Thank God, it’s Christmas

It has been a horrible 12 months and for anyone who works in the business of the media it has been an eventful year worthy of a nightmare

saviour_balzan
Saviour Balzan
26 December 2017, 10:31am
Cut the crap, thank God Christmas is here. At least we can stop the bickering, the mockery and the verbal abuse for a short period.

It has been a horrible 12 months and for anyone who works in the business of the media it has been an eventful year worthy of a nightmare.

I do not recall such animosity and confrontation, such hate and hypocrisy, such class distinction, and intolerance since perhaps 1997 when the Nationalists lost the election and could never forgive Alfred Sant.

Sant was demonised by the PN and even compared to Adolf Hitler. It was a marketing ploy by the same man who has served as a consultant to Vitals, who spent 15 years making it his career to call Labourites morons only to suck up to their titbits.

The truth is that the year started off with allegations on economy minister Chris Cardona and later on with the Pilatus bank account and Egrant and the PM’s wife, Michelle Muscat. In both cases, the allegations were not substantiated by facts.

One would have imagined that with such allegations the damage would have left the protagonists maimed at least in the political sense. But somehow it worked in the complete opposite way.

The reason for this I think are three.

The first one is that the people who championed the cause had little or no credibility with the majority of the Maltese. I am referring to former PN leader Simon Busuttil and the late blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The second is that the allegations were not backed by irrefutable facts. And the third reason is the fact that people liked Joseph Muscat, and were very happy with his style of government and economic success.

The failure of the Nationalists to have the sense to rid themselves of Busuttil at once and the very fact that Busuttil is still insisting on his agenda within the party was a mistake.

We are now left with a very weak opposition and the supremacy of the Labour Party.

For example, in another country, the news that Vitals had made a deal with government over hospitals and healthcare, ONLY to raise the price of their investment on state hospitals and resell it at a profit in such a short time to another company, would have been the talk of the town and would have prompted a parliamentary inquiry.

Not because people do not believe that the private sector cannot do a better job, but simply because the whole episode is rather strange and does not sound right.

Today, the Opposition simply does not have the high moral ground or aptitude to counter this. And in fact it has said little about the matter.

To add insult to injury, the news that Vitals had sold out to another company hit the news-stands just at the right time – Christmas, the time when one does not usually enter into polemics. A consideration that Castille has craftily factored in.

"We are turning Malta into a soulless place and there is no excuse for this pillage, our country is turning into a horrid corner surrounded by a sea infested by power boats and idle oil tankers"
This was the year where our townscapes as we knew them changed dramatically and the money made from construction made so many people richer.

Yet, there is little doubt that we are f***ing our country in a big way. We are turning Malta into a soulless place and there is no excuse for this pillage; our country is turning into a horrid corner surrounded by a sea that is infested by power boats and idle oil tankers.

I am sick of hearing that it was the Nationalists that did the same. I really do not care who is doing what; what interests me is that this rape cannot go on forever. We cannot continue hearing that this is the key to our economic success.

It was as if there were no limits to how much building we can take. It’s as if the idea that Malta was doomed to this Dubaification whether we liked it or not.

The economic growth being registered here is coming at a very cruel price, and we are living in a disfigured country with a quality of life that is not as rosy and welcoming as pictured in the coffee-table books about Malta and Gozo.

The traffic around us is so bad, that it is impossible to commute in certain localities and times.

The truth is that no one is listening or caring to listen and let’s face it, the language and arguments we are using are not having any impact at all. The politicians are not listening and what’s more, we are being treated as radicals and freaks. The media is in a far worse situation than ever and the politicians know it. The only thing that counts is whether something or someone makes business sense or not. Beyond that, it is rather irrelevant to the powers that be.

I cannot say that I am optimistic that this will change.

It turned to the worse this year with the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia, by people who whether we like it or not, were very well known to everyone, including police and politicians.

That they were close to a former PN deputy leader – I had said – is rather irrelevant until someone spent a good half hour explaining to me that it was not at all irrelevant.

He said: “If Daphne Caruana Galizia was still around and someone was killed in an explosion, she would have said several nasty things, and probably talked of the deceased person without any respect for the family. And if the killers would have been apprehended she would have had no qualms mentioning that the killers had been canvassers of the late Guido De Marco.”

There is no doubt in my mind, that the present state of affairs needs to change. We need to go back to basics, mend the fences of division and of hate.

It has nothing to do with the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Police, it has much to do with us as Maltese and as journalists. We need to start to stand up and question our way of life, our thinking process, our tolerance and intolerance and our ethics. We need to start living up to some of the things we believe in. Because it appears that there is a big divide between what we say and what we do.

However, I do not see this happening.

There is no political alternative as yet in sight, no Knight in shining armour to take on the Joseph Muscat tsunami.

Delia is clearly unaware of how hopeless the situation is for the PN if he does not engage himself in that very important burning question: What does the PN stand for?

Okay, go for it, what does it stand for?

The answer to that question is what people will ask when they come to vote.

If Adrian Delia does not have the courage to come up with new ideas and ones that contradict the trend in today’s society he is doomed to failure.

If he fears that he will be attacked by Labour for his harsh stance, then he should really have thought about the whole experience before taking off into politics.

I guess enough is enough for now, a merry Christmas to all.

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