Stop this monumental monstrosity


Military situations of world importance and impact are being destroyed in Gibraltar, rather than highlighting them, as should be the case.

Certainly, it is in perfect order that we have been securing our Gibraltarian civilian rights, but in so doing, we should not eclipse our standing in world terms of a place of the greatest significance in military terms. 

Because of its strategic position, Gibraltar has been, is and will always be, of great strategic value dominating the Strait that carries its name and from where control can be exercised of everything that enters and leaves the Mediterranean, not only on the surface but also underwater.

During the second world war, and more recently in the Falklands conflict, the Rock played a vitally important role.

Placed in such a context, it becomes evident that it is a monumental mess to build a TV studio on top of a listed building with the added historical and heritage value as South Jumpers Bastion, named after the British naval officer who is reputed to have been the first to step onto Gibraltar land, on that precise spot, during the capture of Gibraltar in 1704.

How can we destroy such a symbol of national and international importance? But that is what the Government is doing. We have criticised the Chief Minister for it in the past and will continue to do so until justice is done.

It is of relevance to recall that the Tender Notice about South Jumpers Bastion said, inter alia, that "the Government is open to any proposal as long as it is sympathetic to the historical and heritage natture of the Bastion."

That being the case, that being the legal requirement of the tender, the Government is obliged to cancel forthwith the monstrosity it plans to place on top of the listed building, which cannot be sympathetic, by any stretch of the imagination, to the historical and heritage nature of South Jumpers Bastion.

Now that the building is going up, and it may be an uphill task to knock it down, the least damage that could emerge from such a monumental mistake is to change its use.

Instead of pouring £8 million on it for a TV setup, the historical place could easily be converted into a military museum, which is so lacking in such a military significant place as Gibraltar.

The Jumpers Bastion also overlooks Her Majesty's naval dockyard, which was of such importance in naval terms for so long and which provided large-scale employment for so many of our people for so long. In the UK, there are military museums where once stood naval establishments.

And what about the ex Fortress headquarters down the road, overlooking Rosia Bay where HMS Victory with Nelson's body onboard was once at anchor - an area which provided vital backup to British sea power. Nearby is the victualling yard and also the 100-tonne gun.

A STOP should be placed forthwith in destroying an area of such heritage value. Let common sense prevail.