Opposing and proposing in 2017
By Marlene Hassan Nahon
I have decided to resist the temptation to use this message to reflect on the last twelve months.
I am sure that the last thing you all want is yet another reminder of the challenging year that 2016 was.
Instead, I think it is important that we look forwards with optimism.
While these challenges may now be presenting us with an uncertain future, it is one that we must nonetheless accept while identifying important opportunities for us to develop as a nation.
Our Government has a challenging task at hand, and I see it as my job and that of my Opposition colleagues to get the most out of this administration as we face these unsettled times.
Both sides of the House have a mutual interest in serving our community, and we must ensure that we handle this responsibility correctly.
We must comprehend that what Gibraltar needs right now is courage and unity, and our Parliament must lead by setting this example.
This will not happen, however, through opportunistic winging, but by stepping up to the challenge, working together constructively, and offering real solutions to the problems we encounter.
I believe that this is the sort of democracy that Gibraltar wants, and deserves.
I see my task not just as one of opposing, but also one of proposing.
Where I ask questions, I will try to suggest possible answers, and where I pick holes, I will try to fill them.
By the same token, Gibraltar will not be best served by continuous references to the previous administration, and all parties must fight the tendency to be defensive with propagandist rants and a belittling of the other side.
A “new dawn” should represent the desire to keep looking forwards, and I am excited to start working with the Brexit Select Committee to propose bipartisan ideas that will reveal a positive future for Gibraltar.
The well-worn cliché is that difficult times bring people together; it is now time to make this so.
It is for this, and many other reasons, that I am looking at 2017 with excitement. I am looking forward to working with my parliamentary colleagues into a year of productive positivity, and I am keen to motivate and inspire the community with new ideas and projects.
Whatever challenges and joys 2017 brings with it, I am sure that will embrace them – together.
I wish you all a very happy new year and all the best for a blissful, healthy and successful 2017.