Thursday, February 9, 2012


Word has reached me that some government supporters are not happy with the way it is handling matters. Not satisfied that a socialist-led administration is back at the helm after nearly 16 years; that it is opening up the workings of government for all to see or honouring its election pledges, they are complaining because there is no GSD blood on the carpet. If they were hoping for a night (and perhaps day) of the long knives they are certainly disappointed.

Not that I am unsympathetic to their wishes: but do not confuse sympathy with agreement. Over the last year I have heard of numerous cases of injustice meted out to local residents. Some of these are where the system has let them down or is due to the lack of a proper response from a government department or agency. However the ones that have truly shocked me are where people have been singled out because of their political allegiance and punished by the withholding of services or help that were their due by law. There are those that have been persecuted in the workplace. They were examples of a government’s vindictiveness and I certainly have never seen the like in Britain. I have seen such cases, where people truly lived in fear of their government, but they were in the townships of apartheid South Africa.

So when these people who were treated as an underclass by the previous government find their party in power it is a natural human trait to want revenge. Bloody revenge is not on the agenda but justice is.

When the GSLP elected Fabian Picardo as their leader he pulled no punches or pulled no wool over anybody’s eyes when he declared if elected to government he would lead an administration that dealt fairly with everybody regardless of their political persuasion.

When Gibraltar elected Fabian Picardo as chief minister he had made it clear in his election addresses that he would be fair and open – he even told the then chief minister that he could still inaugurate the new air terminal when it was finally completed if he wasn’t in power.

However one should not believe that Picardo or the administration he leads is a soft touch. One should not confuse fairness with weakness. As my grandmother used to say: there is more than one way to skin a cat.

The government’s first priority is to govern and that is the business the new team of GSLP and Liberal ministers are fully engaged in. To deal with the present and future is their main obligation but the past will not be ignored because it impacts on the others.

Much went on in the GSD mandate that is being investigated. Mismanagement there certainly was: every time a Gibraltarian passes their airport they have standing before them an empty terminal which is a monument to the political and personal vanity of one man.

Yet forensic audits and legal investigations are also underway in to the many other disasters and abuses of the Caruana mandates. These things take time; the search by financial and legal experts will be exhausting. As the new government has stated plainly: the GSD will be fully held to account for its years in power. Some of that fallout will be political. However do not be surprised if these investigations end up in the civil or criminal courts. There is no blood on the carpet, nor will there be, but justice there will be as surely as night follows day. So no night of the long knives but certainly the full light of day will shine on the shenanigans of the GSD era.