Let them read books – Jacques Rene Zammit

“Let them read books!” does not really carry the same panache as the gastronomic alternative famously (and erroneously) attributed to Marie Antoinette.

In the apocryphal version of history, the soon-to-be headless monarch is purported to have invited the people to “eat brioche” in lieu of the ever-more expensive bread. Be that as it may, the moral of the story is that a member of the ruling class detached from the needs of the people best not fuel the angry flames of an enraged public with such comments.

Julia Farrugia Portelli’s appeal to the person complaining about the power cuts might, of course, be interpreted as an invitation to make hay while the sun shines. Be patient and read a book. She also tried to emphasise that we are all in the same situation.

Of course, the minister’s invitation did not have the palliative effect that she had sought to obtain. Instead, it served to emphasise, if ever there was the need, government politicians’ emotional and mental detachment from the electorate.

The sentiment of outrage and anger shows no signs of abating. There is the danger that the frustration is misdirected – as was the case with the pelting of Enemalta employees who were only guilty of doing their job in the blistering heat. Guilty of having to make amends for the consequences of gross mismanagement and outright corruption. Those workers are not to blame.

The majority of the public, particularly those who bought into the dreams and promises of the ‘moviment‘ since 2013, is still reluctant to point fingers directly at the culprits and originators of all our current ills.

Tuesday’s news was apocalyptic. The danger of low milk stock due to electricity failures. A sudden drop in water service supplies… due to electricity failures. Continued outages notwithstanding declarations to the contrary.

Four people dead of heat-related issues over the weekend. Enemalta is not offering guarantees that a temperature drop will mean an end to power cuts. The government is refusing Opposition calls for the government to declare a state of emergency.

Amid news of a free fall in popularity polls, Abela and his entourage still attempted the stoic autocratic approach. His mishandling of the Jean Paul Sofia saga is far from over. Smacking of insensitivity against which Farrugia Portelli’s retort pales in comparison, Abela continued to ride roughshod over any semblance of democratic process and accountability.

His cause was not helped when a journalist pointed out that the subject of Abela’s thesis had been the independence of the judiciary.

Gone are the days when Abela wrote about protecting the judiciary from legislative and executive intrusions. Even more ironic are his nods (at the time) to the role of the press in furnishing information to the public that ensures accountability by the courts. Far gone.

Nowadays, the state propaganda machine is guilty of censorship worthy of the Biggest Brother yet. The efforts of Public Broadcasting Services and ONE News to whitewash any negativity are regularly assisted by Labour’s rent-a-pundits trying to justify the impossible.

It took a decade of corrupt governance to get to this point. Predictably, all the warnings about the rule of law backsliding and the dangers of corruption could not, would not, be heeded. Instead, we had to wait for the public to feel the pinch. The tangible effects of corruption.

Matthew Caruana Galizia put it best in a Facebook post on Tuesday: “I hope everyone who voted for Joseph Muscat after he sold Enemalta to China and blew all our funds on a gas plant using technology from 30 years ago is enjoying their reward. He promised you Dubai, but you got whatever this is.”

The corrupt wheeling and dealings of the government that led to this infrastructural catastrophe are just beginning to be uncovered. Remember the long hot hours without power next time you tune in to the Public Accounts Committee and see the somersaults and shenanigans that bloated apologists like Glenn Bedingfield go to great lengths to perform in defence of the politicians who rode roughshod over our patrimony, our nation.

Remember the rapid descent into an island of chaos next time you see Robert Abela in denial over the need for accountability. Remember the discomfort and the anger next time you are told to read a book. Remember.

That memory might come in handy the next time you are voting your future away.

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1 month ago

Nice one Jacques on the money yet again. These Mafioso don’t read books only balance sheets and bank statements, they all come from the same pool of mentally challenged morons characterized by extreme intellectual disability. They are the cream of Gahan society. Why read a book when you can hire an advisor?

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
1 month ago

Julia Farrugia Portelli should know that when you don’t have anything sensible to say in such circumstances , it is better to keep your mouth shut.

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
1 month ago

It is not normal to have a power loss at Mater Dei Hospital. The power to the hospital should normally be fed from the ring of the grid, so that if one side of the ring fails, the hospital could be fed by the other side of the ring. The PN should do well to call for a public inquiry to see what happened.

1 month ago

Julia Farrugia Portelli overlooked an important point.
Because of Government’s failure in social housing and because if its disastrous economic policy of deliberately overpopulatihg our small islands ( and draining our State patrimony and resorces in the process ) most people now have to live in shabby poorly lit tenements or compelled to keep out on the streets for lack of a roof cover. . These people cannot afford to read books without the help of some sort of poor electric lighting. And ironically the massive failure of the electicity netwrork is the current most popuar complaint.
That powerful gas fed source of electic energy so much vaunted about by the Labour Government ten years ago has now been manifestly shown to be a miserable hoax ( with millions of Euros gone down the drain or perhaps elusively laundered into secret accounts of international foreign companies of bad repute.
Wake up dear Ms. Farrugia Portelli, you are living in an unreal world !

Last edited 1 month ago by Emmanuel

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