Thursday, 31 August 2000

Pigs do Fly

The Times of Malta

Our August peace was again destroyed by the political games of whoever thought it prudent to give credibility to a story that pigs do fly. Increasing popular discontent forced the Nationalist Party to clutch to the silly argument that Labour had to disprove that pigs do fly.

One may have unreasonable but genuine reservation about the autonomy of the Vigilance Board and one is even free to be illogical and disagree with its conclusions.` However one cannot fairly disregard the matter of fact under oath evidence of all those involved in the election process of the MLP Leader in 1992.` Their single and collective evidence conclusively seals the argument that the election process was conducted transparently under effective control systems leaving no room for any irregularities, let alone the stuffing 150 votes under the glaring eyes of the electoral commission and representatives of the contestants.

That the evidence includes that of at least one person who was specifically in charge of protecting the interest of the unelected candidate seals the point beyond further scope for suspicion.

The Nationalist Party having been caught red-handed trying again to de-stabilise their opposition could only reply by confusing arguments. What`s the relevance to the Vigilance Board as to whether or not Pawlu Muscat in the years after the election reproduced copies of his personal vote. The Vigilance Board was not investigating what someone else did after the election but was investigating the integrity of the electoral process. No matter how many votes anybody could have reproduced after the event, that cannot have any effect on the event itself. The important thing is that the event process was controlled in such a way that no duplicate or unauthorised voting documents could find their way to the ballot box.

That five documents failed to be returned, including that of Pawlu Muscat, was a natural exercise of the right to abstain just as much as eight voters exercised their right to invalidate their vote. As to the credibility of Pawlu Muscat for me he scores low on whatever version. My conclusion is based on the integrity of the other thirteen persons who gave evidence under oath in a totally logical, comprehensive and corroborating manner.

The onus of proof that pigs do fly is now clearly and squarely upon those who continue to maintain so.

The moral of the story is that the same group that de-stabilised a validly elected Labour Government in 1998 have now even attempted to de-stabilise Labour from carrying out their function to oppose.

They continue with this tack even after the Vigilance Report.` For the The Times (editorial Surprise, Surprise! - 30 August 2000) only a long winded court procedure can categorically disprove that pigs do fly. Joe Grima insists that Alfred Sant`s entourage is so powerful that they can make fourteen persons, including those who were involved in the process to guard the interest of the unsuccessful candidate, to lie under oath before the Vigilance Board.` This is telling us to believe that Dumbo really flies!

What citizens are really concerned about is how politics have been allowed to fall to this incredible gutter level which is making them feel cheated and unprotected. Citizens demand from their government true account for election promises and of the performance of this administration as it approaches its mid-term mark.

Citizens want to know why they are being made to cough up through additional taxes the Lm100 million which they were promised would annually flow effortlessly from the EU as soon as the PN is re-elected. They want to have solutions to the massive cash flow constraints being built up in the private sector through such massive transfer of resources to the public sector.

Citizens want to know why is it their small businesses have to struggle (and quite unavoidably and rightly so!) to get financial support from the bank whilst an organisation run by a single person managed to squeeze Lm9 million for a rather small car importation business.

Citizens want to know who is going to make good for the doubling of the fuel import bill in the first six months of the year through the off-handed decision of the Minister of Economic Affairs not to renew the oil price hedging agreement beyond Dec 1999 when he had a recommendation to do so in` late in 1998/ early 1999 right when oil was hitting bottom prices. The Minister was then busy criticising his predecessors for making such hedging arrangements which eventually left a profit and peace of mind to Enemalta till Dec 1999.

Small wonder that the Minister of Finance and the Minister for Economic Affairs, who have much to answer for the above, were very imprudently in their writings and press releases parrying criticism by arguing that as a matter of fact pigs do fly.

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