The Gibraltar Flag
The flag of Gibraltar is a wonderful representation of all that the United Kingdom holds dear. The simple values of equality, freedom, freedom of speech, tolerance, to set an example of dignity when all around are losing theirs. That is the strength of the UK, and Gibraltar IS UK make no mistake about that. And gibraltar-tourism.com is as British as the UK itself.
But a recent event has left a nasty smear on this good name. The arrest of two Spanish journalists Wed 14th May 2014, in Gibraltar for simply flying a spanish flag!
What, we hear the subjects back home say? Yes it is true, apparently. Has anyone ever heard of someone being arrested on Bognor beach, or Camber Sands for flying a French, Spanish, other EU state flag, or even a flag of any country? Not that we know of. This is a first and a dark moment for the good name of the UK.
Have Gibraltar and the Royal Gibraltar Police taken leave of their senses?
Despite the bickering and rows between Gibraltar and Spain, Gibraltar has always held her head high and lead the way in setting a good example. She has sat patiently in long hot queues for hour upon hour without lowering herself. So why this incredible over-reaction.
Allegedly members of the public were stone throwing, it is not clear if any arrests were made over these alleged assaults, but statements are that the two spanish journalists were arrested for allegedly ‘causing a breach of the peace’.
It is as unclear that if any tourist were to mistakenly wear a spanish T-shirt, or perhaps commit the heinous crime of supporting Real Madrid in Gibraltar, would they too spend a few hours in the grisly cells at the hands of the RGP? We certainly hope not.
Bad management can lead to the most catastrophic damage to the good name and reputation of Gib. Poor judgement indeed. We have certainly heard of weirder arrests in Gibraltar, but they are other stories. Perhaps the motto of the Metropolitan Police could help as some guidance Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity.
In contrast to the over-reaction of the RGP, Facebook groups are hardly alive with talk of this incident, with only one mild mention found. As Wednesday was a school and work day the beach at Catalan could hardly have been brimming with bathers!
The more pressing and urgent question is will this incident have ramifications for the good people of Gibraltar when in Spain? Will there be retaliation to this childish incident? We certainly hope not. And what does the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo think about all this? Does he support the RGP on this one, or will quiet whispers of advice filter back down the ranks to prevent this type of behaviour in the future? Only Mr Picardo can answer that one.
No matter what childish provocation there is from self styled troublemaking journalists, grown ups are taught not to rise to it. Spain is an EU cousin, like it or lump it, and remember worse things happen in Syria! Where have all the grown ups gone?
This is NOT one of Gibraltars finest hours.