This month we track down the mysterious trio (or is it duo?) behind satirical news page, Llanito News Desk. We attempt to peak behind their veil of mystery to unearth how and why their page came about. Want to know more? Read on to see what LND, with tongue firmly in cheek, had to say.
1. What can you tell us about the powers that be behind LND?
We are a team of two….or three, or four…but mostly two. One woman and one man. We don’t even know each other. We have a few regular contributors and a lady who writes our haikus. We think she’s a lady.
2. How did the idea behind your Facebook page come about?
Our page just spontaneously created itself and chose us to tell the truth about Gibraltar, amid all the fake news in the mainstream media. The news moves so fast and sometimes we even write two articles a day! Sometimes we’re so severely hungover from National Day that we don’t post for four months…
3. Is the idea to fill in for a lack of political satire in local established media?
Satire?! You think we’re satire?! We are the realest real news out there. It doesn’t get more real than us. Local mainstream fake news media have attempted ‘satire’, previously, but it’s often played too safe.
4. Do you think it’s a good idea for society to take a good look at itself and laugh from time to time, given the heightened feeling of tension locally and the growing global division that is taking place?
People are divided because they live in a haze where quackery is real, facts are alternative and comedy is taboo. Also, because keen property developers keep trying to build walls everywhere.
5. Are the people of Gibraltar naturally good-humoured, in your opinion(s)?
It depends who they’re talking to. If they’re Englitsh, po then they must be giri limones aprovechándose of Gib pa la playa y eso. If they are sPAINish, po they come to steal all the jobs from us Llanitos, but if they make a good paella and say good things of us, po then they are OK. Pero just ok, vale? No te pase. Llanitos are all good if they have a pure local bloodline stretching back at least 5 generations. Pero if they leave OUR Gibraltar or say things we don’t like, po they are palomo!
6. Have you received any backlash? Have any of our ministers been in contact?
We have received exactly one backlash, on our article titled “OMG BOAT!!!”. We were accused of calling a big huge boat a “boat”. Thus far, no minestras have got in touch to tell us how spectacularly truthful our news is, but we have had a few articles liked by current and former MPs. And their children. And their dogs too.
7. Regarding the danger of ‘Fake News’, some people on social media take parody news sites such as The Onion literally; has this ever happened in your comments section?
Just like onions, we hope to bring tears to people’s eyes. Our article about dearly departed legend and creator of the frozen Suntop, Manolo Bizcocho, had very mixed reactions. Some readers expressed their genuine sadness, some really celebrated his life, even going as far as freezing a Suntop to pay their respects. Others just took the Miguel in asking for another bank holiday. Another article we released last year, about the new National Day dress code of white and red instead of red and white went down like a lead balloon with some.
8. Do you have any limits as to what you would satirise? Why?
If we were “satire” – which we are NOT!!! – we would try and avoid lawsuits by creating an alternate universe version of Gibraltar based on relatable and vastly exaggerated accounts of real stories. Too bad we’re all about the real news, though.
9. And finally, what are your overall views on:
Speak Freely – If we knew what it was, we would probably think it represents the best and worst of Llanitos.
Construction in Gibraltar – It’s the most logical step for a place where concrete naturally occurs in abundance.
Waiting in the border queue for more than half an hour – It’s a great time to take a nap, listen to a podcast and learn something new. Alternatively, wasting your car battery on continuously honking the horn whilst shouting expletives at the sPAINish is equally as productive.
Zone 2 Parking – We’re happy that 50% of parking spaces were allocated to the migrating Portuguese Manowar Jellyfish Siphonophore thing.
Empty government housing – It’s the houses fault they’re so inconveniently undesirable and located por ahi del Quinto Pino. They may be empty of people but I’m sure they’re FULL of good intentions. And rats.
Brexit – A veritable merde-storm.
DNA testing on dog poo – So many opportunities arise from DNA testing dog poo. We can find out what they’ve been eating and how healthy they are. How many different places one dog has pooped. Who is the most-travelled pooping dog in Gibraltar? Though, saying that, a Gibraltar without the smell of fresh dog turd is not a Gibraltar we recognise.
The Post Office – Whilst most people believe post boxes are just containers which hold mail until a postal worker empties it, we believe that every postbox actually leads to a bottomless pit.
To keep up to date with local news that is DEFINITELY NOT SATIRE*, and to read their reciprocal interview with The Gibraltar Magazine, follow Llanito News Desk on Facebook: facebook.com/LNDOFFICAL.
* definitely satire.