On Sunday morning Labour leader Joseph Muscat advocated LGBT persons’ right to a family, while condemning Justice Minister Chris Said’s declaration that homosexual couples should not be considered as families by the state. Despite the fact that this speech was made in conservative Gozo, Muscat’s words were met by a resounding applause from those present.
The labour leader called for courage in promoting LGBT rights, knowing that this is not an altogether easy feat. Muscat admitted that he himself had been discouraged from speaking out on such a controversial issue, however he reminded those present of the courage brandished by the Labourites in the sixties, when they had kept firm in their beliefs despite being condemned in such a harsh way by the church.
Muscat addressed Labour candidate Martin Ellul who was present for the activity, thanking him for the pain his late father Guze’ Ellul Mercer had endured on his deathbed, knowing that he was going to be buried in the infamous ‘mizbla’, as indeed occurred upon his passing. Muscat reiterated the need for the separation between church and state, while recalling that it had been a Labour government to render homosexual acts legal, and thus start paving the way for equal rights.
Muscat also discussed the dire situation Gozitans have found themselves in, especially in regard to work. A Labour government, Muscat said, would strengthen Gozo’s economy by investing in pillars such as tourism, manufacture, as well as in agriculture and fisheries. In doing so a Labour government would create “work in Gozo for the Gozitans.” This was a responsibility a future government would be willing to undertake.
On the economy, Muscat said that this government had humiliated our country. Malta, an independent and sovereign country, had to be told that its expenditure must be slashed as its finances were now out of control. The government had not heeded the Opposition’s warnings, and now the country was forced to abide by stern criticism handed down by the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, and now also by Malta’s Central Bank.
In order to cut down on its expenses, the government has chosen to reduce the capital expenditure, robbing crucial sectors such as Health, Employment, Education, and the Environment from necessary and much-needed funds. On the other-hand, the government had not reduced a mere 1 cent from the building of the new Parliament. Muscat compared the current government to an irresponsible father, who after a year of spending capriciously, decides that he has no money for a leaking roof.
Regarding the current conflicts plaguing the PN government, Muscat explained that MP Franco Debono’s accusations on PM Lawrence Gonzi were extremely serious. Debono is now saying that he has proof to corroborate the claim that prior to the parliamentary vote on the motion calling for Carm Mifsud Bonnici’s resignation, he was offered a prestigious position in order to vote against the motion.
“If the PN is trying to buy the vote of its own MPs, how much will it try to buy the people’s votes before the next general election?”, asked Muscat. He said, however, that the PL had faith in the Maltese and Gozitans, as by now they were fully aware of PN’s dirty tactics.