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Labour Party leader candidates need to take the right bold decisions

Robert Abela and Chris Fearne

An open letter to Labour Party candidates Chris Fearne and Robert Abela:

Notwithstanding the brave faces and convincing arguments you put forward while touring the country campaigning your leadership bids;

And notwithstanding the broad smiles and confident stances you project, as you reply to prepared questions received on your Whatsapp campaign group chat just minutes before taking to the stage to convince your audience to cast their vote in your favour;

And notwithstanding the goodbyes and thank you to your predecessor, Joseph Muscat, who raced to one electoral victory after another, after another (10 times, according to Keith Schembri), now that you’ve come to terms with the proportions of the load he has lumped you with;

There is one very troubling truth that feels like a lump in your throat, which must be cleared before you next open your mouths, to address your crowds one last time, for the day:

It is the knowledge that you both knew that something wasn’t on back then, but you were unwilling or unable to act for reasons, which are beyond the scope of this post, for the time being.

We know, and appreciate, that once the novelty has worn off, you are both probably not quite sure what possessed you to throw your name in the hat in the first place.

You will be charged to lead this country out of the mess it had been left in by those who never really loved their country as they once convinced you they did.

They loved everything – but their country.

You supported them.

Carried them even, whether knowingly or inadvertently, even when the pressure from the outside had risen to unbearable levels.

When either of you becomes leader, there is nobody behind whom you can hide.

Now you are men. You’re not boys anymore.

You call the shots and the buck stops with you.

Take a moment to dwell on the real picture. Take a moment to forget the sales pitch of a perfect world and that of a stronger Labour Party than ever. Just for a moment.

And remember that you are about to embark on, possibly, the most delicate, nasty and messy two years of any legislature since Malta gained its independence.

Our country is on its knees and you both know why.

Take the necessary bold decisions.

Educate the citizens of Malta by being truthful and admit that we – you included – were taken for a ride by a few people whose interest was only their own.

Motivate society to unite and stick together to regain our momentum as a nation, which will enable it to recover the lost ground and claw back the reputation it once had.

Malta and all its citizens are counting on you both and, on one of you in particular, to lead us out of this unprecedented national crisis.

Please don’t blow it. Everyone is begging you.

This is your job now and we are all here to help.

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