Thursday 22 March 2018


Labour seems to be content to stay in Opposition

When a couple of months ago, I read a Times of Malta headline that  “(Joe) Debono Grech to contest next election”,  I found it funny that it came a couple of pages after a headline which read “Government all ears over noise pollution.”

When Grace Borg had announced she was going to be a candidate, we all found the idea hilarious because, well, leopard prints and three inch long nails decorated with flamboyant nail art really cannot be taken seriously in the political milieu.

However, the news that Yana Mintoff is going to be running on the Labour Party ticket is far less amusing.  What on earth was Joseph Muscat thinking to accept her candidature?

It is not merely because her father’s name (as we have seen) is enough to make people go berserk.  It is because, from the interviews she has given so far, it is clear she is a liability and not an asset.  Her objections to the Dear Dom film could, perhaps, be excused on the basis of family loyalty, but her interview in The Sunday Times was just mindboggling.  Being able to field a journalists’ questions and express yourself well in the media are as important as what you do if you are ever in office, and that interview was just a disaster.

I wonder if the Labour Party does any market research on how its choice of candidates is being perceived by moderate, floating voters?  Because, from where I’m standing, it seems it is simply pandering to its grassroots hardline supporters. As we say in Maltese, mhux ghal xi haga, but those type of voters hardly need any encouragement to vote Labour.

And it’s not just the choice of candidates ….today Muscat said he is willing to open up the debate on abortion.  If both political parties are firmly against abortion, what is there to debate?  In a country where people thought the world was coming to an end because divorce legislation was introduced, we need to debate abortion like a hole in the head.

It is true that the PN is going to have a problem about getting out the vote because its core support is dwindling, but frankly, the Labour party is still struggling to win back the still unconvinced voters who have deserted it along the years. Then there’s that swathe of disgusted voters who have had it to the back teeth with both parties and election after election, are staying firmly at home.

We have a party in government which has been there way too long, and many people are restless for change. But sometimes, my conclusion is that Labour is so used to being in Opposition, it is perfectly content to stay there forever.


  • a borg

    Being able to field a journalists’ questions and express yourself well in the media are as important as what you do if you are ever in office

    Frankly I disagree with this part. It is what the media wants us to believe. Non charismatic and eloquent people might just as well may be the best at it. But instead of looking at facts and current say issues we prefer To live in the past and create a popularity contest out of the game of politics.

    • We may not like it, but yes, the truth is that politics has become a popularity contest. A lot of it is about perception, image and how you come across. Alfred Sant, for example, had many valid ideas, many of which have been proved right today, but was, unfortunately, a bad communicator and not media friendly.
      In fact, this has always been the case – take Nixon and JFK during their famous debate on television in 1960 – the first of their kind. Media and political analysts generally agree that JFK won that debate because he came across much better, looking relaxed and comfortable in his own skin, whereas Nixon with his stubble, shifty eyes and unsmiling face looked shady and untrustworthy.

  • Jessica Borg

    Wow her interview in The Times stirred up some people, judging by the comments!
    Interesting to see their accounts of how both sides suffered during those times.
    You are right Yana didn’t sound very prepared at all, but this doesn’t mean she won’t be a good candidate for her localities.

  • Russell

    Mehhhh, why is the Labour party shooting itself in the foot? How can you claim that you’re not the communist party that Mintoff had when you’re bringing his daughter on board? Don’t get me wrong, if it weren’t for Mintoff, we wouldn’t be where we are today. But they’ve got to understand that Mintoff is misunderstood, and that’s the way he’s staying – hated by the majority. So, they’ve got to suck it up and disassociate themselves from him if they want a chance at bringing down the Nationalists. We NEED change up there, and the opposition had better be credible, because we haven’t got any other options to choose from, most unfortunately.
    I’m not really in favour of either party. Both are against abortion, so why should I have full faith in either? However, if Dr Muscat is opening up the abortion debate, then in an ideal world, I’d say, well that’s a nice breath of fresh air. But it’s not practical. Not with this silly island’s provincial mentality at play anyway.

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