The Malta Independent 4 June 2020, Thursday

It is the best of times, it is the worst of times

Victor Calleja Sunday, 13 October 2019, 09:00 Last update: about 9 months ago

The Ministers, the trolls, state TV, the groupies and the Prime Minister always

remind us that we are living in a golden age. In this L-Aqwa Zmien (the best of times), all hope springs fresh, all is achievable, all is wonderful.

When they started using the expression ‘L-Aqwa Zmien did they think of Charles Dickens or his work? I purposely misquoted him in the title of my piece. Did they, the Labour Party spinners, leave out the bit about any worst times because to them all there is on this island is golden-hued?


And the tragedy of it all is that people out there believe this travesty of reality and totally fictionalised way of seeing the country. Joseph Muscat’s approval rating keeps rising. The world is going loopy. Some toxic air which makes us – or the majority of us – reason strangely has really taken over the world. The reason? It is more apt to say that a lot of us have stopped reasoning.

The world, according to the Labour Party narrative, envies us. That is why people abroad criticise us. That is the only reason they talk of us as being associated with gangsters running laundromats. Anything shady, any scandal, is pure imagination according to Joseph and his amazing team.

Joseph Muscat is the juggernaut who has taken hold of all critics, all opposition and wise men and hypnotised them into thinking he is a master tactician, a magician, a man chosen by the gods to lead us all from the barrenness of yesterday to today’s land of plenty.

We are but dull sycophants who clap for, and admire, all that Joseph and his cabinet of fools do.

To his credit, Joseph Muscat has transformed the whole political scenario. He has the amazing power of being a serious game-changer. If he had used – or will ever use – his powers of persuasion and leadership for positive results we would all be applauding. We would be congratulating the man who came from nowhere and built a new land.

However, the only positive thing he actually did was win elections. Everything else – even the gender politics he introduced – are all tactical by-products of his nefarious plan to take over the land. He wants to plunder whatever he can to help his cronies and developers become richer than rich and mightier than anything ever seen in Malta.

Joseph Muscat had the numbers and the public appeal to be a pivotal new-way politician, to really implement change that was sorely needed. The country then was in need of a changeover. Now, after less than 10 years of his premiership, the change needed is even more important.

Yet all he wanted – sadly – was to manipulate the institutions to keep him in power with ever-decreasing checks and balances.

Muscat is a smooth talker and a great communicator. But beyond the selling of dreams, all hollow and soulless, he cares about nothing. He is the classic second-hand car salesman who promises you a sparkling, nearly new model then delivers a dented old banger.

Before he arrived and won jaw-dropping majorities, Maltese elections were hard-fought, nail-bitingly close affairs. The difference between the two main parties was a few thousand votes. Elections were usually so close that few would be ready to hazard a guess on who the winner could be.

Today the only bets played are on how close to a hundred thousand more votes than those for the PN will Muscat’s next victory be.

Muscat knows all this. He knows he is the Midas-touch leader of the Labour Party. He knows he is seen to do no wrong and that his people will never lose faith in him – because he transformed them from constant losers to serial winners.

Once he is the one who delivers, who cares if freedom of expression is less in vogue? Who cares if corruption and scandals are the order of the day? Who cares if the environment is no more and breathing is tougher than ever? Who cares if a journalist was assassinated and all memorials to her are swept away – just as happens in a despotic country? Who cares if trees are sacrificed in the name of tarmac and more traffic?

He is a winner. And as long as Joseph Muscat is its leader, the Labour Party will keep on trashing all opponents – especially the PN, that opponent which, for more than a quarter of a century, was the dominant force in the country and now is like a wandering, clueless beggar.

Muscat is the biggest winner but Malta, with him, is the biggest loser. 


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