Tailspin – Kevin Cassar

Time flies when we’re having fun. The gap between how time passes and how we experience it has exercised scientists for over 150 years. Nobel Laureate Edvard Moser and other researchers have discovered that a large network of neural areas in the brain, and not just a single brain structure, underlies time processing.

“Flow” is a term coined to describe the experience of being so immersed in an activity that the sense of time is distorted — it feels like time has passed faster than usual.

That is exactly what Malta is experiencing. And with it comes the inevitable process of forgetting. When so many things happen so rapidly, even events that are relatively recent appear to have happened a long time ago, and subsequently lose importance. The more temporally distant an event is perceived, the less relevant it becomes.

It seems like decades have passed since Justyne Caruana resigned, but it’s only been 6 months. The police were asked to open a criminal investigation into her Bogdanovic contract then, but who’s interested now?

It feels like years since Labour MP Silvio Grixti resigned under a cloud of mystery, but everybody has forgotten about it. There were reports of fraudulent medical certificates and a police investigation then, but who’s bothered now?

It’s been only six months since Ian Castaldi Paris announced he would not recontest in a flurry of reports about €1 million in undeclared earnings and a probe into his fiscal affairs. Who’s chasing that up?

And it’s only been a few months since the tax commissioner informed MPs that Rosianne Cutajar was still under investigation. Where has that investigation got to?

Time is truly distorted because bad government shoots out of Castille so fast that it consumes the whole news cycle. One drama is not even over before the next one strikes.

Even the most recent sagas have been forgotten: the Comino blue lagoon scandal, the Valletta music permits, the AUM-SmartCity deal — and let’s not forget Clayton Bartolo’s girlfriend, or Lionel Gerada’s Phoenicia weekend break at taxpayers’ expense.

Keeping up is not just exhausting, it’s thoroughly draining, particularly for those like The Shift who assiduously and responsibly continue to fulfil their duty to bring abuse and corruption to the attention of the people.

The temptation, of course, especially in summer, is to tune out just to retain your sanity and escape despair. The nation’s been battered so badly, so incessantly, with one lurid story after another that it has stopped feeling the blows. The nation’s very spine is so fractured, everyone is comfortably numb. It won’t even notice if another limb is chopped off.

Labour’s relentless scandals create a giant hamster wheel. No matter how fast we run, we’re stuck in a quagmire of sleaze. The incessant flow of new scandal prevents us from holding Labour to account. So much has happened in 24 hours, we can barely remember yesterday’s drama. Last week’s shocking revelations are mired under the slew of fresh filth  like a burst drainage pipe that floods everything in its path.

How we yearn for the normality of boring politics. How we crave the quiet summers, the silly season of quiet relief. Now every moment of quiet is laced with the anxiety that they’re up to something new.

We face the mass production of Labour’s dirt on a daily basis.

Thousands of euros of public funds paid out by Labour ministers and parliamentary secretaries to Labour publication Kulhadd…

New deputy AFM Commander Edric Zahra promoted twice within 24 hours…

Silvio Schembri still refusing to answer questions about the €31 million he spent leasing MBR premises when he could have bought the entire property for less…

Konrad Mizzi’s former permanent secretary condemned by the NAO but now put in charge of millions of euro in EU funds…

Government giving away prime land to AUM for peanuts…

Silvio Schembri refusing to answer why Joseph Muscat is still using government offices at Sa Maison…

Lionel Gerada is still in his post…

600 Airmalta employees soon to be dumped on the public payroll…

Joseph Cuschieri, Yorgen Fenech’s pal, still a board member of MSPP, formerly Projects Malta…

The two Comino deckchair kings, Clint Camilleri’s canvasser and Joseph Portelli’s business partner Daniel Refalo, got to keep their deck chairs…

Joseph Portelli’s architect reappointed construction industry regulator by Robert Abela…

Aaron Farrugia and Edward Zammit Lewis handed out 120 direct orders worth €2 million in the run up to the election…

The accused kidnapper and alleged narcotic smuggler Christian Borg, Robert Abela’s “friend” and business associate, will win a deal to supply cars to the judiciary…

The PBS’s executive chairman’s contract remains secret…

In six months alone, Ian Borg issued 320 direct orders worth €6 million; €420,000 in 20 direct orders issued in a single day to the Labour party’s events organiser…

…and Anton Refalo still hanging on to a historical artefact in his poolside back garden.

This is just a fraction of cases that have come to light in recent weeks. How many more remain concealed?

We are in a tailspin. We cannot stop to check about any one case without being blown away. No one can possibly keep tabs on all this. We are being drowned in the sheer volume of muck, barely able to keep our noses above the scum line. The sad thing is that even if we could keep up, few really care.

And yet, despite the abuse, the corruption, the deception and the secrecy, no damage is done to the PL brand.

Malta is like those sunbathers at Qui-si-Sana who blissfully continue to enjoy the glorious warmth of the summer sunshine as the green slime of drainage slowly but surely surrounds them.

At some stage, Malta will come to her senses. But the longer it takes until that happens, the more severe, the more devastating, the more fatal the damage caused.


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18 days ago

As ever an incisive overview of the mire into which Malta has allowed itself to fall.

We can only hope that public pressure will result in the resignation of the Prime Minister Abela and that he will likewise recognise as Boris Johnson has today that the famous words of Abraham Lincoln “ You cannot fool all of the people all of the time” ring as true now as they did then.

18 days ago
Reply to  James

Unfortunately the Maltese electorate don’t mind being fooled as long as it is there colour that is fooling them and some crumbs or twistees fall off the table.

18 days ago

Labour’s run reminds me of one of those small clown cars wheezing, clanking and honking into the circus ring to much cheering and applause, after which alights an almost never-ending stream of clowns of all shapes and sizes, tripping and falling, slapsticks and buckets of confetti-water being the order of the day.
Meanwhile, fire-hazard inspectors have noted multiple infractions – and when the conditions are right for a spark to ignite and spread, these clowns will have only their pretend-water to throw over the flames.

18 days ago

The system of looting with Joseph Muscat was, in my opinion, perfected by Robert Abela:

The judiciary is weakened, the police are allowed to take down parking violators at most, contracts are concluded and implemented in secret.
When will the philistine leave office in disgrace?

In my opinion, the PL must be dissolved and banned as a MAFIA organisation.

A. Charles
A. Charles
18 days ago

I feel ashamed to note, that this continual daily flowing of corrupt practices, undemocratic principles and decisions, the peppering of the Islands with ugly buildings, etc., which are accepted by the great mass of the population, has made me indifferent to what is going to happen next in the coming days. To top it all, i am a political orphan with no allegiance to a big party.

18 days ago

An American psychologist coined the term ‘ psychic numbing’ referring to the US acceptance of horrific gunviolence, but can be applicable in other cases. Link to article : https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/08/opinion/numbing-gun-violence.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

Lawrence Mifsud
Lawrence Mifsud
17 days ago

Even FATF threw down the towel…

Francis Said
Francis Said
17 days ago

Hear hear. The picture as described above is down to earth and tactful.
The problem is that those people who should care and take a stand, just say mum. The expression: See no evil, hear no evil has lost all the principles that our forefathers had passed on to us.

Last edited 17 days ago by Francis Said
Geoffrey G Attard
Geoffrey G Attard
15 days ago

Melita quo vadis?

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