The questions we need to ask inside Labour

Those who have the party at heart need to ask: Is it a party that is still faithful to its founding principles to support the workers, the poor and the vulnerable?

Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca
Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca

Without a doubt, a soul-searching exercise is essential given all the revelations and allegations that have emerged in recent months. The Labour Party’s first step should be an apology to all those who genuinely believed in its moral credentials and supported it, and to all the people of these islands. 

A soul-searching exercise is a necessity even more so now, to clearly establish what Labour stands for today, and whether it is a party that is simply power hungry and merely directed by surveys rather than by political, social and moral values.

Those who have the party at heart need to ask: Is it a party that is still faithful to its founding principles to support the workers, the poor and the vulnerable, or is it a party simply mesmerised by any business that comes along?

Is it truly committed to fair business? Is it truly committed to the wellbeing of all? 

Is it really committed to preserving our unique cultural heritage, and our beautiful countryside; to reducing pollution from our air, water and seas; to increasing open spaces in our villages; to providing access to nature; to ensure sustainable development and promote clean means of transport?

Is it driven by a human rights-based approach, by democratic principles, by effective social justice, equality, inclusion, equity and peace?

What sort of checks and balances does it hold to ensure accountability and transparency of processes?

Soul-searching and reflection is an ongoing process for all political parties, organisations and individuals with public responsibility, in particular, when the organisation veers so drastically off course.

As a nation we also need to ask ourselves very pertinent questions as to why people losing trust in our institutions, in our leaders and our political parties: Why are people kept in the dark about what is really happening? Why do many of us, including some politicians, speak against political tribalism but then stop short of taking the bull by its horns to concretely address this divisive culture?

Why are we not investing in our children and young people to be seriously empowered to become active citizens and critical thinkers? Why are civil society organisations ignored many a time or demonised?

Why do we not seriously uphold the media as the important fourth pillar of democracy and ensure it is strengthened to play this essential role for a functioning democracy without any arbitrary intervention of the state?

Why do we drag our feet every time a substantial reform needs addressing and decades pass for something to move in the right direction? Why do we adopt a firefighting piecemeal approach to important and essential reforms?

What are the democratic principles we want to guide us? Why do people continue to be blinded by superfluous and skin-deep matters?

The current government has made some significant changes to strengthen our institutions, but we need to ensure that our institutions are guided by the principles of good governance, transparency, accountability and effective checks and balances.

Trust is not a one-time acquisition. Trust has to be continuously earned and nurtured.

Trust is built when words translate into concrete actions; and when citizens are provided with peace of mind, safety, dignity, respect, and an overall sense of holistic wellbeing.

For trust to be earned we need to rise above this country’s political divisions. We need to unite, to bridge what divides us and provide hope through a sustainable approach to our children and our future.

The unity of all people of goodwill, from whatever political allegiance, can bring about the change, the hope, the trust and the meaningful prosperity for all.