The Malta Independent 12 May 2021, Wednesday

Waiting for sense

Rachel Borg Saturday, 17 April 2021, 07:27 Last update: about 24 days ago

We might have thought that it is common sense to want to get free of a corrupt and scandal-ridden government. Or that we will definitely not push aside the truth about how the country became a cog in the wheel of money-grabbers. We will look straight at the perpetrators crawling in the shadows and hold them responsible for the ruin of what was becoming a prosperous nation with strong traditions and growing on a positive reputation.

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When a voice, strong enough to drive that common sense through to people’s minds was threatening the lifeline and freedom of the organization, action was taken to silence it.  A journalist, Daphne, who made it her mission to keep the focus on where it should be, came too close to the truth.

The revelations brought to the front pages were of great discomfort and caused many to seethe in anger as they saw their dirty laundry on display. It was not just the holders of Panama offshore accounts who came up with such nonsense filled excuses, or the outfit of thieves that engineered the many deals at the front and back-end of the operations to take over business from the public community. The desire to be in the inner ring was like a magnet.

It drew the many insecure, envious, greedy nobodies who would have gone to any length to be associated in any small way with the circle of Joseph Muscat, Yorgen Fenech & Keith Schembri. 

The training to get access to the inner circle began before 2013.  There was a course for new members with the right credentials - young, ambitious, roots from the south, consumerist and of little thought as to the price to pay. Entry involved making your Youtube video to state your credentials, imitating well-educated people and their values and rivalling their status on every bill-board.

The reality is there now for everyone to see. The designer hand-bags and luxury cars, the VIP passes when in fact a coffee at the Busy bee with some pastizzi was the preferred table for those under-cover tete’-a-tete’s.

A nice dentici with pureed veg on a Sunday at Marsaxlokk with your sports car parked just outside worked well.  It did give the impression that this was what it was like for any ordinary bloke and friend in Malta. If they have it, I should too. We came to believe that everyone was benefitting from the new life that came out of the dying class of the PN. Wine, spritzers and the jangling of bangles and flashing of watches and your pass was stamped. Pay your bill inside, cash preferred.

Common sense does creep in. Realisation that no amount of wealth is going to let you sleep easy when to have it, you need to jeopardise your home, family, place in society and even your business or employment.

Better to face facts and see that Malta Taghna Lkoll was referring to a dry quarry in the middle of nowhere, without the necessary contacts to get you a permit to make a boutique hotel out of it. A five foot square block of flats on 7 floors, sandwiched between two houses, for foreign workers to pack into was the modern version of social welfare.

In the past, when people came to their senses and saw the fly in the soup, it was simple enough to make a proper choice next time round. And yet, there is a dragging of feet when it comes to stating the obvious and leaving behind the darkened vistas. 

People live in hope that they can have their cake and eat it too. Here lie the taunts of “being negative” that were so popular in the Simon Busuttil years. The belief that no one would be brought to account because the power structure was built using the best technique and the loyalty was undisputed. The protection was of the highest level. It was only left to the crowd to self-make themselves into millionaires.

Making fun of anyone who called the movement into question was the standard anti-corruption defence. When one woman went further and brought the proof of corruption for everyone to see, all systems were go. Trash, vilify, attack, ridicule and bring fear and doubt into the bones of anyone who might think of believing the evidence.

How much longer people can stand, knowing that the evidence is real, the facts are clear and the ground is falling beneath the towers of concrete, is what the labour media is up to now.  The voters who hung on to the belief that they too were part of the next circle will need to have that confidence restored. 

The problem is finding something for them to have confidence in is going to be a major issue.  There is no Joseph Muscat and Keith Schembri duo to woo them. The circus has left town. All that is left is ticket stubs and popcorn paper bags flying in the wind.  The animals have been put in cages and the trapeze artists have no one to catch them. Clowns are still hoping for a come- back. 

As Malta moves closer and closer to a regime, stripped of its dignity, drowning in shame, it needs not just good sense but also honest citizens to extend a hand and help heal its wounds.  Small protests taking place in Gozo by the Save Gozo group are simple but symbolic. Slowly they will start to gather steam and people will come out of their sanctuaries. There can be no more tolerance of rampant greed and destruction. 

The public will not be compromised anymore. That petrol station that is taking the place of a mature garden, that deal that meant we lost our assets and control over our energy and health. Airmalta stripped of its identity and left like a deflated lilo on the edge of the beach. The Covid numbers that were increasing in an alarming way and the deaths as a consequence whilst some partied and looked the other way is testament of the egoistic mentality that has taken hold over many. Or are we to be satisfied with a park that looks like a dealers’ paradise corner or a green area that is grey? 

Common sense must prevail and some normality restored before we can sit back and enjoy the summer.

 

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