Queen’s Speech and Gibraltar

Good one Liz. You know who Liz is, that woman who lives in London in a chic townhouse facing The Mall. (Buckingham Palace)

If you think I am being flippant with the term townhouse, try the wiki link. More info on the actual monarchy website about the history.

However, browsing through the Gib govt website – in vain – for any nice jobs, I read a press release about the Queen’s speech to Parliament yesterday morning.

“My government will ensure the security, good governance and development of the overseas territories, including by protecting the Falkland Islanders’ and Gibraltarians’ right to determine their political futures.”

The Queen’s speech to Parliament is a State Occasion in the United Kingdom and represents the policy of Her Majesty’s Government of the UK.

This sentiment was also included in the “Mid-term Review” of the Coalition Government which was recently published by Downing Street.

That this reference should have been included in such a high profile speech for the first time is a huge step for Gibraltar.

I do hope that means a little gun boat diplomacy. Wait! Do we have any gun boats left? (Shh, the Spaniards may be reading this blog). After all didn’t Cameron (UK Prime MInister) announce some rather sweeping cuts to the armed forces?

Cuts are OK in all services, preferably ones I don’t use (eg education, housing, benefits blah blah), but this is the Ministry of Defence isn’t it? It should be defending the sovereign realm as a priority. Or should our armed forces be invading other countries where we have absolutely no right to be?

Perhaps it should be renamed the Ministry of Attack Other Countries under the Orders of the USA and the United Nations?

Whoever wrote Liz (QEII)’s speech made a decent job of including Gib and the FI though. Thank you.

[I’m not sure I would have written ‘including by protecting’ – too many gerunds too close together. ‘Including the protection of’ – maybe? Or That will include protecting’ ?]

[Regarding queens, (regnant, I add hastily) I see that former Queen Beatrix (Netherlands) has resigned in favour of her son Willem. Hmm. I prefer the British monarchy ideal that it is a job for life that you are born into. Which is one reason why I wouldn’t want to see some sleazy-arsed blood-sucking politician as head of the nation.]

However returning to our boys and girls men and women in blue, (the Royal Navy and our Senior Service – no! not cigarettes). We have a nuclear sub in Gib. Or maybe it has gone now. Who knows? You can hardly see them on Z berth. (The nuclear berth in Gib and not widely sign-posted).

Another press release:

The Government notes and welcomes the arrival in Gibraltar of HMS Talent, a Royal Navy, Trafalgar Class Nuclear Submarine.

Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo, said: “The movement of Royal Navy vessels is not a matter within the Constitutional competence of Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar.

All vessels of the Royal Navy and of allied powers invited into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters by Her Majesty’s Government are very welcome on the Rock.”

Nice little bit of gung-ho patriotism there Fabian, especially as the EU is still clinging to its decision that Gib/UK territorial waters belong to Spain. Shitheads.

No nuclear sub pictures available so I offer you a frigate.

HMS Chatham -  type 22 batch 3 frigate
HMS Chatham – type 22 batch 3 frigate

Continuing on the defence theme, and moving onto the boys and girls men and women in light blue, (the Royal Air Force – RAF). I see the scariest airport in Europe (Gibraltar airport) is about to be demolished to make way for a car park. Of course, we need more car parks in Gib because it is just such a huge place to get around that everyone needs a car, don’t they?



I like this old building. Whenever I visited it, I didn’t see any huge queues at the check-in desks, and it seemed perfectly adequate. The currency counter and toilets were also handy when I was walking over to Spain. And I thought the 1959 building added to the sense of nostalgia that some people like to find in Gib. And anyway, it’s as old as me. Should I therefore be demolished in favour of something bright, shiny and new? Don’t answer.

These are long queues? Yes? No.

Rooftop café on the old building

Monteverdi will shortly be knocking it down at the cost of £230, 318.01. And one penny? Who tenders with a price like that? Note to self, when pricing for Gib Govt, always put in a senseless price. And add one penny.

For more about the state opening of Parliament and the Queen’s role – visit Stephen’s good post.

32 comments on “Queen’s Speech and Gibraltar

    • I don’t know where the beastie is. I would so like to take photos of him/her. Hmm, it’s a sub so therefore a ship so therefore a her? Waters need rippling. At some point time to make a show and stop sailing around.


  1. Monteverdi? Is that before his Vespers? Perhaps you meant MontePython? Please put a penny in the old man’s hat could be in the new Gib RFP template. A very odd sum indeed. Good for Brenda. Hanging on to save us all from Charlie AND standing up for the OTs to boot. May god bless her and all who sail in her. The airport doesn’t look very scary. Is it perchance the approach and landing that are scary? BTW is MV also building the new airport? Maybe they could deduct the odd penny from the tender to rebuild. I think it will be some time before you need to be replaced with something bright, shiny and new. You see, they just don’t make them like they used to.


    • I like Monteverdi I have to confess. And his Vespers. No, this was not a MontePython post although possibly they may well have done a MonteVespers for all I know.
      Liz is OK. FFS we could have an American president!! I mean who would choose that?
      Perchance the sea at either side of the runway. At least you have the chance of immediate rescue and swimming out. Scary? Who knows? I’ve not flown for years.
      New airport built. Source of political discontent. Post to follow.

      Just as well they don’t make them like me.


  2. Ah, yes gerunds….but still your press sounds/writes much more correctly/accurately than those here (facts and grammar)
    Somehow it does seem like the crown should be a lifelong position – “Liz” has always felt that way, I think…maybe a very good thing…it seems she has been stellar the past few years. Saw some pix of her during WWII. Born to duty and understands that?
    Is the airport rebuild a jobs program? Seems odd to be spending the money when something’s perfectly workable (like Houston is one to talk at all…nothing lasts long here…so nothing is built to last – pathetic)
    Anyway – dock those ship in Gib!
    Enjoy the pix and tour – always!


    • It jarred. Like you, that’s why I spend ages, reading and re-reading looking for those words that aren’t right.
      I should prob write a Liz post. Whether you agree with her or not, or the monarchy, she has worked very hard. Rather her than me. Some great vids of her that I’ll link to.
      Airport rebuild is fin. Previous government. Very political.
      America has gone to Rota in preference to Gib. Allies? But still, we have the RN from time to time.


  3. Actually, I don’t think “protecting” in that press release is a gerund. It is just a present participle, and used as a verb. I think “This will include protecting…” would have read better. Well spotted.

    Someone on facebook said to me “glad to see your bleeding”- I thought, hey, steady on- I could have asked “My bleeding what?” but asked whether she meant the word “bleeding” as a gerund. Which led me to wonder how many of the population know what a gerund is.


    • I only got my gerunds from Latin, but it is a hell of long time ago. In fact, I think looking at it, having vaguely refreshed my memory that I would say protecting is the inappropriate gerund not including. Anyway, the bottom line is that it reads badly!

      I’m not sure why anyone would be glad to see you were bleeding, or your bleeding whatever, but I’ll leave that one alone on here. Good comment Clare.


  4. That’s why there’s an opposition, to poke holes in the powers that be and keep ’em honest. (Or less corrupt??) I’m wondering how long you would last in office, with your cheek. :)


      • :) Restraint definitely has its place – but then, so does action, in the right ways, even at the cost of ‘support’, if the cause is just. It has been a while since the world has seen such a politician, working for the public good even when they don’t see or understand the good yet…


      • So very true. At some point one needs to get a guard installed around the tongue lest the teeth bite right through it. Mine is positively scarred. But then, what fun to be in opposition :>)


  5. I learn many things from your posts… after pause for thought I got “regnant”. I had to look up “gerund” on Wiki and am no the wiser other than understanding too many “ings” is a bad thing…
    The rooftop area of the old airport looks pleasant. Refreshing to be able to escape outside while waiting for a flight. And no of course it’s likely it didn’t NEED demolishing any more than you do…
    I’ll be interested to hear about the new airport, the rationale behind it – stimulus package or beneficial contacts…? Do you have to pay to park? Car parks raise quite a bit of revenue.
    Nice to see Liz & co haven’t forgotten about Gib, and it translates into action rather just words. No opportunity for a visit onto the nuclear sub? Disappointing.
    I forgotten until you mentioned Liz, that for ANZAC Day we sang both Advance Australia Fair and God Save the Queen, which is uncommon now. Many only knew the words to Advance Australia Fair. I think anyone younger than me wouldn’t have had to sing God Save the Queen at school.


    • I was trying to differentiate between monarchs and queens in Oxford St before anyone got the wrong idea. As Clare said, I probably misdescribed both words as gerunds, my dictionary says it is a verb used as a noun which rings a vague bell from my Latin days, so it really depends how you view ‘including by protecting’ – you could take either out and add a substitute noun and it would work. However, your description is far better. Too many ings is a bad thing. I will remember that and stop trying to be clever :D

      The rooftop terrace was lovely – the haunt of all the smokers being it’s only disadvantage. There is a nice one in Faro too. The one in Málaga never seemed to be used, says the roof top expert ….

      I’ve written about the airport (new) before, but I’ll write something in the near future as part of a post about the disputes with Spain.

      My problem at the moment, the only action is coming from the aggressive Spaniards, and the EU ruling that the waters are part of a Spanish conservation area doesn’t help. (Spanish conservation area my arse).

      I’m not sure I would have been in a hurry to visit a nuclear sub – the combination of claustrophobia and close proximity to a nuclear reactor is not my idea of a good day out.

      I’m not fond of AAF. But I also belong to the group of people who doesn’t agree that a national anthem should be about a monarch, I would have preferred Rule Britannia, Land of Hope and Glory, or even Jerusalem as a national anthem. The Scots and Welsh one are better I think – Wales, Land of my Fathers (bit sexist that) and Scotland – Flower of Scotland, and Scotland the Brave.

      In fact one of the ones I like best is La Marseillaise.


  6. I remember visiting Gibraltar once around 1989 on a day trip from Tangiers. It was an amazing place. I must confess even though I can understand why Spain would want it back, firstly how they refuse to acknowledge their enclaves in Morocco as being similar and secondly they agreed to Gibraltar by a treaty..

    I do hope to return to Gibraltar one day. I wonder if the bew airport will still dissect the road which I travelled along.

    Have you ever done a post on the land reclamation that has or is being done in Gibraltar and the related quarrels with Spain about infringing on their territorial waters? Or maybe that might just interest me!


    • We first came in the 90s on a long hol, sounds similar to yours as visited Morocco too (and Spain and Portugal).

      There is an issue about the tunnel that was planned for the new airport to stop traffic using the road going across the runway.

      I may have written about land reclamation on some of my posts, but am planning a specific one on that issue, to follow on from this but not immediately.

      I have written a lot about current territorial waters disputes.


  7. I think its aircraft carriers that the Ministry of Defence (which was of course called the Ministry of War not that long ago) are rather short of. They have some nice new destroyers, like the one that was doing duty in Falklands Islands last year, which are capable of carrying Apache helicopter gun ships and the like.

    Sadly it now seems that the new aircraft carriers due for delivery in 2020 will not be able to work with the new fighter jets ordered with them, as they won’t be able to land in hot humid conditions or something like that. Good job the UK has one aircraft carrier left, yes, Gibraltar.


    • Very 1984 isn’t it? Ministry of War or Ministry of Defence? It all means the same thing. Or does it?

      I am so not up on the news apart from when I scan the gib gov press releases and the local papers. I have fallen into old person syndrome of ‘this is all wrong and I could do better/know more blah blah.’

      I am afraid living in Gib has made me far too sovereign nation biased and stuff the EU (for which I was a big advocate at one point, the Euro too). How goes the auction?


      • I am an advocate of the EU. Not so much for the Euro, as it was always going to be a problem when countries were not able to devalue their currency. The current value of the Euro reflects the German economy not the Greek one.

        Even though the USA has had this common currency thing for an extra 200 years or so, I’m not sure it works any better for them, California for one is bust and needs a bailout (IMHO to USA readers).

        Although not my instinctive political stance, I hope Miliband wins the 2015 UK general election. First as he will keep the UK within the EU and secondly the results of his economic plans will devalue the pound further. Not many people noticed the pound devalued by 35% against the US$ between 2007 and 2009, but has crept back up a bit since then.

        So much of the Greek economy is about growing things, olives, garlic, grapes, coupled with tourism and fishing; not much need for expensive imported raw materials. If they controlled their currency, they could make these products very popular indeed on the export markets.

        Oh yes. Next week.


        • I was pro both the EEC as was and the Euro. I think the time has passed for European union and nations should go their own way. The farcical bureaucracy that comes out of Brussels is beyond belief. It was bad enough when I was working in the UK in the civil service, but now it is just ridiculous. It’s not about improving peoples’ lives or ethics or anything meaningful, it is just banal nit-picking drivel. I am sure you can find an example to prove me wrong though :D

          At the time of the Euro introduction the economy in Europe was very different. However, wasn’t Germany always going to dominate it?

          No idea about the American economy except it is a nuisance that it influences the rest of the world so heavily.

          Now why would you want the pound devalued? You sound like Harold Wilson.

          That Greek economy sounds like the Spanish one. Spain, I might add being the biggest producer of olive oil in the world. Even some Greek bottled olive oil is actually from Spain :)

          Indeed those products are a winner. Aren’t we all willing to pay big bucks for farmers to produce olives, garlic, grapes, plus tourism and fishing? That will no doubt explain the high rate of unemployment in my area of Spain where the local economy is based on ….


          • To quote old Harold “The pound in your pocket etc etc”. Increasingly in UK supermarkets I’m seeing greek wines and greek fish products for sale, but they are expensive as they are traded in Euros. We’ve always had greek olives, but as I think I’ve said I’m not keen on olives.

            Devaluation makes your exports cheaper and thus more competitive whilst driving up import prices. So for Greece and Spain, where the mild climate means no huge winter heating bills, the rise in the price of imported fuel is not as much a problem as say in the UK.

            Of course Spain can’t devalue either.


          • Yes but when you’ve got stuff all to export (the UK) and the cost of imports are higher, it’s not much of an advantage. So if you look at the various devaluations of the pound in the past, some were successful, others were not, depending on circumstances.

            For example, the 1949 one did help exports (needed to fund war costs and interest to America), but Wilson’s 67 one didn’t. Dollars were on the up and sterling was down whichever way you looked at it. Interestingly Nixon also devalued the dollar after the Vietnam War.

            Then you get the ERM to throw into the equation.

            I’m probably influenced by a) my father’s negative view of Harold Wilson and devaluation and b) our personal financial success during the lovely Nigel’s period as Chancellor in the 80s. Stuff devaluation and exports as the UK has nowt to export and imports virtually everything. Doesn’t even have a service industry any more, even that’s out-sourced. I like a strong currency and I can live with that. But hey, I don’t live there any more so I could have the wrong view. It could be a bed of roses for all I know.

            I wonder if the EU is a worse or better empire than the British one. Or the ancient Greek or Roman ones. Or the C19 Russian one. Or the current American one. Names and power politics change. The reality doesn’t.


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