Robert’s ounce of cruelty to appease the far right

What the country needs is not an ounce of cruelty to appease rabid racist voters but an ounce of humanity to address the plight of a small number of failed asylum seekers who have been here for more than a decade.

Deporting Kusi Dismark-a well integrated barber who set up shop in Ħamrun- has no consequence on migration flows triggered by capital’s need for cheaper foreign labour.  Failed asylum seekers who could not be sent back in the past decades, constitute a small  minority.  Their absence will only be noted by those who loved them.

But using these people as scapegoats comes politically handy in Robert Abela’s and Byron Camilleri’s balancing act between posing as progressive socialists while drinking from the poisoned well which nourishes the Maltese far right.

This  is just the pound of flesh and the ounce of cruelty required to get the  approval of potential lowell voters.  This is survey driven politics at its worse.  The hounding of these people is just another weapon to deploy in a political game to prove the government’s rightwing credentials with the rabid racist crowd.

One may argues that the rule of law underlining the asylum system demands that only those who are awarded a humanitarian or refugee status are allowed to stay.

But here we are talking of people who for various reasons could not be deported more then 10 years ago, and who have in the meantime settled here, worked here and contributed to their communities through hard work and enterprise.

Ironically the same country which gives red carpet treatment and citizenship to Russian oligarchs most of which have rarely  set foot here, is busy hounding people who have lived here, paid taxes and spent their incomes in our shops, for more than a decade.

Rather than scoring political points what we need to address such cases is an ounce of humanity  A one-time amnesty for failed asylum seekers who could not be deported and have lived here for more than 10 years is the right thing to do.  Robert Abela with his super majority can afford to this.  And I can’t see Bernard Grech opposing him on this.  Both risk losing some votes to the far right.   But deep in their heart they know that the Maltese people have a heart of gold and most people of good will, whether Christians or socialists or both, will understand and approve.