Anyone who studied King Lear for English Literature knows about the tragic character of King Lear, fooled and manipulated by his daughters and their husbands.

King Lear implicitly trusts those he should trust the least and spurns those who are loyal and deserving of the power he bestows upon the wicked.

Our own authorities, when they are not corrupt, are at best simply incompetent and attempting to fill shoes far too big for them.

It is perhaps a result of a clientelistic system which rewards yes-men and yes-women who rise through the ranks by nodding along and remaining quiet in exchange for success they would never otherwise have.

Malta has a serious problem with people getting promoted to maintain power where it truly lies – with the prime minister at the top and with certain undemocratic lobbies.

Let us start with Transport Minister Aaron Farrugia. His track record as environment minister in the previous legislature was appalling as the continued overdevelopment proves.

We had hoped he would turn things around, instead of stepping on the gas. Fed bad advice by the developers, he was given a false impression that everything was fine and that nothing could be done to fix things.

Having given in to the dark side, the logical consequence was for him to follow in Ian Borg’s tarmacked footsteps and become transport minister. Unfortunately, Farrugia is proving to be as unhelpful as the letter ‘g’ in lasagna, given near-daily traffic accidents and the promotion of our car-dependent culture.

Next is Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg. Another King Lear, raising questions of total incompetence to the point that criminals are getting away. The course of justice is dragged out ad infinitum if it is allowed to conclude at all.

Justice must both be done and be seen to be done and it is apparent that we are getting neither justice nor even the illusion of it.

ADPD asked for Buttigieg’s resignation, as her position is untenable. The recent issuing of a nolle prosequi against the owners of Pilatus Bank, piled on top of other questionable actions, raises many suspicions.

Our third King Lear is Minister for Tourism Clayton Bartolo. After the attempts by Moviment Graffitti to restore what is ours in Comino, Bartolo had the guile to tell us that he had been sending people every day to monitor the deckchair situation.

Our authorities are at best incompetent and attempting to fill shoes far too big for them- Sandra Gauci

Let us not forget how Bartolo promoted Malta as a place for northern Europeans to save money on heating in the cold season, revealing that he is tone-deaf to the needs of the vulnerable and the poor.

Drawing an analogy to King Lear with our government officials might be too charitable because it implies a certain innocence. Yet, it goes to show that even if we give them the benefit of the doubt, and assume that they are truly doing their best, that does not mean they are the best people for the job.

It simply shows that they are surrounded by sycophants telling them what they want to hear, while true power lies elsewhere.

It also means that, once they have outlived their usefulness, they will be discarded. We need a reshuffle with people who have a modicum of respect towards the citizens of this country, capable people who know exactly what is going on, who have the courage to actually do something about the problems the country is facing.

We do not need yes-men, yes-women, puppets who look powerful but are simply the naive facades hiding the lobbied interests really running the country.

Sandra Gauci is deputy chairperson of ADPD.

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