Should Gibraltar be worried?

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With the resignation of Sir James Dutton from the post of Governor, will the UK end 300 years of rule by a military governor, and appoint a civil servant?
To have a civil servant beholden to Whitehall rather than a retired general directly accountable to the Queen in the hot-seat between the tri-nations, is not a situation that sits well with Gibraltarians.
It would seem that fears are growing that the new appointee could be an easily-manipulated ‘grey suit’ rather than a decorated military leader. Since 1704, there has only ever been one civil servant in the chair, Sir David Durie, who held the position from 2000 to 2003.
That didn’t work out too well for Sir David, as he became the focus of Gibraltarian anger over what they saw as Foreign Office attempts to do a deal behind their backs, and returned a 98.97 per cent ‘No’ in the referendum regarding shared sovereignty with Spain. Not to mention having rotten fruit thrown at him.
The consensus of opinion from former governors, and current legal and political figures on The Rock, seems to be that the next governor should have a military background or at least a very senior politician at the end of their career. Somebody who has the gumption to stand up to the Foreign Office, and deal with Spanish sabre-rattling.
Sir James Dutton told The Telegraph: “I certainly recommended that the next person to take the job after me should have a military background,” he said, and added: “I think it’d be a great shame if it became a civilian role.”


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