The Malta Independent 16 May 2021, Sunday

Drum roll

Rachel Borg Saturday, 10 April 2021, 07:18 Last update: about 2 months ago

Our days have become characterized by a series of drum rolls.  One announcement after another reaches our social media, news reports, our radio and television shows and our daily conversation.

Pupils and students wait to hear when they are going back to their school desks and benches.  Bars and restaurants anxiously wait for a sign.  Every afternoon we check the number of cases of Covid 19 and the announcement on those who passed away.  We are relieved to receive the sms calling us to take the vaccine.  We hear conflicting news and scratch our head hearing irrational messages.


We are left to struggle with our hopes, nerves and patience. 

Above all of this, like the humidity that hangs over the air on a “rih isfel” day, the announcements that rolled in during these past weeks, from the arrest of Keith Schembri and the group of 11, to their trip to Kordin, court appearances and then going out on bail, with the silly curfew as a deterrent from fancy ideas of absconding, are starting to fade into oblivion.

Alongside, we have the drum roll from court with Il-Kohhu and other witnesses trying to get out of an underground drain pipe and emerging at the wrong place each time. 

Robert Abela throws a tizzy trying to manage the many drum rolls, not sure whether they are good or bad for him.  Every now and again he does a bit of a pirouette and throws a tit bit to the Commissioner of Police or the media.

The fact is that we are living in a limbo, on the one hand we have Labour calling for Labour to apologise and on the other we have civil society in a total upheaval, with the disorder around us. 

If any of this drama is going to lead us anywhere, then we need to be clear about our intentions going forward.  Are we going to allow this soap opera to manage our lives and have control over our country again or will we say enough is enough?

Around our stressed mental condition, choosing to say we don’t know what to do or think, is often our place of refuge.  Let someone else deal with it.  Let others make sense of it because I’ve had enough of the lies, the dirty deals, the avoidance of the Prime Minister to get to grips with the muck and do a proper clean up.

It’s understandable because few countries would have put up with what we have been seeing and hearing and enduring.  The shame is now endemic.  It is probably a good thing that we are not travelling abroad these days because we would likely be highly embarrassed to hear the opinion of those who understand what Malta is experiencing.

However, we cannot remain shielded in our bubbles and ignore the total failure of government, justice and order that has become the daily drum roll.  We are responsible for each time we allow our morals and actions to be compromised by what is perceived as power. 

Robert Abela and his cabinet think they have all the power.  They are under the impression that they steer a great machine and can navigate over the rough seas.  There is no fear of a mutiny because the crew are basically held as slaves.  Slaves to money, slaves to pride, conditioned by envy and groomed by hate.

We do not yet know what composition of opposition parties there will be, come the next election and what sort of choices we will have. We are uncertain of their prospects and their message.  Like many of the daily announcements, the message coming across is often confused, mis-managed, soft, mis-aligned and possibly compromised.  The truth though, is one thing that we cannot be confused about.  And the truth is that we cannot go on as we are, living in this constant upheaval of values, morals, destruction and dis-order.  We see external evidence of it in the ugly, soul-less buildings that have invaded our space, our streets our country-side.  We hear the guns shooting at innocent and protected birds.  Concrete under our feet everywhere we go.  Gates and barriers are now the latest trend.  Roads that lead to nowhere. 

The fate of our country rests with criminals who barter information for freedom.  Those who know as much as they do or even more fail to honour their oaths and defend the constitution and the people.  They hide behind the apparatus they have installed in the system, cowards without any sense of humility.

The country is entitled to be free of such shame and impunity.  It cannot happen without a sense of the injustice that has taken place.  No empty apology, to be dispensed to those who ask for it and who will probably be made to sign some allegiance on receiving it, is going to white-wash the black soul of the nation.

What are the fears that hold you back from cutting loose of this syndicate?  Bread?  Imperialism?  Or is it the threat of immigration?  Who was afraid when some Easter ago, we had a mass event that blared out disco music for 4 days over Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday in multiple venues?  Did you feel that the event fit our religion and culture?  Yet, some African refugees, in search of bread are enough to make you turn to the syndicate to protect you and the Maltese islands from invasion.

Let us get out of this hole we have dug and continue to find ourselves in.  Holding on to the past and on to our fears is hardly what the Maltese are made of.  Labour played that card well in the 2013 election when they had those videos of the switchers all la di da.  It gave people a way to think of themselves as brave and modern.  Now they must do it again, in reverse.  In this case, going back is the right thing to do.  Like the disciples of Emmaus. 

Another day, another drum roll. 


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