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Memories

The foreign delegations who have come to Malta and are overseeing these elections must be having a whale of a time. They probably cannot quite understand who is telling the truth or why people dislike each other so much.

saviour_balzan
Saviour Balzan
31 May 2017, 10:09pm
I have memories, some sweet, some sour. There is a lot of pontificating going on. There are a lot of people painting a picture that simply doesn’t exist.

But then there are those who want to block a story or convey a story that is not true.

Let us just go back to one episode from the recent past. 19 January, 2013 the day after the oil scandal hit the news with a MaltaToday story. 19 January was the day PBS carried a morning newspaper analysis programme hosted by Pierre Portelli.

To the same man who today is the content director at The Malta Independent, the oil scandal meant nothing. He ignored it and in the weeks that followed until early March, the subject rarely took a mention.

Now fast forward to 2016 and 2017. I do not want to sound parochial, but here it goes. I have no idea how many times I have made reference to the Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi case on Xtra and how often the same has been referred to in MaltaToday. I have no idea how many times I have jumped out of my journalistic brief and stated: “I think that Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi should have resigned in February 2016.”

But that it seems is not enough, I guess, to win all the brownie points. I am expected to do a public statement and publicly denounce the government and label it as a regime.  

I am also expected to state that this is the worst thing that has happened to this country since the Bronze Age. It is bad, bad enough to convince some people to switch sides, but it is not the worst thing in the country’s history.

If there is an achievement that Simon Busuttil is to be noted for, it is for firing up the Nationalists and turning them into a fearless bunch. Unrelenting and unforgiving. As the social media onslaught is showing us.

But beyond the serious accusations about Panama and offshore accounts, no one can seriously compare this situation with 1981 or 1987.  Again, I repeat, it is serious but nothing like 1981 or 1987.

In 1981 and 1987, the country was facing an economic crisis, violence was rife, the institutions non-existent and business was down. The country was down there, very down there. You did not make business if you were not part of the system.

There is simply no comparison to today.

Okay, okay this does not justify Panama, and yes people are justified in being angry with Muscat.  But we simply cannot equate 2017 with 1987.

There is also an incredible reluctance on everyone’s part to be precise about the truth, to ask the right questions and to refuse to be pigeon holed.

It gets worse, the right not to agree with someone is considered to be a mortal sin, and an affront to a whole tribe. 

As if there was only one truth and nothing else.

We can postulate whose fault it is, but that would be dangerous too. Because not even that is tolerated or possible.

The foreign delegations who have come to Malta and are overseeing these elections must be having a whale of a time. They probably cannot quite understand who is telling the truth or why people dislike each other so much.

The only truth that perhaps could bring people around to agree with each other is the one that meekly suggests that the next prime minister will need to put reconciliation as his top priority and that cannot only be carried out in words.

In the meantime I will sit down and try and reckon who is saying the truth about Vitals and Pilatus. Vitals are saying that none of their executives or owners have an account in Pilatus (1), Simon Busuttil states that he does not believe them.

But then again, I am sorry for having brought this up and I promise to shut up and say nothing.

(1)  I am still confused why Pilatus is only mentioned as a bank which allegedly serves as a washing machine for money laundering, there are so many other private banks in Malta who hold accounts for some shady characters!

saviour_balzan
Saviour Balzan is the founder and co-owner of MaltaToday. He has reported on Maltese poli...
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