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Keep things in perspective

In one of his missives to the Romans, St Paul wrote thus: “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment (…) For as in one body we have many members and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one (…) Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.”

There is a difference between democracy and demagoguery
- Victor Scerri

These are wise words indeed and it is with a sense of humility that I will translate this wisdom into the political circumstances we are living today in an attempt to keep everything in its proper perspective.

For months now, Joseph Muscat’s Labour has been talking about instability and the need for the country to be stable. It is easy to see here that, on the one hand, Muscat is encouraging the rocking of the boat while, on the other, he points at the Government and screams “unstable”.

He fields and supports motions of no confidence, trying to cash in on the attention-seeking behaviour of one government MP who does not exactly see himself in the light of St Paul’s advice. Just look at the hysteria and puerility on certain issues (including with people outside the political arena) and try to find rationality in the actions that Labour has been actively fanning, trying to accelerate the process which Muscat believes will give him the power he craves ASAP.

Repetition tends to make even the biggest lie sound credible, hence, changing perspectives and strategically planting misperceptions for political mileage and convenience. One such misperception is the ‘tag’ that has been pasted on the Gonzi government as being a conservative one, not attractive to ‘modern’ or to ‘young’ people. The divorce debate is often manipulated to support this idea and it is very common to hear this viewpoint being declared with a certain conviction.

I beg to differ and invite readers to take a step back and assess the situation with a philosophical detachment based on the facts.

In Parliament, there was a private member motion to introduce divorce legislation. The PN, although aware of the need for a solution to be found for the many people who had encountered problems in their marriage, was not in agreement with the way the Bill was proposed and wanted the referendum question to be about the principle of accepting divorce and to subsequently have a rational parliamentary debate on the modus of how divorce could be incorporated into our legislation, having got the thorny part of the issue out of the way. This position was twisted beyond recognition, totally ignoring the fact that the Labour Party avoided taking an official stand while censuring voices with an opinion different to that of their great leader.

It is not at all surprising that so much effort is being made to promote these misconceptions of instability, internal strife and of conservatism. It is only through such underhand tactics that attention can be deviated from the success of a government that has seen our economy survive, and thrive, in the harshest and most difficult of international environments.

Our young people will not allow themselves to be distracted by these tactics. They are interested in education and employment prospects, areas where Labour does well to avoid discussion.

A political party base needs to be made up of various different, and differing, elements representing a horizontal cross section of opinions, developed through the various party structures for a party policy to be adopted.

It does not make sense for any one member of the party to feel bigger and cleverer than all the rest and to act like a spoilt child whenever it does not get its own way.

Neither does it make any sense for all the members of the party to toe the party line, always as dictated by the great leader, who tries to gain power by arousing the emotions, passions and prejudices of people.

There is a difference between democracy and demagoguery.

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