The Malta Independent 12 May 2021, Wednesday

Resistance to change

Alfred Sant MEP Thursday, 29 April 2021, 08:00 Last update: about 13 days ago

All change brings resistance in its wake... and it comes from those whose interests are going to be badly hit by it... as well as from others who do not understand what it entails or how it could afford them a better deal. This with reference to change that is meant as reform which stops short of revolution. For the latter – by seeking to completely overturn the current state of affairs, including by violence should this be necessary in order to ensure that it will succeed against all forms of resistance – gives rise to different issues.

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In “democratic” change, resistance should not be simply ignored. It must be met with an open and transparent response, even while recognizing that in responding further to it opponents will not necessarily follow suit. And that it could also mobilise increased resistance.

Up to now in this country, efforts to resist change have been more successful than efforts to introduce it, even if eventually the change ended up becoming a “natural” feature of life in our society.

Perhaps the clearest instance of this were provided by the changes in the public health system launched by the Labour government in the mid-1970’s. They provoked the strongest resistance ever here against a reform programme, with huge personal and social costs. Today those reforms are considered a normal feature of life as it is lived now...

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OCCULT MANOEUVRES

I’m still surprised... but perhaps I should not be... with how up to now, in this country and even for matters which today are linked to “Europe” where they’re supposedly being settled, decisions taken still do not respect criteria of meritocracy and transparency.

Instead, they are concluded through occult manoeuvres and arrangements which all seem linked to deeply rooted alliances. So, people who end up getting rewarded only do so because there has been some protector to give them a leg-up, even when they deserve what they get on their own merits.

I have seen this happen under governments of all stripe, despite the pious declarations they will have made. What’s worse is that all seem to accept this as a state of affairs that makes sense in the world we live in...

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CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

We seem only to notice conflicts of interest when they could affect negatively the message we seek to convey. For the rest, we ignore them, even when they could affect the way by which an inquiry or a judicial process are being conducted.

For instance, no one apparently has found it strange that leading lawyers participating in the legal processes related to the Caruana Galizia murder case also happen to be leading spokespersons of the Nationalist Opposition. The issue of where the political interest commences and where end the professional interest in the criminal aspects seems not to be considered important.

A similar treatment extends to other areas which have a bearing on administrative and political decisions. Typical of this is the case set by the Commissioner for Public Standards. I cannot imagine how the appointee can expect to be carrying out his functions transparently when for reasons that reflect a conflict of interest, he has evidently failed to run his own new office in a way that really demonstrates how it is all being managed correctly. Caesar’s wife, so it is said...

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