Consultation? What consultation?

Consultation? What consultation?

The Government has rolled out a consultation programme to hear the views, proposals and ideas of stakeholders about the Embryo Protection Act being described as the IVF law. Such a consultation programme is right and fitting for a government that dubs itself as “Gvern li jisma’”.

But please do not get too excited about this consultation process.

The Prime Minister last Sunday told Malta Today, how the law will be changed. He went into all details and minutiae of the changes that will be effected. He told us that there will definitively be embryo freezing; how many eggs will be fertilised; what happens if the parents do not want to keep the frozen embryo.
He knows it all and he publicly spelled it all. And, as the saying goes, when the Prime Minister speaks, let no dog bark.

In my commentary to The Sunday Times of Malta of last Sunday I said that everything looks like a done deal and that the process of consultation was just hogwash. I was right on target.

The Prime Minister himself last Sunday confirmed my statement. In the interview he said – to use another very well-known phrase from the Mintoff era - the amendments were in the bag.

Why did the Prime Minister pre-empt the consultation process?

It is interesting to note that first the Prime Minister used the Nisa Laburisti to do a bit of midsummer kite flying. I wrote about this last Sunday. Could it be that following the kite flying there were reactions from some Labour MPs that the Prime Minister did not agree with? Did he want to nip in the bud any opposition that there may be to his decisions on the subject?

One Labour MP has publicly stated that she is against embryo freezing. I know of at least another Labour MP who said so in private. There are probably others.

However, the Prime Minister has now taken a strong public stand. He said that he is resolute on embryo freezing. Such a strong statement by the Prime Minister would make many MPs cower and retreat into their shell. They owe all their perks to the Prime Minister who can withdraw them whenever he wishes to do so.

The tragedy of it all is that it is becoming more and more clear that consultation programmes by this government are nothing but a piece of propagandistic make-up. 

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