaves a completely open avenue to the GSLP/Liberals Alliance to win by a landslide.

  199. Gibraltar goes to political suicide if, as seems, is influenced by these extremists do not want to see, or global position and prestige that currently has the Rock. No more deceive the people with the fable of the change. The change will be worse, no doubt. And the future black. Rajoy is here and Gibraltar will need an experienced politician like Caruana, who can deal with skill, as it did in Algeciras Landaluce that changed after an hour of conversation I got the mayor of Algeciras Caruana out supporting and advocating for dialogue and understanding and not confrontation he had against Gibraltar. Now is when we most need to Caruana