TG distances itself from ‘confused and ill-executed’ protest, urges Govt to take note
Together Gibraltar has distanced itself from the Open Your Eyes demonstration on Monday, insisting it had no active involvement or official position on the protest after being accused on social media of both helping to organise the event, and failing to attend it.
While sharing some of the concerns raised by the protestors, TG said it could not “coherently” endorse a demonstration that raised 14 different grievances on issues ranging from mental health, and traffic management to Community Care policy changes.
TG echoed the concerns on Community Care, which it had raised previously, but said its position on traffic management was “far more nuanced” and supported efforts aimed at reducing vehicle use and pollution, even while maintaining criticism of the government’s “haphazard” approach to this issue.
It noted too that while the issues raised by protestors on mental healthcare “policy failures” were "sensible and relevant”, the positions expressed on environmental policy clashed directly with the core values of the party.
“Some of the causes evoke conspiracy ramblings that Together Gibraltar believes damage the very fabric of our society,” TG said in a statement.
“Our government has made big and impactful mistakes, many of which we have consistently high-lighted, and we believe that, as a consequence, Gibraltar will vote them out at the next general election.”
“However, the party does not believe they are ‘pure evil' as the Open Your Eyes group states, nor does it believe that we are living in a ‘Big Brother’ world of absolute pretence.”
“We are lucky to live in a democratic society, albeit flawed, where we can express our opinions, pro-test, and vote every four years.”
“We believe in reformist, incremental change, improving on the things that require change while appreciating the value of all the collective achievements we have made as a society.”
TG said the demonstration had “flaunted” social distancing norms, adding that no responsible political party should be supporting such a lapse regardless of the recent positive news on virus cases.
“Besides the extensive list of unrelated and incoherent claims, some of a progressive nature, some markedly reactionary, the protest included chants for ‘free parking” and xenophobic banners protest-ing osmosis,” TG added.
“For the aforementioned reasons, we are shocked that the GSD found it suitable to support this con-fused and ill-executed event, where many legitimate and well intentioned causes were sidetracked and their ability to raise awareness and bring real change nullified.”
“It shows a desperate attempt at gaining some form of public relevance after years of decline and un-inspired Opposition, and a worrying willingness to engage in cheap, populist practices.”
The party nonetheless urged the Gibraltar Government to take note of the “discord” that was emerging within Gibraltarian society, adding there were “good and legitimate arguments” expressed on Monday that the GSLP/Liberals should pay heed to.
“People are starting to get fed up with a style of politics that is often dishonest and disrespectful, and a pervasive cronyism that becomes all the more offensive in times of crisis,” TG said.
“Together Gibraltar will continue to have a responsible, principled and constructive approach to oppo-sition, offering the people of Gibraltar a real political alternative.”