We are not OK

It is enough to drive you insane. That feeling that in the background there is this constant effort to make everything feel and sound as though we are fast approaching normality. That feeling that there is actually a normality to aspire to and not a dysfunctional society that has been anything but normal ever since it became sovereign.

“There are crooks everywhere you look” was a big milestone in the growing awareness that the system was not working. It became the trigger that obliged a nation to focus. The author of those lines was assassinated literally hours after she wrote them and suddenly the broken system had blood on its hands.

Three and a half years down the line word is out that a new election is brewing. The polls, the entrails of our electoral psyche, seem to point to a renewed Labour victory (though with less of a margin). What concerns me is that the fact that the system is broken is nowhere to be found among your average voters’ considerations.

The majority will confirm its taste for Labour without even needing to hold their proverbial noses while casting their vote for the Party that has delivered the most disgraced Cabinet in Maltese history. What with the Opposition still acting the headless chicken that has to deal with its own ghosts and primadonnas, the road seems to be wide open for the advocates of normality to win the day.

That is the insane part of it really. That the day we are called to the polls, the Party that inherited Joseph Muscat’s corrupt mess will be laughing all the way to the station. His former legal advisor turned successor will successfully peddle the continuity mantra because that is what ‘the people’ want. The two Parties will go head-to-head in yet another costly battle funded by god knows who and god knows how.

That too is an abnormal normality in this country. As Matthew Caruana Galizia put it so aptly on Facebook the other day, both Media.Link and One Productions (the propaganda branches of the Parties) have not filed their accounts for over a decade. MLP holdings (owner of Labour’s various companies) has not filed accounts since the year 2000. If the PLPN were an NGO they would have long been struck out of existence – but those rules are for other animals, aren’t they?

We’ll definitely not be told what E-grants and E-donations were given to the Parties and consequentially to whom the said Parties are beholden. That is the least of our problems though. Our problem lies in the fact that this is part of the normality that we are promised. While our nation’s broken system cries for reform and change we will engage in yet another electoral process that promises more of the same.

Everywhere you look there are not only crooks but a crooked system. A dark shadow looms over the current Cabinet as present and former members are alleged to be embroiled in all forms of criminal activity. While this goes on, we have civil society under attack by the unmeritocratic bureaucracy and a justice system that works in stops and starts.

As a FATF evaluation looms upon us and we are fully immersed in the battle against COVID everything is being done to avoid the possibility of starting off from a clean slate. We will settle to the tune of the adage that everything will remain the same by faking change. Normality will be served come what may.

Great efforts are being put into this normality business. The people will be asked to give their seal of approval to this new plan before the end of the year, just as they were asked in 2017. The illusion might work for most, the belief that normality has been achieved might be comforting for those who care little for justice.

Whatever they tell you though… we are not ok.


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John Jones
John Jones
1 year ago

I’d like to know who is ok. Malta is just another country that for the last thirty years has been selling her soul and today we see the results. Most people remember 1989 as the year the Berlin wall fell and the beginning of a new and exciting era. But, try and look back to 1989. How many offshore companies existed then? Do you remember what it was like moving, for instance $5,000 from one country to another? Could a massive German company register themselves as Maltese and thus avoid billions in taxes? A banker friend recently quipped that 90% of what goes on in everyday banking would have been illegal in 1989.Did anyone ever buy passports anywhere in 1989? Malta, like most other countries has had crooks writing the laws for the benefit of other crooks/clients for 30 years and just as a house is repaired from it’s foundations, Malta and most of the capitalist world will only save themselves by turning back the clock. Highly unlikely, because beneath all the bluster, both sides of parliament would unanimously oppose. Remember one important fact, the Panama papers leaked documents of just one financial institution. There are many more.

John Jones
John Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  John Jones

My comment was intended to focus more on the international aspects of corruption and bad governance. If you want to restrict the argument to Malta, PL, and PN starting from 2013, ok go ahead. So, in 2013 the PL were elected to run a country with strong institutions, laws, and enforcement and within 3 years the Labour government had destroyed all semblance of these attributes. Makes one wonder how strong these institutions were in the first place. I know that there is a complete mess in Malta but it’s been coming from long before 2013. Institutions like the MFSA and FIAU were manned by pretty much the same people that the PN governmnets had appointed yet they obviously began to fail regardless.Until Malta discards the mentality ‘we perfect, you hopeless’ and start to work together, nothing will change.

1 year ago

Indeed we are not ok. And to be honest, I realise I continuously underestimate the depth of the problem probably even now, even though I have long known about the crooked ways of Labour since before a change in government.
I remember Daphney’s “the situation is desperate” and think of what I knew then, and how I interpreted her message then – the situation was indeed desperate but I realize that was nothing compared to what I realize now, to what I actually see now – and that’s exactly the problem – people think they realize now but what they see is in fact a fraction of the depth.
How is it so difficult to transmit to the people of this country the magnitude of the problem we have? I feel that COVID-19 has done us a great disservice because Civil Society and Republica have been unable to call much needed Mass Meetings, Rallies, and Demonstrations. We should be protesting our heads off at the moment and yet everything is so passive, so calm, so surreal. And at this rate, indeed, Labour will win again even though many of them should be in prison. How truly sad, how powerless I feel, truly walled up and so few seem to be seeing it.

D. Borg
D. Borg
1 year ago

Is the PN Executive humble and honest enough to call for and join (i.e. not integrate into itself) a Coalition to remove Labour from office – and more importantly vouch that the Coalition partners will not be elbowed out, so that they assist any potential PN lead government to stick to the agreed electoral manifesto and effectively instill & maintain transparency, accountability, meritocracy, and good governance – rather than eventually conveniently play the tune of its “donors” and stalwarts’ friends?

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