Simon Busuttil mhux stupidu

Simon Busuttil 11

Kultant meta tisma’ lil Simon Busuttil jitkellem taħseb li qed jipprova jgħaddik biż-żmien. Għax jipprova jmeri is-sewwa magħruf, f’wiċċek. Hekk għidt meta smajtu jgħid li mhux korett li jingħad li l-problema tat-traffiku ġejja mill-passat.

Jew hekk inkella huwa stupidu, u stupidu ovvjament mhux.

Jekk irid ikun onest, kif tant jiftaħar u jinsisti, għandu l-ewwel u qabel kollox jibda jitkellem b’mod onest.

Il-problema tat-traffiku waslet fl-istat attwali tagħha fuq tul ta’ żmien. Riżultat ta’ nuqqas ta’ deċiżjonijiet kif ukoll riżultat ta’ deċiżjonijiet ħżiena.

Il-kollass kważi totali tat-trasport pubbliku tul is-snin kien kontribut ewlieni għal dan għax minħabba dan il-kollass qatt ma kellna alternattiva ta’ mobilita sostenibbli f’dan il-pajjiż. Ċertament li t-trasport pubbliku ma ikkollassax f’dawn is-sentejn u nofs. Il-froġa tal-Arriva l-anqas ma saret f’dawn is-sentejn u nofs.

Intqalu ħafna affarijiet fid-dibattitu dwar it-traffiku fil-Parlament il-bierah. Uħud jagħmlu sens u oħrajn li ma jagħmlux.

Il-Gvern irid itejjeb l-infrastruttura. Imma ma jirrealizzax li b’titjib fl-infrastruttura, filwaqt li tonqos xi ftit il-konġestjoni m’hu ser isolvi xejn fuq tul ta’ żmien. Għax ghall-ewwel il-konġestjoni tonqos  imma wara ftit il-karozzi jiżdiedu u nerġgħu niġu fejn konna.

L-Opposizzjoni trid traħħas il-prezz tal-fuel, bil-konsegwenza ovvja li tinkoraġixxi iktar l-użu tal-karozzi bi fuel irħis. Miżura li ma tagħti l-ebda kontribut għat-tnaqqis tal-kongestjoni tat-traffiku. Anzi tagħmlu agħar mill-ewwel.

Issemma kollox fid-dibattitu, ħlief l-iktar punt importanti, u ċjoe l-ħtieġa li jonqsu b’mod permanenti l-karozzi mit-toroq. Għandna ħafna karozzi żejda fit-toroq. Żejda, għax it-toroq tagħna ma jifilħux daqshekk karozzi.

Ma nagħtux tort lin-nies li tuża l-karozzi privati. It-tort nagħtuh lil min ma ħallilhomx triq oħra għax ħalla t-trasport pubbliku jitkisser.

Trasport pubbliku effiċjenti hu ċ-ċavetta li tista’ ssolvi l-problema tal-konġestjoni tat-traffiku. Imma dan mhux ser iseħħ mil-lum għal għada. Hi triq iebsa riżultat tal-inkompetenzi tal-politiċi tal-bieraħ. Verità li Simon b’diżonesta politika jiċħad.

 

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The PN (now) needs you

PN. arma imkisra

Some, myself included, have received an SOS from the PN. The PN needs “our” input. It implores those receiving its SOS that it urgently requires the inputs of well-intentioned volunteers. Today’s PN leadership wishes to rebuild the party. That is, it wants to reconstruct what its predecessors have demolished.

Now such an exercise requires first and foremost an accurate appreciation of how and why the PN is in its present state.

When one reads through the report analysing the circumstances which led to the PN’s routing, which report was coordinated by current PN Executive Committee President Ann Fenech one can get an inkling as to why the PN is in a state of shambles. This comes through not just by reading the actual report (at least that part of it which is public) but through the line of thought which links each of the 38 pages of what is described as an Executive Summary of the actual report.

Apparently, according to the Ann Fenech report, everyone is at fault, except the PN. The PN was misunderstood and misinterpreted.

Ann Fenech’s report speaks of authorities and civil servants who “sabotaged” the PN-led government. Unfortunately Ann Fenech fails to bring this argument to its logical conclusion: that the PN Ministers and their private secretariats were an incompetent bunch if they did not notice this “sabotage” and take the appropriate action. They were even assisted by Boards, and Committees leading Authorities, sometimes at an exorbitant rate of pay, who at times were more of a rubber stamp than an Authority.

If this reasoning is not analysed and acted upon the reconstruction exercise will be futile as the foundations are the result of a  very weak reconstruction philosophy.

The PN has still not apologised for defying the divorce referendum result in Parliament. Nor has it sought absolution from the cultural community for defying reason in its persistence on the roofless theatre at the Royal Opera House site in Valletta. The PN’s stance on the roofless theatre was one which left no doubt that in the PN’s view everybody was in the wrong, except the PN.

The PN’s arrogance and its lack of social conscience personified in former Minister Austin Gatt and his entourage directing the “reform” of the Malta Drydocks as well as the Public Transport Reform seems to be a non-issue in Ann Fenech’s report.

Also surprisingly absent in Ann Fenech’s analysis is the PN’s shift away from the political centre under Lawrence Gonzi’s stewardship. Lawrence Gonzi inherited a left-of centre PN but when he left the leadership handed over a conservative party to Simon Busuttil. Ann Fenech’s report (as published) is silent on the matter. Most probably Dr. Ann Fenech and fellow co-authors Prof. Mary Anne Lauri, Dr Simon Mercieca, Ms Rosette Thake and Mr Malcolm Custó do not have an inkling as to the actual consequences of the PN in government during the period 2004-2013 moving along a conservative path.

Finally there are those who consider that those who did not support the PN in the March 2013 general elections had no valid reason to do so. In their view they did so as a result of an incorrect appreciation of the situation.

Some have supported and even voted in favour of specific measures adopted by the Lawrence Gonzi led government. These same persons are in the forefront now in 2014 supporting residents who are protesting against these same measures originally adopted by the PN led-government.   How is it possible for the PN and its leadership to be credible when some of its MPs act in this manner?

Crocodile tears will not lead to a reconstruction of the PN.

Published in The Independent Saturday August 16, 2014

Żmien il-bużullotti għadu magħna

paramount coaches

Fil-qasam tat-transport pubbliku, minkejja l-paroli w it-tejatrin, żmien il-bużullotti għadu magħna. Jekk hux ser idum jew le għad irridu naraw.

Wasalna sa hawn għax il-Gvern ta’ Gonzi kellu fiduċja f’esperti li ma jifhmux u f’Ministru li jeċċella fil-bluff.

It-Trasport Pubbliku falla diversi snin ilu u r-riforma tiegħu kienet teħtieġ attenzjoni u sensittivita. It-tnejn li huma kienu nieqsa mir-riforma li wikkewlna. Għax filwaqt li kien hemm titjib fil-kwalita’ tal-karozzi tal-linja użati din ma kienitx riflessa ukoll fil-kwalita’ tas-servizz.

Il-puntwalita’, li f’diversi lokalitajiet kienet l-unika ħaġa tajba fis-servizz l-antika tat-trasport pubbliku, kienet l-iktar ħaġa li spikkat. Issa l-puntwalita’ hi l-iktar ħaġa bażika fis-servizz pubbliku. Flimkien mal-firxa tas-servizz hi l-iżjed fattur essenzjali li a bażi tagħha n-nies tagħżel li titlaq il-karozza privata d-dar.

Il-kejl tas-suċċess tat-trasport pubbliku m’huwiex biss li dan ikun ta’ kwalita’ iżda fuq kemm jirnexxilu jħajjar lin-nies jagħmlu użu minnu. It-tnaqqis tat-traffiku mit-toroq, għaldaqstant hu wieħed mill-modi kif nistgħu inkejlu s-suċċess jew le tat-trasport pubbliku. Jekk dan iseħħ inkunu nistgħu ngħidu li qed noqorbu lejn soluzzjoni. Jekk le, żmien il-bużullotti jibqa’ magħna.

A complaint to Arriva sent today

This is the text of a complaint sent to Arriva customer care earlier today and copied to the Office of the Prime Minister

_______

To: Arriva Customer Services <customer.services@cs.arriva.com.mt>,

Fenech Pace Mikela at OPM <mikela.fenech-pace@gov.mt>

Dear Sir/Madam,

I  am filing a complaint regarding the bus service from Kalkara to Valletta this morning. I was on the bus stop at Ix-Xatt this morning at 8.15  with the hope of getting on the 8.30 bus to Valletta. There were already about 20 people on the bus stop, apparently still waiting for the 8 o’clock bus which never arrived.  At 8.35 bus no. 213 to Mater Dei arrived (which was meant to arrive at  8.00) so everyone got on this bus and changed at Paola. At 9.00 we got on another bus from Paola  but the Kalkara bus was nowhere to be seen. Both the 8.00 and 8.30 buses never arrived at Kalkara. This is not my first email to you and I think the situation is utterly disgusting when you boast that our transport service is a Sterling Service. Already 15 months have passed and the situation at Kalkara is still unreliable.

Austin taħt il-lenti (3)

(3)  Ir-responsabbilta’ politika

Hu ċar li r-riforma tat-trasport pubbliku s’issa għad ma rnexxietx. Għax min kien inkarigat mir-riforma għaffiġha. 

Min hu responabbli?

L-assistent tal-Ministru? Dan offra r-riżenja. Il-Ministru ma aċċettax li Manwel Delia  jirreżenja avolja dan kien ilu jippoppa sidru u jiftaħar bir-riforma li ser issolvi kollox. Meta kien ċar li għaffiġha sparixxa għal xi jiem.

Qed jingħad li fil-bidu t’Ottubru Austin Gatt offra r-riżenja waqt laqgħa tal-Kabinett. Iżda l-Prim Ministru ma aċċettax.

Avolja Austin kien ilu jiftaħar li issa daqshekk ċajt. Iċ-ċajta sadanittant tkompli!

Issa għandna waħda aħjar. Austin Gatt qed jgħidilna li qed jassumi r-responsabbilta’ politika. Qed jingħad li ser jagħmel xi forma ta’ apoloġja fil-Parlament. U mbagħad?

Xi tfisser ir-responsabbilta’ politika? Li tieħu żball, tiskuża ruħek u tibqa’ għaddej, qiesu ma ġara xejn?

Safejn naf jien fil-ħajja pubblika jekk tieħu dawn it-tip ta’ żbalji, wara li tiskuża ruħek, tippakkja u tirreżenja.

Imma f’dan il-pajjiż il-politiku li jiżbalja jibqa’ hemm.

Ministru wieħed biss naf f’Malta li rreżenja wara li ħa żball. Kien in-Nutar Charles Mangion, li minkejja li l-iżball tiegħu sar minħabba li ma nagħtax l-informazzjoni korretta, xorta mexa ta’ raġel u rrezenja, għax id-deċiżjoni kien hu li ħadha. 

M’għandix dubju li Austin Gatt fuq ir-riforma tat-trasport pubbliku m’huwiex ser jagħmel bħal Charles Mangion. Min jaf  forsi r-riżenja ser iħalliha għal meta tibda d-diskussjoni pubblika dwar Smart City. Li hemm ukoll falla u minn proġett intenzjonat għall-ħolqien tal-impiegi fl-IT spiċċa bi proġett tar-Real Estate. Imma dik storja oħra.

(ikompli għada : (4)  wara l-vot fil-Parlament)

Austin taħt il-lenti (2)

(2) Il-bulldozer jagħmel il-ħsara

 

Minflok ma wettaq bidla gradwali fit-trasport pubbliku, l-Ministru tat-Trasport baqa’ għaddej bħal bulldozer minn fuq kollox u minn fuq kulħadd. Ma iddistingwiex bejn dak li kien meħtieġ li jinżamm u dak li ried jispiċċa immedjatament. Fil-perjodu inizzjali ma ra l-ebda valur illi kien hemm numru ta’ elementi mis-sistema l-qadima li kellhom jibqgħu, ta’ l-inqas għall-bidu.

Fost dawn ir-rotot li kien hemm.

Inħoloq rebus billi r-rotot ġew diżinjati mill-ġdid.  Biex issa wara 4 xhur il-Ministru Austin Gatt reġa’ lura għar-rotot oriġinali. Ir-rotot li riedu in-nies u li tneħħew kontra l-volonta’ tagħhom ġew lura. Din hi l-ikbar ammissjoni li l-mod kif ġiet implimentata r-riforma kien falla. Għax il-bulldozer ġie jaqa’ u jqum u kisser kollox.

Kienet meħtieġa li ssir riforma. L-oġġettiv tagħha kien servizz aħjar li jagħmel l-inqas ħsara ambjentali possibli. Is-servizz aħjar kien ifisser ukoll rotot ġodda u xi tibdil f’rotot eżistenti. Imma ma kienx hemm il-ħtieġa li jsir kollox f’daqqa.

In-nuqqas ta’ qbil m’huwiex mal-oġġettivi tar-riforma iżda mal-fatt li flok ma din bdiet tiġi implimentata b’mod gradwali daħlet fis-seħħ f’daqqa.

Il-mod kif ġiet implimentata r-riforma serviet biex flok ma iktar nies qed jużaw it-trasport  pubbliku għandna iktar karozzi fit-triq b’żieda fenomenali fit-traffiku fl-iktar ħinijiet li diġa kien diffiċli ħafna biex tgħaddi mit-triqat tagħna.

Il-konsegwenza hi li b’rotot itwal u li allura jieħdu iktar ħin u b’iktar traffiku fit-toroq kulħadd beda jasal tard, għax-xogħol jew għall-iskola. Waqt li Michael Frendo kien qalilna li b’tal-linja jaqbillek, Austin Gatt ikkonvinċa lil kulħadd li b’tal-linja ma jaqbillekx.

Dan hu ħażin għax transport pubbliku efficjenti għandu jwassal biex jonqsu l-karozzi mit-toroq għax idejalment iżjed nies jagħmlu użu minn tal-linja.

L-effett ta’ inqas karozzi fit-toroq hi arja iktar nadifa għal kulħadd. Effett li għad baqa’ ftit biex ingawduh.

(ikompli għada : (3)  ir-responsabbilta’ politika)

Living on Ecological Credit

published

Saturday July23, 2011

An informal meeting of EU ministers of the environment held in Poland earlier this month reminded us that we are living on ecological credit. Our balance sheet with nature is in the red. It is healthy that EU politicians have recognised this fact.

Environmentalists have been campaigning for ages that the world is living beyond its means. International NGO WWF, for example, publishes information relative to ecological footprint analysis. From the information available, Malta’s ecological footprint is 3.9 hectares per person. This can be compared to an EU average of 4.9 hectares per person (ranging from a minimum of 3.6 for Poland and Slovakia to a maximum of 7.0 for Sweden and Finland) and a world average of 2.2 hectares per person.

This adds up to a total impact for Malta of about 50 times the area of the Maltese islands. A clear indication of the extent of Malta’s reliance on ecological credit.

Malta’s environmental impacts are accentuated due to the islands’ high population density.

Malta’s small size is in some respects an advantage but this advantage has been generally ignored throughout the years. The reform of public transport, currently in hand, could someday put the issue of size to good use by developing an efficient system of communication. This reform, however, has to be properly managed. Preliminary indications point to a completely different direction. I do not exclude the possibility of the achievement of positive results even if, so far, I am disappointed.

The results the Greens hope to be achieved from the public transport reform would be the increased use of public transport and, consequently, a reduction in the number of cars on the road. This will come about if bus routes are more commuter-friendly. A reduction of cars on the road will lead to less emissions and a reduction of transport-generated noise. It would also cut a household’s expenditure through the reduction of fuel costs.

Water management in Malta also contributes considerably to the island’s ecological deficit.

The commissioning of the Ta’ Barkat sewage purification plant means that Malta is now in line with the provisions of the EU Urban Wastewater Directive. But the actual design of the sewage purification infrastructure means that by discharging the purified water into the sea an opportunity of reducing the pressure on ground water and the production of reverse osmosis-produced water has been lost. The purified water could easily be used as second-class water or it could be polished for other uses. When the Mellieħa sewage purification plant was inaugurated it was announced that studies into the possible uses of the purified water were to be carried out. These studies should have been undertaken before the sewage purification infrastructure was designed as they could have led to a differently designed infrastructure. The system as designed means that any eventual use of the purified water will require its transport from the purification plants to the point of use. A properly designed system could have reduced these expenses substantially by producing the purified water along the route of the public sewers and close to the point of use.

Public (and EU) funds have been wrongly used. Water planners have not carried out their duty towards the community they serve through lack of foresight and by not having an inkling of sustainability issues.

It also means that those who advised the head of state to inform the current Parliament’s inaugural session in May 2008 that “the government’s plans and actions are to be underpinned by the notion of sustainable development” were not aware what that statement signifies. Repeatedly, the government, led by Lawrence Gonzi, falls short of addressing adequately environmental impacts, as a result pushing these islands further down the road of dependence on ecological credit.

The government could have opted for a fresh start in May 2008 by implementing the National Sustainable Development Strategy, approved by Cabinet some months prior to the 2008 election. Instead, I am reliably informed that the National Commission for Sustainable Development has not met a single time during the past 42 months. As a consequence, the strategy has been practically shelved and discarded.

I cannot and will not say that there have not been any environmental initiatives. While various initiatives have been undertaken, some only address impacts partially. Others have been embarked upon half-heartedly. It is also clear to all that government environmental action does not form part of a holistic vision. It rather resembles the linking up of loose pieces of unrelated jigsaw puzzle bits.

This contrasts sharply with the public’s awareness and expectations. The public is one step ahead awaiting its representatives to act in a responsible manner in accordance with their much-publicised statements.

Excessive ecological credit will inevitably lead to ecological bankruptcy. No EU or IMF will bail us out. It’s better to take our environmental responsibilities seriously before it is too late.