Gibraltar

Returning the Rock

April 2002



Wide Shot of Gibraltar

FX: Birds

02:00


Music -- British National Anthem

02:10


Lockyer: Location, location -- in eighteen century real estate terms Gibraltar had it all. Commanding water views, all the way to North Africa, giving Great Britain control over the entrance to the Mediterranean, a crucial security foothold on the southern tip of Spain. cuddly wildlife at no extra cost.

02:21


Man: Cor blimey, don't be afraid.


Governor's guards

Guard: Sentry..right turn..to your post quick march.



Lockyer: The governor's guard still goes through the motions, but Gibraltar lost its military value to Britain long ago.

03:05


Now 30,000 Gibraltarians believe their unstinting loyalty to the crown is being repaid by betrayal, as Mother England hatches a deal with Spain to return the colony.


Caruana

Super:

PETER CARUANA

CHIEF MINISTER

Caruana: People feel very strongly about it.There is a deep seated anger in Gibraltar about the attitude currently being displayed by the Foreign Office.

03:31

Government inspired protest

Man: We, the people of Gibraltar, here gathered…

03:45


Lockyer: That anger was clearly demonstrated in a recent government inspired protest joined by the vast majority of people in the colony.


Man: ...the future of gibraltar...


Lockyer: All businesses, government offices and schools were closed early to allow people to take part. It was hoped that ‘people power’, Gibraltar style, would finally get a message through to London and Madrid.



FX: Cheering/Chanting


Wide Shots of Gibraltar

Lockyer: Ever since Britain took Gibraltar from spain three hundred years ago as the spoils of war Madrid has been trying to get it back. On fourteen occasions, the rock came under siege but Britain clung on to its possession, often at high cost, frustrating ruler after ruler in Madrid.

04:17

Aza


Aza: I think it’s a right rather than a matter of pride-- a page of history that should be written again. And of course it will not of course feel very happy having a colonial system in the 21st century in main Europe, in the Europe which is working for European union and discussing even for a European unit, a European state.

04:41

Durie

Super:

DAVID DURIE

GOVERNOR OF GIBRALTAR

Durie: Spain has never liked the fact that they lost Gibraltar, they're never reconciled themselves to it, and undoubtedly they make difficulties in a way which one would hope that a mature modern state wouldn't, and the British Government is trying to find a way forward.

05:11

Gibraltar border checkpoint

Lockyer: It's at the border that life is made most difficult for Gibraltarians. depending on the political mood in Madrid, or the mood at the check point, people can be made to queue for hour after hour to enter Spain.

05:37


The Gibraltar Government makes sure that every visiting British member of parliament witnesses the border chaos, as it tries to win more allies at Westminster.

06:03

British MP

MP: All they do is affect the visitors to Gibraltar but they also affect their own people who come to work here from getting the economic benefits. Absolute madness..madness!

06:14


Lockyer: The delegation leader is Labour backbencher Lindsay Hoyle who chairs an all party Gibraltar group in Westminster, a constant irritant to Prime Minister Blair.

06:27


Hoyle: My own government, and I say that quite openly, have got it wrong. At the end of the day what we ought to do is ensure that the people of Gibraltar make the decisions on the future I think it's wrong of two governments to actually play politics with the future of 30,000 people.

06:39


Music


Eli Rocha

Lockyer: Gibraltar's future also affects many Spaniards. Eli Rocha is one of three thousand who negotiate the border each day to work in the British colony.

07:00


Music



Lockyer: The economy, once dominated by Britain's defence presence, now relies on its tax haven status to lure offshore company dealings and duty free shoppers.

07:18


Rocha: It's very important because Gibraltar is like a little factory for us.

07:28


Lockyer: But Spain claims it's much more than that - charging that Gibraltar is a smugglers nest which tolerates dubious financial practices such as money laundering.


Archival footage: Protest march

The long running tension between Gibraltar and Madrid reached a flashpoint in 1969.

07:45


Music



Lockyer: Spanish dictator, Genera Franco, ordered the border closed after the people of Gibraltar overwhelmingly rejected a return to Spain.



In fact only 44 people out of 12,000 voted in favour of abandoning British rule. They were all identified and shunned in Gibraltar as turncoats. One politician was singled out for particular treatment - his yacht was sunk and his car torched.

08:10


The border was to remain closed for 13 years, splitting many families who were left to relate their news across the razor wire every Sunday.

08:34

Rocha

Super:

ELI ROCHA, SPANISH WORKER IN GIBRALTAR

Rocha: That the people was shouting across the border, they normally goes, the Gibraltarians to that side and the Spaniard to this side, and they're shouting from the border to see their family.

08:45


Lockyer: When the border was finally re-opened it came with a British promise to talk to Spain about Gibraltar's future. That's when the seeds of betrayal were sewn according to Gibraltar’s former Chief Minister, Joe Bassano, now Opposition Leader.


Bassano

Bassano: We don't like being pushed about, and that the more people try to push us about the more adamanant we are in resisting, and I can tell you one thing -- they've handled this thing so badly they've almost guaranteed the opposition.

09:13

Streets of Madrid

Music



Lockyer: On the Spanish side, the political noises coming from Madrid have heightened the nervousness in Gibraltar. Here there's optimistic talk of reaching an agreement with Britain over the future of the colony before a June deadline set by both governments.

09:38


Music


Aza

Super:

ALBERTO AZA, DIR. FOREIGN AFFAIRS , SPAIN

Aza: There is a new spirit in the dialogue between the United Kingdom and Spain. There is a strong political will which is essential if you want to open and re-open negotiations that have been there for three hundred years now. We can talk about sovereignty and nobody is blushing on either side.

09:59

Hoyle

Super:

LINDSAY HOYLE, BRITISH LABOUR MP

Hoyle: Spain is busy cheering at the moment and know that they're flag waving, they're quite bullish you know they see this as a victory.

10:23


Music


Ramon Perez-Maura

Lockyer: Certainly the Spanish right wing press is making great play of the issue. Ramon Perez-Maura is an influential columnist on Spain's leading conservative newspaper.

10:41


Perez-Maura: I just think it's an error of the Brits to remain there and fortunately enough I think they have realised that too now. I think they’ve understood that they’d better come to an arrangement the sooner the better.


Streets of Gibraltar

Lockyer: What’s envisaged is for Britain to initially enter into a sovereignty sharing deal with Spain, but that would only satisfy the right wingers if there was a deadline for a full return of Gibraltar.

11:08

Perez-Maura

Super:

RAMON PEREZ MAURA, POLITICAL COLUMNIST, ABC NEWSPAPER

Perez-Maura: The Spanish people expect Gibraltar to be fully Spanish 100 percent. It is not a matter of when it becomes Spanish 100 percent but that it does at some stage in the future.

11:20

Gibraltar Harbour

Lockyer: That would represent an historic political victory for Spain and in return Britain would gain an important ally in a fast changing Europe.

11:35

Durie

Super:

DAVID DURIE, GIBRALTAR'S GOVERNOR

Durie: The Spanish Government and the British Government in Europe see eye to eye over many things and are allies over many things and I think both governments find it difficult that they have this difficulty over Gibraltar, so it clearly comes into play.

11:49

Aza

Aza: There is enormous room for Anglo-Spanish relations that for many years have been conditioned by the claim on Gibraltar. Probably it could make a nice and strong voice in the whole restructuring of power in Europe.

12:03

Bassano

Bassano: They’ve sent a very clear message to London that they expect London to deliver or else. If they’re so keen to buy off Spain well let them give them a bit of Cornwall or some other bit of the U.K.

12:18

Streets Of Gibraltar

Music



Lockyer: But as the politics rages it's the ordinary people in Gibraltar whose lives have been shaped by adversity who most keenly feel a sense of desertion.

12:36

Finlayson

Finlayson: We've found some photographs here of the repatriation, the return.

12:48


Music


Archival: Still Photo’s of 2nd World War

Lockyer: Most people were removed from the rock during the Second World War and some weren't allowed back for six years after the conflict ended because of an accommodation shortage.

12:53

Finlayson

Finlayson: The next two show the sheer joy of reunion after all those years of separation.

13:04

Archival: Still Photo’s of 2nd World War

Lockyer: Gibraltar's archivist, Tommy Finlayson, joined the war time exodus. All those who couldn't fight were shipped out, unkindly tagged "useless mouths" by the British military.

13:11

Finlayson

Finlayson: If you've been away for any length of time and you come back and you see the rock it gives you an indescribable feeling here. There's my rock, there's my home.

13:22

Ferrary

Lockyer: Then there's Arthur Ferrary who lied about his age so that he could stay and man a gun in gibraltar during the Second World War. He remains deeply loyal to the crown but the British Prime Minister is a very different matter.

13:34

SUPER:

ARTHUR FERRARY, WORLD WAR II VETERAN

Ferrary: I feel very sorry that Tony Blair, or whatever his name is, has started this thing off. It hurts to be honest, I mean I'll be very honest about that, I didn't expect to be stabbed in the back to put it bluntly.

Lockyer: Why shouldn't it just become part of Spain?

Ferrary: I'll tell you why -- because if it's been good enough for the last three hundred years when it was needed, surely you deserve to be left alone and in peace.

13:47


Music



Music


Gibraltarian nightclub

Lockyer: The paradox is that while in many ways Gibraltarians are British to their bootstraps, they've embraced much of the Spanish lifestyle -- Spanish music and food, conversing in Spanish rather than English.

14:35


Over the generations mediterranean bloodlines have mixed here, but the people challenge suggestions that they're more in tune with Spain than Britain. Even for young people who've grown up in a united Europe, the loyalty is to Britain not Spain.

14:55


Music


Borrell & students

Borrell: For you now the moment we're living in history, for us now it's quite a tense and difficult moment.

15:22


Lockyer: Most of these final year students, schooled in the British system, will seek higher education in the United Kingdom. But many will return - such is the pull of their small community.

15:29


Student: Sir, do you believe anything else positive came to the Gibraltarian people?

Borrell: From that experience… yes, definitely.

15:40


Lockyer: Albert Borrell has a Spanish mother, yet it has had little influence on his thinking..he sees his future in a British Gibraltar.

15:48

Phillips

Phillips: I'll eventually go and study to U.K. , get a degree, come back, work in a nice job, live in the community I've always lived in, I'm pretty happy with the way things are I wouldn't particularly like being Spanish.


Borrell: You feel like your roots are being shaken…

16:01


Lockyer: Wherever you test the political mood in this tiny place anti-Spanish sentiment festers.

16:13

Student

Lockyer: What would happen to Gibraltar if it became Spanish?

Student: Truthfully speaking I think there would be widespread unrest throughout Gibraltar, I mean I don't think Gibraltarians would stand for it for one moment, we'd fight it to our deaths really.

16:18


Music


Union Jacks in Gibraltar windows

Lockyer: The devotion to flag and queen surprises even the most staunch monarchists on a visit to Gibraltar. A quaint slice of British life on the Med caught in a time warp, with all the trappings of colonial rule, including the governor.

16:42

Durie

Durie: Gibraltar is quite an old-fashioned sort of place, and the kind of attitudes which I think the British MPs are reflecting are the kind of attitudes which were perhaps more common in Britain of twenty or thirty years ago than they are today. So I think they're British in a rather old fashioned and very, very agreeable sense.

16:59


Lockyer: Which makes the sense of betrayal all the more acute. Sentiments the visiting British MPs sampled for themselves.

17:25

Woman

Woman: Just leave us , leave the thing as it is. Tell Spain that you cannot force people to become Spaniards.

17:32


Man: This is the only home we have, of course we can't go back to anywhere else.

Man 2: And Gibraltar should be treated the same way as any other part of Britain.

17:42

Hoyle’s street walk

Hoyle: We will not weaken. We've got to stick together to get the message across. we've got to keep it going..thank you..No problem. It's nice to be here to meet you.

17:49


Lockyer: But the MPs street walk was brought to an abrupt halt by news from London. An article in The Guardian newspaper suggesting they were simply on a weekend sightseeing tour at the expense of the Gibraltar government.

18:01


MP: A one million pound trip for favours campaign!

Woman: They've listed all our names.

18:14


Lockyer: Well yes, the trip was paid for by the Gibraltar Government, and there was a boat trip of the harbour, despite the lousy weather, but the MPs insist it was a genuine fact finding mission.

18:23

Hoyle

Super:

LINDSAY HOYLE, BRITISH LABOUR MP

Hoyle: Well one -- we certainly didn't come here for the sun, I think you can back that up, i haven't seen as much rain even back in Manchester. It’s not a fun trip, it’s a very, very serious issue and what is wrong with me coming to a part of the United Kingdom?

18:37

Hoyle’s street walk

Lockyer: And after all, argued the British MPs, if it was good enough for their parliamentary colleagues to take taxpayer funded trips to European Union cities, which were allowed, why couldn’t they come to the rock at Gibraltar’s expense.

18:52


Hoyle: f gibralter wants to remain british well ....why should it be wrong to want to be british, that’s what I can't understand.

19:07


Lockyer: But controversy was to be followed by farce.

19:17


Music


Royal Marines

Lockyer: Gibraltar is still used for the occasional military exercise, but the bad weather that had dogged the jet setting MPs descended on the royal marines.

19:26


Music



Lockyer: They were supposed to make a mock invasion of this beach, where we joined a group of diehard anglers -- absolutely nothing it seems stops a Gibraltar fishing competition. But all we got to witness was a few nibbles and a crab catch -- the marines had lost their bearings and landed at a nearby beach - in Spain!



The blunder was captured by a startled passerby. When the marines finally realised their mistake they made a hasty retreat. In the past such territorial breaches would've sparked a war of words between London and Madrid, perhaps even leading to a border closure. Not any more -- just a shrug of the shoulders in Madrid.

20:00

Aza

Super:

ALBERTO AZA, DIR. FOREIGN AFFAIRS , SPAIN

Aza: Well it was a mistake.

Lockyer: As simple as that!

Aza: It was a mistake, they couldn't find the right place.

Lockyer: Is that because Gibraltar is too small or Spain is too big?

Aza: I think the weather. The weather was not very good that night -- or that morning -- it was morning wasn't it?

20:23


Music


Wide shots of Gibraltar

Lockyer: It's all symptomatic of the new cosy Anglo-Spanish relationship, but one which leaves the ever loyal Gibraltarians out in the cold. The people are coming to realise that their once loyal protector now views their colony as an anachronism, just as Spain always has.

20:44

Perez-Maura

Super:

RAMON PEREZ MAURA, POLITICAL COLUMNIST, ABC NEWSPAPER

Perez-Maura: A territory which has a peculiar status, which is a colony of a European Union member inside another European Union member and that is absolutely unacceptable.

21:03


Lockyer: But if britain can no longer have territory in the mediterranean how is it, ask Gibraltarians , that Spain can?

21:19

Caruana

Super:

PETER CARUANA, CHIEF MINISTER, GIBRALTAR

Caruana: Not 15 kilometres from here on the coast of North Africa, within the territory of Morocco, Spain has two enclaves called Ceuta and Melilla which she refuses flatly even to discuss with Morocco and says she will never hand this over. So if Spain's position is driven by some geographical concern about having Gibraltar on her doorstep, she is not so rational or coherent that she shows the same understanding to Morocco when Morocco claims the same thing against Spain with respect to those two territories.

21:26

Hoyle

Super:

LINDSAY HOYLE, BRITISH LABOUR MP

Hoyle: So what I say to Spain is, and people ask them, when are you going to give up Ceuta and Melilla, they say never and we say why not, and they say because it's part of metropolitan Spain. Well lets declare Gibraltar part of metropolitan Britain!

22:04

Gibraltar’s border checkpoint

Lockyer: Spain simply ignores the criticism, emphasising instead the advantages that would flow to Gibraltar if it switched flags. No more border chaos, promises of improved medical care and telephone services, the opportunity to join a surging economy.

22:19

Caruana

Caruana: It would require an act of collective masochism to want to be part of Spain now. Spain is a country that has spent the past 45 years harrassing the people of Gibraltar in any number of ways on a daily basis.

22:39


Lockyer: Britain of course denies railroading anyone, stressing that the people of Gibraltar will be given a final say, through referendum, on any sovereignty deal. But rejection would not kill the issue.

22:58

Durie

Super:

DAVID DURIE, GIBRALTAR'S GOVERNOR

Durie: You can't pretend it didn't happen and next time that there will be talks - because there would be talks - you don't simply dispose of an issue by saying we don't agree, at some point somebody will come back and it's inevitable people will get it out of the drawer and look at it.

23:13

Hoyle

Hoyle: The danger is you will always come back to to the agreement that's been signed between the two parties and that's the danger and that's what really worries me.

23:30

Barbary apes

Lockyer: Legend has it that Britain will continue to reign over Gibraltar as long as the Barbary apes survive on the rock. When their numbers dwindled in World War Two, Winston Churchill took the extraordinary step of shipping more in from Africa to maintain the morale of the troops. The apes have seldom been healthier, but such survival myths now have little place in a community which believes its very foundations are being chipped away by the British Government.

23:40

Ferrary

SUPER:

ARTHUR FERRARY, WORLD WAR II VETERAN

Ferrary: We don't want to change. Now that doesn't mean that the world must not go on of course it must go on but not at our expense. Why? We've never caused trouble to anyone. We've just defended what we believed in.

24:11


Music


Gibraltar Harbour

Lockyer: But now the country they've so staunchly defended, and so patriotically embraced, is set to cut their colony adrift.

24:29


Music



Lockyer: The people of the rock have vowed to resist, to try to preserve a British Gibraltar. They’re steeling themselves for yet another siege - perhaps their toughest battle of all.

24:43


Music


Credits:

GIBRALTAR ROCK


Reporter: Paul Lockyer

Camera: Ron Foley

Sound: Kate Graham

Editor: Simon Brynjolffssen


25:10



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