• Justin Paul Anastasi

It's Time

Updated: Oct 15, 2019

Politics ought to be the art of the possible. And yet it feels like we have reached a stalemate. The mould that has shaped our political tradition for so many decades has become constricting and reductive.

Although I come from a family of proud public servants, what you’re reading here is my coming out into Maltese public life. I am not called to do this by frustration or disappointment with the politics of today.

I am called to commit because I feel I have no right to complain if I don’t do my bit.

My day job is in human resources. My work is about realising the promise and potential in people, sometimes when they have not yet found it themselves. My mission is to identify and carve out paths for the people I work with to get them to realise that potential. In working for people, I learnt some basic ground rules:

  1. There is no single magic formula that works every time. Constant innovation is necessary, adapting techniques and established methods to individual aspirations, hopes and fears.

  2. No one is identical to anyone else and that is a good thing. Yet everyone, without exception, has a unique value that is an unmissable ingredient if the whole is to come together. For years I have sourced, trained and led resources for retail, B2B and igaming companies. These are industries that are not merely comfortable with diversity, a cosmopolitan outlook and a commitment to equal opportunity whatever the background. They depend on these values for their success.

  3. You only get to lie once. You’ll be found out and once the bond of trust with the people you work for is broken, it will never be the same again.

These lessons; these values are central to the lives of thousands of ordinary working Maltese people and yet they are alien to their politics. Partisanship seems to be ingrained in how we conduct ourselves within the political sphere and we're seemingly stuck in old ways. Policies are anonymous, dealing with categories instead of individuals, often bereft of empathy, solidarity, even the gentle touch of humanity.

We are used to our politicians lying to us and have come to expect it in a way that would shock us in everyday life and ultimately this has some very severe symptoms.

  1. The environment is supposed to have been a political priority for longer than I have been alive. And yet the indifference to shrinking countryside, sickening air quality, paralyzing congestion and murky seas is unbelievable to me.

  2. We are squandering Malta’s reputation in the world apparently thinking we will never pay a price for harbouring pirates and criminals in our midst.

  3. We have desensitized ourselves enough to look away when children, women and men drown at sea because we convince ourselves it is not our business to save them.

  4. We have spun an economic model that prevents more and more people from owning a decent home or to live without fear of not being able to afford their rent after Christmas.

  5. We have legislated for marriage equality, yet continue to live with cultural hostility against minorities and habitual even if illegal discrimination.

  6. And we have woken up a day after a journalist was killed in a car bomb in our own country and lived that day as though it were just like any other.

It is time to step up. It is time to shake things up.

It is time to confront the change our country must experience if it is to be again the home we were once so proud of. We must make our own home. We must build our own future. We must be the change we wish for.

I’m showing up.


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