The most scrutinised entity in Gibraltar
I refer to an article which appeared in the Panorama on the 28
January 2010 under the headline of
POLITICISING THE POLICE IS NOT A GOOD THING. I tend to agree
with that statement. However that is not what I intend to convey in
I retired from the Police as a Chief Superintendent in 1992 so for
the last eighteen years I have been an ordinary citizen thus I think
I am qualified to judge both sides of the picture.
The Police Service is the most scrutinised entity in Gibraltar. It
is subject to written legal laws and regulations a written legal
disciplinary code It is the only public organisation that is subject
to such strict internal discipline and being overviewed by the
You can be an excellent hard working officer for 20 years plus, and
one night during a violent fracas when you are being insulted, your
family threatened, punched and kicked you lose it for a second and
you can lose your job and your pension. To defend yourself you have
to meet the legal costs out of your own pocket.
As a Police Constable you are on constant shift work, sometimes in
the pouring rain without breaks for refreshments. You can be on
beach duty in sweltering heat whilst everyone else is swimming. You
are lucky if you get one weekend off in every six. Your car is
scratched and I know of two cases where officer’s private dwelling
doors were set on fire, you are assaulted, threatened, insulted etc.
Your children are picked on at school simply because their dads are
policemen. You stop a car with three or four youths in it and all
you get is verbal provocation whilst they are recording the PC on
their mobile phones.
Government departments get nearly two weeks off at Christmas. How
many years does it take a policeman to get a Christmas day or New
Years day off. Police cannot take industrial action they cannot
belong to a union. They are many times not even paid for overtime
they do. It is recorded as hours owed to you instead. The workload
nowadays is overwhelming rushing from one job to the next and the
paperwork OH! THE PAPERWORK.
Personally I do have confidence in the Police. They do not get it
right all the time many times they get it wrong.
According to the survey the public perception of the public and the
confidence in them has gone down. However it is not a one-way system
perhaps the Police perception of the public has gone down as well.
Perhaps it’s the judicial procedural system which is wrong perhaps
it’s the public duty of juries which is also wrong perhaps it’s a
collective failure of the community, the courts and the public duty
of citizens towards the police and our community.
I am writing this letter so that the public can give some thoughts
on a police constables job to realise how difficult it is so next
time they are asked to fill in a declaration they might be more
aware of how difficult the job is.
I do not accuse neither the police, or the public perception of the
Police. We are all one, the public are the Police, and the Police
are the public.
Down a dangerous path
The prevailing mood in Gibraltar today in the view of a great
majority and in particular the working class calls for a change of
Government under responsible leadership capable of restoring social
justice and sound economic politics.
It is certainly time for a change and for a display of courage and
realism in the management of our affairs and an end of appeasing
Since the Socialists predominance ended in 1996 the country's
Political and Social affairs has been precariously balanced. Under
the leadership of Peter Caruana the GSD Government have indulged in
a series of juggling acts to accommodate Spain in the Isthmus by
granting them joint control of the Gibraltar Airport.
There is now serious concern amongst patriotic Gibraltarians that
Peter Caruana is taking Gibraltar and the Gibraltarians down a
dangerous path with his Spanish Policies that can be clearly seen in
the deal made in Cordoba on the Airport.
Certainly no one could be blamed for viewing the airport deal with a
somewhat suspicious eye when we now have Spanish Politicians talking
about the La Linea north airport terminal and the joint control on
the airport which were never mentioned before.
There are certainly serious implications about the territorial and
jurisdictional control over those people using Gibraltar Airport by
When people arriving from Spain to leave Gibraltar will be treated
as if they are still in Spain and those arriving from a Spanish
airport and to a Spanish destination will not go through our
immigration and Customs controls.
They were all issues that were unacceptable to Gibraltarians, when
the airport agreement was reached between Britain and Spain but
rejected in 1987 by the House of Assembly and 12,000 Gibraltarians
who marched down Main Street - but brought back in an underhand
sneaky deal in Cordoba by Peter Caruana.
There is also concern in relation to the Tripartite Forum involving
as it does political implications where issues like financial
services, taxation and other local issues are to be discussed with
Spain - with the support of the British Foreign Office. But that is
a subject in itself which merits critical analysis but it deserves
to be treated separately.
My argument is that all this comes when Spain to say the least is in
an aggressive mood in pursuit of her claim to the sovereignty of our
This can be clearly seen by her attitude in the attitude in the
designation of our territorial waters and the veto by Spain to the
implementation of conventions and international agreements that
Perhaps I should state my views more bluntly: the Tripartite Forum
should be demolished because it involves fundamental principles
which affect the people of Gibraltar against there wishes and is
only a stepping stone for the purpose of advancing to the question
of Gibraltar's sovereignty.
Minister's opinion, 'very interesting and
Very interesting and moving opinion by the Minister of Education and
Training (in PANORAMA yesterday).
I feel that today’s youngsters , world wide are ignorant of the
atrocities committed by one single nation, under the orders of a
fanatic, against persons of the Jewish faith in particular but also
on others who for want of a better cliché did not qualify for the
Although not in any way similar by any stretch of the imagination
but applauding the Government’s initiative in support of this worthy
charity, should not our education authorities prepare a programme
for schools, on our own history, so that in years to come when the
older generation are not about, those who follow will have a better
grounding of the truth and not be subjected to accept the erroneous
propaganda being put out.
Why does the Minister not want to see the
The public need to know how undemocratic this GSD Government is. In
a recent Boat owners AGM we elected a new committee and it was
decided that this committee of five was to try to make contact with
Minister Holliday to discuss our issue of the lack of berths. Once
contact was made, the Minister himself decided that he would only
see three named members of the committee of five. These three named
members in a letter to the committee happen to be two civil servants
and one other.
Why does the Minister not want to see the five democratically
elected members of the committee or even three which the committee
itself decides? The boat owners decided to elect this new committee
so that no one could doubt the fact that the previous committee were
not representing the Boat owners. The Minister now wants to control
the new committee and refuses the other two members to attend
meetings with him. The two members that he refuses to meet with were
part of the previous committee. Where in the world does a Minister
chose the members of the committee that are to attend meetings apart
from countries that are undemocratic? Why does the Minister refuse
to see the whole committee as the democratically elected committee
of the Boat owners?
The actions of the Minister in not allowing the whole committee or
even three chosen by the committee itself as oppose to the ones
chosen by him to attend meetings means that he refuses to accept the
decision taken by the majority of the Boat owners which shows
contempt to all the Boat owners. It is clear that what the Minister
wants to do is to start all the delaying tactics which is what he
has been doing for the past four years. He knows that by meeting
with new people he can tell them the same story he has been telling
us for four long years and even promise them as he did to us more
berths just before a general election. Fortunately this tactic will
no longer stick with the vast majority of Boat owners.
(Member of the Boat owners committee who the Minister refuses to
I know what it feels like to be kept alive by a
I would like to thank Mr Leo Olivero for his article in the Panorama
dated the 13th of January 2010 “Donate Life-The Ultimate Gift”.
It has been encouraging to read his well explained and well informed
two page article. And what he says in it is very very true. I myself
had gone through an organ transplantation, this being a kidney
transplant which was very generously donated by my living cousin and
saving my life, and the process of the operation risking his.
I have and I feel praise for you Mr. Olivero for having raised this
important matter of Human organ donation publicly. This should be of
concern to many because this is something (god forbid) that can
strike anyone, and later a loved one could be in a distressing or
desperate need of an organ. I can assure you that patients awaiting
for an operation for this go through a lot of hardship, a great deal
of suffering and to top it up the uncertainty of either life or
death, whilst waiting. In my case I will limit myself to say that I
had a traumatic and horrendous experience.
The immediate families of patients in this condition also have to
endure the suffering and watching how the loved one slowly
deteriorates by the day. Unless a brave, suitable and compatible
donor comes forward. In many other cases transplant organs in
general come from serious accidents were the unfortunate persons
have died, and have carried a donor card on them.
Out of compassion many families who have lost a relative in an
accident will most of the time take a difficult and painful decision
of giving the medical surgeons permission to have the loved ones
organs removed to save other peoples lives, regardless of donor
I entirely agree with Mr Olivero when he rightly says that locally
we should have an organ donation programme.
I will mention that the above is something that I myself have
explored and asked about in my own little way to my transplant
professor while I was in his care in the United Kingdom after my
kidney transplant. I asked him about the possibility of having in
Gibraltar the UK Organ donor cards for the public in our local
hospital who might wish to have one. And also how perhaps this good
deed could be set up. Verbally he did say to me that it could be
worked out providing the authorities wanted to. He also said that a
hospital jet could be arranged for these deceased organs to be
collected and transferred to the United Kingdom. I said that that
would be good providing consideration was given to a Gibraltar
patient awaiting an organ transplant which was compatible.
When I returned from the UK to Gibraltar I went to see a person of
authority and explained this to him. He was very sympathetic to what
I said, interested too. (But it was just left at that)
Mr Olivero it is very humble of you to say publicly that you have no
problem to sign up to donate anatomical bits of you before your
candle has been blown out. It takes a lot of bravery, and courage. I
am sure that they are many like you out there that would like to
alleviate and cut other fellow human beings suffering, without a
doubt. I can tell you I was on that side. I was a sufferer and I
know what it feels like being kept alive by a machine, and no
prospect of hope. I just keep my fingers crossed I never have to go
through that traumatic agony again.
I would like to quote from an article which appeared back in the
year 2000 in one newspaper.
This is what is quoted in what his holiness the Pope John Paul had
to say on the subject of organ donation at the time.-
“Pope John Paul yesterday sought to lay down guidelines for rapid
21st century advances in medical transplants with condemnation of
human cloning as morally, unacceptable while praising organ donation
as “an act of love”. The 80-year old pontiff left his summer retreat
at Castel Grandolfo outside Rome to speak before an international
gathering of 5,000 transplant specialists, a gesture that understand
how important he considers the subject”.
So there it is how much he valued and encouraged the gift of life to
other fellow human beings.
I congratulate Mr Olivero for having brought up the matter of Organ
transplantation once again. I am sure that there are many people
here locally that may have found your article very interesting and
perhaps of some concern to some. You have certainly made many aware
of the facts. I couldn’t have put your article in better words
myself. Hopefully god permitting, something good and positive could
come about in relation to your article (in trying to help others).
Well done. God Bless.
As President of the Three Kings Cavalcade Committee I would like to
thank all those who took part or in any shape or form were involved
with the construction of the various floats which provided Gibraltar
once again with a splendid cavalcade.
I would also like to thank GBC for their Sponsorship, Inhabitants
Lodge, Miss World Kaiane Aldorino for gracing the parade and Prize
Giving with her presence, The lady Mayor, The Minister for Culture,
Heritage and Sports, His Lordship the Bishop, The Dean of Gibraltar,
The Royal Gibraltar Police and in particular the Traffic Section,
Easi-Print, Piccadilly Gardens Bar for providing refreshments to the
three kings, Kevin Negron and Jaydan Lara for providing transport
for the kings and judges, The press in General, The Judges, The St
Bernard’ s Catholic and Social Club for the use of their premises,
my hard working Committee and other Cavalcade Officials and all
those other persons too numerous to mention, who helped in their own
Finally I would like to thank Gibraltar in general, who turned up in
their thousands braving the terrible weather conditions, such turn
out makes it worthwhile and encourages all those involved to try and
produce a better cavalcade next year.
Eric J Abudarham
The legality of the Isthmus
I found the article in your issue of the 14th January, with the
title “ THE AIRPORT IS ON BRITISH SOIL UNTIL….” It appears from a
research done by the “Europa Historical Society” extremely
interesting. I have never heard of this Society but I would like to
know more about it.
In my recent book “Spirit of the Phoenician”, in Chapter 3 page 154,
I deal with this matter of the Isthmus. During my research I found
correspondence between the then British Ambassador to Madrid, Sir
John Russell who, in May of 1994 was encouraging some form of ‘deal’
on the Airport with this words “in exchange for the surrender of a
legal point that, had never in fact, been Britain’s, the deal would
be advantageous.” He believed that there was an “opinion by
Britain’s Legal Advisors to the effect that if the Spaniards were to
refer this issue to The Hague, the Court would go in their favour”
Russell advised this should not be taken lightly.
I deduced from this that this was of course a deliberate bit of
misinformation intended to weaken the resolve of the Government of
This led me to look into the matter more deeply and seeking expert
advice from a Q.C. whom I considered to be one of the best informed
persons in Gibraltar, I also started digging out old reports from
the Public Records Office in Kew which had been published by the
Panorama newspaper on the 15th December 2006 and dealt with records
going back to November 1966.
The information I was shown and read gave the lie to Sir John
Russell’s idea. The old and recent expert Legal Opinion available
categorically showed that the isthmus was entirely British,
historically, militarily, politically and morally.
What I cannot say is what legal opinion is guiding the present
administration that has bent backwards in a “Cordoba Airport
Agreement” that is far, far worse than the 1987 Airport Agreement
ever was, and which was massively rejected by the People of
The cost of the new Air Terminal should not be measured with money;
the political cost is far greater than the money spent on the
building. This Cordoba Airport Agreement, on which I have written
‘ad nauseum’, has seriously weakened Britain and Gibraltar’s case on
the Isthmus. Time will tell.
In my book I have shown that the ideas inherent in the Cordoba
Airport Agreement were fashioned and planned during a meeting in the
Foreign Office on 19th November 1969!!