Imagined by David Eade
My dear subjects: as you enjoyed seeing in the New Year on our beloved Rock my family and I have been in Andorra. It was a break to get away from the pressures of running our nation but more than that I wanted to see at first hand the status to which we, well I on your behalf, aspire too.
Although Andorra is set in the Pyrenees it has many similarities with Gibraltar. Tourism, banking, cheap cigarettes they are all here – it is like the Rock with the tide out. Yet we can also learn from Andorra. Now the curtain has fallen on the restoration of the Theatre Royal I will be dedicating myself to opening a ski slope on the Upper Rock.
Dr Joseph Garcia in his pre-Christmas broadcast talked about Gibraltar losing our Queen as the sole head of State if we adopted the Andorra model as she would have to share with a Spanish head of State. As you know I abhor personal abuse but quite frankly the good doctor should stick to medicine.
We have to be realistic here. Her Majesty is now in her 80s and cannot go on for ever. Therefore I propose, and I know I will have your support on this, rather than the British monarch be one of the joint heads of State of the Andorra-style Gibraltar I will take on the role myself. A Gibraltarian prince for a new Gibraltar. A Gibraltarian prince on equal status with the Spanish King. Of course if you wished me to become your king then I know you would find no objection from the GSD. After all I have ruled over them for many a year. The opposition? I take no notice of what they say – so why should you.
Another interesting fact that I have learned on my visit to Andorra is that it has the second highest life expectancy in the world. Andorrans live on average for 82 years and I see no reason why this benefit cannot be passed on to Gibraltarians. As you know I am a keen aficionado of Spanish dishes so I enjoy the benefit of the Mediterranean diet. There is an important point here because longevity means political stability so you can rest assured I will be your ruler for many years to come. The Sir Alex Ferguson of Gibraltar politics.
Now it is said these co-princes are not simple figureheads. It is said they exercise political power. It is said this includes the power to act of their own free will in issues like the appointment of some judges and the negotiation of and agreement to certain international treaties.
Fear not - none of these powers are powers that I would not have wished for myself or powers that I have not attempted to exercise during my holding the highest elected office on the Rock. So Gibraltarians rest assured if I was your prince, your king even, and if you followed my advice by adopting the Andorra model you wouldn’t notice any difference from the Rock on which you reside now.
May I wish you all a prosperous New Year and come the general election you know where your loyalty lies. Vote early, vote GSD.
(The above article and cartoon appeared in Panorama on Tuesday January 4, 2011)