Equality Rights group GGR - Citizenship in Democracy EQUALITY RIGHTS GGR

News and Information from Gibraltar on Equality, Human, Gay and Social Rights

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Gibraltar politicians will just have to lump it!

Following the recent ruling by the European Court of Justice regarding Spain’s failed claim regarding the enfranchisement of qualifying commonwealth citizens in Gibraltar for voting rights in European parliamentary elections, Equality Rights Group GGR has also welcomed Spain’s failure but has reacted to comments by Government and other Parties saying that “once more it’s a case of do as I say - but not as I do.”

Whilst Spain’s case was obnoxious in its attempt to prevent certain resident citizens from being able to participate in a democratic process, no less so is the hypocrisy with which the Chief Minister and other politicians have “warmly welcomed” the result. “Were it not for the fact that they argue on human rights grounds and that they strongly object to the fact that Spain was attempting to prevent citizens from exercising their democratic rights and that this is precisely what Gibraltarian Governments have been doing all along themselves and continue to do to the present day, perhaps we might not be so averse to the unrivalled hypocrisy of their supposed moral stand on this matter. It is clear they play to the public gallery saying the things they expect people want to hear before an Election and failing to tell the full story of the European Court of Justice’s basis for their ruling.”

“For years, successive Governments have failed to implement a whole range of human rights in our country – this present Government perhaps taking the biscuit, the Oscar and all Olympic medals in this particular category. Additionally, British citizens "in British Gibraltar" continue to be denied a range of basic rights on the principle that because Gibraltar is a part of the United Kingdom and since British people in Gibraltar are therefore from the “same” member State, then those same British people cannot have the rights any other EU citizen would have in freely moving to Gibraltar because they are not members of “another” EU state, which is what EC law provides. This is sheer and undiluted two-facedness: arguing we belong to the UK when we don’t want to give British people in Gibraltar their EC rights and arguing we don’t belong to the UK when we want to obtain our own separate human rights! GGR has always put telling the realities and the truth ahead of all other considerations – whether the politicians like it or not. And on this occasion they’ll just have to lump it!”