Of mice and men

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

info@peo­pleat­work.com.mt detri­ment of civil so­ci­ety as a whole.

Yet, with all the prom­ises that were made be­fore the last gen­eral election, lit­tle but noth­ing is be­ing done by the present PL gov­ern­ment to im­prove the sit­u­a­tion of the en­vi­ron­ment. This is be­cause they have been in ca­hoots with the build­ing in­dus­try since be­fore the 2013 gen­eral election, and pos­si­bly be­fore that, when civil so­ci­ety was promised a bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment for us all. It is ob­vi­ous that it was for this rea­son that Anglu Far­ru­gia, who is today’s par­lia­men­tary Speaker, had back then com­plained that his party had be­come too close to the con­trac­tors. It is clear that the PL gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to pro­tect our en­vi­ron­ment, an elec­toral prom­ise made by Joseph Mus­cat be­fore the last gen­eral election, was noth­ing but a ruse in­tended to gain the sup­port of the en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist lobby. It is also clear that whilst Joseph Mus­cat was promis­ing a bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment for us all, he was com­mit­ting him­self to the build­ing lobby to de­stroy our en­vi­ron­ment even fur­ther.

On ac­count of al­leged cor­rup­tion in land spec­u­la­tion, our en­vi­ron­ment has been de­te­ri­o­rat­ing for decades, and the po­lit­i­cal classes have had a lot to blame for this. The prob­lem is also caused by a species of self­en­ti­tle­ment that money brings to some, to the detri­ment of all of us. We all have heard al­leged sto­ries of bribes, and when devel­op­ers are un­able to get their way, they threaten their way through. Through these ma­nip­u­la­tive and ag­gres­sive means, some devel­op­ers have trans­formed our beloved coun­try into a con­crete jun­gle, and for this they ought to be ashamed of them­selves. They ought to be ashamed of them­selves, be­cause they have been con­sid­er­ing the lives of peo­ple as unim­por­tant, if this means mak­ing more money. This gov­ern­ment should also be ashamed of it­self for be­ing solely pro-busi­ness, whilst they are dis­re­gard­ing the suf­fer­ing that a bad en­vi­ron­ment is bring­ing to our coun­try.

Alas, noth­ing mat­ters for this gov­ern­ment but money. As far as they are con­cerned, ‘it is the econ­omy that counts, stupid’, and noth­ing else mat­ters. Af­ter all, peo­ple will get used to any kind of en­vi­ron­ment, and if they don’t, they might as well lump it. This is pre­cisely what Joseph Mus­cat’s words were, when Astrid Vella of Flimkien għal Am­b­jent Aħ­jar tried to push for­ward the idea of a so­cial im­pact as­sess­ment. This is what she said dur­ing a protest in Sliema, and to be hon­est I be­lieve her on this. Joseph Mus­cat considers wealth as be­ing more im­por­tant than peo­ple’s suf­fer­ing from can­cers, asthma, res­pi­ra­tory and car­dio­vas­cu­lar ill­nesses, etc. Af­ter all, they could get used to hav­ing these ail­ments, as they are priv­i­leged to en­joy an ef­fi­cient and pro­fes­sional health sys­tem, thanks to the greed­i­est health min­is­ter(s) we have ever had. Money could jus­tify the ugli­fi­ca­tion of our ur­ban spa­ces, the des­e­cra­tion of the lit­tle coun­try­side we’ve got. And, in all this, Joseph Mus­cat doesn’t get it that the so­lu­tion is ur­ban plan­ning, im­ple­mented with the best in­ter­est of peo­ple in mind, not only for only one group or another, but for all of civil so­ci­ety.

This present lo­cal sce­nario, or fi­asco I must say, brings to mind a poem by Robert Burns in which he ad­dresses a mouse that builds its win­ter nest in a wheat field, only to see it de­stroyed by a plough­man. Sounds fa­mil­iar?

PN can­di­date

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