Underlying conditions

The phrase ‘underlying conditions’ will soon join the likes of ‘friendly fire’ and ‘collateral damage’ in the annals of historic euphemisms that are employed by the powers that be to conceal the negative effect of their wrong decisions.

The unrelenting second wave of the COVID pandemic that we can confidently attribute to decisions by Robert Abela’s Cabinet has sadly also produced a larger amount of deaths than the first.

Every death is inevitably reported as having occurred to a person who suffered from an ‘underlying condition’. The statistical juggling that we had already witnessed with regards to the immigrant section of our population is now even more evident with this propagandistic use of the euphemism.

Make no mistake: every time you are told that an elder of our society died after testing positive to COVID – but also having underlying conditions – you are witnessing a propaganda effort.

The truth is that the whole point of COVID prevention measures was to protect the vulnerable and weak of our society. Guess what qualifies a person to be among the vulnerable and weak? That’s right… persons who suffer from the infamous ‘underlying conditions’.

The reason Prime Minister Waves-in-the-Sea and Minister Mechanisms failed miserably in the all-important prevention test is precisely because their decisions led to the avoidable exposure of persons with potential ‘underlying conditions’.

Every death of a COVID patient with ‘underlying conditions’ is another reminder of how our society failed miserably to protect its most vulnerable and weak.

The government promoted euphemism is an explicit admission not only of the failure to protect but also of the twisted priorities when it comes to decision making. Last week I spoke of the lessons that we continue to unlearn – making decisions about business, economy and commerce that risk health, safety and wellbeing is another of those constant lessons that often backfires in our collective faces.

The biggest underlying condition behind the new wave of victims of the pandemic is our hapless government. Abela’s team is operating haphazardly with an altogether different ‘underlying condition’. In fact, all the decisions taken by Abela’s Cabinet seem to be influenced by an ‘underlying condition’ that is called Joseph Muscat.

Much has already been written about how Muscat is the albatross around Abela’s neck though events this week seem to point to the fact that he is not so much an albatross but really Abela’s greatest creditor. The ‘underlying condition’ that is Muscat seems to control Abela even now that he is supposed to have faded in the background.

The latest battle engaged by Abela against the public inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination stinks of Muscat’s involvement, to say the least.

Just like his mentor, Abela seems to believe that institutional set ups such as the public inquiry are only to be used to serve as smokescreens of the kind where justice may seem to be done but, in reality, it just stops at the theatrics.

There is no reason to stop the work of the inquiry now and yet Abela has Team Labour on overdrive inveighing against the politicisation of a process that cannot be anything but political.

The inquiry has made great progress if only simply in uncovering the den of corruption enabling administrators’ modus operandi.

Cabinet minister after Cabinet minister has paraded before the inquiry unable to explain the inadequacy of the decision making process of which they formed part and reinforcing the idea that Muscat’s team where piloted by a core of manipulators while the rest of the team plodded along in silent acquiescence.

Corruption is the underlying condition of our system of government. The changes that are needed are radical and the patchwork eye-candy approach that is being used to give the semblance of real change such as our Constitutional reforms or the sudden impetus in anti-money laundering activity is nowhere near the medicine that we require.

Like the ‘underlying conditions’ in the medical bulletins, all the ‘underlying conditions’ of our sick State will continue to be hidden or mollified by a propagandistic government.

We must not lose the will to question every step of the way. It is only through constant scrutiny that we may hope that the truth one day will prevail.


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