You must wonder what the breaking point is. I am beginning to think that it all boils down to world class anger management. No matter how hard the people of this land are taken for a ride, there is never going to be a disproportionate reaction of the angry, “enough is enough” kind.
We have had, in our time, moments of “Issa Daqshekk” that purported to be an expression of general discontent with the way things were going. They fizzled down to being yet another exercise of long-arm manipulation by what we can call our political class (for want of a better term).
The truth is that while your average person can bring himself to complain, he will never be provoked to the point of taking matters into his own hands.
During that archaic exercise of budget listening, while the people of the nation were glued to their sets trying to fathom what Roly Polys will be thrown their way (using money out of their own purses), some minions of government were despatched to cut down trees that had the audacity to grow on Maltese land for more than a century.
The tarmac loving, roadmap spewing, concrete adoring, pea brains in government had struck again. The next day social media was awash with the despair of citizens who realised those trees were no more. It was just another stab into the heart of a dying nation that is being submerged in the ugliest of cliches that is a concrete jungle.
Ministers like Ian Borg or Clint Camilleri will still turn up on national propaganda TVM news to wax lyrical about the shiny new macadam that has been laid and spew their very own version of Luther King’s “I have a dream” that involves more square metres of concrete, tar and dust obliterating any notion of nature that we might have left.
It is not even the greater things that should be provoking whatever conscientious persons are left in this country to action. It is the small things. It is the daily arrogance of a Prime Minister who has found himself to be so far out of his depth once he climbed out of the safe cocoon afforded until now by daddy’s shadow.
Abela has reached Trumpian proportions of credibility (minus the tweets) to the point that all one has to do whenever he speaks is think the opposite of whatever he has said.
In an interview concerning the possibility of recusing himself on a possible decision to grant a presidential pardon to Vincent Muscat (who the prime minister refers to by his nickname, il-Koħħu), Abela let slip the word “abdicate” (l-eħfef ħaġa tkun li nabdika) when referring to himself.
It might be a slip of the most Freudian of kinds but there was il-Kink’s successor speaking of himself in royal terms (prime ministers do not abdicate; kings do). While we are on the subject of royalty, I genuinely would like to know why the press continues to propagate this ‘First Lady’ myth that was started by the wife of disgraced former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.
Lydia Abela had a column in one of the Sunday papers signed off as, “Lawyer and wife of the Prime Minister”). Wife of the prime minister? Is that a new qualification?
Are we going to have the prime minister’s wife stuffed down our collective throats in the same way as Michelle Muscat?
It is ironic that the key point in Lydia Abela’s article, entitled ‘Labour’s Progressive Budget,’ was all about gender equality. Say that when your defining mark is being somebody’s wife and then remind me why I should not see through this latest twist of Labour propaganda for what it is.
I am still not sure why I kicked off with anger management. Only, it’s been a nagging thought all day. The little examples I can come up with that serve to build the pent up anger are only best illustrated when we see the other side of the coin. This week, for example, I particularly enjoyed following a new Facebook group dedicated to the arcane field of Maltese Entomology and Wildlife.
What I find particularly wonderful about following such a group is that the members of the group offer a window on Malta that goes beyond the grey and uglification that slaps us in the face every day. The marvellous dedication of each member posting splendid testimonies of the nature that struggles to survive out there despite all the odds we throw at it is invigorating and reassuring.
These people will not just tell you what the insect in the photo is (scientific name and all) but also the name of the plant it happens to be on when photographed. I learnt there is such a thing as a Chnootriba elaterii (Gourd Ladybird) and that it feeds on the Ecballium Elaterium (Squirting Cucumber). It’s fantastic, really.
I strongly recommend joining such groups if, for nothing else, a kind of anger management. It will take your mind off the senatores furciferes stercoribus pleni.