The PNPL combination might seem to some to be just a catchy linguistic combination which has been fortunate enough to catch the ear of many.

It is not. 

The PNPL combination is actually much more than a slogan: it represents the incestuous liaison between two self-serving dominating political parties who have sacrificed the common good of the country for their own individual greedy benefit.

There are so many examples of this diabolical pact between the two, that it is really very difficult where to start from.

Only in the Swieqi-St Julian’s area, the PN and the PL have colluded on granting Planning Authority skyscraper permits to Villa Rosa, Mercury House and the Augustinian Convent garden.

Hand in hand together, they have voted in favour of granting building permits to megalomaniac petrol station projects in Burmarrad and Magħtab.

Together, they voted in favour of a 12-storey building on the coast of Smart City, limits of Xgħajra.

Together, they agree on ruining two of the most pristine areas in Malta (Manikata, L-Imbordin and L-Għerien) and in Gozo (Ta’Xħajma, Ta’ Qalliegħ and Ta’ Bordin) since they are fixated with building a 14 km tunnel linking the 30,000 inhabitants of Gozo to the 500,000 inhabitants of Malta.

Together, they have vowed to destroy the seas around Malta by allowing tuna farm pens to increase illegally and unchecked in numbers and, to crown it all, Adrian Delia and Joseph Muscat are both enthusiastically on the same wavelength in destroying what is left of the bio-diversity of our seas through land reclamation.

Together, in May 2013, they had pretended that they had removed time-barred prescription for politicians accused of corruption, with all PL and PN MPs voting in favour of this. 

PNPL is not just a slogan: it is just a simple formula that denotes the complicated political rot that is at the root of many of our country’s problems

Then, in October 2018, they appointed a Commissioner for Standards. And all PL and PN MPs voted so that... he could not investigate any case happening before October 2018.

Taparsi no prescription, but in reality the Commissioner for Standards can only go back six months, till October 2018.  

Just take a look at the Broadcasting Authority. In decent democratic countries, this is an independent authority that oversees the workings of the broadcasting media, while ensuring a level playing field for all.

In Malta we do things differently. The Broadcasting Authority has been taken over by the PNPL who nominate all five members of this supposedly independent board. The result is that throughout the whole year NET and ONE TV stations are allowed to do what they want with regards to political issues. Both stations are free to air unlimited party propaganda and never give space to third or independent political voices.

When it then comes to election time, the situation becomes tragic for those who cherish democracy and pluralism. For example, right now the supposedly impartial Broadcasting Authority has decreed that for the present MEP election campaign the dominating Labour Party and the Nationalist Party are being given 60 minutes each of TV spots, despite the fact that the former are fielding 14 candidates and the latter 10 candidates.

This means that the Labour Party is being given over four-minute TV spots per candidate, the PN is being given six minute TV spots per candidate.

But I, as a single independent candidate, am given zero minutes of TV spots on State TV. With regards to political debates, the PL and the PN are being given a total of 85 minutes each, which means six minutes per candidate for the PL and 8.5 minutes per candidate for the PN.

I, as a single independent candidate, am given zero minutes in debates.

The Broadcasting Authority, composed solely of PN and PL nominees, treats me and other independent candidates as morons, expecting us to deliver a five minute monologue on TV. 

Their fear of political debate is so tangible.

Moreover, to compound the blatant discrimination, the Broadcasting Authority has been permitting for months on end, and is going to permit till the day of the election, an uncontrolled 24-hour free-for-all for PN and PL candidates on their respective political party channels, NET and ONE TV.

Not one single minute on these two channels is devoted to independent candidates.

No sir, PNPL is not just a slogan: it is just a simple formula that denotes the complicated political rot that is at the root of many of our country’s problems.

Arnold Cassola is an independent candidate at the MEP elections, a former secretary general of the European Green Party and former member of the Italian Parliament.   

This is a Times of Malta print opinion piece

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