Tuesday, 24 February 2009
Princess Anne visits Gib - Spain sulks
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory. A former Crown Colony. Ceded to Britain in 1713 under the Treaty of Utrecht. The Catholic King does hereby, for himself, his heirs and successors, yield to the Crown of Great Britain the full and entire propriety of the town and castle of Gibraltar, together with the port, fortifications, and forts thereunto belonging; and he gives up the said propriety to be held and enjoyed absolutely with all manner of right for ever, without any exception or impediment whatsoever. That seems clear enough. But apparently not. Spain made a few attempts to reconquer Gibraltar and failed. Franco kicked up a fuss in the 60s - leading to the closure of the land border with Spain - and Spanish governments have since continued the Spanish claim to sovereignty over Gibraltar. Spain claims lots of infringements of the treaty, which seems to mean that Gibraltar should therefore just become some pimple on the end of Andalucia. And what do the people of Gibraltar think? Well, surprisingly they are happy to continue with their links with the UK. The referendums provide the proof of this. Even though the MOD has reduced its presence to virtually absolutamente nada compared with the past, there are still a few decent perks with being linked with the UK. Cancer problems? Off to The Royal Marsden. Eye problems? Off to Moorfields. No charter plane around? No problem - off on a Hercules jet. Education? UK universities of course. I may be a historian but I do not support colonialism and will be the first to say the UK has been abusive, vicious and totally oppressive in its colonialism around the world. But these days, these discussions are not about colonialism. They are about self-determination. And the people of Gibraltar are Gibraltarian and have chosen to retain political and historical links to the UK. So why is Spain whingeing and whining about the Princess Royal (ie Princess Anne) visiting Gibraltar next month? It seems Spain considers this is an inopportune and provocative visit. Really? So the Princess Royal is visiting Gib to inaugurate a medical centre named after her. Shit. That is amazingly controversial. Given how near Gib is to the UK how many royal visits have there been over the years? Not that many. The Queen visited in 1954. And hasn't been back unless I've failed miserably on the internet search (always possible). I'm not a royalist either. But I do object to Spain bleating on about Gibraltar running its own business and who turns up and who doesn't. Quite frankly, Spain, it is none of your business. Maybe you should consider a few domestic issues. Maybe you should consider your shit town planning that involves endless urbanisations. Maybe you should consider unemployment that has left my neighbour in Spain out of work for three years, and half the village without work right now. Rather than sticking your nose into Gib. And maybe, when you consider ceding Ceuta and Melilla - your claim to Gib would sound slightly less hypocritical. You were fast enough to defend Perejil when the Moroccans took it. Forget Gib. It isn't yours to claim. And here is an excellent perspective seen on A Gibo's Tale blog. Whereas I am a Brit living in Gib, he is the reverse, a Gibraltarian living in the UK.
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