Labour is leading at the polls but there are enough undecided voters to turn the next election into a cataclysmic and radical change of our country. I have also changed my mind about not voting PN and I will explain why. I think that the most important thing to do in the next election, apart from electing Sandra Gauci on the 6 and 12th district (she has a very good chance of getting elected), is to get the PN into power. Here is why:
1. Total collapse of rule of law – and it will collapse even further
In two years of Robert Abela’s administration, we have witnessed no progress at all in rule of law. No politician has been arraigned in court. The mega corrupt contracts that the previous administrations have signed have not changed and are all still in effect: Vitals, Electrogas, Saint Vincent de Paul. Robert Abela is also working with members of Joseph Muscat’s cabal apart from defending him publicly. Edward Zammit Lewis was made a minister and Rosianne Cutajar has been promised a ministry too. If you want a cabinet with literal white-collar criminals who would have been sent to jail in a normal functioning democracy, then vote Labour.
Robert Abela is not an intelligent man who can think things through – he is very simple-minded. A vote in favour of Labour will reassure Robert Abela that he is doing nothing wrong by covering up for criminals like Rosianne Cutajar and Edward Zammit Lewis. The banality of evil here is rather explicit and was admitted to by Robert Musumeci in a podcast with Jon Mallia: as long as Labour has a majority in the polls, wrongdoing and criminality are justified because “that is what the people want”.
Labour and Robert Abela are telling you directly, explicitly and in the clearest terms possible that once they are handed a victory at the polls, they will feel empowered to indulge in further corruption and rent-seeking. There are no limits to wrongdoing given they have a majority mandate. Robert Abela is also very clear in terms of the policy on rule of law: he will do nothing. The mega bill package proposed by the Nationalist Party was shot down with Orwellian discourse that argued that clamping down on political crime will stifle the Maltese economy: it wouldn’t. It would stifle rent-seeking but Robert Abela wants to conserve the rent-seeking regime because it was what propelled him to power and what keeps the Labour Party going right now.
Labour is telling you straight and plain that it doesn’t care about rule of law and that they will have the mandate to wreck it even more once they win the next election. This is undoubtedly dangerous for our democracy and poses the risk of a downward spiral in rent-seeking and political crime. Impunity will increase and political crime will become even more entrenched. The new normal will be that the mafia is an acceptable part of our politics, yet we wouldn’t even be able to call it out as so.
2. Labour is clamping down on free speech
Labour intends to re-introduce criminal libel with a 2 two-year prison sentence and a fine of up to €30,000. Labour also intends to apply foreign court judgments of libel on Maltese citizens into Maltese law. Electing Labour into office means that we will have a new raft of legislation against free speech. This is alarming and we should not compromise with these rights.
The picture of a future society under Robert Abela is then very clear – we will become another rogue EU State like Victor Orban’s Hungary. Basically, Labour is shifting Malta into a hard-populist, semi-authoritarian State with a political class accepting of criminals and their cartels.
3. Labour’s economic policy is based strictly on government spending
Labour is going to pump the economy with further increased public spending and will continue to subsidise the construction industry in various ways directly and indirectly contributing to the exponential and long-term rise of property prices. Quality of life is eroding due to the housing problem and the government intends to greenwash the problem by alleging it will build new green areas. The irony is that Labour doesn’t intend to change the development policy, so building new green areas while destroying the existing ones, defeats its purpose. There was a time when Labour could convince people into thinking they have a host of technocrats designing intelligent economic plans, however that time is over. You can not expect much from Robert Abela and Labour’s only solution to our problems is to simply throw more money at them. The nepotism will increase and Labour’s economic largesse will expand further thanks to government spending. Labour’s slogan for the youth can be summarized as follows: Smoke weed and live with your parents. On a more serious note, we risk once again becoming the pre-Joseph Muscat rent-seeking paradise with a labour force that mostly creates precarious jobs, an economy dependent on public subsidies and this time around a property market that is becoming ever more inaccessible to a wide range of people.
4. The environmental destruction and the rent-seeking will continue
Despite Labour’s efforts to greenwash its policy, they will still be building a yacht marina and they won’t be changing the local development plans. Basically, the current problems in development and planning will persist unabated.
5. Electing PN in office will not solve our problems but will deliver a big hit to criminality in politics, safeguard our democracy and trigger a process of radical change
Our society is in urgent need of reconstruction; restoring rule of law, restoring democratic principles and laying the foundations of a sound economic policy for the future. Electing PN into government will create one of the biggest disruptive political events in our history.
A: Labour would be completely disrupted and a swathe of critics who left the Party (I am one of them) would join it again. The battle in the Labour Party between the criminals and the opportunists and the political idealists would inevitably start once again. Labour would have a better chance to renew itself as a centre-left political party instead of being the party for rent-seeking and hard-populism.
B: Joseph Muscat and his cabal would have absolutely no protection whatsoever and justice could take its course unhindered. Prosecutions would be inevitable and the criminal world in politics would inevitably take a big hit.
C: If elected in government PN has no choice but to meet very high expectations. For this reason, as well, the opposition to a PN government will be more fierce than it is today. I will also join the opposition once PN is in power. This would create renewal in politics whereas the government would be flushed out of its current criminal elements, and the system is rebooted. The new government will be much warier in committing rent-seeking and crimes given its majority would potentially be much less compared to a Labour victory.
D: By ousting Adrian Delia from his position as Party leader, the Nationalist Party proved itself it can be a vanguard to its people and uphold high expectations even when their leader is against them. In this respect, the Nationalist Party is currently more Leninist than the Labour Party given that the Labour Party is unable to rise up to the interests of the working-class when the leader goes against them. A case in point is the Electrogas and the Vitals contracts. The Labour Party has turned into a cult and its leader is an authoritarian figure. Labour is no longer a Party in the traditional sense of the word.
6: The risks are much less with PN in office especially when we consider the “Grey Listing” issue
Our country needs to repair its international reputation. Under successive PN governments, Malta leveraged its sovereign jurisdiction to become the European’s gambling home for regulated billion-dollar groups like Betsson, Evolution Gaming and Bet365, employing around 12,000 today, mostly young people with suitable wages across all paths of life. Over the last 9 years, we’ve wasted invaluable time and not created one niche of economy, now Labour is busy trying to repair the damage made to our international reputation, but the problem is this. Labour could have very easily repaired Malta’s reputation had it elected a leader and a Prime Minister who was not part of Joseph Muscat’s cartel and not hell-bent on defending and covering up for him after getting elected. Robert Abela promised continuity but a break from the past intangible, material, historical terms is needed and not just lip service and theatre. Under Robert Abela’s leadership, our country is being stirred into greater irrelevance. Robert doesn’t care about the fact that he is totally unfit for purpose and not the right man for the job. Robert is in this for himself. Any good-willing politician who would have been part of Joseph Muscat’s inner circle would have never even dared to contest the Party leadership and put us in this bizarre situation internationally.
So, under Robert Abela, not only will we fail to repair our foreign reputation, we will become even more irrelevant globally and will further fail to tap into new economic potential and new economic niches.
To conclude, I think I have made my position very clear now. We need to elect the PN in office to safeguard our democracy, restore rule of law, bring back life to our economy, save our foreign reputation, and begin a process of progressive change in our society.
Once elected in office, PN should be opposed once again.