Friday, 4 February 2011

Times: Labour conference opens with calls to face change

Tuesday, 1st February 2011 by Nikki Abela Mercieca

The Labour Party must have the courage to tackle controversial issues that may have been taboo in the past, MEP Louis Grech said yesterday at the opening session of the party’s general conference.

He said this was central if the party was to live up to its label of progressive movement.

“If you’re intellectually honest, you don’t need to worry,” Mr Grech said, singling out issues like divorce and homosexuality as examples.

There were more fundamental things that needed to be changed than road works. However, it was useless for the party to have a theme, a vision, without being able to create change.

“We need to be in a position, in government, to be able to bring about change,” he said, adding that an opposition win at the next elections should not be taken for granted.

During his speech yesterday, party delegate Edward Zammit Lewis said the public had come to expect more from members of the opposition and demanded that they not only criticise the government but come up with their own ideas and propose solutions.Deputy Labour Party leader Toni Abela opened discussions on a motion aimed at ensuring the country is fit for future generations.

Speaking on the same lines as Mr Grech, Dr Abela said that economic problems, and not adultery, were the biggest problems families faced today.

Some families had to juggle multiple jobs to make ends meet, leaving no quality time to spend together, which resulted in marital problems, sometimes leading to separation.

Families were struggling in the face of such problems and Malta did not feel the recession only because things like inflation and unemployment were present before 2009.

Speaking about divorce and homosexuality, Dr Abela said the world was changing and this could not be resisted.

Today, one in four babies was born outside marriage. This was not something bad but whether one agreed with it or not, it had to be recognised.

“The more we resist change, the more it will be destructive,” he said.

The general conference goes on till Sunday.

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