The Malta Independent 11 December 2017, Monday

Partisan politics

Alfred Sant Thursday, 16 November 2017, 07:55 Last update: about 24 days ago

Political conduct remains partisan no matter where it’s undertaken. Partisanship changes shape according to contingencies and situations. That is what happened this week at the European Parliament when a resolution was voted about the “rule of law” in Malta. Effectively, a pretence was devised by which to pillory the smallest member of the European Union, one whose government enjoys the widest electoral support among all countries of the EU.

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To back this, we had the largest political group in the Parliament: that of the Popular Party. The exercise provided it with a diversion away from the issue of the support it has been giving to the Hungarian government. The same applied to the conservative grouping, which backs the Polish government. Both national administrations have been criticised for undermining the rule of law. Meanwhile, the Liberal group also found it convenient to ride on the wave that pushed for the observance of the rule of law.

When it came to the greens and the extreme left, here the call had been right from the start, consistently against countries considered as “tax havens”. They put Malta in that category, and so these parties were intent to press this point in order to further their agenda.

Little attention was given to whether claims being made were factual or tendentious. What need was there for that? There were Maltese representatives among the Popular Party; and they were vocal about how the rule of law in Malta was under threat... 

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Institutions

The empty talk that is today being pushed about how the institutions of this country are being well or badly operated needs to be placed in context – that of how the same institutions were run during the years of nationalist administration. This is not pseudo (politico) discourse, as a wise man from the architectural profession has alleged, even though he never felt constrained in the past, by how the same institutions were run for long years, without any kind ofprotest... but okay, times then were different.

True, Maltese institutions have been badly run since whenever, because those in charge kept to the two weights, two measures model. To it, there was and remains attached an administrative method which builds on patronage, on advice to please do me a favour so that when the time comes, I’ll do you one..., plus other similar considerations.

Sorry but the sermons of today’s Luthers-come-lately continue to leave me cold. They’re being preached by the same people who up to not so long ago, were players in the trafficking of state indulgences.

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Books

The Book Festival held last week at the Mediterranean Conference Centre was impressive. I enjoyed visiting it. Attendance by the public was satisfactory.

What seems to have decreased among visitors, is the urge, the enthusiasm for the writtenword and publications. I got the feeling that for many of those in attendance, books are there as a fact of life and therefore you need to visit them... like what many young people of my generation used to do when having to attend Church functions.

I was glad to hear publishers say that despite the progress of electronic media and the facility they give you to read texts on line, consumers still insist on getting books.

Once again, the point was made that to mobilise the crowds which years ago used to congregate at the Festival, it now needs to leave Valletta. People are fed up with needing to spend an hour or so searching for a place where to park, before one can hit the book stacks.

 

 

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