Doomed at the constant mercy of a savage mentality

Carmen Gomez

When surrounded by a swirling drift which impeded his continuation up the mountain, Captain Scott wrote in his diary, “I do not think we can hope for any better things now. We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far.” 

This is the stuff that brave and determined human beings are made of, for when faced with impending danger and despite the handicaps, the call is to see it through! I’m sorry to say this, but at a time when in one single day out in the street I have heard the most stubborn say, “I no longer feel safe in Spain; I’ve put up my home for sale and come what may, I’m coming back home,” or, at the chemists hear, “Maybe we may not be able to get you this product from Spain in the future;” I then open the newspaper and see how some Gibraltarians are occupying their time and energy; in a place where anything, any poor soul might be lacking in any other part of the world, we have on tap; I wonder where their common sense lies, or indeed if they are unable to comprehend the seriousness of Gibraltar’s situation!

Whilst our Government has bent over backwards to try and minimise the difficulties that lie ahead, this does not mean we can be complacent! We are undergoing a revolution in Gibraltar and its time to change the way we do things.

Our progress

We Gibraltarians have always known that at any given moment we could expect Spain to try and mess with our nation’s progress. But apart from certain past episodes where the UK has momentarily forgotten its moral obligation towards us and our wellbeing, it would never have occurred to us, even for one brief moment that an action of theirs would cause our foundations to rock.

With the UK desperately wanting its laws and decision making to be free from any outside interference and no longer subject to the scrutiny of the EU, they have truly dropped us in it! We are saddled with a prospect that spells uncertainty. But this is not just in our case. If you look at any of the latest polls in the UK you will find the constant preference is for “don’t know.” It’s true that we have a good and positive financial understanding with them; but if at the end of the day there is no deal, something which would hit hard finance companies in the UK, would that in turn not affect us too?

It has been said that it has never been known for any UK Government to deliberately inflict such damage to the nation. Certainly, it has made our case that much more precarious, precisely because of the wolf at the door.


One could be forgiven for desiring to wake up from this nightmare and sing “Let’s call the whole thing off!” In those lyrics of the song you find phrases which to us are very real, as far as Spain is concerned i.e. “you say potayto and I say potahto;” “you say tomayto and I say tomahto.”

Phrases which in its day served to identify class differences. In our case though, our differences with Spain go much deeper than that. We may speak Spanish; albeit as a second language; but our people have nothing to do with theirs. Not ethically, or morally, or any other which way.

For while they may wish to sing “they can’t take that away from us,” they have to realize that “the song is ended!” even though the memory lingers on. Across the border there is talk about their wish for joint action on issues which affect us both; yet Madrid talks of us always in terms of exclusion. How can anything be worked upon under such a mantle of threats and out of date tat? If we were referring to a reasonable people and not a kamikaze lot, it might be hoped to be able to set up and support procedures to guarantee a myriad of perspectives which have to be taken into account; precisely to make sure that no one party enjoys an unduly privileged ability to frame any discourse, nor have the power to, at any given moment, put a spanner in the works.

For Spain it’s all about supporting their team and drowning in a sea of national flags; something we tend to do but only once a year on our National Day! But the championing of human rights are not theirs alone to enjoy whilst negating us ours.


How can we ever hope to break this illogical process deadlock? What will it take? Or is the question we have to ask ourselves, do we really care? For when you constantly knock your head against a stone wall, the headache will never go away.

Let’s call it a day; let’s break with the extending of the hand of friendship which is never reciprocated. Enough. But in so doing, we need to have a contingency plan in mind, and I am not sure if we have gone the whole route on this one.

The UK has become glutted with too many differing options and dare I say, have not understsood who, or what they were up against; it has misread the big wigs in Brussels who for their own interests have become more of an irritant by supporting Spain to the hilt.

We appear doomed at the constant mercy of a savage mentality that is not open to sensible debate. Unless the UK realizes that Spain has much more to loose in this tricky affair, and change the way they view the “Spanish,” not the “Gibraltar” problem, by developing a newer, tougher, less naïve stance with them; Madrid will not have any reason to change their stripes. Churchill once said “that when heads of State become gangsters something has to be done.” I rest my case.