Labour Party retreat sees Emanuel Cuschieri return to One Radio with daily political commentary

Labour Party veteran Emanuel Cuschieri will return to the party’s radio station with a daily political commentary in the run-up to Workers’ Day, months after his show was axed

The Labour Party has invited Emanuel Cuschieri to present a daily political show in the run-up to Workers' Day
The Labour Party has invited Emanuel Cuschieri to present a daily political show in the run-up to Workers' Day

Emanuel Cuschieri will return to One Radio with a daily political programme in the run-up to Workers’ Day in an apparent retreat by the Labour Party.

In an announcement on his Facebook page, Cuschieri said the PL invited him to present a special series of programmes leading up to the 1 May celebrations.

The party veteran’s daily hour-long political show was axed last October after a fall-out with the PL’s top brass. Cuschieri then took his political commentary to Facebook before being given a radio and TV platform at Smash TV, a privately-owned station.

The fall-out concerned Cuschieri’s frequent praise of Joseph Muscat and his legacy. Party leader Robert Abela twice asked Cuschieri to tone down his rabble-rousing defence of Muscat and when he refused, the veteran was shown the door.

Cuschieri had also irked Abela in August last year when he called on Labourites to take to the streets in a show of force outside the law courts to support former Infrastructure Malta CEO Fredrick Azzopardi who was charged over illegal roadworks. In this case, the party was forced to disassociate itself from Cuschieri’s actions.

Cuschieri’s removal from the airwaves irked party diehards, who relished his 'everything Labour does is good, and all those who criticise its actions are bad' mantra.

READ ALSO: Cuschieri still bruised over Abela decision to stop One Radio broadcast

But now, with Workers’ Day approaching, the PL has turned to its former radio darling to massage Labour voters and warm them up for the mass meeting that will be held in Valletta on 1 May.

Cuschieri said he will be presenting a special daily show between 4:30pm and 5pm on One Radio that will start on Monday 17 April.

In his sign-off on Facebook Cuschieri told his followers that now was the time to take to the streets. “To all those who have been telling me the Labour Party should take to the streets to show its strength; now is that time,” he said of the mass celebrations the party will be organising in Valletta.

“I have been approached by the Labour Party to present special political programmes on One Radio in preparation for 1 May celebrations. I always said yes to the PL irrespective of the circumstances and I have accepted,” Cuschieri said.

His political commentary shows on Smash TV and radio will still continue every Monday and Friday. Cuschieri also presents a lighter programme on Smash TV every Tuesday during which he interviews Labour exponents with a focus on their personal life.

Jolting grassroots out of complaceny

PL insiders have expressed concern over the lack of enthusiasm among Labour voters, especially in the wake of surveys that showed the party losing support since the last election.

The recent resignation of Rosianne Cutajar from the PL parliamentary group following the publication of chats with murder suspect Yorgen Fenech has also caused consternation among the party’s rank and file. Party sources said Abela’s dilly-dallying on the situation – first by defending Cutajar from what he described as a misogynistic attack and then pushing her to stand down after public backlash – left supporters confused.

Cuschieri’s return to One Radio with a daily slot for political commentary is being viewed by party insiders as an attempt to try and jolt the grassroots out of complacency.

READ ALSO: Survey | Steward stuns Labour and Abela in worst polls ever