Tuesday, March 1, 2011
OK, HE’S BRITISH
So on the international stage it is not surprising to find there are only two Gibraltarians who have found fame and fortune. One is the singer Albert Hammond and the other the fashion designer John Galliano.
Now whilst Hammond was born in London his parents are Gibraltarian having been evacuated during World War II. So Hammond is technically English but was brought up in Gibraltar. His hit records include: "It Never Rains in Southern California", "The Free Electric Band”,"I Don't Wanna Die in an Air Disaster", "I'm a Train” and "Down by the River".
The problem is both Hammond and Galliano are claimed by the British media to be British. Hence Galliano is a British fashion designer although he was born in Gibraltar, has a Gibraltarian father and Spanish mother, but was raised in England.
Normally I go out of my way to correct both being labelled British, but I now make an exception.
Over recent days Galliano has been suspended then sacked by Paris fashion house Dior, first for making anti-Semitic remarks whilst drunk in a bar in the city. Then having been caught on video, drunk, in the same bar months earlier saying he loved Hitler and again mouthing anti-Semitic sentiments including references to people being gassed.
Whilst this in itself was despicable behaviour it also blackens the name of Gibraltar – a community where people of Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu and other faiths and none – all live in peaceful co-existence and harmony.
So Albert Hammond is Gibraltarian, ok – but you are right Galliano is British!