Sunday, 16 October 2011

Pre-Election Party Posturing ... Where Might it Go?

In this blog, I will review what each party has said so far on the eve of an announcement of the General Election. The future looks bleak for the GSD according to Opinion Polls but the GSD has not yet been defeated at the ballot box. Many commentators on this blog and word on the street is such that the GSD is not being seen as a potential winner at the forthcoming election. Most polls support this view. It would be foolish, however, to discard the GSD so early on.

PRC is a wily, cunning, intelligent individual and a politician with experience. The GSD will run an aggressive election campaign aimed at having a ruthless effect. All the signs of this are there, just read the 7 Days if you doubt that. The GSD has the advantage of an electorate that is conservative in its voting habits. The GSD has the advantage of having been in power 16 years and having spent our money generously. 

The GSD has made at least one massive political error: it has left itself open to be crticised for that which it criticised the GSLP in 1996, namely, lack of open, transparent and democratic government. The other two parties, the GSLP/liberals and the PDP have piled in to fill this void. The GSD has no answer. The GSD has made a second massive error: to beleive that by last minute profligacy with our money it will redress its electoral deficit. I believe that voters in Gibraltar are not so gullible: many see it as a final ego trip for the CM. Let us see what alternatives are on offer from the other parties before returning to the GSD "offering".

The PDP have been at the forefront of preaching reforms that would lead to greater democracy since its inception. In fact long before that, because Keith Azopardi was a GSD Minister. He is the person in the 1996 GSD manifesto who was advocating democratic reforms. Also Nick Cruz was a member of the GSD Executive before the schism. It seems neither was able to deliver on the democratisation front but an analysis of the reasons for the schism may provide a clue. They disagreed with the opportunism of an absorption of the Gibraltar Labour Party and the lack of democratic processes for leadership change within the GSD.

The PDP has indicated its five key pledges for the forthcoming election:
  • A new style of politics- accountable, inclusive, responsive and constructive;
  • Lower personal tax and better economic management;
  • Better opportunities for young people;
  • Better quality of life for all and sustainable use of our environment;
  • Better public services.
All very laudable sound-bytes. We now need the PDP's manifesto to understand and assess how it intends to achieve these pledgesm and what the detail of these is. They are achievable with strict and proper prioritisation. What I believe in and commend the PDP for is playing the longer game rather than the short game that was played by the Gibraltar Labour Party. If the GSD were to lose the forthcoming election, then the PDP would be perfectly poised to become the second party in politics in Gibraltar for the next but one election. It is difficult to see the GSD surviving an election defeat: it simply is not a party in the sense of the word as I understand it.

Preparation for the forthcoming General election by the GSLP/Liberals has been more precise, specific and focused than the general pledges of the PDP. The first move was to amicably replace Joe Bosanno by Fabian Picardo as leader of the party. The second move has been the reinforcement of that change of personality with a marked change of politics and attitude. This change is best summarised by quoting Fabian Picardo from the GSLP/Liberal press release "Democratic and Political Reforms" of the 1st September 2011:

"Democracy is principally about the people and not just about politicians hence it is vital that every person who has a view is heard, not just the GSD government and the political parties ... we [GSLP/Liberals] have to  ask what parliament should be, what it presently is and what it should be in the 21st Century, democracy governed by the rule of law and a commitment to openness and devolving government to the people. ... in a true democracy a Parliament is is the voice of the people ... [and] about holding government ... to account ...

These are words backed up by specific policy announcements:
  • immediate monthly meetings of Parliament;
  • dedication of funds to Parliament;
  • full time Speaker with a Deputy Speaker and adequate staffing;
  • independent website to broadcast meetings of Parliament;
  • personal emails for all MPs for direct access by constituents;
  • better public, media, staff and MP facilities;
  • the appointment of an Independent Commission on Democratic and Political Reform to report on ALL aspects of the electoral and parliamentary system.
In addition the GSLP/Liberals have made the following policy announcements:
  • a Ministerial Code;
  • a Freedom of Information Act;
  • a 20 year rule for publication of "secret" papers;
  • a Whistleblowers' Protection Act;
  • greater access to Civil Servants by the public; 
  • a Citizens' Charter for Responsive Government;
  • reform of the planning system with true and greater public participation;
  • support for the call for a Financial Services Ombudsman;
  • a stand alone anti-bribery and anti-corruption law.
Impressive stuff from both parties opposing the GSD at the forthcoming election but what is the response of the GSD to date? Well it is certainly not any indication of a change in Leadership. Why would that be important? I leave aside the issue of personality, as each person will have his/her own opinion on that subject. Lack of change of the leader of the GSD is an important consideration because the failure of the GSD to change the style of government to date, by introducing more democracy, transparency and openness, must rest fairly and squarely on the shoulders of the GSD's leader. 

Why should anyone believe that the GSD will make any change on democratic reforms under his leadership, when for 16 years the GSD has reneged on its promise? In fact we know already that it will not. The GSD has forced a Motion through Parliament setting out its parliamentary and democratic reform agenda. This programme, outlined in the Motion, not only fails to deliver much of what is desired but, as an additional criticism, most of what it covers has been in the power of the CM to implement without legislative change throughout his term of office. Why should anyone believe that he will now deliver on any of it? Harsh criticism? Perhaps but, think about it, is it valid and deserved?

So what are the pre-election signs for the GSD so far:
  • rush to provide public toilets;
  • rush to provide playgrounds;
  • rush to provide more parking;
  • rush to to finish the Mid-Harbour Housing Project;
  • rush to finish the air terminal;
  • failure with airport tunnel/ring road.
The question on many people's lips is: how much is all the above costing us, the taxpayer?

What else does the GSD offer to date:
  • reminders of long past pre-1996 events as a reason to keep the GSD in government;
  • personal attacks on Fabian Picardo, not least in the 7 Days Newspaper;
  • Motions in Parliament against Fabian Picardo are ruled out of order as containing "unparliamentary" language, which exemplified the GSD's undemocratic attitude to politics ;
  • boast after boast about what has been 'achieved' in the past at the cost of taxpayers;
  • a trilateral process that is no longer working;
  • questions about the propriety of the last minute application of taxpayers' money to enhance electoral chances;
  • no future policies.
What is the GSD byline for the coming election? "Gibraltar has never been better - keep trusting". Certainly the money that has gone into the coffers of government and more that has been borrowed has been spent with great alacrity. You will need to decide whether it has been spent applying the appropriate priorities. "keep trusting" ... well we would have to in the absence of democratic, parliamentary and electoral reforms, wouldn't we?

What is the GSLP/Liberals byline for the coming election? "Vote for Change". I agree with the GSD that change for the sake of change is not a good reason to change a government but that is to miss the point. The point is that if what is promised is policies that are good and with which voters agree, then it is change for a better alternative. Well look at what the GSLP/Liberals has promised already, in that alone it is highlighting issues promised by PRC's GSD and not delivered by it. Look at the manifesto when it is published. Then and only then decide whether it is change for the sake of change or change for the better.

What is the PDP byline for the coming election? "The Real Change". Well, I repeat everything that I have said about change in the previous paragraph. My problem is that it is little change in fact. It is a reversion to what the GSD should have done but did not do. This does not reflect well on those members of the PDP who were Ministers or members of the executive of the GSD: they all failed to change anything on the inside of the GSD. They need to persuade voters that they have the strength that they lacked on the inside to change things from outside of the GSD. It is a party that will initially attract disaffected GSD voters who do not want to shift across to the GSLP/Liberals. It is a party that may prosper, as I have already suggested, if it plays the long game. It has indicated that it will by discarding the possibility of a pre-election merger with the GSD.

Well the election has not been announced yet but the battle lines are being drawn. There will be a lot more to go on to decide who to vote for once the manifestos are published and each party's candidates are announced, but already there is enough to start making one's mind up. Elections are about the future not the past. What has been done in the past can be the subject of praise or criticism but voters already have the benefit or harm of what has been done or not done that should have been done. I know the GSD are not often amenable to advice but my advice to them is: come up with new policies because boasting about the past will not win you the election. Coming up with new policies under the same leader is a difficult, if not an impossible call, but the GSD may succeed in achieving it.


  1. You really do go all starry-eyed at the mere mention of Fabian Picardo's name, don't you. Knocking the 7 Days paper when, all they have done, is take a leaf out of Picardo's own alma mater The New People. This latter is a paper edited by the GSLP Chairman and has been personal, abusive and insulting for longer than anyone can remember. Do you throw it in the mix in your blog? Of course not.

  2. At the last election the independent candidate Charlie Gomez said that Gibraltar politics needed free thinkers. Well there are no free thinkers that I can see in the GSD so don't ask them to come up with new policies. I think that you are right the GSd zombies will go into this elaction raking over Fabian Picardo's colourful professional background and reminding us of the fast launches scandal pre 1995. In the GSD mindset nothing has changed in 16 years except perahps that certain individuals are now much richer. One thing that they will not admit because most of them do not understand it is that our economy is scarily precarious.

  3. Anonymous at 22:06

    Excellent argument two wrongs make a right! It was the GSD who said they would change how politics was played out, wasn't it? Anyway I did not say it but I have given you the opportunity to say it, so let us see what others think now.

    I do not believe in staleness continuing. Why don't you answer ALL the criticisms that I level at the GSD. If you did and put that which is wrong right, the GSD may improve its electoral chances.

    Instead you continue to make things worse for the GSD by personalising your criticism. I believe that I have stuck to palpable facts and issues.

  4. Anon at 22:06

    One fundamental difference: the New People is not funded by the tax-payer!

    Each party has the right to come up with its own rag and play whatever silly games each have the stomach for. The New People has for years churned out a living, funded by its own sales and backers.

    The 7 Days, on the other hand, is funded by all of us, not just those who play the GSD tune. Every government advert that appears in its pages (and, count them, there are many) is money from your and my pocket. For the purposes of fuelling the weekly anti-Picardo tirade.

    Guess what? Gib is tired of this. It is not going to work. PRC has completely under-estimated Picardo, thinking a few pages blasting him for his involvement in professional matters would scare off the voters.

    Well it hasnt. And the more 'palos' he gives the less reaction he will get from voters that is not rejection and antipathy.

    I never thought I would see PRC defeated at an election. I thought his strategic thinking had no match. BUt he has grossly got his timings wrong. He should have called the election a year ago, just before the GSLP leadership hand-over.

    Instead, he has given Picardo time to start connecting with the people, growing in confidence with every press release and Facebook post.

    Britto and Beltran have decided to bow out before the end is nigh. Del Agua all but waved goodbye in her Chronicle piece last week. Feetham is watching what is happening and wondering whether the only reason it may be worth soldiering on is if PRC agrees to hand-over the party to him. The others are looking for fall-back positions should the result be as polls predict.

    And Montegriffo waits in the side-lines, knowing HIS party (not PRC's) will call for him after the forthcoming defeat.

  5. Somehow I think that in this elections there's going to be a higher turnout.This increase will be made up of the 18 to 30 year old.
    The GSLP has wisely had their website operational throughout,they have set up as there main website for the campaign,the online radio,facebook twitter,and they have always had youth involvement.
    They have through internet and the social network increased the awareness and debate in this age group,the GSD did not see this coming and is now making up for it by launching the, the greater online participation by the youth in the current political debate will mark the begining of how future elections will be won.
    Young people who in the past mainly identified with the parties supported by their parents are now in a position to get involved in the debate and make up their own minds as to which parties they will support.
    This blog has also made a significant contribution to the debate and mould some of the inovations in the manifestos to be published,I'm sure.

  6. The New People and 7 Days are both party rags but it is wrong to compare them. The New People is fairly well written but not so the 7 Days. I have heard that 7 Days is written by a lawyer and then edited by a businessman. Some of the stuff in 7 Days is quite funny in a ridiculous sort of way. I recommend that anyone still undecided who is toying with idea of voting GSD should read it.

  7. I really do think that the 7 Days is a liability to the GSD, it is unprofessional in its format,carries too much personal criticism of Picardo and does not make a connection with its readers unless you are a GSD fanatic.
    Picture this: any tourist coming to Gibraltar and buying the 4 newspapers available to all of us will see that the one that stands out as being the most openly partisan is the 7 Days.The amount of coverage this newspaper gives to Picardo is ridicolous and merely serves to show that the GSD are accepting the inevitable defeat at the Polls.
    Would it not be better for the 7 Days to adopt a GSD propaganda line rather than concentrate so much negative energy on Picardo.El Llanito no es tonto y sabe que toda la atencion que el 7 Days le da a Picardo es porque el Peter esta preocupado y ya no sabe como cargarse a Picardo porque el mismo ha creado el monstruo Picardo and its too late to turn back.
    By the way who decides where to advertise Government Notices, is it the Chief Minister and his Ministers or is it the Civil Servants, Robert can you find out what the law says on this?

  8. 7 New People in a few days.................that's what we're going to have in oppositon!

  9. poor Montiel... axed in favour of the young! Maybe he should have stayed in the Union and continued the fight for his fellow members from there instead of falling the flattery of the GSD, ahora que se aguante!

  10. Excellent thought provoking article!,16 years was a long time to impliment promised changes!...

    What changes?..empty promises,and King Peter,the one man show,spending taxpayers money like it was going out of fashion!..

    Peter,its over!,one of your ministers is deciding not to stand at the next election,in the "Hope of Rejuvinating the Party"...

    A man who falls on his sword honourably!,pity it was the wrong man!...

    Im hearing plenty of political debate here robert,but what im not hearing is what the political parties intend to do,to help the socially disadvantaged,and poor of gibraltar. what help will they be given to improve there lot....?not everyone who lives in gib,is a lawyer,or banker on a hundred grand a year!


  11. Anon @ 23.50 "El llanito no es tonto" - discuss.

  12. Same Old Faces said:


    In your list of GSD pre-election signs, where is the new power station? We still have yet to be told why it went from an initial tender of some 60-odd millions, to an award at 120-odd millions!

    Considering the extra load of all the new flats on the power supply how likely is it that Gibraltar will be plunged into darkness once again as PRC cuts the ribbon on his gargantuan terminal? Will those extra generating sets that we had to rent and then buy be parked up there to run it?

  13. I don`t think Montiel has been axed by PRC.I think his illness(remember he left Unite because of ill health) may have re-emerged.
    Hope he doesn`t think he can rejoin Unite....

    Rock Ape!

  14. Rock Ape

    from today's chronicle:

    "Mr Montiel told the Chronicle yesterday that months ago it had been indicated to him that the GSD’s prospects of success would be enhanced by a rejuvenation of the party and that he would be facilitating this by not seeking re-selection."

    No mention of an illness here. In fact, one would think that if an illness was the reason for his departure, he would have said so instead of stating that he leaves in the hope his replacement will be more popular than him. If this was not the case, then despite his personal beliefs, his leader would have convinced him to stay rather than allowed him to go.

    He served his purpose, wooed over from to the GSD, only to be discarded now, without a job either from the Government or the Unite.

    I wonder if he'll be the first employment minister to turn up at the ETB looking for a job!

  15. In relation to Mr Montiel's resignation I would sya that there are signs of a certain element of the departure ebing about differences rather than anything else. The signs are:

    1. No one retires to "rejuvenate" 1.e. falls on his sword to bring in inexperience;
    2. A Minister retiring in good relations would not say of his party that has been in power 16 years that "... and yet so much remains to be done." This evidences abject dissatisfaction.
    3. A further sign of dissatisfaction is that he says that he has achieved in the area of youth employment that he has managed this "... in spite of many existing hurdles". It is for a government to do away with hurdles.
    4. He talks of his dissatisfaction about not getting a cetralised and multi-purpose apprenticeship training hub: another sign of dissatisfaction.To make matters worse he describes this policy as " ... fundamental to my vocational training development objective."

    All in all not good for the GSD again ...

  16. en fin Robert, que le han dao delao y se lo han cargao!

  17. Whatever happens at the General election the losers are already the Gibraltarians. But it is our fault for thinking that politics is a circus. If it is a circus then the clowns are the Gibraltarians and the empressarios are the polticians who are laughing all the way to the bank.

  18. Just seen on Friday's news,the security guard trying to stop GBC from filming at the airport..........pero que esta pasando?
    Venga hombre!
    Over 1000 working on the site! average £ 250 a week......£250,000 a week!
    No vea la trampa que nos va deja el PETER con la leche del airport y el unveiling!

  19. I'm have been told that the member of GSD have been instructed by the power that be,NOT to get involved with any political discussions in any of the social networks and not to take part in any opinion poll.
    Could this be why we are seeing mainly a one sided view in this blog?
    Que pena!

  20. Is it true that Feetham intends to play a Superman role in the next elections ie he pretends that he is not standing (as is the case right now) and just as the line up is being announced he decides to put his name forward for the good of the party? I hope he does not fall into this trap, right now he has gained respect because he has stood up to Caruana but if he decides to play little charades he has had it, ni en opposition se van a fiar de el la gente!

  21. Anonymous @23:33 seems to have inside information on the composition of the editorial board of 7 Days. We can only guess who Anonymous is. Not a very hard job to work out.

  22. Anon @ 18.01: Who was anon at 23.33? If you work it out right I will buy you a San Miguel at the Ke bar in Soto. PS 7 days must be the only newspaper in the history of the world whose editorial board is a secret! Anon @ 16.37 insults the circus world. Gibraltar politics is not a circus it is 3rd rate baudeville.

  23. anon at 18.39 insults 3rd rate Baudeville and should apologise.

  24. Robert

    Don't you find it interesting that when you wrote:-

    "The Politics of Economic Success and Social Conscience" there were only 70 comments.

    When you wrote:-

    The Polls: What do I Think they Mean? There were 167 comments.

    Does it not tell you something.

  25. I agree with your comments about the leadership of the GSD. If PRC had stepped down earlier on this year as the GSLP was changing it's leader and allowed DF to take over the GSLP would not be ahead. The GSD will lose this election because people are tired of PRC at a personal level. Highly superficial if you ask me but it's what people think.

  26. Anon 17.54 I don't think the issue with Feetham is standing up to Caruana or that anyone looks at it in those terms other than GSLP or the PDP. The former because the GSD without Feetham would be immeasurably weaker at this election and for the future and for the PDP because if Feetham stands it's good night Vienna for Azopardi's political hopes of doing a u turn and coming back as the saviour of the GSD. I don't think Feetham will stand because he can't stand up (understandably) to his wife!

  27. Anonymous at 19:38

    It tells me that there is more interest in tribalism than fairness in society ... sad really ... no wonder our politics are where they are!

  28. I have also heard that GSD supporters have stopped blogging in this blog, frankly, not surprised...a defacto GSLP blog, venga Robert....people are not stupid, good luck with Picardo and godfather Jaimito.....

  29. anon @ 18.39 I'll tell you at the Ke, and if I'm wrong I'll pick up the tab.

  30. Anonymous at 21:23

    I have oft repeated that I give MY view. I have never not published a GSD view, with no respect to you, GSD people are stupid because they are free and welcome not defend their policies here, they choose not to do so. What I will not perpetuate is their penchant for personalised attacks against Fabian. In the same way as I edit out outrageous personalised comments that are constantly made against all of PRC, Joe Holliday. Nigel Pardo and other GSD persons.

    Read this particular piece and tell me that I do not praise PRC!

  31. As far as I know Panorama gets the same funding as 7 Days and is pro GSLP, or may Gibraltar is so so so bad that they only hit at our government....

  32. anon @ 21.16, "immeasurably" is a strong word. Feetham's already been beaten once by Picardo, remember?

  33. Anonymous at 21:30

    Panorama is an independently owned commercial venture. The 7 Days is a GSD party rag. That is a major distinction and everyone knows it.

  34. Anon at 21.30 good point. And Joe Garcia sr led the liberals in 1992 (then the GNP) and David Eade spends his time at GSLP party headquarters helping the GSLP with press releases. The same Eade who constantly questions the CM's probity on Spain under the guise of being an impartial journalist.

  35. Robert, be accurate please. 7 Days accepts Govt. advertising like any other paper. It is not the GSD paper.

  36. Anonymous at 21:14

    And my aunt has balls so she is my uncle! :)

  37. What is a journalist who lives en la costa and is an ex pat in the true sense of that word with no connection to Gibraltar doing working for the GSLP? Very odd don't you think? Should he not declare whether this is done for love or for money?

  38. That's because you are shortsighted but don't know it.

  39. Panorama though owned by whoever is a GSLP/Lib machine funded by the tax payer and supporters....o no ?

  40. Not true? When does Panorama ever criticise Picardo or praise the government for anything.

  41. Y mi padre tiene un toto, y el Vox tampoco come on

  42. El David Eade este que listo es! No ve, es que los del GSD no saben! GSD tiene a Gerardo Gonzalez y el GSLP a este tio de la costa who slips under the radar.

  43. Anonymous at 21:50

    Panorama publishes ALL GSD Government press releases ... 7 Days does not publish anything GSLP or PDP but this is a sterile argument so THAT IS IT! Back to the topic of the Blog please.

  44. Panorama is independent. It's just that Joe Garcia senior founded the GNP, he led the GNP at the 1992 election, he stepped down for his son to lead the GNP, it's editorial is pro Alliance, David Eade one of it's regular columnists is the communications guru of the GSLP ... Etc etc

  45. Robert you write that "The GSD will run an aggressive election campaign aimed at having a ruthless effect. All the signs of this are there, just read the 7 Days if you doubt that.".
    Curious observation on your part. As an avid political observer I must say that not since 1996 have we seen the GSD going on the offensive in this way.

  46. Anonymous at 22:07

    Curious? It just seems obvious attacks about Blueprime, Noble, accusations of lying, anti-Picardo Motions in Parliament .......

  47. I wake up GSLP In the radio gutter politics and lies
    I listen to GBC radio at 1.30 GSLP gutter politics and lies
    I watch GBC Newswatch GSLP GSLP gutter politics and lies
    I buy the New People GSLP gutter politics and lies
    I buy the Panorama mas de lo miasma
    Por que estamos tingle ??? And you say the GSD will have an aggressive campaign...? What a joke...

  48. Robert,facts not rumours....o no ?

  49. Clearly aimed at discrediting Fabian, but will it work?

  50. Anon @ 22.35, clearly a gambit ny the GSD but time will tell.

  51. At this stage who funds what is irrelevant.
    In the expectation of a GSLP/Liberal triumph,more and more people are not afraid to expose shortfalls of the GSD government,some of them of a serious nature.
    The letter in todays Panorama by an ex policeman is indeed one more indication of the "aqui no pasa nada",and certainly not in my patch attitude which has been the GSD philosophy at least during this last term of office.
    PRC admitted that the last election results had been a wake up call for him,un tiro en el poste!
    He must be like my son who needs two hour and three alarm clocks to wake up,and even then,llega tarde.
    What is wrong with admiting that there are problems in our society.Hiding the fact that there are problems in our schools,social services,GHA,our technical infrastruce,and many other which will come to light as the population release their fustrations and fear.
    In his GBC interview both the Sacramento and the CM exchanged moments of subtle tension,PC lost his coolness for about 2 seconds,his face said it all.
    PRC has again ignored the calling of the people,even his followers,those who braved the door to door campaign in 1996 who will stay at home this time.The definition of the word "democrat" need to revisited.

  52. Yes time will tell if people do take seriously legal cases, reputation, etc... Caruana has made mistakes, Picardo won't last four years...time will tell... Loose cannon !

  53. Comment on the expectation that more and more people feel that the GSLP will win the next election and are now exposing things, que Pena.

  54. Anon 22:57
    La pena is that PRC is one hell of a politician,who has got older but not wiser.

  55. The arrogance of the GSD knows no bounds....

    You can feel the discontent in the air, the people's murmurings around town, the blogs, the websites, the letters to the papers.

    People are not happy.

    What's the GSD response? Rather than to attempt rational explanation of their policies they cower behind the 7 Days led Picardo witch-hunt and remind everyone of the dark days of 1996 with a childish "y ellos que". They answer questions with accusations and point fingers elsewhere.

    Ultimately, their tone now is that 'they know best', 'the electorate is fickle and can't be trusted to see beyond the end of their own noses' and 'we will get the government we deserve if the GSLP wins'.

    Guys, wake up and smell the coffee. Antipathy towards your party grows with each such post. Rational debate please. YOu seem so keen to shoot yourselves in the foot.

  56. I think the most basic difference between Panorama and 7 days is that Panorama gives the GSD Govt exposure whenever a Minister wants to write an "in my Opinion" piece and frequently interviews memebers of the GSD and reflects their opinions also in their newspaper.
    J Garcia Snr is a the Doyen of the Journalists in Gibraltar he knows Govts come and go but he obviously does slant towards exposing all the mistakes the GSD administartion are making.
    The 7 Days on the other hand is just a party political rag, given for FREE with the sole purpose of discrediting the opposition party and in particular FP.It carries no objective reporting as do the Panorama on political issues and furthermore does not publish any anti-GSD letters or material.
    The 7 Days is therefore a political publication of the GSD circulated for FREE with no other political input but that of the GSD whilst the Panorama is a serious Newspaper with a solid track record sold for a price and most importantly they do carry pro-GSD material and opinions from GSD Ministers.
    I cannot see the 7 Days surviving beyond the next election with the GSLP in power but having said that this blatant mis-use of taxpayers money needs to be regulated.There are enough lawyers in Gibraltar who can produce a piece of legislation that clearly sets out the parameters of what is right and wrong in this area of the law.
    Never again should we, the people of Gibraltar, be subjected to a Govt in power deciding who gets Govt advertising and who does not based on whether they support the Govt of the day or they do not.
    I suppose that someone somewhere must know who gives the green light to advertising these lucrative Govt Notices in the 7 Days , the day will come when in this electronic age we will find out the true picture of who did what.That day is fast approaching!.

  57. Anon 17 October 2011 22:32

    You actually buy the New People and Panorama but don't agree with what it says? Why not read 7 Days instead, it's free thanks to substantial government subsidies even though its printed in SPAIN...I've heard the articles are poorly written and embarassinly partisan but still quite handy in case Holliday's toilets run out of ass wipes.....

    As far as the news and radio is concerned it's about time you lot got a taste of your own medecine....we've had to put up with gutter politics by your party for 16 long years...Time to feel the heat boys..

    But seriously you like most GSD supporters are always quick to insinuate and demean anyone and everyone who expresses an opinion different to the one held by your leader PRC, but most of you offer very little in terms of defending your party's policies which have been costly and devastating to the most vulnerable in our community. How come the not ONE single person from the party which stood for the 'moral high ground' since 1996 have had the dignity or sense of public responsibilty to call for an enquiry into the scandalous state of our social services. Not ONE of you has had the balls to stand up for the young and vulnerable children abandoned by this government. You call Panorama 'la miasma' for daring to expose the truth because you don't want to accept the fact that your beloved government has failed those in care....If the Panorama investigations are completely fabricated call your beloved leader and ask him to set up an independent investigation into the claims so that if unfounded Panorama can then be taken to task....but I don't think you will...I think you will continue to bury your head in the sand and KEEP TRUSTING!!!

  58. "Not ONE of you has had the balls to stand up for the young and vulnerable children abandoned by this government."

    Amen Brother!

    Im hoping a new change of govt,will mean,all those old " has-beens"/ party faithfull over at Social services will be recieving there marching orders!...

    Politics in Gib,is a murky buisness indeed,some would say,the minnions off the GSD,gave Al-Capone a bad name!...

    But im not convinced Picardo and Co,are more off the same...
    All im hearing is talk of character assasination/party politics...havent we forgotten the kids,and the poor of gib,somewhere along the line...?

    A society can be measured by what it does for its socially deprived citizens.

  59. I sincerely hope Feetham doesn't make the mistake of sticking with the GSD just as they're on their way out. The way they've handled the run-up to this election has been truly dire. They simply deserve to lose.

    -Exaggerated personal attacks on Fabian's character backfiring when the exact nature of his involvement in the cases was revealed, as well as his reasons for not having disclosed his role any intricate detail as of yet.
    -Refusing to congratulate Fabian on becoming leader of the opposition.
    -Short sighted and petty press releases such as the Government seeking to refute a specific rumour in relation to Fabian's attack that portrayed the government in a negative light as opposed to quashing all the rumours and offering any sympathy.
    -Indirectly suggesting that the GSLP are employing emotional blackmail as a result of GibRadio allowing Joanna Hernandez to simply vent her frustrations and the seemingly deplorable stance that the Government has taken against her and her family.
    - The Chief Minister actually taking it upon himself to question the accuracy of the GBC/Chronicle poll result! (it will be interesting to see the results of the upcoming Panorama poll)
    -The airport fiasco. Surely ANY sensible politician would be able to recognise that employing a number of workers in an obvious mad rush to complete a project within an arbitrary deadline at the detriment of other developments within Gibraltar which warrant greater attention would greatly irk the electorate as a whole? This has seemingly not been the case with the GSD. There are some like myself who recognised the need for a new airport, albeit not one as grandiose as that which we unfortunately have now. What the airport in of itself is indicative of is the narrow mindedness of the incumbent government's desire to laud over the electorate with their shiny new toy in an attempt to distract them from the issues that they know are indefensible and unjustifiable.

    It's like the school yard bully who picks on the other children, takes all of their tuck-shop money and eventually saves up for a new iPhone. The bully might have the shiniest new toy in the playground, but who would want to play with that jerk?

  60. RV

    Gosh! that final comment 18/10,so....apt if you're that inclined...10/10 for applying metaphor :)

  61. I feel ashamed at the rush in which the govt has tried to finish all it's current projects in time for the election at no doubt great expense to the public purse. What is going on here???????? There should be an inquiry into how much more has been spent to rush these jobs so as to complete in time for the election. How can these ministers show their face in the street whilst squandering public money for their own political gain... Shame on you shame on you shame on you

  62. I think there is a law called the Newspaper Act or something similar?

    I think under this act you are supposed to print who the owner editor printer etc of the newspaper is in the newspaper.

    I just wonder about this as I saw a commenter say that 7 Days must be the only paper in the world where the editors is unknown.

    Did the 7 days exist before Government funding? That is an important and surely relatively simple question to answer? just somebody go to the archives.

    anyway i think you are all right to complain about 7 days getting government adverts. But don't complain about the content. Its no worse/different to the content of the New People.

    both papers should be burned on the 5th of november

  63. FP not more of same but much more. 2 wrongs don't make a right. Pot calling kettle and out of the frying pan.

  64. It is a complete joke to see Caruana playing the successful politician in London when everyone in Gibraltar knows that his mismanagement of our economy has left us with a hole worth £500 Million.Has he told all these so called distinguished guests that Gibraltar is running at a huge deficit? He can pull the wool over the eyes of these people in London but the electorate will soon show him and his party what we believe of them.
    In so far as Feetham is concerned, if I were him I would run a mile now that he has a chance!.Hanging out in the opposition will not be fun especially once FP commences to investigate all the issues that are up in the air due to lack of access to documentation.

  65. Anon @ 22:32

    GSLP gutter politics?
    You must be reading 7 days to often.
    now that is a joke.

    Wake up the gsd is on its way out.

    Rock Ape!

  66. The Panorama is doing its best to highlight the many problems faced by the most vulnerable in our society and its getting little thanks for it. The horrific experiences of a child in care detailed in their reports should upset and sadden us all.

    Apparently, we are unique in that we have a 'budget surplus', and a 'sustained economic progress' that enables us 'not (to) cut public services', and yet, these poor children have been failed, ignored and shown very little care and understanding.

    One wonders why Government has allowed this to happen. Its obvious that funds have been allocated for new flats, furniture, etc, so could it be that the basic understanding of the decision makers extended only to the materialistic improvements of these children's lives but failed to address their psychological and emotional well-being?

    Could it be that they have been slow to acknowledged that these children's day to day care requires a more professional approach, making a clear distinction between a domestic help at the home and a carer, available to advise, teach, watch, care and bond, in order to help them achieve their potential and escape the horrors of their past.

    Could it be that ignoring this problem has only served to create a bigger problem, one that will be harder to deal with as these children grow into adults who don't trust the system and have little respect for the rule of law and unwritten rules of society.

    Mahatma Ghandi once said "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members."

    Basing ourselves on this ideal, perhaps our nation isn't so great as some would like to think so.

  67. Anon 17:25
    Agree with your comments,there is a lack of public awareness because it has been kept OUT of the public domain,and as such the public will not react.
    Watch this space and wait for the biggest mistake in the history of the ministers of housing:housing 210 families defined by government as social cases in the same estate.
    Someone labelled FP as loose cannon..........
    ya veremos los loose cannon in this estate,sooner than we expect.
    It will not be the pride of council estates and the future minister for housing la va tener bien jodida!
    serious error of judgement!

  68. Who owns JBS or is it GJBS? Do they publish accounts,I presume they must? Are they not exclusively Gib Govt Contractors? Does the Govt approve of Dragados subcontracting the Govt works to this Company (I presume the JCT Contract for the airport must have a clause requesting Govt approval for all works subcontacting) to the detriment of other Govt projects? answers welcomed.

  69. So Dragados employs the extra workers up to 1000 out of the kindness of their own hearts to help Caruana's electoral prospects! Cuentame una de chinos! Can Dragados add to their contract sum because of the extra men? If not are they mad and do their shareholders in C/ Bajo de Las Cabezuelas Pol. Ind. Río San Pedro), S/N 11519 Puerto Real know this? If the extra men are added to Dragados' presupuesto then we are paying for it and Peter Caruana has made an innocent mistake in saying otherwise. Es que el Opposition (maybe soon to be the governmentment esta dormido) :)This airport scandal is not just showing up the govt it is showing up the GSLP as amateurs.

  70. Have you noticed how the GSLP posters complain about GSD dirty tricks and the 7 days. Yet many of these posts are about revenge and slitting political throats. Actually if I were feetham I would stay put and face the night of the long knives from were I could hurt FP the most when he starts the blood letting - in parliament.

  71. Sorry completely out of context with the current topic but just wanted to add something quickly.

    Last week an Anon was complaining that he/she was not allowed to join a specific (open) GSD facebook Group.

    I then responded that I had been welcomed.

    I later noticed another CLOSED GSD group on FB, which I then requested to join and have been denied access to!

    You were right after all ANON, whoever you are! They do pick and choose!


  72. anon @ 19:53

    I see a lot of posts by GSLP supporters but I don't see revenge or slitting throats, instead I see ordinary people speaking out for the first time and I see their desperation, frustration, disappointment and disgust with the present Government.

    Unfortunately GSD supporters see this as an affront to their supremacy and their fear represents what they would expect their opponents to fear if the situation was reversed.

    It is a very sad day for democracy and Gibraltar when there are people like you around who would like Daniel Feetham to stay just so he can 'hurt' Fabian Picardo. Your aggression is uncalled for and unnecessary and it shows your desperation. Your style of government is well past its sell by date and if there was ever a need for change, it is now, not just of Government but of attitude too.

  73. People please....Who pays Dragados to pay JBS if not the government? Another little PRC spin stressing the money is being paid by the middle man and conviniently omitting that WE THE TAX PAYER are the client and there the people who foot the bill or are we naive enough to think a Spanish company will spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on extra workers to keep PRC happy? Another example of desperation by the soon to be deposed ex-chief minister in an attempt to give his wavering group of supporters some straws to clutch by the popular uproar his latest EGO INDUCED TANTRUM has cost the tax payer.

  74. Who are the shareholders of JBS or GJBS?

  75. so, why are all the elite GSD supporters leaving the political groups in facebook en masse?

  76. This evening in Sacarello's Coffee House there will be a discussion entitled "How Livable is Gibraltar?"

    The panel will comprise

    Rebecca Faller - PDP
    Selwyn Figueras - GSD
    Joe Cortes - GSLP
    Janet Howitt - ESG
    Jennifer Ballantine Perera - Long time Town resident

    19.30 hrs start - everyone welcome. Full details in today's Chronicle.

    In view of the fact that most of you are used to making anonymous contributions, we will be handing out free Llanito World balaclavas at the door. See you there (or not...if you see what I mean).

  77. anon @ 00:41 the GSD elite are still there... silent, but still there.

    Maybe what you should be asking is why they are silent and why they are still there.

    Now and again there is a comment, a recently-recruited activist posted the other day " I don't normally entertain these ridiculous 'debates' as they are in no way constructive" but added a paragraph for the benefit of the audience, she was attempting to defend her GSD podcast on gutter politics.

    Other than that, however, the GSD is generally silent.

    and yet, why stay? if they don't agree, fine but why stay? Could they be watching and noting perhaps?

    So what is this new strategy? instructions from above for fear of having to engage with ordinary people who may be right? Last week this suggestion was absolutely refuted by GSD HQ and labelled as nonsense and yet they remain silent but watchful.

  78. are we expecting an announcement of some sort today? some people are feeling very positive and looking forward to 'Exciting times...'!

  79. Anon 10:01, hopefully it's THE big announcement.

    Apparently Peter's still in the UK though.

    I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that the air terminal isn't quite ready yet.

  80. Can someone please tell ALL of us who owns GJBS, we all know Michael Estella is the man there but who owns this company?
    in so far as the silence from the GSD i presume that not everyone is willing to voice their opinions when they know that the GSD and in particular their leader have really screwed it up for the party.The last nail in the GSD coffin, in so far as the man in the street is concerned, is the Airport Terminal ,if the GSD had any marketing sense they should prolong the opening as much as possible because it is not a project to be proud of!.


    Saw the big chief on GBC two nights ago saying that these accelerated works at the airport will run at the contractor’s expense!!! Not sure what contract they are using down at the airport but I am pretty certain that most building contracts do not allow for the client to visit the site and insist that the contractor should rope in people from everywhere to finish the works faster. Unless of course there is the threat of repercussions outside the contract or some inducement. The only other possible explanation is that the contractor lacks knowledge of building contracts or very generous because the only penalty within standard building contracts is a fixed financial sum for every day/week/month that the project remains unfinished. Any contractor would have seen this coming months before and acted sooner and not wait for the client to blow a gasket on a site visit before he triples his workforce, unless of course the situation has changed somewhere along the line!!! Most contracts require notices to be issued and proper procedures to take place so one can only assume that the whole thing has gone into chaos, very much like the underpass, Nelson View and Cumberland together with most other Government projects. The difference of course is that this one must be finished come hell or high water!!! Perhaps the most worrying thing in all this is the possible effect this could be having on the quality of the finishes and warranties of the building etc.

    He then goes on to say that its ‘OK’ because its GJBS and this is a local company so the money stays in the economy. Does the CM realise that at least 90% of the workforce employed by GJBS is subcontracted labour from outside Gibraltar? So where does he think their wages end up other than the one or two cartons of tobacco they buy at the nearest tobacco shop, which then get taken across to Spain on a daily basis?

    In the same broadcast he is seen standing up addressing some very important financial players in the City of London and brags about how well the Gibraltar economy is doing, and reports that once again our economy is in surplus!! I am pretty shite at maths and do not know much about accountancy and the economy, but to me a considerable budget surplus can only mean two things: 1. you are either taxing people too much, 2. You are not adequately spending the money you have budgeted, and therefore reflects a mismanaged economy year on year.

    So my question is, if Gibraltar is rolling in cash why do Government Buildings have to be mortgaged and why does the debt need to rise to such widely criticized levels? Why not fund capital projects from the much acclaimed budget surplus? There could of course be perfectly logical explanations to all this but I, like perhaps a vast majority of the electorate, do not know this. So come on GSD, explain to me these issues so that I can understand them and if you are able to produce a credible explanation I solemnly promise that I will block vote for the GSD. There, come out of your fantasy world and earn my vote!!! I for one cannot keep trusting unless what we are being asked is to put the same faith in PRC as we do in GOD!!!

  82. I, like anon@12.50 would love some light shed on this 'budget surplus' - as I, too, cannot understand the need to mortgage our buildings and escalate our debt to an historic level if we have money 'in the pot'! Also if this is true, WHY hasn't money been spent on such necessities as our ambulances, I know this might sound simplistic to those involved with our high finance, but, to me (as I'm sure to a good number of the 'ordinary people' that some of our politicians don't feel they need to take into account)this is the bottom line - if you HAVE money why haven't you used it in a way that benefits and improves our day to day lives. Like anon@12.16 I would not want the last action I would be remembered by to be having finished the airport terminal at an astronomical cost and having given it the priority in man power (I am told that other more necessary building sites have been abandoned as all hands are called on to finish the terminal)that is prejudicing other projects. What a swan song! How can PRC possibly think this white elephant (apparently they are having problems getting people to fill the concessions - even if they have been promised all sorts of facilities, paid for by the tax payer of course, to take these up)possibly be what the 'people' most want as top of their shopping list for Gib! AND, yet again, as we now say goodbye to Dragados too, another unfinished contract that GJBS will finish - to whose benefit, and where are the consultants fees, have they been returned, after all if the consultant consistenly gets it wrong why has he not been fired or held to account for his failures?

  83. most building contracts have penalty clauses for missed deadlines. usually this will involve the building contractor paying the client large sums on money for every day they run over. presumably this is happening at the airport with the effect that the overall cost of the project to the government is going down not up, the longer the contractor runs over. That said, if this were the case, one would expect that the GoG would be tripping head over heels to inform us of this fact.

    the quality of the debate in respect of the airport works is pretty low grade. the Opposition press release is, by its own admission, speculation. that is not good enough. of course the government is to blame, as this sort of information is not available to the general public or opposition parties. it should be readily available.

    the result is an information vacuum that is filled with uninformed speculation, which this blog and other sites are full of. not good for debate, not good for progress, not good for voters.

    I suppose now the CM has given an answer - which is pretty unequivocal - "it is not costing the Government anymore". So now it’s simply a question of whether you believe him or not.

    the GSLP's promise of a freedom of information act won't solve these information problems. as RV, you yourself have experienced with Data Protection, the problem with such acts is that they are not difficult to circumvent when the need arises.

    the quality of the debate in respect of the airport works is pretty low grade. the Opposition press release is, by its own admission, speculation. that is not good enough. of course the government is to blame, as this sort of information is not available to the general public or opposition parties. it should be readily available.

    the result is an information vacum that is filled with uninformed speculation, which this blog and other sites are full of. not good for debate, not good for progress, not good for voters.

    I suppose now the CM has given an answer - which is pretty unequivocal - "it is not costing the Government anymore". So now its simply a question of whether you believe him or not.

    the GSLP's promise of a freedom of information act won't solve these information problems. as RV, you yourself have experienced, the problem with such acts is that they are not difficult to circumvent when the need arises.

  84. Please Help,
    Could someone in the VOGG like to tell me why a proposed demonstration by the group in respect of Cherie Booth`s visit to Gibraltar in her private capacity is to be organised ,and yey the same group remained silent when Moratinos came to Gibraltar and the Instituto Cervantes celebrated el Dia De La Hispanidad...
    I wonder who pulls the strings now?
    Waiting for a reply.

    Rock Ape

  85. most building contracts have penalty clauses for missed deadlines. usually this will involve the building contractor paying the client large sums on money for every day they run over. presumably this is happening at the airport with the effect that the overall cost of the project to the government is going down not up, the longer the contractor runs over. That said, if this were the case, one would expect that the GoG would be tripping head over heels to inform us of this fact.

    the quality of the debate in respect of the airport works is pretty low grade. the Opposition press release is, by its own admission, speculation. that is not good enough. of course the government is to blame, as this sort of information is not available to the general public or opposition parties. it should be readily available.

    the result is an information vacuum that is filled with uninformed speculation, which this blog and other sites are full of. not good for debate, not good for progress, not good for voters.

    I suppose now the CM has given an answer - which is pretty unequivocal - "it is not costing the Government anymore". So now it’s simply a question of whether you believe him or not.

    the GSLP's promise of a freedom of information act won't solve these information problems. as RV, you yourself have experienced with Data Protection, the problem with such acts is that they are not difficult to circumvent when the need arises.

  86. Liam Fox had to resign because of his 'friend' involvement in his affairs.
    I wonder how many local ministers would have had to resign because of 'friends or relatives' if the same rules as in the UK were to be applied locally

  87. The VOGG, who the hell are this group? How many members?, when did they have their last AGM?
    As far as we know it is just 2 person, Watts and Pons, some group, and they claim to be the voice of Gibraltar.
    Why do we in GIB give so much publicity to
    these so called representative groups who at the end of the day are just a few persons.
    I am all for the views of minorities to be heard but this is ridiculous

  88. Anon 09:32

    The activist was responding to me.

    "The GSD will not resort to disclose private information about individual cases in order to gain political advantage. We will not resort to lying, negativity and name calling or gutter politics".

    I have proof that seems to indicate otherwise, but I too will remain silent, simply because I refuse to stoop down to their level.

    I am better than that.


  89. So how would one describe accusations of LYING that seem to fly out of the GSD's mouth continuously when referring to the Opposition? Could it be a form of PRAISE? :)

  90. Must be that RV! :) lol

  91. rock ape & anon @ 17:21, my thoughts exactly! I suppose if one is an ardent supporter of the Tory party, then one might jump at the chance to embarrass the Labour Party.

  92. A visit by Cherie Blair is a pretty distasteful thing. Well done VOGG for saying so.

    The name BLAIR will always be synonymous with the joint sovereignty deal and a period of great anxiety for Gibraltar.

    Well we had a visit from Margaret Thatcher after all the problems she caused us and now Cherie. We regale anybody here.

    Or is Cherie on a fact finding mission to see if we would allow Tony to visit the apes.

  93. Before I am criticised - I am not affiliated to any party, and just heard that the Leader of the Opposition is not invited to the Gibraltar Day in london! Unbelievable and completely disgusting|! It speaks volumes!

  94. What a knockout punch!!!

    Fabian says that if he becomes CM he will allow PRC to open the airport!!

    Great stuff.

  95. Que cascara a demostrao tener el fabian con lo que dejara a PRC open the Airport in the event that he becomes CM LOL ROFL

  96. Anonymous at 20:38

    Your criticism is baseless, sexist and totally out of order ... think about it. A wife or husband is not culpable for a husband or wife's opinions, each has his/her own! We really must grow up in Gibraltar about these things!

  97. What's the GSLP team likely to be then boys and girls? The Cortes brothers, Dr Borge and Marilou Guerrero are all very promising potential candidates that have a lot to bring to the table!

  98. The GSLP should field ten candiadtes,and the Liberals field their own team,if it so happens that 13 GSLP/liberals are elected,let the electoral reform begin!

  99. Ya no saben lo que hacer to break the Alliance grip on this election....Why don't the GSD and the Labour Party do the same or have you forgotten how you swallowed that party up?

  100. Robert rightly scolds: Re Cherie Booth...."criticism is baseless, sexist and totally out of order ... think about it. A wife or husband is not culpable for a husband or wife's opinions, each has his/her own! We really must grow up in Gibraltar about these things!" Anyone reading Robert's apoplectic put down of various anons and the Vogg who remebers the Mrs. Schofield affair might have a good old LOL. :) :b ;(Anyway Cherie can be very severely criticised on her own merits and does not need to be tarred with the same brush as her now multi-millionaire husband.

  101. After going to last nights Sacarello`s event ,I was amazed to hear the GSD representative say that he could not answer certain questions because he is not part of the executive and can not speak on there behalf.Well this gentleman is a proposed GSD candidate, started the GSD web site and has done GSD Party Political Broadcasts on GBC.So, if with weeks from an election he cannot speak for the executive of the GSD he has a lot of catching up to do.

    Rock Ape!

  102. Under the same umbrella of 'association' one can say the say thing about Peter Cummings, a member of the GSD party at the time (who could talk freely about his political views at the time when no other civil servant could) before he was encouraged out into the political wilderness by Mr. Caruana to gauge public opinion on how the electorate felt about a deal with Spain (Many GSD supporters canvassed in favour of Mr. Cummings against Joseph Garcia at the bye-election).....Then the argument was that Mr. Cummings was entitled to his personal opinions (on the face of it, rightly so) but only to deflect attention from the fact that many within the GSD hierarchy secretly and even openly expressed the same views...Another example of double standards!!

  103. Anonymous at 08:!!

    As i wrote precisely the comment that you refer to I was thinking it will not be long before the Ms Schofield comparison is made by someone. I will answer you.

    First there was no Ms Schofield affair. There was Schofield CJ inquiry.

    Second the reason for Schofield CJ's removal was NOT the behaviour of Ms Schofield. It was HIS bahaviour on many matters one of which is how HE deakt with Ms Schofield's forays in matters judicial.

    I commend that you read again both the Report of the Tribunal of Enquiry and also the Judgment of the Privy Council. BOTH make the above quite clear.

  104. Robert coño you sound like Caruana. There was no Ms. Schofield affair!?! no nos tomes por tontos.

  105. Ene

    You are right to pick me on this bad use of language on my part due to tryoint to precis my explanation.

    I meant to say simply that the reasons given for the removal were not attributed to what Ms Schofield herself did or her behaviour but rather to how Schofiedl CJ reacted and acted as a result and his personal resultant behaviour, not hers.

  106. If Schofiel CJ's behaviour cost him his job here how is it that he is a judge in UK? Do they have lower standards in UK or what? you tell me Robert. Why didn't a single Gibraltarian lawyer take Scohfiedl's side.

  107. Anonymous at 15:30

    I do not believe that we should get into the whole Schofield saga again. I will say that Schofield CJ's ability as a judge in judicial cases was upheld. What caused his removeal was other behaviour in his post as Chief Justice. Standards in the UK are not lower. You are incorrect when you say that no Gibraltarian lawyer supported Schofield CJ, some did and gave evidence in his favour.

  108. nada le quita al tema the only reason why the VOGG is complaining about Cherie's visit.

  109. Anon:19th@20:46

    If the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Picardo, had not been invited to Gibraltar Day in London he must have intruded.

    It speaks volumes about you. Whichever party you happen to support.

  110. Going back to Cherie. I would have said exactly the same about the husband if the PM had been female.

    The wife of the ex Prime Minister Tony Blair had an important role as first lady of the country. The one who is being sexist is you in demeaning the job of the first lady of the land. She was part and parcel of the post her husband held at the time regardless of her personal feelings. She also had her job to do (perhaps she drafted the joint sovereignty agreement for good old Tony when he was so busy fighting the Iraquis).

    Therefore YOU may not find her visit distasteful but do not impose your opinion on others. Some of us agree with VOGG. We have a right to OUR opinion. No?

    And please don’t call those who disagree with you sexist it’s absurd.

  111. Anonymous at 18:36

    Actually it is your comment that speaks volumes about you.

    No Leader of the Opposition, including Fabian Picardo, has ever been invited to Gibraltar Day in London. He attended as a partner of Hassans on Hassans, table.

  112. Anonymous at 18:44

    You miss the point sexism applies both ways to either males or females. My point would have been made identically had Cherie Blair been Prime Minister had Tony Blair been the First Husband! She was most certainly not part and parcel of her husband's post!

    A wife or husband of a Prime Minister have certain curtailments but certainly Cheri Blair had a different and distinct persona from her husband, especially so in her legal career. She did some high profile cases that were not inline with the then government thinking.

    The chances of Cherie Blair having drafted anything or participated in anything to do with Gibraltar are ZERO.

  113. Pies nada Robert invite the wife of jose Maria aznar... Come on these people, I mean labour wanted to sell us, big time... Or now you are going to debate this..come on..

  114. Anonymous at 20:32

    I have not argued what Labour wanted or did not want to do .. you change the argument :)

  115. Robert I don't is mrs Blair not a prominent member of the labour party in the UK ?

  116. Robert Robert I hear that John Cortes has declaried that he will put plants before people. Does this mean that plants will be allowed to vote or stand as candidates with political parties?

  117. Anonymous at 20:41

    Cherie Blair has never been an MP or Minister ...

  118. Strewth!!! The bit about Cherie drafting the joint sovereignty deal was a sarcastic comment.

    Don't take things so literally. Lighten up.

  119. The fact of the matter is that mrs Blair is a leading member of the labour party and was first lady of PM Blair during the joint sovereignty proposals.... Would love GBC to ask her the question when she come over at the expense of a leading law firm...wasn't their another choice out of 60,000,000 Brits ? Pregunto

  120. Just received a very impressive manifesto courtesy of the GSD, yet a particular set of figures did cause some concern. According to this same manifesto there are now 20,975 jobs compared to 12, 975 in 1996. Furthermore 10,706 of these jobs have been taken by locals in contrast to 9,390 in 1996.

    What worries me though is that from the 12,975 available jobs in 1996; 9,390 of these were given to locals (nearly 75%). Whilst these days from a possible 20,975 jobs only 10,706 (Less than HALF – 50%) of them are!!!

    Therefore whilst they have nearly doubled the job opportunity output they have only created 3000 extra jobs for our very own people! And actually decreased the total percentage of locals employed per job capita by over 20%.

    In my humble opinion that is, can someone please shed some light?


  121. somebody's ever so peeved off about Dr John's announcement.

    Cuidao John, que como te coja el jefe, te pisa!

  122. As a long term unemployed qualified / experienced / local professional, that's very interesting kaelan! Thanks for pointing it out!

  123. You are welcome Anon 21:37 :)


  124. Kaelan Joyce please limit yourself to looking at the photos only, anything else is just not cricket.

    This booklet has been produced to a very high standard, but please don't ask how much it cost to print or who's sponsoring it, as I won't be telling you because, as the election hasn't been called yet, technically I don't have to! lol

  125. Why haven't they produced such a booklet for the Tourist Board?
    It's well produced,designed and has excellent photos.
    It must have cost a fortune to print!
    Ave que ma menten en el letter box.
    Si hay tantos millones,a nice pre-election cheque as one of the 30,000 share holders,would be nice.

  126. Something that is for sure is that hay mucho dinero within the GSD ranks.....or better still hay mucho vested interests that the GSD stay in power....Wonder who those interested parties are? Replies on a postcard to 'Who wants to be a millionaire' please...

    On the question of the 'excellent' photos what about the inside of Glacis and Laguna Estate, Varyl Begg and Moorish Castlke, the Upper Town, Upper Rock, the area of the quemadero, la matuteras, the cemetery, the state of our roads, the theatre royal etc etc...Get my drift?

  127. The GSD's pre-election booklet being distributed around all the estates has been designed (and presumably also produced and printed) by . The '.gi' is misleading because they are based at 15c Micawber Street, Islington, London, N1 7TB! Does this mean that there is no-one in Gibraltar that is capable of producing such a professional booklet?

  128. Excellent photos in the Panorama today, front page and first 2 pages.

  129. RV,

    As always a wonderful read, albeit "tinged" with your own inclination away from the governing party and in favour of the other two. At least that is my take on it. However it is interesting that although you show the PDP as a potential party for the future you elevate the GSLP as the only alternative that can bring change for the better.

    I will not argue with your assessment but in all honesty this particular piece is spin of the highest order and for that I commend you :)

    In fact I find it quite amusing that my own opinion about polls is subtly reflected in your article when you say:

    "Most polls support this view. It would be foolish, however, to discard the GSD so early on."

    Sounds a bit like : "its not over till the fat lady sings"

    Your assessment is also cleverly manufactured to alert others with a view to avoid complacency from the expected GSD electoral campaign.

    However I find one particular aspect of your opinion quite annoying when you say:

    "Impressive stuff from both parties opposing the GSD at the forthcoming election..."

    Personally I would have preferred a mention of social issues that the GSLP are intending to carry out. I always find it particularly annoying when all that gets mentioned are new policies and more plicies. Don't get me wrong I applaud these changes but it always seems that these take priority over other more "real" problems.

    I hope I've slightly stirred the debate.

  130. anon @ 12.02

    You are been totally facetious and childish! It is the GSD's privilege to choose whoever they want to publish their booklet. If they deem the company based in London more professional or suited in any way to the concept they want to put out there etc. let it be! We dont HAVE TO use GIB FOR EVERYTHING!!!

  131. You mention a bribery act. Fabian came out a week ago saying that we have inadequate laws on bribery and corruption and that the new uk bribery act was much better and we needed those provisions. Today Danny says Fabian hasn't done his homework because parliament has already enacted the uk bribery act in the crimes bill. What's going on here?

  132. Anon 23.14 to answer your question, que no vamo a la caca cuando entre el Picardo por que esta peor que un second hand car salesman. No sabe lo que va prometer next.

  133. Do you think Fabian was trying to suggest we need a new bribery act to fan the flames of unsubstantiated rumours? If that was the reason it has backfired spectacularly because it is obvious the government felt confident enough to introduce legislation which Fabian himself describes as setting international standards.

  134. If you do not have different and effective policies we will carry on as we are making a mess of things with the GSD in constant denial about wonderful everything is. Without new "policies" how are you gonna to do it.

    Present policies and the administration of practically every ministry is just not producing good governance.

    There has to be a change even for the sake of it.

    Do we want to be plodding around in limbo forever?

  135. Anon@23:14

    Mr Picardo's homework could include reading LW where he would have found the following comment:-


    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.

    4 October 2011 12:11

  136. Anon@10:47

    Now is the time when we need a safe pair of hands on the economy and the potential threat from a PP victory in the forthcoming elections in Spain.

    "change even for the sake of it", indeed.

    Better the devil you know.

  137. Anonymous at 10:47

    Gibraltar has never voted and should never vote based on what happens in Spain or what Spain does. We should vote for the government with the best policies, vision and ability to execute.

  138. I had quite forgotten about the Schofields. How are they these days? Does anybody know? I suppose the current spats involving the Registrar of the Supreme Court are sub judice but one should be able to remark without fear of incarceration for contempt of court that what some (not me, oh no) might loosely call "goings on" may not (I don't know, I have not read the evidence) be a thing of the past but on this occasion whoever is at fault, if anyone (and that remains to be seen) it most certainly aint Derek J or Anne Mrs Schofield. Maybe any problems are "institutional" like racism used to be in the Metropolitan police and Cherie Blair should be called in to sort things out before a queue of QCs make their way to the Convent again. Robert I realise that you will be applying for silk and may not want to publish this even though it is no offence to anybody but I will understand if you decline publication.

  139. Anonymous at 14:44

    Published with some slight editing.

    You assume too much when you say that I will be applying for Silk under the new application system (and not new criteria as the spin has it). There are many considerations that I need to mull over before making that final decision. Presently, my inclination is not to apply but it is not a decision to be made by me alone.

    One thing I assure you of is that if the decision to appoint or not appoint me to silk is based or influenced by what my views aremor by whether or not I publish the views of others, then it is really not worth having Silk. So my decision to apply or not to apply will not influence any decion that I make about publishing my valid views or those of anyone else, nor vice versa will my decions ot publish or not publish be influenced by the same consideration.

    That is the essence of Freedom of Speech and that is one of the essences of a central rule of being a barrister:

    A barrister "must promote and protect fearlessly and by all proper and lawful means the lay client's best interests and do so without regard to his own interests or to any consequences to himself or to any other person"

    I apply this principle to my political views.

  140. Well done RV, yet another reason why this present government should go if promotions and appointments are to be based on what people are expected (threatened?) to say or must not say, as has already happened under this administration......Democracy a la GSD! And to claim we have enacted the UK bribery and corruption act in full....What a carry on!

  141. Paco says:

    Good morning Robert- I agree with much of what you have said in your article. I would go further and say that the mad rush to complete a myriad of ill-judged building projects prior to the next election is a reflection of how Gib is presently run within its 4 year political cycles. Receipt of a glossy brochure highlighting past projects with its idealised perspective regarding their relative success has only served to pour further oil on the flames of discontent and disquiet. Gibraltar has developed a soaring debt mountain, together with its associated interest repayments, as a result of lopsided and unbalanced priorities.

    One man cannot be all things to all men. It is for precisely this reason that I welcome Mr Picardo publically embracing a cabinet, collective style of Government. The merits, skills and judgement of a group of people will be better suited to guiding Gibraltar out of the choppy waters that it is presently lost in. Mr Feetham makes the valid political point in stating that any future CM needs to do his homework; but then any CM worth his salt would have no issue acting on the guidance of Governmental colleagues with superior knowledge and understanding of any given topic.

    The GSLP/Liberal alliance is now putting together an impressive, considered and compelling argument towards being entrusted with Gibraltar’s governance. Furthermore, I see a GSD administration limping towards a General Election, leaking bucket loads of tax payer’s cash, bereft of meaningful ideas for the future whilst compounding errors of the past. I therefore think that the GSD project in its present form ran its course several years ago. It is indeed time for change and it is significant that so many heavy weight individuals in our society are articulating this need.

  142. RV@14:28


    That's as maybe simply because no leader or potential leader has ever hinted at a recognition of and/or submission to the Spanish claim. The way that any future leader reacts and responds, however, to the constant threats from the Spanish politicians is another matter. Any sign of vulnerability shown by any of our leaders in the face of this threat could be misconstrued by the F&CO as a sign of weakening by the Gibraltarians.

    The only reason why we are not so concerned about the Spanish threat is because our economy is thriving and that affords us the luxury of introspection.

    Meanwhile, It's the economy, stupid and a safe pair of hands.

  143. Better the devil you know!! - that is precisely why change is needed because we know Him only too well.

  144. Not a day goes by without articles or letters in the press from dissatisfied groups or individuals.

    Prolonging the announcement of the election is only adding to the overwhelming discontent that is obviously being felt and anger. The latest is the boat owners sweetener.

    Is this going to be another rushed and botched up job of which we will have to pay the consequences in the future?

    We are told the economy is booming (open to debate) but can we afford to keep wasting so much money on projects that have to be revisited?

    If the concerns of two members of the boat owners association are anything to go by, this is another project that will keep costing more to put right. These two members say the association has not been consulted and “that representations have already been made to us that the proposed breakwater will not protect the boats from the winter storms”.

    We may be rich now but what about tomorrow?

  145. Anon@18:50

    Take a look at the Panorama archive for October 2010.

    You will find very few complaints from dissatisfied groups or individuals in comparison with this year.

    The election will not be fought on the opinion of two members of the boat owners association.

  146. Anon 21 Oct 2011 21:51 What a defensive reaction! Surely the GSD should lead by example and produce its pre-election brochure in Gibraltar. How about helping Chronicle Ltd stay afloat by commissioning them to do it?

  147. anon @20.25

    you're damned if you do and damned if you dont... the GSD it seems and has been slated for helping the chronicle too much over the years... and gets accused of controlling it through their subsidies etc.

    so now by doing something external they get the knife as well?

    im not a gsd supporter trust me, i just dont like double standards, of which there seem to be so many around this place

  148. With hind sight robert do you think that Peter caruana may have engineered the removal of Chief Justice Schofield. Or, Robewrt was Peter QC right about Schli9efoeld?

  149. Anonymous at 21:18

    Nothing was nor did anyone engineer anything on the Schofield CJ issue and certainly not the CM. Remember that the initial complaint came from a majority of the law firms.

    In any event the removal followed all constitutional safeguards a Tribunal of Inquiry made up of top judges and then the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, the highest court of the Commonwealth, with 7 as opposed to the usual 5 judges sitting.

  150. Anon's spelling at 21.18 is appalling. Is there a law against people posting messages whilst under the influence of drink? If not the ministry of justice should look into enacting one.

  151. Aha! So Peter Caruana was right about something after all. You see Robert when you have first hand knowledge of a matter as you had about the CJ you will see the wisdom of our Chief Minister. If you bother to inquire into all the other matters of which you know little or nothing but have the arrogance to criticise you will see that Peter Caruana is often right. The entire legal profession in Gibraltar except for the usual mavericks like Charles Gomez took the CM's side and even Gomez was paid by the government to defend Mr. Schofield.

  152. RV,

    The comments for this article have slowly descended into a typical GSD bashing exercise. By all accounts there does seem to be plenty of disgruntled voters waiting to cast their vote in favour of anyone other than the GSD.

    I would have preferred that the focus of the debate remained with the article. Watching from the outside and without having yet made my mind I often wonder whether other than the disgruntled voters, there is an attempt to discredit where in fact some credit should be given for some good things done.

    RV, you yourself often accept that important things have got done and have credited the CM for that. But why has the CM become a persona non grata. I have my view but for the purpose of the debate it would be interesting to know why the CM has become so unpopular.

    When I look at the economy, we are told that it is on a firm grounding and yet we are prepared to believe those who prefer to question this and rely on supposition and conjecture. I am not an economist but I can see that Gib is not faring too badly considering the global recession. Hence why the doubts?

    We also get the regular criticism of the 7 Days. Some say its not a newspaper others say it’s a rag, others even that it’s a free paper with just Government subsidy, etc. etc. I find this surprising. London’s Evening Standard and the Metro are free newspapers. Perhaps the comparison is not that apt but, in my humble opinion, still valid in some respects. In fact I also find the argument that the New People or the Panorama as not being pro GSLP/Lib is quite insulting. Any unbiased person with some local knowledge will certainly realise that these are the official and non official political mouthpiece of the current opposition.

    That said, each is entitled to publish what they think fit. My wish would be that they behave responsibly and avoid acrimonious comments, which is predictable as we approach the Election.

    Your article, RV, summarises the need to change, update or even implement certain new policies. This is good. Change which brings about improvement is always welcome. Surprisingly I notice you have omitted the policy related to a new Civil Service Code. This is has been published in the GSLP website and seems quite a sweetener. I wonder how Mrs Guerrero a prospective GSLP will reconcile her anti summer hours views with this new Civil Service Code.

    Personally I would like to know what improvements other the real social issues are in the pipeline if they come into Government.

    Will they:-
    improve the roads inside the tunnels?
    they maintain the beaches all year round?
    they increase the tax on tobacco?
    they provide lifts for the disabled leading from Reclamation Road up to Line Wall road?
    they downscale the Airport?
    they provide more policemen on the beat?
    they improvements to the police station?
    contemplate green issues for the environment?
    Remove the unsightly Incinerator plant?

    Etc etc…..

  153. Anonymous at 21:32

    I repeat the complaint that started it all did not arise from Peter Caruana it came from the legal profession. I have often said PRC is right about many things.

    You are welcome to correct me on matters that I know nothing about. You do not ... nor do many people ... possibly because I write OPINION so it is not black and white or right or wrong! Your condemnation is unsupported by any evidence so it is both arrogant and totally useless.

    Much like most of what I hear from GSD supporters.

  154. Anonymous at 21:32
    Charles Gomez is not a maverick. As a lawyer he has often represented the underdog in cases against the government. That is what lawyers should be there for, dont you think?

  155. Anonymous at 21:50

    When I have been described as a maverick i have always taken it as a great compliment. I have also been described as idiosyncratic, contrarian and anti-establishment, all great compliments to me.

    Why? Precisely for the reason you give.

    In fact the last compliment that i received was that i was a SOB. A SOB is a SHIT ON THE BOARD! Ha ha ha!

  156. What Board? The FSC?

  157. Robert old boy are you reinventing yourself? Surely your membership of the FSC Board shows that at least at some time cousin Peter thought you were a safe pair of hands which from a reading of your blog must be the worst insult that a man can receive ;)

  158. The quality of the printing of this booklet is excellent, much better than any local printing company could have done.

    Which begs the next question... how much could this have cost?

    Taking into consideration, its 69 pages, the design of the booklet, multiple photographs on the majority of the pages, full colour, perfect binding and non-standard format, it couldn't have cost anything less than £5 per booklet @ a conservative 15,000 run, that's £75,000. Without adding postage and packing to Gibraltar.

    The Party must be very wealthy to be able to afford a publication like this with the expense of a general election just round the corner.

  159. RV,

    I agree with anon 21:50. Charles Gomez is not your typical money seeking lawyer and I am pleased to know that he does defend the underdog.

  160. I support Caruana and the GSD y quien coño me va a parar!

  161. Membership of the FSC has always raised eye brows among people in the know. Some say that the appointees are all Caruana's place men. What do you think Mr. Vasquez.

  162. I agree with Disciple X and Anon 21:50 there should be more people like Gomez out there. :)


  163. The booklet was indeed a reminder of all the fantastic work done by the government over the past 15 years. My first thought when flicking through it was, 'anyone who does vote these people in again must surely be mad'.

    Projects have been done con mucho gusto and all investment has been worthwhile, or did we want to continue living in the dirty dump that was Gibraltar 15 years ago. Its easy to complain when we are all enjoying the benefits of a GSD government. And I bet we will all enjoy arriving at the new airport once complete, I know I will feel proud.

    The improvements to Gib are there for all to see. The investments were very much needed.

  164. No vea la torta que le a pegao Feetham a Picardo.....

    Totally basic stuff... Where is Mr. Picardo? He should be reading what he misses when he gets back.... not the Hello magazine if he wants to be CM!

    Que verguenza....

  165. Following Disciple X and Kaelan's comments it is interesting that Gomez who is one of the very few prominent independent lawyers is not a member of any of the government boards. To me this just shows what the GSD government looks for in its appointees! I would have thought that he would have been the ideal candidate for membership of the FSC or the DPC. Maybe things will change when Fabian gets the keys to number 6.

  166. Anon 22 Oct 20:39 The GSD Government suddenly this year requires local cleaning companies to hire locals and then the GSD produces an expensive booklet outside Gibraltar when the estimated £70,000 (see estimate by an anon above) could have been distributed among local companies. Makes no sense to me.

    Anon 22 Oct 22.02 RV was appointed to the FSC board by the Governor under the former FSC Act (1989?). Appointments are now made by the CM. It is inconceivable that the CM would have appointed RV to the board under the new FSC Act 2007, after having read critical comments about him and his party in Llanito World. I guess that clears up your conjecture.

  167. Anon at 11.41 is living in cloud cuckoo land if he thinks that things will change under Picardo. All that will happen is that Caruana's flunkeys will be replaced by Picardos and it will be no surprise if some of those pelotas are already cosying up to Picardo so that they can retain their positions.

  168. Although Danny Feetham seems to be getting a lot of compliments in your blog the truth is that he is just one more stooge of PC, he managed to convince the electorate that he would be resigning due to personal reasons but it is looking more and more as if he cannot resist the ego of the position he is much for him resigning because of pressure from his wife!He is loosing respect fast !

  169. DX22nd@21:37

    Disciple X

    Not only is Mrs Guerrero going to find it difficult to cope with the summer hours contradiction but also the flexible working hours promised by the GSLP/Liberals.

    I am afraid that if the Opposition fulfills the promises that they are making to the Civil Servants our beloved CSs are going to have difficulty fitting in their annual leave entitlement within any working year.

    After having said that, I have found that the attitude and performance of the CSs that I deal with on a daily basis has improved considerately during the last few years.

  170. Anon@11:41

    Have you asked Mr Gomez whether he has ever been offered membership of any "Government Board" and if so, whether he has declined such an offer?

  171. anon @ 9:01

    "'anyone who does vote these people in again must surely be mad'"... a typo, or Freudian slip? LOL

    Shall we all ignore the £480M debt so that you can feel proud as you arrive at Gibraltar International Airport? Will you still be proud when its pouring with rain and you get soaked crossing from the plane to the terminal?

  172. Yes it was a typing error. I have just reread it. it was meant to say " anyone who does not vote the GSD in again must surely be mad".


  173. Anon at 13.12 I don't agree. Feetham should not leave when this election could be decided on small margins. The GSD lineup looks thin without him compared to a line up of the 7 current opposition members plus the Cortes brothers and Borge. Besides if the polls arw right the gsd are heading for opposition and potentially two terms in the wilderness. Time to stand up and be counted. I believe he will.

  174. Joder al hombre le dan una punala delante de sus hijos y no tiene derecho retirarse. Que leche.

  175. Cortes BROS and Borge? Is that what approaches?

    Mr. Feetham stay please!

  176. anon @ 22:00

    Please don't shout at me just because I don't agree with you.

    You haven't answered my other questions though... will you still feel proud when its raining and you get soaking wet getting on and off the plane? You'd think that after countless millions, a skybridge would have been part of the plans to ensure that we don't only stay dry but the wheelchair-bound don't have to suffer been raised up to the plane on a platform, which is not very dignified at all.

  177. Anyone who puts pressure on Feetham at the moment is plain insensitive. Daniel's first duty is to his family. When things are resolved he will always have a position in politics.

  178. anon @ 10:54 (23rd Oct)

    perhaps you should check out the GSLP's press release today on the details of the Gibraltar Anti-corruption Authority... you say totally basic stuff but Gibraltar deserves better and the GSD's 'totally basic stuff' is just not enough any more.

    Os deberia de dar veguenza!

  179. The feeling in the GSD camp is that they are going to loose and badly...internet sites with political comment have thousand of hits in days and really does reflect the moments before a party loses power. In so far as the GSD booklet is concerned, where are the expensive toliets, the Theatre Royal etc etc etc? It looks very desparate for a Party in power to have to resort to producing a booklet explaining what they have done whilst in power even before the election date is called...the marketing boys at the GSD'S bunker are getting it all wrong. on Pre-Election Party