Those complicit competent authorities – Jacques René Zammit

Belief. It’s an act of faith. It requires trust and confidence being placed in what one is being told. Belief is not limited to the religious and can extend to the political. You can believe in an ideal or strongly hold an opinion to the extent that you believe it is the truth. Much of today’s world revolves around our trust and confidence in ideas, structures, and realities. Belief is an essential building block.

The Papal visit to Malta was marked with some very strong messages to the people of the islands of Saint Paul. The head of the Catholic Church had some stern words of advice concerning a variety of subjects from corruption to the environment to immigration. 

The theme of the visit recalled the welcoming nature of the inhabitants of the island nigh on two thousand years ago. In between diplomatic nods to this biblical history the Pope delivered a clear signal that Malta needed to brush up its act. Fight corruption, end the rape of the land, open its arms to the needy arriving at its doorstep. 

Any news outlet that was not state-owned or Labour party run reproduced Pope Francis’ thundering warnings. Illum went with “Ħasla Papali(a Papal telling off) that beautifully used a most Maltese of expressions while reporting the literal effect of the pontiff’s admonitions. Not State TV though. TVM in both its visual and written forms did what it does best these days. It reported a parallel universe where the Pope was full of praise for the Maltese and especially for the Maltese government.

Belief. This was not the Labour propaganda machine reporting Council of Europe proceedings peppering its wording with such words as “traitors”. This time criticism of the political underpinnings of our state had come from the Supreme Pontiff himself and the only thing they could do was make believe it was never said. There are many people out there who have become used to fine-tuning their receivers to only capture positive messages. Belief. Abela’s government of continuity and humility invests heavily in this.

Hungary’s Viktor Orban was returned to power for a fourth term with a plebiscite guaranteeing his party a two-thirds majority in parliament. His government has been responsible for some serious back-sliding of the rule of law. His popularity depends on fighting ghosts and enemies constructed for the sake of his audiences. The international left, Zionism, the European Union and even Ukraine’s Zelenskiy form part of the formidable forces Orban ‘fights’ daily. 

Needless to say, Orban depends strongly on the control of information. International observers noted that the last election was marred by an uneven playing field benefiting the ruling party. Orban’s party has gradually taken control of democratic institutions and funnelled taxpayer money to friends and family. Sounds familiar? The Commission has just announced it will trigger a powerful mechanism that will cut funding to Hungary for eroding rule of law standards. 

In his speech at Hal Far, Pope Francis spoke of the many ways in which the human dignity of migrants is violated “sadly at times with the complicity of competent authorities”. There they go again, those complicit competent authorities. Competent authorities that scramble to paint a good picture of the functioning of a nation on the propaganda front, but then neglect their duties towards the citizen.

Competent authorities that are shamed by the accusations of corruption, but prefer to raise smokescreens and accuse detractors of treason. Competent authorities that are neutered to accommodate a veritable design of construction destruction. Competent authorities captured through the hypnotisation of the masses – doped into believing their false truths. 

As I write this article the words of Russia’s Foreign Minister denying the undeniable still echo in my ears. The Russian propaganda line is that the crimes against humanity committed in Bucha are all really a mise-en-scène by the Ukrainian authorities. The Russians want you to believe their words and mistrust your eyes. They don’t want you to believe that thousands of Russian soldiers ran rampage in Ukraine, raping, pillaging, and murdering, with the complicity of their competent authorities. 

Believe. Obey. Follow. The choice is increasingly out of your hands. Those complicit competent authorities will do the rest.



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carmelo borg
2 years ago

İmma Madame NORMA SALİBA TAT TVM ma xandret xejn x qal il papa. U lanqas jekk rajt xejn meta Metsola tkelmet fil parlament ta l ewropa u li ma setawx iwaqfu ic capcip li qalet u lanqas dak l ghola unur li qalet mil president Ukran

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