It is interesting that many people are asking why Labour intellectuals are silent when so much is occurring in this country that goes against the Labour Party’s core ideological principles. I have served in the Labour Party think tanks for over a decade, first as secretary, director and even head of the Mikiel Anton Vassalli Foundation from 2000 to 2009 and,  later, as secretary of Fondazzjoni iDEAT from 2013 to 2016.

My first-hand experience in this field leads me to the conclusion that today many Labour intellectuals have either become totally apathetic in disgust, and from active participants have taken on the role of mere passive spectators in politics, or else they themselves have become part of a political movement that puts electoral victories and power above everything else. Obviously, the latter do so because it pays to be part of the power structure in the country.

Many silent Labour intellectuals, who disagree with so many things that are going on, will still not venture to go against the Labour Party because they are convinced social democrats. They fervently believe in the Labour ideals and will not do anything which they might see as harming the political party they hold so dear.

They will speak privately about their disillusion but they will not do so publicly. They will not join the “if you can’t beat them, join them” brigade of pseudo-intellectuals who are ruining the Labour Party but neither will they oppose them publicly. Of course, it is obvious that several of them are also afraid to end up in the black books of those in power if they do so.

Let me make one point clear: I am using the term ‘intellectuals’ to refer to people who have brains and use them. I am not using the term in any elitist sense of the word. I say this because it is more than obvious that the Labour Party is today being ruined by brainless idiots whose only contribution to politics is simply repeating what they are presented with by the Labour media.

It is unfortunate that the least intelligent and most uneducated part of the Labour support is today dominant in the party. These are the people who are absolutely unable to use their critical faculties and who will do their utmost to silence anybody who voices a dissident opinion. That is their warped idea of democracy. I myself was subjected to the most savage invective simply because I publicly stated that it was in the interest of the Labour Party to dissociate itself completely from what went on under Joseph Muscat’s leadership.

Obviously, subsequent events have proved me right.

I have absolutely nothing personal against Muscat but it is more than obvious that it is in Labour’s interests to put the party before the individual. Otherwise, anything negative that comes to light about the Muscat years will continue to seriously damage the party’s image. 

The Labour Party is today being ruined by brainless idiots- Desmond Zammit Marmarà

A crucial point here is the fact that the vast majority of Labour dissidents will still vote Labour at the coming general election. This is because they believe that the best way forward is to make the Labour Party better, certainly not to destroy it or make it less powerful.

These are the genuine Labourites, those who really have the best interests of the party at heart. They number many thousands but they are still a minority when compared to the brainless, indoctrinated sheep. In fact, although, as mentioned beforehand, I have been savagely criticised, I have also received numerous private messages of support from the best elements within the Labour Party.

These are the people who no longer want to see the Labour Party hand in hand with powerful businessmen, especially property developers, to the detriment of the interests of the rest of Maltese citizens.

They cannot stomach any longer the destruction of the environment that is going on all around us and which is having such a devastating negative effect on Malta’s natural, cultural and historical patrimony.

They want Labour policies to reflect core ideological principles and not to be simply populist, aimed at securing the maximum amount of votes in elections. They want to see the gap between rich and poor narrowed as much as possible. Gimmicks such as the Labour government sending cheques to people will not blind them to such a reality. They do not want to see any more corruption in public life and the name of our great country reviled both at home and abroad.

Still, like in everything else in life, the brainless sheep greatly outnumber those who are smart enough to use their brains, their critical faculties. That is why we need intellectuals who are brave enough to put the country’s interests before their own personal interests and to speak out. Where are people like Ġużè Ellul Mercer, John F. Marks, Ġino Muscat Azzopardi and other Labour intellectuals of the past who were not afraid to publicly speak out in favour of the downtrodden voiceless in society?

No, those like me who speak out have not abandoned Labour. No, we have not joined the main opposing political party, the PN. No, we do not want to see the power of Labour diminished. We love the Labour Party and want to see it as it should be: a political party admired by all Maltese and by foreigners. Above all, we love our country and do not place Labour Party interests before those of Malta and the Maltese people.

It is obvious that the Labour Party is heading towards another landslide victory at the coming general election. However, contrary to what some are thinking, this will not solve Labour’s problems. This should simply be the prelude towards putting behind us the Muscat years once and for all and rebuilding the Labour Party from scratch.

After the general election, Robert Abela should be electorally strong enough to initiate the reforms needed. Foremost among these is including as many new faces as possible in his cabinet.

Nothing less than the future of our country is at stake.

Desmond Zammit Marmarà, Former Labour Party Balzan local councillor

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