Stop acting like sheep

    We do not vote for our parliamentarians so that they act like sheep and vote for what their party tells them, even when they do not agree with what is on the table. Nationalist Party MPs, who for a long time have been calling upon Labour MPs not to act like sheep, should start putting their own words into practice.

    This week, the Nationalist party accepted the government’s insistence to rush through a bill which affects constitutional reform that appears only half-baked. There is no text as yet for anyone to read and check.

    More importantly, it does not provide for all the crucial changes that this country desperately needs. Among these are the regulation of the Broadcasting Authority, which should be removed from the control of the two parties, regulation of privately owned televisions, the way the Ombudsman and other key officials who guarantee fairness and transparency should be chosen, releasing the Employment Commission from the control of the Prime Minister, regulating what occurs during an electoral campaign etc.

    Not in our interests

    Why the rush? To please who? Certainly not the best interests of our country! Adrian Delia’s moves, as well as those of his acolytes, are definitely not in our best interests.

    We need an opposition that focuses on these vital changes, not on internal bickering and advancement of personal agendas. It is for these reasons that we vote for individuals and not only for parties in this country. We do not vote for unfair or illicit favours, but for our representatives to use their own heads in parliament and represent our interests, without bending forcibly to party rules.

    Sheep chickening out

    Speaking about sheep, I cannot but think of the pitiful testimony of Evarist Bartolo this week in front of the board of inquiry. This is the man, who like the rest of the sheep we have in parliament, voted in favour of people like Konrad Mizzi instead of clearly distancing himself from the filth that has been generated under disgraced Joseph Muscat’s government.

    He went to speak to them, he tells us. Well, then why did he chicken out from taking a public stand and state clearly that what was (and perhaps still is) happening in his party was wrong and he was not going to tolerate it? He would have won the respect of loads of people, including myself, had he done that.

    Yet, it is obvious that Mr Bartolo, who comes in a long line of education ministers that have played havoc with education in our country, did not have the guts to stand up and be counted.  Given Mr Bartolo’s comparison between himself and Galileo, let me remind Mr Bartolo of Brecht’s Life of Galileo, which ends with Galileo realising the importance of human emancipation. Are you emancipated from your party, Mr Bartolo? Or do we have to wait for a foreign journalist or a magisterial inquiry for you to spurt out the truth? And when your party calls you to heel, are you finally going to rebel and stand up to it?

    Partying herds

    I finish my piece with our so-called Minister for Tourism, Julia Farrugia Portelli. Seven days ago, on the TVM website, all readers found this news: “The Government has launched two schemes totalling four and a half million Euro aimed at attracting quality events to Malta. The Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection, Julia Farrugia Portelli said that the Malta Tourism Authority will be providing these funds in the form of sponsorships for the selected events.”

    Yesterday, Ms Farrugia Portelli told us MTA never gave a cent for massive parties. So, can the Minister please tell us how our hard-earned money, totalling €4.5 million, is being spent and give us a thorough breakdown of expenses? It is the only way we will believe her.

    In our parliament, we all want to see only stalwart parliamentarians who pursue truth and justice and ensure that things are done above board, even at the cost of standing up to their party, and in the best interests of the country. That is what Malta should have, and that is what it deserves.

    When will we get this?

    Vicki Ann Cremona is President of NGO Repubblika