Collaborators and enablers

I watched the non-face off that was the Xarabank stream on Facebook. It was a light Q&A session with the two contestants for the PN leadership post.

It seems we will never get a direct confrontation between Adrian Delia and Bernard Grech, because apparently “it could damage the Party”. That’s a bit like ordering the zero sugar drink along with XXXL fries at your favourite take away joint.

Well, at least Peppi seems to have that magic formula that keeps the numbers growing (Xarabank’s hits seem to justify that). That might explain why, rather than asking proper questions in a ‘Hard Talk’ style, he stuck to anecdotal questions about tattoos (Do you like them? Would you let your son have one?).

Was this a long-winded way of reminding us of disgraced Invictus, or of the one who partakes of cold showers in Acapulco (Germany)? Lord knows.

In the end, it was more of the same mediocre, doctored, ineffectual faff that passes for political discourse in our world. It’s as though the rules of the game are different for our politicians (or aspiring politicians) to the extent that they’re allowed to get away with murder.

Yes, if anything, the Xarabank online revival was nothing but a brutal reminder of the dearth of real political engagement.

We won’t be going very far with Grech, whose philosophy of trying to be a man for all seasons and ultimate mediator jars heavily with what is needed for real change. Grech looked and sounded very much like the defibrillator that might inject a bit more energy into the dying heart of the Party.

To do so, he’s chosen to tiptoe around the elephant in the room that is the corrupt, degenerate and dangerous band of politicians running the country.

He’s painted himself into an awkward corner where his efforts to seem like the harmless pacifist mediator mean he can’t even bring himself to turn his guns on his direct competitor. As if that weren’t enough, there’s no place in his goody-goody rhetoric to promise leadership against the corrupt.

I’m sorry for those who see in Grech some sort of Fenech Adami comeback, but at least that village lawyer had no qualms about calling out the corrupt and undemocratic government of the day.

There’s a sense of ‘collaboration’ in the air, and it’s dangerous.

The backsliding in the rule of law is now getting the approval of the Opposition which is supposed to curtail it. We saw this with the acceptance of the package of constitutional reforms I wrote about last week.

The charade of the reforms is being backed and confirmed by yes-men peddling in law, or by the sad show that are former Nationalist politicians who are just happy to take part in the discussion and lend their name to the comedy.

Collaborators are to be found a tier below the enablers who actually form part of the government, and who acknowledged and backed highly suspicious dealings of the criminal “Kitchen Cabinet“.

Collaborators are happy to go along with what’s happening if only to get a share of what is perceived to be the limelight.

Enablers are not only wallowing in the sad light that is Malta’s version of the VIP, but they’re also living off the fruits of the land, thanks to a system that prizes loyalty over merit.

The war on corruption is much bigger than the race for Opposition Leader. It’s telling, though, that the more time passes, the more we seem to witness a softening of the anger that accompanies certain revelations.

Collaboration is adopted simply for the sake of not seeming too negative. Rather than mend our ways, we seem to be prepared to adapt to this new reality, this new normal that is anything but that.

I used to believe apathy would be the greatest danger to our society. The damning revelations we witnessed this past week hardly made the ripples they were supposed to have caused.

When that apathy turns into collaboration and silent acquiescence, we may have reached a point of no return.

In the words of Martin Luther King: “Your life begins to end the moment you start being silent about the things that matter.”


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