The Malta Independent 18 November 2017, Saturday

Who will stand up in the eye of this storm?

Ivan Grech Mintoff Sunday, 3 September 2017, 08:35 Last update: about 4 months ago

Malta is in a perfect and devastating political storm with no precedent. Our knowledgeable forefathers would have steered us well away from this danger, but the present leaderships of the two main parties have blindly taken us into the storm and into these dangerous, uncharted waters.

Clearly, the PN is in a massive hole, and quietly and happily digging itself in deeper and deeper. We yearn for this leadership contest to be over; we are fed up with the whole farce and the utter destruction it is bringing with it. Surprisingly, though, a number of people still believe that the outcome will see some principled leader rising from the mess and that this new 'One' will gel all the PN factions together and offer a viable alternative to the present 'tghana lkoll'...

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I have my doubts that someone capable of turning things around fast for the PN will be found any time soon. Nor, if such a person existed, will that person be allowed to work properly anyway, as the now-exposed klikkas will make sure that this does not happen. I am not seeing the PN leadership contest ending up with such a positive result at all.

The greatest outcome from the leadership contest, however, must be that faithful/genuine nationalist voters now understand how their party really works internally - and the truth is that this is exactly how both parties work!

Clearly then, the traditional parties are both mishandling our assets and our futures. Yet in the face of this mess, we still expect our governments (and Oppositions!) to work diligently for our benefit; to take care of our society, our welfare and our state. The careful and studied steps (the trademark of our forefathers) are today replaced with hurried ones, where debate/argument is of a very poor standard, if offered at all. Laws are rushed through Parliament by force of numbers and this type of governance results in chaos, illegal steps, harm and unnecessary dangers to our society. In turn, this leads to inevitable claims of corruption and fraud and the next step - which inevitably follows - is the suppression of those people who disagree with you.

In a previous article, I wrote that the minute you lose the trust of the people, then your credible leadership also comes to an end. Once that happens, the only way to continue governing is through the abusive use of the organs that control society: the misuse of a country's Parliament, law courts and the police/armed forces. Or - as is the case with what is happening in the PN right now - the misuse of the party organs.

These forms of abuse in turn lead to a vicious circle of abuse that only protects the leadership and its inner sanctum - and all in a bid to hang on to power. And when the people's will is ignored and suppressed then - if it is bad enough - it will spill into open rebellion against such bad leadership. Is this not what is happening within the PN too right now?

You might think that the PN deserves nothing better as it has only itself to blame for the present bad situation; that, ultimately, as they no longer represent anyone but themselves, the PN is paying the price for its own demise, that it is good for this to happen so that it might finally learn not to arrogantly and repeatedly ignore the will of the people.

This is a lazy and dangerous way of thinking and we must not stop there because, ultimately, we all agree that any Maltese government needs a strong Opposition.

And most will agree that we need a good and strong opposition - especially right now.

A weak Opposition only means that society itself (that's you and I) suffers most. Or, to spell it out, any poor leadership translates to political chaos that affects us directly, more so than it does any party per se.

Yes, it worries me that the PN does not have a solution in this regard to offer us. It is still not fit for purpose. But just because it is not suitable, we should not just give up and let this storm crush us. Instead, we should see it as a great opportunity for real change to happen. Instead of being gripped by fear and hopelessness, we should not just stop at mourning the demise of our traditional and misled parties but be emboldened by the whole situation.

There are literally thousands of young, energetic, honest and loyal people out there who, given the right opportunity, would jump at the chance of making things right. I know they exist and I am convinced of this because of the continual communication with such people whom I meet on a daily basis. The seriousness of the conversation shows that we are at the tipping point. Believe it or not, morality is not totally lost and money is not king for everyone. I am talking of people who are unknown - are not involved in politics, or at least not in mainstream politics. They see that a vacuum has been created and their acumen sees this as an opportunity that must be grasped - right now.

Thankfully, some of them are also even more radical and passionate than I am on this matter. Some will tell you that they want the traditional political parties to disappear completely. They dream of a new political system that will shine in Malta: a system not based on an ideology of the left or of the right but one that holds just one, simple ideal: Malta first. It will be an ideology built on people's desire to live decent lives and to live with respect, in a sound society - a supreme establishment with a supreme, single and simple ideology! I openly encourage them to follow their dreams, to represent themselves and others and to make such a change happen.

Some ask when this real change will start but I say that it has started already. One only has to see the state of the traditional parties as well as the (faster than expected) rise of the smaller ones to see that we are already way down the path of inevitable change. And change is perfectly possible. This is an exciting political time and so are the many roads ahead! With so many different currents and waves in this powerful storm, we are bound to be carried to a new destination. Whether it will be a better place or not, I have no idea: it all depends on us and the type of work we are ready to put into the venture.

We must not be afraid of the present political failure allowing us to become victims. Victims of abuse are bullied into a fearful submission and acceptance of a situation. We must cry and mourn the demise of the traditional parties, yes, but then we must act, be brave and criticise continually. We must shout louder and reject those who no longer represent us. We must demand our dignity/rights back, just like our forefathers did. And we must also hold accountable all of our political class for both their action and inaction on our behalf.

No one is above the law. Certainly, no one is above the will of Maltese society. And if the PN is not the solution, if it is part of the abuse, then time will tell who (plural) will be brave enough to exploit the great energy and opportunity of this storm to finally make political change happen. 

Who will stand up in the eye of this storm and start fixing things rather than waiting for someone else to do it? Who will brave and ride the waves that are battering us and get "from here to there" rather than to succumb and watch as their families sink further under the waves?

Who will, if not you and not me?


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