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What Joseph needs: A machine so frictionless as to be almost silent.

Posted by fcb on July 8, 2008

Soupape d’admission, (Induction Valve), Francis Picabia, Gouache over an engineering blueprint 50×33 cm., 1917, Private collection.

We think the Administration (excluding the Leader and the two deputies, the three of which are members of the Administration) ought to be made up of precisely what its name implies, administrators. Individuals with the technical competence and the energy to carry out their tasks as provided for under the Statute of the Party in accordance with the policies and directives of the General Conference, the National Executive and the Leader.

The Labour Party is a big and complex organisation and requires, therefore, individuals with solid managerial expertise and experience. A good manager’s presence is felt through the effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation that he or she creates and maintains. It is often said that the best managers are the ones that are seen and heard least. It is time we de-glamourised the role of the Party’s administrators. Their effectiveness is not to be measured by wit, frequency of sound-bytes or smiles. Their effectiveness is to be measured by the efficiency of the organisation they are responsible for.

This is not to say that they are unimportant, on the contrary. That is why we think they ought to be chosen with the greatest care.  Joseph needs the best possible administrative machine at his disposal. It’s got to work. It should take the Party in exactly the direction he wants it to at his slightest touch of the steering. It’s got to get there at precisely the speed he wants it to. It should do so smoothly, its engine so frictionless as to be almost silent, respectful of the social and cultural environment and – it almost goes without saying – with the least possible expenditure of its necessarily scarce resources. And they should all be team-players.

We can hear some of you protesting that the Party’s administration should not be de-politicised, that it should not be made up of pure and politically unexperienced technicians! We can hear you say that if that is what our ‘legislators’, the ‘fathers’ and ‘mothers’ of the Statute, wanted, then they would not have provided for the election of the Administration officials and would, presumably, have opted for the hiring of professional organisers.

True, but of course we do not think we should depoliticise the Administration. Party officials, especially the key ones, need also be politically savvy and streetwise. After all they are managing a mass political party, not a supermarket or an industrial plant or a call-centre. True, but no amount of political chutzpah will make up for  organisational incompetence. It is not up to us to tell delegates who they should vote for but we must admit that not all the names circulating so far inspire us with great enthusiasm.

We’ll say it once more and we’ll say it no more: we need a team of competent administrators (understood as the best managers/organisers that are willing to go in for the job), that are not divisive and take an inclusive approach, that are endowed with sufficient political good sense, that have the intellectual depth necessary to understand the moral values and the political vision that inspire the New Political Season inaugurated by Joseph Muscat,  and who are loyal to the Party led by him. And to nobody else.


4 Responses to “What Joseph needs: A machine so frictionless as to be almost silent.”

  1. Dorothy Camilleri said

    Thanks for the Picabia. I like your tastes. I saw an exhibition of Picabia, Duchamp and Stein last winter in London. I was attracted by their love of life, without snobishness, and how their friendship and comradeship moulded all their view of the world.

    Even though few people (except for the wealthy Americans who bought their work and Picasso’s) understood their work. All the geometry, symbolism and colour reflected a gutsy approach to the future. They were optimists but not in the pompous and bombastic manner of Italian futurism. Theirs was a cautious optimism. They knew that this future was full of promise but behind the facade of progress there was tragedy ready to pounce on the world.

    The situation was not unlike ours today. On the one hand, the world is falling around those who placed blind trust in Gonzi, his party and his government and the values that sustain them. This breeds pessism. On the other hand, we have been blessed with Joseph and his infectious enthusiasm has revived the spirit of persons of good will across political lines.

    Hence the cautious optimism of many of us.

    Joseph on his own will not get very far. He needs a vehicle to achieve his, our, dreams. That is why it is important that delegates choose a decent administration when they meet in a month’s time. No primadonnas, no cowboys, no clowns…but humble, hardworking, loyal and intelligent administrators. With their help, Joseph will win. With a good Administration for Labour, we can be a little less pessimistic about the future.


  2. danny attard said

    wow…you do not mix words…i’m impressed and find myself in full agreement. I must however express my apprehension at Labour’s lack of ‘elder’ input.

    ‘Not all the names circulating so far inspire us with great enthusiasm’. An understatement.

    I am reminded of how my horrible singing-voice under a tepid shower convinced me that I must surely be some Caruso relative.

    It had to be a person who really loves me to let it be known to me in no uncertain terms that my voice is the perfect insult to the joy of hearing.

    Karmenu Vella, Gorg Vella, Joe Stafrace, plus others, please transcend political correctness and knock some sense in a couple of heads to spare us the most obtuse mortification and discomfort to our leadership.


  3. nevillegafa said

    First of all welcome back in business.I agree with your article.I think it’s time for Labour delegates to have a different aproach towards these posts.The party doesn’t need people smiling all the time in public and then in closed doors they simply don’t practise what they preach ie full loyalty towards their colleagues.It’s time to be professional.
    Please visit my blog;
    Neville Gafa’.

  4. Pawlu said

    This machine needs to be silent in order to get the PN by surprise.

    It also needs to be attractive in order to pull on board progressive passengers who need a lift to reach their destination.

    Although silent it needs to be very visible and noticeable in order that passengers know it’s coming their way.

    Once this machine arrives close to these progressive passengers, it needs to stop and let the passengers board the machine.

    Please let us have an administration machine which can
    1. attract through its work as a united office.
    2. convince through its intelligence and readiness to hear and listen.
    3. filter, analyze and activate any beneficial suggestions.
    4. do all the above calmly without any forceful imposition but with great conviction.


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