During a political activity in Marsascala on Sunday morning, Opposition leader Joseph Muscat made a heartfelt appeal to all true Nationalists to join the Labour movement. Muscat said that Labour welcomes with open arms traditional PN voters who are disgruntled with the current leadership and who truly want the best for Malta and its people, because Labour is a movement for everyone and not a party for the select few.
In a bold statement Muscat said that the traditional political parties were finished. In order to stay relevant, Muscat said, political parties must be open for everyone. He outlined how the decline of traditional political parties could be seen all over Europe, and that the Maltese Labour party has already been aware of these changes for the past four years. This is the reason for which the PL had strived to become a movement, and succeeded.
This is a confessional country that is still withholding basic rights to many, said Muscat. A case in point was the lack of a law on IVF, which was being side-lined by the PN in order for the party not to lose conservatives’ votes. Muscat promised that the IVF law would be the first law a Labour government would present in parliament. “We cannot possibly prolong the suffering of would-be parents in denying them a technology that will help with their efforts at procreation!”, insisted Muscat.
Muscat said that a Labour government would also work to build a new middle-class; one in which people did not simply work hard to make a meagre living, but one where people would be able to see the fruit of their labour as they advance and improve their quality of life. Muscat explained how people had expected a rise in wages after Malta joined the EU, but instead the only rise they got was in service cost and prices, as the cost of living had almost doubled.
A Labour government would invest in projects that would improve the quality of life of the people, reiterated Muscat, and not in projects that can be inaugurated with a lot of pomposity but which at the end of the day will not have any effect on the people. The Labour leader mentioned the proposals already outlined by the party, and which include a programme for young people and another one for the disabled, as well as the practice of conducting a social impact assessment with every major decision taken by the government.
Muscat said that Gonzi seemed offended that the Labour party was speaking out on the issues affecting young people and persons with disabilities. “We are aware that past PN governments made improvements in education and in the services offered to disabled persons” acceded Muscat, “but the past did not commence in 1987.” Muscat stated that if anyone had the right to speak on such issues, that right was the Labour party’s. The Labour party was the one to make education compulsory and free for all, and it was also the one to give the first rights to disabled persons, who at the time were kept hidden away from society.
Muscat also appealed to veteran Labourites who had suffered through the dark years of the political-religious conflict, and who had their loved ones buried in the infamous ‘mizbla’. “The Labour party needs you to be once again soldiers of steel, to help in opening up the party to all Maltese and Gozitans, irrelevant of their political colour”, said Muscat to a resounding applause.