Engerer speaks of parents’ heroin struggle in Labour conference speech

Labour MEP Cyrus Engerer addresses party general conference with call for party to give children tools to achieve their aspirations

Cyrus Engerer addressing the Labour general conference
Cyrus Engerer addressing the Labour general conference

Labour MEP Cyrus Engerer has spoken about his childhood struggle as the son of two parents who struggle with heroin addition, in his speech to the Labour general conference.

Engerer, who was elected in 2019, said his parents had always loved him and his siblings, but that they too faced their own struggle. “Perhaps one of them was drug addiction – heroin – which I know has crushed many a childhood dream,” Engerer said.

Engerer said that he was grateful that in the 1980s, his family had found a social framework that allowed him and his siblings to thrive in the face of these challenges.

“I’m grateful to my grandfather, known to many here as ‘il-Hans’, who would grab me from the scruff of my neck to take to me school every time I played truant; and who would also later take me to Radio City, right here, to listen to some speech from Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici,” Engerer said.

“I know what it means to be brought up in an environment without any privilege, which is why Labour, with its socialist principles, can understand that it is every person can achieve what they aspire to.”

Engerer paid tribute to the demonstration in Valletta held by Black Lives Matter Malta, saying Labour had to look out for all children, regardless of their families. “Regardless of their sexual or gender identity, whatever their skin colour – and here I salute Black Lives Matter – and to help them achieve their dreams by giving them the opportunity and tools to make them a reality.”