December 12, 2017

Words are important, they are what people live by.  “I keep my word” or “My word is my bond” are hallmarks of someone who can be trusted, usually a person who is honest and has integrity.  They say what they think and mean what they say.  They are becoming a rare breed, but they still exist.  In everyday situations promises are kept.  When promises are broken so are reputations that can never be repaired.   Politicians are not noted examples of the breed.  In Parliament their speech is protected by privilege, but they can be held to account because they are recorded in Hansard.

Intergovernmental and diplomatic promises are recorded in writing, which have defined status.  The recent EU-UK negotiations have reached a milestone {or is it a kilometre stone} and as this is not defined in the agreement it enables politicians to dispute the point – you say mile, I say kilometre.  But then, they are disputing everything about the agreement.  The Irish say it is binding, but the British do not agree.  In Ireland it is called the EU-UK agreement, but in Britain it is called the UK-EU agreement.  With those levels of difference it is no wonder that it cannot be agreed what has been agreed.  Well it is the year of the rooster and they are strutting the farmyard giving forth with their opinions and interpretations.  Next year everything will calm down in the year of the dog.

Its only words.  So we can look to the Bee Gees, who fifty years ago recorded and released Words that was written by Barry Gibb who sang it as a solo.  His brother, Robin, claimed the song reflected a mood and was written after an argument.  The arguments were absolutely about nothing, they were just words.  That is what the song is about.  Words can make you happy or words can make you sad.

The lyrics are eminently suited to being performed by four people as counter refrains.  So here goes:-

Michel Barnier – Smile an everlasting smile, a smile can bring you near to me.  Don’t ever let me find you gone, cause that would bring a tear to me.”

Theresa May – “This world has lost its glory, lets start a brand new story, now my love.  Right now, there’ll be no other time and I can show you how, my love.”

Leo Varadkar – “Talk in everlasting words, and dedicate them all to me.  And I will give you all my life, I’m here if you should call to me.”

David Davis – “You think that I don’t even mean, a single word I say.  Its only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away.”

It might be a good idea to get songwriters to draft agreements and treaties.

In the next post we will look at Article 46, what was said and what it means.  Simple.


Hotel California

November 10, 2017

Welcome to the Hotel California.  Such a lovely place, Such a lovely face.

Plenty of room at the Hotel California.  Any time of the year, You can find it here.

They livin’ it up at the Hotel California.  What a nice surprise, Bring your alibis.

And she said, “We are all just prisoners here, of our own device”.

“Relax”, said the night man, “We are programmed to receive.

You can check-out any time you like, but you can never leave”.

In 1977 the Eagles composed and recorded their most famous hit.  The above abridged lyrics were written in a drug fuelled community with their original meaning a bit hazy.  It is now generally accepted they related to growing up and living in the LA hedonistic culture; and about trying to escape that life-style.

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Gibraltar 2

September 27, 2017

Gibraltar’s 50th Anniversary National Day was an outstanding success, with the video message from Prime Minister Theresa May being warmly received.  Viewed objectively it fell well short of what was required.  This was a one and only event, at a crucial time when the future direction of the British Overseas Territory is uncertain.  In the previous post we set out the first five points of action that we asked the PM to initiate.  The two points relating to the Royal Family visiting Gibraltar still need to be demonstrated.  On three of those points she has failed to deliver and so we can judge with some accuracy what the real level of committment there is from the Office of the PM and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.  It does not look good.  She failed to attend in person and as far as it is possible to ascertain she has never visited the Rock.  No matter how detailed the briefings she receives, they cannot match seeing at first hand what the problems are and hearing directly from Gibraltarians what their experiences are; be it delays when crossing the border of up to five hours or being harassed by Spanish State vessels when they are fishing in their own British Gibraltar Territorial Waters.

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September 12, 2017

The strategic importance of Gibraltar does not require any explanation.  In July the Ministry of Defence announced it is to spend £2 million upgrading its maritime monitoring facility overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar.  Sitting high above Europa Point the facility keeps an eye on 60,000 ships entering or leaving the Mediterranean or crossing between Africa and Europe.  It plays a crucial role detecting any suspicious activity in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters and logs all unlawful incursions by Spanish state vessels, as well as detecting the shipping of narcotics into Europe and combating the nefarious illegal transport of drugs and tobacco.  Windmill Hill Signal Station, with its panoramic view, keeps an eye on traffic visually, over the radio and electronically.  It feeds information back to the UK and its allies about all these activities and military movements.

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Security and Stability 2

August 12, 2017

In relation to the European Union, and the Hope and Vision for it, which we had but remains unfulfilled; our departure from the EU raises issues about what our future relationship will be, especially as there seems no desire by the core members of the EU and the Eurozone to reform their institutions.  Our two areas of concern are the future of Gibraltar and the continuance of the special relationship with the Republic of Ireland through the British + Irish Council and the Common Travel Area.  The threats arise from the EU failing to recognise the special status of Ireland  by virtue of the Republic being a member of the CTA and of the EU.

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Security and Stability

July 16, 2017

CDP policies are framed by reference to the essential ‘six systems of community’ as listed in categories 2 to 7 in the sidebar to the right.  Over and above those is the duty to ensure that the country is secure and stable; as this enables and allows the ‘six systems’ to flourish.  Since ancient times the prime duty of a King has been to protect his subjects, mainly against external threats, but also internally by imposition of law and order.  In modern times this prime duty, to protect its citizens, rests with the executive government overseen by the people’s representatives.  The duty to protect its citizens can now be more widely defined to include environmental and health hazards, as well as the unscrupulous behaviour of conmen and carpet-baggers.  However, for the elaboration and discussion of this category we are limiting our coverage to the three sub-elements of foreign policy, defence and civil protection.

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Tortoise or Hare

August 9, 2016

There was a serious side to the previous post [The train now standing] because it is the start of a journey and the train has only just pulled out of the station, for it then to come to a grinding halt.  There is apprehension that the train will reverse back in to the station.  Passengers are now waiting nervously for an announcement as to how it is to proceed.  Slowly and vaguely appears to be the order of the day.  The official indication is the journey will start in January 2017 with the invoking of Article 50 and we will arrive at our destination, outside the EU, in 2019 with plenty of time to spare before the general election in 2020.  Now that seems to be very optimistic and it is inevitable that delays will occur.  The passengers will start to get impatient and demand more haste, but that is exactly what must not happen.

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