MaltaToday | 10 August 2008

EDITORIAL | Sunday, 10 August 2008

On promises …

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi’s all-embracing list of electoral promises has yet to materialise.
What is worrying is that instead of implementing these promises, Gonzi has focussed much attention on targeting issues which were not even highlighted in his pre-electoral hit list.
To be fair they are reforms which we consider to be a requisite if we are to move on as a competitive economy, but the language used now, such as in the case of the shipyards, and the way these reforms are to be carried out smack of political dishonesty.
Gonzi’s blatant reluctance to put into place a system that ensures a fair and public scrutiny of appointments on boards as outlined in his pre-electoral pledge is worrying.
And once again the premier’s choice of appointees has been often misconstrued and purely based on political hue rather than widening the candidate base.
Gone is the pre-electoral hype, the trumpeting of the new hospital Mater Dei as a state-of-the-art facility in the pre-election fever of 2007.
Worse still, home truths about the new hospital are the major management setbacks; namely the serious lack of medical staff, the staffing of wards and the absence of medical consultants and significantly the bill to run the hospital.
And added to this, the revelation that direct orders running into millions signed on the eve of the election created more problems for the budgeting at Mater Dei.
While we recall the far-fetched pledge to launch, among others, a national breast screening programme, we see instead a hospital unable to cope with the overloaded health system as public money is squandered.
Unfulfilled, also, are the host of other public commitments such as the PM’s declared intention to put medications like the breast cancer fighting drug Herceptin on the list of free health services.
The promise to reform MEPA and the commitment towards the environment has yet to materialise, as it turns out, the prime minister’s commitment has only been the secret pre-electoral sanctioning of illegal squatters at Armier.
The PM has chosen to address the burden of the ailing shipyards after years of government, union and dockyard mismanagement at the massive expense of the tax payer.
Not helping him in his zero tolerance image, Gonzi’s decision to agree to send off disgraced MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando to a Commonwealth Conference to discuss, of all things, the environment, corruption and conflicts of interest continues to baffle the public and the media.
And amid so many questions about the capabilities and competence of the maritime division of the Armed Forces, the PM decides to visit their naval base to praise their work and actions instead of making fundamental changes.
It is clear that the Prime Minister has no compunction when it comes to taking decisions which blemish his credentials as the man who claims he wants change, transparency and a new way of doing politics.
He has no shame in ignoring his electoral commitments and acting against what he has been stating.
In the face of a weak and devastated Labour opposition the role of a probing media into government deeds and actions takes on a new role. To which MaltaToday wholeheartedly commits itself.

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MaltaToday News
10 August 2008

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