50 sena pajjiż Indipendenti

Dom & George

Illum infakkru l-50 anniversarju tal-Indipendenza ta’ Malta. Jiġifieri meta Malta fl-1964 bdiet tmexxi lilha innifisha.

Kont hemm f’nofs il-lejl, tifel ta’ 8 snin, nara l-bandiera Maltija tiela’ f’postha flok dik Inġliża. Kienet indipendenza politika immedjata għax pajjiżna beda jieħu d-deċiżjonijiet hu minn dak il-ħin. Kemm id-deċiżjonijiet tajbin kif ukoll oħrajn ħżiena. Issa ma kienx baqa’ iktar f’min inwaħħlu. Daqshekk tort (jew mertu) tar-Reġina.

Ekonomikament konna għadna fuq sieq waħda. Malta kienet għadha dipendenti mid-dħul assoċjat mal-bażi militari.

Wieħed mill-argumenti ewlenin fid-dibattitu politiku dwar l-Indipendenza fis-snin sittin kien dwar jekk kienx essenzjali li l-ewwel il-pajjiż ikun b’saħħtu ekonomikament u dan qabel ma jieħu rajh f’idejh. George Borg Olivier dejjem sostna li ħadd ħlief il-Maltin nfushom m’għandhom l-interess li l-pajjiż jiżviluppa ekonomija b’saħħitha. Għaldaqstant għalih kienet meħtieġa l-indipendenza politika immedjata għax din kien iqiesha bħala ċ-ċavetta, jew l-għodda l-iktar essenzjali, għall-iżvilupp ekonomiku. Pajjiż kolonja, jmexxuh minn imnieħru fl-interess ta’ pajjiż ieħor.

Id-differenza bejn il-Partit Nazzjonalista w il-Partit Laburista ma kienitx l-Indipendenza imma l-Kostituzzjoni.  Kemm George Borg Olivier kif ukoll Dom Mintoff kienu jaqblu li Malta kellha tkun Indipendenti. Il-partiti l-oħra (ta’ Herbert Ganado, Mable Strickland u Toni Pellegrini) min-naħa l-oħra riedu t-tisħiħ ekonomiku qabel l-Indipendenza.

Huwa normali ħafna li f’pajjiż li qed jaħdem biex ikun indipendenti jkun hemm divergenza fil-ħsieb dwar il-prijoritajiet u dwar l-aħjar mod kif naġixxu. L-argumenti ekonomiċi biex tkun posposta l-Indipendenza ta’ Malta ma ħadmux, b’differenza ta’ dak li ġara fl-Iskozja l-ġimgħa l-oħra! Imma d-deċiżjonijiet ittieħdu bla ġlied u b’mod demokratiku. Kemm fejn naqblu, kif ukoll fejn ma naqblux.

F’Malta kienu diversi l-issues kostituzzjonali ta’ konflitt, ewlenin fosthom is-separazzjoni bejn l-Istat u l-Knisja u ż-żwieġ ċivili. Mintoff migdum mill-konflitt mal-Knisja ried salvagwardji kostituzzjonali kontra l-indħil tal-Knisja fejn ma kelliex tindaħal.

 

George Borg Oliver kien jieħu l-affarijiet bil-mod, kien kalm u diplomatiku. Mintoff kien nervuż, suspettuż, mgħaġġel u jmexxi l-quddiem politika ta’ konfront kontinwu. Żewġ metodi ta’ ħidma li t-tnejn nisslu bosta diffikultajiet. Il-ħidma bil-mod ittelfek il-paċenzja għax iddum ma tara r-riżultati. Il-ħidma mgħaġġla iżżejjed min-naħa l-oħra tnissel problemi ta’ żbalji kultant goffi kif ukoll inġustuzzji ma min jinqabad fin-nofs.

Ħafna drabi nippruvaw niġġudukaw illum, bil-kriterji tagħna tal-lum, dak li ġara l-bierah. B’dan il-mod mhux dejjem naslu biex nifhmu sewwa dak li fil-fatt ikun ġara.

 

Bosta jaħsbu li Mintoff kien kontra l-Indipendenza. Fil-fatt ma kienx. Wara li fallilu l-proġett tal-integration, ried Indipendenza differenti minn dik li kien qed jipproponi George Borg Olivier.

Fl-1964 kien lest jieħu riskju ekonomiku billi jibdel immedjatament l-ekonomija bbażata fuq il-bażi militari. Borg Olivier ma qabilx ma dan u ipprefera bidla gradwali. Beda jħejji l-pedamenti għall-industrija w t-turiżmu.

Għax il-bidla kienet ippjanat li tkun gradwali l-pajjiż kellu ċ-ċans jaddatta ruħu għaċ-ċirkustanzi ġodda. Ċirkustanzi ġodda nisslu żbalji ġodda li din id-darba ħadd ma seta jipponta subgħajh lejn l–Ingliżi dwarhom. Għall-ewwel darba r-rapprezentanti tar-Reġina kienu gallarija, ma kellhomx tort għal dak li ġara.

Meta l-Ingliżi ttrattaw ħażin lill-Maltin, ġew ikkritikati. Imma meta kienu l-Maltin stess li ttrattaw ħażin lill-“ħuthom” il-weġgħa kienet ħafna ikbar.

Din hi l-istorja tagħna. B’dak li jogħġobna u dak li ma jogħġobniex.

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X’toffri AD

Silta mill-intervista li Andrew Azzopardi ghamel lil Carmel Cacopardo.

Jekk trid tara l-intervista kollha :

aghfas hawn ghall-ewwel parti

aghfas hawn ghat-tieni parti

Mistoqsija : X’ tista’ toffri l-AD ghal-landscape politiku lokali?

Tweġiba : F’ Malta qabel ma twaqqfet Alternattiva Demokratika kien ilna snin twal ma jkollna it-tielet partit politiku attiv fuq skala nazzjonali. Imma iktar minn hekk meta kien hemm multiplikazzjoni tal-partiti politiċi fis-snin 50 u 60, bl-eċċezzjoni tal-Partit Kostituzzjonali Progressiv (il-partit ta’ Mabel Strickland) dawn  kienu splinter groups:  il-Partit Demokratiku Nazzjonalista (il-partit ta’ Herbert Ganado) kien splinter group tal-PN u l-Partit tal-Ħaddiema Nsara (il-partit ta’ Toni Pellegrini) kien splinter group tal-Partit Laburista.  Il-ħolqien ta’ AD fl-1989 bdiet bħala refuġju għal Wenzu Mintoff u Toni Abela meta dawn tkeċċew mill-Partit Laburista. Imma minn dak in-nhar żviluppat f’Partit bi ħsieb politiku distint mill-PN u l-PL. L-assoċjazzjoni ta’ AD mal-Ħodor Ewropej (EGP – European Green Party) għin biex AD issaħħaħ din l-identita’ distinta tagħha.

Il-filosofija politika ħadra hi kristallizzata b’mod ġenerali fid-dikjarazzjoni ta’ Canberra tal-Global Greens liema dikjarazzjoni kienet approvata fl-2001 u tiġbor il-ħsieb politiku aħdar f’sitt oqsma u ċjoe:  ir-rispett lejn l-eko-sistema li niffurmaw parti minnha, l-integrazzjoni tal-ġustizzja soċjali u l-ġustizzja ambjentali, demokrazija parteċipattiva, in-non-vjolenza u kultura ta’ paċi bejn il-ġnus, is-sostenibilita w ir-rispett għad-diversita’ .

Il-politika ta’ AD li hi l-implimentazzjoni ta’ dan f’kuntest lokali tikkuntrasta ma dik offruta mill-PN u l-PL. Hi politika li tagħti sens ta’ valur lill-komunita’ u lill-kwalita tal-ħajja bħala oġġettiv primarju tal-politika ambjentali. Politika li żżewweġ flimkien il-politika ambjentali u dik soċjali fi sforz biex hi u tnaqqas il-konsum żejjed tassigura li r-riżorsi limitati jistgħu  jintużaw ukoll mill-fqir li għandu dritt għal għixien diċenti.

Micro-managing environment policy

Issues of environmental nuisance have so far not featured in the debate on the National Environment Policy. Odours would top the list of such nuisances. Consider industrial kitchens. The issue may arise in residential areas that have their ground floor used as a restaurant or a snack bar. This mixed use causes problems as can be attested to by residents in areas such as Buġibba, Qawra, Paceville and Marsascala. Odours are rarely adequately taken care of.

The issue also arises in the case of confectioners when manufacturing is carried out in a residential area. In terms of planning policy, it is possible to site such an activity within a residential area but it must be compatible with its surroundings. When the activity gets too large it is time to move out of the residential area to an alternative site where it belongs: an industrial estate.

A considerable amount of environmental nuisance is caused by noise.

Placing air-conditioning units in common shafts or backyards in residential properties close to someone’s bedroom is, without doubt, the cause of an environmental nuisance. This can cause problems, particularly in the case of maisonettes or flats if proper care is not exercised in identifying the right place for fixing the unit.

Retail outlets in residential areas, in particular those selling frozen foodstuffs and making use of industrial freezers, can also be the cause of nuisance if the noise-generating unit is not properly installed relative to overlying and/or adjacent residential units.

Chimneys in residential areas can cause environmental nuisance. Current policy establishes that the flue must be at least three metres higher than adjacent buildings. For normal domestic use this is generally sufficient to ensure dispersal of smoke emitted. Notwithstanding, problems sometimes occur due to changes in the height of buildings in the vicinity of existing flues, which, all of a sudden, render problematic a flue that has functioned without causing nuisance for ages!

Complaints are also encountered relative to the emissions of bakeries in residential areas. In most cases this state of affairs crops up due to the fact that some of these bakeries are housed in old structures in residential areas that have developed. The building height of part of the residential areas would be such that a number of residential units are normally situated at a height above the flue level.

This means that emissions go straight through the windows of residences. This is certainly not a pleasant experience.

Dust resulting from construction activity is another cause of environmental nuisance. This is an issue which the Construction Management Regulations of 2007 attempted to regulate but, so far, have failed to tackle adequately. The solution (reducing substantially construction dust) can only be attained gradually and is primarily dependent on improved work methods on sites of work and more attention to health and safety issues in the construction industry.

The problem also arises because the construction industry is primarily made up of non-unionised labour. A large proportion are small firms spread over a number of sites. Traditionally, these small units within the industry have not given sufficient importance to health and safety issues. On the other hand, most of the large construction firms are equipped to tackle issues of nuisance on site on both the environment front as well as on the health and safety front. Their complaint is that these measures increase their costs while others in the industry ignore their responsibilities.

Factories making/distributing products used in the building industry are also contributing to the dust problem as is evidenced by the Lija saga, which made the national headlines when Mabel Strickland instituted the first legal action on the matter over 40 years ago. The solution is simple yet expensive: Move all activities indoors in a controlled environment. The expense the industry has not incurred to date has been borne by the community through medication for various ailments: asthma and other allergies topping the list.

Some may consider issues of environmental nuisance as being minor in terms of policy. They are, however, what the environment means to the man in the street. At times impacts resulting from environmental nuisance are the only direct knowledge which Joe Bloggs has of environmental impacts. This requires micro-management of environment policy and is no less important than addressing issues of biodiversity, light pollution or corporate social responsibility.

I hasten to add that ensuring an appropriate micro-management of the environment may sensitise the community to move on and be interested in other important environmental impacts.

Think global but act local. Local communities through local councils can play an important role in identifying environmental nuisances and assisting in their solution. This would develop environmental policy at the grassroots and can help gradually in its acceptance on a much wider scale than at present.

published in the Times of Malta, Saturday October 2, 2010