Llanito World has been admired, once again in the ‘New People’, and so by the GSLP, as that ‘newspaper’ is a propaganda rag for that party, which is the majority party in the current alliance Government. That appreciation comes by praising me, Robert Vasquez, who writes ‘Llanito World’, for being of independent mind, and for not bowing to the dictates of either a GSLP-Liberal Government, or its predecessor a GSD Government.
AN INDEPENDENT IN A TRIBAL ENVIRONMENT
I am flattered that I have achieved this level of acclaim, especially from that quarter, for my independence in the tribal environment that is party politics in Gibraltar, and that it has been so publicly recognised.
It is sad, however, that our electoral politics has evolved to this point, where independent thought is often maligned and criticised, especially by organs of those in power.
LLANITO WORLD RECOGNISED
Additionally, the piece recognises the existence and influence of Llanito World. The word is that all GSLP MPs and Executive members are instructed not to engage with me online, in order not to give Llanito World greater prominence. Is that fear of the media or what?
Or is it fear of open and transparent debate? Debate that now takes place under the control of incumbent Chief Ministers in a Parliament, where each Chief Minister controls the majority, so facing little effective objection, argument, or opposition? Or that takes place in press release wars that are regurgitated, without independent analysis or comment, by Gibraltar’s press media?
‘NEW PEOPLE’ ARTICLE
The article in question, headlined, “GSLP Antagonists at Each Other’s Throats!”, is published in this week’s edition of the ‘New People’, 10th June 2021.
It describes me as a social media antagonist of the GSLP in these terms, “Robert Vasquez, formerly an anti-Caruana/anti GSD blogger, now an anti-Picardo/anti GSLP blogger …”. It seems to ignore, however, that pieces I write, criticise the GSD also for its inactivity and lack of effectiveness as the Opposition in Parliament.
AN INDEPENDENT MIND IS ACKNOWLEDGED
Well, what greater endorsement of my single-minded, free, unbiased, impartial, fair, neutral and independent criticism of all incumbent governments. It seems that I can and do criticise and highlight that which I consider to be wrong and bad for Gibraltar irrespective of which party is in Government.
I do not belong to a tribe. I have a free and open mind. I use that mind publicly to write what I consider to be important for democracy in Gibraltar. Right or wrong, I have Gibraltar’s best interest at heart.
It seems that I am one of the few whose politics is not skewed by what benefit or advantage I can get from any Government, and that I have views that are aimed at what I consider to be the best for our community. Albeit, that I may get it right or wrong, or that many will agree, and many others will disagree with me.
PERSONALITIES NOT ATTACKED
I should make it clear that, so far as I am aware, my blogs are all critical of policies and actions and not anti-Caruana or anti-Picardo, as persons and human beings, which is what the article suggests. My pieces have not attacked Caruana personally, whilst he was Chief Minister, and do not attack Picardo personally.
The effort is dedicated to highlighting and debating issues that I consider central and important to how Gibraltar is governed.
Yes, before anyone comments, I stood for election in 2015 with the GSD, and as an Independent in 2019, not having been chosen as a GSD candidate. Two points, first that contradicts the suggestion that I am/was anti-GSD, secondly it confirms that I am not tribal but rather of independent mind.
I believe that candidature within a party allows one to influence hugely what that party does, so long as one is aligned with the overall political philosophy of the relevant political party. Additionally, under the current electoral system, it is the best possible option to try to get elected to Parliament.
Being socially democratic inclined, I tried with the GSD in 2015, having greatly influenced what was in its manifesto. I did not get elected.
In 2019, I was not chosen as a GSD candidate, so I decided to stand as an independent.
In both guises I proclaimed the same electoral and parliamentary reformist and social democratic politics that I constantly write about. I remained and continue to remain true, also, to my social democratic beliefs, which in the main, consist of promoting a social and economic programme that encourages social justice, within a capitalist economy, in a liberal-democratic context and community.
I believe that standing as a candidate in a General Election gives me a platform from which I can continue my campaign to improve democracy in Gibraltar. It is a campaign that I assiduously fight for in this blog, in my Opinion pieces in the Gibraltar Chronicle, on the very few occasions that I get invited to debates on GBC, and in all media that I can use for the purpose. I make no apology for this. I will persist in my endeavours.
POLITICAL HONESTY IS NEEDED
I believe that Gibraltar’s electoral and parliamentary system needs fundamental reforms. I believe that those who we elect to government promise changes, then do not deliver on their pledges. I believe that they do this to selfishly get elected, and when elected to egotistically retain power for their own ends.
The benefits to the community that is Gibraltar is diminished by the failure of governments to keep their word, although they are not fully extinguished. Every Government gives something. Unfortunately, under the current system, what they give is usually just enough to enhance their electoral chances, not to benefit the whole community, or to help discriminated minorities within the community.
All this should change at some stage. I live in hope, which is partly sustained by my perseverance in continuing my campaign to achieve that change. I will not be put off, whilst my heart still beats and my brain functions.The support I have received from the GSLP just encourages me to continue the fight.