Inclusivity, transparency and accountability, the environment, pragmatism: these are some of Together Gibraltar’s core values and these are the principles that I passionately believe must underpin the governance of Gibraltar if we are going to continue to be a successful, just and cohesive modern society.
I am Jackie Anderson, – wife, mother, grandmother, a business woman, a writer, a proud Gibraltarian.
I am driven by a sense of urgency that Gibraltar deserves a government that listens to and engages the full involvement of its people, that explores fresh, new ideas from across the world, that is open, transparent, accessible, and works to the principles of equality, social justice and integrity. All of these are essential to the successful running of a complex society.
My journey into politics began one winter in my teens, when I volunteered to help work in a soup kitchen in London. One man would come along every night, spoke to no-one, ate in silence and left again. One evening he didn’t turn up and I discovered he had been found dead in a doorway in the early hours. It shook me. From that time, while raising my family, I have quietly campaigned on some of the issues I believed led to this poor man’s death. I learned that creating a better life for all people comes down to a firm belief in equality. This leads to respect for all people and for the environment we live in and guides us in sharing our combined wealth fairly.
I started my professional life as a housing manager in local government in England. I managed estates, I housed the homeless, and I helped develop housing policy and strategy. We should not underestimate the importance for social cohesion that everyone should have a decent home. So we must break the stranglehold that this so-called free market economy has on our housing system and change out-dated laws; government must step in as a direct housing provider and to create a long term, sustainable strategy that ensures that we all can have decent homes. I want to redefine the terminology we use to talk about ‘property’, ‘investment’, and ‘affordability’ so we can create a fair system and leave behind the elitist shambles we have today. Untangling the knots of the complex housing issues in Gibraltar needs in depth knowledge, clarity of thought, a thirst for understanding and the humility to seek to learn from the people who experience the real problems day to day. I will bring all those qualities to Together Gibraltar.
I have also run my own businesses, owning childcare centres in UK. My passion for the rights of children, for supporting families of all shapes and sizes and for education was ignited during those years. Those flames have never been extinguished.
As a writer I am regularly published, but most rewarding for me are the times I spend with new writers, helping to spread a love of literature. I want to see Gibraltar grow and develop different aspects of its cultural life, ensuring access for all sectors of the community. In particular, Gibraltar needs to explore its history and identity through the written word. Cultural self-confidence is an essential part of democratic engagement and I have the experience and the skills to help Together Gibraltar embrace this.
Being a writer has made me always curious, wanting to look at things from all angles. That curiosity, thirst for knowledge and drive for constant improvement has propelled me into wanting to represent Together Gibraltar and play a part in public life. I am able to analyse what is really happening, to look at detail while cutting through the rhetoric and get to the bottom of the problems.
Finding the right solutions that work for the whole community is one of the greatest responsibilities for any government. This is what I want to work to achieve in Gibraltar, because, although the world might often overlook Gibraltar, Gibraltar cannot escape the world.
I want to see a Gibraltar where we can breathe clean air, bathe in clean waters, enjoy open spaces. Without this we put our physical and mental health at risk. We must change the emphasis from growth for the sake of it to growth for the sake of the survival of the planet. Growth does not have to mean endless exploitation. We all deserve good health and a reasonable standard of wealth, especially the older generation who have so much experience and knowledge to offer. So I want to help rework our economic systems to ensure a socially just distribution of wealth that is generated in a truly sustainable manner. Together Gibraltar can do this, and I know I can help drive those changes.
Together Gibraltar is about community. Gibraltar must go much further than mere ‘tolerance’ of different races and genders, religions and cultures. We still need to work to become a place of true acceptance and mutual respect so that barriers are broken down completely and mere tolerance is simply not needed any more.
All that starts with the young, with education. Education is one of the social rights that ensures the continuing survival and success of humanity. I want Gibraltar to be a society where we really have full respect for life from first breath to last. I want to see that every child receives the best possible education, that all abilities are fostered, that every child is valued for what and who they are regardless of their background. This means breaking down barriers and forging a new way forward; it means releasing the talent of our teachers; it means making sure that everyone has the freedom and capacity to make their own life choices. Gibraltar can be a place of true lifelong learning. With experience in education and a respect for our educators, I have the vision to help achieve this.
And so I ask for your vote, because I am the right person to help put Together Gibraltar in government, for Gibraltar.