The Malta Independent 27 March 2017, Monday

Pigs and earthquakes

Claudette Buttigieg Friday, 17 March 2017, 08:01 Last update: about 9 days ago

Four years ago, the country was almost in shock. The unprecedented electoral result made it inconceivable that PN would be in opposition for less than a decade. Labour was riding the highest crest ever.

Little did we know that, while certain key members of this Government’s cabinet were taking their oath to be loyal to our country and our Constitution, and solemnly kissing the cross, their financial representatives had already set up structures often made use of by money launderers.

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Muscat has told us that the next general elections will be held in March 2018. The signs are indicating otherwise. The number of people queuing to meet Ministers is getting longer every day. There are shifts in employment opportunities for people who were promised a job but are still waiting angrily. Word has it that hundreds are soon to be employed at the Water Services Corporation.

Those within the Labour structures who could have (and should have) put the party in check have been bought through very lucrative jobs and contracts. The Ministry for Health (like several other Ministries) is studded with such posts.

I don’t think Muscat is unable to make a clear distinction between his party and the government, which is what I thought a while back. Now it is obvious that all those tainted cannot even try to correct the direction in which the party in government is going. And Muscat would not have it in any other way.

The real sad thing is that this state of affairs is dragging politics into the dirt. Mud-slinging is making all of us look dirty and our country will pay a bitter price for this.

Take the big elephant in the room, the ITS saga.

Isn’t it ironic that this is actually happening because Simon Busuttil decided to do the right thing and ask the General Auditor to investigate the deal?

Can we, just for a moment, imagine what would have happened if Busuttil had decided not to take this bold decision? The project would have proceeded with a few mild outcries. Then, many years from now someone, possibly an individual who is not getting enough out of this deal, would have spoken up about it. After a short character assassination campaign the whole affair would have died. End of story.

Instead, here we are, sucked up in the whirl wind created by Labour. Is anybody talking about the deal itself? Very little. In an absurd twist of events, Busuttil has become the villain of the story for letting his party accept donations from a businessman. Instead, he should be the hero of the story for standing up to those who wanted to buy his (and our) silence.

Are we even appreciating how dangerous all this could be?

Perhaps, in their silence, people are appreciating this much more than we think. That is how I interpret the survey published last Sunday. It was held over the weekend when Busuttil made his declaration against the ITS deal and it must have had its effect on the results.

Our concern should be on the number of respondents who chose not to reply, who are saying they will not vote or are still undecided. These respondents make up 34.8% of the total number of respondents. This is the real result of this survey. A few months away from the next general election and the result can go either way.

The last days have been a political earthquake for everyone in politics. It has also seen a reaction in the form of a protest which is very rare for our country. A group of young people in pig masks made a huge statement at a very controlled government event, totally embarrassing Konrad Mizzi and all he represents. This is a sign that our younger voters may not be open about their voting intentions but they too will not be silenced.

 

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