Hypocrisy of epic proportions - www.timesofmalta.com
Thursday, July 12, 2007

Eddie Aquilina

In the Odyssey, Homer's epic poem about Ulysses, the sirens from their caves lured seamen with their enchanting music only for mere mortals to end up shipwrecked on the rocky coast. But Ulysses (who was then to be delayed for seven years by Calypso in Ogygia, presumably Gozo) managed to survive the lure of the sirens. He plugged his oarsmen's ears with beeswax so they could not hear the sirens' song and made his men tie him to a mast and not heed his screams until they had passed out of the sirens' song earshot.


They could not resist, could they? Like mere mortals, Labour and the General Workers Union just had to give in to the temptation to board the bandwagon against the Ulysses Lodge redevelopment even though Labour and the GWU knew fully well beforehand that they were being hypocritical.

There has been some criticism of Front ghal Ambjent Ahjar (FAA) in the sense that it should have objected to the Ulysses Lodge redevelopment at the earlier and crucial stage of the outline permit. Some might criticise FAA for giving the impression that there was going to be some new development in Ramla l-Hamra itself. Others might question FAA's opposition to a redevelopment that will improve what has been for many years an environmental scar.

But, FAA surely cannot be criticised for any hypocrisy. If at all, it can only be criticised for excessive zeal. But FAA is absolutely sincere in its criticism and protests. Not so the fellow travellers in protest, Labour and the GWU.


Several hundred genuine environmentalists braved the record June heat on the 25th to protest in Valletta. Their numbers were augmented by a good amount of Labour officials and supporters, led by Jason Micallef and Charlon Gouder, and GWU officials and members led by Tony Zarb and Salvu Sammut.

Labour youths in red t-shirts made their mark. You would have thought: How very nice of Labour and the GWU to stand four square behind FAA.

We now learn that Labour is running with the hares and hunting with the hounds. The Ulysses Lodge and Ramla l-Hamra happen to be within the boundaries of Xaghra, one of the localities where Labour won a new majority in the latest local elections. And who was the company secretary of the Ulysses Lodge up to a few weeks ago? None other than Xaghra's new Labour mayor!

While Labour rages against the Ulysses Lodge redevelopment, its mayor in Xaghra was the company secretary as the application to redevelop the Ulysses Lodge was being lodged and considered. This compounds the original sin of the Labour government's approval of the Ulysses Lodge's first development in the early 1970s. How's all this for having a foot firmly in each of the two opposing camps?

Labour and the GWU are comrades in more senses than one. Even the GWU has been lured by the same song. While supposedly seething at the Ulysses Lodge redevelopment, the GWU applied and has been given the green light for 30 bungalows in a special conservation area in Ghadira next to the Danish Village, which it co-owns. Apart from these 30 bungalows in a yet undisturbed area, the GWU has applied for a private beach concession in Ghadira, which it wants sectioned off so that the bungalow residents can swim in Malta's premier beach unflustered by the riff raff.


The GWU had the cheek to board the bandwagon against the Ulysses Lodge while Labour's Xaghra mayor is the secretary of the company as it applies for the protested-against redevelopment. This is hypocrisy of epic proportions. The lure of the bandwagon has again wrecked Labour's game and exposed it for what it is: Unfortunately, a party devoid of any serious policy, inconsistent and insincere. If this is what is being presented as an alternative government, then really there is no alternative.

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26 Jul 2007 by Saveramla.com