Monday, 3 April 2017

Swing Voting

Long ago when compelled to serve in the Army, there came the time where the concern was where in the world would one be posted to. A bad one would be the distant islands where nuclear bombs were being tested. Worse would be to stay in Aldershot.

For various reasons, this being the age of the imminent threat of the Soviet Union and the retreat from Empire, the list of bad postings was a great deal longer than that of the good. One of the few on the "good" list was The Rock of Gibraltar.

It was warm, but not tropical. It had good communications with the UK, so was much like home. The local population were not opposed to the UK presence, in fact welcomed it. It was small enough to know your way around easily. But beware of the apes.

The problem was that this choice spot was only for very few and they were likely to be regular signed on soldiers. Some national service types did make it there and for them it was almost a holiday posting as compared with almost any of the others. British Honduras was reckoned to be quite good but a long way off.

The trouble was the people across the border in Spain, who were held in low regard. Now we know that during that period the Franco regime did not dispose them to be of a generous or welcoming nature. They were best avoided and at all costs. If you strayed across the border it could be a long time before you came back.

In recent decades, following the fashion of democracy, the citizens of The Rock have been given a choice. To the astonishment of everyone except those who knew The Rock, they have opted to retain the wayward old British link and avoid the regulation of Spain.

One reason is that they have a nice number going as a tourist resort cum tax haven and becoming part of Spain would spoil it. Also, for them London has been a better place to go than Madrid. Given what Spanish officials and government offices are like this is probably a rational and informed decision.

If the people of Gibraltar want to stay British, then we should allow them. But to be fair the apes could opt to be citizens of the new EU, perhaps with their cousins who moved to the Blair Drummond Safari Park in Scotland.

Eh? Blair?


  1. As an aside, I don't know what it's like now, but many years ago you could be quite close to the lions at Blair Drummond; don't worry, they had a fence to keep the public out. Thus there is stamped on my memory the smell which becomes sooooo noticeable when you're downwind of a lion which has just farted.

  2. Last year after it was announced here in Gibraltar that the delinquent Macaques (i.e., those that had been identified as biters and food thieves) were to be "transported" to that distant Northern colony called Escotia, a popular joke doing the rounds was that this will have undoubtedly increased both the average IQ and law abidance of both places.

    1. The Colonials have learned from their masters it seems.
      Can you be a condescending prick in Spanish too?

    2. Right on cue Conan, I've won my wager.
      Thanks for being sooo predictable. Por favor, jugar otra vez Señor.

  3. "If the people of Gibraltar want to stay British, then we should allow them."

    As should Spain.