The Malta Independent 18 August 2019, Sunday

Victory belongs to the most persevering

Camilla Appelgren Tuesday, 14 May 2019, 10:39 Last update: about 4 months ago

It’s pitch dark. You wake up coughing and the air feels thin. You realise that you can’t get air no matter how much you try. You run to your mother’s room and even though she tries to hide her panic, you see it in her eyes. You look in the mirror and realise that your lips are turning blue. The panic gets worse when you reach a clinic full of people and being told to wait in line. You have to wait in line to breathe, take a moment to imagine that. Then a lot of people, medicines, oxygen mask, pills, beeping machines alerting red, people talking above your head. Ambulance, sirenes, more medicine, fear and anxiety.


It is in moment like those you realise that no money in the world will save you and in this case it was my own daughter. I have for years pushed for the fact that respiratory illnesses are on the rise in Malta and the decision makers are not even trying to tackle it, instead they have their heads in the sand. I guess that their own children aren’t affected, yet. Rest assured they will be.

What kind of future are we giving the children we say we love? A future where they will be surrounded by concrete buildings, bad quality ones to add to it, bad unsustainable roads and not a tree as far as one can see? I’m not sure if that is the future we should be excited to hand over. Is that really going to be our legacy? The generation who screwed it all up.

The decision makers in Malta have stolen the future from the children, hijacked it for their own short-term profit. They know very well what needs to be done, it’s not rocket science. We might not be able to solve big issues overnight, but there are issues which could be solved on the spot. How about starting to get enforcement going? I think that would be a great start, since we already have the laws backing us up and people to enforce it. It’s high time that these departments start to understand their importance and if they are understaffed then maybe the government should solve that instead of placing white flags to announce the sea falsely plastic free. We need to solve root causes, not only hacking the leaves for it to look good. I am yet to see one holistic project run by the government where there are no loose ends, where it feels complete. You can’t say that you do afforestation projects and at the same time you chop mature trees every minute of the day elsewhere. I’m not buying it and neither should you, dear reader.

Has the Maltese education system been adapted to cater for the greed of the decision makers? Are we teaching our children to ask questions and look at things with a critical mind or to be robots? Just because we can breathe, it doesn’t mean that we are breathing good air. Just because the result of inhaling the bad air isn’t showing immediately, it doesn’t mean it won’t kill us later on. Why are we so accepting with the decision makers standing there smiling, we even cheer for them, when they after their performance laugh at us? Believe me, they do because they are the only winners here. They are so blinded by success, fame and money that they forget that with great power comes great responsibility. They have totally forgotten that they are not there to be served, but to serve.

It’s not fair that the Maltese government can skip reaching their targets year after year, paying their way out of their failure, when it results in continuous suffering for us. We are letting the decision makers get away with killing us slowly and it’s time for us all to wake up.

It’s said that men are moved by only two mechanisms: fear and self-interest and that victory belongs to the most persevering. So let’s make sure that we acknowledge the fear, channel it and show the ones acting with self-interest at mind that we won’t give up.

I have been asked if I am stepping down as an MEP candidate due to my daughter’s health issues. I don’t think that would solve anything, I am rather upping the game. Giving up isn’t an option in my gene pool.

The moment my daughter looked at me with her eyes red from crying and told me she doesn’t want to die, that was the second I for the first time felt hatred. Hate towards the malfunctioning system, towards the ignorance and the corruption in our society scaring people from speaking up. I will channel that hatred and I will fight harder than ever. Until my last breath.


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