Si­mon Busut­til can in­stil na­tional pride again

Op­po­si­tion and Na­tion­al­ist Party leader Dr Si­mon Busut­til, will, this evening, ad­dress the crowds gath­ered at the Flo­ri­ana Gra­naries to com­mem­o­rate Malta’s In­de­pen­dence, the birth of our small na­tion, which Prime Min­is­ter Dr Ge­orge Borg Olivier se­cured on

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Tele­graph­i­cally put, in the past fifty-two years, Malta has weath­ered pe­ri­ods of po­lit­i­cal un­cer­tainty, faced chal­leng­ing times, ex­pe­ri­enced long terms of po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity and be­came a mem­ber of the Euro­pean Union. Our po­lit­i­cal lead­ers man­aged to lead our na­tion dur­ing world­wide pros­per­ous eco­nomic highs and through in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic woes. Since Malta gained In­de­pen­dence, some have, at var­i­ous in­ter­vals, felt the need to step in to res­cue these Is­lands from fall­ing into the hands of the shame­less elites who pre­sented them­selves as knights in shin­ing ar­mour. In the last gen­eral elec­tion the Movi­ment found fer­tile ground, promised com­fort and shel­ter to all and vowed sound and rich val­ues. Back then, the elec­torate flocked in the open arms of the dis­guised PL.

Against all odds, in a rel­a­tively short span of time, the dis­ap­pointed elec­torate started to look for shel­ter else­where. Peo­ple are trou­bled with the high num­ber and level of al­leged cases of cor­rup­tion and po­lit­i­cal scan­dals, and are equally con­cerned with this ad­min­is­tra­tion for al­low­ing the crony elite turn Malta into a fam­ily busi­ness.

This evening, I trust, that Dr Busut­til will let the crowds know that he deeply shares their frus­tra­tion and their ap­pre­hen­sion as the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion mis­steps, again and again, and fails to take cor­rec­tive mea­sures to pro­tect the com­mon good and the ster­ling rep­u­ta­tion of Malta.

I have no doubt that Dr Busut­til will use this evening’s event to con­vey a pos­i­tive, hon­est mes­sage to the crowds. The peo­ple are in search of a true po­lit­i­cal party which pro­fesses trans­parency, ac­count­abil­ity and mer­i­toc­racy and Dr Busut­til should pledge in clear terms that a fu­ture PN ad­min­is­tra­tion will hon­our these val­ues at all costs.

In the process, Dr Busut­til should also prom­ise to rec­tify all forms of in­jus­tices. The crowds should be re­as­sured that Malta will not suf­fer an­other set­back with a new PN led ad­min­is­tra­tion. Peo­ple are get­ting tired of the PL ad­min­is­tra­tion be­cause it con­stantly tries to jus­tify and mea­sure its wrong­do­ings with past PN ad­min­is­tra­tions.

Dr Busut­til will surely touch on other is­sues, but one thing he will def­i­nitely not do. He will not stoop low in his speech to rouse PN sup­port­ers. He will re­main the com­posed politi­cian that he promised to be when he was elected leader of the PN. I am equally con­vinced that he will not re­sort to po­lit­i­cal jar­gon which would, in the short term, give him and the PN an edge over his po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents. No doubt, Dr Busut­til will stay away from com­ments sim­i­lar to the ones made by the Repub­li­can US pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump against his Demo­cratic ri­val Hil­lary Clin­ton. Trump called for Clin­ton’s se­cu­rity of­fi­cers to be stripped of their firearms - and then added, “Let’s see what hap­pens to her.” Repub­li­can US pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Trump is fac­ing harsh crit­i­cism af­ter ap­pear­ing to hint at the as­sas­si­na­tion of his Demo­cratic ri­val Clin­ton.

In con­trast with Trump’s de­plorable com­ment, Mo­han­das Gandhi’s comes to mind. Ma­hatma cham­pi­oned the non-vi­o­lence and pas­sive re­sis­tance phi­los­o­phy dur­ing the cam­paign for in­de­pen­dence in In­dia. The epi­gram eye for eye, tooth for tooth is a twist from the Bi­b­li­cal Book of Ex­o­dus. There is a more elab­o­rate ver­sion of this clever maxim: an eye for eye and a tooth for a tooth would lead to a world of blind and tooth­less peo­ple.

This brings me to the is­sue of pub­lic-of­fice hold­ers push­ing for­ward their po­lit­i­cal view­points. Per­sons en­trusted with pub­lic of­fice du­ties should, when de­liv­er­ing speeches or us­ing any of the wide mass­com­mu­ni­ca­tion means avail­able in­clud­ing the so­cial me­dia, make sure that their state­ments dig­nify and hone the sta­tus of the pub­lic of­fice they hold.

Pub­lic-of­fice hold­ers can­not, and should not, use a terminology or a phrase­ol­ogy which rots or de­cays the sta­tus of the pub­lic of­fice they hold. Pub­lic-of­fice hold­ers should be barred from ex­press­ing their po­lit­i­cal views while they hold of­fice. A high level of deco­rous­ness is not only ex­pected from pub­lic of­fice hold­ers but is a must.

Per­sons in pub­lic of­fice should prop­a­gate healthy de­bates but re­frain from hurl­ing in­sults and po­lit­i­cally-mo­ti­vated veiled threats. In­cit­ing peo­ple with bel­liger­ent com­ments is a se­ri­ous of­fence. The con­se­quences of such lan­guage are well known to the peo­ple who lived dur­ing the po­lit­i­cally tur­bu­lent years of the early 80s.

We should not risk re­trac­ing the past. The elec­torate will soon be called to pick a po­lit­i­cal ve­hi­cle ca­pa­ble to take Malta to the next higher level.

The choice should be ob­vi­ous.

The Malta In­de­pen­dent Tues­day 20 Septem­ber 2016

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