Gibraltar is in the news again. News? The dispute over the waters in the bay go back to the Treaty of Utrecht (1713); the fishing dispute goes back to who knows when; the environmental argument goes back about a year when cement blocks began to be thrown into the waters when only the environmentalists complained, but have only now been thrown into the political ring; the threat of border closure was a reality for a number of years, but the threat of a toll is fairly new (remember the last Mayor of La Línea?).>>>
But here's the thing, the PP's corruption scandals in Madrid, while not exactly news, are getting louder by the minute, and those involving the PSOE in Seville are about to come to a head any minute: there is a desperate need for diversionary tactics. Not to mention Cameron's wielding his ministers against a large swathe of British society in general - they could do with diversionary tactics, maybe no one will notice any more cutbacks and such. Come to think of it, Rajoy in Madrid might find these useful as well.
Also, it's August, slow news month, lots of the better journalists are on holiday, the youngsters aren't sure what the word news means, and their senior editors are also away. What better time to rattle sabres about the persistent bugbear of the Campo de Gibraltar (including the Rock)?
And just in case anyone doubts the significance of the Rock, we have the Spanish Foreign Minister uttering the stupidest things: 'The good times are over for Gibraltar' or '6000 Gibraltarians in Sotogrande don't pay taxes' - take your pick and give your choice a score of 1 to 10 on the stupidity scale.
If experience is of any value, the whole thing will blow over as soon as more sensible people get back into their editorial chairs on both sides of the threatened frontier, and a whole host of rotten-to-the-core politicians are jailed or at least tossed out (they're very unlikely to resign). Or the important part of the world has something to write about - let's face it, in the grand scheme of things, how important is Gibraltar?
In the meantime, the trembling masses working for the gambling industry on Gibraltar, or the Spanish workers who are lucky enough to have a job at all, even if it's in 'enemy territory' (not their enemy, certainly), or the thousands of summer tourists wanting to see the sights but daren't go in by car (and off whom a vast proportion of the 30,000 residents of the Rock make an excellent living), play into the various politicians' games.