Sunday, 27 November 2011

An Illegal Air Terminal?

I have no doubt that Gibraltar's Air Terminal needed improvement. I also have no doubt that before spending 75,000,000 Euros, the GSD Government should have resolved Gibraltar's energy problems. Energy, in the form of electricity generation, is the lifeline of Gibraltar and its economy. No electricity equals no economy, today we are relying on skid or "emergency" generators. I have asked the question, how is this to be resolved, over and over again without a reply being forthcoming from any political party but importantly not the GSD Government who have been in power for the past 16 years. 

Now, to add to the issue of bad prioritisation of expenditure, I wonder how people will feel if I were to suggests that the new Air Terminal has been built illegally? That is what I will argue in this blog because it is a prime example of a lack of good governance in Gibraltar. It would be right to say that an argument of illegality on many projects could be made against most past governments of Gibraltar. There is now one major difference: the new Constitution. In the past Governors have had more power, under the new Constitution, the GSD Government have been the first Government to have had more power: with power comes responsibility.

There is a basic requirement under the British system of government that everything must be done according to law. This requirement applies equally to a government, by which I mean the executive arm of government. In Gibraltar (because we have a subsidiary Parliament) this means that an Act of Parliament is required to authorise a government to do anything. The additional layer to this rule is that "... government should be conducted within a framework of recognised rules and principles which restrict discretionary power." (Wade - Administrative Law 5th Edition). All of these are the core principles that underpin parliamentary democracy. It is the basis of the principle of Parliamentary Supremacy, which in Gibraltar is only curtailed by the Constitution. 

It is only by this principle of the Rule of Law that power flows back to the people through the medium of an election and so underpins democracy. It is only by the strict adherence to this most basic of rules that a government is accountable to the people who elect it. It is through parliamentary debate and questions that Minister are brought to account in a democracy. The only other remedy is recourse to the Courts because governments and Ministers are equally liable for injury as any citizen if they act outside their powers granted by  law. This is known by lawyers as acting ultra vires.

Let me now turn to the issue of the new Air Terminal. Armed with this very basic knowledge of Administrative and Constitutional law, which any lawyer worth his salt will know, I decided to research how the construction of the new Air Terminal had been authorised by law. Lo and behold I have discovered that there is no law that allows the Government to build an air terminal. It seems to have been built in exercise by the GSD Government of a power that it does not have in law. Its construction has never been authorised by Parliament. It seems to have been built on the basis of Ministerial diktat worthy of Soviet Russia or maybe even Franco's Spain.

Having come to this conclusion, I decided to consider the potential repercussions of this situation. The first, undoubtedly is that it undermines all the principles of democracy because it sidesteps the democratic safeguard provided by Parliament. The second is that it is palpable and incontrovertible evidence (if any further evidence were to be needed) of a breach of the 1996 GSD promise of open, transparent, accountable and democratic government. The third is an analysis of the potential financial consequences of such a huge mess.

In order to unravel this huge mess I went first to the new Constitution. Government Finances are dealt with in Chapter VII of the New Constitution. This deals with the requirement that all government revenues (except as authorised otherwise by an Act of Parliament)  have to be paid into the Consolidated Fund. No money can be withdrawn unless charged on the Consolidated Fund by the Constitution or an Act of Parliament or as permitted by an Appropriation Act. Neither the Constitution nor any other Act of Parliament charges the expenditure to construct an Air Terminal on the Consolidated Fund. Therefore this throws us back to an Appropriation Act.

Section 69 of the Constitution requires the Minister for Finance to prepare and lay before Parliament "... estimates of the revenue and expenditure of Gibraltar ...". It is this provision that founds the basis of an Appropriation Act, which is what authorises withdrawals of government expenditure. I went, therefore, to the Appropriation Act 2011. Sure enough, no mention of expenditure for a new Air Terminal, but there was an "Improvement and Development Fund" amounting to £95,887,000. One assumes that the cost of the new Air Terminal is included in this figure.

The question that then arises is, is this appropriation sufficient legal authority to permit the GSD Government to construct an Air Terminal? I can only answer this question with a "NO". First an Appropriation Act only authorises withdrawal of expenditure and not the doing of any act. Second, I would refer the reader to the words that I emphasised in bold in the immediately preceding paragraph. Only expenditure that is "... of Gibraltar ..." can be authorised by an Appropriation Act. How can the  expenditure on  the illegal and so ultra vires construction of an air terminal be " ... expenditure of Gibraltar ..."? It cannot be precisely because if it is illegal it is not "... for Gibraltar ...". If I am right (I believe that my legal analysis is correct), then, the inclusion of any expenditure in the Appropriation Act for the Air Terminal is an attempt to fund an unconstitutional act and so also illegal and ultra vires.

What are the repercussions of this illegality? In my view the first is that, under section 74 of the the new Constitution, the Principal Auditor has the exclusive and unfettered duty to audit and report on the public accounts of Gibraltar. An audit includes a requirement to ensure the legality and vires of any expenditure. In this regard those who have had anything to do with any illegal expenditure should bear in mind the provisions of section 68 of the Public Finance (Control and Audit) Act. This section makes any public officer personally liable for improper or illegal expenditure, if the Financial Secretary considers that it has been incurred negligently, carelessly or by the default of any public officer. Readers should bear in mind that Ministers are also public officers.

The second repercussion is that under the new Constitution the responsibility to ensure good governance in Gibraltar lies with the UK Government and is exercised through the office of the Governor. I ask myself, can it be good government to be governed outside the Rule of Law? If my argument is correct (I believe it is) it cannot be good government for the construction of an air terminal at a cost of 75,000,000 Euros to have been undertaken without the authority of a law. At the very least it undermines Parliamentary Supremacy and so democracy.


  1. Robert, te van a encerra!

  2. Thanks Robert for taking the time to write such great articles.
    The truth is that 'Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely'. The current Government is at the peak of its corruption. Gibraltar has no Democracy and the system is a Dictatorship run by our current CM. That the people are led to believe that this is a democratic government! There are no proper separation of powers, no controls. The current CPM uses and abuses Gibraltar using it as his own property, to buy sell and negotiate deals! Anyone who may dare go against any of his objectives will be scorned!
    I want to ask this question...what collateral does Gibraltar have to back up, 75 million euros? What is going to happen with the Power Supply as you correctly say? All these new buildings (terribly constructed may I add) Cumberland, Nelsons view etc, etc... need power, water/ drainage/ sewage and parking, which is NOT available! What is available is old and urgently needs replaced.
    Not to forget the new blue buses, who made that deal? why are the buses toooo big for Gib? Dangerous in fact! Always over the speed limit, as if they know whey are above the law also!
    Why is our health service on the edge?
    Who is going to check on the new wealth status of the Government after its stint in power?

  3. It loooks like the amount of Enquiries that the Picardo Govt are going to have to put in place once they are elected are going to have to be considerable:
    The Airport
    The OEM Saga
    The Haymills Saga
    Air Alandalus
    Old NavaL Hospital Tender
    Marrache Fiasco
    Etc Etc Etc.

    The question is, is Dilip's ( The Accountant General) head on the block poor thing? I suppose he can always say he was following orders from above, but all of the above cases show the govt apparently using the law in an ultra vires manner to achieve a goal so all of the above should be subject to an Enquiry with a GSLP administration.
    In the interim I have ben told that there are EU directives on the proximity of air terminals to landing strips etc which may also have been completely flouted.

  4. Anonymous at 10:56

    For telling the truth? That will really prove that i am right, no?

  5. Good one Robert, it really does seem to be a matter of Caruana thinking that no-one would ever have the guts to challenge anything he has done.I am afraid that Caruana's arrogance and single minded focus has landed him in a real mess with the Airport amongst other matters.

    I am glad he is not getting in again or he would do his usual trick of implementing Legislation to cover the gaps and mistakes he has made and then he would ,as he does, backdate the law.

    I think he made a huge error also in putting Figueras in front of the Cameras.It appears that the PP have already picked up what Figueras said in the Environment Debate that the Eastside Bunkering scare was just a tactic to get an extra lane at the Frontier, the PP is singling this out as an example of the devious ways of Caruana and the fact that the Tripartite was a mutual con between Caruana and the PSOE Govt.I think that Caruana has now lost all respect on both sides of the Frontier....what a scandal!.

  6. anon @ 10:56 says...

    Robert, te van a ENCERRA, no mata...for telling the truth, for finding the loop-hole, for not believing the spin and for being able to smell a rat, when everybody else seems to suffer from 'anosmia'.

  7. "IF" illegal as you suggest,its being done "ala robin hood" steal from the rich to give to the poor,going by your comments past administration have also done the same in other shape or form.its money spend for the people at the end of the day we the gibraltarians have ended up with a bloody big new airport which we needed maybe not that big.i agree with you were the GSD have gone wrong its with priorities eg:gen stn,mental hosp plus others,is gib better now than 15 yrs ago ? Any illegality should end up in court, the same goes to past administrations as nobody is above the law.

  8. No te preocupes Robert que el GSD is finished,keep up the good work and keep the banner of democracy flying in the levanter and poniente winds.I think that you will go down in the political history of Gibraltar as the guy who opened democracy to the people throu Social have more support than you think bro!.

  9. Spandau

    I have said precisely that in my second paragraph but two wrong a right does not make ...

  10. Robert

    I am amazed that you have not noticed this supposed illegality until now that the Air Terminal is all but completed and not at its planning stage.

    I am equally amazed at the fact that the opposition has not noticed it either.

    Is the generating station about to be constructed illegally?

  11. Robert, you may be right in everything which you write and have written in the past but what I don't understand is what you might tell your clients who may want to come it invest In Gibraltar. Surly after you have told them about us being a dictaorship they all run away never to return. You seem hell bent on destroying the Gibraltar we all love. Your obsession with cousin Peter is monumental. I have to wonder what REALLY lies behind your obsession. I just can believe it is his only his politics.

  12. Anonymous at 11:40

    I only turned my mind onto this subject recently. I am only one individual, with one brain and one pair of hands to write with. I do my best. I have in fact alluded to governmental illegalities in past blogs. In this blog I am giving a specific example.

    I have not researched the law on the power station, so I do not have the answer, but if there is no law empowering a government to build it the answer has to be yes.

  13. Anonymous at 11:47

    I advise my clients on the law to the best of my ability. I am not an investment advisor. I am a lawyer.

    Telling the truth is an obsession? Telling the truth is destroying Gibraltar? An obsession with PRC at all but you suppose it goes beyond politics? That is a warped mind at work. Telling the truth in most democracies is to make improvement and to create a better environment for investment. I suggest that the responsibility for this lies with government not with me a mere blogger.

    Please think straight and get your priorities right. I suggest that if you read some history you will realise that the arguments that you use are the arguments of expediency that have always justified totalitarianism and not democracy. You need a lesson in democracy and free speech my dear chap or chapess (sic.).

  14. I think it is time that the GSDites stop attacking you on a personal basis and that they limit themselves to commenting on the substance of the blog.Who gives a damn about cousin Peter or what you would tell your Clients, the question we are dealing with is the illegalities which the GSD administration have implemented over the years to each their goals.One of them is the way they built the Airport,I have looked at the references in your article and you are 100% right we are dealing with a piece of construction which is illegal punto, now GSDites comment on the article or stay shtum but dont go down the Caruana way of attacking the person because the substance matter does not suit you.Figueras tried that ploy with Cortes last week and made a fool of himself and nearly eneded up in tears!.

  15. RV:I have waited till sunday as you suggested, i still stand by my last comment "gib an effective dictatorship. Authoritarianism and democracy are not fundamentally opposed to one another, it is thus perfectly possible for democracies to possess strong authoritarian elements, for both feature a form of submission to authority.The authoritarian order may have facilitated economic growth, ... They realize that political stability made it easier to carry out reforms and attract foreign investment.What wrong with pasting a big airport for the llanitos ?
    Though must admit its being done to accomodate the spanairds politically, as if the spaniards would eventually bow to the CM tactics of getting the spaniards as a friendly trustworthy neighbours with the word sovereignty out of the equation.Knowing the spaniards that will never happen, irrespective who is in power in spain.Thats were peter caruana got his priorities wrong cause of the foreign issue and not the locals.

  16. I agree, it is clearly evident that Robert tiene obsesion con el CM.
    If someone is going to investigate 'illegalities' may we please start with the Bossano led GSLP? Que hay para parar unos cuantos trenes !

  17. Come on Robert tell us the truth, tell us the truth of why you decided NOT to stand for election. No more bullshit about the GSLP announcing your policies. You are a fraud and you know it. You were lent on weren't you. Yes lent on, but not by anybody from the GSD was it? Let's see how honest you really are?

    I am anon at 11:47 but will now sign off as x-man to make it easier for you to recognise my posts.

  18. RV@11:48


    I have a strong feeling that the Alliance will bring this illegality up during the election campaign.

    What is more, I have no doubt that they will promise future measures in order to avoid a repetition.

  19. Got a feeling that if Robert were ever CM Gibraltar would never advance the way is has done thus far. He would get embroiled in legal technicalities whilst projects and investors would disappear and go elsewhere.Time for a reality check Robert PLEASE.

  20. And BTW anonymous at 11:47

    I have advised clients correctly precisely in these sort of terms when the need has arisen. That is my duty and obligation.

  21. To Anon at 11:59 I am not a GSDite as you suggest. I am a proud Gibaltarian and proud of what we have achieve over many years particularly since our evacuees returned after the war. What I cannot bear to see is how some Gibraltarians especially Robert appears to be hell bent on destroying us because of their own personal agendas. OK maybe the new air terminal was built illegally, i dont know yet, but I prefer to wait and see if any of the leaders can tell us otherwise. What about everything else which previous Goverments have built? Have these too been built illegally? We are just playing into the hands of our enemies.


  22. anon @ 11:15 if what you say is true and if what we need is good relations with Spain and a fluid border, Gibraltar had better not return PRC on the 9th.


    ... as your nickname suggest you are clearly a NAZI :)

    Anonymous at 12:08 X-man

    No one has leaned on me how,? Why? On what grounds? With what weapon? It is incongruous that you accuse me of being a fraud when I write what I write and exercise my right of free speech to the degree I do. What could possibly be the motivation? Please substantiate your allegation :)

    Anonymous at 12:11

    The expediency argument again ... i have answered that already. Please do not be boring repetition does not add weight to the argument :)

  24. Anonymous at 12:21 or X-man

    How sad not to have your own mind and have to rely on "your leader".

    What "personal agenda" other than a desire to be governed democratically? You speculate my dear follower of leaders.

    Finally the evacuees that you refer ot and people like me who lived through Franco's siege of Gibraltar fought precisely for freedom from oppression and free speech. I am simply using those freedoms in their memory. Re-think your stance please, precisely in memory of the returning evacuees and do not sully that memory with reactive and totalitarian propaganda.

  25. Robert why don't you just call 199 and report the illegality to the RGP so that they can then go and arrest cousin Peter! Or better still why don't you write to the Governor for him to arrange it much like you did to get TAT of the air. Hay que ve thanks to Robert los ingleses (Alan King y el Governor) decide for us what we can and cannot see on GBC. Que vergeuenza!


  26. anon@12:05 if the evidence is so clearly available, why hasn't the Government investigated the Bossano led GSLP? They've had 16 years and access to records.

    Or maybe they have and found nothing.

  27. Anonymous at 12:33 or X-man

    Do not show your ignorance an illegality need not be criminal :) I did not get TAT off the air. It need not have been taken off the air. It just needed a balance panel of guest speakers. Yoy attribute too much influence to me :)
    It is nothing to do with los inglese ... more propaganda ... It is to do with the Constitution and law. As for King ... lompuse ahi el GSD no?

  28. anon @12.05 the GSLP has pledged an "anti corruption commission" backdated to 1988. does that set your mind at rest?

  29. Although I do not excuse shortcomings in the governance of our City, the recriminations levelled at the present and past Gibraltar governments mirror those of all western countries. "Democracy" is still imperfected and too many people are able to get into positions of power through fakery and pretence. Part of the solution lies in voting with discernment and discrimination. Meanwhile we must ensure that the political circus now in town does not damage the common interests of Gibraltarians. I do not agree with you Robert that: "there is no law that allows the Government to build an air terminal". The Civil Aviation Act 2009 makes specific reference to the air terminal and the government's rights and obligations in relation to it. The law therefore implies a power to repair, improve and if needs be relocate and rebuild it. To my mind there is no doubt that the government had the power to build the new terminal. The question which needs to be addressed is how it came to cost €75,000,000. This question must be determined in a way that does not undermine Gibraltarian title and authority over what is after all disputed territory.

  30. Ahu Robert la que esta armando con los GSD illegality is an illegality full stop, if there has been any illegality in the GSLP era or in the Palomo era that is all history and water under the bridge ahora estamos aqui mirando hacia el futuro y the fact that something is illegal cannot be swept under the carpet porque los sloppies may use it against us.
    Anyway despues de escuchar al nino figueras decir que lo del eastside bunkering was all un montaje para el extra lane en la frontera that is enough ammunition para que los sloppies nos pongan de ropa de pascua!.
    Let us go back to basics , has this Govt done things illegally and then tried to correct them by passing backkdated legislation.....I think yes, more details to follow.

  31. What's all this about TAT?? Has the GSD prootional hour been axed from the GBC schedules??? It was on air only a week ago wasn't it???

  32. X man 12;20-I am not going to go into a 20 year search into who built what and how, today, now ,we may have an Airport that has been built illegally and we cannot just ignore that.
    There are numerous legal repercussions to this from the panic that the Insurance Company that is insuring the Terminal will have tomorrow morning to the complete panic that Caruana and his Justice Minister will have tomorrow (or knowing Danny tonight) going through the pieces of legislation that Robert has quoted.
    This is refreshing stuff and shows that democracy is alive and well in our town we cannot just ignore the matter because it does not suit us at this political juncture.This Blog has not just been launched to comment on the elections it is a forum that has existed for a period of time to highlight the issues that concern the Gibraltarians who value democracy so we cannot just walk away from things like these, it would do a disservice to our community and more importantly to the basis of what a free democratic country is about.
    If you do not want this there is always Iran,Algeria or Syria still standing to live in (but not for long !).

  33. GSD did not investigate the GSLP illegalities so as not to bring negative propaganda after the Bossano led GSLP put Gibraltar on the verge of social destruction.

  34. Anon@12:33

    You may remember that Mr Caruana said that "there will not be a witch hunt" during his inaugural speech in 1996. Instead he got on with the development of Gibraltar.

    By the way, it is the sanitised state of the economy that the GSD Government has created that is allowing every GSLP/Liberal candidate that has addressed the public to promise a whole variety of spending projects.

    Not one of them has stated how they will address the growth of the economy in order to finance these projects.

    It is a shame that we do not have a law that requires an audit of any electoral promise made by a politician or political party manifesto before it is put to the electorate.

  35. Robert
    Thanks for the this new and other posts and for having the balls to publish them.........all knowing who you are and what you look opposed to us.............the El Joyce,otro con huevos!
    Anonimous because of fear!.........whether we want to admit it or not!..........if we had the total garantee that the GSLP was going to win the election,more of your reader wouldn't have to hide behide the anoymity.
    For the lay person like myself your contributions and the response from others in the know are both educational and bring some like me closer to the workings of our system.
    What is the point of having electoral reforms if the general public.......people like me don't have the time or skill to read over a mountaion of documents to extract,the essence of the reform;which professionals like you can condense for us.
    The personal attacks against you are totally unjustified.
    It cannot be easy to defend you priciples when you have your sister in the PDP and your cousin as the CM and some other members of your family in politics...........and still have the balls to publish your blog.....risking to become MR unpopular for the next four years should the GSD win the elections.
    I hope your talents are not wasted when we go for change on the 9th.

  36. anon 11:05

    Fact: Dilip is not the Accountant General.

  37. the nazi label,i will take it as a joke from you! definetly not a nazi maybe it comes under music though my idealogy is of the right.Not everyone is of your idealogy flying from right to left.

  38. First we had Disciple X, now X man hopefully PRC will be the next X chief minister...

    Rock Ape!

  39. Charles Gomez

    I disagree, I specifically checked the Civil Aviation Act 2009. It does not deal with the provision or construction of an Air Terminal. It deals with running and administering it. You yourself admit that , in your opinion, any power is implicit only ... not good enough, in my opinion, my learned friend. You are seriously suggesting that such a large project can be undertaken in Gibraltar with an implied power? Have a look at the Channel Tunnel Act 1987 of the UK by way of example of the explicit powers required for such projects in the UK ...

  40. RV,

    Another thought provoking article. But before I continue I should apologise if my comment is excessive as regards words used but this is an interesting article which requires IMHO additional clarification :)

    Previously, a LW comment suggested that your pen is far mightier than the sword. Indeed, I couldn’t agree more. However my only concern, therefore, is that the written word when used so accusingly must be tempered with far greater restraint. Swiping a sword for the sake of it, can quite easily be as damaging as the swipe at an enemy

    Your article will no doubt create a flurry of comments that will ensure we get the twist to your argument which is that PRC cannot be trusted or is prone to illegal activity etc., etc. . Even though this may be one of your final objectives in this exercise, I find it surprising that no Political Party has picked up on these nuances of law which you have so eloquently provided us with. Call me a cynic if you want, but I’m just wondering whether you are being “wound up” surreptitiously by others for the sake of creating a frenzy of irrational back talk by those who know no better.

    If that is not the case then I and the rest of the electorate will expect the other Parties to quickly come out and speak out of this illegality otherwise I will suspect that they do not agree with your legal opinion or do not want to pursue this line of questioning! This would ultimately then leave you out in the cold and with another crusade to embark on. One that cannot and should not be shelved lest it should happen again with future Governments! Forewarned is forearmed.

    As regards the substantive matter of your article this may be logical, in your mind, but I am afraid I lost you on the bit when you said:

    “I can only answer this question with a "NO". First an Appropriation Act only authorises withdrawal of expenditure and not the doing of any act.”

    Unclear! The fact that monies are appropriated for the Improvement and Development Fund would suggest that this money is destined for Capital Works. Am I therefore correct in assuming that your argument would suggest that no Capital Works be carried out unless approved by Parliament?

    This second part requires further explanation:

    “Second, I would refer the reader to the words that I emphasised in bold in the immediately preceding paragraph. Only expenditure that is "... of Gibraltar ..." can be authorised by an Appropriation Act.

    Are you suggesting that Capital Works paid out from the Improvement and Development Fund is not expenditure “of Gibraltar” even if it has been appropriated from the Consolidated fund for the purposes of infrastructure for Gibraltar?

    This other bit require further explanation for us non legal persons. Would you be so kind as to clarify this next section.
    “How can the expenditure on the illegal and so ultra vires construction of an air terminal be " ... expenditure of Gibraltar ..."? It cannot be precisely because if it is illegal it is not "... for Gibraltar ...". If I am right (I believe that my legal analysis is correct), then, the inclusion of any expenditure in the Appropriation Act for the Air Terminal is an attempt to fund an unconstitutional act and so also illegal and ultra vires.”

    RV, my apologies if I am asking too much of you on a Sunday but I am sure you will not object :)

  41. RV,

    Rock Ape,

    Very occurente Rock Ape... lololol

  42. RV,

    As expected the uprising has began with the illegal issue...

    No surprises there even though if we now have Mr.Gomez disagreeing with you. I wouldn't be surprised if other lawyers have different opinions.

    I suggest that the lawyers i.e. the legal experts, unwrangle this particular issue before others jump on the illegality bandwagon...we could be making a fool of ourselves but then, mobs usually do.


  43. Disciple X

    Fair points to make that i will enlarge on.

    Whatever twists others give my words is for them not for me. I would remind you that the campaign run by the GSD was far more accusatory and in a far more direct way than anything I have written in this piece. I am giving my opinion as a lawyer. I suggest that an argument based on law be made against me. If I am persuaded I will so say. For example, I am not persuaded by the argument made by Charles Gomez. Whether or not other parties take up the point and whether or not I am left on my own irrelevant to the opinion that I have expressed. i welcome being corrected by a legal argument as opposed to arguments of expediency.

    I assure you that I write my thoughts and opinions. I am not being wound up by anyone, I assure you that it is unnecessary to wind me up. You would know this if you knew me well. I am my own man and have always been my own man.

    On your first point an Appropriation ACT is what it says it is a law that allows withdrawal of monies from the Consolidated Fund and nothing more. It also allocates it for a specific purpose. It does not authorise anything further so it can authorise the doing of anything that is outside the law or ultra vires. Yes I am precisely saying that no Capital Works can be undertaken without the authority of a law. If you check the Public Health Act you will see that many Capital Works, for example relating to public highways, are specifically authorised. to be undertaken by the government.

    As to your next point, yes you are right in what you say. It is unconstitutional in the sense that it is outside the legal power of the executive arm of government to do anything that is not authorised by an Act of Parliament. How can it be for Gibraltar if it is being done outside the law?

  44. X-Man

    I have no published your last comment because it is defamatory and also personal and nothing to do with politics. I think you need to do some careful thinking and reply to my blog on substance not emotion, accusations, insinuations and irrelevancies.

  45. Disciple X

    It may well be that other lawyers will have opinions that differ from mine. I trust that they will substantiate such opinions with law. I assure you I have double checked my opinion with other lawyers.

  46. RV,

    A ver si me entero....

    Monies transferred out (appropriated) from the Consolidated Fund to the Improvement and Development Fund during any Financial Year must be conditional for specific works and approved by Parliament. (Goverment majority I presume!).

    If it is passed then it is legal. No?

    Can monies be appropriated over a number of years with the intention of having a kitty for a future project?

    How so far?


  47. Disciple X

    I have not said that ... these monies must be spent on matters thatare authorised by law. I understand that appropriations are annual.

  48. X-Man

    I have no intention of having an argument with you ... stick to the debate and your comments will be published.

  49. RV@17:38


    Permit me, as a layman, to express a legal opinion.

    IMHO the Channel Tunnel Act 1987 was necessary because the construction of the Channel Tunnel required the ratification of a treaty between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the French Republic signed in 1986. It also required provision for enabling the roads in Kent and railway network in the South East to be improved.

    I am sure that, in the UK, it would not need an Act of Parliament to build a hospital e.g.

  50. Maybe this matter can be debated in the Leaders Debate on the 7th December 2011!

  51. RV

    Apologies for the bother....

    You say:
    "... these monies must be spent on matters that are authorised by law."

    Am I correct in assuming that approval of an appropriation bill by Parliament is legally binding?

    If that is the case then there is sufficient legal authority to permit the GSD Government to use the monies to construct an Air Terminal.

    Unless of course what you are saying is that any Government must declare what these monies are destined for.

    You also say:

    "I understand that appropriations are annual."

    I'm not quite sure on this one!

    This is so interesting... :)

    PS. For the purposes of this blog, I hope I don't get confused with X-man!

  52. RV

    You say:

    "I assure you I have double checked my opinion with other lawyers". Hmmmm....wound up perhaps?

    Just Kidding...Mind you I wouldn't want your credibility tarnished because other lawyers give opinions in closed rooms. Lawyers who so far have remained silent!! (so much for lawyers worth thier salt).

    I hope to hear from more lawyers in the Local press regarding this issue!

  53. Anonymous at 18:46

    I do not agree with your analysis of the Channel Tunnel Act, your reference to the inclusion of power to enhance roads and railway networks in Kent disproves your own hypotheses.

    As to hospitals in the UK see for example section 87 of the National Health Service Act 1977 that authorises the Secretary of state to acquire and USE land for the purposes of the health services.

  54. Disciple X

    In the simplest terms my opinion is that monies cannot be approved for withdrawal from the Consolidated Fund if the purpose for which it is to be applied is not purpose that is authorised by an appropriate law. You cannot spend public money for an unlawful purpose. Therefore whilst the appropriation may be legal its purpose may not be permitted by an appropriate empowering law so the money cannot be applied for that purpose. That is my opinion anyway.

  55. Disciple X

    In the simplest terms my opinion is that monies cannot be approved for withdrawal from the Consolidated Fund if the purpose for which it is to be applied is not purpose that is authorised by an appropriate law. You cannot spend public money for an unlawful purpose. Therefore whilst the appropriation may be legal its purpose may not be permitted by an appropriate empowering law so the money cannot be applied for that purpose. That is my opinion anyway.

    The lawyers that I checked my opinion with did not know the purpose, so no I have not been wound up. Lawyers will always have differing legal opinions that is why we end up arguing in court :)

    My reputation will not be tarnished. I have given legal opinions of this nature to financial institutions that has led to governments changing the law to gain appropriate legal powers to undertake proposed transactions :)

  56. I suppose that the GSD in their omnipotence over the past 15 years have not only made this mistake but many others.The only way justice will be made and seen to be made on all of these matters is when the GSD loose the elctions on the 8th December 2011.The perceived immunity of several ministers and their cronies will cease to exist and the Investigations will go into overdrive.
    Robert you may be worried that the Airport was built illegally I am worried that the Millions of pounds, allegedly paid to friendly consultants, were also paid over in contravention of EU law. A lot of work coming your way Lawyers on the 9th December 2011 and a lot of worrried people having sleepless nights in the GSD camp.

  57. Off to buy a book on Law for dummies!
    Will later exchange for Economics for dummies!

    Rock Ape!

  58. RV@19:09


    The improvement of roads and railway networks required the issue of compulsory purchase orders and planning permission exemptions. Difficult if not enabled by an Act.

    I have no idea whether our Government has blanket powers to use our land to build an air terminal a leisure centre or a sports centre.

    Meanwhile, I bow to your superior knowledge.

  59. If lawyers can't come to a verdict as it looks like it.illegal or not illegal guilty or not guilty, its a case for judge judy or de buena ley.

  60. Anon@19:47

    If Robert is right and the air terminal has been built illegally does it not beg the question, where has the GSLP/Liberal opposition, with their sprinkling of lawyers, been all this time?

  61. Anonymous at 20:15

    Different point and not the reason why a Channel tunnell Act was required ... read it.


    Lawyers do not decide verdicts, legality or illegality judges in court do after hearing arguments from lawyers based on the respective opinions reached by lawyers on each side of a case.

  63. RV,

    Anon 19:47

    Steady on lets not get ahead of ourselves. We must wait and see what the other Parties come out with in relation to the legality or not of the construction of the Airport!!

    Plenty of lawyers in the PDP and Alliance for them to come out with some opinion.

    Must wait and see/hear. My gut feeling is that none will contest it and we'll just hear legalistic platitudes and mumbo jumbo which will make no sense to the electorate at large.

    But then again I might be mistaken :)

  64. Bueno, we'll have to knock down the airport until we get our legalities right. Que pena con lo bonito que era........

  65. RV,

    Time for my wine... I hope my drinking partner is in and reading the posts. Will expect to hear his choice of wine today ;)

    My selection this week is a Marques de Riscal 2006 (Reserva).

    Au revoir

  66. One thing is for sure, where there is smoke there is fire and the Airport is causing a hell of a lot of smoke.It may be a good idea to get an Opinion from a Planning QC to check it out for all of us.Robert do you have any friendly QCs in the UK who may wish to provide a definitive Opinion on this one pro bono?.
    The timimg is quite interesting because if you can get this opinion before the Leaders Debate this could be a hot topic for the three Leaders to decide...better still get Figueras to debate it with Cortes , we need a laugh every now and then and Figueras is turning out to be a beanish (Mr Bean) character in the Campaign!.

  67. Robert, the civil aviation act does include the following

    'together with any present or future Air
    Terminal Building and any other buildings and appurtenances in the said
    area, which area is more particularly delineated and coloured pink on Plan-

    I'm not a lawyer and neither have I seen the refered to plan but this part of the act would seem to signal an intent and authority to construct a new terminal.

    Can we have a new blog Rob, I like the new terminal and it's time you gave this one a rest.

  68. Anonymous at 20:57

    Indeed it does provide that ... and?

  69. RV i see you didn't get the yeast of my comment,the judicial technicalities my learned friend was not the path i actually meant but the simple question of illegality were lawyers can't dicifer law hence the judge judy o de buena ley as this will never reach a court room.hope this clears my comment

  70. Robert, I love your condescending attitude to those not of your profession, you should have stood as an independent, you'd have fit right in with the rest of the baristocracy. I was surprised you didn't put your name in the mix for with the GSLP although not much chance of getting into that closed shop.

  71. ...and? you're the lawyer Robert, hoping you could tell me!

  72. DX@20:49

    Disciple X

    I could't be bothered to slip down to the cellar so I, like you, am settling for a good quaffing liquid.

    Mine is a Protos Reserva 2003.

    Enjoy :)

  73. Anonymous at 21;18

    Well what you quote does not detract from the argument that I make is what I meant ... my apologies I misunderstood your comment.

  74. Robin,

    I think your latest missive is a distraction, and somewhat irrelevant. The fact is that the airport is built, the money is spent, and we somehow have to move forwards.

    You had a big chance to make an impact on the way Gibraltar is governed, and to improve our democracy. Sadly, for whatever reason, you moved back from the CIR, to sniping from the sidelines.

    PS I wouldn't vote for any of them as things stand.

  75. RV,

    Whilst having my first sips of my preferred nectar, the following just occurred to me.

    If Lawyers think or opine that the law has been "broken" are they bound by professional rules to disclose or divulge this breach?

    If not, do they become accessories to the unlawful act. (Hard to prove and enforce :)

    And if thats the case... the mind boggles with the consequences.

    Hmm... maybe its just the wine playing up...

  76. Robert who is this 'gentleman' from the Facebook Gibraltar Politics group?

    He's very nasty to everybody there, but he seems to be going out of his way to be extra nasty to you.

    Would you know?

  77. RV,

    Anon: 21:19 aka Drinking Partner

    "Quaffing liquid", "cellar".... Stooping to my level,... lol... Is there no limit to your polite rudeness. (There's an oxymoron for you!)

  78. Robert, Charles Gomez must be right! Where are the powers to build schools, hospitals, prisons, housing, club house, office blocks, to amply civil servants, to buy vehicles and equipment, to build roads and create green areas etc etc etc. they are all implied by logic and law. The funding and cost of the airport termninal might be a typical Caruinesque pig's dinner but the government of Gibraltar obviously has the power to build an air terminal and to say otherwise is dangerous.

  79. Anonymous at 21:32

    It is not a distraction it is the fundamental point that I have made throughout the time of this blog ... it is the primordial example of lack of accountability, transparency, open government and democracy!

  80. Disciple X

    The answer to your question is first no and second an illegality does not equate to a criminal act.

  81. Anonymous at 21:37

    I do not have a clue who he is!

  82. you may not approve of the currnet level of accountability, transparency and open government but I'm afraid they are on a par with most other democracies and about as good as it gets. Moreso for our democracy where we at least have good electoral turnouts demonstrating popular engagement. How is our democracy any worse than those others around the world? This is about as good as it gets. Its not utopia but I don't think you'd like utopia Robert, wouldn't be need for lawyers for a start.

  83. Shock Xorror

    Really? So why do we need a Parliament at all then? But for example for schools look at the Education and Training Act which authorises the establishment of schools. On parks and green areas see Part X of the Public Health Act. These are just two quick examples ...

  84. 20;57-Yes the Civil Aviation Act section 29(1) does mention the Terminal or future Terminal but that DOES NOT mean that the Section authorises the government of the day to appropriate funds to do a building, there is a fundamental diffference between mentioning a matter and seeking to finance it through that mention.
    see Laws of Gibraltar online available to all.

  85. RV,

    I refer to the penultimate paragraph in your article.

    Are you suggesting that if it is proved that an illegality has been committed, that the Principal Auditor and the Financial Secretary are liable too?

    I don't think this is going to sit well with Civil Servants especially at the top echelons!

    Y ya me callo... ;)

  86. Charles Gomez, as an infrequent contributor to this magnificent vehicle for opinions that I am, I must take my hat off to you.

    Candidates like you are thoroughly missed!


  87. Robert dear boy you seem to confuse governmant and parliament.

  88. RV,

    I never used the the phrase criminal act!!

    Unless of course unlawful act is not the same as illegality.

    Aqui se aprende a empujones...

    Thanks for he clarification

  89. Xock Horror

    No I do not ... Parliament makes the laws, Government cannot act without authority granted to it by a law ... it is one of the principles of the Rule of Law ... read my blog again it is explained there.

  90. WITH RESPECT ROBERT you are not making sense. If there is power to run and administer a terminal how does it come to be there in the first place by divine intervention?

  91. Robert, una preguntita pero una buena...quien te ah dicho que el aeropuerto eh un ilegal terminal?

    Porque te pregunto esto? Porque parece que te has dado cuenta ahora...if my mind serves me well it has been a construction site for what...2 years?

    Taking into account that you bring other issues to light in your blog, why this now and not when the development commenced?

    Another question: What are the potential political repercussions for us as a people, after Mr Figueras' mention on GBC live, of using the east side bunkering as a bargaining tool with spain for a third lane? This approach worries me. Is he so reckless and keeping to a memorised script that there is no room for common sense? Seems like the puppet master has found a new toy.

    After such a performance and openly talking an tv of using a bargaining tools with Spain, it seems like the GSD is no longer "the steady hand on the tiller" that we need for rough times with the PP. It seems like they just made it worse.

    The chosen one 773

  92. So when the act was read, did no one in opposition challenge the concept of a new terminal in the future and ask if this was implied by the act.

    It seems the opposition keep on missing the niceties of the laws being passed beneath their very noses. Or perhaps they don't think this would be a wise challenge because to have done so might hamstring the present and all future governments.

    This does not excuse acting outwith the law but the law should be tightened to rule out this possibility

  93. Robert you are a lawyer. Is it possible for a candidate to withdraw in favour of somebody else? I ask because after Selwyn's monumental exposure of GSD stratagems it may be that we want Fabian Vinet back,

  94. Anonymous at 22:35

    nadie me lo ha dicho ... I have a brain and I use it.

    I have written about the Rule of law countless times in this blog for many months. Go to the "search this blog" box at the bottom of the right hand column. Type "Rule of Law" in that box and wait to be surprised. I had actaually not turned my attention to this aspect of the Air Terminal issue until recently.

    I did not hear Selwyn say that. I have not analysed the political repercussions but it does seem to be a very bizarre posture for the Government to have taken and even more bizarre that Selwyn should publicise the rather weird tactic. What precisely east side bunkering has to do with a minor concession like a third lane leaves me rather perplexed.

  95. Anonymous at 22:51

    I am afraid not , nominations for candidates at the election closed on the 17th November.

  96. May I suggest that this is published in the local newspapers for all to read

  97. Try and get to watch the Debate , it was the Environmental Debate where Faller/Cortes/Figueras appeared.Figueras in a moment of utter desparation and trying to make some headway on the extremely superior Cortes blurted out,to the shock of many of us,that the Eastside Bunkering was never really going ahead and that the GSD Govt had merely used this threat of bunkering to annoy the spaniards and to use it as a bargainning chip in order to get another lane at the Frontier.
    But wasn't the lane agreed at the Triparite or was Caruana not telling the truth?
    I am SHOCKED that the GSLP and the PDP have not hammered Caruana on this one yet, even the PP have picked the comment up in Spain.
    Vaya con el Figueras menos mal que se acabo el GSD govt porque con Figueras we would have screwed up royally.

  98. hahahha buena Selwyn!!!

  99. Calling Panorama and the Gibraltar Chronicle can you both pick up the Figueras story it is a matter of national interest and thus Mr Caruana should explain to the whole of Gibraltar what HIS Mr Figueras meant (at the Environment Debate) by saying that the Eastside Bunkering was never really going to take place and that it was merely a ploy to get an extra line at the Frontier as a bargaining chip.
    Did Mr Caruana not think that the residents of the Eastside and users of those beaches,the Bunkering Businesses,the Gohns ,ESG Groups etc, were owed some honesty from the person supposedly running Gibraltar with a safe pair of hands.
    What about UNITE will they comment on the fact that many of their members have been led down the garden path by Mr Caruana's Eastside Con? Mr Sisarello should come out publicly and condemn the GSD Govt for misleading the UNITE memebers into believing that the Eastside Bunkering was going ahead...Don't you think?.

  100. The difference between the sacarello debate and the GBC environmental debate is that Figueras cannot use the "I'm not in the executive" excuse anymore.

    So what did we get in return when Peter agreed to allow the spanish professional fisherman to fish in our waters?
    At least the moroccans in Larache get a percentage of the catch......y aqui £4 el kilo de jurels!

    How come the spanish government has not objected to the construction of the terminal,when they claim that the land upon it has been built is spanish soil?
    And wasn't this project originally being funded by the EU.
    veremo ve que ma sale ante de el election.

  101. En ese debate Cortes overacted. He was very nervous and agressive. Seemed he was acting in a play de third rate. Shouting and being downright rude.

    On the other hand Figueras was cool,calm and collected.

  102. Quill
    Does all this lso apply to the new hospital...and can someone explain why in the public accounts regarding the hospital there is an annual payment of £4.5M as Rent. Rent for what does Gibraltar not own its very own hospital?

  103. 1;04; You are repeating Parrot Fashion what you said in the last blog,we dont care who was cooler Figueras or Cortes (thou Cortes was miles ahead) what we care is what was said in the Debate y que el Figueras METIO LA PATA con lo del EASTSIDE CON revelation.... Cortes anyway was much more competent that Figueras ,that point is fact, but that is irrelevant now what is important is what came out of the Debate.
    PLEASE PLEASE someone pick up this story it is a GSD SCANDAL!.

  104. Here we go again. Change of tack as usual. Deflective tactics yet again.

    Its the airport not Figueras!!!

  105. Que pronto se asustan el GSD.
    They say Dr Cortes was aggressive but when the CM goes into overdrive in parliament or in an interview, reducing interviewers to tears and calling whoever had the audacity to stand in his way, anything and everything under the sun, its perfectly alright.
    If My Figueras had had an opportunity to hit back with facts and figures, in the same way as Dr Cortes had, time and time again, they would be celebrating the debate victory of the century.
    Alas poor Mr Figueras was way out of his depth, not only against Dr Cortes, not only only on the subject of the Environment, but also as a potential minister of Government.
    Frankly his demeanour was not that of cool, calm and collected, instead he came across as detached, tense and nasty in an attempt to cover up for his shortcomings.
    In light of this, we can understand how he lost his head.

  106. Fine pero can someone pick up the EASTSIDE BUNKERING CON story please, its a SCANDAL.

  107. 9:12-I agree its the Airport not Figueras pero el slip up the Figueras con lo del Bunkering is worthy of comment.It is not every day that a revelation such as this one comes out during a campaigning week!.I agree its a scandal that is worthy of further investigation.

  108. I think posters to this blog should stop being so hard on selwyn, its not as if didn't have the bolicking of his life the following day. Someone even mentioned replacing him with Fabian V, as if this gentleman would accept the invitation. He's not even going tonight to the rally, opting instead for a farewell night out with his ex-staff at the Housing Department.

    If anybody is going to get the rap for this embarrassing and very serious situation vis a vis the east-side bunkering, it must surely be the architect of the idea himself, and not the bus-boy.

    keep trusting indeed!

  109. I really don't understand all this Figueras bashing going on here. Unless its motivated by some Gslp henchmen. He came across well, some good ideas and realistic proposals. Seems he will be able to handle well all the different points of view (and egos of the NGO's).

    Cortes on the other hand seems a bit of a militant expert. Yeah he might know the name of every plant under the sun but can he get a realistic and workable policy implemented? I imagine that after a month the man will become a liability with his unworkable and militant ( i know best) views.

    We need a minister who is going to have everyones benefit and everyones view in mind. Not someone who will only appease a small radical minority.

    Going Ape!

  110. An Omnibus says:

    Robert, excuse the diversion from the blog topic.

    Reference the environment debate Cortes came across as someone who can stand up and fight his own corner as a member of a collective and cabinet style government. Figgy seems to be a "yes man" singing word for word from the same hymn sheet as his leader. Take your pick for the next four years: something different or more of the same ?

  111. I cannot believe that the central issue that is the Eastside Bunkering Con is being swept away on the grounds that it was Caruana's fault and not Selwyns. A man has to stand by what he says, Selwyn screwed uo, exposed Caruana as being a liar and the People of Gibraltar need to know this.

    I am not a GSLP supporter and will probably not vote this time round but I cannot sit idly by and watct Gib get hammered by the PP because of Caruana's lies.

  112. Anon 12:02

    Figueras was poor by any standards.

    He started off very well and then when the REAL debate started was taken to school by a very passionate and well informed Cortes.

    Furthermore I do not believe Cortes was overly aggressive, when you feel strongly about something it is normal to get a tad carried away at times. Cortes showed the kind of fire and drive that many of the local politicians seem to lack these days.

    I have stated this many times in the past and will do so again, Selwyn needs to do his homework properly. He was once again ill prepared and was found wanting.

    Cortes 1 Figueras 0

    Ps - The bashing was justified because he is running for office.


  113. It seems evident that there is an issue to research and comment on with regards to Figueras's faux pas, forget about the debate and who said what but don't forget about the FACT that Figueras admitted ON AIR that Caruana conned Gibraltar and Spain with the Eastside Bunkering Scare.
    I recall being on the beach at Eastern Beach this summer and there was genuine concern that the Eastside bunkering could, in a case of an accident,ruin the beach for many Gibraltarians.Gibraltarians,I should add who do not have the economic means to go elsewhere in Summer.There was real concern and fear of it.Now Figueras admits it was a big lie from Caruana , come on ladies and gents is this the Leader you really want, someone who lies to his people and plays little or big tricks at the expense of the electorate?, NO THANKS..

  114. Going Ape-

    I disagree. We need ministers who actually know what they are talking about. Dr Cortes statements last week on GBC were eminently reasonable, made from a position of knowledge and not political expediency. He therefore inspires confidence as a prospective Minister for the Environment.

  115. Could somebody on the forum please confirm or deny the rumour that GBCs Talk About Town has been axed - and if so, what has been the reason given. Thanks

  116. Calling Paco Oliva...... Mr Paco Oliva Gibraltar's own intrepid and talented journalist, please step forward and acomplish this important mission on behalf of the people of Gibraltar: What is the story behind the Eastside Bunkering and what are the facts regarding the legality of the new airport Terminal..................

  117. Anon@12.02 - how can anyone believe that you can seriously defend Figueras, holding him up as a paragon of virtue - referring to him as having "good ideas and realistic proposals" cuando metio la pata hasta la ingle - while attacking Cortes who was passionate and well prepared in his field, suggesting he might not be able to get a "realistic and workable policy implemented"? PLEASE! Who do you think you are kidding? Not even the most radical GSDite can believe Figueras was believeable or strong - in any case, they're probably secretly hoping nobody REALLY believed him anyway because what he actually said was SO damning of his beloved Chief!

  118. I agree with @12.02. Cortes does seem as a bit of a loose cannon, a "mad professor" type. I can't really see him having a positive contribution other than creating endless red tape and procedure. Spending more time caring about his personal enviromentalist "agenda" or "crusade" rather than whats important to the Gibraltarian.


  119. Anon 12.02
    I could not agree more.

  120. Anon@15:28

    I agree. I don't know Mr Cortes personally but he also appears to be short on tolerance and temper.

  121. I also agree. I don't know Selwyn personally but he looked completley out of sorts and even a little silly.

  122. Mr Holliday confirmed what Mr Figueras said about the eastside bunkering in todays debate at lunch time.....its a bargening tool?????

    I think the GSD have got themselves into a deep hole which they can`t get out of with regards to the eastside bunkering.

    Confusion in the GSD seems rampant.

    Rock Ape!

  123. Now Mr J Holliday Caretaker Deputy Chief Minister on the Lunchtime Debate with Gigi and JB admits that Figueras "let the cat out of the bag" on the Eastside Con and even admits that they ordered an EIA report knowing that this con was merely going to be used as a "bargaining Chip" with the Spaniards.

  124. Th GSDites comments on Cortes are unwarranted and ridiculous we are talking about Figueras's cock-up or as Holiiday said at lunch time the fact that Figueras let the cat out of the bag with regards to Caruana's lies on the Eastside Bunkering, nothing to do with Cortes, sorry but we should not be distracted by desparate GSD tactics to side-step the issue.

  125. I hear the Bunkering Fraternity intend to hold a demonstration outside Mac Hall tonight ref the lies on the Eastside Bunkering.
    Who is paying for the unnecessary EIA Report,I hope not the Taxpayers, Caruana and Holiday should from their own pockets , the whole thing was there Con not ours!.

  126. Are we supposed to feel sorry for Figueras? Are we back to the 'politically correct' idea that EVERYBODY has to win irrespective of how poorly they competed? Is this the sort of elected representative we really want representing Gibraltar? I'm afraid that, other than as part of a 'Yes Minister' sketch, it was a dismal performance - and coming out saying how 'honest', 'down to earth' and 'calm' he appeared next to Cortes just confirms how indifensible his performance was.

  127. Crying out loud! If our politicians are weak we poke fun at them (or call them 'gentle and calm' depending what side you're on) and if they come out fighting we call them agressive and unrealistic! So what do we want, for myself I know who I'd rather have fighting my corner - and it ain't Figueras!

  128. In last Thursday's debate Mr Figueras was calm and able to explain what the GSD has done, hasn't done, and what it is going to do. Whether those policies are sufficient for you, I guess will be up to individuals to decide. I agree the East Side Bunkering announcement was extremely odd.

    Nobody doubts Mr Cortes' expertise in the area, or his superior knowledge, or indeed his passion. But there is a thin line between passion and anger, and Mr Cortes was more the latter than the former. I am still unsure as to what specific proposals the GSLP are making (except a ban on smoking which Mr Figueras had to remind him of, and Commonwealth Park.

    It's clear (from this forum) that supporters of Mr Cortes feel he has sort of "wiped the floor" with Mr Figueras. I think this analysis is completely incorrect.

    The people that need to be convinced in this election are those who have not yet made up their mind. We want to hear, not just criticism of the Government, but also an explanation as to what you will do differently. Like I said, Mr Cortes was so intent on "wiping the floor" that he forgot that this election isn't about him, his frustrations or his party, (or even the details in all those papers he was surrounded with), but about voters who are trying to decide who to vote for. I also thought Mr Cortes made one or two comments which were rude, in a personal rather than a policy sense, and unecessary. I didn't like that.

    If you can't even explain what you stand for, then how are you going to convince a person who wants to know what you stand for to vote for you. Hopefully, the manifestos (if we ever see them) will correct this.

    The real loser in this debate was the PDP. What an utterly shambolic performance.

  129. I cannot believe that we are (literally) on the count down to polling day and not ONE of the parties has come out with a manifesto yet - I hate to say it, but this takes the p--s!! As an undecided voter, waiting for SOMETHING to decide me one way or another, the only thing that is being confirmed to me is that none of them 'vale un duro' - come on SOMEONE, give me a reason to vote!

  130. anon @ 17:02 the PDP was shambolic? The PDP may be shambolic in general, but when it come to the environment, Rebecca Faller was more informed than Selwyn.

    You all know he has failed to live-up to the reputation you have invented for him for the benefit of saving the GSD from losing this election. Even Isobel is struggling.

    Shambolic? look in the mirror!

  131. I too felt a bit confused about Mr Cortes Policy, other than the £25m park i really didnt see anything other than bitching about what the govt hasn't done right. Mmmm that" sounds very much like the whole gslp policy. The govt is crap but we don't offer anything (other than a park and e-govt)".

  132. Anon 17:20

    What nonsense.

    Faller was good, Cortes was great and Selwyn was simply abysmal.

    Deal with it.


  133. Quill
    we here how wonderful and state of the art the hospital is but the hospital doesn't even belong to us the people of Gibralar or why is it costing £4.5M every year in Rent. Is Gibraltar renting its own hospital. Please someone explain.

  134. I could not believe el Holiday today confirming that the eastside bunkering was a smokescreen to negotiate with the spaniards,safe pair of hands,more like con artists the GSD.

  135. Que peaso con Cortes, that topic is dead and buried el Cortes se cargo a Figueras punto.We have now moved on to the Eastside Bunkering Con, let out of the Bag by Figueras last week and receiving a full commendation by Holiday today in the Lunch Time Debate.
    The GSD need to explain to all of us Taxpayers why they have spent money on the fake Eastside Bunkering Proposal, by the way UNITE the UNION should also come out publicly condemning the blatant misuse of power by the Govt to the detriment of the workers of Gibraltar.

  136. TEN days..TEN DAYS to go for the elction and NOT ONE manifesto has been published!!!

    Ill be voting cos I feel the need to vote, pero considering la falta de respeto that EVERY party has shown the electorate in still not havinga manifesto ready so close to the election, I am tempted not to vote for any! If they have FAILED in something as simple in allowing the electorate timely access to a manifesto, what other massive failures and moments of disrespect to the people can we expect???

  137. Quill
    What on earth has Cortes got to do with my question about the rent we pay of £4.5M a year for the hospital? Or was that comment not meant at me.

  138. I hope the GSLP and PDP challenge the GSD on the Bunkering thing it is a scandal you are right.

  139. Can we get some comments on the subject of my blog. It goes to the root of democracy in Gibraltar. Let us stop the tribal argument about Costes and Figueras please ... no more comments on that subject will be published ... se acabo ...

  140. Like Lianne or not, she has pointed out the absurdity of Bosanno's proposed "jobs for everyone" scheme.

    That's going to be the silent killer that undermines the GSLP's effort to sway the undecided voters they need.

  141. Anon 21:08
    Lianne has offered the electorate the same as the GSLP but in a more sublte way.......different wording,subsatantial increase for the trainees,more job (real) opportunities for graduates.............almost the same offerings for education.
    What get me is that these scripts are not written by her,how can she talk about 1996 when she was 11 years old then!

  142. Quill
    Quite frankly the whole thread has been completely lost and taken over by political diehards from both GSD and GSLP pouring out trash, twice I have asked the same question and no one is willing to answer because you are all so embedded into your blind fanatism. I felt my question was relative to Robert's Blog on the legality of the Airport funding in that the hospital may also need to be looked atfor the reason stated (if any of you even bothered to take a minute). Therefore until there is some sort of control on the postings of such fanatics I shall refrain from further participation in this blog as it is pointless for others in trying to participate.

  143. Anonymous at 22:44

    I have already said above that I will not allow any more tribalism... I agree with your point on the hospital.

  144. I understand attendance at the Mac Hall tonight for the GSD rally was weak, I hope more people turn up for the Q & A tomorrow there.I agree Lianna is, like Figueras, very immature politically and this will carry on showing the more we see and hear of them as we approach the 8th Decemeber, if I were Caruana I would get them to keep a low profile especially after the East side Bunkering cock-up.

  145. Come from GSD meeting. Absolutely packed. Main hall, Charles hunt and adjoining rooms. Brilliant. GSLP you really have counted your chickens before they have hatched. Caruana super tonight. Feetham brilliant. Netto superb.

  146. Chill out quill,what do you expect ten day before the elections of all elections,with more public debate than any in the past!
    Spearheaded by this blog!
    La gente esta calentita.......after the acabo.........if the GSD win, blog colapse,if the GSLP we have a duty to keep them on their toes for next four years!
    Here on this blog!
    It's not blind's progress.....and freedom of speech.

    Parker Pen

  147. Quill
    Good night had enough.I hope you all enjoy the rest of the blog because it's still going the same way..... nothing whatsoever to do with Robert's blog. Lo siento Robert hay gente para todo y para fastidiar what was an interesting and serious topic. Dios los cria y ellos se ajuntan! Los desmas que nos den parese ser.

  148. anon@22:58 Netto superb? I suppose nobody challenged him on the social services injustices of the last 15 years then.

  149. RV,

    Yes I agree about the need to return to the blog article...but you will also agree that this article is confined to points of law which many of us are not aware or not qualified to comment on. Hence the diversion to other, supposedly, "juicier" topics.

    Anyway, so far today, there has been no mention regarding your opinion about the illegality of the construction of the Terminal. Perhaps it is a bit too soon to get opinions posted in the Chronicle. However, even if the latter does not publish this issue, I would then expect that other journalistic outlets will catch on in order to raise this issue beyond mere speculation.

    RV, I imagine that your opinion is highly regarded in our local legal circles and I am equally sure that other lawyers read your blogs. Would it be presumptious of me to assume, therefore, that you have caused a stir amongst your brethren with this issue?

    I know it is not for you to say what others say or not say but you can at least comment as to what the general feeling is.

  150. Agree anon 22.58, pleasantly surprised tonight by GSD meet.

  151. Mac Hall overflowing tonight. Loads of youth.Caruana superb. GSD ready for 5th consecutive win. GSLP must face fact that they will continue in opposition for the next 4 years.
    When the GSLP old guard retire there will be light at the end of the tunnel for the GSLP.

  152. How can Netto be superb? Did he sing a Flamenco song or something or was he rehearsing for next year's X Factor?. The guy is dull, Feetham is an undecisive ambitious politician y Caruana is an arrogant and completely out of touch Politician.
    Did anyone see the caption on the front page of the 7 Days it reads "Lest we Forget" a phrase used by Holocaust and Black Slavery Musueums to remind people that these things should never happen again.Very appropriate ,I thought, never again the GSD.I can only surmise that the Editor's command of the english language is not good and that is why he wrote "Lest We Forget" next to a huge Photo of Caruana as if saying Caruana NEVER AGAIN....Gerrardo and Cronies Fallo Tecnico!.

  153. Tonight GSD meeting reminded me of 1996 meeting. Best organised and attended since then. Watch gbc sceptics.

  154. Disciple X

    It is unlikely that the press will pick up on this issue so it will probably die a death here, save that the Principal Auditor needs to think about signng off his audit if I am right. It will take a brave and very clever lawyer to give him a definitive opinion contrary to mine. Also the Financial Secretary needs to be careful about allowing further withdrawals of cash for unauthorised projects and/er expenditure ... we will see what they each do. I assure you this issue is not speculation.

    It is interesting to note that no lawyer other than Charels Gomez has argued against my opinion. Charles' view based on IMPLIED authority is weak. He did not come back at me on my reply to his hypotheses. I have had no reaction from other lawyers at all save those who I discussed ny views with before I published who agreed with my opinion. I do not have a clue how well or badly regarded I am by my fellow lawyers but where there is more than one lawyer there is often an argument :) . I can add nothing more.

  155. I tend to agree with Robert as a fellow practitioner who in this day and age of GSD rule prefers to stay anonymous due to possible (thou remote if the GSLP get in) repercussions that the Air Terminal is not a building which has been built in accordance with the Law.
    It is also very suspect that the relevant EU Directives have been brushed aside by the Govt notwithstanding the fact that they have Direct effect in Gibraltar, meaning that even thou they have not been transposed into local law they do apply to Gibraltar.

  156. Bossano's political broadcast on GBC was predictable and boring. This man is obsessed with Comunnity Care. Que pesao ! After he almost destroyed a whole generation of youth with his blatant aiding and abetting of the launch/contraband fraternity,he now wants to create jobs for youngsters !! After five successive electoral defeats he should now have the decency to retire. He seems to think people do not have memories !

  157. RV,

    Regarding the article, I also, (regretfully)have no more to say unless we hear other points of view :(

  158. Anon@23:46

    "that the Air Terminal is not a building which has been built in accordance with the Law"?

    "relevant EU Directives have been brushed aside"?

    Sorry mate but you do not express yourself like 'a fellow practitioner'.

  159. GSD organising Bland coaches to fill up JMH....Hope they are not coming in from Spain.....500 people they boast, they will win for sure......Well, at the hustings in Harbour Views alone the GSLP managed to attract a crowd of over 300, not to mention those watching and clapping from the windows.....At the Piazza on Saturday there was at least 2,000 whilst the GSD Casemates rally was a huge flop.......Keep dreaming!

  160. Last night the alliance delivered their manifesto to my door. I have to say I am very impressed. I await for the others to compare with, but they had better be good as the GSLP/Liberal's vision is going to be hard to beat.

  161. I drove past the patio chico carpark during the rally and it was half-empty, despite it being free of charge at that time. I suppose the GSD still commandeers its most ardent supporters from the nearby affluent areas of Main Street and adjacent streets and lanes.

  162. Anonymous
    29 November 2011 09:18

    The only reason the car park was empty was because all GSD supporters used the new Gibibikes to go to the rally!!!!

  163. The Panorama Poll will bevery telling for both main parties and I presume will put to rest where the undecided vote is going.
    Back to the Airport, if there are EU Directives that have not been complied with could the EU close our Terminal down?
    I presume that the Govt's Consultants would have advised the Govt on ALL of these matters then again are these the same Consultants who advised on the tunnel or rather underpass? What a huge can of worms you have managed to open again Robert , no wonder this blog starts with the words to you of "que te van a encerrar!".

  164. I am an undecided voter but the fact that the GSLP/Liberals have just delivered their Manifesto does show that these guys are there for the people,it is ridiculous that it has taken this long to arrive BUT it is also a condemnation to the PDP and to the GSD for hanging on to the very last minute before delivering their Manifestos.When can I get the other Manifestos? at this rate I will only have time to read the one from Picardo!

  165. RV@23:43


    You say:-

    "It is unlikely that the press will pick up on this issue".

    I hope the Spanish press doesn't.

    Let me remind you what the other Lawyer, namely, Charles Gomez posted:-

    "This question must be determined in a way that does not undermine Gibraltarian title and authority over what is after all disputed territory".

  166. Anonymous at 11:05

    My piece has no relevance to any matter related to British/Gibraltarian title and/or authority over the land on which the air terminal is built. The issue that I raise is purely an internal constitutional and legal issue. Please do not scaremonger on non-issues.

  167. The lack of concern that the airport may have been built illegally is surely proof that all politicans, journalists and the like would prefer to brush the matter under the carpet. If that is the case, there is no hope in hell of any change to the style of government in Gibraltar no matter what party gets in, despite what they may all say in their manifestos (if the GSD and PDP publish any that is).

  168. Mr. Vasquez that's what the Airport Agreement 2006 states exactly:

    "The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain, Mr. Miguel Angel Moratinos, the Minister for Europe of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Mr Geoff Hoon, and the Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Mr. Peter Caruana, meeting in Cordoba on the 18th of September 2006 have agreed the following Statement in relation to the Gibraltar Airport as an Annex to the Ministerial Communique.

    Wishing to enable the enhanced use of Gibraltar Airport for the benefit of the social and economic development of Gibraltar and of the Campo de Gibraltar and improved employment and commercial opportunities for both, on terms acceptable to the three participants (“the participants”) in the Dialogue Forum established on 16th December 2004 between the Governments of the UK, Spain and Gibraltar (“the Dialogue Forum”) AND WITHOUT PREJUDICE TO THEIR RESPECTIVE SOVEREIGNTY POSITIONS AND CONSTITUTIONAL STATUS."

  169. This weekend an event was organised by the YGSD to raise monies for a cancer charity,I believe that using a cancer charity for political ends is tantamount emotional to bribary and completly unacceptable.
    The organisers then go on to say it is an apolitical event , if a political party is organising it,then it is political.

    As an organiser of charity events in the past, I would please ask all political parties to further refrain from mixing politics with the pain and suffering of sick and suffering people.

    Rock Ape!

  170. Where are the PDP and GSD Manifestos ??? Have read the GSLP one and boy is it well prepared and committed,unless the other two are on the same par or better I NOW know how I am going to vote.

  171. I am really fed up with Politics and am loooking forward to the new GSLP Gibraltar on the 9th Decenber 2011.
    The GSLP Manifesto is the last nail in the coffin for the GSD.

  172. 76M euros and final cost of airport unknown!!

    Tunnel pending!!

    Additional flights not possible until tunnel is finished!!

    Does anyone think that the PP will make funds available to build on their side?!!

    Keep trusting...

    On another topic Bossano is quite rightly fuming with rage about the community care. He's explained it in detail. I'd like to hear from GSDites so that I can draw my own conclusions. Any comments?

    Or is it that the more the GSD stays the same the digger they deep their grave.

  173. mejor que £75M lo comamo nosotros y no los gusanos.about time subject was changed we are repeating ourselves esto huele ya.

  174. During last nights phone in on GBC Mr Reyes seemed out of his usual habitat.
    He seemed to be on an adrenaline rush at times,slightly incoherent and on the charge.

    In one of his outbursts he was proud to announce that children could "swim infront of the Mid Harbour housing complex ,go home and have a shower....."

    Well I must say that Mr Reyes need to do his homework before he goes and says those things publically.
    Three main areas of concern are:-

    (a)The law :
    Section 65 of the Port Rules reads,

    165. No person may bathe within the port except at such places as are authorized by the Captain of the Port.

    (b)The amount of sea traffic in the area ,Two rowing clubs, the RGYC , the Sea scouts , and the RGP Marine section.

    (c)The amount of raw sewage emanating from the two storm drains located under Mid Harbour Estate.
    Reports have been made to the Environmental Agency on the latter.

    Rock Ape!

  175. Anon@16:38

    You will find the GSD Manifesto on the following link:-

    Where did you get the GSLP/Liberal Manifesto?
    I could not find it on their website. Must be getting ready for e-government I suppose.

  176. Anon@16:38

    I have found the PDP Manifesto on the following link:-

    Still no sign of the GSLP/Liberal Manifesto online.

  177. anon 18: 14
    You can find the GSLP/Liberal manifesto and other information on

  178. Anon 18:14

    GSLP Manifesto can be read online at:-

    Problem solved.

    Rock Ape!

  179. Anon@18:14

    Grateful for the link.

    Problem is, why can't one link from the GSLP/Liberal website to the 'change' site. All you see on the main site is that the distribution of the Manifesto has commenced.


  180. Anon 19:01
    Gslp website has a link: 2011 elections @
    on the top right hand corner.
    The Gslp website is theirs and not shared with the Liberals,they have their own website, is the election website.
    You should have gone to speck savers!

    only kidding!

  181. Anon 19:01
    Some people are not ready for e-goverment.
    How can we have e-goverment when some people can`t even link from one page to another.
    Step 1:- Click onto
    Step 2:- Top right hand corner of screen click onto
    Et Voila you are in.
    You can also download a copy ...but that will be taught in the next lesson.

    Alternatively simply log onto

    Rock Ape!

  182. According to the GSD manifesto we are the "5th most prosperous state in the world".

    Who came to such a conclusion?

    This just keeps getting better and better! :) lololol


  183. GSD heading for 5th electoral victory.

  184. Seems that GBC news is giving more airtime to the GSLP? Loads of people are commenting about this? E verda o no?

  185. I have not read any of the Manifestos in detail yet but the GSLP is in a better bullet points format than the other two.
    Had to laugh at the GSD New Theatre Royal proposal what a mistake, everyone associates the Theatre Royal with the negligence of the GSD Govt yet they have the audacity to mention it once again.

  186. The GSLP have got the edge on the Manifesto front!.

  187. It is so sad how Isobel has transformed herself into a characterless henchwoman of Caruana faithfully voicing all the pre-rehearsed lines that Caruana has prepared for her.
    I was going to vote this time round for Individuals to include Isobel but now I cannot bring myself to do so...I know her well and I do not recognise her anymore.
    Politics is not for everyone, Isobel, you should have stayed doing Community work where you had an honourable role!.

  188. Have just watched NW and once again I am shocked at the amount of coverage the GSD rally got compared to the GSLP rally, Alan King you need someone to supervise you because you are not being objective.
    Was not surprised to hear Caruana blatantly lie about the Andorra Solution.Please everyone judge Caruana by Googling "Forum Europa-25/11/10 Caruana" Do not watch the whole thing just forward towards the end and there you hear Caruana say clearly in spanish that he would propose the Andorra solution to the Gibraltarians and he would "...not find impossible to even RECOMMEND it to the Gibraltarians".
    Watch it and ask yourself if you really want a liar as your Chief Minister, NO Thanks.

  189. Stunned that FP actually tried to name and shame individuals asking questions in mac hall. Hostile audience or not, how personal can a response get.I'm not on facebook, anyone know what the plonker statement referred to?

  190. The GSLP seem to have a lot of things in their manifesto that they are going to investigate further. Should this work not have been done prior to placement in the manifesto?

  191. RV,

    We're going off the tracks again. RV I suggest you write something on the manifestos so we can concentrate on promises that are going to be delivered..or not!!

    Y despues ..Open house y open bar :)


  192. RV,


    Its not made up..check url below.......just as surprised as you but it's there and not by the GSD surprisingly


  193. Has the electorate noticed how Se Pity doesn't mention de cordoba agreements or self-determination or UN delisting anymore?

  194. RV,

    Airport illegality or not...I'm disappointed....No mention of a Ministry of Winery in any of the manifestos.

    ...Hmmmmm....First miracle of noteworthiness was the conversion of water into wine.

    This will be my crusade...that and lifts for the disabled and elderly from the area outside the bus area by the Naval Ground No.1 taking those unfortunate up to Line wall Road....and a similar scheme by the old USOC pitch carpark (donde ponen la feria).

  195. I must agree with 21:30,it's not the Isobel I know,this is the trouble with Peter...........quema to lo que toca.
    I hope she doesn't stop smiling like Yvette.....
    they say attack is the best form of defense.....
    But she doesn't NEED that!
    Dissapointing political broadcast!

  196. Disciple such you should have the powers to perform the miracle yourself, habia un disciple que se llamaba Peter?
    Wednesday 7th December..........the last supper.

  197. Tonight's Teh Alternatives programme was utter shi**e. As always we have had the "usual" party hardcores from all parties do their usual thing in trying to elevate / promote their leader or bring downtheir rival! Surprised we didn't have the now traditional "Kavener Tapes" mention from the same person this time round! There has also been a lack of real / proper questions too! And Gerard trried his best, but I really think GBC should have opted for an "outsider" as a moderator in the same way the Chamber did with their organised series.

    There ere also a lot of "silly" questions or "non questions" and even mention of individuals! I found it hard to believe that GBC allowed the same people to ask questions time and time again.

    As always, everybody wanted to be down the Mack Hall but not many wanted to ask real questions. It was only the party activists who pretended to ask questions, bar the odd genuine audience member who did.

    Surely, when organising the event, GCB shoudl allocate seats in the Hall to peopel who will genuinely contribute to the programme by way of asking real questions. Party activists should not be allowed to "role play" and tickets going to these should eb limited. The majority should go to genuine menbers of the community who really want answers.

    GBC an idea might be to ask people to put forward questions ahead of the programme and ahead of allocating tickets and then allocate tickets (if not all, a large number of them) to those who have put forward real genuine questions ahead of the programme - that way ensuring that the programme will serve its purpose and avoidinig the embarassment of having to fill time, allow same questions to be asked time and time again, avoid Activists from role playing during the "show" (we all know who they are!", and avoid "silly" or non-questions and personal attacks to be put forward.

    Again, GBC failed to deliver. Politicians and Activists got away with not answering real questions and giving us Real Answers and little material was generated for further discussion!

    What about the whole Bunkering Episode! What about the whole Anodrra question! What about the Illegality of the airport as mentioned in this very blog!! And these are just some of the issues that have arisen in the last few days and concerning one party! Surely gibraltar could have asked BETTER questions during tonight's TV programme. Again, we have only porved that we do not really care and that only the Activists are willing to participate albeit without questioning their own party in a genuine fashion!

    Que poco futuro le veo a Gibraltar!

  198. Picardo was really disapppointing on the GBC TV alternatives programme.
    Nobody in his right frame of mind could possibly entrust Gibraltar to Picardo and the GSLP. It would be sheer lunacy.
    Caruana was outstanding.
    Azopardi boring al maximo.
    Fith consecutive win for the GSD is getting closer.......

  199. anon 23.36 PC did not mention Cordoba because nobody asked. Nobody was interested. People trust PC.
    Cordoba is clearly not an issue.

  200. Isobel dijo toda la verda. Infact she should have mentioned how the Bossano -led GSLP put Gibraltar on the brink of destruction. GSLP never ever. Bossano should have had the decency to retire gracefully.