this week: Chipping away
Labours confused state
Confusion reigns within the Malta Labour Party and the likelihood is
that come 15 May when Alfred Sant once again takes the leadership, he
will be inheriting a party with greater division than that he gave up.
Since the elections, few within the party have had the courage to speak
openly about which direction they would like to see the party taking.
Some have decided not to take positions they probably could have. Evarist
Bartolo chose to gun for deputy leader rather than leader, and George
Vella has decided to step down from the deputy leader position.
John Attard Montalto, Anglu Farrugia, Alfred Mifsud and Jose Herrera
have not had the courage to get all off their chests, but reading between
the lines it is very clear where these stand.
Mystery shrouds other potential front runners like Charles Mangion and
Chris Cardona. These politicians are known to be moderates in the Labour
camp, and would seem to be biding time until rough waters calm.
The Sant clan is clearly digging its heals in, and despite the decision
to stop Manuel Cuschieris radio programme Tajjeb li tkun
taf, will continue to do so in the coming days until the elections.
For many within the Sant clan the leadership issue is not just a matter
of policy direction, but for many it involves income and jobs, besides
perks. These people will not want to see the Party slipping out of Sants
hands too easily. Whether their stand will, in the long run, be helpful
to the party is another question and most in the Labour party want to
see an electable party taking shape.
Prominent Labour members not in Parliament, including international
secretary Dr Michael Falzon and former deputy leader George Abela are
holding their horses, while former premier Dom Mintoff is doing anything
Mintoff was the only Labour politician wanting Alfred Sant to step down.
And he said so loud and clear even if the octogenarian still haunts
The next few days will divide the men from the sheep within the party
and it is hard to imagine that those who would like to see radical changes
within the party can continue to suffer Sants dictatorial nature.
Evarist Bartolo has called for radical change within the party but his
desire for change is perhaps not radical enough.
We would like to see a Labour Party that is able to accept criticism,
one that is able to criticise messages rather than insult messengers,
one that will really make a difference in the fields of education and
the environment, and above all one that will instil business confidence.