The Malta Independent 17 October 2019, Thursday

When independence is rubbish

Victor Calleja Sunday, 22 September 2019, 10:50 Last update: about 25 days ago

Yesterday was one special day in Malta's life. It's the day we won, or rather were given, our independence. The Brits, our horrid overlords till 1964, didn't exactly tussle to keep us in their empire. Anyway, we did gain statehood and a place in international fora and organisations in the process of unshackling ourselves.

What is independence? Beyond a few words, what does it signify? Interesting that we "gained" our status from Britain in 1964, thus being given the right to, subsequently, become an EU member. We, the former slaves, are Britain's equals in the EU, as one member of a 28-member club.

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Does being part of the EU mean - as people like Dom Mintoff contended - relinquishing independence? Is Dom the actual bright spark who inspired Boris Johnson in his pursuit of unshackling Britain from the EU?

Dom and our now big star in the EU, Alfred Sant, considered the EU a chamber of horrors. Their idea was that you join and are doomed. Another Europhobe turned Europhile, Joseph Muscat, also used to think the EU was a failed pit of wastage.

Boris and his merry men and women keep harping on how independent they will be. That Brexit will set them free. They fail to explain that in the process, they must go down on their bended knees begging for scraps from Uncle Sam aka uncle Donald.

While attempting to liberate themselves, they ask Donald Trump to set them unfree. They would rather tie their future to the USA than closer to their own backyard. While with the EU they were one big member amongst equals, their unique partnership with the US will make them a minor partner of a huge behemoth.

Let's now go beyond Malta's birth pangs and dip into the historical posturing of our nation's building fathers. The same firebrand who derided the EU, and described the west (especially the US) as devilish (actually he called it Cain), had proposed that Malta be part of the United Kingdom.

Dom Mintoff, in ever-serious mood, wanted us to be a part of the UK. And he even had all Malta vote in a referendum to decide our future.

This is not a piece of fantastical fiction. And it did not happen five centuries ago. It happened in the 1950s.

If Dom's proposal to make us part of the United Kingdom had come to pass we would now be shedding all ties from the EU. Brexit, if and when it happens, would have been another great date to remember forever more. We could have included it in the list of national days - which to date amount to five.

Then when the USA would gobble us up we would set another lovely date for big bangs and fireworks to celebrate the event.

History is dotted with cranks. We seem to have a superior knack of choosing dubious characters as our leaders. 

Why is it important to dip into history and the what if scenarios? They are crucial to us understanding that some characters in our history who sound, or try to sound, like heroes were - and are - nothing but self-aggrandising hypocrites.

People like Dom Mintoff, Giorgio Borg Olivier, Joseph Muscat, Adrian Delia and other buffoons looked, or look, down on us as a pack of dullards. They saw, and see us, as people who lack all idea of truths and realities. They play around with the idea and concept of independence. They use important-sounding words and only pay lip-service to real independence and freedom.

Deep down all they wanted, and want, is for us to remain tied to their own view of power - where politicians are kings and the citizens are but clods to lead them on to whatever they have in mind. Which is usually that their party remains supreme and that their cronies fill their pockets with ill-gotten gains.

As long as our politicians get us to wave flags and think we have found paradise, why bother with the niceties of what truly represents freedom and independence?

Whenever he is asked any question about his, and the country's, future, Joseph Muscat looks strangely composed. As composed as those villains of cheap films who know what they have in mind but won't let out the secret. The Prime Minister looks sinister behind his fake, smug smile. He used to be the darling of the free press. Those days are gone - long gone and forgotten.

With a handful of days left before the Council of Europe deadline for the setting up of an independent inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, Joseph Muscat has finally taken the plunge. He left it to the very end to prove that he is, even in these circumstances, superior. 

Muscat's face, his words, his actions for a number of years have proved, over and over, that he believes in independent inquiries and their worth as much as an ant believes in aliens.

The only reason he complied is because he was pushed - seriously pushed - by those pesky foreigners who keep interfering in our internal affairs. That is how independent we are. Only they - the foreigners, the truly objective - see things properly. Only they make us realise that not all is right in Malta, that we have problems with justice and our rule of law.

Muscat smirks on and will, yes, have fulfilled the need for an inquiry. Whether it is independent enough or will be allowed to function properly is hardly important to Joseph Muscat and his followers. Ticking the box of what was expected of him - to please the foreign intruders -  is enough.  To Joseph Muscat all is but a mask of whitewash.

As long as we abide by the law all is legit. Before we unlearn this precept - that beyond the law there is the spirit of the law - we need not bother celebrating our fake, useless independence. 

 

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