June 2015, months away from a General Election. The Government held a fancy press conference announcing a new major project on the Eastside that included a super yacht marina, a five star hotel, promenade, commercial area, affordable housing, public pool and multi-storey car park and to top it off, the project would see an inward investment of £1.1 billion - described by the Chief Minister as the largest ever inward investment into Gibraltar at the time. Another plus at the time was the disappearance of the forsaken, eternal mini Gibraltar (rubble edition) on the Eastside. It’s important to point out there was a tender process behind this project.
Housing. This is an issue I’ve blogged about multiple times. It’s an issue that affects a major percentage of our population, both young and old. In this blog I want to take a look and try to analyse what’s going on, let me begin by saying I’m not a property expert, I’m not an investment expert nor am I someone with all the answers, what I want to talk about is how this is affecting us as a community.
There's an education revolution happening in Gibraltar. We keep hearing those words "education revolution" ad nauseam from politicians and people on social media and it's no secret that our schools are in DIRE need of an overhaul... a revolution.
Cycling, cycling is good for your health, cycling also helps the environment, the more people that are cycling, the less cars and motorbike we have on our roads. With one initiative, a bicycle rental scheme, you can potentially tackle 3 important issues that will only benefit everyone. Why does redibike's feel like a complete deja vu though? Environment, transport and health are 3 policies that need to be linked to drive this initiative forward, with that, hopefully the attitude of people can also progress and we can see people opening their minds to this healthier, alternative mode of transport. The real structural and societal changes that need to be implemented to help this succeed are non-existent. We have replaced the old with the new and not provided any real change.
MTV Presents... Gibraltar Calling is now just under 2 weeks away from it's debut as the newly re-branded annual music festival, formerly known as the Gibraltar Music Festival (GMF), a festival we've been lucky enough to have hosted on our rock and where we have watched tons of artists perform in front of our rock since 2012. The Gibraltar Music Festival went from strength to strength every year and each iteration was improved upon with the hard work of the many individuals involved within the local production company Word Of Mouth productions amongst many others... Gibraltar's own homegrown massive music festival. For a place so small and with 30,000 inhabitants it's certainly a respectable feat that was accomplished.
It's no secret that housing is a massive issue in Gibraltar. We're quite limited for space. Now couple that up with the pricing of rental and buying a flat outright, and it's depressing and disheartening to see. Many tend to talk about it but has any administration actually thought about future planning?
The Parcel Post, everyone loves it right? You go online, find something you really want and you click buy because you refuse to pay the inflated prices down Main Street. After that, you then begin to play the waiting game, a week later you see via online tracking that your package is in Gibraltar but the game has not ended yet, you've levelled up on the waiting game and go to level 2, you have to wait until a handwritten slip gets posted in your mailbox signifying that you can finally go to the parcel post and pick up your package, so you now level up again and reach the final level, level 3... trying to get to the parcel post whilst juggling your day of work and lunch. Should be simple right?
Time for change.... A new dawn, those were the 2 taglines the now current GSLP Govt used when they were fighting to end the GSD's 16 year reign in Govt back in 2011. Fast forward 5 years and another election later and here we are, the new dawn has risen. Change and new dawn apparently meant lets act like a school playground for the next 5 years and blame the previous administration with every single chance we get.
I'm not sure what it is, it could be seeing the stages go up as you drive around Victoria Stadium, it could be that we know who plays and when, it could be the barrage of media covering the festival or it could be that I'm currently listening to Stereophonics after having listened to Pure Shores by All Saints... The hype and excitement has definitely begun for me and not only as a musician performing with my band Dead City Radio on Saturday but as someone who will be there to enjoy watching and listening to live music.
It's been just over two weeks since I posted my opinion piece on the bottomless pit of debt in Government housing, I'm glad that many people on social media shared my sentiments on the topic and everyone agreed that our politicians should stop playing "stat wars" and instead focus on the problem and provide us with a universal solution to stop the £6 million from becoming £7+ million by this time next year.
How would you like to live in a house for free and not pay any rent ever and suffer no consequences as tax payers continue to fund your lifestyle for free? I kid you not. It's possible, it may sound like a scam, but nope, welcome to the reality of Gibraltar and Government rental homes. So if you're Gibraltarian and on the housing list, boy have we got an offer for you!!
Yes, the above is fully sarcastic but unfortunately true.
I've written in the past on how to be able to purchase (or even find certain FREE ones) Android apps on the Google Play Store due to Gibraltar only having access to the "free" Play Store. Google likes to region restrict most of their products and devices, be it for licensing reasons or whatever mysterious reason that restricts people in certain countries from finding apps and legally buying them. We're not the only country who has this problem, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man are other places which have the same restriction.
I haven't actually blogged in ages. I tend to get ideas and stuff to write about but I never end up following through, be it laziness, family commitments or forgetful I just never sit down and type something out any more... For a little change, I won't be writing about mobile phones, technology or music. This opinion piece will be closer to home. This is about Gibraltar.
Here in Gibraltar, people's views can be very backwards and subjected to ridiculous claims depending on the way you dress, the music you listen to, where you like to enjoy your nights out etc... Case in point I have been attending the Rock On The Rock Club (ROTR for short..) ever since it first opened it's doors. I must've been around 16 when I first went there. That place was instantly subjected to "That's where all the goth's/friki's go" or my personal favourite "That's where they sacrifice chickens and cats no?" Slap a "rock" label onto something and the uninformed public will just make assumptions based on the social stigma that surrounds rock/metal music.
Dear Google, you make great products, you've made information and knowledge available to the world using your brilliant search engine. Type in your keywords and within 2 seconds you'll have more results than you could ever imagine. So what I don't understand is how Google, a company that thrived on making the whole world more connected, continues to shoot itself in the foot and alienate the whole world via region restricting nearly every single product.