The ARMANDO LAGRANDE Column

Has Ernie - who is not that wise - just discovered America?

Ernie Britto thinks he has discovered America, oh dear.

There he was, talking about the UKGTA as if it had been invented that day.

You may ask: UKGTA - what's that?

Well, if you need to know it is the high-sounding UK Gibraltar Tourism Association.

What do they do? According to well-informed sources, very little.

This Association gathers quarterly, here and there, because they like to travel and talk about everything and nothing.

Can you imagine an association of tourism girls and boys exchanging secrets, especially at a time like this where crisis is the keyword?

All that is by the way.

Britto, who has been our tourism minister for a short while, gives the impression he has no notion what the UKGTA is all about and how important, or not important, it is in real terms.

It is as if he thinks he has discovered America, when the UKGTA has been about for longer than Britto was acting.

The great land grab

When I heard that the Deputy Governor was a female, I asked myself: But isn't that a male species?

Not any more, I am assured. She is now a woman, a recent arrival from the Foreign Office whose first name is Lesley but nobody seemed to remember what is her surname.

Sorry about that.

It so happens that the Gibraltar Government, now that it is in a semi-independent mode, has removed a chunk of her garden.

Oh dear, that would not have happened in the days of Queen Victoria, would it?

Does this act of cutting the grass from under your feet means that we have, indeed, been decolonised and nobody believes it?

I don't know where she lives and if the Alameda is her garden or not.

What has emerged is that she has lost 200 square metres of garden, which is enough to build 3 colonial size housing units.

Be that as it may, may I ask what kind of a land grab is this?

I seem to recall that the Chief Minister unusually gave a big farewell banquet for the previous Deputy Governor. Was it to thank him for agreeing to the land transfer?

I really don't know. Do you?

Land for free?

More on land. We are often told and reminded of the land, which means buildings as well, that have come Gibraltar's way following the 2004 MOD land transfer deal.

I note that a question is being asked of the Government to say what has been the total relocation costs to date arising out of accepting the land the MOD gave us, but not for free in all cases.

For example, because it is only an example, they give you this and you give them that. Or build them a similar facility to what they have given you, as is the case in the airport area.

So, you thought the land transfer was free in all cases?

And, by the way, in calculating the relocation cost, what yardstick is used?

Let's hope we find out in our Parliament.


Que tortas?

Blimey, estaban algunas tortas aguada, I must say my dear Cynthia.

You are quite right, es que dicen que la metieron en un freezer for I don't know how long, y la cosa no estaba como it should be.

Next year F11 do my own tortas for National Day, es que there is nothing like home cooking.

Aparte de las tortas no hubieron tortas, if you know what I mean, porque I don't know what the police were expecting.

A lo mejor they thought they were in the Catalan country, porque ahi they had their National Day after our own, y quemaron fotos of the Spanish King, banderas and they shouted that the Catalan country was occupied by Spain, so how about that?

It happens every year, según me dicen algunos que están well informed.

Pero in our National Day everyone was well-behaved, which is what everyone I know was expecting.

Of course, blancaflor. It's also obvious that the more we say that we do not belong to Spain, that Gibraltar is ours etc, the more in Spain who will take that as the inevitable truth, verdad?

Claro. I saw in a Spanish paper que puso un perro all dressed up in our colours and it was called un perro llanito, that is to say, they expect everything Gibraltarian que sea como es and we should not be afraid to say so.

Eres una séneca. Y tu crees que cuando venga El Morao he will bring a Spanish flag in his pocket? .

Espero que no traiga un Spanish flag in his pocket" or anywhere else, porque eso crearía un gran mosqueo, as even little boys and girls know.

Y hablando del Cervantes, te abras enterado que los Catalanes están prohibiting the use of Spanish, decia un news que hasta los padres de school children are expected to speak Catalan, so there you are. Say goodbye in English. Eso, in English..

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