Sunday, 2 October 2011

The Politics of Economic Success and Social Conscience

On several occasions I have written about the need to help the needy and disadvantaged. I have referred to prioritising expenditure accordingly and thinking hard before spending on luxuries. The basis of my belief is that in a wealthy society like Gibraltar, and we are constantly reminded that our economy is buoyant by the GSD Government and the Chief Minister, we should be able to devise a social care system that is accurately aimed and pinpointed at resolving specific problems faced by specific persons and families. Social deprivation should be capable of being eliminated in situations where there is no substance abuse. 

On the substance abuse front credit must go to the GSD Government, specifically at a political level to Hubert Corby, for funding much needed facilities. Also to all those who are involved in helping those who suffer from addictions. I do not wish to concentrate on this problem, although it may well be that more needs to be done. I am, also, in writing this piece not being party political or critical of any party. My intent, based on my limited anecdotal knowledge, which I admit to immediately, is to try and offer constructive ideas, stimulate debate, bring the issue to the fore and hope that adequate solutions and measures can be found by those who are so much more knowledgeable than me on the subject.

There is, however, one factor that needs to be understood, it is that without a successful and growing economy, money is not available to dedicate to the less advantaged or for necessities. In my last blog, I identified the various "natural advantages" that Gibraltar has and can exploit to increase the wealth of our society. In order to ensure the success of those sectors of our economy, there is a need to encourage the availability of certain facilities. Two of these are luxury housing and office space. It is easy to criticise any government for getting the mix wrong. or supposedly wrong, but without such investment there would be a reduced ability to provide affordable or rental housing, health services, social care services etc. etc. It is the provision of certain physical facilities that allows our economy to grow.

Another essential element is to provide adequate and properly trained human resources in the public service. Adequate training comes with education and knowledge but also with experience. It also requires a helpful and positive attitude. A major government expenditure is the public service, in which there is much room for improvement. Unfortunately, despite the massive effort made by some public servants in certain sectors, it has to be said that the overall impression that this service gives is one of overburdening, unhelpful and reluctant bureaucracy. 

Leaving aside that savings and therefore better prioritisation of resources could be achieved, an improved service will help to stimulate and accelerate economic activity. A service improved by more and better knowledge and specialisation and also by the public sector giving a better and more helpful impression. It can easily do so by providing a speedy cheerful service. Remember most of what the public service does is to administer entitlements (as opposed to discretionary privileges) that people have in law, so much can be achieved by a change of attitude that assimilating this fact would bring about.

The public service is largely paid for by the private sector. The more activity that is permitted in the private sector the more wealth that will be available for distribution. This wealth can them be applied for the benefit of the wider community and more importantly the needy and disadvantaged. This alone is not enough. It is in the application of the money that decisions are taken by governments. My belief is that in the longer term education and employment are central to reducing the call on social services. In the interim the need is to have a very focused social care system, in which I include any payments or rent reliefs given to individuals and families.

I cannot believe that it is beyond the wit of persons engaged in helping the needy and disadvantaged within society to individualise the social care system in Gibraltar keeping 2 aims in mind. First the relief of poverty and hardship. Second to reduce the call on public moneys by preparing these same people for and finding them employment. Giving people money is the first stage only. That is "nanny state" stuff, which is a necessity but cannot be the end objective.

Gibraltar employs thousands of non-Gibraltarians, so it cannot be impossible to find all Gibraltarians jobs. Please let us not get into the EU freedoms debate again. That is not where I am going. I do not agree with giving preferences, what I agree with is not to encourage the choosy job culture that exists amongst many in Gibraltar. There is no shame in working at any job. It is worse not to work. Any individualised system of "hand outs" has to have safeguards and restrictions. These should be aimed at encouraging the taking up of employment by, aside from providing help, the punishment, by partial disentitlement, of those who refuse to work for no discernible good reason.

It is this point that brings me round to education as the longer term road to reducing the call on social services. I notice that from a political viewpoint education seems to concentrate on statistics: statistics that revolve around exam passes and grades. The education system seems to be directed at academic results. Undoubtedly academic prowess is the primary and most important objective but not, as seems to happen today, to the exclusion of a broader educational experience.

That wider experience should include the moulding of social skills and the encouragement of aspirations tempered by individual ability, then complemented by appropraite training. The teaching of what one's duties and responsibility to society are and of discipline. Yes many an educationalist will say that this is all the responsibility of parents. I agree, primarily it is, but it is also the duty of society to fill in the gaps left by how this is done in any particular home.

I realise that there may be a great deal of idealism in what I write but, absent initial idealism, usually a practical solution to a problem will not be found. It is likely that I will be criticised by both social care and education professionals for what I argue. I hope that I will be; it will mean that a debate will kick off. Then, just perhaps, our politicians will be helped to put together a specific solution to a specific problem in a small jurisdiction that fortunately has the wherewithal to do so, namely a buoyant economy.

71 comments:

  1. bottom line should be...If you dont work you dont get paid!! Plenty of things could be done in Gibraltar by those who love to have their feet up all day and then go to dss on thursdays to pick up "la paga" and what they consider to be "su derecho!"

    This has got to a point in Gibraltar that the amount of people on this system is rife and the blame is only attributable to a failure in the system and a failure to modernise.

    Dont give them fish, teach them to fish!!!!!!

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  2. Where do we start?
    As it has been mentioned before we should all try and visualise the whole of our 30,000 plus polulation behind the goal at wembley stadium;and then get to grips with who we are.
    It should be so easy in an ideal situation to solve some of the problems you have highlighted and accept that even in our small population there are going to be small but significant minority who go through the conveyor belt of life dependant on well structured social/educational policies plus financial assistance to exist.
    This is true in every society anywhere and however small we are,we are not exempt.
    No government has had the balls to study this in depth as no government would like to be seen as targeting or discriminating the less unfortunate in our society,even if the findings would be beneficial to getting closer to improving the current situation.
    Yet it is easly to predict the path which some individual and their families will have if no early assistance and continuity is provided.
    Again we can't finger point,except for the fact that the gravity of the problem is hidden,not well co-ordinated between the health,education,social services and in some case the law enforcement agencies.
    Have we got a drug problem?
    Do we have increasing violence in schools?
    Do we have a drug problem in schools?
    Do we have more children in care?
    Do we have more woman who need shelter?
    Do we need a bigger prison for more offenders?
    Do we need more court rooms for these offenders?
    Do we need training centres that are empty?
    Has the government housed 210 social cases in a single estate?
    Do we have a working class in Gib?

    Keep trusting what?...........more like keep quiet..............que aqui no pasa nada.

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  3. Great thought provoking piece RV! Bravo : )

    I completely concur with your comments in regards to statistics. People should be treated like people and not like numbers. When statistics are blindly adhered to many other factors are failed to be taken into account.

    Furthermore I am well aware you are not a big fan of biblical quotations but after reading your last blog entry the following one did come to mind........

    “Give a man to fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.”

    K

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  4. kaelan joyce... teach a man to fish and he will eat for as long as there are fish in the sea if the spanish fishermen and their nets leave any, that is!

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  5. Robert

    You state:

    "That wider experience should include the moulding of social skills and the encouragement of aspirations tempered by individual ability, then complemented by appropraite training."

    That is very true but, unfortunately, we have an education system that brands a lot of children as failures at a very early stage. The whole system seems to be geared towards academic success and getting into university. At various stages if you do not pass you have failed.

    The German system, for example, streams students so that if you choose the vocational path and not the university route you will not be considered a failure if you become a well trained shop assistant instead of a lawyer.

    You are able to skip from one group to another during your time at school.

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  6. Anonymous at 14:19

    I agree with you entirely and that is precisely why I included the phrase in your quote that says "... complemented by appropriate training ..." and refer also to the requirement for "... a broader eductaional experience ..." It is also why I criticise the statistical analysis of education. To me that analysis flags up failure and not success.

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  7. RV@15:11

    Robert

    The problem is that we are lumbered with the British education system and I cannot see any way of tampering with it without major repercussions at various levels.

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  8. Anon 12:27

    I find it highly amusing how in Spain fishing of all types and forms is regulated but in Gibraltar it is a free for all.

    Why does the GSD Goverment allow Spaniards to fish with drift nets in our seas when they are illegal throughout the entire EU (including Spain)????


    Drift nets have been banned by both the EU and the UN because they kill all types of marine life, from dolphins to non-commercial fish and even endangered species such as sea turtles.

    Last year alone Green Peace condemned Spain’s fishing armada for plundering the world’s oceans yet the GSD government legally allows them to fish in our seas.

    Any local boat fishermen will tell you that the Spaniards are allowed to use drift nets, which are usually MILES in length whilst the RGP sits back and does nothing because the GSD Government (under the February 1999 informal "agreement") allows them to do so and legally at that.

    This same agreement happens to directly contravene the 1991 Nature protection act, not to mention is a direct breach of EU and UN law.

    RGP officers have told me personally on many occasions that they cannot interfere because of this same arrangement.

    It very much seems a case of do as I say, but not as I do on Spain's part!

    Regards,


    K (an active member of the ESG)

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  9. The answer is with education,but it's the colonial mentality which prevents us from wanting to take up work in the service industries......it just doesn't happen,have a look around,where are the local cleaners,barmam,waiters,few and far between.
    We had our masters..............now we are the masters!

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  10. Robert

    After having posted my comment @15:40 I have just been listening to a debate on the BBC PM precisely on the educational deficiencies that we have exchanged views on. Mine @14:19 and yours @15:11.

    There is some hope yet.

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  11. Anonymous at 18:54

    Yes agreed that is why there is a need to incentivise the take up of jobs by reducing benefits if jobs are turned down without good reason.

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  12. Anon@18:45

    I agree with you that it is not easy to find locals in the more basic lower paid jobs, however, I do not think that this is unique to Gibraltar because of its colonial past. I think it happens in most advanced countries where the indigenous population feels entitled, by right, to the better paid jobs and immigrants do the others.

    Robert's idea of "punishment, by partial disentitlement, of those who refuse to work for no discernible good reason" sounds like the only way that the permanently/habitually unemployed can be forced/encouraged to find employment.

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  13. I agree that the educational system locally needs to be revamped. Unfortunately we have adopted the British system, as someone already said, with all its flaws.

    From what I can see, as a parent, the educational system has adapted to an increasingly competitive world by encouraging children to compete at a ridiculously early age. Although competition can be healthy, in the right environment, in moderation and among children who are the right age (i.e. not too young), the early encouragement of competition can have a very negative effect on children. It can cause feelings of inadequacy which a child might be unable to understand and process properly. It therefore does not properly serve the individual child. This system also pigeon-holes children.

    Also the system today teaches children lessons at a younger age than merely a generation back. This could be too much too soon. Let children be children. The system is too quick to impose the stresses and pressures of today's society's on our children.

    Although academic success is important, I would argue that it is equally important that each child's greatest skills/talents be identified and promoted in a safe, friendly environment where competition takes a back seat. Well-adjusted, happy and fulfilled children is what we want. We are not all born to be university graduates and neither should we be made to feel inadequate for it. More time and emphasis should be given at schools to art, dance, drama, and other forms of self-expression. Likewise our children's educational experience should be a broad as possible to include training for everyday jobs and skills. Oh and one more thing how about teaching kids useful life skills such as positive thinking and other tools which can build their confidence and help them throughout their lifetimes. I think this would truly be valuing the child and ultimately serve society at large.

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  14. Came across the new Bribery Act in UK and ask if we have done likewise?

    The Bribery Act.

    Why has the Bribery Act been created?
    The current law surrounding bribery in Britain dates back almost one hundred years, and has become out-dated. In 2010, Parliament felt the need to implement tougher laws regarding corruption and passed the Bribery Act.

    What has changed?
    The new Act makes it illegal to give, promise or accept a bribe. It also brings in a corporate offence, so companies can be liable if members of their staff, or organisations associated with them, are in some way involved in bribery.

    Bribery is a criminal office and the penalty can be up to ten years, plus an unlimited fine.

    How does this affect UK businesses?
    Compliance procedures must be strengthened to prevent corruption. The government has published guidance, formed of six principles, on what will constitute “adequate procedures” for companies to follow:

    Proportionate procedures
    Top level commitment
    Risk assessment
    Due diligence
    Communication (including training)
    Monitoring and review

    When will the Bribery Act come into force?
    After having been subject to many delays, the Bribery Act is due to come into force in JULY 2011.

    HJA & Garden Court Chambers Bribery Act seminar
    On 25th May 2011, Hodge Jones & Allen and Garden Court co-hosted a seminar entitled: “The Bribery Act – what every commercial lawyer needs to know”.

    Presented by HJA partner Raj Chada, Owen Davies QC and Marguerite Russell from Garden Court chambers, the seminar provided an overview of the Act, as well as advice on the following points:

    The offence of bribery
    Why the Act was enacted
    The prosecution process
    Defences to criminal charges
    Extraterritorial jurisdiction
    Bribing foreign officials and “facilitation payments”
    Comparisons with similar legislation in the US
    The offence of failing to prevent bribery
    Guidance under section 9 of the Act
    Case studies for discussion

    External Sources
    http://thebriberyact.com/
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/23/contents
    http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/making-and-reviewing-the-law/bribery.htm
    http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/docs/bribery-act-2010-quick-start-guide.pdf
    http://www.sfo.gov.uk/bribery--corruption/bribery-act---what-does-it-all-mean.aspx
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/bribery-act

    B/Act

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  15. Anon@21:58

    Section 24 of the new Crimes Bill 2011 contains bribery offenses which mirror almost exactly the UK's Bribery Act 2010.

    Apologies Robert your territory.

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  16. Anonymous at 12:11

    Thank you, criminal law is not directly my territory, although I will be reading the new law as soon as I get time.

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  17. Awaiting Robert views on the bribery matter
    B/Act

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  18. Robert in your Feb blog which i completely agree with for the good of Gibraltar you said.

    Corruption and bribery require a more specialist type of investigation, a more focussed look. It would also be wise to revise existing laws and ensure that they are brought up to date and meet international standards. This is presently happening in the UK.

    It would be ideal to have a commission of the type established in Hong Kong which would need to be fully staffed and have full investigative powers. It would receive and investigate confidential complaints. It would be entitled to investigate of its own motion. Over a period of time it would establish definitively that no corruption existed in Gibraltar. Alternatively it may find that the rumours are not unfounded, as I believe them to be. In the latter eventuality the transgressors would need to be delat with appropriately and prosecuted.

    In short it would be a win win for all. Greater faith in public servants and ministers would be instilled as the destructive effects of rumours are dispelled. If any transgressor are found, faith would be restored in the establishment by cutting out any such despicable behaviour. I can see no downside for government, public servants or the public in general arising from the establishment of such an independent anti corruption commission.

    B/Act

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  19. B/Act

    The new Crimes Act 2011 (not yet in force) in Part 24 covers all aspects of bribery on similar terms to the UK.

    No anti bribery commission has been set up, however.

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  20. Sam
    You have made some good points about the educational system in Gib,the competitive element starts from the top,it has now become a major political issue to look and compare exam results with schools in UK.This in itself is healthy but it's sowewhat unrealistic considering that we only have two comprehensive schools which cater for all the male and female population in Gib,except for a private school set up primarily by the Jewish community.
    In the UK the top 200 school can in most cases be selective with their student and parents have a choice by right to move their children to other schools should they wish.
    I have no doubt and agree that the vocational route would benefit the 40 plus percent of student who do not make the grade,unfortunately places like the construction trainng centre has a bad reputation with major dicipline problems and generally considered by parent as a dumping ground sometimes used by government to lower the unemployment list.A place they don't want their children to go to.The resources are there but totally wasted,during one question time in Parliament it was said that it cost more to train a carpenter than a doctor,and that it is not uncommon to have more staff that trainees.

    We have to accept that there are people who are simply unemployable,and disentitlement would only create a bigger problem for our society,as these inividual will usually have medical or drugs related problems and need to helped not punished.
    There are persons who require sheltered empolyment and here,the government has to put there creative caps (if they have any),and come up with a schemes to further cater for this sector.
    There is also a need to cater for inividuals who have been convicted and who would welcome a chance to change their direction in life,these persons find difficulties obtaining employment.
    All these schemes require subsantial government input,and finance.
    I don't think there is the awarness of how much a family with serious social problems can stretch our resources,both human and financial.

    This whole issue requires to be aired and looked at,and the relevant Ministers to come up with realistic working policies which can be filtered through the system through the relevant departments.
    Communication! and less political intervention.

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  21. 17.44 YOU SAY.
    No anti bribery commission has been set up

    One of the intentions behind the new Act are understandable – it’s about ensuring business is WON ON MERIT, rather than going to the companies with the DEEPEST POCKETS, smaller firms will welcome that.
    b/act

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  22. Anon@18:09

    Please don't think that I am being patronising when I say that your post is well thought out and very pertinent. You also have a deeper insight of the subject than I have.

    Please allow me to pick you up on certain points.

    You say:-

    "40 plus percent of students who do not make the grade". This statement reflects the attitude that, I feel, should be avoided. Did not make what grade? Does it mean that because you have not succeeded academically you have failed?

    Does that mean that 40% of each intake are being branded as failures at such an early age?

    The choice that the parents have in the UK and the reason for switching schools is within the same academic aspirations for middle class children and increases the "did not make the grade" for children in other schools.

    There could be a correlation between the non achieving "other schools" in the UK and the construction training centre that you assert has a bad reputation and that the parents do not want to send their offspring to. I wonder what other alternatives these parents choose.

    Finally, I do not think that anyone with a medical, drug or with convictions/s should be punished by having their benefits/entitlements withdrawn.

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  23. RV@17:44

    Robert

    No commission has been set up for Protection from Harassment (Part 6), Corporate Manslaughter (Part 11), Sexual Offences (Part 12) etc,etc.

    These will be covered by the Crimes Act 2011.

    Why a bribery commission?

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  24. Sam:3rd:@21:21

    Sam

    I could not agree with you more.

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  25. Anonymous at 19:02 and 19:40

    I referred to an anti-corruption commission in context of and simply because I was replying to B/Act who referred back to my blog of February (see comment at 17:10) in which I wrote about setting up precisely such a commission. No more and no less. If you want to know my reason for such a commission read that blog :)

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  26. Completely off topic to this blog…Sorry RV… but has anyone watched the GSD political broadcast this evening?? I could not believe it…..what a disgrace using a party political broadcast to the same effect as a school bully would, to try and justify himself in front of the teacher.

    1. Did 2 of the ambulances fail the MOT?
    2. Where the tyres worn beyond the legal limit?
    3. Is this front line essential life saving equipment knackered and therefore not fit for purpose and should be replaced or repaired at once?

    Option 1
    If the answers to the above questions is ‘No’ and supported by justifiable evidence the GSLP should have its knuckles rapped and have their golden time taken away from them for the remainder of this parliament!!

    Option 2
    If the answer is ‘YES’, the GSD should take its head out of its proverbial ‘a*s# and sort it out without further excuses to try and justify itself. Remember the opposition is there to point things like these out otherwise you may get away with even more incompetence. Stop being so sensitive and deal with the problems. It is as simple as that and you do not need a party political broadcast to explain this. In a few weeks time we the people of Gibraltar shall be the judge of your petty little lies so come on and categorically prove that option 1 is indeed the right answer, otherwise shut the f*!k up and sort the bloody things out!!!!

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  27. The GSD’s political broadcast is a truly excellent example of spin in action.

    I do not believe in insulting others under the cloak of anonymity, however, I will say that I am truly disappointed that the GSD as a whole have not been responsible enough to put their hands up to their failings. If they had apologised and explained to the electorate how they intended to make amends and how they were going to improve on their past performance instead of drawing the GSLP into this petty and disappointing personal affair I imagine they would have garnered far more sympathy and support.

    As it stands, they are in the wrong; asking a few of the right people a few of the right questions will confirm the same.

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  28. Anon @19.27.
    No, the 40% are not branded as failures at an early age,quite the opposite as every effort is made to support the less academic and students requiring special needs very early in the child's schooling.
    The opportunities avilable since the comprehensive system was introduced are evident,unlike the Grammar school days,when at 11 a single exam would determine your future academic path.
    The 40% I refer are the student who do not meet the requirement to continue their A level,and who find that their options are limited.
    There is no reason why vocational and academic courses could not be run parallel in our schools.

    In the UK post 16 student have the option of the Modern Apprenticeship Schemes which offer a huge package of vocational routes,leading to National Vocational Qualification at different levels,qualification which are equivalent to A'levels and meet the entry requirement for university courses.
    Unfortunately the options here for many school leavers are limited.
    In other european countries including Spain, students in secondary schools embark on a parallel vocational/academic courses.
    Both Montiel and Beltran have fail to work together to fill this huge gap.
    All the student who took their GCSE exams were probably one year old when the GSD came into power,ultimately they have been responsible for developing different policies and opportunities during these years for the benefit of these and future students...............it has not happened.

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  29. wasn't paying much attention to the ambulance PPB other than something about Picardo not in New York but on the road to Damascus instead!

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  30. Anon@23:08

    You were the one that said:

    "40 plus percent of students who do not make the grade" not me.

    Since you have turned it into a party political issue just take a look at what the GSLP 2007 Manifesto promises:-

    "APPRENTICESHIP SCHEMES
    All school-leavers who have left school this year and have not gone on to further study, will be provided with 3 year vocational training apprenticeships.They will receive the appropriate salary as apprentices in relation to the adult rate for the job. This will be put into effect from 1 November 2007. We will intergrate exisiting vocational cadets into this scheme".

    It is a case of vote for us and then we shall come up with excuses such as the private sector companies are not cooperating etc.

    By the way Mr Montiel has only been a Minister for the last four years.

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  31. Anonymous at 22.35's contribution encapsulates everything that is so wrong about this blog. Everyone recognises that condemning a person under cover of anonymity is cowardly and aganst all rules of natural justice - but yet everyone seems to have a go at it. Surprise, surprise - those at the receiving end are usually GSD associates.

    As a long-time Llanito expat in the Uk and reader of this blog I take comfort that anonymity under these circumstances says more about the person making the anonymous comment than it does about Caruana, Holliday or Benzaquen.

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  32. Anonymous T 19:24

    As wrong as you making that criticism about anonymity, anonymously?

    As wrong as judging this blog by its anonymous contributors rather by what I write in my own name?

    As wrong as the reasons why people feel that they need to write anonymously?

    As wrong as people thinking that they need to write anonymously because the GSD Government has failed to deliver on its promise to deliver open, transparent and democratic government?

    As wrong as people thinking that they need to write anonymously because the GSD Government have failed to keep their promise to remove fear from politics in Gibraltar?

    As wrong as the lack of respect for the rules of natural justice that the GSD Government has shown in many cases, including the age of consent case and the Joanna Hernandez case?

    Surprise surprise the GSD are good at giving it but perhaps not taking it, for example accusing all and sundry of lying!

    I would advise you to rethink your comment ... a bit of self examination by its supporters and adherents may help the GSD in the forthcoming election.

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  33. Robert, it is one thing to offer views on political matters anonymously and quite another to be, let's face it rude and insulting. An argument may be made out in respect of the first, not the second. Trouble is, you allow both.

    Be that as it may, I am also aware that other blogs exist - may I say thrive - where averyone gives his/her name (Gibraltar Politics Facebook Group?). This makes a nonsense of your approach.

    Why do I write anonymously? Why should I stick my neck out if nobody else is. Doing so would be a bit like trying to take at people in the dark. Ley para uno, ley para todos.

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  34. Joanna Hernandez case? You're going where angels fear to tread, Robert. Poor Joanna, exploited by Picardo for his own political ends and then dropped by the GSLP like an old cigarette but.

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  35. Anonymous at 20:51

    And the GSD politicians do not insult? My dear chap even the Speaker of Parliament found that it did and the Motion against Picardo had to be changed :)

    Other discussion groups exist ... not blogs ... here I write my honestly held opinions.

    You should see the comments that I do not allow.

    I write in my name ... why should you not? Scared that the GSD may not win the election? Well that is what I am trying to change for all and that is what the GSD promised to do and failed so miserably to change. Perhaps that is why you remain anonymous.

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  36. The so-called Party Political Broadcast on behalf of the GSD on GBC two nights ago was an absolute disgrace, so redolent of banana republic bully-boy tactics. I remember, prior to the last election that, at the JMH, cousin Peter quoted Paul as in "a Damascene Experience!" which the Opposition Party needed to experience. Now Yvette has also become 'Pauline' with a reference to Blessed Paul's vision. Peter, Paul, Yvette et Uncle Tom Cobbly et al. Is this an attempt as mass conversion? Would you convert to a party, and I use that word advisedly, which only mouths what the un-PC, PC chants as a mantra. A party has members who have valued personal opinions and who can look the electorate in the eye when they speak to them and not, as seems to be the case, who pass hurriedly by on the other side each time those of enquiry, interest and intellect try to approach them on matters of import. (Sorry, that is a Samarian simile. Might not pass muster under Pauline, sorry, Petrine rules!) How do you think we are viewed by the rest of the world when, at best, our political 'elite' behave like spoiled brats/bratesses or, at worst, like a bunch of squabbling fish-persons! What hope for our children and our grandchildren when this level of gutter politics is allowed to spin [sic] out of control and truth seems to be hidden under such a midden-pile that it seems not to see the light of day, EVER! We may all be in the gutter but some of us are gazing at the stars. We need a clear unpolluted sky to peer into in the hope of a true Damascene experience for this wonderful community of ours. Let's show we care about polluted politics in our midst and be brave in sweeping out the, seeming, dross which has had caused our ship to struggle in muddied waters for so long. Let's rid ourselves of the cling-ons [sic] and allow it to glide to clearer waters and into better ports at no charge of any percent to either citizen or investor.

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  37. The so-called Party Political Broadcast on behalf of the GSD on GBC two nights ago was an absolute disgrace, so redolent of banana republic bully-boy tactics. I remember, prior to the last election that, at the JMH, cousin Peter quoted Paul as in "a Damascene Experience!" which the Opposition Party needed to experience. Now Yvette has also become 'Pauline' with a reference to Blessed Paul's vision. Peter, Paul, Yvette et Uncle Tom Cobbly et al. Is this an attempt as mass conversion? Would you convert to a party, and I use that word advisedly, which only mouths what the un-PC, PC chants as a mantra. A party has members who have valued personal opinions and who can look the electorate in the eye when they speak to them and not, as seems to be the case, pass by on the other side each time those of enquiry, interest and intellect try to approach them on matters of import. (Sorry, that is a Samarian simile. Might not pass muster under Pauline, sorry, Petrine rules!) How do you think we are viewed the rest of the world when, at best, our political 'elite' behave like spoiled brats/bratesses or, at worst, like a bunch of squabbling fish-persons! What hope for our children and our grandchildren when this level of gutter politics is allowed to spin [sic] out of control and truth seems to be hidden under such a midden-pile that it seems not to see the light of day, EVER!We may all be in the gutter but some of us are gazing at the stars. We need a clear unpolluted sky to gaze into in the hope of a true Damascene experience for this wonderful community of ours. Let's show we care about polluted politics in our midst and be brave in sweeping out the, seeming, dross which has had caused our ship to struggle in muddied waters for so long. Let's get rid of the cling-ons [sic] and allow it to glide to clearer waters and into better ports at no charge of any percent to either citizen or investor.

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  38. Anon 12.58.

    You're right it's a political issue,it cannot be anything else.

    What's the point of looking at the gslp manifesto?
    They have not been in power since 1996,they lost the 2007 election.
    We should be looking at the gsd 2007 manifesto and hightlight their failings,after all they have been in government since then.
    Mr Montiel as you say has only been in government for the last four years............how much time does he need to make any significant change?
    In fairness to him,his ministry is not the sports/culture photo every day,.......but his front page promises have not materialised.

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  39. Just watched lastest gsd political broadcast on their wedsite.
    Como lo vea Pedro Almodova,hace un pelicula.
    I look forward to the next one.......probably start......When the AACR were in government they had no revolving doors at St Benards and they only had one sister who had the balls to keep the hospital in order!

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  40. Joanna Hernandez should write a book on her experiences and let the world know exactly what injustices she has suffered and why she has suffered them. The proof should be brought out into the open for all to see - it would make very interesting reading and become a local best-seller faster than the time its taken for the patio chico parking to be finished!

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  41. Anon 20:55

    I agree that people should not be used as pawns for political warfare, but I can assure you that the lady in question (Joanna Hernandez) wanted exposure.

    If the GSLP were the only ones willing to give it to her, what choice did she have?

    What is wrong is wrong regardless of what platform this lady has used as a means to vent. In this case GIBRADIO , which is indeed supported(but not run)by the GSLP.

    Imagine if it where you in that same situation? I would for example use any means available to me in order to ensure that my voice be heard.

    People should be treated like people and not like numbers.

    I find you scepticism distasteful at best.

    You would not be attempting to justify the unjustifiable would you now???

    For those who actually DO CARE please feel free to watch the video listed on the link below and thus enabling you to come to your own conclusions-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZJzOydvQy4&feature=mh_lolz&list=LLnvCSFs9hnaHrUCbq1Y3kyQ

    Regards,


    K

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  42. Anon@23:54

    I thought that the Joanna Hernandez case was very clearly documented in Espejo Publico on Antena 3 in February 2009 starring Neil Costa and Joe Bossano.

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  43. Anon@22:40(5th)

    Let us wait until both parties publish their manifestos and commitments on this issue.

    It is a shame that you turned, what I think, is a matter to be taken very seriously by the community into a party political issue. Robert's post is worth revisiting as proof of my point.

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  44. Any views on tonite's opinion poll, guys? 22% undecided is a helluvalot - about 25% of the elctorate when you consider that a max of about 80% actually vote.

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  45. 16 per cent lead for GSLP! Can Rafael Benzaquen ride in on his White charger and save the day?

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  46. Anon 19:19
    If this matter, as you say is taken seriously by the community,then the only way to improve or solve it is through politics.
    To expose short comings of any government is not shameful it a right every citizen sholud have without fear or shame ,what is shameful is to keep quiet and pretend that the problems are not there.
    Unfortunately the only point that this post is proving is that not many blogger are familar or aware of the extend of work that has to be done in this area......look at the comments on the post,most of them irrelevant to the topic.
    llanito world airs community issue which are political issues and stimulate debate,this is not the disney world blog.
    I would be ashamed if I earned £67,000 a year and had done very little in four year to improve the situation.

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  47. how can we justify not giving any or enough hours of respite to a disabled child's family, or home help to an elderly person because there aren't enough funds to go round for everybody, and then witness the daily scenes at the new parking at Ragged Staff.

    What it must have cost the tax-payer to turn this ex-works depot into a small carpark, must be astronomical. Hordes of workers have worked there from dawn till dusk, and later, to ensure it is ready to be officially opened this side of the election.

    What a waste of space and money.

    How very ridiculous of this Government to not prioritise its spending and panic-refurbish at the 11th hour in a poor attempt to gain a few votes and all at the expense of the very needy in our society.

    Shame on them!

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  48. Anon@23:29

    Whether I agree with your posts on this topic or not I, nevertheless, agree with you when you state:

    "Unfortunately the only point that this post is proving is that not many blogger are familar or aware of the extend of work that has to be done in this area......look at the comments on the post,most of them irrelevant to the topic".

    If the bloggers are unfamiliar with the work that has to be done it is simply because they have very little interest in the development of a common "Social Conscience".

    I have a feeling that this collective 'I'm all right Jack' attitude is also shared by the majority of the electorate which is why that it does not rank as high priority in any politicians list of things to do.

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  49. Anonymous at 09:37

    I believe that you express a valid and widely held belief that there is a collective selfish streak. I differ from you in that, whilst I accept that this streak is predominant, we are all very generous people, exemplified by what is collected for charity.

    It is, therefore, the duty and obligation of a Government, not to dedicate its time entirely to giving to those who have in order to get elected again, but to providing more for those who do not have. There has to be a balance, of course, but this balance has not been achieved. Once a government works to correct the imbalance my belief is that it can call on our generous nature. This combination will have the beneficial consequence of developing that collective social conscience that is needed.

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  50. RV@11:05

    Robert

    I cannot think of any country that has achieved that balance where the lot of 'those that do not have' has been improved whilst avoiding the expansion of that very class.

    I do not like making comparisons but the benefits culture in the UK is a perfect example.

    The Government recently announced an increase of 10% to the unemployment benefit. I wonder how many of our "generous" compatriots found this gesture equitable and not as a scroungers' delight.

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  51. Robert

    You made reference to the 7 Days having carried out a poll, the results of which were supposedly not a sign of good things to come for the GSD. Are you able to elaborate any further on what those results were in any greater detail? It seems the 7 Days is unprepared to do so.

    If it was a pre-election poll and the result was unfavourable for the GSD as a whole, it seems strange that they would not have published the results considering Caruana's words on GBC the other day wherein he said (and rightfully so) that the only poll that matters is that on election day in reference to the GBC/Chronicle poll which indicated the GSD's support was dropping significantly as we move closer towards the election.

    The 7 Days goes through the effort of carrying out a poll, the results of which are apparently not good for the GSD, the leader of the GSD says that the only poll that matters is the election day poll...surely then the 7 Days poll should be published if it does not matter? Why then was it carried out in any event?

    Mixed Signals.

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  52. The 7 days poll hasn't been published because the editor is trying to find someone to translate it for him.

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  53. Anon 6.10.11 23:29 Ministers' remuneration packages (salary plus parliamentary allowance) must be now be closer to £100,000 (with the CM surely now earning close to the £140,000 that David Cameron earns as PM) but Govt does not publish in annual Estimates booklet. Will GSLP Libs commit to publishing if elected into Government?

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  54. Anonymous at 12:39

    I agree with you and that is precisely why I have argued in the blog ... putting to one side those who are ill through addiction ... those who are otherwise well should suffer consequences for not taking up employment but the other side of that coin is the provision of adequate help and training.

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  55. Anonymous at 12:49

    I am afraid that I have said as much as I know.

    I also know that the GSD are phoning people asking them about issues. The GSD interpret the replies as a sign of support. It does not understand the difference between opining on issues and opining on which way a vote will be cast

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  56. Disciple

    Are you having a problem posting? If so email me on llanitoworld@gmail.com

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  57. RV@12:39

    Robert

    I would love to see a breakdown of the age profile of the currently unemployed,e.g. 18-25, 25-45 and 45 and over.

    I have a feeling that it would be most revealing.

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  58. Is there something wrong with your blog?
    blogger

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  59. Anon 14:32

    LOL!!!

    K

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  60. Anonymous at 00;35

    Not that i am aware ... why are you having a problem?

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  61. PRC rubbishes the GBC/Chronicle Poll.
    How come he did not do so some months back when the poll went in GSD's favour?

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  62. Totally agree with Anon 6 Oct 11 23:29. If we are to achieve transparency the Government needs to publish how much Ministers earn. Not just the basic salary but the full package, including the generous parliamentary allowance for which there is a global figure in the annual Estimates but no breakdown. Peter, Fabian, Keith, will you put this in your respective manifestoes?

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  63. I too have been unable to post for a few days, so I switched from Explorer to Chrome and it's working fine now.

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  64. Just read the piece in the Chonicle wherein Caruana criticised the recent poll's methodology.

    Was the 7 Days's poll methodology just as flawed then Peter? As highlighted above the GSD seem to be sending mixed signals as to the perceived worth and importance of a given pre-election poll.

    It's the final countdown.

    The Angry Friar

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  65. La plebe nunca esta contenta
    El capujeo es muy triste

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  66. The sad thing is that people are overlooking all the good things that caruana has done. Why are they so discontent?
    I would suggest that it is people's own inability to be grateful for what has been given to them that makes them feel this way. How sad.
    People like to blame others all the time.
    I fear that the class divide is too great. The g s l p relies on the angry voter who is disgruntled with all things, life in general maybe. The new junquillo estate, as it is being called, is full of ungrateful people who don't even pay the low rent. When people are handed things to them on a silver they become greedy and ungrateful. Surely they don't deserve they benefits afforded to them. What type of mentality do these people have. No, the world does not owe them a living!
    The g s lp will, if they come into power god forbid, inherit a very different Gibraltar to the one they left last time they were in power. Fabian has jumped in the open govern,net bandwagon, that the p d p first brought to light, because luckily there is very little else to complain about in Gibraltar . We thank g s d for this. People are traveling from the north of Spain to seek employment here. How can we complain and be ungrateful. People are so spoilt here.
    Fabian is no fool he has sat beside bossano, the man he once criticized, in order to inherit his votes. Joe Cortes who led the demonstration against the fast launches, against the g s lp, now wants to stand beside bossano !!!! Good gracious!!! There are indeed many egos at play!!
    Unfortunately people get the government they deserve, and if the g s lp get in then it will be a truly sad thing for Gibraltar, as it will be what we deserve.

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  67. "The people of Gibraltar are short sighted, greedy and ungrateful".

    With gems like that it's not surprising that many within our community are fed up with the blind arrogance that many GSD advocates exude.

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  68. braveheart says:

    Sam...people like you and most of the gsd fanatics are 'a truly sad thing for Gibraltar'.....let's look forward, offer fresh ideas and give our children a bright future in OUR homeland.....y dejarse de tanto rollo y shalauras y mashed s***t!!!

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  69. Sam you say that people have overlooked all the good things that the g s d (GSD?) have done but you fail to elaborate. Please enlighten us with at least some examples after all we can't be half a billion pounds in debt and have nothing to show for it?

    This indeed reminds me of the Sci-fi film 'Contact' (1997 eerie?) where S.R. Hadden of Hadden Industries tells Eleanor Arroway (Jodie Foster) that the "First rule in government spending: why build one when you can have two at twice the price? Only, this one can be kept secret.(What is the true overall cost of the airport and adjoining projects anyone?) Controlled by Americans (GSD sympathisers and close knit businessmen?), built by the Japanese subcontractors (Spaniards in this case). Who, also, happen to be, recently acquired, wholly-owned subsidiaries...(of the Spanish state?)"

    Now we have two airports and fewer planes but it doesn't matter does it Sam? It's impressive and shiny and we are told we can even buy books from WH Smith there once its open.....Can't wait!!

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  70. "The public service is largely paid for by the private sector."... yes, but many of us have witnessed high-handed arrogance from public servants who are secure in the knowledge that they have a job for life.

    Well done CM for doing away with the unaffordable final salary pensions; but then you go and buy votes with a pay rise that was above and beyond parity.

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