6 FEBRUARY 2002
It will be an exciting time at the convention. Leader of the Opposition Alfred Sant has nominated himself to be the representative of the Labour party. His nomination is a useful one for the Labour party. But definitely an embarrassment for the government, who will be hoping for the best with Peter Serracino Inglott and Dr Michael Frendo.
The convention is a high profile event which will be followed closely by the international press.
Dr Sant will leave a good impression, apart from his cultured stance, his linguistic abilities and his appreciation of history he is undoubtedly the better speaker and communicator in the Maltese delegation.
He is not only that, he is indeed more motivated than the rest. His dream for Malta may seem palatable if he presents his arguments in the same way he did when speaking in Parliament.
He will remind his peers that Malta is the size of a metropolitan town in Europe. Its large population bulging at the seams.
He will be eloquent but he will emphatically point out that just under half the population are against full membership.
He might even go further than that - and add that it is insane to impose the same rules applying to the Canary Islands or Helsinki in Finland.
The Nationalist Party is secretly saying that Alfred Sants decision to appoint himself is proof of the crisis in the MLP.
But this is absolute hogwash.
The foreign reps who are attending the convention are all high profile politicians and academics.
Alfred Sant fits this brief precisely. And his presence will do much to enhance his position on Europe.
Hold-ups and police surveillance
The increase in hold-ups is not conducive to a healthy business environment. The number of policemen seen actively on the beat is never high enough. Policemen are only seen in police stations, occasional roadblocks and in moving cars.
Police must be moved away from administrative duties to more pro-active roles.
The message sent to new recruits by the new commissioner of Police was positive. He was speaking to them on Monday.
But one could not help noticing that many of the new recruits lacked the traditional stature of a policeman/woman. Indeed some of them could easily have been confused with teenagers. They were also horribly short.
Which should mean that police will be depending more on training and logistics to fight crime.
But where is the training and and where are the logistics?
The death of a President
It is a taboo to speak ill of the dead in Malta. But it is fair to speak of Agatha Barbara as a person who did her very best for Malta. True, she had faults which led many to suffer, the breakdown in the education system in the early seventies was partly her fault. But she represented what was Mintoffian politics at its best, social harmony with an abrasive style.