Archive for July, 2010

The PN discusses divorce… Mamma mia!

July 31, 2010

The Times reports that in the year 2010 the Nationalist Party (yes, they still call themselves ‘nationalist’ like fascists used to call themselves in the 1920s!… and they still use a hymn reminiscent of Mussolini’s infamous ‘Giovinezza’) discussed divorce at executive level and decided not to decide anything but decided to discuss more and more and more (for about 10 years probably!).

Lawrence Gonzi, Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici, Mons. Tonio Borg, Tonio Fenech (the guy promoting gambling), and the vast majority of the people who decide party policy are obviously against giving people a second chance in life. The are in favour of treating adults like little children… so much for a supposedly modern party.

The simple truth is that while the PN is a laissez-faire party when it comes to the economy (which translates into letting the powerful economic actors run roughshod and turn this country into a concrete and tarmac jungle), it is socially and culturally stuck in the 1920s.

Those who campaigned for the EU but are not Nationalists, and there were thousands of these people, voted for a forward looking country … these people cannot vote for the party of backwardness.

As I never tire of insisting: the real threat to this country and us all is the suffocating PNPL duopoly… this same duopoly is the reason why loads of issues are put on the backburner and why this country has been sold for peanuts to those who finance PN and PL. A real democracy means: clear rules on party financing, a reasonable electoral law, a real and proper whistle-blowers’ act and of course pluralism where politics is based on discussion and transparency.

Obviously, it ultimatley depends on how you vote.

Araw naqra il-mentalita ta’ wara l-muntanji!

July 29, 2010

Laqtitni storja fil-Maltatoday online. Certu kunsillier Nazzjonalist f’Tas-Sliema u persuna mdahhla fil-kampanja elettorali ta’ Simon Busuttil li spiss waqt kampanji elettorali jikteb biex izeblah lil kull min ma jaqbilx mal-partit glorjuz tieghu ghandu mohh medjevali! Aqra l-istorja u idhaq!

Viva l-liberta!

Principled politics… when? where?

July 27, 2010

This government boasts of having a vision. It boasts of getting Malta into the EU. It’s the usual arrogant attitude I am used to by now. Just going to the counting hall during vote counting for elections I have experienced the hate and contempt PN activists hold for the rest of us. Their superiority complex is incredible.

Back to the EU issue – of course the PN was one of the main movers but in their extreme arrogance they forget that there were scores of others who worked hard towards this aim. The hours of work for free (while other PN activists were being paid due to their political appointments to government posts e.g. Simon Busuttil, or through consultancy fees paid out through public funds) put in by AD activists of course is never mentioned. Official photos were even doctored to remove some people from government publications. How low can they stoop? Stalin’s strategies pale to insignificance next to their tactics. Reminicent of the 80s all over again. With one difference, moral violence does not make the headlines like physical violence does. As regards mentality however there is not much difference between Lorry Sant and Lorry Gonzi and their entourage.

The amusing thing about all this is that the PN’s EU target was just economic and tied to a long term dream – that of affirming Malta’s ‘latinita’ (‘Ta’ Kattolici, ta’ Latini …). The thing is that this view is long past its sell date. Others, AD at the forefront, looks to the EU as a means of moving with the times, of high standards both social and environmental and of a social market economy – where people come before profit. The PN’s economic policy is anything but this – it is based only on real estate and dishing out public land for a pittance. Its mission is staying in government and so doing favours to a limited group of people (speculators mostly) who prop it up financially. Lawrence Gonzi is really a bad real estate salesman, not Prime Minister.

The way out of this mess lies squarely in the hands of the electorate. Unfortunately most still see politics as a way to move forward and land a ‘prestigious’ job. Recently in an interview on Maltatoday, Cyrus Engerer, a PN local councillor and activist who does not agree with the PN on very basic and core principles went as far as to say that for him it is either PL or PN because by supporting them he can go places. Some suggestions: landing a job or a consultancy with some minister, becoming an MP and being called ‘onorevoli’, being close to those who hold power. What else?

 At least that is the way I interpreted his words. So much for principles and change. A further confirmation that there is no real difference between them and that power-at-all-costs is the overriding ‘principle’ which guides even the supposedly more ‘enlightened’ ones.

There is no alternative to democracy and unless more and more people engage in principled political action there is simply no way out. Most people will not admit it, but it is the suffocating dominance by the PN and PL which is keeping this country in the middle ages culturally, socially and politically, where it is not what you know but who you know that counts. At the end of the day it is up to people to free themselves and use the ballot box wisely. The real wasted vote is that one which perpetuates the current system of clientalism, mediocre debate and arrogance. Wasting your vote means chosing between nothing and nothing – believe me nothing bothers and angers those hangers-on and leeches more than seeing votes going into the green boxes at the counting hall… with each extra vote the more they despair. Neither the PL nor the PN surpassed the magic number of 50% + 1 votes last election. Let’s keep it that way!

… and remember ‘Vote Gonzi, Get Lorry’


July 22, 2010

Some politicians have a habit of speaking as if they are members of some religious order: spouting platitudes about values left, right and centre. The thing is ‘values’ only come in when it comes to sexual morality: family, divorce, sexual orientation… the commonest formula is ‘Malta has always defended the family bla bla bla Christian values are a tenet of our society…’… obviously just words which mean nothing concrete.

Lawrence Gonzi and his party uses this formula over and over again. It is very effective because who doesn’t appreciate his or her family and the sense of security a family give each and everyone of us? This is not the issue, the issue is that as a society we must and should accept that there are people living in different circumstances who are also citizens of the state and thus deserve the protection and legal instruments that the state offers, or should offer to all its citizens.

Inherent in Lawrence Gonzi’s rhetoric about values is a certain hypocrisy, because at the same time that he is crusading against divorce his government has ignored measures which really and truly help the family. Take income tax for example. The rate of income tax in this country does not depend on the number of dependants one is supporting. So whether with 10,000 Euros a year you have to support 2 or 3 children or not does not make any difference – you still pay the same amount of income tax as anyone else.

At the same time that Lawrence Gonzi is spouting rhetoric about the family his government promotes internet gambling. A candidate with his party, who is also a lawyer represents a huge online billing company based in Malta which makes money from internet pornography sites. I’m not discussing pornography but the hypocrisy of a party which projects a certain image but in reality is guided by just one principle: as long as it means money, anything goes.

And worse of all, while Lawrence Gonzi makes yet another speech about values his government sends Somali migrants back to Libya. Hypocrisy at its best. Will we see a billboard in Zebbug about this? I doubt it.

When will Lawrence Gonzi and his party/government (they are one and the same) start treating Maltese citizens like grown ups?