Here's The Full Resignation Letter Of Labour Whip Godfrey Farrugia

Godfrey Farrugia speaks out

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Labour MP Godfrey Farrugia yesterday formally resigned from his position as Party Whip, a role which makes him responsible for disciplining Labour MPs when it comes to attendance and voting in Parliament.

Farrugia, who served as Health Minister before he was replaced by Konrad Mizzi in a 2015 reshuffle, is also the partner of Marlene Farrugia, the former Labour MP who resigned to start her own party Partit Demokratiku which has now joined the PN in a coalition. 

His resignation letter, sent in the midst of a major political crisis, was published on his Facebook page in Maltese. This is an English translation. 

Dear Prime Minister,

Back in 2012, after years of work in the grassroots of our community, I chose to join a new political Movement that promised a new hope for our country. With my contribution, I wanted to destroy the reluctance to act and the greed of a rotten PN government that was past its time.

At that point in my life, I lacked nothing. I wanted to give the time, the love, and the health I had left to our country. I dreamt of healing the country, and I tried. It was my mission. My rallying call was one of merciful politics.

We managed to get a good majority. We had a good government, I had hope. We had all built trust. We were a team guided by the spirit of a Movement. The respect I had for you motivated me.

Thanks to you, I was appointed Minister of Health, and I worked in the name of Malta Tagħna Lkoll and the full dignity of the human being. I drew up and laid out the roadmap, as I committed myself towards building a bedrock of accountability to the tired health system we had inherited.

Without ever wanting to, I had to resign and refuse other portfolios. I was sensing the hidden agenda of those lurking around you, people you trusted.

As a member of parliament, I took part and expressed myself in various debates, and as Government Whip I worked even harder.

I always did my duties to the best of my abilities. Many times, I took initiatives in various areas that addressed the evolution of the society we live in.

I embraced inclusivity. I note with satifaction that two suggestions I had made – one addressed to young people, the other related to the introduction of a new medicine – were favourably received.

I worked in favour of the sustainability of our natural environment, our heritage, and the identity that makes us who we are. In the permanent house committee I discussed and mulled over various topics related to society and medicine.

I was the voice and the driver for life, from conception to death, and throughout I stayed a bastion of fundamental human rights. 

In these times, I heartily defended the values of the PL and I tried to keep them alive, despite the opposing view expressed by the Għaqda Nisa Laburisti and the Forum Żgħażagħ Laburisti. Because how can you talk about civil rights when you’re ready to deprive a person from their primary right to life when they are most vulnerable? (Embryo freezing.)

I led three government committees with determination towards our work.

On the international level, I did my utmost as a prime mover in the OSCE(PA), where I also tabled two resolutions.

I do not hesitate to say that I am proud to be part of a government that was successful in certain areas, but I must also confess that we tripped over our own two feet, because the leadership did not behave in a mature way.

It is evident that I never expected us to be perfect – we are all human and prone to error. However, the story changed when we started justifying mistakes and and calling what was wrong right.

I must note that the direction, at times, though not illegal, circumvented the law. I must also say that the positive effect of every budget dissipated as we gradually started losing credibility. We weren’t leading by example from top to bottom.

The OPM started taking more and more matters into its own hands, even when it the the international Panama Papers scandal cast its dark shadow over it.

I worked by your side, I expressed my opinions in a genuine manner and you heard me out, but I can’t say I was listened to. I wished the best for you, but I didn’t always understand your rationale.

Firewalls were used to suppress my opinion.

I lived through difficult times too, particularly to regain my health. There was no lack of obstacles placed in my way by people at the top of the PL and its supporters. They did all they could to keep me out of the eye of the media. On a personal level, I suffered in silence and I forgave; as Whip I remained faithful to my duties. I worked responsibly for what was right.

I was never a fan of the political game of illusion, let alone the intrigue of the Macchiavellian game, nor of post-truth, hypocritical, or downright anti-truth politics.

While, as part of reforms, authorities were being established, I expected that politicians should not remain at the centre of it all, but that they distance themselves. This did not happen.

Not only that; we did the opposite. We strengthened the politician’s hand, even though there has never been a better time than today to practice the principle of the distribution of power, if we truly believe that we want walk the way of maturity and lead our people through it.

I also feel that the foundations of the our electoral manifesto, that guaranteed accountable and transparent leadership have been violently shaken.

The wrongdoing that wasn’t remedied on time has left repercussions that have placed us against a wall. We have lost our moral fibre. We did not manage to unite our country. People have been left confused, fumbling about in the dark for real truth. We have come to a point where we’re giving Malta a bad name, even outside our shores, and during our EU Presidency to boot.

The recent allegations have hurt me – they hurt because I cherish my country.

I have thought about this over and over, I have spent nights without sleep, I went over the main speeches I gave in parliament.

I voted as Whip, even when I was asked to vote against my own conscience.

It is therefore with responsibility and respect towards what I believe is right, that I am informing you of my resignation as Whip, but not as a representative on the government backbench, in the hope that I might bring the leadership to its senses and stop using our people as a means to protect its power.

The people’s trust of the historical Labour ideal should never have been betrayed and used to further the agenda of the few who evidently do not have the national interest at heart, let alone on their minds.

We have fair tools and mechanisms in place, and I am convinced that in the year we have left in our mandate we can determinedly change course.

To do so, the government must take the shape and the composition that can bring back the credibility it lost.

We are in politics to humbly serve, and I will continue to live by this belief.

I respectfully give you my best wishes.

Thank you.

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