The political season is open
I am sure that many would say the silly season did nothing this time round to quieten the political backbiting and squabbling. I remember that a couple of years ago political bickering was lost in the hullabaloo of our ‘busy’ summer schedules.
One cannot say the same this time round with the political parties hardly pausing for a moment to give us respite. Not that politics should ever be considered as irrelevant and inconsequential but the way political parties try to programme our minds is absolutely obscene and the political fatigue this country will soon get warped into will show up for this.
These are some musings I would like to share:
• Let me burst a bubble for some of the readers of this newspaper. It’s not true that all is either perfect or all is completely ruined. Perhaps that is what the political parties want us to believe, now more than ever when there is no way of distinguishing one party from another, no differing ideology, no discernible principles and no creeds.
• The recently published popularity survey on the Malta Today shows, more than ever, that we are turning our political scenario into a presidential one. It is no longer PN versus PL but PSB (Partit Simon Busuttil) versus PJM (Partit Joseph Muscat). The ramification of this is that the political parties, that are so important for this country’s governance, are quickly becoming superfluous, an extremely dangerous situation when governments grow out of political parties.
• The economy is doing well, and that is a good thing. We almost have full employment and so many other indicators show that things are going in the right direction. But this situation does not comfort me knowing that so many are still struggling with poverty, people employed in precarious conditions and the working poor are there for all to see. The wealth that is being generated is not seeping down quickly enough but rather evaporating into the hands of those who have in abundance.
• It seems that 007 has lacerated our Ministry of Finance – bad, shameful and reprehensible according to One News. Yet on the same day, onenews.com.mt celebrates the fact that following a tip-off they now know all about what happened in the retreat house event organised by the PN. I’m confused!
• It’s tunnels, trains, trams, boats, more tunnels, underground passages, magic wands and yet people still spend hours commuting, terribly flustered and uncomfortable. Stop taking the Mickey – our traffic situation cannot be redeemed, it’s just too late.
• Politics is a good thing if it leads to change, to transformation, to recover our communities. I wonder what is taking us so long to realise that our political class is not up to standard, except for some. We need to attract people to the fold and eventually vote for those who have ideas and ideals, who have beliefs and belief, who are committed and unswerving.
• Parliament will soon reconvene – it looks like this is going to be ‘ara kemm qed nagħmlu’ versus ‘ara kemm m’għamiltux’ – once again.
• People at top echelons of government should never be involved in any business deals that affect them personally. There is no beating around the bush, politics and business should only meet around a square table, where they can face each other but never come shoulder to shoulder. When garnering more money is on the person’s mind, there is no way one can do politics with clear thinking.
• Recently the Faculty for Social Wellbeing issued a statement, in collaboration with the highly acclaimed Victims Support Malta, pointing out that 17,000 people a year register a report with the police, 1,000 of whom are victims of domestic violence. Not enough is being done by politicians – these are the bread and butter issues our society is interested in.
• ESPAD, a research with school leavers, shows that our political and governance decisions in the drug sector are yielding positive results. That is a good thing but we still need to address other issues like the increased use of cannabis as being a concerning factor.
• The Vote 16 debate recently kindled (once again) by the PN and PD shows how our political class are not yet convinced that the 9,000 or so 16year-old potential voters might be good enough to vote but also to contest. I am pretty sure that the checks and balances in our system are worthy and young people, yes even at that age, have it in them to make things right.
• If this LNG tanker, that undoubtedly is an eyesore, manages to take the venomous levels down and we have better air quality wouldn’t it be worth getting used to?
• I cannot understand what the PN’s strategy regarding Leo Brincat was. If he was implicated in Panamagate, even remotely, I would have understood the strategy but in this case I feel that it was just a way of hitting out at the government, plain, simple and easy.
• The recently presented Master Plan for Paceville, intended as a consultation document, is an important instrument in helping us understand that communities are not just buildings but also people. Having said that, some ideas that are being placed on the table are abhorrent.
• These high-rise buildings being proposed: Are they a need? Are they a necessary evil? Would our economy benefit so much that we will be in a better place? If not, so why have them in the first place?