It’s not about Panama, it’s about us

There has never been a better time, or a greater need, for a third party (or more) to break the system and at least save a bit of the family silver from the greed of the invisible few who control wealth

The saddest part of Panamagate is that the same people who are defending Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri (or hanging their head in shame as they stoically suffer in silence) would have been marching against corruption alongside Joseph Muscat in Valletta had the prime minister been called Lawrence Gonzi and the Panama company belonged to Austin Gatt.

Some are finding it hard to swallow their pride and admit that registering a company in what has been described as a hell-hole for dirty money is, to put it mildly, an error of judgment.

Mizzi and Schembri might have the best intentions in the world, but opening a company in Panama exposes them to suspicions of wrongdoing on two counts.

Having a company in Panama allows you to avoid paying tax in your country of domicile and secondly it gives you the possibility of hiding money. Even if you have no intention of avoiding tax or hiding your earnings, the fact is that you own a company in a tax haven that allows you to do so if you ever change your mind.

The only way of staying above these suspicions is by simply refraining from owning a company in a tax haven.

Some of the people standing by Labour and Muscat’s two closest allies are undoubtedly caught between a rock and a hard place.

But taking a stand against corruption does not make you a Nationalist. Otherwise that would make all Labourites and non-Nationalists pro-corruption.

Many Labour supporters do not tolerate tax avoidance schemes and I’m pretty sure they are as appalled as I am with the parody that Labour has become. Labour’s implosion was predictable, but the timing wasn't. Here is a party with social democratic roots that was taken over by pro-business’ers who aspired to bake the same cake the Nationalists dished out during their 25-year reign.

The ascendency of Labour’s new leadership, best represented by Muscat, Mizzi and Schembri, was made possible thanks to the logistic and financial backing of various lobbies whose only interest was in maintaining their share of the cake, irrespective of who sits in the hot seat in Castille.

A few outsiders might have also banked on the promise that a bigger cake would be baked under Labour and they would have exclusivity on the new creamier parts.

I will not march against corruption with the PN, because if anything such manifestations only strengthen the establishment. The PN is not the antidote but it is at least as guilty as Labour for the corruption, nepotism and greed so ingrained in our society.

The two parties are nothing but investment firms who take it in turns to manage the State assets for the interest of the few while keeping the masses happy by feeding them the crumbles.

To paraphrase Marx, the two parties are the board of directors of the exploiting class. Labour is not any worse than previous governments, but greed is inversely proportional to the diminishing State assets and as a result the ravaging gluttony is overwhelming.

Whoever argues that they stand a better chance to change things from the inside than from the outside is either disillusioned or a buccaneer. Changing Labour or the PN is not enough. If a party does not collaborate with the oligarchy it is quickly labelled as unelectable and democratically barred from taking office. In a two-party system, once a party becomes unelectable, the other occupies the State for as long as necessary.

There has never been a better time, or a greater need, for a third party (or more) to break the system and at least save a bit of the family silver from the greed of the invisible few who control wealth.

Instead of wasting time in the pathetic Labour-PN dualism we should put our heads together to create an alternative system which serves the interests of the people who struggle to make it to the fourth week of the month with their miserly wages rather than the 1% who control the majority of wealth.

More in Blogs