The Malta Independent 14 July 2020, Tuesday

Les carrottes sont cuites

Andrew Azzopardi Wednesday, 17 June 2020, 06:55 Last update: about 26 days ago

A couple of weeks ago I saw the 2015 movie, The Walk, a biographical film directed by Robert Zemeckis and penned by Browne and Zemeckis himself.  The film narrates the true story of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit who, in 1974, sneakily and deceitfully laced a tight-rope between the now defunct Twin Towers in the World Trade Center complex of seven buildings in Lower Manhattan.  After successfully surreptitiously stringing up the rope and the cables, Philippe performed his routine and managed against all odds, to eight passes along the wire while the masses below, first thinking that this was some suicide mission, started cheering him on.  Petit performed a daring 45-minute routine with a drop of around 400 meters above Lower Manhattan with no safety precautions whatsoever.  At the end of this realization he was arrested after the police officers located on both towers looked helplessly for almost an hour, not knowing what to do next, whilst Petit did his thing.


Well apart from the fact that I recommend you watch the movie, if you haven’t already done so that is, some reflections ensued. 

One catch phrase in the film that kept coming up was, ‘les carrottes sont cuites’ (the carrots are cooked).  In a metaphoric sense, it means there is nothing else one can do to change the course of events.  

This brings me to today’s argument. 

Like many others I have been following the compilation of evidence for the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia that happened in October 2017, yes, almost two years ago.  The testimony of Melvin Theuma, tied to a Presidential Pardon, is almost surreal.  The names that keep coming up; politicians from both sides of the political continuum, business persons, bodyguards, taxi drivers, advisors to politicians, biggies in the police force, whopper lawyers - is simply disbelieving.  In any other normal Country (and by this I mean standard and customary and nothing extraordinary), heads should have been rolling, governments tumbling, political parties crumpling and institutions scrunching.  As I’ve had the opportunity to state in another opinion some months back, when it comes to people in power the principle of ‘you are innocent until proven guilty’ should work inversely.  The people being mentioned are (some of them ‘were’) in rock-hard positions of power.  Those that are no longer I am sure still have the contacts.  For all of these, standing at attention until this is over, is the least they can do.   

In this hubbub I am left with three feelings; firstly, it seems as if ‘les carrottes sont cuites’ and what has happened has happened.  There seems to be little chance of deciphering the situation and highly improbable that justice will prevail; secondly, the general population has turned numb.  The populace seems to have got used to the mention of ‘these’ people but the mantra ‘business as usual’ and the booming economy has created a normalization discourse.  People are almost made to believe that what was happening seems to be simply the prerogative of some other epoch (ifhem, la qed naghmel lira hux).  Once again in any other urbane country there would be a public display of justice and these people are not left to go about their business as if nothing matters.  Thirdly, many, including myself, are not hopeful that justice will triumph. From what I gather I’m pretty sure that these felons will find a way out of this muddle and this because they know that if ‘I’ go down, you will come tumbling after.

James Debono in a Facebook post on June 11th says, states; ‘One consequence of [the] middleman’s testimony in Daphne’s assassination case is that it raises the stakes so high and lowers the bar so much that the shock factor is becoming weaker and weaker and the country is becoming immunized, [a] sort of herd immunity. The more people involved and the more bizarre the things we hear the greater our tolerance for gross impropriety.’   I couldn’t have said it better.

Oh, and all these ‘entertainers’ being mentioned in these inquiries and compilation of evidence are our own ‘Philippe Petits’.  They continue to walk on their tight rope, as most, figuratively speaking, take the piss out of the justice system. 

It is all bollocks. We will remain empty handed; you just wait and see.  This whole travesty is bound for a spiral into endless legalisms and we will never have the proof to what extent this murder was linked to the echelons of power. 

If we really wanted, with ‘so many resources’ dedicated to the uncovering of this murder, we should have much more than three fatuous dissolute men and a person who commissioned the murder all pleading ‘innocent’. 

And in between having cannelloni and rabbit cooked for them, people walk from one tower of power to another taking the mickey as the Country looks disbelievingly, and sporadically claps at the entertainment that is being provided. 

All are happy as we get used to the new normal (not of the Covid-19 type), this trickery as we watch emotionless how our Country has gone to the dogs as far as governance is concerned.  We are so needy of leadership, and not only of the political type.  We are lacking morality of all sorts and wanting of a semblance of customariness that sees the baddies and scoundrels getting what they merit.

Because at the end of the day, this is a narrative that has left the journalism community orphaned, a family with a butchered mummy and wife, friends without a buddy and a country with probably one of the last standing investigative journalists.  Coupled with that our justice system which should represent decency, honesty, integrity and probity is in danger of getting embroiled in this heartbreak and risks becoming a cog wheel in this misfortune.

And now we are off to continue living ‘happily as ever and ever after’ and as if nothing occurred. The dysfunctioning State becomes a familiarity, until someone really takes it on oneself to bring amity and accord - but where will this leadership come from ?  



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