In an environment that his own party leader, Peter Caruana, has taken the issue of the equalisation of the age of consent for decision (a foregone decision and a waste of tax payer's money) to the Supreme Court, Danny Feetham, Minister for Justice, in defiance of his own GSD party and their lack of courage in not supporting his Private Member's Bill, has bravely supported that the age of consent should not be raised. He has marshalled and developed arguments that you will have read first in this blog ("SEX" 18th April 2010).
One question this raises is, how can a party so deeply divided on such a fundamental social issue convince the electorate that it is a cohesive and properly functioning party? The very fact that Mr Feetham had to bring the bill before Parliament as a Private Members Bill speaks volumes, especially when his own GSD party allowed it to be defeated.
Reading the examples of suffering and cruelty contained in Mr Provost's letter reminded me of the matters that Mohamed Sarsi, the Moroccan Workers Association President, was reported in the Chronic (12th May 2010) of having said recently. He reminds us of a historical catalogue of wrongs against Moroccan workers in Gibraltar, briefly:
- The reduction in the income tax deductions for children and their exclusion from the family allowance given to locals;
- The discriminatory regime on unemployment benefits;
- The scrapping of social support given to them in the form of a reduced pension that was scrapped;
- Deportation of Moroccan workers on trumped up allegations based on false information;
- confiscation of passports on registering at the job centre;
- obstacles placed in the way of Moroccan access to the job market.
It is a distinct message of patience, understanding and appeasement. It is a message that is non-judgemental of others. In fact, it is a very Christian message and probably an Islamic one too (although I say this tentatively, as my knowledge of that religion is not extensive enough). It is a message that Peter Caruana (and indeed the GWA, who are collecting signatures on a petition to raise the age of consent to 18) might learn from and apply to the debate raging on the issue of the age of sexual consent. As quoted in the blog "SEX" (18th April 2010) the Catholic Catechism preaches abstinence from sexual intercourse outside marriage for heterosexuals and abstinence generally for homosexuals (male and female). The issue of criminalising these acts is massively different, as so cogently and courageously argued by Mr Feetham. Nowhere does the catechism interfere with what the law of the land should be.
Mr Caruana and others in the GSD should reconsider their position.