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Re-inventing the Malta Labour Party (and Maltese politics): an unauthorised tazebao.

Archive for June, 2008

Joseph: seventh day reflection.

Posted by fcb on June 14, 2008

Big Fish Eat Little Fish. Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1556. Pen and brush and gray and black ink, 21.6 x 30.7 cm
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna


Now we have a leader, Joseph Muscat. He is young and reflects our dream to make a fresh start. In the week he has been in office – a long time, we all know, in politics – he has done and said many things. Some of these things may have caused a sensation but will, with the passing of weeks and months and years, fade into the background.

Some of them, however, will not. When there will be nobody left to hug and kiss, the truly important statements made and actions taken in the past week, will have to be revisited, defined, fleshed out and built upon. Moreover, a week being a long time but certainly not long enough, other things will need to be said and done: reflection and circumstances will make sure this happens.

We chose Joseph because we are convinced that he has the intelligence and the moral disposition required to avoid mouthing the laughable mantra so beloved of third rate politikanti: I was, I am and I will always be etc etc. The world changes and we change with it. Recognising this is not a mark of weakness but an indication of intellectual honesty. What is finally important is not to use this as a justification for moral opportunism.

Not easy but, again, we chose Joseph because we are convinced that he can and will succeed to walk along the vibrating tightrope stretched between principle and expediency. One reason why we think he can make it is that he has no difficulty in admitting that he is not above the conflict between principle and expediency. It is this honesty that will attract to him an increasing number of thinking men and women who have had enough of the holier-than-thou poseurs of our village-nation politics.

Having said this, let us not forget that there are many out there who stand to lose from this approach. The big fish who are accustomed to devouring small fish will not like it. They perceive in this radical sincerity  – sincerity as a powerful political instrument – a growing force that may one day threaten their quest for monopoly over influence, status, power and wealth. They will throw at him everything they can get their hands on. Obviously they will do so with a smile. We shall overcome. 


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Deputy leaders: final results

Posted by fcb on June 13, 2008

The Delegates chose Anglu Farrugia and Tony Abela as Deputy Leader Parliamentary Affairs and Deputy Leader Party Affairs respectively.


        Deputy Leader Parliamentary Affairs

Valid votes cast:            828   

Chris Cardona:               293               
Anglu Farrugia:        535


Deputy Leader Party Affairs

Valid votes cast:            835

Toni Abela:              528              
Gavin Gulia:                    307

Our correspondent at CNL, Hamrun, 23:00  June 13, 2008


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European social democrats elect three young leaders

Posted by fcb on June 13, 2008

Jutta Urpilainen

Jutta Urpilainen

Grzegorz Napieralski

Joseph Muscat

In the far north of the EU, Finland’s Social Democratic Party elected a woman – 32 year old former teacher Jutta Urpilainen – as its new leader. In the far south, the Malta Labour Party elected 34 year old Member of the European Parliament Joseph Muscat to lead the party. Meanwhile in Poland the SLD – Democratic Left Alliance – elected 34 year old Grzegorz Napieralski as its new leader.

PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen said “It is encouraging to see a new generation ready to take our social democratic parties into the future. I warmly congratulate Jutta, Joseph and Grzegorz on their election as party leaders and I wish them every success. We need them to succeed. I offer them every encouragement and support, and look forward to welcoming them into our European political family at the next PES leaders meeting.”

“With the challenges facing Europe and the world today social democracy is needed more than ever before. The election of new young leaders sends a very positive signal to Europe’s citizens.”

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Election of Deputy Leaders: first round results

Posted by fcb on June 13, 2008

Total number of votes cast: 850
Total number of valid votes cast: 844

Deputy Leader Parliamentary Affairs

Valid votes cast:         844
Carmelo Abela:           190      
Chris Cardona:            245      
Anglu Farrugia:           409
Minimum of 50% +1:  423

Deputy Leader Party Affairs

Valid votes cast:         844
Toni Abela:                 390     
Clyde Joe Cassar           10      
Gavin Gulia                 295     
Joe Mifsud                  149     
Minimum of 50% +1:  423

As no candidate has reached the minimum of 50% + 1 of valid cast votes, this evening  Chris Cardona and Anglu Farrugia will stand for a second round of elections for the position of Deputy Leader Parliamentary Affairs, whereas Toni Abela and Gavin Gulia will stand for election for the position of Deputy Leader Party Affairs. May the best two win.

Our correspondent at CNL, Hamrun, 00:32 June 13, 2008


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“The way to continue is to take our energy, our passion, our strenght and do all we can to help him”.

Posted by fcb on June 8, 2008

“The way to continue is to take our energy, our passion, our strenght and do all we can to help him,” said Hillary Clinton yesterday as she officially quit her quest to become the Democratic candidate for the White House and thus her bid to be America’s first woman president.  She urged her supporters to back Barack Obama. “I congratulate him on the victory he has won and the extraordinary race he has run. I endorse him and throw my full support behind him.”

The support of Hillary Clinton, 60, especially the large number of women’s and white working class votes she commands, will boost enormously Obama’s chances of defeating Republican candidate John McCain, 71, at the election in November. If he does, Obama, 46, will be the US’ first black president. “I will work my heart out to make sure that Senator Obama will be our next president and I hope and pray that all of you will join me,” she told hundreds of fervent supporters at a rally in the National Building Museum in Washington. “Today I join Barack Obama to say ‘Yes, we can!'”

Posted in Editorial | 22 Comments »

NOTICE: New section on Deputy Leaders’ election

Posted by fcb on June 8, 2008

The Labour Party’s Electoral Commission has received and accepted eight nominations for the positions of Deputy Leaders Parliamentary and Party Affairs. Carmelo Abela, Dr. Chris Cardona, Dr. Anglu Farrugia and Dr. Jose Herrera will run for Deputy Leader Parliamentary Affairs. Dr Toni Abela, Clyde Joe Cassar, Dr Gavin Gulia u Dr Joe Mifsud will run for Deputy Leader Party Affairs. Elections will take place on 12th June. Visitors are cordially invited to leave their comments in the DEPUTY LEADERS’ CONTEST section of this blog.


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Vote Muscat, get a new political season!

Posted by fcb on June 7, 2008

With 66 % of the delegates’ votes, Joseph Muscat has become the new leader of the Labour Party. In a brief address to the delegates who, late Friday night, were still at the Centru Nazzjonali waiting for the results, Joseph Muscat once again confirmed that there was an important role in the Labour Party for each of his fellow contestants, George Abela, Evarist Bartolo, Marie Louise Coleiro and Michael Falzon. “This is the beginning of a new political season”, he said. He concluded with a humorous message to Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi: “The honey moon is over, Mr. Prime Minister!”

Photo above, courtesy


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Leadership election, first round: Muscat 49.8%, Abela 22.9%

Posted by fcb on June 6, 2008




George Abela



Evarist Bartolo



Marie Louise Coleiro Preca



Michael Falzon



Joseph Muscat



50% + 1



Total cast valid




Joseph Muscat obtained just 3 votes less than the 50% plus 1 required to be elected Leader of the Labour Party. He received 435 votes, that is 49.8% of valid votes. George Abela was runner up with 200 votes or 22.8%. This means that Michael Falzon, Evarist Bartolo and Marie Louise Coleiro are now out of the race. This would normally mean a second round of voting tomorrow, with Delegates having to choose between Muscat and Abela.


Posted in Editorial | 5 Comments »

It-tbatija tat-tiġdid: ‘Peppinu’ Cassar dwar kif intgħażel Eddie Fenech Adami fl-1977

Posted by fcb on June 5, 2008

Eddie Fenech Adami, Louis Galea and Gorg Borg Olivier in 1978

Eddie Fenech Adami, Louis Galea u Gorg Borg Olivier fl-1978 *



Konna żgħażagħ, bix-xagħar u l-barbetti twal skond il-moda taż-żmien.” Hekk jibda, tipikament, artikluieħor ta’ Joe Cassar fis-sensiela li qed jippubblika illum (1 ta’ Ġunju 2008). Il-pinna ta’ Joe “Peppinu” Cassar  ma għandhiex bżonn ta’ introduzzjoni għal min hu midħla ta’ l-istorja politika ta’ pajjiżna speċjalment tal-perjodu ta’ bejn l-Independenza u d-disgħinijiet. Cassar kellu sehem importanti fit-trasformazzjoni tal-Partit Nazzjonalista minn wieħed ta’ numru ristrett ħafna ta’ notabbli (notables) ta’ xeħta konservattiva għall-partit tal-massa.

Tista’ tgħid li fil-konfront ta’ sħabu fil-Partit Nazzjonalista, Peppinu jinstab fix-xellug. F’kuntest nazzjonali, jinstab fiċ-Ċentru Xellug. Biex niftiehmu, kieku kellna niflu sewwa sew l-ideat tiegħu kif immaturaw matul il-vjaġġg ta’ ħajtu fil-politika, x’aktarx li naslu għall-konkluzzjoni li hemm bosta personalitajiet fi ħdan il-Partit Laburista li l-ideat tagħhom huma kważi ċertament fuq in-naħa tal-Lemin ta’ Cassar. Din m’hix xi ħaġa ta’ l-għaġeb. Ebda partit ma jista’ jkun ideoloġikament omoġeneu u monolitiku. Kull partit, xellugi jew lemini, għandu fi ħdanu kurrenti xellugin u oħrajn leminin.

Forsi għalhekk li l-Perit Mintoff kellu ċertu simpatija lejh. Joe Cassar jiftakar li: “Mintoff u missieri kienu ħbieb sewwa. Politikament qatt ma qablu. Dik il-lejla iddubbajt programm tal-Partit Laburista li tlabt lil Mintoff jiffirmali. Staqsieni biex kont sejjer lura d-dar. Meta għidtlu li b’tal-linja offrieli li jwassalni. Salvu Sant għafas kemm felaħ imma jien u Mintoff wasalna Ħal Tarxien qawwijin u sħaħ. Ġriet l-aħbar fil-PN li l-Perit Dom Mintoff wassal lil Peppinu Cassar id-dar.” (Illum, 24 Frar 2008).

Kif konna qed ngħidu, erbat ijem ilu, Joe Cassar ippubblika artiklu intitolat  “L-għażla ta’ mexxej” , dwar  kif kien intgħazel Eddie Fenech Adami bħala kap tal-Partit Nazzjonalista f’Jannar ta’ l-1977. Ma nafx jekk il-fatt li dan l-artiklu ħareġ proprju f’dawn il-ġranet kienx maħsub għal ta’ l-apposta jew kinitx koinċidenza.

In-narrattiva hija ambjentata fil-perjodu 1971-1977 u ssib il-qofol tagħha f’Jannar ta’ l-1977. Fl-1971,  il-PN immexxi minn George Borg Olivier, kien tilef l-elezzjoni wara disa’ snin fil-gvern. Fl-1976, dejjem taħt it-tmexxija ta’ Borg Olivier, il-PN reġa’ tilef. Kien jidher ċar li mingħajr bidla fit-tmexxija u mingħajr tiġdid mill-qiegħ, il-Partit Nazzjonalista kien sejjer lejn telfa elettorali oħra. L-inizjattiva ta’ Mintoff biex tinbidel il-Kostituzzjoni biex Malta ssir Repubblika ippreċipitat il-kriżi fi ħdan il-Partit Nazzjonalista. “Sploda kollox,” jiftakar Joe Cassar.

Il-bidla fil-Kostituzzjoni fuq kwistjoni daqshekk fondamentali bħad-dikjarazzjoni ta’ Malta bħala Repubblika ma setgħetx isseħħ b’maġġoranza sempliċi iżda riedet bilfors il-kunsens ta’ tnejn minn kull tlieta tad-deputati fil-Parlament Malti. Fil-bidu n-Nazzjonalisti kienu kontra li jintemm l-ordinament monarkiku ta’ pajjizna (fejn ir-Reġina tal-Commonwealth kienet il-Kap ta’ Stat u rappreżentata minn Gvernatur) biex Malta ssir Repubblika. Wara, iżda, ħadu atteġġjament aktar kostruttiv.

Il-Kap ta’ l-Oppożizzjoni, Dr. Gorg Borg Olivier ta vot liberu lill-Membri Parlamentari Nazzjonalisti meta l-Kostituzzjoni l-ġdida ġiet għall-approvazzjoni tal-Kamra biex tkun tista’ tgħaddi mit-Tielet Qari. Dan kien nhar it-13 ta’ Dicembru 1974. Minn parlament ta’ 55 membru, ivvotaw favur 49 u sitta astjenew. Dawn ta’ l-aħħar kienu s-sitt membri Nazzjonalisti, Dr. Gorg Borg Olivier, Dr. Paolo Borg Olivier, Dr. Albert Borg Olivier de Puget, Dr. Alex Cachia Zammit, Dr. Alfred Bonnici u Dr. Joseph Cassar Galea. Ivvotaw favur id-29 membru Laburista u l-20 membru Nazzjonalista. ” [Remig Sacco, L-Elezzjonijet Ġenerali 1849-1986, Klabb Kotba Maltin 1986, p. 247].

Borg Olivier, f’din l-okkazjoni, kien stqarr: “Li nivvotaw skond il-kuxjenza ma jfissirx li għandna ninqasmu, la l-Kamra m’għandha ssir atmosfera ta’ mibgħeda u lanqas il-Partiti, għax kulħadd għandu jagħmel dak li jħoss.” [ikkwotat f’Sacco, p.247]. Imma, evidentement, fi ħdan il-Partit Nazzjonalisti l-għazla ta’ Gorg Borg Olivier li jivvota kontra l-Kostituzzjoni l-ġdida u, għalhekk, kontra l-maġġoranza tad-deputati Nazzjonalisti li għażlu li jivvotaw favur, kellha konsegwenzi serji.  Joe Cassar jinterpretah hekk: ”…il-vot gie jfisser sfiduċja fih mid-deputati tiegħu stess.” Beda proċess twil (sentejn sħaħ) u kumpless biex jinbidel il-kap tal-Partit Nazzjonalista. Fl-aħħar, fl-8 ta’ Diċembru 1976, il-Kunsill iddeċieda li jaħtar Kap Suċċessur.

Kien hemm tlett persuni papabbli. L-aktar anzjan kien Censu Tabone, li twieled fl-1913 u li, għalhekk, fl-1976 kellu 63 sena.  Tabone kien Għawdxi imma l-ħajja politika tiegħu qattagħha Malta, bħala deputat għal tas-Sliema, San Gilljan, l-iMsida u l-Gżira. Warajh kien hemm Guido de Marco, Belti, li twieled fl-1931 u li, għalhekk, kellu 45 sena. L-iżgħar wieħed kien Eddie Fenech Adami, 42 sena, minn Birkirkara, imwieled fl-1934. Cassar jgħidilna li “Iż-żgħażagħ tal-partit kienu kważi kollha ma’ Eddie u organizzawlu l-kampanja. Sħaqna fuq il-ħtieġa ta’ bidla li twassal għal rebħa ta’ l-elezzjoni u tibdil mill-għeruq fl-ideali u l-ħsibijiet.”

Ma jidhirx li kien proċess pjacevoli u ta’ dibattitu amikevoli.  Kienet taqbida politika ħarxa. Min jistgħaġeb ma għandu ebda idea ta’ x’inhi l-politika. L-attivisti ta’ madwar Eddie kienu fil-mira tal-kritika ta’ l-anzjani tal-PN: “Man-nies ta’ Gorg ma seta’ jsir l-ebda djalogu”, jiftakar Joe Cassar, “(u) lilna, l-aktar lili u lil Louis Galea, qatt ma rawna sbieħ.”  Imma ż-żgħażagħ ta’ Eddie (li kienu jinkludu wkoll lil Noel Buttiġieġ Scicluna u John Camilleri) kienu fiduċjuzi, minkejja li s-segwaċi ta’ Borg Olivier kienu ser jivvotaw għal de Marco: “Bil-kalkoli li għamilna fhimna li Eddie kien se jirbaħ” .  L-ewwel rawnd sar fit-2 ta’ Jannar 1977.  Fenech Adami ġab il-maġġoranza tal-voti tal-Kunsilliera imma mhux iż-żewġ terzi meħtieġa.

Ir-rawnd ta’ wara kien bejn de Marco u Fenech Adami għaliex Tabone waqa’ fl-ewwel waħda. Parti mill-voti ta’ Tabone għaddew għand Fenech Adami. Fis-16 ta’ Jannar, de Marco u Tabone ddikjaraw li kienu se jivvotaw għall-Fenech Adami u b’hekk Eddie kiseb il-maġġoranza meħtieġa ta’ żewġ terzi. Miktuba hekk tinstema ħaġa sempliċi, diskussjoni bejn il-galantomi. Imma anki jekk Cassar joqgħod attent kif jesprimi ruħu, huwa ċar li ma kienx proċess paċifiku. “Tlett xhur ta’ tbatija,” jgħidilna Peppinu Cassar.

Kos, immaġinaw kieku Cassar, Galea, Camilleri u Buttigieg Scicluna – iż-żgħażagħ ta’ madwar Fenech Adami – kellhom ibaxxu rashom għall-pressjoni kbira (politika u soċjali) li saritilhom biex ikun jista’ jirbaħ xi ħadd aktar stabbilit. Forsi, minflok  Eddie, il-kap il-ġdid tal-PN wara Borg Olivier kien ikun Censu Tabone li, fl-elezzjoni ta’ l-1981 kien ikollu 68 sena. Cassar jgħidilna li kien hemm fil-fatt proposta min-naħa ta’ Tabone li jekk Fenech Adami ma jikkontestahx u jitla’ Tabone, dan kien eventwalment jgħaddilu t-tmexxija. “Hu (ċertu Cuschieri, portavuċi ta’ Tabone) qalli li Censu kien lest li jekk isir kap jibqa’ kap sakemm il-Partit jibqa’ fl-Oppożizzjoni u wara jħalli t-tmun f’idejn Eddie”.

Nota: Kull kwotazzjoni mill-kitba ta’ Joe Cassar, jekk mhux indikat mod ieħor, tirreferi għall-artiklu ta’ illum, 1 ta’ Gunju, 2008, p.9

* ‘Issellifna’ dan ir-ritratt mill-website ta’ Dr. Galea. Sibnih ftit minuti qabel ma’ hrigna online u ghalhekk ma’ kelniex cans niktbulu biex nitolbuh permess. Behsiebna nghamlu hekk minnufih, sadanittant nirringrazzjawh bil-quddiem.



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It’s done! US Democrats choose Barack Obama, 46, to run against Republican John McCain, 72

Posted by fcb on June 4, 2008

“Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States,” the 46 year old Obama told an elated crowd of supporters in St Paul, Minnesota, after crossing the magic figure of 2,118 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.

In a “defining moment” in US history, Barack Obama yesterday, June 4, 2008, sealed the Democratic presidential nomination, becoming the first black American in the race for White House after a roller-coaster battle against Hillary Clinton who did not concede defeat but kept her options open on being his running mate.

“Tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another – a journey that will bring a new and better day to America,” Obama said, marking the end of the marathon race spreading over 17 months that pitted two historic candidates – a woman and an African-American man – against each other.

Honouring Hillary, Barack Obama said that “Senator Hillary Clinton has made history in this campaign not just because she’s a woman who has done what no woman has done before, but because she’s a leader who inspires millions of Americans with her strength, her courage, and her commitment to the causes that brought us here tonight.”

Barack Obama, 46, the junior senator from Illinois, will run against Republican candidate John McCain, 72, the senior United States Senator from Arizona.

You can read Senator Obama’s speech in the Global observatory: the USA Page on this blog. Click on the PICTURE above and listen to his speech. You can see our earlier editorial on Barack Obama Dedicated to those who are guilty of being young

Posted in Editorial | 6 Comments »