Kien hemm min qalli fl-aħħar ġimgħat: iż-żgħażaghħ ma jinteressawx ruħhom aktar fil-politika.

U kien hemm min qalli: Mhux talli ż-żgħażagħ jinteressaw ruħhom ħafna fil-politika. Talli qed jivvintaw modi ġodda kif jieħdu sehem fiha.

Għalija, jieħdu sehem fiha kif jieħdu sehem fil-politika, ma jagħmilx differenza. L-aqwa li ż-żgħażagħ jagħmlu dan. U li jkunu ġejja mill-kuluri politiċi kollha. Mhux biss dawk li huma rvellati naħa jew oħra.

Possibbli jew le?

Possibbli. U mhijiex kwistjoni ta’ jekk iż-żgħażagħ jistgħux jivvotaw jew le. Anzi forsi, kieku għadhom ma jistgħux jivvotaw, aktar kienu jinteressaw rwieħhom fil-politika. Il-problema hi li għal ħafna nies, mill-prattika politika donnu żvinta kull idealiżmu, kull intenzjoni biex tara kif se toħloq dinja differenti, aħjar. Allura l-mobilizzazzjoni meta ssir daret lejn oqsma wiesgħa imma limitati tal-ħajja publika – bħall-ħarsien ambjentali – jew għall-protesta.

Wara kollox, anke r-reliġjonijiet għandhom l-istess problema.

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ARTIJIET PUBLIĊI

Minkejja n-numru ta’ proġetti, kbar u żgħar, li mis-snin sittin tas-seklu l-ieħor lil hawn, twettqu mill-privat fuq artijiet publiċi, il-prattika u l-metodi ta’ kif dan isir baqgħu ma nżamu taħt l-ebda riga. Bqajna bla ebda kejl ta’ kif l-art għandha titqassam u tingħata għall-użu – kummerċjali jew ieħor – tal-privat.

Minn meta bdew jingħataw l-artijiet għal fabriki u lukandi bħall-ewwel Hilton u Sheraton sal-lum, prattikament l-unika regola li daħlet kienet li għotjiet ta’ dat-tip, iridu jkunu approvati mill-Parlament. Mill-bqija kull proġett spiċċa jiġi trattat skont il-“merti” tiegħu.

Ħaġa bħal din żgur tidher tassew kurjuża għal barrani li jsir jaf biha. Għalina l-Maltin, tinħass bħala ħaġa tassew naturali. Min jaf għaliex?

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MINN SAN ĠWANN

Mhux dejjem issib li l-“housing estates” tal-gvern qed jinżammu tajjeb. Dan mhux il-każ f’ta’ San Ġwann li baqa’ jżomm dehra sabiħa u nadifa ta’ ftuħ u ta’ kura. Żortu ftit ilu.

Kif wieħed jistenna ħafna mir-residenti li kienu daħlu hemm fil-bidu tal-binja jew ftit wara issa għandhom ċerta età. Hemm fejn daħal il-lift, u binjiet fejn dil-ħaġa għadha pendenti, għalkemm fil-blokok kollha, tista’ ssir teknikament. Filfatt, fejn ma hemmx lift, ir-residenti ngħataw il-wegħda li se jiddaħlilhom u anke ntwerew id-disinnji ta’ kif ix-xogħol irid isir.

Imma sa issa dan għadu ma ġarax u tifhimha li r-residenti jgergru. Jekk mal-età, ikollok xi problema f’saħħtek, li tinżel u titla’ tliet sulari kull meta trid toħroġ, se jsir eżerċizzju li jibqa’ jitqal minn jum għal jum. L-istess ħaġa tgħodd, anke jekk tkun f’saħtek, meta trid ittella’ x-xirjiet “ta’ kuljum”.

English Version – Young people and politics

I was told these last weeks: Young people are no longer interested in politics.

But there was another voice which said: Not only are young people still very interested in politics. They are inventing new ways to participate in it.

As I see it, so long as young people participate in politics, how they do it is immaterial. The important thing is that they are on board. And that they come from all points of the political compass and are not simply those who on one side or the other, are just rebelling against something or other.

Is this possible?

Independently of whether young people can vote or not, I think it is. Ironically perhaps, if they still could not vote, they would have been more interested in politics. The problem for many people is that all sense of idealism seems to have been drained out of political practice – along with any intention to try and create a different, better world. So when mobilisation takes place, it coalesces around wide but limited areas of public life – such as environmental protection – or around protest.

To be sure, even organized religion is facing the same problem.

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Public lands

Despite the number of projects, big and small, which since the 1960s to date, have been undertaken by the private sector on public land, the practices and methods by which land is parcelled out and allocated for commercial and other uses have not been made subject to some common rules.

Since when the process began of making land grants for the building of factories or hotels like the first Hilton and the Sheraton, and up to today, practically the only rule introduced was that land allocations needed to have Parliamentary approval. For the rest, all projects were to be considered on their own “merits”.

When foreign parties come to know about this practice they must surely find it curious, to say the least. For us Maltese however, it all seems to be a very natural way of proceeding. Now, one wonders, why should it be like so?

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At San Gwann

Government housing estates are not always well kept. This is not the case for the one at San Ġwann which has retained a nice, clean appearance around open spaces that are well cared for. I visited not so long ago.

Naturally, many of the residents who came to live there when the estate was first opened or shortly afterwards, are elderly now. In some blocks, a lift has been installed, but others still do not have one, even if in all buildings, installing it is technically feasible. In fact, where a lift is still not in place, residents have been promised that it will come. They were even shown the plans for how this would hapen.

Yet, the project is still pending and the frustration felt by residents is understandable. If you have the health problems that come with old age, the exercise of going down three flights of stairs and back up them in order to leave your home and return, becomes increasingly burdensome by the day. The same holds even if one is still in good health but has to carry up the stairs all one’s daily shopping.