The Malta Independent 22 August 2019, Thursday

Change of heart

Rachel Borg Saturday, 10 August 2019, 09:26 Last update: about 11 days ago

The heat is on and the pressure on our daily life keeps on piling as changes are taking place all around us and leaving us without relief.  Unless we head overseas into the shade and cool of the forests or drink tea in an English garden, we get the impression we are in another era, when natives cut wood for burning so they could cook a wild rabbit and pirates swept onto our shores and took our people captive. 

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On another level are the assaults on our sensitivity, when journalists are brutally murdered, attacked and justice is a mere option in the hands of the few to dispense.  Families wave good bye to their children who have chosen to make a career abroad, sad that they will miss out on having their grand-children near them as they grow but unwilling to compromise on their values.

The double-speak from Ian Borg MP, from the Prime Minister and his aides is nothing but a smoke-screen, little appreciated in the fog of Summer heat.  We are stifled and bored. 

As Marcellus says in Shakespeare’s Hamlet - “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”

Indeed.  Here we are fighting and struggling to bring about a change of heart in the Prime Minister and his cabinet about the plundering of our trees, for road widening and tunnels or bridges or for 5G technology which everyone around Europe is protesting to on the grounds of danger to our health and the cutting of trees whilst Malta burns.

There is a blindness.  It is called election blindness where the powers see only the number of votes gained at the election.  On that they rest and on that they disregard any comment or observation from wherever it may come.  A warped democracy or none at all.

A truly good leader is able to have a change of mind and heart.  A good leader can realise what is in the best interest of the people and listen to what they are saying instead of using a system which ensures that there is only one way and no other.

There is serious need for pause and reflection now.  Our banks cannot continue the way they are, absorbing all the shocks and bad decisions for the government.  We are reduced to a shadow of what we were, at a time when we are at repeated growth statistics.  Just because the rot is not visible to the eye does not mean it can be ignored.

Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister, has said that he will resign before the next election but it does appear that he may be experiencing a change of heart about that.  He may do what he likes but if he does now decide to stay on and contest the election again, it should be with a different frame of mind than before, when he thought he had only to impress Europe and his own constituents.  He should learn that he is the Prime Minister of the whole country and that he is not the de facto leader of the opposition. 

Ultimately, as Cardinal Onaiyekan said “Muslims have a right to Islamize Nigeria.  The answer is not in complaining and crying; stand up like a man and Christianise Nigeria.’’   This is not about Islam but about the part we ourselves play.  We are all responsible for the change we bring about.  So, if our Prime Minister and his Cabinet are refusing to change course and take heed of the impending anger and exhaustion around him, we then cannot expect to see the changes we want unless we bring them about ourselves.

Legacy is about more than wealth.  Right now, the legacy of this regime is not a credit to them at all.  Other than changing the way we grow economically, it is a poor man’s legacy.  Once again, it is up to the individual to use sensibly and correctly, the opportunities around them.  One can plunder or one can build and contribute to a better society and nation.  One can show creativity and professionalism or one can ignore the complaints and the harsh climate of indifference in favour of ploughing ahead at any cost.  The people can unite and become a strong body able to counter the body politic.

How, where, when, if that happens remains to be seen.  The main opposition is like a ship in the night.  A mere ghost or Macbeth’s soliloquay “Is this a dagger I see before me?”  “A dagger of the mind, a false creation, proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?”

It is unlikely, though, that hampered as Dr Muscat is, with his trusted colleagues of Panama fame, any substantial action can be taken.  He may see it and know it, but he is impotent to create a positive change.

It may be that all the blusty action on the part of Minister Ian Borg, is compensating for the impotence of the PM. “Thou marshall’st me the way that I was going”  And such an instrument I was to use”. A diversion meant to defy the senses, knock us off our feet and strike so hard that we are rendered immune and numbed into acceptance.

However it may be, a change of heart and mind is crucial to the survival of our sanity, our country, our environment and our economy.   May it come sooner rather than later.

 

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