Notwithstanding the fact that I have never been a supporter of the Labour Party, like most people in Malta I have family connections that were in the past sympathisers.
I could also say that if I were to dig deep enough, I would surely find some roots connected to that party in its previous forms. I therefore never found it difficult to accept that Labour did have some redeeming qualities. Not least about these qualities was the awareness they used to have of the difficulties faced by families with lower earnings.
It was admirable to see past Labour governments always managing to slip in social assistance measures notwithstanding ridiculous economic policies, disrespect for basic democratic values and outright incompetence.
Those were times when one could find some sort of mitigation for Labour’s many shortcomings by saying that their heart, or at least some part of it, was in the right place.
Unfortunately, and even tragically, that is not the case any more.
The current so-called Labour inner circle have resorted to politics that are outright heartless. Not only have they totally abandoned those social initiatives which used to be at the heart of their policies, but they are now not even bothering to show any semblance or pretence of being representative of those people who work hard for a living.
My heart bleeds for those Labour Party faithful who heard their leader brush off manual work so callously, only making a lip-service apology four days later, when he realised that he had unintentionally exposed his true feelings.
I can, and did, empathise with those friends of mine who, although being of Labour-leaning opinions, expressed doubts of where Labour’s new heart truly lies.
In plagiarising the EPP’s heart symbol to put it on their billboards, they have taken it out of their political guiding principles. The only thing that is now close to the heart of this new Labour Party is profit and affluence.
Unfortunately this profit is not being enjoyed by everybody but solely by those at the heart of the party, and those close to them.
No wonder that doubts are creeping in about the Labour Party having been hijacked by capitalistic freeloaders interested only in their own bottom line, totally oblivious to the flat-lining that so many families are facing in their month to month struggle to make ends meet.
Your hearts are now in the wrong place – on billboards and dollar bills
It is truly disheartening to hear the Prime Minister explain his claim to a static financial position by saying that he is not managing to save any money from his salary. In the words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt: “Go tell it to the Marines!”
While they have embarked on this money-making binge for the select few, they have given no consideration to the tarnishing of our name which is being smeared universally.
They are comfortably hiding behind their repetitious propaganda machine that is endlessly pumping one ‘big lie’ after another, convincing their followers not by the veracity of facts, but by the mantra effect of constant repetition.
As regularly as the beating of the heart, they deviate attention from their own besmirching activities by pointing an accusatory finger at those who attempt to expose them for what they truly are.
People might be gullible sometimes but not always or for ever. Reality bites and with the passing of days, the facade is coming apart and more and more of the true nature of this mutant Labour Party is showing through the cracks.
And what is showing is not at all pleasant. The arrogance, the greed, the impunity are now not even being disguised or camouflaged, but are being shoved in our faces with not an iota of care or respect.
Impropriety is brushed under carpets, and in those cases when it cannot be hidden anymore, is blatantly justified by the electoral result being interpreted as being the nation’s endorsement of their piracy.
It is with a sinking heart that I have come to realise beyond any doubt that this country has been taken over by a gang who do not care about our children’s future, as long as they have secured their own.
In business, reputation is what has held people in good stead and high esteem. The same applies for nations. Losing the good name we once enjoyed will mean that those who will suffer most from the inevitable fallout will be those who are most vulnerable, those who should be closest to the heart of any Labour Party worthy of its name.
Driving on any road in Malta and Gozo we cannot avoid being regaled with one billboard after another put up by the Labour Party, whose pockets seem to be very deep, unlike those they should be standing for. All these billboards have one common image. Muscat’s Labour has put a heart on them as the logo for the upcoming elections.
That is not where your heart should be. Your heart should be with those of our fellow citizens who struggle to make ends meet while your ends justify your means.
You have willingly abandoned those who have always trusted you most and looked to you, perhaps mistakenly but always in good faith, for support. You have looked away, turning your core supporters into Labour’s lost loves.
Unlike that of your incompetent predecessors, your hearts are now in the wrong place – on billboards and dollar bills.
This is a Times of Malta print opinion piece