The Malta Independent 29 February 2020, Saturday

Contempt

Alfred Sant MEP Monday, 20 January 2020, 07:51 Last update: about 2 months ago

What creates most tension in the public management of any country, ours included, is the feeling of contempt towards those one disagrees with... or better, towards those who disagree with “us”.

As an issue it is no longer a matter of disagreement between those who have a certain belief and others who think differently. The point of view becomes one that devalues the humanity of “the other side”.

ADVERTISEMENT

I always found it obvious that both left and right greatly felt this kind of contempt towards each other.

I always felt too that the contempt shown by the right towards the left was more corrosive of all good faith, than what the left felt towards the right. Contempt towards the right resulted from a total lack of faith by the left in the belief that the other side would accept the necessity of social reforms – what in the past used to be called the class struggle.

By contrast, the contempt shown by the right towards the left, resulted... I would say, still results... from a feeling that the other side is socially as well as intellectually inferior.

***

TRANSITION FUND

Big problems arose when the European Union considered how to introduce measures to contain climate change. Some of these measures will likely impact negatively  countries with economies which depend on industries that generate  more climate warming.

As in Poland, with the huge coal mines it operates. They constitute a primary source of energy and value added. Naturally, Poland was among those countries which opposed the measures being suggested.

So the notion spread of setting up a “just transition” fund which would compensate those countries that were going to be badly affected by the phasing out of industries which are contributing to climate warming.

As initially understood, the idea was for this fund to help mostly countries that were too reliant on the use of coal for their energy requirements. But soon, all EU member states discovered they too faced problems in order to carry out the required changes.

The “Just Transition Fund” should not be used only to underwrite the changeover from coal to some other source of fuel. Even islands like Malta  will be facing their own problems of transition...

***

POLITICAL ORGANIZATION

Over the years, I have witnessed how the focus of political organization has shifted.

There was a time when such organization revolved mostly around the activities held by local political clubs and among followers of the leading lights of a party – ministers in the main, but not only.  That was also a time when political confrontation and activities happened in public places.  

Later, there came a time when political initiative began to develop according to the requirements of the then overriding means of communiction – radio and TV. Who won a voice in one or the other, would bolster his/her political say in his/her party. I admit I was one of those who gave a push to this development.

And today we see how political organization has gotten drawn around the use of “social” media. It allows one to mobilise public opinion simply by directing one’s voice straight across to whoever wants to listen. The changes we have been through weakened the “traditional” organizational structures of all political parties.

 

  • don't miss