Today’s reality

Carmen Gomez

Let’s stop kidding ourselves and face the reality of today‘s society. The claim that foreigners from across the way are taking away jobs from the locals has to be a myth. We are all aware that one of the EU rules was that workers from member states had to be employed locally; whilst I believe the general consensus was that that the jobs should first be offered to locals. Now that we are leaving Europe perhaps we won’t have to adhere to their rules any longer, but nevertheless and despite this, nothing will change much on the work front. 

That is to say; it is a well known fact that there are jobs that local school leavers are not interested in, nor have any desire to engage in, however much some may wish to insist otherwise. Why do certain members of the opposition keep bringing this up instead of facing up to the fact that this is not the answer; that we are dependant on those from across the way to fill these jobs, because the youth of Gibraltar have been brought up to think that certain jobs are either beneath them; or something that others do.

No chance

This was not the case when I was a young girl; when we had little chance to attend college and when there was no chance whatsoever of going to University, unless you came from one of our wealthy and connected families. This was a time when it was seen as normal for many of us to aspire to doing secretarial work; work in shops; work for the mod; work in nurseries; follow a vocation for nursing; or go abroad to widen ones horizons in other fields. But not now. Times have changed; our society has changed.

They say there is an urgent need to set up classes for young people, to enable them to learn the art of cooking, say, and apply for work as chefs in restaurants; or the art of hairdressing; or as carers for the elderly. Having the chance to learn a new craft is extremely advisable, but what’s needed here is a change of attitude, and that you don’t learn in class. Many business owners will tell you frankly that when approached by locals for jobs say in a restaurant, they come with their own itinerary, and with demands which are unacceptable. This is because they do not want to work the hours or days which are the norm in any business.

I think that our society has evolved to the point that attitudes would be hard to change or adapt to. We must face the truth which is that we are reliant on outside workers for most of the jobs on the work front locally. What has to be done is to find ways of being able to work around the problem by offering workers a place to live. If they are coming in from Spain, say, they can then avoid the queues during the week and go over at the weekend to be with their families.

This is nothing new. It is done all over the world and has been done in Gibraltar before; albeit now accommodation would be more in keeping with today’s standards and furthermore be affordable to make it an attractive proposition. Sometimes our needs for homes have to be postponed in the face of this burning issue which has become a reality of our needs too. Also other types of accommodation can be arranged.

Like that of a different type of sunborn hotel for example, which could be moored locally and be refurbished to accommodate workers; offering a simple set out with the required necessities. What is surprising, is the fact that consecutive Governments in Gibraltar, despite having seen no palpable difference in the behaviour of consecutive Spanish governments, nor indeed in the Spaniards attitude towards us, have done nothing in this respect.


It is plain to see though that the love hate relationship between the UK and the EU has soured of late and finds us “pagando el pato.” Across the landscape of my emotions, I not only feel weirdly anxious about yet another fine mess the UK has got us into, but for what’s to come, if we are now to go on the treaty or agreement route with Spain, even before we have had any assurances of a free flowing border with all the detail that that entails. Let us hope that in the brexit endgame, the politicians won’t just care about their aspirations or themselves; or indeed that even if national demands from the other member states in the EU come before general interests; the question is, will Spain follow suit? What we cannot do is panic as someone said on the news recently, but get on with it. Like Samuel Becket once said “You must go on. I can’t go on. I’ll go on.”

ice age

Recently there was an Ice Age Europe exhibition in Gibraltar with the public encouraged to join in with Europe; “then and now” and to contribute ideas, thoughts and photographs by using the hash tag on social media sites on the foundation of our culture. This is an excellent idea and it occurs to me that we should also be exercising our right to express ourselves; not just on social media to groan and moan about the Spaniards bad press, and the lies they tell about us; but on other international sites. I have for ever been saying that Gibraltarians need to be more assertive in the matter of getting our truth across beyond our shores.

Dominic Raab now says that it’s time for Britain to stand up to the EU. We have been waiting for Britain to have stood up to Spain on countless occasions, even before they had the backing of the EU. But it never happened. Because if it had, we would not be here today signing a treaty in good faith with no guarantee it will be honoured; when we know deep down that no Spanish Government will ever truly give us our rightful place or respect our status; treaty or no treaty!


I read that there is a breakthrough trend locally with citizens assembling to examine the options and issues that face our nation. Better late than never I say and better begin as you mean to go.

But all we have ever done instead is moan The potential of the Spanish press to disseminate lies about us is very harmful, and there must be a way that we can counteract by making our truth be heard; in order to try and halt the impending wave of misunderstandings about us already out there, or about to be thrashed out by the Spanish newcomers!