Telling the Spanish Ambassador to pack his bags
would cause shock waves
By David Eade
Flash mobs are currently all the rage.
Last week when I was in Rome the Party of European Socialists
organised a flash mob in the Piazza di Pietra to highlight the
gender pay gap.
On Wednesday it was the turn of "For a Humanitarian Frontier" action
group who wanted to hand their letter to the members of the visiting
House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee.
Trouble is I am of the age group when "flashers" were dirty old men
in raincoats. Neither PES nor the action group fall in to that
category but it does bring a smile to my face. Yet today's flash
mobs tend to be about serious business and the situation at our
border is no laughing matter.
The "For a Humanitarian Frontier" is one of the excellent
organisations where diverse groups from both sides of the border
have decided to make their voices heard when the Rajoy Government in
Madrid would wish them to suffer in silence.
I see from their letter it includes (sic throughout) Ascteg,
Defenders of Gibraltar, Apymel, Unite the Union, Fronterizos, CGT,
Gibraltareños y Españoles Unidos, Españoles Residentes en Gibraltar,
Solidaridad amigos Pueblo Saharaui, Plataforma Los Parados, Técnicos
Sanitarios en Gibraltar, UNA Gib United Nations, the VOG and various
housing estate associations plus Radio Bahia, Restauranters, Espacio
Solidario, Sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores del Campo. Comité
Fronterizo and Mi Frontera & Yo.
The letter is too lengthy to detail here but does raise the issues
of the politically motivated and inhumane queues at our border. I
see it also makes the valid point that far more contraband
cigarettes enter Spain via shipping containers from the Far and
Middle East through ports such as Algeciras and Valencia than are
carried across by Spanish workers or others.
The British Government can protest on our behalf and as the Chief
Minister has stated should be tougher with Madrid. Calling the
Spanish Ambassador to the Foreign Office for a dressing down is
largely ignored: telling him to pack his bags would send shock waves
through the diplomatic world and show Rajoy and Margallo that the UK
means business. Gibraltar's Government can protest to London and at
the EU. All are effective.
However, as I have long maintained, the most effective voices are
not those of government but of the people. In the action group we
have EU and other nationals voicing their protests at the third
world tactics of the Partido Popular Government. A Spanish
government that treats Spaniards, Gibraltarians, Britons, EU
citizens, Moroccans and other nationals with equal and utter
Nothing is guaranteed to make the EC, EU and other similar
organisations sit up and take notice than when the people take a
stand. I would also like to see the Council of Europe, which places
human rights as a high priority, lobbied by the action group. Spain
is on the back foot because its human rights abuses are under the
spotlight not only at our border but also in Ceuta and Melilla.
Flash mobs must press their messages home and ensure they are not a
flash in the pan.
No rush to enter Miss Gibraltar
By David Eade
According to the Miss Gibraltar website the deadline has now been
extended to this Friday. However if the website is correct there are
only four contestants.
If my memory serves me correct there have been four contestants for
some weeks. Why the beautiful and talented girls of Gibraltar should
rush forward now when they have clearly ignored the event so far is
anybody's guess. It certainly has not been for the want of
The chance to be Miss Gibraltar and go on to Miss World in London
should be lure enough. Obviously it isn't. The winner gets 5,500
pounds in cash. The organisers have even offered 400 pounds to the
first ten entrants. Clearly that bribe hasn't worked either.
Up for the contest are Kristy Torres (22), Shyanne Azzopardi (22),
Megan Bonavia (21) and Kirsty Serra also 22 who enjoys Law and the
legal system. The problem is that if nobody else enters, not even
me, it isn't a contest at all. The girls might just as well draw
lots as to who becomes Miss Gibraltar and who are her court - the
remaining three - and given her interests I'd led Kirsty be the
I have to say the four girls all look the part and are worthy of the
title and the cash. However, so are many more girls in this age
group who you see on the streets of Gibraltar each day but obviously
they have no intention of entering whatsoever.
So I repeat the question I have asked in previous articles - why?
Clearly the organisers haven't a clue or they'd be queues of girls
wanting to enter to snatch up the title and the 400 pounds. In
contrast we have four girls who wouldn't make a decent queue even if
they brought their mothers along.
There would be a section of people who would say that an event such
as Miss Gibraltar in 2014 is an embarrassment. The world has moved
on. Clearly a Miss Gibraltar with just four contestants is an
Given that Kaiane Aldorino won Miss Gibraltar and went on to win
Miss World in 2009 this contest has the potential to bring good
publicity for the Rock and to promote it to the world. So I
understand the organisers' reluctance to let go of a competition
that has served Gibraltar so well.
Yet it is clear that our young women are not interested and it is
about time somebody asked them why. If they feel such a contest as
Miss Gibraltar has no place in their lives, offers no attractions
and cannot be changed to attract more than four entrants then it is
clearly time it came to an end. It might be a good live show and be
attractive for GBC to broadcast but whereas the Gibraltar
International Music Festival has, I believe, attracted hundreds of
entrants Miss Gibraltar is becoming an embarrassment. Unless there
are at least ten girls it is no show at all: and right now we are
six off even that minimum total.
They must not allow the UEFA dream to become a
By David Eade
Gibraltar is finally in UEFA yet getting in may well prove to have
been the easy bit. We now have to play the big boys and could find
our team on the end of some hammerings. Friday's 4-1 loss at home to
fellow minnows the Faroe Islands show us what is to come.
First up are the European Championships with Gibraltar drawn against
Germany, Poland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Georgia. The
England manager would have gritted his teeth to find his team facing
the likes of some of them.
In away games in the packed stadiums of our opponents it will be a
sobering thought that they hold three times the population of
Gibraltar. So it follows that we have a tiny pool of talent to
choose from so every game whoever it is against is going to be
tough: we have to constantly punch above our weight.
On November 19 I was in London with a group of Gibraltarians at a
press dinner when our team travelled to Portugal to play Slovakia.
The room we were in was below ground so few of us could pick up any
internet signal. As we chatted the expectancy was we'd lose by a
couple of goals at least. To finally emerge into the night to
discover it has been a 0-0 draw was greeted like a Cup win.
However we only have to look to other sports to see what we face.
Italy are now in the Rugby Union Six Nations but their followers
know that a good season will be one in which they manage to snatch a
victory. Italy expect to be the bottom club or thereabouts if
another nation has a disastrous competition. It is a tough learning
curve but at least, like us, they are in.
I remember going to Lords to see Sri Lanka play in a test match in
the 1980s. The test side was not deemed to be good enough opposition
for any of the leading sides of the day so you could just walk in to
the hallowed home of cricket. Today Sri Lanka are one of the top
cricketing sides but again as we are about to find out it is going
to be a tough process to get up to the level of the others.
Gibraltar will be viewed in the same light as San Marino,
Lichstenstein, Luxembourg and yes the Faroe Islands: there are just
to make up the numbers. However as the years go by all of them have
offered tougher opposition so that now top sides say there are no
The beauty of football is you never know. It is eleven men on the
pitch against eleven men. Miracles do happen and they happen every
week. However the fact also remains they'll be more major defeats in
the early days than draws or wins. It is at that point that the
Gibraltarian fans will come into their own. It will be their job to
keep the players heads up when things go bad, as they will. It is
easy to sing when you are winning: it is tough to sign when you are
losing, again and again, but that is what the Gibraltarian fans must
do. They must not allow the UEFA dream to become a nightmare.
Los vientos que soplan over the new stadium
La cosa se pone caliente, querida Cynthia, y llegan los miembros del
I say Cloti dear, what is this about FAC?
Segun mi querido husband, eso es el Foreign Affairs Committee, que
vienen to see what is going on in our Gibraltar.
Pues dirle que aqui no pasa nada! That is to say nothing, apart from
daily invasions of our British waters by Spanish state vessels and
our rights abused daily.
Te parece poco? Aunque el UK Governation no levanta un dedo, all
they can do to counter the hostility is to send paper protests que
no valen para nada as we have all seen through the years!
Bueno, hija, there is now a new battle en el football front, porque
lo del new stadium ha caido mal.
Pero mal, esta todo el mundo revuelto, to the extent que muchos have
even forgotten que el Spanish frontier is as good as closed.
Bueno es que el new stadium del GFA se va a cargar the only big
natural area we have, not only that pero dicen que mira muy feo.
Oh dear, es que dicen que un buen dia de poniente o levante salen
los spectators volando, and not only that las olas se cargan el
green grass que quieren crecer ahi el Reoch y el Beiso.
Tu me diras, cuando el GSD le dio por plantar ciertas flores in the
area duraron bien poco, pues como termine el grass aguado con agua
saladita, a lo mejor crecen pepitas.
We shall see lo que pasa con todo esto, gracias que el Governation
no tien que ver con el stadium otherwise ya hubiera salido con un
comunicado los de Patasjamon criticising everything.
Oh well, pasate el weekend buscando un sitio donde el stadium can be
built to the safisfaction of everyone. Ciao.
Se lo dire a mi marido que sabe mucho de esas cosas. Ta, ta.