The Malta Independent 21 April 2024, Sunday
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Beasts and humans

Alfred Sant MEP Thursday, 29 February 2024, 08:10 Last update: about 3 months ago

People – we all – have gotten used to the idea that animals living in their (our) world are here to serve them. When one meets somebody who contests this view, as happened to me recently, one discovers a completely different mindset about life. To a certain extent, whether you want to or not, this does make an impression.

For in fact, nothing was preordained in the way by which matters developed so that man ended up supreme over all the other animals. That surely did not happen when dinosaurs were the rage. And the arrangements of those days only changed not because mankind achieved some superior status but because a comet struck the earth and changed our climate for thousands of years, totally destroying the beasts that were dominant then.

As it happens, today hidden empires exist already in our world waiting for their chance to multiply and conquer – among which ants and cockroaches. Such considerations should apparently convince man to treat all other animals as partners sharing a responsibility like and equal to his/hers, in the management of the planet. A problem would be how to conduct consultations with the other animals about this not trivial agenda.

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THE NEUTRALITY ISSUE

As a neutral country we must seek to keep away from the political efforts now being undertaken within the EU to introduce policy measures for a military build-up, since these contradict the Maltese constitution and go against our national interests. When the island joined the EU, the notion that this would also develop as a military alliance was not raised at all.

On the other hand, members of the Union have every right to participate in a military union if they consider this to be in their best interests. If they decide to reboot the EU as a military alliance, the existing institutional tools  could deliver decisions that go in this direction. It is not the ideal approach forward however. The military alliance that is being prospected should be laid out on the basis of separate diplomatic structures.

Promises are being made that in the development of a defence policy within the EU, the position of neutral countries will be safeguarded. Given what has already happened as of now, it hardly seems as if such promises mean much.

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SO THEY WALK...

In recent years, people have changed completely their manner of walking and moving in streets and squares. The phenomenon is happening everywhere, in Malta just as much as in Brussels.

As one walks along today, one clutches one’s mobile and reads or taps into it or talks into it as one moves forward. Pedestrians keep looking down at their mobile and it is up to pedestrains who are walking in the opposite direction to navigate away from a collision. Yet, more often than not, those coming from that side are also looking down at their own strip of phone.

Frequently as one goes down a street, of the scores of people who are approaching, only some two or three are really facing the direction they’re heading towards.

                       

 

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