Terrimot fil-Partit Laburista

Jeremy Corbyn 2

 

Infqajt nidħaq nisma’ lil Aaron Farrugia, Chairman tal-Fondazzjoni Ideat tal-Partit Laburista ta’ Malta, jipprova jispjega waqt l-aħbarijiet fuq Super One (is-Sibt fil-għaxija) għaliex ġie elett Jeremy Corbyn bħala l-mexxej il-ġdid tal-Partit Laburista Ingliż.

Semma kull raġuni possibli, minnbarra r-raġuni rejali: li Jeremy Corbyn ma jagħmilx kompromessi ma dak li jemmen fih. Kienet l-awtentiċità ta’ Corbyn il-kawża ewlenija tat-terrimot li l-effetti tiegħu għadhom jibdew. Corbyn kien l-unika wieħed mill-kandidati li kien soċjalista u ma jistħix jgħid li hu hekk. Naħseb li Aaron ħassu ħafna imbarazzat li jgħid li osserva dan, ħaga li probabbilment ilu ħafna jinnota ukoll fil-Headquarters tal-Ħamrun.

Fil-bidu tal-kampanja għat-tmexxija tal-Partit Laburista Ingliż fil-Parlament, għall-ħabta ta’ nofs Lulju, il-Gvern Ingliż ressaq abbozz ta’ liġi biex inaqqas il-benefiċċji soċjali. Tlieta mill-kandidati għat-tmexxija Laburista, dakinnhar astjenew fil-votazzjoni. Kien Jeremy Corbyn l-uniku wieħed mill-erba’ kandidati li ivvota kontra dan l-abbozz ta’ liġi.

Rebħa bi kważi 60% tal-voti ma l-ewwel għadd m’hiex ċajta. Id-distakk bejn Jeremy Corbyn u Andy Burnham kienet ta’ tlett darbiet (Burnham ma qabiżx l-20%). L-oħrajn ġiebu inqas!

Il-kampanja għat-tmexxija tal-Partit Laburista Ingliż uriet li hemm distakk kbira bejn dak li jaħsbu l-membri tal-partit u dak li jaħsbu l-Membri Parlamentari tal-istess partit. Bħala riżultat tal-elezzjoni ta’ Jeremy Corbyn diversi membri ewlenin tal-grupp parlamentari ippreferew li jwarrbu jew ma jaċċettawx posizzjoni fis-Shadow Cabinet. Dan ingħata prominenza fil-gazzetti Ingliż matul il-jum tal-bieraħ. Fatt li jista’ joħloq diffikultajiet għal Corbyn mhux biss ta’ natura temporanja.

M’huwiex faċli tgħid kif ser jiżviluppaw l-affarijiet. L-ikbar ostaklu għal Corbyn m’huwiex il-Gvern konservattiv, iżda “sħabu” fil-grupp Parlamenti.

Fil-ġimgħat li ġejjin hemm ippjanati sfidi kbar. Fosthom liġi li tikontrolla lit-Trade Unions u li tfittex ukoll li tnaqqas sostanzjalment il-finanzjament tal-Partit Laburista Ingliż mill-istess Trade Unions. Hi imminenti ukoll deċiżjoni mill-House of Commons dwar l-armamenti nuklejari Inġliżi.

Ser ikunu ġimgħat li fihom nosservaw kemm hu possibli li f’partit politku jikkoeżistu veduti radikalment differenti fuq ħafna affarijiet : fuq l-Unjoni Ewropeja, fuq in-NATO, fuq l-armamenti nuklejari, fuq l-awsterita, fuq l-użu tal-forza militari bħala għodda għall-politika barranija ……………. Kollha materji li dwarhom ftit kien hemm x’tagħżel fil-passat riċenti bejn in-New Labour u l-Konservattivi.

Minn tmiem il-ġimgħa in-New Labour fir-Renju Unit spiċċa. Dawk li sa ftit ġranet ilu kienu meqjusa bħala r-ribelli issa qegħdin fit-tmexxija, u dawk li kienu qed jinsistu fuq il-lealtà lejn it-tmexxija issa qegħdin minn taħt. Id-demokratizzazzjoni tal-partit ser tkun iċ-ċavetta biex il-Partit Laburista Ingliż ma jibqax jistħi jgħid li hu soċjalista. Kollox jiddependi minn kemm l-entużjażmu li nisslet il-kandidatura ta’ Corbyn jibqa’ ħaj fl-egħruq tal-partit. Jekk dan jibqa’, Corbyn ikompli biex jittrasforma l-Partit Laburista Ingliż in konformità mat-twemmin tiegħu. Jekk le, il-partit jerġa’ lura biex ikun kopja tal-konservattivi.

 

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Sharing our responsibilities

lampedusa-letta-e-barroso-contestati

The Lampedusa tragedy was a tragedy waiting to happen. .

Human persons in need of help have been on our doorstep, Europe’s doorstep. The help they sought was not available.

Malta has a government which belongs to that family of political parties, the socialist family, which describes itself as being the champion of the vulnerable and the downtrodden. In migration policy, in just seven months, the Labour Party led government in Malta has failed miserably in living up to its core values.

At this point in time none are more vulnerable than migrants fleeing persecution: in particular Somalis and Eritreans who account for the vast majority of migrants at this doorstep of Europe. The Labour Party in Government is not interested in their plight. It is more interested in a populist discourse to impress its hangers-on. Labour’s populism has diluted its core values  beyond recognition.

Labour’s push-back policy was not implemented due to the timely intervention of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Those who think that  Joseph Muscat’s pushback policy was an exercise in bluff would do well to remember that  when still Leader of the Opposition Joseph Muscat had made statements on the need to suspend Malta’s international obligations if faced with large numbers of boat-people.

Many crocodile tears are currently being shed by those who in the past weeks advocated a hard-line inhumane attitude. Those who advocated push-backs are apparently shocked by what has happened.

Are they?

When we criticise the European Union for tackling immigration inappropriately we are also criticising ourselves as since May 2004 Malta and the Maltese are an integral part of the European Union. Malta forms part of each and every decision-taking structure within the European Union. Together with all the other member states Malta participates whenever a decision is taken.

The European Union needs a common migration policy which recognises that each and every refugee within its borders is its responsibility. The border states like Malta, Italy, Spain, Greece and Cyprus are shouldering a disproportionate responsibility which must be shared by all  members states.

So far, in the struggle between life and death the European Union (Malta included) has not opted to give adequate assistance to the living. As a result we are collectively responsible for the Lampedusa deaths. It is useless shedding tears for the dead if we did not respect them when they were still alive.

The Lampedusa tragedy was no accident. It is the direct consequence of the fact that on migration there is still a free for all in the European Union. A common policy is required to give flesh to practical solidarity and bury once and for all the culture of indifference.

The Greens in Europe are all in favour of responsibility sharing. That is, the recognition by European Union institutions that once a migrant crosses the EU borders he is its responsibility. Common borders are not just a tool for the payment of customs duties. A humanitarian migration policy is a must in every corner of the European Union. Crossing the border into the European Union should mean moving into an area which respects every human person, with no exceptions being permitted.

A first step would be amending what is known as the Dublin Convention such that the arrival of a migrant within any of the member states would not signify any more that he is restricted to remain in the country of arrival. Such an amendment to the Dublin Convention would facilitate the movement of migrants within the European Union and, consequently, their applying for refugee status, if this is applicable,  within any one of the member states.

This is the official policy of the European Green Party to which policy Alternattiva Demokratika has contributed considerably through constructive engagement with our European partners. The Greens in Europe are the only European Political Party which has fully appreciated the situation which EU border states are facing. Without any stamping of feet or smelling “pushover” coffee the European Green Party is the foremost proposer and supporter of an EU which shoulders its responsibilities through a policy of migration responsibility sharing.

The others just stamp their feet and indulge in inconsequential rhetoric interspaced with crocodile tears.

It is about time that the Nationalist Party and the Labour Party accept that their approach to migration has failed. They should take a leaf from the policy book of the European Greens and seek to convince their partners in the European Union of the need to share responsibility for migration with the border states.

Whether the Lampedusa tragedy will serve as a wake-up call is still to be seen. The comments from Jose Barroso and Cecilia Malmström at Lampedusa on Wednesday are good indications.

Well Muscat can smell that coffee now.

As published in The Times of Malta, Saturday 12 October 2013