As I mentioned in my previous blog, tensions between Gibraltar and Spain are at a high once more. Whilst certainly not near the heyday that caused the closure of the borders between the two countries, they are however reaching to a point where aggression will seemingly become the first response to any slight or incident that takes place.
As a proud Gibraltarian, I am often left frustrated and outraged by the Spanish Government’s continual acts of bullying against Gibraltar, but the only solution I have ever supported as been a diplomatic and political one.
Recently some Spaniards decided to cross the border into Gibraltar, go into a large commercial area called Casemates Square and sing derogatory and insulting songs about Gibraltar and Gibraltarians whilst waving two Spanish flags. There was a reported scuffle between some locals and the Spaniards before the police escorted the Spaniards to a bus that would take them directly to the border between Gibraltar and Spain.
Naturally a lot of people are frustrated with these actions, it’s not so much the actions of these misguided individuals that irks people, but rather continual incidents from both people very much in the same mindset like these individuals and the Spanish Government. Unfortunately, some have reacted far more vociferously than others. Some comments were hoping that a Spanish terrorist group would become active again. I cannot stress enough just how aghast I was at this notion.
This for me is the pitfalls of the tension between Gibraltar and Spain. Over the years, the acts of the Spanish Government and media, have caused people on both sides of the border to develop racist attitudes towards each other. Political tensions have become racial tensions.
With racial tensions comes extremism. People on both side of the border wish malaise, pain, anguish and even death upon others, and to me this is completely abhorrent. It speaks abundantly of the fallacy of human nature, that when things become strained, we can advocate the desire for death upon another human being purely for sharing a different point of view than our own.
Despite the actions of the Spanish Government, media and some misguided individuals, we would do well to remind ourselves that beyond the border live other human beings, with the same rights to their thoughts and opinions that we have to hold ours. The issue between Gibraltar and Spain will likely never be resolved, generations are born on both sides of the border seeing the other as the enemy and unfortunately this kind of conditioning can be impossible to eliminate fully.
Diplomacy and politics can be the only solution to this issue, whether it is devolved integration with the United Kingdom like I suggested in my previous blog (link provided below for reference) or even a solution where Gibraltar and Spain agree to be cordial with each other and have no other interaction between each other whatsoever. Regardless, it should never, and again I cannot stress this enough, It should never be solved with violence, and anyone advocating violence of any kind, should seriously take a deep hard look at themselves in the mirror, and depending on the level of violence they are advocating, perhaps have the relevant authorities take action against them.
As long as we allow ourselves to be clouded by our experiences, and allow our thoughts to become mired by racial hatred, then there can never be a peaceful and democratic solution to this problem. We must remind ourselves, that despite everything, we are all human beings, and the rights, privileges and respect that we all demand we receive, should be extended accordingly to all others, irrespective of whether they agree with our views and our stance on things or not.
Until next time,