There you go again

There you go again was a phrase spoken during the 1980 US presidential election debate by Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan when addressing his Democratic opponent, incumbent President Jimmy Carter. Lately, it was also used by President Bill Clinton when, during the Democratic convention, he spoke and nominated President Barack Obama as the flag bearer of the Democratic Party for this election.

One can shape the future but one cannot do the same with the past
- Carmelo Abela

Although the presidential election in the US is an important event and will take place next month, however, I shall not continue on this event.

‘There you go again’ is intended to the GonziPN clique, which is not only running the Nationalist Party at the expense of excluding other people but also running the country as if it were their own and no one could take it away from them.

This statement, which sounds like a dictator’s speech, was uttered by the person who speaks on behalf of this clique, the Prime Minister himself. Some time ago, he said that he would not allow anyone to take the leadership of this country away from him.

By stating this, he is forgetting the basic elements of democracy: that elections are held and that it is up to the electorate to decide who governs this country.

Also, his statement makes us wonder what he will be up to if GonziPN lose the election; whether, in the case of a defeat, he will accept the result or not.

Pretending to be democratic and preaching democracy is one thing but putting it into practice on a daily basis is another.

And, yes, there you go again, since the GonziPN clique that is the same one that won the last election of 2008 is using the same tactics and foul play that were employed in 2008. So much for a new way of doing politics, as we were once promised by the one who was chosen to become Prime Minister for the first time!

“Indeed, since 2008, the minimum wage in Malta increased by €1,000 a year.”

These were the words uttered by the Prime Minister, as reported by a newspaper, in one of his meetings where he always tries to convince us all that we are better off than the worst countries in the EU but does not mention those that are better than us. Is his statement true, though? Let us have a look at the figures.

The minimum wage in 2008 was €142.39 per week. This year it rose to €158.11 a week. Did the GonziPN clique increase the minimum wage? No, the increases were only those emanating from the cost-of-living adjustment mechanism that is agreed with the social partners. Judging by what Joseph Muscat said during the Labour Party congress, this will not change and such increases will continue.

GonziPN said the minimum wage under his reign increased by €1,000 a year. Is that correct? Definitely not. Over the past four years the minimum wage increased by €817.44 gross or a net increase of €735.69 in four years and not every year.

So when GonziPN says that the minimum rose by €1,000 every year it is a blatant lie. Not to mention the fact that the increases were due to COLA arrangements and not because of a reasoned decision to increase the basic minimum wage.

And, yes, there you go again because, such foul play already happened in 2008. GonziPN lied on a number of issues that were mentioned by the PL and they are doing it again.

GonziPN do not have any plan how to run the country at present let alone how they will do it in the future if, God forbid, they are entrusted with governing this country for another five years.

Since GonziPN has no plan and are not making any suggestions on the future, they are returning to their favourite campaign: attacking the PL and its leader.

GonziPN are only interested in the past and specialise in twisting facts all the time.

The PL and the movement that Muscat managed to build over the past four years are interested in the future. One can shape the future but one cannot do the same with the past. We are interested in the future not because we should be ashamed of the past – in which case all should be given certain episodes – but we cannot live the past again and ignore what is ahead of us.

Muscat is interested to shape a better future and I believe that most of the Maltese are.

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Mr Abela is a Labour MPand shadow minister for social policy.


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