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Can we have our country back, please?
There is nothing ‘patriotic’ about an obsessive teenage crush on a party which doesn’t actually represent anything but its own interests
22 January 2014, 12:00am
NET TV journalists, it would seem.
OK, I am unaware if the situation at Medialink has changed in any significant way since it was discovered that the Nationalist Party didn't actually have the funds to actually pay its employees for work already done in the months before the 2013 election. The situation as it stood then was that NET TV journalists were told they had to forego two months' salary, until the party was in a position to honour its debts. The upshot was that all the real journalists working for that institution - i.e., the ones who have a vocational attraction to the career for its own sake - promptly abandoned ship. The only ones who remained were those who were willing to sacrifice their own paycheques for the good of the party... leaving us in absolutely no doubt whatsoever where their real allegiance lies.
Clearly it does not lie with any attempt to uncover the truth, or to bring to public attention facts which may be of national concern. On the contrary, it lies with distorting and possibly manufacturing 'the truth' to the benefit of the PN; and the only reward they expect is a nice little pat on the back by their political masters.
Naturally one can hardly fail to spot the overwhelming irony in this situation, given the flavour of the ongoing debate. The current PN crusade against the sale of citizenship has consistently harped on the notion that the IIP scheme is damaging to the reputation of the country. Their arguments have been cloaked in a tie-dye veneer of artificial patriotism... presumably on the false premise that anything done by a rival political party in government automatically runs counter to the 'national interest'.
Yet the journalists who now scurry to do their masters' bidding are glibly betraying the intensely anti-patriotic nature of the same campaign. Their latest stunt was to harry and intimidate a Chinese man at the airport... raising questions not only about what they were even trying to prove with such childish behaviour (seriously: are they going to ambush every single foreigner visiting Malta? Or did they pick and choose their victims on the basis of nationality?)... but also about how they identified this man as a possible candidate for the IIP scheme in the first place.
I'll leave you to work out the mechanics of how a private visit by a private individual came to the attention of the NET TV newsroom. The bottom line is that the disease of 'party before country' clearly infects more than just the 'voluntary employees' of the PN's bankrupt media houses. It also infects people ensconced within the public (and even private, in the case of MIA) administration; and who are bound by confidentiality agreements that they never hesitate to defecate upon, so long as 'their party' may benefit as a result.
In so doing these people have reduced the instruments of the state to little more than political weapons, to be unscrupulously used in a war which not only fails to benefit the country in any meaningful way... but in this case has also served to undermine the national interest, as we all saw in the European parliament debate last Wednesday.
So if the great race to score cheap political points translates into the wholesale invasion of privacy of a Chinese tourist who - to the best of my knowledge, and presumably theirs - was doing nothing remotely illegal or suspicious... well, who cares? It's for the good of the party. That alone should suffice. As for the 'good of the country': since when has that ever been an issue? The country is not being run by the Nationalists. So as far as the PN agents are concerned, it is no longer 'their country' at all, and will only become 'their country' once more when 'their party' is back in power.
This is the opposite of patriotism. There is nothing 'patriotic' about an obsessive teenage crush on a political party which (let's face it) doesn't actually represent anything but its own interests.
Once again, the EP debate threw this absurd situation into sharp focus. Being in Opposition, the Nationalist MEPs behaved at every turn as if their primary role was to discredit the country and tarnish its reputation - in this case, over an issue which could just as easily have been directed at nine other EU member states. But no: on their insistence, the resolution was only about Malta, and the European Commission now seems hell bent on using this artificially engineered vote of censure as a pretext to take legal action only against Malta, over something that other EU member states have done for years without facing even a word of criticism, still less infringement procedures.
I expect the same MEPs (and also the same NET TV journalists, and PN agents within all levels of public administration) will continue to perceive their role as 'master saboteurs' as for as long as the country is administered by someone else. And yet, had the shoe been on the other foot (as it was for almost 25 years) the same people would be the first to howl in protestation if such underhand tactics were used against 'their' government.
All this points towards a situation I have long identified and written about, though it has arguably never been quite as visible as today. Our country has been hijacked. At no point throughout this debate has anyone even momentarily paused to consider that their own views on the IIP scheme are by definition secondary, when placed in the context of the extraordinary damage done to Malta's name by its internal and external detractors. And there is a reason for this: the country's reputation doesn't matter, in the eyes of people who only serve a political party's interests. It's a little like a mutiny scenario: only with the mutineers being quite willing to scuttle the entire vessel and send all its passengers (themselves included) to a watery grave, rather than allow the ship to be steered by another captain.
And just in case it wasn't already abundantly clear that the two parties (for yes, both are guilty... though I have yet to see a better illustration of this sorry mess than last week's fracas in Brussels) have simply apportioned the entire country and its assets among themselves, to the exclusion of all other concerns... out trots Simon Busuttil with his latest insistence that the next President has to be someone from his own party.
Sorry to blurt out the obvious rejoinder, but... what about everybody else? Is Simon Busuttil insinuating that a Nationalist President - solely by virtue of being Nationalist - would be representative of the entire Republic of Malta? Because last I looked there were other political and non-political groupings in this country, and some of these would in no way feel represented by someone whose only credentials are a membership card in a self-serving and unspeakably selfish little political organisation.
Wait, it gets much worse. For what Busuttil is actually suggesting is not just that 'the next President' gets chosen from his party, and there an end. Oh, no: he is projecting an indefinite scenario in which Presidents are ALWAYS chosen from one or the other of the two parties, depending on which one is in government. So when (or, more likely if) he himself gets to call the shots as Prime Minister... he will very generously appoint a Labour President to keep this absurd balancing act afloat for as long as possible.
And there you have it: a blatant declaration that, as far as the leader of the Nationalist Party is concerned, the office of the Presidency 'belongs' by rights to a consortium made up of the PN and the PL, and to no one else.
Sorry, but this is too much. You have damaged this country enough with your execrable insistence on placing your own political interests ahead of everybody else's. Malta does not belong to the PN or the PL. It was stolen from its rightful owners - the entire population, which includes more interests and concerns than could ever be dreamed of in Simon Busuttil's increasingly narrow sphere of vision - and I for one would like to have my country back.
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