The Malta Independent 6 August 2020, Thursday

The country is in crisis

Saturday, 7 December 2019, 06:52 Last update: about 9 months ago

Sammi Davis

The country is in crisis and its effects will be felt by generations to come. For too long, we have allowed ourselves to be distracted by short term gain, cowed by divisive politics and rewarded for party loyalty.

We have looked away as our politicians have been compromised and our institutions have been captured, preferring to believe that as long as we had money in our pockets, things couldn’t be all that bad. Even the assassination of a journalist was not enough to shake most of us from our collective stupor, such was our allegiance to longheld tribal affiliations, distrust of the ‘others’ and fear of sticking our heads above the parapet without the protection of political patrons.

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The recent spate of peaceful protests led by various civil society groups in response to the arrest of powerful people closely associated with the government has been a reassuring sign. Finally, people are recognising the desperate state we are in and are responding in a thoroughly normal, democratic fashion in a very undemocratic environment.

Despite what is being touted by certain public officials and government supporters, the peaceful protesters are not rogue partisans taking their orders from the PN, hungry for power and prepared to provoke some bloody coup to get it. To borrow a phrase, they would say that, wouldn’t they? More of the same divisive political propaganda that has been wielded in this country for as long as anyone can remember, successfully keeping the population compliant, meek and predictable at the polling booths every 5 years.

This madness must end. Civil society must unite in demanding profound change and an end to the unholy alliance between big business and politics in this country that led to the cold blooded murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Make no mistake; Daphne was not killed in the crossfire of some far-off war, she was brutally silenced by homegrown criminals in suits and ties, assured of their own impunity because they controlled the system, directly or indirectly.

The web of corruption may be vast and the clean-up task daunting but it must begin with a single, definitive step. Joseph Muscat must leave office immediately. His departure will allow proper criminal investigation into the assassination, the associated corruption and the concurrent public inquiry to take place without further hindrance, perceived or otherwise, from the corridors of Castille. Every day brings new revelations that point directly to the OPM and with the threat of Article 7 now on the table, pressure must come from all quarters for Muscat to shoulder long overdue political responsibility and avoid tarnishing the reputation of this country even further.

The individuals that make up the Labour Parliamentary group need to stop serving themselves and start doing their duty to this country and the people that elected them. They need to stop ‘unanimously’ supporting Muscat in private and writing cryptic facebook posts in public. They need to find the courage to take a stand and they need to do it now.

And people, put aside the party flags. We are talking about rampant greed, crime, murder and cover up. These are matters we can agree on, underpinned by values we all share. We need to stop thinking of ourselves and start acting on behalf of our children. They will all inhabit the same space and it’s getting harder to breathe, literally and figuratively. They will not thank us for maintaining this foul status quo because it made our lives a little more comfortable in the short term. There have been significant signs of positive action with NGOs and constituted bodies stepping up to confirm they will no longer remain silent. We need the rest to step forward too if we are to fix this almighty mess. The only way is forward, together. Stand up Malta. We’re running out of time.

Make your voices heard in Valletta this Sunday, 4pm.

Sammi Davis, Repubblika Secretary General

 

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