The election campaign in Gibraltar is now truly underway and the four parties that we know are taking part have all named their candidates – but who would be a candidate?
People enter politics for a variety of reasons but I suspect the majority, of all parties, do so because they do not ask what Gibraltar can do for them but rather what they can do for the community. Of course there are those who are in it for themselves and the voter being much wiser than politicians give them credit for soon suss them out.
Politics should be about politics and it is but of course it is also about tearing apart the politicians themselves. The GSLP candidate Paul Balban has been accused on the social media as being a mere taxi driver. My goodness if that is the worst of his sins then he stands way ahead of many of us. I have yet to meet a taxi driver, especially in Gibraltar, who wasn’t a politician or indeed an ambassador. However it so happens that Balban has more letters after his name than I or he have in ours combined. So whilst I would be proud to hold my hand up and say “I am a cabbie” Balban is a taxista plus with university degrees; a distinguished professional life away from the wheel.
Over at the GSD Lianne Azopardi has set the social websites alight not because of her politics but because of her stunning modelling photographs. These were hastily removed from her Facebook page as soon as somebody in the party’s campaign team realized what hot stuff they were. Now the rumour is Lianne posed with a Spanish flag draped around her after Spain won the World Cup. True or false I know not but the hunt for a copy is truly on and nobody is interested in her opinion on sporting facilities on the Rock.
I have yet to learn whether photographs of a scantily clad Keith Azopardi exist and I known of nobody who is searching for them for which we should all be thankful. It could be, of course, that nobody is remotely interested in the peccadilloes of the PDP team which should worry them because it means they are not interests in their policies either. If the party is not a threat, why bother blacken the candidates’ names?
Of course for politicians the verbal thrust is all part of the game and many a British prime minister has battled fiercely with the leader of the opposition across the dispatch box in the House of Commons then gone on to exchange pleasantries once they leave the chamber behind the speaker’s chair. It is politics and not personal. However the vitriol liberally handed out by Caruana to one and all, including his own side, marks him out as a politician who has failed to grasp the basic human niceties.
Politicians have thick skins and take all this in their stride more often than not giving as well as they get. However it needs a special person to stand up to that public scrutiny and abuse and given that all four parties have full candidate slates it appears there is an ample supply of them around. However I would still beg the question – who would be a politician? Certainly not me.