The Malta Independent 16 January 2018, Tuesday

Who should we sacrifice for the New Year?

Colette Sciberras Sunday, 7 January 2018, 09:00 Last update: about 10 days ago

Public sacrifices once had an important part to play in politics. I can’t pretend to know what it was like, but I imagine it to be similar to that episode in Game of Thrones, when we watched a couple’s lust for power drive them to burn their own child.

For most of us, today, the word ‘sacrifice’ resonates of muzew, giving up sweets for Lent, and generally something unpleasant, boring and dull. I would like to rehabilitate that word and make you think of sacrifices as something fun, when performed intentionally, that can bestow enormous benefits.

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But for that, I need a lamb or something.

According to LovinMalta, Adrian Delia today enjoys 7 per cent of popular support. Perhaps it’s just my echo-chamber, but I’ve heard rumblings and complaints, and intimations of a rift within the PN. Personally, I would love to see that maduma crack, like Aslan’s altar in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Joseph Muscat, on the other hand, has 50 per cent approval, whereas 18 per cent of respondents ‘don’t know’ and 25 per cent trust ‘neither’.

I certainly would not trust anyone who has not broken away from the PN or the PL publicly. Amidst such allegations of immorality and corruption in both, and their stubborn refusal to even acknowledge the gravity of these charges, I would feel it time to tear myself away from The Party’s skirts, at least until her innocence is established.

If our parents were running a brothel, and we were adults, wouldn’t we put a stop to that or at least break all ties? Probably not, if they successfully raised us to be the same as them.

The major parties have been pimping out our country for a while – selling passports and land and providing lucrative tax deals for the most dubious of industries. Many people in our country now have no choice but to make a living by exploiting gambling addicts in other countries. We harbour dirty money and traffic humans. That is how we have become so rich. 

It seems that there is no one ready to man up and do what needs to be done. I believe that our politicians – even the more genuine and less immoral ones – stay within their party’s folds out of cowardice.

On the plus side, great strides have been made in independent journalism – that fourth pillar of democracy. Before this could happen, a massive sacrifice had to be made, a human sacrifice, in fact. This is not a sacrifice which we performed intentionally – not me, at least – and that is why it was a massive shock and definitely not fun. The benefits still accrued, however.

What shall we sacrifice for politics? Blood sacrifices are not my thing, they’re too messy. I don’t seem to have anything else to offer other than my effort, my time and, perhaps, given that I have some, my credibility.

What else is there?

First, I am going to slaughter any allegiance I might still have for our leaders. I am giving up the belief that things will somehow turn out all right – that mummy and daddy will fix it – and I am going to grow up, face up to what my people are doing, and what we have all become. And I will break all ties if necessary.

This will mean that I might be sacrificing family and friends, in real life, and on Facebook. I am going to speak out about problems wherever I see them, call out wrong-doing wherever I see it, no matter how intimately related to me the wrong-doer is.

How can we claim to fight corruption if our own affairs are even the slightest bit dodgy?

This will probably turn me into an old hag in the eyes of many people, but that’s fine, I’m happy to sacrifice the label ‘nice person’ too. I’m sticking a knife into the need to be liked and chopping it up into pieces, together with the fear of what people might think and the inclination not to rock the boat in case I get into trouble.

What do I get out of all this? A sense of living my life to my standards and not being held to ransom by anyone or anything. You need to experience that, to know how much fun it is.

The age-old belief behind sacrifices, common in many religious traditions, is that if a sacrifice is carried out well, and for the right reasons, it can bestow enormous power on the one making it. Stannis Baratheon got it wrong; Aslan got it right.

So for the New Year, instead of repeating positivity-mantras you don’t really believe and making resolutions you know you are going to break, can I suggest making a sacrifice instead? It can be fun and – you never know – it might work. 

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