Dr. Dom Mintoff,
Emeritus Prime Minister,
Founder of the Republic of Malta,
“The Olives” Xintill Str.,
5th July 2007.
The Rt Hon Dr. L. Gonzi,
Prime Minister of the Republic of Malta,
Auberge de Castille,
Dear Prime Minister,
About 3 weeks ago your trusted new colleague, the Parliamentary secretary for Justice and I had an URGENT and CONFIDENTIAL talks. we also agreed it was proper for him to seek your formal approval before taking any further action. It seems that the stay in Valletta of the President of the Commission of the European Union was so short that the Hon Dr Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici did not find it possible to consult you before the departure of the President.
In all this hurry scurry, when it seems that our PM and the parliamentary Secretary for Justice had to attend high level talks in separate European locations, the Maltese officer who had typed the draft of our joint letter sent it to the President signed only by myself. I took the precautions to instruct her to forward a copy of this letter to the Maltese Prime Minister. I do not doubt that she has done so although this confusion had so frightened her that she refused to give me a written confirmation.
To me all this mess was sadly reminiscent of the disastrous consequences of the Barroso initiation as President of the European Commission – a very unfortunate coincidence with your perversely stormy snatching of the helm as PM of our sun drenched Islands. I am certain you still keep the records as a souvenir of your early times when the emeritus Prime Minister, our colleague, Dr. Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici and I, had, together with Libya’s plenipotentiary, speedily prepared a solution for the vexed problem of immigration which, if Barroso had displayed more political maturity at that time, would have spared the terrible tribulations afflicting all of us today. I never came to know exactly how your role in those rueful circumstances had come to an end; you never met me face to face since those unhappy days.
Incidentally immigration is no longer a merely EURO-MEDITERRANEAN problem. It has to be globally solved by all nations who hold the fundamental value of the heroism of peace much higher than the narrow and cruel fanaticism of war. But I feel a discussion with you on this most vital issue in the presence of the People parties of Italy – with whom my colleagues and I, despite our socialist divide, had a friendlier relationship than
the “Nationalist” Party during my very long watch over the destiny of our Islands – you did not wish to have just now.
Whilst Europe is feet-dragging, the rest of the world is changing very fast. During my very active time we had already started afforestation on a very large scale, the increase of the depth of our waters round our shores, made large land increments towards Comino, Filfla and Gozo. We launched also a very profitable Oil Exploration drive with the concomitant competition of the leading oil barons of the capitalist West who were happy to pay for the privilege.
We did all this and more in order to assuage our constant concern that our people, if struck by panic in a calamity, lacked the physical space for a safe refuge to children, pregnant mothers, hospital patients and senior citizens.
An array of ostriches digging their beautifully curved necks in the san shows more common sense than all our conferences of local and foreign experts which happily ignore the unpleasant fact that if today an earth tremor of a moderate dimension or an inundation such as the one that struck Rome last week would cause enough panic to extinguish all life on these Islands for many generations to come.
Think of that and then tell me – the one who is held like a leper incommunicado in his water infected home- whether it is not a totally sadistic madness that allows George W. Bush to expose so many innocent lives to extinction without providing them with any protection against terrorist reprisals. Is this the civilization we wish to impose on a a frightened and restive Moslem and African world? Why are the Western media – the paladins of Western democracy – damnably silent about the truth?
WHY had we, the aspirants for transparency, marked CONFIDENTIAL our draft letter to Dr. Gonzi and Dr Barroso?
First. Like unselfish reformers we wished to convert the powers that be to our side. there is no better fortune for genuine reforms than the consent of the powerful to engage in free discussions for a change of course by the ship of state. That was definitely our primary consideration.
A secondary motive of perhaps a larger strategic import was the widely spread corruption I kept noticing during my enforced retirement from public life. It tainted all sectors of our society including alas the noble performers of the radical change of our mediaeval social structure in our recent past. It was a disease of moral fatigue that embraced the defeatist capitalist political philosophy “I shall look after myself, let Jack do the same”. It is only one step short of the capitalist way of life £the more money I make the less I shall know what to do with it. the greater shall be the quantity that the down and outs shall look for in my refuse bins”.
What frightens most is how this moral decay has flowed down from the highest echelons of our tiny nation to the lowest of our street urchins. the cure must therefore start at the top to reach the bottom. Meanwhile there seem to be generations of comparatively well-
to-do lads and lasses falling by the wayside as suicidal drug addicts or condemned to a slow death by HIV infections.
If what I have been able to read in the progressive sectors of the American and British media is anything to go by, this malaise is endemic throughout all the nations of the old and new Europe, and presents a gloomy prospect for the bravest amongst us.
Nonetheless what I have personally undergone throughout eight and a half decades spanning the miseries of two world wars and rejoicing in the resurrection of my derelict country and of many other countries far and near, the miracle we need is the future does not have to be as big as the one we achieved in the old days through sacrifices, hard work and solidarity.
And I stress my firm belief in a rosier future fully conscious of the Herculean magnitude of the moral and physical toil ahead. In taking our Malta as a model of what must be done, I include the rot that must be removed from our agriculture, fisheries, financial, medical and transport services, cultural and educational facilities, leisure and sport. Above all the rebirth of our moral values must be preceded by the reawakening of credibility on our political parties.
And the dream I hold of humanity on the march, the vision I perceive of tolerance, kindness and mutual help from the cradle to the grave, shall overcome all the gloom and depression caused by selfishness in the past twenty years. But we must start now. And we have to move forward at a much greater pace if we wish to clean the stables we know best and then spring forward to greater heights.
The Law Courts of Malta claim cleansing priority because it is the institution with which our powers that be are most familiar and the one on which the general public including many lawyers look with contempt. With so much evidence of fatigue and decay it is the institution most likely to have its ugly face washed and its political conservative bias abolished after our next national elections to the House of Representatives.
In the House of Representatives sit our elected lawmakers and those members with the largest and next largest following are also entrusted with the task of forming a Government ands a shadow Government. The technical name of the leader of the Government side is Prime Minister and in Parliament the word Government means the Prime Minister and all hers of his Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries.
The technical name for the Shadow government is the Opposition and the member leading it is technically called the Leader of the Opposition and his main assistants are the Shadow Ministers.
In Parliament the Leader of the Opposition holds a rank second in importance to that of the Prime Minister for his task is supposed to be double-pronged: outright opposition of those draft laws which he considers to be repugnant to the majority of the electorate with suggestions of scrapping them and replacing them with the legislation of his own
devising which he knows some sectors of the electorate would be glad to approve but the Prime Minister cannot accept without losing face and support in the country.
This second method of attack appears to be easy. Yet it takes great skill and power of improvisation for the Leader of the Opposition not to appear vote catching and only genuinely concerned that the country has not been offered something better. He does this although he knows that this could not have been done without conflict with the political creed of the Prime Minister. The Leader of the Opposition must at the same time be very careful to show too much or too often or be tempted by a sudden opportunity for a sudden big catch which forces him to share crooked political creeds.
Such excesses are bound to lose him the support of the political activists within his party machine. The best machines of any Establishment supporting a specific creed be it political, religious, academic, theatrical, leisure-seeking or any other communal activity, are built by voluntary labour and countless small contributions. It’s best run and oiled by the genuine oratory of its leaders with the rank and file and a sincere fraternization with the unpaid and self-sacrificing activists. A party machine without unpaid activists is like a furnace without oxygen and heat can then be produced only by allowing organic matter to fester and rot.
That is why my friends and I believe that and International fact finding commission representing those countries who show concern about the present and future of the Maltese people and believe in their immense potential to make and outstanding contribution for the achievement of global peace – China, India, Russia, the European Union, Algeria, Libya, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Australia and a United States of America without the ill-starred war mongering George W. bush, be invited to inquire what has stopped Malta’s institutions including its little army, its media, its banks etc from persevering along the paths of peace.
But it is impossible to do this without first and immediately getting rid of the Commissioner of Police who instead of protecting civilians from being harmed by criminals has chosen to become the local head of intelligence in the service of NATO and CIA. Kindly let me know possibly by next Tuesday whether you agree.
Yours very sincerely