My 1st of May

The 1st of May means many things. For most people across the world, the 1st of May symbolises International Workers Day. It commemorates a time to celebrate the workers who mobilised together as a collective voice to stand up to the injustices of a society that does not put the needs of the worker on the forefront of its societal organisation and reasoning. To many, the 1st of May symbolises a day where we celebrate the emancipation of the worker from the shackles of power-constraints. It reminds us all that collectively as a proletariat, we can make huge structural changes to our society.

However, to Malta, the 1st of May is far more symbolic than just the celebration of workers’ rights. To Malta, it means also an entirely new state of being. This is because on 1st May 2004, Malta joined the European Union together with Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, in the largest EU enlargement to date. This day marked a historic change for Malta and many other EU countries because it offered us the opportunity to join a union, which would eventually help us achieve momentous steps towards progress.

And while the Labour Party approached the concept of the European Union from a soft-sceptical standpoint, a standpoint which was adopted by many left-wing parties prior to membership and one still implemented today in European leftist policies, it is the Labour Party that has embraced European principles like no other. This is because while the Conservative party of Malta may have led us towards the Union, it is the Partit Laburista which shaped our contribution to the Union.

While the Conservative party of Malta may have led us towards the Union, it is the Partit Laburista which shaped our contribution to the Union.

The motto of the European Union is that we are “united in diversity”. And it is this very slogan which is the reasoning behind many of the ground-breaking policies pressed forward by the Labour Party over the past years. We are all different individuals. No body fits into the same box, and no one has the same needs. And it is the Labour Party’s policies over the years which have embraced this.

Be it the need to divorce our partners after years of being stuck in unhappy marriages, or the need to marry our best friends who happen to be of the same sex as us, the Labour Party has been on the side of diversity. Because of this, Malta has found itself embracing the realities of the future. We have found ourselves becoming more empathetic with those who fall outside of heteronormative stereotypical boxes, and we have legislated our society to function in a way which embraces us all.

And this mentality is now being exported. By way of example, more and more countries across the world have been introducing laws, which have been inspired by Malta and the Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act (GIGESC). Additionally, countries across the globe are now looking towards Malta for its recently amended progressive divorce laws. All of this paves the way for more countries to recognise that the way we live our lives and the kinds of relationships we have should be a decision we take ourselves as autonomous individuals.

Malta is the European Country that it is today in spite of the Conservative faction which brought us to the gates of Europe. These past 16 years as European Union citizens has been defined by waves upon waves of progress, made by a progressive party- the Labour Party. A party which continues to progress in its search for a better, more equal European society. 

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Saviour Cachia
3 years ago

Very much to the point.

Dunstan Attard
Dunstan Attard
3 years ago

One key issue resulting from Malta joining the European Union is the possibility that the Nationalist Party cracked in many places. This is a cause for concern for our country because we can not have a robust democratic system if one of the two major parties that propelled Malta’s political endeavor over the years lost its bearings and fails to contribute meaningfully to Malta’s on-going development. There are historical reasons for the NP implosion. The Nationalist Party came to be as a cohesive group linked to the Italian culture with one part leaning to Malta the other leaning to being Italian. This included a mindset that lived in a constant existentialist fear of the British occupiers which fear cascaded onto the Strickland/Labor movement. Even the British were unwilling to negotiate Malta’s independence with Labor and did so with the Nationalist Party. When first independence and later union with the EU materialized, the NP ‘reason for being’ blurred in a false sense of security as they now felt that the EU will mean a security guarantee for what the NP stood for. Yet the realities all around us had changed to a degree that the NP needed but failed to change with them.The NP lost its way, identity and purpose. The tragedy in all this is that the survival of the NP relied on the fear of the ‘enemy’ and the constant huddling to EU structures. In the meantime the LP managed to re-invent itself and managed to be strong enough to manage the heavy blows that came its way as the NP relegated itself to a one-issue party. This should not be seen as a happy development for the LP as a healthy democracy needs alternation of powers. This lack of alternation and ensuing implications is an issue that, in my opinion, the LP will do well not to ignore.

Last edited 3 years ago by Dunstan Attard
E Micallef
E Micallef
3 years ago
Reply to  Dunstan Attard

I fully agree with your line of reasoning.
The PN was always a servile party which always looked up at all that is foreign and look down at that which is Maltese.
On the other hand, fortunately, the PL is today endowed with an increasing number of intelligent exponents within it to ensure that the party remains focused in doing the right things for our country. The PL has made it a point to self regulate and self discipline itself. This is evident even for an outsider like myself.
The PL must ensure that its internal structures keep being moulded in such a way as to ensure that it keeps its policies updated to meet the needs of the ever changing society.
The PL must be bold enough to make the necessary amends to its modus operandi each and every time that this is required.

joseph cassar
joseph cassar
3 years ago

The EU membership has proved to be bitter sweet…..but the PN simply does not have the necessary talent to work within Europe, and if there are problems with Europe, nobody can remotely think of anyone within the PN to be able to solve anything

Dunstan Attard
Dunstan Attard
3 years ago
Reply to  joseph cassar

The LP had a great advantage over the NP as far as EU is concerned. The LP had done a detailed SWOT to come to a position whereby it was of opinion that becoming members needed a longer runway for Malta. On the other hand the NP just went for SO and once in they had insufficient knowledge on how to deal with the difficult bits, example making full use of funding. They could not make for lost ground and still limp on in a narrow vision.