Insanabile Cacoethes Scribendi. At some point in the first phase of the Maltese blogosphere when J’accuse still sported a big lighthouse on the side and was still hosted by blogger I had blogged about the “Insanabile Cacoethes Scribendi” or the incurable urge to write that hits you when you start blogging. Three years down the line and a new blogger hit the scene – using the lighthouse template and (after some prompting from the undersigned) a funky titled blog “Cacoethes Scribendi“.
Funky for us lawyers of course – what with our fetish with the language of Cicero, but funky just the same. I have known Keith Grech (avukat) for a number of years now. In my time at SDM and KSU he was one of the few critics who I would respect because it was already clear that he did not speak out of some blinkered partisan inspiration but because he genuinely had a different (reasoned) opinion which he argued in a diplomatic but firm way.
Keith has gradually progressed within the Labour Party from Local Council representation to holding the post of Deputy Secretary General. As I said, we may not always have seen eye to eye on political matters (if I remember well we did have huge disagreements on KSU elections). What was, and still is, important to me is Keith’s style of politics – the respect for the interlocutor and the willingness to listen.
You may have guessed by now that J’accuse is declaring its bias in the race for the new Secretary General of the Malta Labour Party. I rarely – if ever – do so, but this time I could not do otherwise. That is because I firmly believe that Keith is a valid and necessary element if change is to be brought about. Keith will bring along a package of informed reasoning, affable personality, and no-nonsense approach. Keith will surely prove to be a positive element in working on avoiding cliques and pooling the much needed resources that will oil the machinery of change.
The fact that Keith brings along a working knowledge of the European Institutions* is surely a bonus plus point. Not to mention of course that Keith’s groundwork preparation on European Law included lectures by yours truly on teh Four Freedoms (ah the J’accuse bighead at work again).
Keith and I are not friends – of the kilna l-kirxa flimkien type. We are colleagues coming from the same field of expertise and we were political “adversaries” in our time. The few times we met we either discussed politics, assignments or politics. What I write is out of respect for Keith and his new challenge. Have a look at his blog for a good taster of the kind of ideas Keith has. It’s not the whole picture but it’s a damn good start.
Keith is chosing to stick his neck out for a post that is a prime target for mudslingers of all sorts. My bet is that they will pick on his choice of dress (lemme see – blazer too big) and the scarce availability of good pictures of the man on google! Lest I be accused of having some kind of fetish for Keith I will stop here. I sincerely wish Keith good luck for his campaign.
More than that I wish the delegates an informed choice. I cannot say that I am happy with the Deputy Leader choices – this is an opportunity to include another element full of potential into the complicated jigsaw puzzle that is the labour structure – I sincerely hope that they are given the opportunity of seeing the same positive traits that I have seen in the little time I have known Keith.
This has been a record breaking first in J’accuse – an open declaration of bias. Because being frank about it all is also a part of the new way of doing politics that we all hope for.
* Keith was one of Malta’s alternate members on the Committee of the Regions of the European Union, and served on the Sustainable Development and Economic and Social committees – where he twice served as an expert on maritime policy.