The Malta Independent 7 December 2019, Saturday

Distrust in PN

Alfred Sant MEP Thursday, 14 November 2019, 08:25 Last update: about 22 days ago

The fact is clear that there still exists a widespread distrust of the PN, though possibly some marginal improvement on the matter has been registered recently. A crucial point remains the fact that the economy has maintained its growth path. But it’s not just that.

The PN system seems still to be clogged with problems derived from when they were in charge. They then got used to feeling they were on top and still believe it should automatically be like so. Yet the attitude that the PN is always in the right no matter what, has lost its pull, not least as – for one reason or another – leading members of their team began to leave.

There is too much improvisation going on, too much reliance on tired claims, while a full and coherent vision of what they would like to do and achieve is lacking. The arguments about governance that they advance are commonplace and those about economic management confused, even as they seem to be less than internally coherent on social issues. When raising issues about governance “scandals”, their tone of voice sounds too hysterical; it should be clinical and precise.

***

ORDINARY PEOPLE

For politicians, the defence of ordinary citizens must always be considered a priority task. In a situation where the economy is run along free market principles, the easiest solutions arise from the proposition that the market knows best. This frequently leads to the application of another principle, if you can call it that – might is right.

Which is why too, the state sets out laws and agencies designed to protect society from the greed and abuses of the mighty. However here as well, one discovers how interests which happen to be well funded still manage to get things settled their way.

I can only mention a particular issue that I stumbled on at Swatar: a couple of older people were being obligated by the planning agency to rebuild at great expense, the private slope which led from the pavement outside their house, to their private garage. The reason was that though when built, it was in line with regulations current then, the gradient no longer conformed to today’s regulations.

I though this was an injustice. Oh no, I was told, rules are there to be observed. Who know how things would have gone, if instead of a private residence, at stake was some enormous block of apartments built in defiance of the laws by some big guy?

The government has the duty to shift the balance back from the big guy and towards the “ordinary” citizen.

***

LITERATURE

At the end of last week, during the Book Festival, I was glad to note that there are still people who value literature highly – as something that gives pleasure and makes life more beautiful. And it was not just older or middle aged people who showed interest in the books exhibited, even if there could have been a wider range of items than was on display.

What was also encouraging at the Festival was the number of Maltese language publications of all sorts that were available. The emphasis that publishers and writers have been giving in past years to books for children is getting results.

The prophecies that used to be made about how the internet would bin books have failed to materalise... though you still find people who tell you that we should not be complacent in the expectation that it will not occur. It might happen later than expected, but still...

  • don't miss