The po­lit­i­cal sea­son is open

I am sure that many would say the silly sea­son did noth­ing this time round to qui­eten the po­lit­i­cal back­bit­ing and squab­bling. I re­mem­ber that a cou­ple of years ago po­lit­i­cal bick­er­ing was lost in the hul­la­baloo of our ‘busy’ sum­mer sched­ules.

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Dr An­drew Az­zopardi Head of Depart­ment Depart­ment of Youth and Com­mu­nity Stud­ies Fac­ulty for So­cial Well­be­ing, Univer­sity of Malta & Broad­caster – Għandi xi Ngħid www.an­drewaz­zopardi.org

One can­not say the same this time round with the po­lit­i­cal par­ties hardly paus­ing for a mo­ment to give us respite. Not that pol­i­tics should ever be con­sid­ered as ir­rel­e­vant and in­con­se­quen­tial but the way po­lit­i­cal par­ties try to pro­gramme our minds is ab­so­lutely ob­scene and the po­lit­i­cal fa­tigue this coun­try will soon get warped into will show up for this.

These are some mus­ings I would like to share:

• Let me burst a bub­ble for some of the read­ers of this news­pa­per. It’s not true that all is ei­ther per­fect or all is com­pletely ru­ined. Per­haps that is what the po­lit­i­cal par­ties want us to be­lieve, now more than ever when there is no way of dis­tin­guish­ing one party from an­other, no dif­fer­ing ide­ol­ogy, no dis­cernible prin­ci­ples and no creeds.

• The re­cently pub­lished pop­u­lar­ity sur­vey on the Malta To­day shows, more than ever, that we are turn­ing our po­lit­i­cal sce­nario into a pres­i­den­tial one. It is no longer PN ver­sus PL but PSB (Par­tit Si­mon Busut­til) ver­sus PJM (Par­tit Joseph Mus­cat). The ram­i­fi­ca­tion of this is that the po­lit­i­cal par­ties, that are so im­por­tant for this coun­try’s gov­er­nance, are quickly be­com­ing su­per­flu­ous, an ex­tremely dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion when gov­ern­ments grow out of po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

• The econ­omy is do­ing well, and that is a good thing. We al­most have full em­ploy­ment and so many other in­di­ca­tors show that things are go­ing in the right di­rec­tion. But this sit­u­a­tion does not com­fort me know­ing that so many are still strug­gling with poverty, peo­ple em­ployed in pre­car­i­ous con­di­tions and the work­ing poor are there for all to see. The wealth that is be­ing gen­er­ated is not seep­ing down quickly enough but rather evap­o­rat­ing into the hands of those who have in abun­dance.

• It seems that 007 has lac­er­ated our Min­istry of Fi­nance – bad, shame­ful and rep­re­hen­si­ble ac­cord­ing to One News. Yet on the same day, one­news.com.mt cel­e­brates the fact that fol­low­ing a tip-off they now know all about what hap­pened in the re­treat house event or­gan­ised by the PN. I’m con­fused!

• It’s tun­nels, trains, trams, boats, more tun­nels, un­der­ground pas­sages, magic wands and yet peo­ple still spend hours com­mut­ing, ter­ri­bly flus­tered and un­com­fort­able. Stop tak­ing the Mickey – our traf­fic sit­u­a­tion can­not be re­deemed, it’s just too late.

• Pol­i­tics is a good thing if it leads to change, to trans­for­ma­tion, to re­cover our com­mu­ni­ties. I won­der what is tak­ing us so long to re­alise that our po­lit­i­cal class is not up to stan­dard, ex­cept for some. We need to at­tract peo­ple to the fold and even­tu­ally vote for those who have ideas and ideals, who have be­liefs and be­lief, who are com­mit­ted and unswerv­ing.

• Par­lia­ment will soon re­con­vene – it looks like this is go­ing to be ‘ara kemm qed nagħmlu’ ver­sus ‘ara kemm m’għamil­tux’ – once again.

• Peo­ple at top ech­e­lons of govern­ment should never be in­volved in any busi­ness deals that af­fect them per­son­ally. There is no beat­ing around the bush, pol­i­tics and busi­ness should only meet around a square ta­ble, where they can face each other but never come shoul­der to shoul­der. When gar­ner­ing more money is on the per­son’s mind, there is no way one can do pol­i­tics with clear think­ing.

• Re­cently the Fac­ulty for So­cial Well­be­ing is­sued a state­ment, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the highly ac­claimed Vic­tims Sup­port Malta, point­ing out that 17,000 peo­ple a year regis­ter a re­port with the po­lice, 1,000 of whom are vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. Not enough is be­ing done by politi­cians – these are the bread and but­ter is­sues our so­ci­ety is in­ter­ested in.

• ESPAD, a re­search with school leavers, shows that our po­lit­i­cal and gov­er­nance de­ci­sions in the drug sec­tor are yield­ing pos­i­tive re­sults. That is a good thing but we still need to address other is­sues like the in­creased use of cannabis as be­ing a con­cern­ing fac­tor.

• The Vote 16 de­bate re­cently kin­dled (once again) by the PN and PD shows how our po­lit­i­cal class are not yet con­vinced that the 9,000 or so 16year-old po­ten­tial vot­ers might be good enough to vote but also to con­test. I am pretty sure that the checks and bal­ances in our sys­tem are wor­thy and young peo­ple, yes even at that age, have it in them to make things right.

• If this LNG tanker, that un­doubt­edly is an eye­sore, man­ages to take the ven­omous lev­els down and we have bet­ter air qual­ity wouldn’t it be worth get­ting used to?

• I can­not un­der­stand what the PN’s strat­egy re­gard­ing Leo Brin­cat was. If he was im­pli­cated in Pana­m­a­gate, even re­motely, I would have un­der­stood the strat­egy but in this case I feel that it was just a way of hit­ting out at the govern­ment, plain, sim­ple and easy.

• The re­cently pre­sented Mas­ter Plan for Paceville, in­tended as a con­sul­ta­tion doc­u­ment, is an im­por­tant in­stru­ment in help­ing us un­der­stand that com­mu­ni­ties are not just build­ings but also peo­ple. Hav­ing said that, some ideas that are be­ing placed on the ta­ble are ab­hor­rent.

• These high-rise build­ings be­ing pro­posed: Are they a need? Are they a nec­es­sary evil? Would our econ­omy ben­e­fit so much that we will be in a bet­ter place? If not, so why have them in the first place?

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