The temperature climbed to 27 degrees this Sunday in Luxembourg. It turned out to be a perfect opportunity for everybody to don their shorts and t-shirts and make believe that summer was here. The headlines in the press Sunday press would jolt us back to reality with the reminder that this was a one-hit wonder… come Monday, they said, the cold, wet weather would be back.
It is always reassuring to see how enterprising one can get when faced with the correct amount of empirical data. Having been told that we had one day’s grace from the non-spring we’ve had till now, we immediately set about making the most of it as if there was no tomorrow. Or rather as if tomorrow was an 80% chance of rain with the temperature shooting back in the direction of zero.
A decision to shed multiple layers of clothing for a day is not a tough one to take. The masses will not hesitate to rely on the evidence and diligently stock up on the BBQ material, plan their outings and generally engage in the Great Outdoor with an epicurean nonchalance. I guess what I mean is that it takes no Nostradamus to understand the effect that certain nuggets of data will have on the general population.
Political polls, on the other hand, are another kettle of fish. They tend to be a tad bit more complicated than the subtle moistening of the tip of your index while raising it to the skies to gauge which way the wind is blowing. Worse still, polls in Malta are inevitably couched in terms of the asphyxiating dichotomous system that we have been burdened with since Independence.
It is hard to fathom the reasons behind surges in popularity for a government mired in corruption scandals as much as it is difficult to put your finger on the reason for the latest plunge taken by the Opposition. The reasons why are beyond the ken of the world of spin and manipulation of information. At some point, you would have expected the last straw to have been deposited on the proverbial camel’s back with the consequential tsunami of change to ensue while cocking a defiant middle-finger to the tried and tested.
The last straw we have not. What we do have is the government of Prosit Ministru, Grazzi Ministru, Faqqagħli Blokka Konkrit Ieħor Ministru taking advantage of the latest internecine squabble in Central House. I am aware that said squabble has already been the subject of other articles penned by colleagues at The Shift (including an excellent overview by Blanche Gatt) yet given my history with the subject, I believe I am entitled my tuppence of thought.
The theory I have suggested for almost two decades now is that our whole political, representative set up needs a complete rewiring due to the fact that it has been corrupted to the core. Corruption is meant in the software sense, where a programme intended to have a particular function is suddenly no longer fit for purpose due to a number of reasons such as a virus, mistaken deletion of file, overwriting of files and the like.
The reason for that corruption has been the rewriting of a programme that was originally intended to provide a service of representation. The rewriting transformed it into a programme intended to serve the needs of two political parties. Within that programme are two Parties that themselves are programmed to leech off the system with a sole objective in mind – achieving power.
The achievement of power is now fine tuned to the creation of an inter-dependent network involving business and political interests plundering upon the same public good that the Parties were originally intended to manage in the name of the people.
Both Parties get away with the mentality of being Lords of the Land who make use of the public good as though it were their own. Both Parties act with what they assume to be a God-given right to rule and dispense with common wealth as they please.
Bernard Grech’s plummeting figures might have much to do with the fact that he has been unable to divorce (funny word that) the latest incarnation of the PN from the old ways of thinking. The programme remains the same. The ‘solution’ to the Delia-Azzopardi debacle has shown how the virus is still running the programme.
Back when the PN troubles started with Simon Busuttil as leader, my suggestion to what I assumed to be the few genuine politicians working in the fold had been for them to leave the PN and set up anew without the shackles of a corrupt Party that had forgotten its vocation. It is probably too late for them to do so now. The only solution I see today is for the PN to disintegrate and make way for a fresh Party with new ideas, including a reformatting of the system.
The problem is that no matter how much I try to look at the empirical data, I can only see more doom and more gloom. It’s not for want of trying. For now, there is only a creeping sense of resignation.