Up to my nose
It is starting to get seriously silly by the day (no, sorry. by the minute)!
Until a couple of years ago, Arriva topped the list and it was what we were all focused on. Before that it was the state of our streets and now it’s the unbearable, agonising and horrendous traffic situation that is stressing everyone inside out. Traffic is probably our new national witticism.
Last Saturday, during my radio show, Għandi xi Ngħid on Radju Malta, we discussed the impact that traffic is having on every bit and piece of our life. Whilst the most obvious low-down of this situation remains timing, keeping to appointments, punctuality, costs, drop in production, etcetera etcetera, now it is turning into a national crisis that no-one seems to have a clue on how to resolve. We appear to be getting ‘new’ ideas and plans every day. To add insult to injury congestion seems to shift with no pattern and we have more and more bottlenecks piling up in every corner of the islands.
This is terrible and unbearable.
Not only is the current situation dramatic but it is a question that no one knows what the solutions really are even though some pretend they do. Some are talking about digging up all of Malta with rabbit holes, as if this could be done overnight (remember the water culvert system? – it took us years on end to plan and to do, oh and we still have the occasional flood).
Then the Opposition comes up with its occasional brainwave bless them, the latest being that we have a tram slithering in-between our lamp posts, wiring and the chaos that ensues. What is good about this tram thingy though is that as we go on our daily trips we will be entertained by Ġuża who is still wearing her nightdress going round in circles doing her errands, Karmenu is listening to a bit of ‘għana’ and trying out his sickness theatrics to avoid going to work and Jesmond making out with his new flame instead of doing lectures!
This, in my opinion, is a national tragedy (or should I call it a farce) because whilst the politicians spar and take a dig at each other I invite you to watch people’s faces as they are commuting from one place to another. Some weeks ago I was driving down from Naxxar where there is the infamous scrap yard hosting yet another monument of political obscenity, the bendy buses that sit there taking in the rust. Shameful that we have a country where no one carries any blame and responsibility and where everyone is fine because it’s not ‘their’ money. God knows how much has been spent on those buses and yet we find it ok to let them take in the weather without even trying to get something out of them.
Anyway, back to faces. As I was driving down from Naxxar, I couldn’t but help see the looks on people’s faces. They weren’t ‘morning faces’ still settling in to the new day but frustrated, agitated, angry, anxious and distressed facial expressions. This is not good at all.
When I spoke to the experts, in the medical, psychological and psychiatric field I’ve had people telling me that traffic might increase the incidence of Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure and other physical ailments and this apart from the fact that it might also create difficulties with concentration, road rage, depression, excessive mental pressure, and other problems.
In this country we need to realise that with the shelf-life of politicians we will not get any of our national issues resolved if we do not take a more pragmatic approach and let these issues be resolved by the experts.
Politicians should do the honourable thing they have been elected for, that is, responding by providing legislation, ensuring that these ideas have adequate funding and scrutinising the decision making and taking – all the rest should be in the hands of professionals and connoisseurs.
This, in my opinion, is a national tragedy (or should I call it a farce)