The Malta Independent 21 March 2023, Tuesday
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How Labour killed Mintoff’s dream

Kevin Cassar Sunday, 12 March 2023, 07:26 Last update: about 10 days ago

“This is the most anti-socialist act one can commit”.  Labour Gzira Mayor Conrad Borg Marche openly accused his own party of betraying the most fundamental socialist principle.

Labour party president, Ramona Attard, is fighting Borg Manche in court.  The mayor, on behalf of the council, is trying to prevent Labour robbing Gzira of its last remaining open space - a garden.  The Labour President is ensuring that a businessman gets 900 square metres of that garden to turn it into a petrol station - complete with fuel pumps, car wash, tyre vulcaniser, radiator flushing service and a shop.


Labour, through the Lands Authority, is determined to steal that garden from the people and hand it over to another friendly businessman. It tasked its President, Ramona Abela, to destroy Borg Manche’s legal case to stop Gzira’s garden becoming another petrol station. Labour is killing two birds with one stone

Firstly it’s rewarding Attard with a plum job at Lands authority. Attard only obtained her legal warrant in 2017. Yet Labour kicked out several far more experienced lawyers at Lands to make space for her.  Her conditions of employment are unknown because the authority simply turned down FOI requests to release her contract.

That’s not the only case in which the Labour President is fighting to deprive people of their rights.  Attard’s also fighting rulings given by the Data Commissioner ordering release of information about how much money Labour paid Saviour Balzan.  Attard is battling against people’s right to freedom of information. She’s protecting another businessman, Saviour Balzan, and trampling over our human rights.

For her troubles Attard’s been rewarded with another plum job. She’s been appointed Julia Farrugia Portelli’s legal consultant. Besides being Labour party President and Lands Authority lawyer, she’s also legal consultant to a government minister.

Secondly, through its generous donation of public land, Labour is ensuring that another millionaire makes even more millions.  It’s ensuring that the businessman knows the hassle Labour’s gone through to get him what he wants. Labour’s guaranteeing that businessman’s loyalty and will expect his support - especially financial.

One brave socialist, Borg Manche’, stands in the way of another Labour ripoff. Labour is sparing no effort to destroy him. “Senior members of the Labour Party took it out on me because I stood up to the abuse”, the mayor lamented. That is the sad situation to which Labour’s current leadership have reduced the party - an organisation which protects an oligarchy of budding millionaires at the expense of people’s welfare.  It’s a vicious organisation that will use its power to destroy those, even from amongst its own, who dare object to their daylight robbery of the nation’s wealth.

“I am amazed at how many hate and humiliate people in the same party to serve themselves and a businessman,” Borg Manche commented. He knows what happens to those who expose the rottenness of Labour’s leadership - they get blown up. But he is defiant: “I am not a yes man and will never be”. This is a veritable David and Goliath battle. The Labour party administration, through its own President, expends all efforts to destroy one of its own mayors for having the audacity to challenge his party for robbing his constituents.

Borg Manche’s cause is noble.  He’s absolutely right. But he is wrong on one thing - robbing a town of its last garden to hand over to a businessman for another petrol station is not the most anti-socialist act one can commit.  That title is reserved for stealing half the national health service from the people to hand it over to the private sector in a deal which has been described as “fraudulent” by a judge.

Dom Mintoff’s dream was to provide good quality health care to all citizens free at point of care.  He witnessed the unjust reality where the wealthy enjoyed good medical care while the poor couldn’t afford it. He wanted all citizens to have equal access to a decent health service, irrespective of economic status.

Mintoff went about fulfilling that dream in the worst possible way. But it was a noble dream.  And it was fulfilled, at least in part. The heartbreaking and despairing truth is that a young girl paid with her life for that dream.  Her family’s grief is compounded by the fury they must still harbour for the complete failure of justice. Somebody must have known who was behind Karin Grech’s brutal and despicable murder.  Not a single person has come forward, even now, decades later. The one small consolation for her family and the nation was that out of that agony, the country emerged with a health service that was accessible to all.

That consolation has been shattered. Labour sold its soul to the devil. In pursuit of the interests of a group of businessmen and their political backers, Labour robbed the people of its most precious gem and Mintoff’s legacy.  They traded off the blood of Karin Grech for thirty pieces of silver.

Malta today has one of the widest inequalities in healthcare access in Europe. 89% of Malta’s richest are in good health. But only 58% of our poorest enjoy the same health. That is a 41% gap. The EU average is 20%.

That’s no surprise. Despite Labour’s empty boasts, Malta spends only 2,646 euro on each citizen’s health. The EU average is 3,500 euro. As a percentage of GDP, Malta’s health spending is decreasing not increasing.  Malta spends only 8.8% of its GDP on health. The EU average is 10%. The state pays only 63.5% of health costs. The rest we pay ourselves from our own pockets. The EU average for state funding is 79.7%.

That’s not because there is no money. It’s because Labour squandered hundreds of millions in the fraudulent Vitals-Steward scam.

Labour committed its most anti-socialist act when it killed Mintoff’s dream.

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