compassion, collaboration & cooperation iN transistion
scratching our heads during Gibraltar’s
latest minor rumble with Spain.
Like the Falklands, Gibraltar is very much a relic of empire – albeit a small
self-governing nation that's older than the United States of America -
and yet it's a relic that seems to arouse incredibly strong feelings in anyone
who goes anywhere near the subject of its sovereignty. This film represents
a very personal view of the subject: director Ana Garcia is Gibraltarian and
her take on the issue is doubtless filtered through family experience.
'Britain may be a small island, but I would challenge anyone
to find a country with a prouder history, a bigger heart or
greater resilience' - as our Prime Minister David Cameron stated
at the very latest G20 Jamboree in St Petersburg - the result of
which brings into question - CAN WE literally afford to continue with
even the idea of a United Nations let alone the continually rising
cost of war and every aspect of alleviating the consequences of
consequences of a species riven apart by ethnic, cultural and
economic divisions !!!???
TIME OUT London's diplomatic sum up of their own viewing - presumably
disconnected in time, space and action - was about par for the course ...
It’s a useful primer to Gibraltar’s contested history, although the Spanish
case doesn’t get much of an airing so it’s hard not to suspect that one side
of the argument is being glossed over. Still, whatever the historical rights
and wrongs, it’s easy to see why Gibraltar didn’t want to be subsumed by
Spain during the Franco years and equally obvious that the long period of
border closure was a petty gesture that has left deep scars.
BUT I for one, was very moved by the experience and found this whole
situation extremely symptomatic of everything - which is wrong with
everything political which is sold - by the representatives of the people,
to the people - because of the sheer arrogance of those supposed
representatives - as they continue with their self-interested actions of
doing the wrong things for the wrong reasons.
Which brought back very poignant memories of the time when it was that
Linnie and I first decided to get married during a trip to Yugoslavia in 1967,
the first time that Tito opened the borders to passport holders without a
visa. We went with a party of friends in a Vauxhall Viva Van, a Triumph
Herald and my own VW Beetle 1500, which I had only recently purchased.
On our return to the UK, Linnie qualified as a Radiographer and I as an
Air Traffic Controller and so it was that Linnie had to buy the engagement
ring, because I was still paying for my car and we purchased our first home
together in High Wycombe and got married on April 4th 1968 - to be able
to re-claim the very last married couples tax rebate - at the time that the
Gibraltar problems which Ana Garcia refers to, erupted. It was then in 1971
that a request for secondment to Eurocontrol in Brussels, was granted, and
we arrived there, full of the hope of becoming active members of a truly
United Europe, to be faced with the fact that our Prime Minister Harold
Wilson had vetoed Spain's entry to the Eurocontrol fold because of the
Watching this BBC4 showing of the documentary last evening - and why
Finland, Australia and Spain ? - brought home to me in bucket loads the
age old reasons for why the impasse which has now been reached by the
United Nations, the European Union and the G20 over the situation in Syria,
are reminiscent of the demise of the League of Nations - and reminded me
of the fact that it was the United Nations who were determined to remove
imperial control from Gibraltar without even considering seeking the
consent of the Gibraltarians themselves.
As rikkel has made comment on the youtube posting of the BBC Four transmission -
I keep thinking of Spain's claims as a form of hypocrisy. Everything they say
about Gibraltar's situation can be said about Spain's enclaves in Morocco,
Ceuta and Mellila (and don't forget the numerous islands which they still
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
Worth a look for an insight into the impact of wider
geopolitics on a small nation - which, in this case,
I would suggest, already represents the very global
template of a ... multi-cultural and multi-ethnic
community solution - to the problems with which
every nation on earth is faced today - but this seems
unlikely to represent the last word on the subject.
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