From the petit mal to the grand mal
I’m aware that, in the grand scheme of things, having your bank account and salary frozen, being overcharged on your utilities by 101% simply because you are not a homeowner, having your salary underpaid by circa €30 000 over 6 years, paying €762 in ACL fees on your car every year instead of circa €200, your family of 5 living on €300 per month after rent and Arms bills on the incorrect tariff (when the 2016 Caritas study indicated that a family of 4 needed an income of €953 per month to live a minimum existence, if the family lived in social housing and paid €18 per month on rent)…, isn’t a matter of life and death. After all, here we all are - homeowners now, situation stabilized.
We - I - could have easily chosen to circumvent all these problems. I could have left teaching and found a job that paid me better money. Enough to pay for the overcharges in the Arms bills, the ACL fees, the rent. Or we could have returned to Scotland. Or we could have given up the fight and become landlords ourselves. Somehow, I couldn’t do this, however. If someone or some entity throws me a gauntlet, I have to accept the challenge.
Sometimes I feel that I am not very good at making the point I want to be making. The point isn’t about our family situation or the situation for tenants or the situation for mobile teachers or the situation of every Arms customer or the situation for migrants moving to Malta with their cars.
The point is that there is something seriously wrong with Malta. There has been for a very long time. I couldn’t care less whether it is PL or PN who is in government. I would say exactly the same thing, no matter who was in government. I’m aware that there is a growing number of non partisan people but unfortunately the majority of people still ascribe to this toxic partisanship that is clouding over the extremely serious issues at the heart of Maltese everyday life. I so wish that they could see through that cloud or better still blast it away with resolve to finally see, to properly see.
From my viewpoint, all the above are linked. All the above are also linked to the ramping up of wrongdoing by the current administration. We gain momentum in our fall to the bottom of this seemingly bottomless pit at an alarming rate.
The failings of our institutions exposed irretrievably. Our justice system - completely without cojones. Watching Konrad Mizzi’s escaping justice is frustrating, for example. The impunity with which ministers, PM chiefs of staff, the managing director of the Times… own opaque financial structures in blacklisted jurisdictions u kollox jgħaddi qisu xejn m’hu xejn (and everything continues as if nothing has happened).
The libel suits of ministers, politicians against the solitary investigative journalist. The precautionary garnishee orders against said journalist. The many attempts at obliterating Daphne Caruana Galizia - financially, personally, reputationally and then - when these attempts didn’t work - her assassination.
The macabre takeover by vested interests of the PA and ERA so that these act completely against their remit, and the wholesale degradation of the Maltese islands continues. It hurts every time I’m on my way to what’s left of the Maltese countryside to see the encroachment of more concrete, of more ill conceived, slapdash pigeon coops, with the adjacent blank wall awaiting more of the same. I’m 52 years old. I remember the Malta of my childhood and the contrast is painful.
So much more I could say about the daily barrage of news stories of abuse and maladministration.
It’s all linked. The Venice Commission report published a few days ago confirms what many have always known. So, where do we go from here? Do we continue to be ostriches, seeing and hearing no evil? Or do we grow up as a nation and tell the political class NO MORE? No outside entity is going to be able to fix this. Not the EU, not the Council of Europe. Only we can fix this.
The full Venice Commission report
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