Labour in labour

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

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



37 Responses to “Vote Muscat, get a new political season!”

  1. harloc said

    The new term of JM has just started and I think that the party machine is already pressing on. Look at the fine detail of things an you will see:

    1. Jason Micallef trying to make a show yesterday morning by making that interview on One Radio…the heart of the party machine. Only now he managed to excuse himself….or the news caster tried to make believe.
    2. JM and his allies have all the right to celebrate for the winning of the post, but it would have been better to have all the party celebrating the new leader.
    3. It is a pity that the photo is not showing Jason Micallef as well, who was just near JM’s wife. Would he have done the same in case another contestant won?

    Yesterday I was watching Xarabank while waiting for the result and I think that one of the most valuable contribution was by Manwel Micallef (ex-GWU) who said that all the allies of JM and all people in the administration are to resign in order to give JM the possibility to unite back the party without any interference from anyone and have the possibility to freely choose the new team that embraces his ideals and be able to implement them.

    Though I am for the time being a sceptic on whether we will make it to winning the next election, I sincerely hope that JM will do what the party members and general public expect him to do.

    Good luck JM, we will back you all the way and see that whatever you do will make the pary go in the right direction.


  2. fabrizioellul said

    will Abela endorse Muscat?

  3. Marie Abdilla said

    Go Joseph Go!!Finally Labour has a new Leader,this week Deputies will be chosen and soon new administration chosen too and we’re back in business. Hopefully all contenders, their followers and all elements in the Party will get together behind Joseph and Labour will begin to be the strong Opposition that this country needs.

  4. The blog post “Vote Muscat, get a new political season!” is featured on Maltamedia: The Maltese Blogosphere

    – Nominate blog post of the month –

  5. danny attard said

    This is a victory for hope. Hope for everyone who needs it. Joseph has started on the right foot showing humility, energy and command. We all need to show the same qualities; we must be in command of our opinions, humble in the eventual common position agreed, even if it does not exactly tally with our original opinion, and energetic in our little or large contributions.

    Let us transform gemgem into factual opinions, egos into the pleasure of honest debate and learning, armchairs into action.

    On a different plain, shop-soiled individuals representing the MLP should take a few steps backwards to let normal course of events settle naturally for the best of one and all.

    Mr. Micallef’s and Mr. Azzopardi’s exuberance was indeed not a pretty sight. These persons have given so much to the cause yet it is possibly obvious that their roles, as that of others, have to be energetically revised within the internal upgrading process that is certainly necessary.

    So please let us all give Joseph breathing space so that he can transform our confidence for a happy MLP/Malta future into reality. Crowding him for positioning will no doubt make him stronger but will not make for a smooth process.

    Good Luck

    Danny Attard

  6. Andre said

    Great blog!

    I hope that the new leader will breathe into Labour a new breath of fresh air, and that he will be bold enough to make the changes necessary.

    As a Labour voter; but unfortunately a voter who feels there’s no place in MLP for him anymore, I can only wish him well, and hope he’ll reach out to everyone.


  7. Leli said

    Dear Leader

    Congratulations and good luck. You need it. The party you want to lead is not exactly in good health. But you know better than me that politics is the art of the impossible.

    I am not a delegate and so I did not have the opportunity to vote. If I did, you would not have been my first choice. Nevertheless, you are the leader now, the leader of the party which is closest to my political beliefs, values and aspirations.

    I believe you have a lot of capabilities and skill. You are young, determined, enthusiastic, hard-working, fluent with the modern means of communication and charismatic. You are now the captain of our team.

    We are so eager for change – change for the better of Malta. We want to help you bring this change with our dreams, ideas, knowledge, skills and expertise. You are the means to make us reach this objective.

    Make the CNL the powerstation of this change. Make our dream come true and God bless you


  8. Antonio Muscat said

    The “moanies” have to realise that the man in the street does not give one iota as to who is leader of the MLP. They simply want leadership. Now that we have one, its about time that everyone moves forward together, forward and not backwards. If we start again glaring backwards MLP will end up like those biblical figures (I forgot their name) that finish off as salt statues, with no life and no movement.
    The “moanies” have to realise that the dinosaurs disappeared because they could not adapt to a changing environment. And,as far as I am concerned, MLP will dissapear if this organisation cannot adapt to an environment where change is happening so fast,that smart people being tuned to rumours, as if it is news, that it is already too late to act!
    The centre of power is shifting to far flung unpronouncable cities in India and China, and not necessarilly in OUR Europe or America! Let us encourage MLP to grow up, and never to stop growing…this is the type of party we need in OUR NEW BRAVE WORLD.

    Tony Muscat

    [Caretaker: Tony must be referring to the wife of Lot in Genesis. Genesis 19 speaks of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot was warned by two angels to take his family out of the city (19:12).

    “And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.” (19:15)

    “The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” (19:23)]

  9. Alistair Borg said

    @ Andre

    People like you and me share the same feelings. It was for this reason that I followed closely Joseph’s meetings. He was so reassuring that he wants people like us back in the fold where we should feel comfortable and accepted.

    Since being elected as leader he kept harping on this fact.

    Now it is our turn to make the next step.

    We should feel lucky to have Joseph and Michelle.

    Alistair Borg

  10. Catherine Rossi said

    I wish Harloc would be more positive and less of an ‘uccello del malaugurio’. Harloc is not the only one who would have preferred George or Michael or Evarist or Marie Louise. And there is nothing wrong with that. But the overwhelming majority of the delegates voted for him in one of the most transparent exercises of democracy that this country has ever seen. Nobody in this country – least of all the Nationalists whose manner of choosing their leaders and officials is anything but transparent – can pretend to give Labour lessons in democracy.

    All of us, therefore, irrespective of who our favourite candidate may have been, should now accept the result with enthusiasm. Going around, as Harloc is doing, less than 24 hours after we have chosen our new leader, declaring his scepticism about his ability to win the next election in five years time, is hardly loyal and fair. Harloc should read Leli’s comment and learn from it. Leli’ attitude is exemplary. Leli says:

    “I am not a delegate and so I did not have the opportunity to vote. If I did, you would not have been my first choice. Nevertheless, you are the leader now, the leader of the party which is closest to my political beliefs, values and aspirations. […] You are now the captain of our team. We are so eager for change – change for the better of Malta. We want to help you bring this change with our dreams, ideas, knowledge, skills and expertise.”

    I admire Leli. He is sincere and says clearly that, had he been able to vote, Joseph would not have been his choice. He also says, however, that now that the Party has chosen the “captain of the team”, he will be loyal to him and – more importantly – Leli offers his help to change this country with his “dreams, ideas, knowledge, skills and expertise.”

    Give Joseph a thousand Lelis and he’ll make Malta a European country one need not be ashamed of.

    Catherine Rossi

  11. Joe Smith said

    The Pope is dead, long live the Pope! This is the attitude that old Labourites have to take. If not, vote Nationalist and call yourself a Nationalist….and you have every right to do so, of course. Nothwithstanding, I do admire Michael Falzon for his love of the organization, and Dr George Abela, whom I am sure, will continue his never ending mission inside the organization. Likewise Varist and Marie Louise. At my home, I did not agree with everything my father said or did, but I never disagreed with my father with outsiders. Inside the family, we debated, but ultimately, he decided. It is the thought that counts and not the physical figurehead. Leader comes and leader goes, but if you really believe in helping the underdogs do not lead them to temptation to satisfy your personal ambition. I am not a delegate and neither a labourite but I am disgusted at the sight of those labourites who prefer this government’s dirt to Labour without their favourite leader! How pitiful can one get? I am a business man. Do they fight over their leaders? Of course not. Are we in love with our leaders?… of course not!. But ultimately, if we weaken or worse destroy the system, we will be far far worse off! So look around you, think and then reach out and defend your system. Without a Labour Party to check and balance this government’s arrogance towards everybody including its natural supporters (like me)we will all fare much worse.

    Joe Smith
    [Author has disclosed his identity to the Caretaker]

  12. Andrew Sciberras said

    Quo vadis Labour?

    The changes that need to happen in the Labour Party are still at a very early stage and one hopes that they will take their full effect, and for the better. I am positive and optimistic that they will. However, I cannot help but feel a tad bit hurt by certain reactions and judgments from our own brothers and sisters made before the new leader has even embarked on his long journey. “This is your home”, Joseph Muscat says to all Labourites who have, in the past, felt neglected: “Come back!”. We surely need everybody on board. United we stand, divided we fall, goes the expression.

    Yet the bitterness is extremely evident, and already a long-serving member and MP has resigned from the Labour Party. Understandably, everyone would feel disappointed after losing a hard-fought contest. I would too. But in the end, for the sake of the Party and the Country, I would certainly do the mature thing and follow the new leader to the very end.

    Joseph Muscat has an incredibly difficult task ahead of him. One can barely fathom its complexity. It must surely hurt when your own brothers and sisters try to bring you down. The Sunday Times, today, said he needs to be ‘ruthless’. And that he does. The almighty GonziPN, in all his wit and guile did say one thing which makes sense. “Judge me not by what I say”, he said, “…but with what I do”.

    Therefore, my appeal to all Labourites is to give Joseph Muscat a chance to prove himself before all the canons are fired in his direction, paving the way for yet another electoral defeat. Have faith, have courage, have loyalty. Labour wants us back, whoever we are. I, for one, will heed this call.

    Will you?

    Andrew Sciberras

  13. danny attard said

    Hi Catherine,

    Harloc does not need my support to explain his reaction, but in my book, his reaction is in fact totally loyal to the cause.

    He supported a specific vision for what he considered to be the best way forward. Now that a different vision has been selected, he is backing the new leader ‘all the way’. He has every right not to be enthusiastic. That has to be earned. His main preoccupation is that the people who were seen by many to act as a barrier that disillusioned many will remain in their place. These same people do not seem to have an awareness of the extent that their prancing about hurts those who crave to see an open (disciplined innovative) party. The same old voices keep inviting labourities to the same old rallies to the same old beats…yuck

    Joseph’s behavior in the first days has been impeccable. He opened his arms open wide to all, he promised wholesale changes, and he set a new refreshing tune to attitudes. His body language showed (me at least) that he felt uncomfortable in respect of the few who seem to be positioning themselves to retain the status quo that excludes and that keeps putting foot in mouth. These people are making Joseph’s appointment as head of the Labour Party feel as if it is a victory over another section of the party.

    I have complete faith in Joseph. Yet there are many who, while giving their loyalty to the new leader, have their eye on his singular task to build a team around him that would really translate into open arms.

    People like harloc have the right to feel apprehensive. I am convinced that Joseph’s leadership will melt these apprehensions away over the coming months.

    Danny Attard

  14. Catherine Rossi said

    Danny is, as usual, right. I have been too harsh with Harloc. No hard feelings Harloc. With your help, with everybody’s help, Joseph will do us and the whole Country proud.

    Catherine Rossi

  15. Marianne Said said

    OK, perhaps Christine was too undiplomatic with Harloc but Danny (who is right, Joseph will have to prove himself) was a bit too diplomatic. My point is simple: yes we can, but we must rally around Joe if we are to succeed. I am sure that Harloc, and all other Harlocs, will be at the forefront of the struggle.


  16. Roderick Farrugia said

    Have just watched Joseph’s speech from Hamrun. We will! We will! We will! The look in Maria Camilleri’s eyes when he singled her out says it all.
    Yes, Gonzi, the honeymoon is over.
    Roderick Farrugia

  17. Melanie Darmanin said

    Truly the beginning of a new political season, not just for the party but for all progressives and moderates. Muscat at the Hamrun rally [a few minutes ago] was extraordinary. He was inclusive [he even praised Marlene Pullicino for her “steadfast defence of her own ideas”] but unequivocal about the “earthquake” he has in mind for the Labour Party [“some of you present now in this hall will not like it”]. He was conciliatory towards the Government [promising to cooperate with the Government where the national interest requires it, he mentioned the ST situation as a prime example] but reminded Gonzi that the honeymoon is over and that he would be held accountable for every electoral promise broken.

    Melanie Darmanin

    PS I was elated to see Evarist Bartolo amongst the crowd. Proset Varist!

  18. Alistair Borg said

    This morning’s gathering at the CNL augurs well to the future of the Labour party.

    It is heartening seeing so many notable labourites accepting Joseph s personal invitation. I was speechless seeing Evarist, Marlene Pullicino Orlando, Marija Camilleri, Joe Grima so many ex ministers and ex deputies present at the CNL. So was the message from Alex Sciberras Trigona.

    Let us all support Labour and the WINNING GENERATION will prove itself.

    Alistair Borg

  19. Victor Cuschieri said

    What a beginning to a new beginning for the Malta Labour Party. Call me a sentimental fool but this morning I had tears in my eyes as I watched Joseph Muscat’s first mass rally direct on television. This time they were tears of hope and joy.

    I was very happy to see Joseph’s call for all Labourites of good-will to come back to the fold immediately accepted by valid persons who gave a lot to the Party and the nation. Joseph Muscat’s battle cry “Let us forget the past that divided us and think about the future that unites us” did not fall on deaf ears. One hopes that this call will reach more and more people who are willing and able to make the Malta Labour Party the basis of a progressive and moderate social-democratic movement based on open and constructive dialogue with civil society.

    Well done Joseph and may you be endowed by the strength and the wisdom to make the dream you have for Labour come true.

    Victor Cuschieri

  20. Maria Vella said

    I just experienced Joseph’s performance on Bondiplus. Well, I can now understand the panic and effort put in by the likes of DCG and ABC to keep him out of the leadership role, Joseph was not very good. He was awesome.


    ps the little azzuri sin easily forgiven

  21. Cynthia Cordina said

    You’re right Maria to say that Joe’s performance on Bondi+ was good. I am writing to share the same impression. I was hooked watching him! And that for me is really something extra-ordinary. This was one of the rare occasions I watched this TV programme because I normally can’t stomach the biased approach Lou Bondi takes towards anything that is red (or rather non-blue).

    JM cruised through the interview effortlessly, and was even capable of eliciting praise from the man himself, L. Bondi, who seemed genuinely happy to have Joe Muscat on the show. Joe’s answers were clear and sharp-witted. He kept a positive demeanour even when faced with the sticky clips showing disgruntled Falzon and Abela lashing out all kinds of statements. Joseph kept firm in his belief that the only way forward is to promote UNITY through adversity, which after all is what the true ideology of Socialism is built upon-above all, this is the message which in my opinion should be distilled from tonight’s interview with JM.

    Cynthia Cordina

  22. marie abdilla said

    Was JM superb or what!!?? Even Bondi ended up showing admiration for Joseph, well deserved I must say. Not once did he waiver although Bondi threw it all at him, Falzon & Abela clips,Evarist article, questions re Debono Grech, tried to ridicule “I love you” part of his speech yeterday, but JM just remained focused. He had obviously done his homework but even so I think he did so well and spoke with such conviction because he really does believe what he says. JM made me so proud to be a Laburista this evening!

    Marie Abdilla

  23. Minotaur said

    What side is Lou Bondi on, anyway? The way he pumped Joseph Muscat yesterday evening on TVM was shameful and smells of monkey business. The whole show was designed to make Muscat’s adversaries, Dott. Abela and Dott. Falzon, look like bitter brooding losers. Admittedly a sharp and experienced visual communicator, he literally showed them to us in the worst possible light. Think: he interviewed them in a darkened studio with the camera searching their faces for each and every inevitable sign of ageing. He pressed them into a corner with questions intended to elicit the darkest negativism, forcing in their mouth statements they were reluctant, if not unwilling, to make. Yesterday evening Mr. Bondi presided over the utter annihilation of Dr. Abela’s and Dr. Falzon’s image.

    On the other hand, he interviewed Joseph Muscat, again literally, in the best possible light. In a brightly lit studio, the camera feasted on Joseph Muscat’s cheerfully solar face and sparkling eyes. Bondi even praised Muscat’s “celesti” eyes (ta barra minn hawn!) and cracked jokes with him, giving the camera several opportunities to show the guest laughing and smiling…a picture of optimism! Muscat, evidently well trained to exploit every such opportunity, sported a rainbow-striped tie straight into our face…here look at me, I am everybody’s Mexxej, a ’statesman’ for all political hues.

    I am not normally into conspiracy theory but some of us do remember that before Bondi returned to Malta from Canada some years ago he was a Marxist. In Malta he joined the Nationalist Party and appeared to be giving a significant hand to develop its means of communication. Many of us, however, will also remember how many Nationalists blamed the defeat of 1996 on his evidently inadequate handling of the party media. Putting two and two together, ma nghamlux li…

    I know you evil elves will not dare publish this comment but just in case you have the decency to do so, here it is anyway.


    [I have no idea who Minotaur is but will not treat him differently from others who have also expressed possibly controversial ideas on this blog. The Caretaker]

    [We are copying this comment from another section of this blog to facilitate access. Caretaker]

  24. Jackie Borg said

    Hey Minotaur!

    Aren’t you the Bull of Minos – half human half bull? Weren’t you killed by Theseus, legendary king of Athens, with the sword of Aegeus, who then led the Athenians back out of the labyrinth? Theseus was the Ionian founding hero (much as Heracles was the Dorian hero) who fought and defeated an archaic religious and social order. The Athenians considered him as their own great reformer. Theseus unified Attica under Athens and is credited as the source of the idea of synoikismos (the “dwelling together” of different political interests in one house) and the cult Aphrodite Pandemos (”Aphrodite of all the People”), the unifying divinity. You are free to delve in your maze of conspiracy theories (Bondi as a Marxist mole secretely assisting Joseph Muscat? By my ex-Royal Maltese Bottom, that’s real bull’s bull!) and we’ll keep our Theseus!

    Jackie Borg

    [We are copying this comment from another section of this blog to facilitate access. Caretaker]

  25. danny attard said

    An incident that caught my eye happened during Joseph’s visit to the NP HQ. Giving comments to the press, Joseph jokingly asked Dr Gonzi if he would be watching that night’s game Italy vs Holland. Dr Gonzi’s gaff was amazing. He turned the light-hearted moment into a boring spoil-sport fun-less loaded reply tipo Jien il-Prim Ministru u inkun imhabbat wisq. That patronizing moment displayed to me Dr Gonzi’s discomfort at having to deal with a young sharp intelligent leader of the opposition who has coolly taken up in earnest his massive role as Leader of the Labour party as he completes his final report as MEP – and still finds time to follow together with his family the night’s footy.

    Danny Attard

  26. harloc said

    Hey Danny,

    thanks for your comments. I see that you are always my mediator over here and trying to understand all contributors to this blog and show the positive in their writings. We need more people like you in the party to moderate internal discussions.

    As to you Catherine, unless you are personal, there is no need to worry about your comments. I understand your feelings and what you think and hence understand the way you replied. In my case I am negative not because my favorite contender lost, as I never had a fixed one. My main concern is that since I am more leftist, I would not have chosen a centric person. But the delegates chose otherwise. I shall not be going against my beliefs for this and will vote labour all my life and in case I become more involved in the party machinery (not the one that made sure JM is elected) I shall be doing all I can to give the best contribution possible in the interest of the party. I also agree with Leli and hope that all Labourites in Malta unite and back their new leader to make sure that the next election is won. In this unity I would like to see more involved GA, MF and MLC as no one saw them in the Mass Rally, or maybe the cameras did not find them in the crowd. I am sure they con give a big contribution to the party.

    On an ending note, I hope will keep the party unity as his first priority and then continue with his focus on the other issues such as the election of a new party administration.

    Besides that , and I hope that someone brings this to the attention of the party leadership, I think it is about time that some restructing is performed in the way the deleagtes are chosen. We cannot have delegates that have been in the post more than 20 years. We need changes to occur in mentality to keep the party as alive as possible and in touch with realities more than the other local parties.


    PS. can you please stop with blogs explaining particular nicks !!!!

  27. Pawlu said

    May I first of all show totall agreement and support to Harloc in the way we need to tackle issues together being centrics or leftists. Myself I tend to be centric but there again I totally agree with the need for the leftists to push the way forward. A balance of the two would help the party keep a moderate yet strong hold on the ground with contstant supply of new and forward looking ideas.

    With regards to the delegates. Yet again I agree with Harloc. It’s past the days when the men meet at the ‘Kazin’ after work and discuss politics. I myself do not have time to go to the Kazin after work. After a day’s work I feel the urge to go home and unit my family. I am not a Kazin man, and for this I can never be a delegate. Pls note that I am not intending to be a delegate, but if delegates are chosen from Kazin members, than the likes of myself, who do the think tank at home and then express on the net, will never have a chance to delegate and contribute to the party. So if delegates are chosen only from Kazini then this should change as times have changed also. Twenty years ago, before internet, contribution to the party policy was esentially from the Kazin as the meeting place. Now things are different and should adapt to the trend.

    With the above I do not want to throw away all the contributions and sacrifices the present delegates offered and are still offering on a voluntary bases. Far from it. Contrary I show greatest respect to these gentlemen, however I wish them to understand that people like myself cannot contribute more from the outside since I am not the Kazin Type.


  28. Abel Abela said

    According to Maltatoday, MLP delegates think that Jason Micallef should step down from his post as secretary general as he is believed to be a divisive element within the party.” (Wed 11 June).
    This is rubbish. Jason Micallef should not be a scapegoat. He has done his best as secretary general, all things considered. Despite all the things some of the media are saying about Jason, he has done a very good job.
    Yes, he’s blunt, he smiles a lot (but he’s got nice teeth!) and he made quite a few mistakes – who doesn’t? Let’s put the record straight once and for all – Jason’s performance did not cost Labour the election, and definitely did not cost particular individuals the leadership. Jason should stay.

    Abel Abela

  29. Andrew Sciberras said

    Dear all,

    It seems that European Social Democracy is changing. A young leader is nothing to be ashamed of! Do I say this out of some blind loyalty? No. These are facts.

    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.”

    Dear Harloc,

    I very much appreciate your loyalty to the party and I hope, no, I’m positive it will be like that from all of us. However, I would like to bring to your attention, if I may, the notion of what is a New Social Europe. Poul Nyrup Rasmussen and Jacques Delors identify 10 main points:

    (1) Rights and duties for all (the essence of cohesion)
    (2) Full employment – the basis for the future
    (3) Investing in people – we take the high road
    (4) Inclusive societies – nobody left behind
    (5) Universal child care
    (6) Equal rights for women and men
    (7) Social dialogue – we cannot do without
    (8] Making diversity and integration our strength
    (9) Sustainable societies – tackling climate change
    (10) An active Europe for people

    A far cry from traditional socialism surely! But this is the way the Left is moving; whilst safeguarding workers rights and full employment a fundamental tenet is “Equality in diversity” and I think Joseph is moving towards this direction. If this is not the Left, than I have absolutely no idea what is.

    Andrew Sciberras

  30. danny attard said

    Re: Abel Abela’s comments:

    Jason Micallef should not be a scapegoat. I agree in full

    He has done his best as secretary general, Again I agree in full

    He has done a very good job. I absolutely disagree.

    Gvern tal-Laburisti (or something to that effect) was the first major body blow to labour’s chances. Stating that we were prepared for the upcoming elections (when it is so evident that the MLP campaign was lacking in key sectors) is ultimately his gravest failing. He must have had a terrible time dealing with internal currents yet it appears that rather than being a healer he was one of the many fanners, hence Malta Today’s findings. The General Secretary role is the top executive job within labour…It gives me no pleasure (in fact it pains me considerably) to have to express my opinion that he showed himself to be lacking. We love him dearly, yet when it comes to selecting the team, love does not come into it as the delegates showed. If it were down to love than MLCP would have won hands down. Yet the delegates voted for the sharper, hungrier, most focused and relevant person irrespective of personal affections. The same applies to the General Secretary role.


    Danny Attard

  31. Pawlu said

    Yes I too agree with Danny. Jason Micallef (JaMi) is indeed a key figure holding a very sensitive post. We should not point fingers at him as if he only was the source of errors. We should not repeat past mistakes. Infact Joseph Muscat (JoMu) is trying his best to bring back onboard members who were out of the circle. Now let us be careful not to throw out JaMi and/or others out of the circle ourselves and start the same routine all over again whilst JoMu is trying his best to return old hands back into the circle.

    The magic idea is to accept that all can make mistakes. Yes we have to be responsible for our mistakes, but as long as these are human mistakes a person should not be destroyed out of the circle. A person should admit his mistake and move forward not to repeat mistake.

    A word to JaMi on Michael Falzon’s (MF) actions in the counting hall. I think that MF showed a true gentleman’s reaction to the whole ambient when he conceded electoral defeat with a sportive hug and a handshake. I am proud of MF’s actions and reactions to withstand so much preassure and for so many hours in the counting hall and yet having the spirit to keep MLP’s Face high and proud. Jason, I can understand your feeling to MF’s actions but do not over do it because both of you had to concede defeat and it is bad to point your fingers at each other. At that point in time MF’s actions showed good mature character and he should not be judged negatively but on the contrary this approach was a preamble to Joseph Muscat’s positive approach to politics. Politics is not personal but objective reasoning and the mandate to govern was decided to PN’s favour.

    A word to Michael Falzon and George Abela. You both said that you are not prepared to work side by side to Jason Micallef. Well it is only natural that people often feel uneasy to work side by side with people with a different ‘attitude’. OK up to here. This is in human nature and can be overcome, but to push each other out of the circle is bad for the MLP as a whole. So please keep things in perspective and be objective too. Human resources could be given different roles for better efficient results but should not be destroyed. If this was the method in the past it should stop and Joseph’s approach should convince all of his new and neater approach.

    Hope my input helps to get people closer now that tempers start cooling down.


  32. Abel Abela said

    Thanks Danny and the others for your response.
    I’m glad to see that the tone is more conciliatory now. I’m just writing this for fairness sake – Jason Micallef can defend himself. Media sound bytes can be flung about in the case of all public figures, and select phrases stick like mud. In a system like ours, where the winner takes it all, the pain of a huge blow like that of March 8, when a PN defeat was turned into victory in the final 60 days by the incumbent party-state, can really distort memories. Jason Micallef was appointed GS by the same general conference. The same body confirmed Dr Sant in 2003, and has just elected Joseph now. After the 2003 defeat, the party nearly split on the EU. Many people did outstanding work to preserve the MLP. The 2003 debacle was the situation found by the present team, including Jason. They had to start from that shambles, and work with what they had, including Dr Sant who stayed on as leader. They gave the MLP a younger face, steered the party towards the EU, and they got results – esp in the EU elections in 2004. The team consolidated a strong Labour vote until the end of 2007. They got overconfident about it, but they were not alone in this – so were 140,000 others in Malta.

    I will not mince words. The MLP survived as one party after 2003, despite the EU membership disaster, and the fact that Dr Sant stayed on as leader. Unless we are all suffering from a gigantic bout of amnesia, Jason and the others should get part of the credit for Labour’s recovery after 2003. From 2004 to 2007, the party rediscovered the sweet taste of victory. Perhaps people got drunk on the beer before waiting for the champagne to flow.

    In 2003, young faces and minds were needed, and young people like Jason came forward to work to the best of their ability. Please don’t forget this. If there is an MLP now, it’s also thanks to them. And if there’s a Joseph Muscat now, it’s also thanks to them.

    Abel Abela

  33. harloc said

    Oh my God.

    Oh my God.

    I cannot believe what I have just read in this blog. Are you sure you are not people that have a mind that thinks without any prejudice. Please stop from declaring Jason Micallef as a saint. I hope you know why JMicallef does all his best to keep his people being elected in top party posts and fill the supporters and I now have to say it…stupid delegates (at least those that made the worst party decisions in the last 20 years) …. He is doing all this to continue earning EUR26,000 salary from the party’s coffers and from the donations that most of the members and supporters donate to the party. Believe me he is doing it for nothing else.

    But let us see his actions in the past 5 years and I will start with the EU issue after the 2003 election. You do not seem to know who was the person who had made his outmost to re-join the left and central party factions. And believe me it was not Jason who met with Karmenu and changed the party motion to meet the request of all deleagtes. And then we come to this election. I never remember a general secretary of a party making so much fouls. And I think this is a factual summary:

    • He did not want the party electoral office to make court cases against those who where not eligible to vote. This decision was criticized in the electoral defeat report, but he was not mentioned.
    • He took the decision to display the billboards that are costing the party some 30 libels. And even though he is not mentioned again in the report on this, everyone knows it was him who took the decision.
    • He never told the other 5 that the polls were showing a downward trend and that the party was loosing votes. And it was him that had the polls in hand.
    • And then, we see how he was never attributed anything directly in the report, even though he was the mastermind in most of the electoral decisions. He took most of the decisions without even consulting the other 4.
    • He had already sent people in the streets in the morning of Sunday 9th March to celebrate with music and huge speakers in Mosta. And everyone knows who was behind it……Jason Micallef.
    • Then he made a mess with his news conference during the vote counting and tried to patch his mistakes up.
    • At the end of the counting and just before the election result was out, he vanished and was not to be seen anywhere.
    • Then in the leadership election he started with a mess and continued with bigger ones one after the other. Starting with the farce he made during Xarabank with George Abela’s nomination and continued insulting all ex party members present. He made all MLP supporters feel bad for the way he has interpreted things. And the poor performance made during the discussion.
    • And then, participating in the party machine to elect Joseph Muscat was obvious in order to retain his seat and continue grasping whatever he can from the party. This was obvious in the way he spoke especially on Friday morning of the election of the leader. Making statements to attack party stalwarts such as Michael Falzon when Jason said that he never hugged PN people.

    Believe me guys and dolls (though in this case only guys made statements in Jason’s regard), stop pumping Jason’s name. He has to leave as 3 out of the 5 that managed the election did. He must leave. He must leave. He filled the role worse than any predecessor and should go. I am not sure whether he has made anything right in the past five years as the party is still in real shambles at the moment and I am not sure whether the party will ever recover without removing the party machine cob web that is mastering most of the party delegates.

    Guys please open your eyes and do not use that of the party machine. I can tell you from now that this evening the most promising deputy leaders (or at least the ones that are being promoted by the party machines are Chris Cardona, Joe Mifsud and maybe Gavin Gulia). If they do well it will mean that the party machine has managed to win all party roles and will keep certain people in the current administration in their current position. Our party is now an organization mentored by the party machine.

    My last comment is on Joseph Muscat. Believe me I could not understand how he said that he had a meeting with Michael Falzon and Marie Louise Coleiro when he had only met them during the meeting with the parliamentary group. Do you call that a meeting with any one of them?

    Guys wake up.


  34. Leli said

    Hi Danny & Hi Abel

    I feel so happy reading your serious online discussion. I like Jason as a person. He is a true red and of course he had his fair share of successes. But the ultimate aim for every political party is to govern and the MLP has failed for the 3rd consecutive time. This is the whole point. Somebody has to shoulder the responsibility. The leader has left and the Deputy leaders will be replaced today. Sorry but the Secretary General has made too many blunders and does not deserve to be confirmed. It is not a question of learning from past mistakes. It is a question of credibility.


  35. danny attard said

    A comment on another blog states – ‘…that’s leaving aside the quasi-incoherent rambling of the various little elves, which is further testament, if any were required, of the gulf separating them from us’.

    This comment leads me to ponder.

    The ‘them and us’ syndrome creates a divide that renders all on the other side as being unknown aliens.

    In ‘Why we hate’, Jeffrey Winters writes: We are quick to judge, fear and even hate the unknown. We may not admit it, but we are all plagued with xenophobic tendencies. Despite our better nature, it seems, fear of ‘unknown’ people comes out when we are under stress. That fear, known as xenophobia, seems almost hardwired into the human psyche.

    Researchers are discovering the extent to which xenophobia can be easily—even arbitrarily—turned on. In just hours, we can be conditioned to fear or discriminate against those who differ from ourselves by characteristics as superficial as eye color’.

    The techniques applied in the generation of hate can be quite subtle and includes hate-humor making one’s comments look like harmless fun/satire.

    I have no doubt, of course, that the them/us in the quoted post is applied in jest and meant to generate or to express no hate. To me it was however a powerful thought-provoker.

    I find Joseph’s ‘all we need is love’ to be a refreshing attitude and he should persist in it no matter what is thrown at him.


    p.s. is not Joseph being over exposed? AA I agree with your views while I confirm my opinion that Jason is past sell-by just as Alfred Sant was in 2003 (with benefit of hindsight 1998).

  36. danny attard said

    Dear Harloc,

    The majority opinion here is in agreement with you that the MLP needs a change of General Secretary. You may perhaps want to also read comments under the Clinton post. As we had occasion to discuss weeks ago, most want Jason out because of his poor overall performance and an image that has been soured, and not because of a sense of getting back etc. MLCL is on board, George Abela gave us a boost too…things seem to be moving in the right direction for a united party that is so strong in diversity…time for healing, vision, action. Malta needs it.

    Danny Attard

  37. Pawlu said

    On the subject of the appointment to the Party Secretary General, I think that the MLP should think twice before electing this post as was done in the past.

    How about requesting certain administrative and professional qualifications to the contenders to this post, so as to make sure that the eventual choice for the delegates are up to standard to modern schooling in politics.

    This would help the MLP to move forward with times and professional trend. The delegates could then choose from a series of qualified contenders to the post.

    Please do not take this as a dismissive hint for past Secreateries, but then again certain mistakes could have been avoided or maybe not repeated.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: