The Malta Independent 30 November 2022, Wednesday
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The elderly

Alfred Sant MEP Thursday, 29 September 2022, 07:46 Last update: about 2 months ago

The elderly are close to becoming a relative majority in the country. The agencies which rate national economies have even been noting that future economic growth could be impacted negatively if the prevalence of too many older people in the population implies a reduction in the number of active workers and employees. Never mind that an unsatisfactory solution has already been devised for such a problem – the large scale importation of foreign workers.

Beyond this, another approach has been that of increasing the duration of people’s working life. The approach has had to be adopted everywhere, especially as during the last thirty years or so, the average life expectancy has greatly increased. Still with many, the idea that the pension age should be increased has remained widely unpopular, though this mentality seems to have become weaker recently (but that also depends on the kind of work one does).

For you get to meet older people who do not wish to retire at all but want to go on working “till the end”. If they quit work, their fear is they will contract dementia. On the other hand, it is hardly right that they continue to block the promotion path for those who age-wise are following up on them in their line of work. 

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POLITICAL ACTION

It seems that for some political activists who would also be interested in elective office, political involvement should consist mainly of press conferences and media articles, preferably in The Times. Clearly, such initiatives are necessary. However it would be an enormous mistake for those who follow this option if they were to believe that it is enough to secure votes, especially in a small society like Malta’s.

Here, the capillary effect of direct contact with citizens is vital to establish a personal political presence. It helps enormously in the accumulation of experiences and “stories” that describe how the “big” political and economic issues truly resonate with citizens in their ordinary lives. It is on their basis then that political messages acquire the feel of authenticity and don’t sound like a rehash of themes assembled from press reports and academic studies.

Nor is it correct to say that in direct contacts with voters, much time will be wasted on a few people. The individuals with whom a political campaigner has direct contact will talk about their meeting with others, multiplying the reach of the message being delivered.

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TOO MANY DEATHS

That too many deaths and too many accidents are occuring in our roads is quite evident, most resulting from unacceptable driving. There must be multiple reasons for this. But there should be just one strategy to combat this development.

It must be grounded in a consistent enforcement of the main regulations over all sectors of transport and road management, and the laws about the consumption of alcohol and drugs. Can it be that such an approach is too difficult to implement?

In the past when admittedly, cars and other vehicles on the roads were much fewer, the police and sometimes the army, would run quite effective exercises to check on people out driving, mostly at night. Sometimes these operations were criticised as constraints on civil liberties. But it would be counter argued, I believe rightly, that abuses in driving behaviour were thereby being curtailed.

                       

 

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