The Malta Independent 6 August 2020, Thursday

In what will be done...

Alfred Sant MEP Monday, 9 December 2019, 08:00 Last update: about 9 months ago

In what will be done, no matter who leads the Labour Party, two objectives should be ensured.  First, to safeguard the economic and social achievements of the past years. They were substantial and underwrote a significant improvement in the quality of life of many citizens.

Secondly, a serious upgrade of public governance over the whole spectrum of state administration is imperative. That certain decisions – sometimes very big ones, sometimes others that might seem less crucial but which subterraneously can have powerful implications – are taken behind closed doors when not in darkness, and by a chosen few without any public accountability: such practices need to cease.

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Even if I’m putting first – second in what I write, it should be understood that both aims are equally important.

The good that has been accomplished needs to be sustained. What got bent, needs to be straightened without fear or favour and with the strongest commitment.   

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OUR REPUTATION? 

We’ve heard a lot about how Malta’s reputation has gotten a big hit. I agree that this is the case and that we need a focussed and persistent change effort to emerge out of the cloud that has overtaken us.

Still, I totally disagree that this is a storm that has gathered just these last years. Back towards the end of the Gonzi administration, a European journalist asked to interview me about the situation in Malta. He was the kind of person who does not mince matters and I disliked so much the condescending and dismissive way with which he spoke about the island, that I challenged him.

He demonstrated he was well aware of goings on here. How can you expect to be taken seriously? he asked. Then he referred to the cases of the corrupt judges, the Nationalist European Commissioner who was dismissed, the assassination attempt – never resolved – on Prime Minister Fenech Adami’s chief of staff; as well as the financial services and internet gaming sectors here, which he claimed were serving as money laundering machines. And he kept on mentioning other stories.

There is no comfort to be obtained with respect to the predicament we are in today by remembering how things stood as of 2011. Yet, it is relevant to place all developments in their overall context.

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CARROTS AND EGGS

What makes for an assembly of peaceful protest?

A demonstration in which people march down main streets? Yes.

Assembled citizens who shout and make noise by hitting pots and pans or whatever they carry? Yes.

Should they carry and hold up high photos and slogans? Yes.

And if these posters  carry obscene or offensive legends, like “You filth!”?  ...

Or if demonstrators start throwing eggs and carrots at whoever they dislike? ...

It makes little sense to reply to such questions according to whether you agree or not with the protest that is running. Or to claim that when demonstrating about a murder, it is permissible to throw hard things at people. That’s what some opined in recent weeks. So, one needs to consider whether certain “peaceful” protests are being run as manoeuvres to provoke people.

I witnessed so many such like maneoeuvres over the years that easily I could recognize what has been going on in this, their latest edition.

 

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