An Administration to suit the Vision, not a Vision to suit the Administration.
Posted by fcb on August 10, 2008
Inspired by the ideal of transforming Malta into a European country we need not be ashamed of, Joseph candidated himself for the position of Leader of the Labour Party with the determined intention to be Prime Minister in 2013 at the latest. It was clear to him, as it was clear to all who supported him, that to reach that goal he would first of all have to re-invent the Party. He would have to restructure its organisation at all levels. He would have to midwife a new culture within the party, a way of thinking that would make it possible for Labour to participate in a broader movement of moderates and progressives, a political home for all men and women of good will.
He never suggested it would be an easy task. We never expected a triumphal march. Restructuring an organisation (actually, we should speak of an institution) is a complex process. Institutions are complex clusters of diverse interests and alliances, rivalries and friendships, scores to settle and old debts to honour, noble ideas and miserable prejudices, habits and rituals, memories, lies and truths. You cannot hope to set out to ‘redo’ an institution (warning beforehand that you will cause nothing less than an ‘earthquake’) and not expect resistance. We expected resistance and we met resistance.
It was not, it must be said, the sort of resistance we expected. It was not the principled resistance of traditional schools of thought or of alternative visions of the future. It was the resistance of individuals without identifiable ideas of their own, without traditions and certainly without visions. It was the resistance of individuals whose ideals can be summed up as follows: I want to keep my place. Well, everybody was warned that an earthquake was on the agenda. Nobody in his right senses could have failed to understand that the Administration of the Party could have been spared the impact of the earthquake. We need an Administration to suit Joseph’s Vision, not a Vision to suit the existing Administration.
It would have been better had the Delegates chosen individuals with the qualities necessary to oversee a change in their own role. That they chose individuals capable only of thinking in terms of their own narrow individualistic perspective, has merely complicated matters and made them more painful than they need have been. Mainly for the individuals themselves.