Friday, 7th September 2012
GSD declare boycott of SDGG rally and urge ‘normal’ national day
The GSD Opposition yesterday issued a statement in which it wished the people of Gibraltar a happy National Day and made clear it would not be attending the political rally. A signal that is likely to be picked up by its supporters as one to boycott the rally.
A party spokesman said the day should principally be an opportunity to come together as a community “to celebrate all that is good about our country and to honour the memory of past generations without whose sacrifices we would not enjoy the very high quality of life we enjoy to-day”.
The GSD has reiterated its long standing position that, with the referendum on the New Constitution (2006), Gibraltar has exercised its right to self-determination in favour of the modern non colonial relationship with the United Kingdom that the new Constitution gave us, and that “we must avoid allowing the position and attitudes of others outside Gibraltar towards us (which we reject) to dictate how we do things here in Gibraltar”.
The argument is similar that behind Opposition Leader Peter Caruana not attending the Committee of 24 sessions at the UN.
“Among the things we in Gibraltar do well as a community is to defend and uphold our political rights and aspirations as a people. It is right and necessary to do so. But, equally we must project normality. The more that our National Day celebrations resemble the normal way that other countries do it, the more Gibraltar will seem to others to be a normal country, and thus the more the position of others towards us will look abnormal.
In our judgement, both in government and now in opposition, the continuation of the political rally in its old format risks condemning Gibraltar to a state of perpetual, defensive re-vindication, and thus gives credence to the theory of others that there is a problem that needs solving,” said the GSD.
The Opposition argues that over the last few years the format of our National Day has been much more typical of the European norm whilst at the same time declaring then Rock’s solidarity with and determination to “defend and uphold our political rights and aspirations as a people, including the sovereignty of our country”.
The GSD says it will continue, with the rest of Gibraltar, to defend those political rights and aspirations as we have done for over 20 years.
“This is why the GSD Government changed the format of the official National Day celebrations and why we oppose the reintroduction of the old format, which we do not think is in Gibraltar’s best interests. Accordingly, GSD Members of Parliament will attend other civic National Day events organised by the Government, but will not attend the SDGG political rally in Casemates or their reception,” said a spokesman adding “Have a wonderful National Day, and celebrate our country and its achievements with your family and friends in whatever way you believe best expresses them.”