GSD Will Win
As all the local political parties and individual candidates for the
next election to be held on 11th Oct 2007 will be producing their
own Manifestoes I just want to comment on a few of their candidates
and some of their policies.
First of all, The GSLP/Liberal Alliance in their leaflet titled
'LOOKING AFTER OUR SENIOR CITIZENS' have promised our local
pensioners £25. Millions to equal the amount paid to Spanish
Pensioners by Great Britain.
Without going into the ins and outs of this difficult issue, it
seems to me that once again Mr.J. Bossano is appealing to the greed
of all those members of our community that he has tried during the
three previous elections to seduce.
As regards his line-up, it seems to be composed of an ill-assortment
of men and one lady Miss. Maribel Chellaram.
In his line-up Mr. Bossano even includes a dietician, Mr. Paul
Balban, so I hope he prescribes for the individual members of his
party a diet of justice, transparency and honesty.
As regards Mr. Charles Bruzon professed and often vaunted beliefs in
Socialism, I find his socialistic beliefs more akin to that of a
'socio listo' than to a socialist. Still, I hope he can reconcile
his religious beliefs and convictions with the membership of a party
with a questionable moral past.
I respect Dr. Joseph Garcia as he is a very intelligent and nice
gentleman but unfortunately in his rush to get into the House of
Assembly he joined forces with the wrong party, in my humble
estimation, if he had held on to his own party without compromising
his position in his GSLP/Liberal Alliance, he probably would have
been the Leader of the Opposition since the 1996 election.
The same applies to Mr.Steven Linares who spearheaded the
demonstration against 'The Fast Launch Activities' in 1995. I would
have thought that a man of his intelligence and courage would join a
party that condemned these activities rather than a party that
As regards Mr. Neil Costa and Miss Maribel Chellaram, they have
little or no political experience as they have only recently
insinuated themselves into the local political scenario.
It therefore appears that Mr. Bossano is once again 'scratching the
bottom of the barrel' leading an Alliance that is bankrupt of ideas
and policies when he himself is 'past his sell-by-date.'
It is a great pity that Mr. Clive Golt, Editor of the 'New People'
the GSLP weekly newspaper, was not offered a place in their
candidature. Everyone in this party seems to have forgotten that
this intelligent GBC presenter, journalist and editor forfeited his
well-paid job in GBC to enter our political scenario in 1996 as a
candidate with the GSLP and all the compensation he received when he
was not elected into government or the Opposition was the editorship
of a weekly newspaper tint does not sell enough copies to provide
this gentleman with the wages he previously received from GBC.
It is also tragic that Mr.C.Golt has not been granted a place to
stand as a candidate for this election, nor is he able to return to
his former job in GBC, thereby depriving the people of Gibraltar of
a very good, seasoned veteran of our air-waves.
Mr. Keith Azoppardi is also a very sad case as he lost his important
Ministerial portfolios when he left the GSD Party after serving as
government minister for 8 years. Although he lacks charisma and
often criticises the GSD Government of which he was a member it must
be very painful for him to come to terms with his decision as the
Progressive Democratic Party has little or no chance of winning this
election and can at best, only hope to divide the voting habits of
I can't say much about the two Independent Candidates. Mr. Charles
Gomez promised us a complete party called 'THE NEW GIBRALTAR
DEMOCRACY.' Where are the members of this party or was he all along
the line a 'one-man-band?'It is very noteworthy of Mr. Richard
Martinez to join the political fray as an independent candidate on
the important issue of family matters, but I very much doubt whether
a 'one issue-man' with no political experience, acumen or grasp of
all the multifarious issues that affects families can ever hope to
get voted into the House of Parliament.
I can only end this letter by endorsing andconfirming the findings
of the last three Opinion Polls conducted by Copyright Ltd, GBC and
'7 Days' newpaper that clearly place the GSD ahead of every other
party or individual to win their fourth consecutive election with a
It appears that, after asking the Chief Minister a question in the
recent GBC election program ‘The Alternatives”, I have been raised
to the position of fully-fledged Political Opportunist. My question
was simply to ask why, if as he says, there was never going to be a
referendum on the issues of the Tri-Partite Talks, did he advertise
to the people of Gibraltar the second lock that secured Gibraltar’s
safe participation in the Talks?
In November 2004 The Chief Minister said:
“Firstly nothing can be agreed – Anything related to Gibraltar –
without the Gibraltar Government accepting it. That’s lock 1. Lock
2, is that, EVEN THEN, nothing can be done unless it is acceptable
to the people of Gibraltar.”
His response to my question was to suggest that I was nothing more
than a political opportunist. Well on a personal level, I must say
that I had a Grandfather who wrote books on the Gibraltar and
Spanish issues. I have a father who has been very public against the
way Spain has historically treated Gibraltar and it’s people. I
therefore had a genuine personal reason to ask a question about an
agreement reached with Spain that I think, and the Chief Minister
suggested, should have been offered to the people of Gibraltar in a
referendum. I’m sorry but this does not seem like political
opportunism to me.
So what do I think political opportunism is?
• Announcing an election a couple of days before the Gibraltar
National Day public gathering and then bigging yourself up in front
of potential voters without offering a voice to the other party
• Accusing the opposition of orchestrating the unacceptable way in
which some of the crowd vented their anger at the chief minister on
• How about sending out letters to people on the housing waiting
list, just as the elections are announced, telling them they are
being given a flat in a block that is not yet under construction?
• Or perhaps just bringing up the past in an attempt to get out of
the debates of the day?
I think the general public knows who the real political opportunist
Louis C Bruzon
´Talks´ lead to fait accompli
Open letter to the people of Gibraltar, once again we shall be
caught up with election fever. Now is the time when every party
promises the moon and when elected forget and carry on their sweet
Let me enlarge, the present administration in particular the Chief
very bravely resisted the pressure to attend the Brussels talks and
I for one joined thousands of our compatriots and applauded his
actions, the main reason being that the chair was booby trapped but
then he engineered the tri-partite talks when not only was the chair
booby trapped but the whole table.
We were led to believe in his party’s manifesto that they were all
in favour of safe reasonable talks with no pre-conditions and more
important that they disputed the misguided thinking by both Britain
and Spain that Gibraltar was a bi-lateral issue.
The wording in the manifesto was for talks, not to sign anything but
talks and after 2 long years of secret ones Gibraltar is presented
with a ‘fait accompli’ and also warned that no cherry picking, this
condition is not only immoral but laughable when both Britain and
Spain cherry pick to their hearts content, one in Europe and the
other with Utrecht.
In between the talks at least the CM had the decency in a TV
appearance to tell not the 51% who voted for him and therefore
supported the party manifesto but rather the 100% of us that
concessions had to be given, pardon my stupidity but I thought that
this works for both sides or better still all 3 parties and what do
we get a ‘Cordoba Agreement’, under which without consulting the
electorate he accepts the Spanish theory that the airport was not
included in Utrecht therefore in dispute, sorry Sir please refer to
the 1729 Treaty of Seville and a very important factor forgotten by
him, i.e when he appeared before the Commons committee of evidence
and when asked, how would the citizens of Gibraltar react to an
airport with two exits, no reply but the usual, Well Yes but may I
take you back to?. Left unanswered but the mere fact that the
question mentioned, citizens of Gibraltar was by inference at
Referendum, where is it?.
Next the Bay of Algeciras comes into play, sorry Sir one more slip
up, as it has been the Bay of Gibraltar since time immemorial and so
appears in Spanish cartography even to the extent that in a resume
of the invasion of Al-Andalus by the Moors they state that this
action was carried out across the Bay of wait for it ‘Gibraltar’.
This is followed by stating in the document the frontier/fence,
sorry once again a misconception because the older generation will
remember, I have proof of it that even in Franco’s days the 80 visit
passes issued by the Spanish Government stated the ‘Southern
Frontier of Spain’.
You now expect the electorate to give you 4 more years in
Government, to I suppose do what you want without consulting
Parliament or the people.
My most important worry is that you are either the cleverest
chameleon in the world or suffer from the Dr Jykle/ Mr Hyde
syndrome, let me explain in August 1999 during the course of a
military event at the Tower of London you said among many things,’
We do not want to lose our British sovereignty and was critical of
the joint sovereignty proposals by stating you cannot share one’s
allegiance´- Contrast this with your pronouncement in 2002 to the
Spanish magazine Hermes, quote ‘ Mr Caruana says that Spain should
‘spoil’ the Gibraltarians a little until the Gibraltarians decide to
lower the Union Jack flag’ end of quote.
With the airport you stated that no concessions had been given
followed by announcing the building of a new terminal alongside the
frontier/fence that dear Sir is a concession of the biggest
magnitude, because in your words if each party maintained its stance
therefore the terminal stays where it is but not content with this
you then singly grant the Spaniards another concession that of not
having to go through Customs and Immigration, in other words what
the Madrid correspondent of one of the tabloids wrote at the time
that Gibraltar Airport was now considered as a Spanish Regional one.
I believe the main thrust of selling the airport agreement was to do
with Schengen and how convenient for all, imagine my surprise on
receiving the following reply from Mr Hoon, quote,’ The Government
of Gibraltar is responsible for Gibraltar’s immigration issues.
However I can confirm that Gibraltar is not within the Schengen
travel zone,nor is Gibraltar Airport a Schengen airport. The Cordoba
Agreement allows for a form of juxtaposed immigration controls
similar to those used in relation to travel on the Eurostar, but
with no Spanish officials being positioned within Gibraltar itself.’
An absolute brilliant exposition from the Minister of State for
Europe with the biggest of flaws, he forgot, intentionally or not to
explain that under the Eurostar agreement between Britain and France
there is a French official at Waterloo and an English official in
Paris, Gare du Nord where is the Gibraltar/British counterpart at
The next flaw with Schengen is that since neither Britain or
Gibraltar belong, all flight to say Paris, Brussels or Milan would
require passengers on arrival to use the non-Schengen desk which is
the norm for persons flying from any UK airport and to this day Mr
Caruana, no F.O. member or Minister has been able to confirm at
which airport in the UK are Schengen officials clearing the millions
who travel to either Spain or other EU Countries. No doubt you will
have a brilliant answer for each of the above and make each of us
look like fools.
Not Accurate on Drugs and Alcohol Abuse
The recently departed GSD Government astonishingly prefers the
minimum drinking age of 18 years; this is of course if we are to
believe the contents of their recently issued manifesto regarding
this important social problem.
If memory serves me well was it not this same GSD Government who not
that long ago uncompromisingly and vehemently defended their
decision in the old House of Assembly to allow 16 year olds to
openly and legally consume Alcohol, was it not this Government who
also fixed the 16 year age limit for the sale of cigarettes to
The GSD now say in their manifesto that they will I quote ‘take
measures to curb excessive youth and underage drinking, we will
consult widely’, end quote.
I have no idea who the GSD intends to consult if elected back into
Government, will they go back and consult with those local
professionals who strongly advised and urged fix the minimum
drinking age at 18 years and even older but took no notice and in
turn went for a more commercial money conscious decision similar to
the one concerning the sale of cigarettes to kids and opted for
their own 16 year old ‘now you’re an adult age limit’.
The GSD manifesto also makes mention of their magnificent and
according to them I quote again from their manifesto ‘comprehensive
drug strategy’ that they have in place, this so called Government
policy document to strategically combat drug abuse which includes
Alcohol and Cigarettes two of the most dangerous and legally
obtainable drugs known, these substances are openly and legally
available to youngsters in Gibraltar at the ripe and mature age of
yes you guessed it ‘16 years’ as I have already mentioned, and all
this thanks to the comprehensiveness and thoroughness of the
Governments well thought out ‘finger on the dead pulse’ Drug
Strategy to combat drug abuse in Gibraltar.
Having expressed my views many times on this important social issue
of drug abuse which is still in serious decline it is unbelievable
to read in an election manifesto such nonsense which can only be
further from the truth or light years from the reality of the
situation and this on such a hugely important community matter of
Gibraltar is so far behind everywhere else in Europe when it comes
to a comprehensive and effective Drug Strategy that I am afraid that
the weak and timid efforts so far in tackling the problem of drug
abuse locally have in my opinion already seriously put at risk the
future health of many in this community. The Government drug
strategy has not considered such important things like up dating 6
year old statistics on local drug trends, a ban on smoking in public
places, increasing drinking age to 18 years same with purchase of
cigarettes to minors, change of licensing hours, substantial
increase in price of tobacco (not pennies as we have seen) create
more smoke free environments, both public and private, offer a broad
range of a sustained prevention and cessation programmes for alcohol
and tobacco users, robust enforcement of the laws and the creation
of a young persons support group programmes.
If at least half of these measures I have just mentioned would have
been implemented I could understand the GSD trumpeting their
lacklustre drug strategy as a comprehensive one, as they have done.
I am sorry to have to say again that the Governments Drug Strategy
has been an abysmal effort and one underlying problem has been at
the heart of it all in that the Government have not taken the advice
of the professionals who I know advised them differently on many of
these important issues like for example the drinking age.
British in British Gibraltar
The Rock of Gibraltar and its half of the isthmus are not British
just because of any past treaties. The isthmus was neutral ground
and many years ago the United Kingdom occupied that half that is now
a Ministry of defence Airstrip, which passes for an Airport. The
whole area and its sea limits are British because of the time that
they have been under the sovereignty and control of the British
Crown, and the Gibraltarian, its British inhabitants, wish to keep
it that way. No international court in the world would judge
otherwise. Unlike in other British Territories its people have never
been denied full British sovereignty rights extending to the British
Isles, and they have never ever wished it to be different. They got
it right in the first referendum in 1976 with a 99plus percentage.
For many years now ambitious local leaders have got it wrong with
their calls for self-determination at the United Nations. Mr.
Bossano, who belonged to the Integration with Britain Party, in his
desire to obtain support from within Spain may have been influenced
by the "Amigos de Gibraltar" and others in Spain. Mr. Caruana, is
being influenced by other considerations, and his motives differ
much from those of his predecessor. The people's only interest is to
continue to be what they are, British in a British Gibraltar, with
no interference from Spain. The duty of the Gibraltar Government
should for ever have been to challenge the United Kingdom to keep it
so. Not a difficult assignment with British public opinion on its
side. In this strict sense most Gibraltarian leaders have left the
The concessions made to the Spanish Government by waiving our rights
to customs control and security control for entry into Gibraltar,
which is outside the Schengen area, impeach on sovereignty of the
Airstrip and endanger that of the whole of Gibraltar. A Minister who
takes it upon himself to do such an act without consultation or
mandate is guilty of political treason. Every Gibraltarian who votes
to re-elect such a person to lead Gibraltar again shares the same
guilt and responsibility from what else he has in store for
Gibraltar. We already know that the Gibraltar waters are indexed for
the next meeting and just like one now hears of the La Linea Airport
it may soon turn out to be true that the Bay of Gibraltar is in fact
the "Bahia de Algeciras" and comprises 100% Spanish waters.
DEFEAT THE G.S.D. - BEWARE OF THE TRIPARTITE TALKS. REMEMBER THE
Rock Firm (War Veterans) Group
Entitled to take part in leaders
In my humble opinion the PDP, as a party, contesting the elections
have every right to take part in the Leaders Debate on GBC.
To say that the PDP cannot participate because they are only
presenting SIX Candidates and therefore cannot form a Government is
pure stupidity and ignorance of historical events.
During the 1969 General Elections for example my party, The
Integration With Britain Party, stood with only SIX Candidates and
the Isola Group stood with THREE Candidates.
We shared in all TV and media events equally, a tribute to Sir
Joshua's Hassan's sense of fair play.
Something this GSD Government does not seem to know anything about.
More importantly in that election the IWBP DID FORM A GOVERNMENT
WITH THE ISOLA GROUP. Together we got the majority in the House of
Who is to say that the same could not happen again?
Is this what the Chief Minister is frightened about? That the voters
will split their votes and the PDP COULD FORM GOVERNMENT WITH THE
Or is it that the Prime Minister does not relish the idea of facing
both the PDP AND THE GSLP leaders who both oppose the Cordoba
Agreement? What an embarrassing scenario it would be for him on TV,
when his double talk about the Cordoba Agreement would be exposed.
This GBC action reminds me of the run-up to the 2006 infamous
Referendum, when the GBC Board overturned an already agreed schedule
on the grounds that the NO Voters had more alloted speakers than the
Yes Voters who happened to be this Government.
The Chief Minister Peter Caruana is said to have influenced the GBC
Board. This led to Mr. Charles Gomez, Willie Serfaty and myself
going to GBC to try to get satisfaction and Mr. Gomez asked the
Chairman that he should resign forthwith.
The 2006 Referendum on the Constitution was a farce and as I wrote
at the time it would have been considered illegal in any normal
election exercise, yet the Chief Minister bulldozed the
Constitution, when 8,000 voters abstained and 43% of those who voted
against passing the Constitution.
When voting in this election the public should not forget about
The independence of the judiciary
This is an issue on which I have written before, since I happen to
be a sucker for Freedom of Expression and Justice I would give my
life to defend this principle and maintain this freedom, so I
therefore agree with the Chief Justice. The Judiciary should be
totally independent of political appointees and interference.
The same goes for the Police Authority, there should be no Political
Appointees there either, I wrote about this at great length at the
time of the drafting of the Constitution, but I, as many other
citizens , were denied a democratic hearing when the Constitution
was still in its draft form.
This is what the public will get if the public votes for the GSD,
split your votes if you have to but don't vote for this team with no
ideology who has recruited three new political converts to their
ranks. Think about this.
There is a huge Democratic Deficit with this Government and a lot of
personal vindictiveness, I know I am one.
Former Minister in Government