"They" can say & think whatever, but that doesn't alter the fact that to most, if not all Specials fans your input is the defining (distictive) sound of the band then & now.
The only ones who come close are Terry's & Nev's vocal contributions.
When it comes down to it the past four years have been about earning pensions & paying the tax man but as a by product the band has shown everyone how to do a "come back" without being just a tribute band.
You have done it with style & panache & kept (for the most part) the constant battles & anguish from the General public's eye.
All we see is a great band performing great music.
Having seen you a number of times over the last four years I can honestly say that your contribution is even more essential than ever. As a fellow axe man I probably hone in on guitarists but even my none playing mates to a man came out from every gig saying they were never aware how much your playing shaped the sound.
Actually I think musically the thing that made "The Specials" take on ska different to the original 1960's stuff was the more aggressive punky / rock n roll guitar. It was what made the band distinctive and fresh at the time especially live. Judging from the mixes on the DVD and CDs of the current band I'm not sure the rest of the band understand that.
I wonder if Gerry had been involved and had an influence whether he would have recognized the importance of your playing given that he has claimed it was his vision to mix ska with punk and rock and obviously that could only be achieved with the right sort of edgy guitar playing? Although I suspect he may also have favoured the band having a softer edge these days a la Spatial AKA.
Regardless of this issue the gigs I've seen (3 since 2009) have been enjoyable and worthwhile. It is a great pity it doesn't seem to have been the same for all band members involved.