by a Blog Reader
There is a story of a little girl trying to make a living from a vegetable stall in a Maltese village. This was about a hundred years ago when tourists were rare, especially in remote villages. An Englishman stops and points a finger at whatever she was selling, and she says something in return, in Maltese. He didn’t understand. She raised her voice further, in Maltese. Stupid man, she thought, didn’t get it. Perhaps he was deaf. She kept raising her voice further.
I thought of this story when Darren Carabott, the Nationalist MP, said on the radio that his party had a major problem. The party had phenomenal ideas, but they were not reaching the people. The party, he added, has to raise its voice. Contrary to what he said, the problem is the other way round. The ideas are reaching the public, but they don’t make sense. None at all. Speaking at a higher pitch, like the little girl did, won’t cut it.
The first thing the public cannot understand is why the party has retained the same leader that has carried them from disaster to bigger disaster in successive elections. The village football team promptly dumps the losing coach, but the PN retains its coach by the name of Bernard Grech with chauffeured car, security, and all the trappings of success. “Follow me,” he implores. To what? To where? To follow Grech we can’t consent because we know which way he went.
Also, for what does the Party stand? The President of the Republic does not have any newspapers. He has no party machinery to carry his voice. Yet everyone knows what Dr George Vella stands for. He is committed to a simple but profound philosophical line, the safeguarding of life from conception, which incidentally is lifted from the PN statute. In the post-Daphne era, the public is sensitized to the preciousness of Maltese life. By virtue of his office, Dr. Vella’s philosophy has single-handedly exposed the liberal agenda of death within the two parties. He championed the life of the weakest of the weak and destroyed the credibility of the two parties which are increasingly distrusted by their own citizens.
When the President refused to sign the IVF bill, Bernard Grech called for his resignation. The Nationalist press told us that a handful of Nationalist MPs, naughty boys, had broken ranks and voted against the abortifacient IVF. In reality, it was the majority of the PN that broke ranks when it made a mockery of the Nationalist statute that promises the party would defend life from conception onwards.
By the time another abortion law was proposed, more massive and bloodier, the PN was “damaged goods” on the sanctity of life issue. The people panicked. Who was left to defend them other than the president, an old man stranded at the palace? For the first time ever, a massive 20,000 people took business in their own hands and marched into Valletta without the parties calling for the march. This was a repetition of the Bread Riots of 1919, except this time life was directly at stake. The people realised it’s only them who could save the children from the abortion bucket. Bernard and his poodle MPs joined the crowd in Valletta, but didn’t usurp the limelight. They were now meek and followers. This time they didn’t ask for President Vella’s head because they knew that theirs was at stake more than his.
Corruption is part of Maltese politics but it’s getting more brazen. We are breaking new records of corruption with every administration. First, we had Nationalist ministers hoarding half a million or a whole million in Switzerland. What is the PN’s position about them? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Under Labour it’s far worse, hundreds of millions disappearing in thin air. A word has been coined for runaway corruption: “ħniżrijiet.” The PN demand action about Labour. Why not demand a public inquiry about the corrupt MPs, from the Nationalist MPs onwards? At least, why not demand an inquiry into who paid the bribes, who is just as guilty of corrupting our representatives? Whoever paid the bribes never received an absolution from the state.
The latest mishap is the electricity fizzling down in the heatwave. The PN’s solution is “We have none. May the private sector have mercy on us.” Labour’s solution? Double the spending on the electricity grid just like Labour did on the hospitals and €400 million evaporated in thin air with nothing to show for the wasteful spending. The people are not fools. They can read the nonsense, the lies, and the big projects draining the treasury and filling the politicians’ pockets.
Darren Carabott, contrary to what you said, marketing is not the solution for the PN. Your product is faulty, your leader is past the due date, your party statute has been reduced to a scrap of paper. The party is still protecting the corrupt that sold favoursduring the Nationalist administration and hid the proceeds in Switzerland. The more we hear the PN, the more we understand why the party stands where it stands. The party is financially and morally bankrupt. So is the nation. A blind man cannot lead the blind. A vibrant democracy needs a great opposition to keep the government in check. Yours is the opposition, but not the greatness.