Tag Archives: politics

What a couple of weeks

And I repeat – What a couple of weeks it has been.

I use the word ‘couple’ in a very loose meaning. This whole year has been one of upheavals, surprises and not-so surprises.

But the icing on the cake had to be the build-up and the vote of the Budget which took place on the 10th of December 2012. The result of that vote is history now, we all know which way it went though I wonder whether we will ever know why.

Actually we do know why, but that is only through deduction and observation and not thanks to having it explained by those involved.

I may have a rather simplistic view of it all but this is how it came across to me.. so on one hand we had the party in opposition who said they will vote against the budget because, well, simply that that was the tradition. To hell with the budget itself, who cares about what the budget offers, improves on, removes, reduces or increases. Who cares about the measures being introduced to help reduce costs, improve efficiency or conditions? It has absolutely nothing to do with the actual content and all to do with which side presented it.

Oh and add the economy and the population’s future to the ‘to hell’ list. The possible ramifications of a stalled budget, even at the best of times, are hard to quantify.

To add to this farcical situation the opposition, after having heard the budget read out and realising that it is, considering the international situation, a damn fine budget which led to most bar one financial institutions and unions to praise its seriousness and forward looking measures, announced that they will keep the good parts of the budget. Fine and dandy, so we have an opposition who dished out one buzz word after another with never a clue as to how, when or even why they plan to implement their promises. We were treated to a pantomime of road maps, 51-point  bulleted policies and secret political manifesto. Secret because, according to their ingenious strategists, they didn’t want the government to steal their ideas.

Kindergarten politics at its best, but most of all – hypocrites of the highest order. keeping their policies secret (secret policies or non-existent policies?) for fear of having them stolen and then, blatantly and proudly – trying to make it look like they are doing us a favour – they claim that they will keep (read that as steal shouldn’t we?) the good parts of the budget they are voting down merely for tradition’s sake.

On the other hand, and oh what a slimy hand that has turned out to be, we have a government back-bencher who after a year of doing his utmost to disrupt every single aspect of governance from the governing (and his) party blatantly claimed that he will vote against the budget well before he had any inkling of what the budget consisted. He would rant and wail about everything under the sun except – why he will vote against, what he found disagreeable in said budget, why he found it disagreeable and nigh a comment about the shenanigans of the party in opposition.

This chap had the gal to label himself as the biggest Nationalist Malta has ever witnessed with the people’s interest put first and foremost in his mind.

He was nothing but!

His reasons for voting against the budget were purely personal and vindictive and the people’s interest, those constituents who voted for him under on the PN mandate, could have been engulfed by a black hole for all he cared.

Yes, he made some extremely interesting and noteworthy proposals, but that was not the problem. It was the menner in which he tried to impose these proposals onto parliament and the electorate. It was in the manner in which he tried to push his agenda which caused the friction and thus the vindictiveness of his actions thereafter.

And such he set the tone for the rest of the year.

So we ended up with a Budget, which was cautious yet which provided enough guarantee for the future such that investors and the economy on the whole would not suffer in the coming months, that was voted out on reasons totally unrelated. And those who have claimed to have Malta’s insterests at heart and first and foremost in their mind have pushed us to a situation in which we have a frozen budget (since it was defeated and thus the government also meaning) which will have to wait for the result of the General Elections to be held on the 9th of March 2013 and for the newly elected to draw up thei own budget which would then have to go through parliament and voted on again.

I’ve beaten around the bush a bit here, but what with the silly antics from the protagonists of this saga I can’t really help it can I. Hope I didn’t bore y’all to death with my ramblings and wish you all a wonderful Christmas and new Year 2013.


Joseph Muscat’s Brigadoon

Brigadoon is a lovely story turned into a musical in the 1950’s. Its a story about two american tourists who, while on a hunting holiday in Scotland, stumble upon a village which is not marked on their maps. The people of this village were slightly taken aback as the Americans appeared though they soon warmed to them, Tommy, one of the tourists, actually fell head over heals in love with Fiona, a fair maiden of the village.

But… there was a secret that this village held to its heart and only when the two love birds were running through the fields collecting heather for a celebration that evening did Tommy realise. As he tried to cross a bridge to reach some fresh heather on the opposite side Fiona stopped dead cold and with fear in her eyes refused to cross and implored him not to cross either.

Confused, Tommy insisted on knowing why they could not cross so Fiona took him to speak to the schoolmaster of the village who explained that 200 years ago the pastor of the village had prayed to the lord to protect Brigadoon from changes and influences of the outside world. And thus, the village dissapeared in a swarm of mist only to reappear for 1 day every hundred years. As a form of payment, so to speak, for the protection offered no villager could leave Brigadoon or the village would disappear for ever.

A beautiful story of love and mystery set in a fairy tale! So how does this apply to the Labour Party’s current leader Joseph Muscat?

Over the past year or so due to various renegade MP’s the current party in government led by Lawrence Gonzi has received many a blow and call for Minister’s resignation. The Labour Party under the helm of Joseph Muscat jumped onto the bandwagon with glee regardless of the repercussions these actions could have had on Malta and its economy during very turbulent times in Europe and across the globe.

With eager and childish mirth Muscat’s new movement would stamp and rant that the government no longer holds the majority and therefore an election must be called. They would accuse the government of causing uncertainty and in the country. Somehow they failed to notice that Malta had been really quite stable and strong – forging through the economic crisis that hit Europe and the world with barely a stammer. The only instability there was was being created out of thin air by the Labour Party & Joseph Muscat’s ill-advised outbursts.

9 months down the line and Parliament is about to reconvene after the summer recess and we go straight into the fire with Budget talk on everyone’s mind. With Franco Debono threatening not to back the government when the budget is tabled for approval and both parties in serious election mode we still have to see some depth in the Labour’s Policy. The Prime Minister has not called for an early election and is aiming to play out the full legislature with elections probably being called for March 2013. That is a mere 6 months away yet we still have no concrete information about Labour’s Political manifesto apart from announcements, promises and stands which expose the purely opportunistic policy of their leader.

We have heard loads of promises, loads and declarations and plans from the labour camp which cover every single aspect of life and the economy of Malta but none of these have been expounded on nor have we been given any workings, studies and facts by which the Labour plan to implement their promises. Muscat’s excuse is that they do not want to give their ideas away and have them stolen by the Nationalists. In the meantime a new idea pops into Muscat’s head, a new opportunity to gain favour from a disgruntled section of society and it is added to their eloctoral manifesto as if it was there from the start. Its almost like a child who during a tantrum suddenly thinks up a new line for the wail and adds it to the repertoire.

This would be all well and good if the proposals were backed by serious studies and feasible plans of action. But they are not…. all we get are promises, empty talk and bulletted lists of plans.

Just like Brigadoon which is a fairytale lost in mist, so are Joseph Muscat and Labour’s policies with which they hope to sucker the populace into voting for them. Unlike Brigadoon however, which was a story of happiness love and hope, Muscat’s policies simply stay lost in the mist and will take longer than 100 years to materialise.