Nero decided to burn Rome down in order to build it again. I could never understand the reasoning behind his actions; however, Charles J. Buttigieg enlightened me. In his contribution to The Times of January 2 he stated that "Duncan Sands realising a golden opportunity for the Colonial Office and aware of the flamboyant, gentle and passive nature unlike that of Dom Mintoff's, asked Dr Borg Olivier for a visit to Whitehall and shocked him by his offer of Independence. The rest is history."

So this is why the socialist hooligans burnt down the edifice of the Times of Malta. They wanted to destroy all evidence of Malta's recent history so that they will re-write it the way it suited them. Unfortunately for them and people like Mr Buttigieg, there are those who have a good memory. I vividly remember our beloved statesman, the then Prime Minister George Borg Olivier, way back in 1962 telling his British counterpart: "I have not come for a silver collection; I have come to demand our country's freedom". For those who do not remember, the British Prime Minister tried to offer Malta more money and later we found out through Dr Borg Olivier himself that they were trying to bribe him by offering free education for his children in England. Dom Mintoff himself can confirm that the negotiations for our country's independence dragged for months and most meetings lasted all day and even dragged through the night. So much so I can still visualise the front page of The Times of Malta a couple of days after the independence talks came to a conclusion, stating that Duncan Sands admitted: "This man (George Borg Olivier) never sleeps, he has exhausted me. I am glad that the talks are over."

No, Independence was not given to us on a silver platter; it was fought for tooth and nail. It was fought for by Fortunato Mizzi, Sir Ugo Mifsud, Sir Filippo Sciberras, Mgr Dandria, Enrico Mizzi and by Dr Borg Oliver.

Unlike Nero and the socialist hooligans, the Nationalist Party did not burn down what we had, but embellished it. Dr Borg Olivier transformed Malta from a colony into a sovereign nation with United Nations membership. Then, his successor at the helm of the Nationalist Party focused his efforts on establishing our place in Europe and gave us our rightful place in the European Union. Unlike Mr Mintoff and his Malta Labour Party, the Nationalist Party never believed that Western Europe was that of Cain and Eastern Europe that of Abel. The Nationalist Party anthem confirms the party's principles "ta' Kattolici, ta' Latini, Maltin veri. Nahilfuh". (loosely translated: "we profess to be true Maltese, Latins and Catholics").

Today we can claim and boast that we are members of the United Nations, that we form part of the European Union, and thanks to Lawrence Gonzi, the current Nationalist Party leader, we have joined the eurozone. In 1880 the founding members of this great political party had a vision which many perceive to have been accomplished. However, this year the electorate must give Dr Gonzi a new mandate as he embarks on this continuous Nationalist vision. What has been achieved is just the stepping stone for what needs to be achieved. Our current economic success was based on sound fiscal policies. Dr Gonzi's safe hands will take these achievements to new levels... the levels of excellence as seen by the Nationalist Party's Vision 2014.

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