Why no flowers grow in parliament

Taking a leaf out of Oliver Friggieri’s Maltese literary work Fil parlament ma jikbrux fjuri, I would like to emphasise that it is an understatement to quantify the severity of no flowers growing in parliament, albeit it is more of a fertile habitat for thistles and thorns to grow and, on occasion, even popping up that poison ivy. These tares have taken deep roots and thrive profusely well alongside the good seedling in such an environment.

Unfortunately, the chaff has taken over the wheat. These undesirables have overwhelmed and shadowed what was once genuine and sincere.

It is our tradition that every parliamentary session begins with a short prayer, invoking the supernatural, whoever that may be for some, if at all for others, requesting assistance in one’s endeavour. Is this behaviour directed to God or Mammon?

Every parliament session begins with a short prayer. Photo: Matthew MirabelliEvery parliament session begins with a short prayer. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Gone are the days when ethics and morality, along with sincerity and honesty, were the main ingredients requested of an honest parliamentarian forming part of the highest institution in the country, where the highest level of integrity is supposed to shine.

The main and only objective is not discerning truth from error, which requires understanding because truth is not always comprehensible.

One is aware when uttering something that is not true. Yet, partly out of pride, lack of knowledge or because of bias, one says it nevertheless. Deceit and compulsive lies are, often times, manifested without realising the consequences. When a culture of deceitfulness becomes habitual and manifests itself, more so in our highest institutions, then it is a downward path to pure anarchism.

We have reached a point, as is often shown, where the principles of right, fairness and openness are shrouded and become undistinguishable when it comes in giving answers to pertinent questions. Why? Because to take the responsibility of failure upon oneself is rather hard to accept even if the wrongdoing is demonstrated and corrected.

Human nature being what it is, with selfish impulses, one tries to cover up one’s mistakes and this is shown more so by a political party’s agenda to toe the line and to back each other’s proposals and never to give leverage, or credit, to the other side even if proven to be more beneficial. It has been said by sagacious men and women of substance that our motives in what we say, think or do is to praise and exalt oneself.

Quoting Sir Francis Bacon: “Some in their discourse desire rather commendation of wit, in being able to hold all arguments, than of judgement, in discerning what is true; as if it were a praise to know what might be said and not what should be thought.” This is the manner and the way of encouraging debatable parlance by our parliamentarians.

Sad to say such theatrics are then mostly applauded and approved with banging and cynical gestures and given credit to their proposals by a simple majority vote.

Irony and sarcasm are the name of the game. It seems to some that, having been elected as a member, one has the right to be presumptuous, haughty and scornful by displaying a sense of self-importance, especially those upstarts, though not only, who have gained membership not by their own merit but by inheriting umpteen votes, considering themselves as being untouchable, demi-gods.


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