Students' councils, whether they consciously set out to do so or not, generally define an entire academic culture. A Council open to pluralism and enquiry fosters people who respect each other.
A Council which isn't spits in the face of any institution of education and its students. The worst possible students' Council we can get, then, is one without a spine.
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The thought that advancement in this country is tied to licking politicians' boots is tiring enough. What we risk now, in the climate of open intimidation and impunity we live in, is to end up with a Council which takes that spinelessness to heart. We cannot afford a Council which serves the interests of any master besides the student population. We cannot afford a Council which thanks Ministers for their undying, incredible devotion to serving students' needs when a road is opened.
We cannot afford the dignity of young people at Malta's higher educational institute being sold for so little — for the sake of a few people, and their future in taxpayer- funded government consultancies. We need something different. What we need is a Council which trains its members to be genuine leaders, not communications assistants.
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The problem with all these objections is that the people who are making all the arguments have been discredited with the government. Yes, it is indeed unfortunate that individuals such as Petra Bianchi openly waged war with Labour and has done no favours to DLH, which she also represents, despite the many valid arguments of the NGO.
The problem with the environmental front represented by Din l-Art Helwa and Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar is that it tends to be represented by a particular segment of the middle and upper classes. They tend to find comfort away from the urbanised melee of the island in their princely homes and apartments, have no bones about being associated with the PN, but their calls to protect the environment and traditional village cores employ the wrong kind of strategy. Politicians like Joseph Muscat take note of the ineffectiveness of these strategies.
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That worries me. It is clear that Muscat has little empathy for green issues and actually views the green lobby as being anti-Labour. What is really needed is for more groups like Kampanja Emergenza Ambjent, to represent real people who impress you with their honesty and detachment from tribal politics. Who are not identified with any party and are more likely to be wary of the Nationalist party too.
In reality the truth is that our towns and villages are being pillaged. The solution is to get real people to speak up, and to lobby their peers and their MPs and make the point that decisions that impact on their immediate environs do make a difference in their lives. It is time to stand up and make noise. It is clear that PN leader Simon Busuttil is hoping that the Egrant inquiry will prove his assertions or allegations are true.
If that is the case, it is believed that he will stay on. At face value, there is all the evidence to prove that Egrant and the Michelle Muscat allegation could have been one big invention.
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But Busuttil is hanging on. The truth is that the long-awaited inquiry conclusions by Magistrate Aaron Bugeja, who surely now has taken more than enough time, could unleash a plethora of legal steps against those who are accused of having lied.
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The Gozo Cup Fastpitch Softball International Tournament was very much about empowerment as it was about showcasing the talents of the international as well as the local softball players. So the decision to leave Monique Attard in the game was very much justified given the circumstances.
Monique walked the first batter and gave up a hit to the Marija Vella. She got lucky as the lead-off was caught between 2 nd and 3 rd and was tagged for the first out of the inning. With a light drizzle starting to put at risk the final act of the game and the tournament, Monique walked Emma Mercieca as she had some difficulty with her control due to the wet condition. Still, despite the situation the young lefty kept her poise. A couple of wild pitches saw a run come in, but Brenda Beers popped-up for the second out.
With the tying run on third, Estelle Scicluna was up to bat with an opportunity to tie or win the tournament. Emma scored on a wild pitch but on the following pitch Estelle popped-up to end the game.
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The final score meant that the Gozo Cup was to be shared by the two teams! There was total joy on the field as both sets of players were really proud of what they managed to achieve over the two games. The young Redcoats surprised themselves and everyone else with their performances.
They all had many reasons to celebrate. Playing with some of the best softball players in Europe made the Gozo Cup a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable experience for the Redcoats. Performing so well was the icing on the cake.