Friday, 18 August 2000

August Vision

The Malta Independent

August Vision

An appropriate` vision` for Malta`s future` is not whether to be in or out of the EU but to rid us` from this sorry state of permanent election campaigning and to restore politics to its proper place, important but not all dominating.

It has become almost a curse that Maltese people are not allowed to enjoy their August relaxation` free from the nauseating barks from political leaders, deputies, commentators and those who think that they can shape to their liking the workings of our society.

Two years ago Alfred Sant made the mortal mistake of timing the election so that August of 1998 become a peak` election campaign month rather than a relaxation break.` I could be wrong,` but I have a theory that one of the reasons why Labour was so badly trounced was because the electorate was protesting for having the August peace ruined by untimely electioneering.

Last year we had the industrial dispute at MIA which disrupted our August peace. And this year we have the seemingly endless soap opera of the alleged rigging of Alfred Sant`s election to party leader in 1992.

August should be reserved for relaxation and for detachment from the now routine squabbling over the most petty matters, animal rights included, in order to permit time for reflection. Reflection about what a true little heaven this country could be turned into if we just relegate politics to their proper place in Maltese society.

Reflection on how much more effective it would be if the Lm100 or so million per annum we spend on subsidies and unproductive expenditure were to be re-directed to real investment to clean this dirty place and up-grade it to match the 5 star status which is only found behind the revolving doors of some of our hotels.

Reflect on how much more rewarding it would be if instead of promoting ourselves as a cheap tourist destination susceptible to large fluctuations of demand with the slightest price changes, we promote ourselves as an upper class short stay destination.

Reflect on how much more prosperous we would be if rather than worrying that ST Thomson is getting too big and creating exposure risks, we could attract other investors to have many more ST Thomson-like companies ( Intel,` Cisco and all the others seeking expanded production facilities to solve the demand bottlenecks for micro-chips)` attracted to locate production facilities in Malta where they can source qualified labour coming out of our schools and university.

Reflect on the need to give the country a truly modern status where minorities would have their individual rights respected rather than oppressed by the majority.

Reflect on how much a better place this would be if the media really acts as the guardian of citizens` rights rather than seek to advantage one political party over another.

At least for one month in a year we should be given space to reflect and to dream even if our dreams are shattered in the remaining eleven months.

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