The Malta Independent 11 December 2017, Monday

The true patriots are the ones that protest

Alice Taylor Sunday, 19 November 2017, 11:00 Last update: about 21 days ago

Just over 30 days have passed since Malta’s voice against corruptions, sleaze, nepotism, and absolute ridiculousness was brutally assassinated. In any normal country, the wheels of justice would have jumpstarted into motion immediately. The government and the police would have taken every step possible to reassure the public that not only would they stop at nothing to catch the perpetrators of such a heinous act, but they would seek to reassure the public that they were safe as well.

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But of course, this is not a normal country. No one in any position of power has made any real effort to keep the public informed with what is happening with the case. At the very least, periodic press conferences should be given to reassure people that investigations are being carried out, and that we are not at risk of being blown to smithereens for writing or voicing our opinions. People are scared – scared to speak out, scared to write what they feel, scared to protest, and scared to take a stand. Instead of reassuring people, our “great leader” is off hawking passports to anyone with enough money in the bank to buy it.

There is no doubt in my mind, and the minds of many that the person that murdered Daphne Caruana Galizia will never be brought to justice. Note that I say “never be brought to justice” and not “never caught”. I believe that the situation is so desperate that the powers that be probably know who is responsible, but they will never do anything about it. It will be brushed under the carpet, forgotten and glossed over because let’s be honest, her death was a welcome relief for most of the people in power.

This week, the European Parliament overwhelmingly voted to pass a resolution on the lack of the rule of law in Malta. Instead of people in this country being concerned by this, a large percentage has taken to social media to spout venom and to condemn those that realise how serious the situation is. And what did the government do? Instead of addressing the result of the vote and instead of pledging to make changes or listening to concerns, they buried their heads in the sand and refused to discuss it.

Can people really be so blinded by tribal politics and this cult of personality that they cannot see the bigger picture? This is not about how much you love dear Joseph, this is not about the fact that you are a Labour supporter until you die, and this is not about whether you liked Daphne and agreed with what she wrote. This is about the fact that a journalist has been murdered; the eyes of the world are on Malta, and the European Parliament has voiced grave concerns about the lawlessness that prevails in this country.

This should be a cause of concern for everyone because it is not about political colours. This situation is not one that has just popped up in the last couple of years; it is something that has been prevalent for decades and has been ingrained in the regime of whoever has been in power. Now that the Labour Party is in charge, they have the chance to make history, to stand up against institutional corruption and to fix the things that are wrong with Malta as the world watches. Yet, nothing happens. Nothing happens because this corrupt, nepotistic, pocket lining way of working suits them too well and there is absolutely no way that they will give it up just for the good of the country, or the mere minions that blindly vote for them.

I have travelled to several countries over the last few months and when I tell people where I live, their responses include words like “human trafficking”, “money laundering”, “corruption”, and “murdered journalist”. Mr Muscat can go off prostituting your citizenship wherever he likes to “attract the right kind of people” but if things continue to deteriorate at the rate that they are, no one in their right mind is going to take him up on the offer. If you believe the Labour Party are the best thing since Kinnie, then you should be putting pressure on them to fix the things that need fixing, not lambasting those who point out the things that are broken.

As I walked through the streets of Valletta on Thursday to commemorate 30 days since Daphne was assassinated, I was struck not just by people’s sadness for the loss of her life, but for the sadness of losing their country. They weren’t just lighting candles, singing the national anthem, and laying flowers for a brave, strong, and incredible woman, they were mourning the loss of the country that they love. In my mind, these people, the ones that are protesting and taking to the streets are the real patriots, not the abusive, aggressive, blinded trolls that take to social media to harass, harangue, and intimidate those that speak up. They are not patriots, they are pawns, they are complicit in the decline and decimation of what could be a wonderful country.

 

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