Our liberal credentials and the colour black

It must be a real shame for Maltese politicians – and our government especially – to see that Prime Minister Letta’s government acts as true social democrats ought to.

Cartoon by Mikiel Galea
Cartoon by Mikiel Galea

It must be significant, to say the least, to see that Italy has an integration minister who is a woman born in the Congo.

Cecile Kyenge is Italy's first black minister and a formidable minister for integration in the Italian government. The 48-year-old Kyenge is also an ophthalmologist and follows in the steps of Africans who have become naturalised citizens of their adopted European homes.

In continental Europe, black people are increasingly not ostracised, and many have started to take up key positions and political posts. In France especially, the presence of mixed-race and black people in key positions is striking.

It must be a real shame for Maltese politicians - and our government especially - to see that Prime Minister Letta's government acts as true social democrats ought to.

The same applies to another socialist leader, François Hollande of France. In an unprecedented move in French politics, three black politicians - two of them women and all from France's overseas departments in the Caribbean - were named ministers as President Hollande's Cabinet held its first meeting on Thursday. Christiane Taubira from French Guiana had been named minister of justice in the new socialist government and became the first black woman to be made a full minister. Two other ministers, both from Guadeloupe, were named ministers in the Hollande administration: Victorin Lurel is the new minister in charge of overseas departments, while George Pau-Langevin - now a member of parliament representing the French capital - was named junior minister for educational success.

Diversity and equality have always been characteristic of centre-left administrations. Joseph Muscat has a long way to go to prove himself on this score.

Yesterday over 600 migrants arrived in Sicily, and we can only imagine the political and public reaction if they had landed on the Maltese shores.

It was also quite telling to see the TV footage of locals in Reggio Calabria greeting migrants as they reached the shores.

There is little doubt in our minds at MaltaToday that we are alone when we debate migration and racism.

We are sad that the political class that governs Malta espouses an anti-immigration policy.

It is true that racism exists everywhere and that Italy also produces some right-wing politicians, but they are not the mainstream and most of them fade into oblivion.

It is clear that humanity prevails. It is only a matter of time before black people integrate and become part of Maltese society.

We have always been years behind when it comes to reforming our liberal credentials. It is bound to happen that we will understand that colour does not distinguish us from other human beings, nor does it constitute a good enough reason to create division and pretend that it is a matter of culture.

New revelations on a police officer

It is indeed shocking to learn that the security officer detailed to former home affairs minister Tonio Borg was at the time constable Elton Taliana, who was investigated on a number of occasions for his alleged associations in the criminal world.

He rose from constable to sergeant and inspector in a remarkable way. What is more shocking is the fact that he was promoted to inspector after these investigations (which could not prove any wrongdoing, but did not dispel the allegations that the said police officer was inappropriate for the job).

It would be interesting to learn if Tonio Borg, now acting as a commissioner in the EU, knew that the security at his side from 2002 until 2008 was being investigated.

More worrying is the very serious allegation and investigation of Inspector Taliana over the 2007 arson at the property of Saviour Balzan, managing editor of MediaToday.

One starts to question whether the entire institution requires some serious attention.

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I AM SORRY TO HEAR THAT MALTATODAY IS SAD ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT'S ANTI-IMMIGRATION POLICY....BUT THE MAJORITY OF THE MALTESE PEOPLE ARE CERTAINLY NOT.AND THAT MALTATODAY...IS DEMOCRACY.AND THE GOVERNMENT IS RESPECTING WHAT THE MAJORITY OF THE MALTESE WANT.A STRONG RESISTANCE AGAINST THOSE WHO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR GOOD NATURE AND THAT IS WHAT MOST OF THESE CLANDESTINES ARE DOING. THE MAJORITY OF THE MALTESE PEOPLE DO NOT GIVE A HOOT ABOUT WHAT OTHER COUNTRIES' GOVERNMENTS ARE DOING.