Staff July 18, 2019

“Eye-minded - tending to perceive one's environment in visual terms and to recall sights more vividly than sounds or smells. This was originally, and still is, a term used in psychology. Eye-minded has a companion term, ear-minded dating from the same year (1888)”. A third related term motor-minded “tending to perceive one's environment in terms of mechanical or muscular activity.”

I found the above adjective “eye minded” and its related companions extremely interesting because it not only permits us, sometimes to the exclusion of everything else, to relate to our environment visually or through sound, whatever the case may be, but also because it may limit our space within an environment by virtue of how we relate to it and how we live our lives within this space. Our reasoning and power of analysis or cognitive abilities will certainly also be affected by the means with which we relate to it. So whereas a particular “mindedness” allows us to relate to our environment in a specific way, it also limits our horizon by virtue of the set perimeter but more important by the exclusivity of the tool chosen; vision, sound etc if the tool is indeed exclusive.

Our environment can be carved out by nurture, through the ethics we absorb since birth or it is carved out for us by a natural disposition, nature, or a combination of both. By so doing we also put limits on our potential to see beyond and explore the imposed finite space or perimeter. This limitation may become an indelible characteristic of an individual as well of different disciplines and organisations. Religion may be a good case in point when we are threatened with a fall from grace if we dare to breach, otherwise ethical and legitimate but prohibited endeavours. Witness the wrath unleashed on Galileo Galilei and others throughout history simply by daring. The imposed limitation becomes a safe second nature eventually.

I was in two minds a second ago on whether to use one of two adjectives, reactive or reactionary when describing the GSD and I decided that reactive would be the proper word rather than reactionary which, though tending towards conservatism, is a positive endeavour, albeit negative for progressives, when one takes the position of wanting to maintain society such as it is or was by somehow impeding progress.

This is a world away from the depiction made by Marlene Hasan Nahon  disgusted at the almost schizophrenic stance of the GSD on the abortion bill where a “yes” could mean “no” or a “no” could mean “yes” or both or it could mean neither. A perennial and habitual sitting on the fence hoping that both prolife and prochoice will interpret this as a support for their respective stance and vote for them. They should, however, be wary of sitting astride on the fence because this could further damage their already seemingly fragile crotch. They neither support prolife or prochoice: but demand a referendum but not the one that is being offered, something different towards the same goal. Schizo? No, simply reactive-minded. The usual GSD, much ado about nothing

Reaction as we see can be illogical but negative and confrontational too; reacting to something negatively in order to impede or disrupt its progress. I, therefore, describe the GSD as a political party that is “reactive-minded” without any political policies or programmes except to wait for the Government to act or announce anything when they immediately come out publicly reacting negatively against whatever as the only way of staying politically relevant and alive by showing the government both as immoral and incompetent.

There has been a qualitative change from the GSD that Caruana bequeathed to Feetham and since. In fact, the GSD has gone full circle from its confrontational politics and post-truth practised prior to 1995, to the return of the erstwhile strategy when Feetham took over. He has said, on occasions, that he prefers confrontational politics possibly because he has little else by way of political repertoire in his repository to fall back onto. This is understandable in an individual who is equally at home on any point in the political spectrum and described the GSD as broad church once. What he actually desired, in fisherman’s term, was a small mesh net that could catch everything.

There was a seamless transition from Feetham to Azopardi where the latter has continued with Feetham’s confrontational politics and a continuation of his own strategy in the PDP against the GSD once, as any political dig will reveal.  This is, again, understandable from an individual who left the party in a huff and became openly and rabidly, anti GSD. We still do not know whether he feels PDP, a party of his own creation, or GSD. We do not know if the antipathy Azopardi and Feetham felt for each other once has now been ironed out.

What they both, nevertheless, share is a desperation for power coupled with a foreboding that if they do not punch high enough in the next elections it may be the last season for the two and the beginning of the end for the GSD if Marlene manages to do better than them in the polls. The GSD could depart the political scene, seamlessly just like the AACR did once, without creating any splashes. To put it bluntly, they will not be missed.

The electorate do not associate them with any particular policy. Theirs is unprincipled harassment. There have been very few instances when they have taken a position and attempted to defend it. The first major break for them was the announcement of the Government to go for LNG power generation. They went all out against LNG attempting to instil fear in the people. The elections told them they were not the flavour of the month and unlikely to ever be so, and they skipped their opposition to LNG immediately. It was not that they believed LNG was dangerous but that opposition to LNG could be whipped up to a crescendo that could have led them, they hoped, to No6.

Their next big issue was the loan to the Sunborn Hotel where they attempted to show the irresponsibility of a government lending huge sums of money to private business, clearly forgetting OEM etc, until they discovered that the loan had been fully paid and immediately moved on.

The GSD is a party that need issues to confront in order to survive. They are now trapped in a reactive minded environment created by themselves. This has now become the only way they understand politics. Elliot Phillips insults and diatribe in parliament confirms this. His was a cry for help from the wilderness.

There is no sense of desperation in Gibraltar where people approach them to implore them to become their saviours. On the contrary - there is a general feel-good factor where workers and pensioners have never had it so good and they say so, despite the diatribe emanating from the GSD.

There are more flats than ever going up, schools galore, a University. We have proudly opened the door to the world by hosting the Small Islands Game etc etc. This administration like the 1988 administration once has changed the face of Gibraltar for better for ever. What does sour-face Azopardi have to offer apart from decrying the benefits of joining the OECD and the tax treaty, which he threatens to renege on if Gibraltar suddenly went mad and decided to vote him in to government and unleash unpleasantness both with Spain and the UK in order to please his friends in “Snotto Grande?

They do understand that being in government over eight years will exact a cost. This is unavoidable. Every individual has his own agenda and some may not understand why his demands and aspirations have not been fulfilled. The GSD has become a club for the disaffected, and they can afford to be if they do not expect to be called to govern. They hope that the disaffection where it exists and their harassment will manage to tilt the balance, until they understand that the balance may be so huge that mere tilting will not do.

But if there is a cost to government there is equally a cost for ineffective opposition and for having no political agenda and for crying wolf too often.

What we see in parliament is quite a spectacle. A rout. Let us keep on reminding those who need to be reminded.




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