The kind of macho ‘charisma’ espoused by the likes of Chetcuti will solve exactly nothing

The Skinny | No 25. MDA President Sandro Chetcuti

Sandro Chetcuti: Photo by Ray Attard
Sandro Chetcuti: Photo by Ray Attard

What are we skinning? Malta Developers Association president Sandro Chetcuti.

Why are we skinning him? The death of a woman as the result of a building collapse has once again put Malta’s construction lobby in an unfavourable light.

But what does he have to do with it? He’s just a lobbyist. He’s the lobbyist for a Maltese business sector that has historically enjoyed an unprecedented degree of impunity and is now, apparently, also murderous.

That’s a bit dramatic. An entire sector cannot be blamed on one accident. Let alone a single person. Yes, but its self-declared key representative should be put under the spotlight.

He hasn’t been the most dignified of orators throughout his tenure, sure… Right? I mean, we’ve all got our favourites. Mine’s his declaration that Malta’s two main political parties are just like “two big shops” for developers and other big business: “sometimes you buy from the one, sometimes you buy from the other”.

That’s a hard one to beat. But I kind of appreciate him saying it. How do you mean?

Well, I would rather have someone who’s honest about the avarice that informs this industry, instead of some clean-cut guy who just blubbers out placating but shallow PR-speak. That’s true, but wouldn’t you rather have someone who actually makes tangible change happen in these defining industries, rather than someone who just continues to dredge their way through the status quo?

Yes, but this is Malta. What do you expect? That’s not really an excuse.

Come on… And I expect quite a bit, actually. A woman just died.

You’re right. But I don’t think the answer lies with Sandro Chetcuti. Or with any ONE other person. Yes. We should denude ourselves of the idea that personages, or personalities in and of themselves, will make any tangible difference.

Once again, I’ll risk a smack across the face and pull the ‘It’s Malta’ card again. The cult of personality is an intrinsic part of our parochial existence. Sure. But for once, we’re in full agreement about something. We’re in full agreement that the kind of macho ‘charisma’ espoused by the likes of Chetcuti will solve exactly nothing. So let’s fight for its removal.

We’ll need numbers on our side. Whatever it takes.

Do say: “While it is unfair to pin all of the myriad wrongs of the construction industry on one single individual, Sandro Chetcuti’s attitude and approach is a telling illustration of the kind of impunity that the construction sector continues to enjoy.”

Don’t say: “Accidents happen! Whoops!”   

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