Recover, recycle and reuse
Many believe that Dom Mintoff’s demise marks an end of an era. I think not. The past is a mirror of the future and if Labour continues recycling expired components, its economic and financial policies will lead Malta to bankruptcy.
Muscat’s insistence a couple of years ago for the Government to copy Cyprus’s economic road map reinforces my argument.
The statistics of the World Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum published this month show that, of 139 countries, Malta has climbed from 50th place to 47th whereas Cyprus has slipped from 40th to 58th place.
This alone confirms that Muscat and his sidekicks simply have no idea how the economy works and they had better stick to what they know best: bluffing.
Moreover, the legacy Labour hopefuls bequeathed still haunt us till this very day.
Many of them operated under Mintoff and Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici and we have already had a taste of their high-handed politics. Others served under Alfred Sant’s short-lived government between 1996 and 1998.
Labour has tried to change its image but it can never change . It is hereditary. It is what old, new and newer Labour is made of. Revisiting the miserable track record of Labour’s future Cabinet of ministers will confirm my point.
The aspiring Minister of Finance is 62-year-old Leo Brincat. He is a smooth, calculating and controlled politician. His reputation was irreversibly tarnished when his name appeared on the infamous racist Facebook group although he has since withdrawn it.
Serving as Minister of Finance and Commerce under Sant he gained three memorable credits to his name – the honour of introducing 33 new taxes in 22 months, the removal of VAT and the hotchpotch he made of the ‘new’ fiscal system CET.
Everyone but Labour knew that CET was a non-starter and Sant confirmed it when, on national television, lost for words, he was at sea when trying to explain the ins and outs of the system.
Another Labour guy, so much in the political spotlight at the moment, is 63-year-old Karmenu Vella.
This old hand is writing Labour’s electoral manifesto and it remains a mystery why the task was not bestowed upon a young, fresh and forward-looking individual.
Twenty-eight years ago he was Minister for Industry under Mintoff and, later, Minister for Tourism under Sant. Describing Mintoff’s era as “the golden years”, he will have us forget that, thanks to his dismal record as Minister for Industry, Malta registered an unsurpassed record of unemployment, reaching the 10,000 mark. And this when there was no world recession!
Heaven forbid he is ever allowed to ruin what this Administration has struggled so much to achieve.
Suffice to say that during the current global financial crisis, the Nationalist government has created 20,000 new jobs and Malta and Germany are the only countries whose unemployment rate is lower than it was before the international financial and economic crisis.
Another 60-year-old Labour guru, championing education, is Evarist Bartolo who comes over asa cool, calm and moderate gentleman hardly ever showing his true self: a veritable Oscar winner for performing in sheep’s clothing.
He served as Minister for Education and Natural Culture under Sant and was the culprit who converted student stipends into a burden to be paid back to the Government in full.
Quite a far cry from the annual €23 million the Nationalist government grants students today with no strings attached.
It is futile for Labour to promise that it will not meddle with stipends again because if it broke its promise so blatantly in 1996 what guarantee do we have that it will not do so again?
Bear in mind that Edward Scicluna, Labour MEP, another would-be Finance Minister, has already publicly argued against the sustainability of students’ stipends and free health. Worse still, he is going around endorsing and promoting Mintoff’s take on economic growth, as in state control, restricted imports, ministerial interference, quotas, bulk buying, military labour corps etc. Shudders and shivers.
Another 62-year-old spring chicken is Labour’s international secretary, Alex Sceberras Trigona, who, is guilty of having shamefully signed a ‘top secret’ military agreement with North Korea's genocidal dictatorship when he was Minister for Foreign Affairs in 1982. We can only wait and see whether he will trip up the staunch anti-EU 70-year-old campaigner, former Labour deputy leader George Vella, and pinch the Foreign Affairs Minister’s post.
There are also many others vying for a ministry but heaven help Muscat if he leaves the two younger boys in waiting – Jason Micallef and Silvio Parnis, the Minister for the South to be, out of his new Cabinet.
Both have sworn that Labour will be a government for Labourites with Micallef already threatening to expel a leading popular presenter from PBS and Parnis assuring supporters that Labour already has a plan in place of what jobs the ‘red’-eyed boys were going to get.
Likewise, the future Minister for Gozo, Justyne Caruana, who compared Labour’s opponents to “snakes” not belonging to Labour’s “family”, warned that a Labour Government will be a government for Labourites. Hisssss!
And these people are still in the Opposition. Imagine what they will do if they are ever in power!
History has a habit of repeating itself and instead of Muscat’s promised new ‘mature’ political season we are lumped with a second-hand superficial, intimidating and hostile Labour gang of dinosaurs and wannabes desperate for power.
Malta deserves far better.