The Nationalist Party (PN) has spent many years in Government, and has amassed an impressive and dismal environmental track record. Given recent proposals by the current Labour Government to further develop ODZ, a new movement called Front Harsien ODZ (Front for the Protection of ODZ) was launched. FHO has quickly grown through rallied support from a wide range of private and public groups, including the PN. However, FHO has extended an olive branch to the PN by giving it the benefit of the doubt in relation to its past ODZ development track record.
As reported on the Times of Malta:
“Although the Nationalist Party had a poor environmental track record when it came to ODZ, it should be given the benefit of the doubt, according to Front Ħarsien ODZ”.
Furthermore, FHO spokesperson James Debono said that “civil society would judge the PN on “future action” it would take on environmental issues”. Actually, as a member of the public represented by this ‘civil society’, I would really like the PN to apologise for its past mistakes. Like seriously, I want to hear it coming out of Simon Busuttil’s mouth.
An analogy that everyone can understand will be helpful here. Imagine a loved one did something extremely hurtful to you, would you just move on and expect them to not do it again in the future? Hardly. A rational person would demand an apology and make an assessment on the future of relationship. In most cases, relationships can be repaired, but that is pretty hard when the person that hurt you doesn’t own up to it.
This is what I expect the PN to do. No amount of news coverage on ‘taking stands in favour of the environment’, or ‘joining national protests’, should detract from the fact that we have to live with the PN’s past mistakes. Politicians rarely admit their faults, so such an exercise could be quite cleansing for the PN and would deter them from future ODZ development.
Here is a list of some of the ODZ developments that I think the PN should apologise for:
- Development of Lidl supermarkets at Luqa, Gozo and Safi
- Charles Polidano and his corrupt concrete empire – including Hal Farrug and Montekristo
- Seabank Hotel in Mellieha
- Illegal ODZ development in Kercem
- The interpretation Centre at Dwejra in Gozo
- Former PN Safi Mayor Peter Paul Busuttil and his villa on ODZ
- Former PN President Victor Scerri’s villa in pristine land in Bahrija
- Changing of local plans in 2006 and extension of development zones
- and most importantly – the gross lack of enforcement, and sanctioning of illegal ODZ development
On a side note:- FHO is reminding me a bit too much of the SHout Campaign, with its meek and pacific attitude. Being nice and cute with Maltese politicians is not going to get us anywhere any time soon. FHO should really lay into the Nationalist Party and have them grovel at their past ODZ mistakes. If they are not shamed and made to apologise for their past actions, they will have no issues with repeating them again in the future.