Malta needs a vision that is not shackled by economic arguments based simply on growth or economic indicators such as GDP

File Photo
File Photo

The other day I was talking to an American woman who has made Malta her home.

She is not here as an IIP resident but as a hardworking individual, who landed in Malta because it offered her a profession and a life for her family.

Unassuming and curious, she is attracted to Malta by the profound differences that make this place so different to everywhere else.

It is heartening to meet foreigners who love Malta to bits in contrast to some Maltese who really cannot ever say a decent thing about their country.

And I am sure she is very confused when she hears so many Maltese complain about Malta, or of those who dream of leaving their country.

Yet, not all the complaints are without justification.

This country has given us a life, an education, a chance to live a decent life and in some cases made many of us very well off.

The truth is, that were it not for our overpopulation, our dense urban areas, our ugly architecture and never-ending lust for turning Malta into matchboxes of grey and white clusters, this country would be paradise.

We have a great climate, a wonderful sea, an amazing history, enterprising people and a melting pot for so many different individuals with diverse interests.

Nonetheless, the serious concern about our fast pace is not some romantic distress signal.

We cannot keep going on like this. There cannot be this incessant contempt for our surroundings, for everything that distinguishes Malta and gives it the identity it always had.

Everywhere you look or settle down, you feel you are in a building zone, a cartoon strip from a science fiction film of metal works and cement blocks.

It is as if the whole island is being invaded by a band of Transformers.

No matter how hard we try to describe our democracy there is no doubt that our democracy depends on the absolutism of the prime minister.

A Maltese prime minister like any other premier, wields enormous influence and more importantly power.

A robust vision for this country is needed.

It cannot be that Robert Abela, like all politicians, is only interested in winning the next election.

Winning an election is crucial for Abela and that is understandable, more so since he took over the Labour Party mid-term from Joseph Muscat.

Yet, he must look at the bigger picture. We need a vision for this country. One that is not shackled by economic arguments based simply on growth or economic indicators such as GDP.

We need to make this quantum jump, we need to look beyond the profit motive.

This country needs to make this dramatic leap.  We need to halt our mediocrity and think of making this a better place for our children.

*   *   *

Most people have much better things to do than listen to Edwin Vassallo in an enlightened speech in the House.

The confused political dinosaur who represents the Mosta Nationalist constituency jumped on a bandwagon about the privacy of individuals.

Referring to some court decision on privacy he went off at a tangent and found a way of attacking Birdlife Malta, alluding to their monitoring of illegal hunting as an issue linked to data protection and abuse of privacy!

In Parliament, he criticised Birdlife Malta for ‘harassing’ hunters and quoted the hunters’ organisation that filed a judicial protest against the bird conservation group.

Now, it has to be said that Birdlife Malta or rather CABS monitor hunters and illegal trappers and were it not for them no one would really know to what extent many hunters flout the law.

By this I mean, it could be a young boy shooting with his dad, or an adult man shooting at a protected bird, or a hunter entering a bird reserve to kill a flamingo.

The list is endless.

Acting as guardians of nature and supporting the police to enforce the law without breaking the law is not an offence.

The flip side to all this is that political dinosaurs like Edwin Vassallo are fighting for their political life.

Every vote counts and the best way to win back votes is to give the impression that he is a champion of the hunters’ cause.

A cause, which is all about shooting a helpless wild bird and calling the whole chapter a sport.

We are in the year 2021 and 14 years after EU accession the political parties, and their leaders, continue to have weak arguments to preserve an activity that is past tense and archaic.

They are detached from the sentiment of a changing society and are only interested in the cause because of… votes.

*   *   *

Destiny has returned from Rotterdam.

Like so many of her peers she has tried her best and she surely is one the of the greatest voices to have represented Malta.

There is one thing that we should really come to terms with though.

If we are so adamant in participating in the Eurovision, and if we are accepting the fact that we will never win, then why don’t we choose groups or singers who embrace the Maltese language?

There are so many groups and singers who have accomplished musical pieces accompanied by a fantastic rendition of the Maltese language.

It is time to battle our inferiority complex by fighting the competition with songs that tout our language.

That would make us so much prouder and happier!