The letterbox

Yesterday I felt both liberated and hurt as I shoved my letter of resignation from Partit Laburista down a letterbox in Msida. Anyone who has been following my blog of late could have seen this coming. I felt liberated because I am no longer tied to a political party that abandoned basic principles to the extent that it now panders to xenophobes and racists. On the other hand I felt hurt because I now realise that there exists no mainstream outlet for leftists and progressives in this country; only a mild collusion of some NGOs and bloggers which form a small part of civil society. I am hurt also because I held Muscat in high esteem and am now cheated by this.

In James' words I feel politically unrepresented.

I think that the main reason for my resignation could be summed up in this statement:

'...Il-Partit Laburista ma jireffletti xejn l-aspirazzjonijiet u t-twemmin tieghi ta' zghazugh socjalista li jemmen li d-drittijiet fondamentali tal-bnedmin jigu l-ewwel u qabel kollox, u mhux l-interessi tan-nazzjon'

I do not regret my choice. It was a most natural step to take. Whilst it could be perceived as being defeatist, I very much doubt that I had the clout to change a mainstream party's policy on a given issue of such sensitivity and importance so close to election time. The very fact that Labour adopted such a hard-line and ultra-nationalist policy was, for me, time to call it a day.

In politics you need to be ruthless and a politician who has mastered the Machiavellian doctrine is most likely a successful one. Any political ideology must also be flexible enough to renew itself and cross some traditional boundaries from time to time, unless it is content to pass into oblivion. But some lines you cannot cross. If you do so, you are neither a shrewd Machiavellian, nor a flexible reformist but a pitiful opportunist who is so blinded by his quest for power that he can no longer differentiate between reason and madness.

On 6th of June I'll be immersed in contract and tort law.

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2 Responses to The letterbox

james debono said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
james debono said...

I think it is a pity that the labour party continues to lose progressive elements while retaining the political careerists who give a damn about ideology.
Personally due to my job i can't be active in a political party.
I was active in AD between 2001 and 2005 before embarking on a journalism career.
From the outside, I found myself estranged because the party focused exclusively on a rent law campaign which was partially just but also alien to its progressive roots.
Now that AD has assumed a more progressive stand on social issues I find myself estranged again because of its bungled silence and mixed messaged on the immigration issue.
I also have to admit that after the election of Joseph Muscat as PL leader he would anchor the party in mainstream social democracy. I did not expect a shift to the left but I did expect the party to become normal; in the sense that it would seek to win power without pandering to reactionary and dark sentiments (which were invoked in the 2003 EU referendum campaign)
To make things worse even the PN seems to have moved further to the right becoming less of a centrist party and more neo liberal in economics and much more xenophobic. That's why I also find the silence of many PN sympathisers who pay lip service to some progressive values also very difficult to stomach.
Of course there are other issues which still distinguish the PL and more so AD from the PN ex. civil liberties and some ecological/economic/social issues. And also issues like Spring hunting which distinguish AD from the rest.
As regards Labour I also have a problem with its bungled stand on voting rights and a general perception that apart from a few like Leo Brincat and Bartolo, the party lacks competent minds.
I still think that change is only possible if real progressives manage to build a critical mass of votes. But that also needs a strong progressive lobby which does not exist.

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