The Spanish media have proclaimed the alleged power-sharing deal between Spain and Britain as a done deal while in Britain the government is under fire from all sides, including the All Party Parliamentary Committee for Gibraltar. In Spain the deal is being trumpheted as a victory. But all this talk of done-deals, sell-outs, does not take into account one vital point; any deal will go to a referendum amongst Gibraltarians and if there is not the necessary support, then the whole exercise will have been a complete waste of time. Gibraltarians have shown over the last three decades that they will accept no deal with Spain. A power-sharing agreement may look very neat and tidy in the corridors of power of Madrid and London but down in Gibraltar the deal has no chance of prospering. Obviously, the Blair government is looking for a way out to resolve the tricky question of Gibraltar which has been a thorn in the side of Anglo-Spanish relations for many years. Probably the best solution would be to give Gibraltar independant status within the European Union. It would be able to administer itself and its government would be answerable to the European Commission.

This is the only way forward otherwise the Foreign Office and its Spanish counterpart will spend much time drawing-up useless deals. Gibraltar deserves a future and a decent and modern status. It may be one of the remnants of a by-gone era but its people should be able to enjoy the same rights, as Europeans, as the rest of Europe.

Gibraltar cannot be just discarded because it doesn't fit it with modern-day political thinking.

Jason Moore

Prince Harry

President Bush's daughter has been in trouble for drinking. Euan Blair was drunk and incapable in Leicester Square. William Straw was found dealing in cannabis. Now Prince Harry has been caught drinking under age in a pub and smoking cannabis at Highgrove. Clearly, the problem of teenage drinking and drug-taking is no respecter of persons. Prince Harry is apparently no different from the lad next door in his vulnerability to temptation and peer pressure. Indeed, his vulnerability may be all the greater because of the personal traumas which have visited him in his young life.

Everyone will hope that the drinking and the cannabis will prove to be a passing phase for Prince Harry. There has been widespread praise for his father's action in exposing his son to the experiences of habitual drug-takers at an addiction centre in London where he met people “who have lost everything, who have lost their homes, lost touch with their families, whose lives revolve around nothing more than trying to get their next hit”. But one is entitled to wonder just how relevant these experiences seemed to a young prince assured of a privileged and sheltered life. The facts of this case have been known to some for several months and witnesses have now come forward to speak about Prince Harry's frequent abusive behaviour. The press and TV have restrained themselves. Many people will ask, however, why those whose job it is to protect the prince at all times did not take earlier steps to restrain him or whether warnings that were given were ignored in the hope that the problem would remain under cover and go away.



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