Cry me a river, Robert

Robert Abela would be a once-sparkling-now-flat wine socialist

Prime Minister Robert Abela (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)
Prime Minister Robert Abela (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)

To paraphrase a very witty Tweet, one can only be called a champagne socialist when they’re from the Champagne region of France. By analogy, Robert Abela would be a once-sparkling-now-flat wine socialist – and I’m being kind.

A man born with a silver spoon in his mouth, expecting the crowds he inherited to continue their chants of “Joseph, Joseph, Joseph” (sorry, my bad – “Robert, Robert, Robert”) when he could not be more detached from the realities faced by so many of us.

To cite 2019 NSO statistics – collected before this latest series of price hikes felt throughout Europe – over 85,000 people in Malta are at risk of poverty, loosely defined as economic deprivation. This means that the people falling within this bracket are prevented from enjoying a decent standard of living or quality of life.

The PN is currently working towards making a number of proposals across all sectors. The party’s socio-economic policies are ones that guarantee that companies will thrive whilst us citizens are guaranteed an improved quality of life. One such policy is Bernard Grech’s pledge to introduce a living income framework, ensuring a decent standard of living for all rather than having a fifth of our population (and rising) living hand to mouth.

What continues to shock me is the skepticism with which these proposals are met by the “Bonġu Ministru” crowd on social media. Standard comments of “u ajma, as if” and “haha tgħid minn fejn ħa jġibu l-flus” (usually coupled with a few emojis for good measure), are often bandied about whenever the party announces a new set of proposals. The reality is that if the government stopped pouring money into their friends’ pockets in the form of consultancies, phantom jobs and undeserved positions of trust, then we would have more than enough money to take care of our own – and by ‘our own’ I mean the population of Malta, and not a small group of people who’ve come to expect thousands upon thousands from the state coffers. 

We are living in a country where our people are only given the crumbs that fall off the table that our prime minister and his klikka feast on. And while it’s true that much of this bad reputation can be linked back to our former prime minister, our current PM had the opportunity to do good, to do better, and to make up for the colossal greed that we witnessed under Joseph Muscat, but alas – for reasons one may only speculate upon – he opted for ‘kontinwità’ and he has beyond delivered on that front.

Not only has he delivered the much touted ‘kontinwità’, but he has even created a new class of citizen – that of the working poor, where despite working long hours (and weekends) at one or two jobs, they cannot afford to buy or even to rent a home for themselves, or their family. All the while, we know that Robert Abela’s Planning Authority retainer has increased to €28,000 a month. That’s approximately four times what a worker on minimum wage would earn in a whole year, and this is just ONE of his side-hustles.

But don’t worry, he works super hard – sometimes even on weekends. I’m sure he gets good WiFi from his 50-foot yacht in the Marina di Ragusa during the summer months.

In the wise words of Ayleen Charlotte of ‘Tinder Swindler fame’ – cry me a river, Robert Abela.