One mess after another

Critical comments are already being heard about what many consider to be an unwise choice of an ex-military person as the first chairman of the new Police Authority. It does not inspire confidence that a military person has the right balance for such a post.

It is as if everything connected with the new constitution is prone to being a mess. No one can forget the saga over the Preamble. None other than the ex Foreign Secretary Jack Straw came up with the notion that Britain did not produce Preambular language until after a referendum had taken place, which cannot be described as summer madness as it happened before the summer. He was telling us to vote before we knew what we were voting for.

We then had Europe minister Geoff Hoon saying he would clear up the question of self-determination, but makes it worse! Everyone was expecting that what he said in Parliament about a referendum being an act of self-determination would feature in the new Preamble, but it did not!

Indeed, the new Preamble limits Gibraltar's self-determination - for now and for the future. It is extraordinary that the public should be expected to vote in a referendum that denies future generations their right to further political emancipation.

We then have the Police Bill rushed through the House of Assembly with inordinate haste.

No reference to public participation! Then, suddenly, members of the public are asked to send their C.V.s to the Public Service Commission, as if they were all members of the civil service!

Not only that. But the new law states that a chairman of the Police Authority will be appointed by the Governor acting on the advice of the Senior Appointments Commission from among persons proposed by the Governor and the Chief Minister.

The Governor-that-was Sir Francis Richards left us another mess when, on the day he left, he came out with a joint communique with the Chief Minister naming the person they are to appoint as Chairman.

Since the law states that the Governor will carry out this appointment "acting on the advice of the Senior Appointments Commission", and since no such Commission exists, how can they have acted the way they should have acted?

And since the coming into force of the S.A.C. is dependent on Gibraltar voting 'yes' in a referendum, how can the Governor-that-was behave in such a strange fashion - again, rushing to take decisions at the wrong time. Because not even the date of the referendum has yet been announced! And where is this list they were supposed to come up with?

Since the Governor-that-was said he had found Gibraltar in a mess when he arrived, he will excuse the public for thinking that he has left other messes behind...