There is an accepted rule amongst journalists that you should write or report on the news yet should not be the news yourself. It is a rule I have tried to abide by yet have failed as Gibraltar’s former Chief Minister, Peter Caruana, has twice named me in Parliament and once in a Gibraltar Government press release. On all three occasions it was a case of shooting the messenger and shooting yourself in the foot at the same time.
On Tuesday my editor pointed me to a piece on the Panorama website where reports are reproduced about Gibraltar in the Spanish media. The story in question came from Intereconomia and was entitled “Eurovegas, otro Gibraltar en el corazón de España.” Curiously I had written about Eurovegas coming to Madrid and Barcelona’s response – Barcelona World, just days earlier.
However this was a rambling report linking Eurovegas with Gibraltar and in the centre of the piece, by one Santiago Mata –an historian by all accounts, was the reference to Panorama and me.
It reads: “Uno de estos llanitos más exaltados y que además vive en la Costa del Sol, David Eade, propone en Panorama como forma de expansión de su influencia votar en España, para lo cual tendrían que estar censados, claro. Pues sencillamente constátese dónde viven, oblígueseles (en concreto a Eade) a pagar lo que deben al fisco, y luego si quieren votar, que voten.”
Now my initial reaction was to shrug the report aside until my good friend and colleague of the printed word Alberto Bullrich pointed out: “they are saying so in the most right-wing medium since Franco.” At which point my blood was stirred!
For the record I am not a “llanito” but would be proud to be so. I do not live on the Costa del Sol nor have I for 15 years. I pay my tax, social security and all other charges demanded of me by Mariano Rajoy and also by the Gibraltar Government. I have exercised my right to vote in Spanish town hall elections and European elections and will continue to do so. I certainly have not nor will not vote for the party of Franco whatever disguise it comes in.
That apart what has raised the un-named writer in Intereconomia’s ire is the fact that I was suggesting in a recent Panorama article that Britons and Gibraltarians who lived in the Campo de Gibraltar, who are registered at their town hall, should exercise their vote in favour of pro-Gibraltar parties or policies. I also pointed out that as the number of British and Gibraltarian residents in the Campo de Gibraltar was rising steadily, as too is their percentage over Spaniards, that in future they could form a strong political component across the border. This concept, known as democracy, obviously terrifies the Intereconomia scribe as it probably does right wing Spanish politicians in general. The fact that British and Gibraltarian voters living in the Campo de Gibraltar could kick out Partido Popular councillors and possibly cause the party to lose power in local town halls is simply too much to bare.
Had Intereconomia kept stum then my previous words and views on the possibility of Britons and Gibraltarians playing a role in Campo de Gibraltar politics would not have made the columns of the Spanish press or indeed this website. The fact that they have suggests the right in Spain fears the power of the Gibraltarian vote: so the next time Spanish local elections come around think very long and hard about that then use your vote in the interests of the Rock.
PS: Intereconomia states I live on the Costa del Sol. As I said I don’t but curiously when I have been attacked by GSD supporters in the social media that is a claim they have also made. Surely GSD members are not in contact with “most right-wing medium since Franco” or are they?