Among other things, Freedom Day marks the occasion we replaced the British with Muammar Gaddafi, North Korea and Communist China. Gaddafi was in Malta waving off the British as they left.

In expanding my horizons, I have taught myself to always seek both sides of the story. I appreciate the security that came with taking Malta out of the Cold War and moving our economy away from militarism.

Granted, the benefit of hindsight only comes afterwards and hindsight tells us were in no danger of being caught in a war. That is not to say I am dismissing Dom Mintoff’s achievements, such as pensions. It is my motivation to move Malta and Gozo past bipartisan tribal politics, away from the two conflicting narrativesof history.

Nonetheless, regardless of my personal opinion of Freedom Day, it is clear to me that Malta is still under foreign control in the form of our back-room dealings with shady oligarchs, bankers and dictators and obscenely-rich passport buyers.

Ours is a country continually betrayed by lords and dynasties of our very own making. We replaced foreign rulers with tyrants who look and speak more similarly to us. We applaud them for the physical similarities, even though they are sucking us drier than any previous era of foreign rule. Yet, we are happy with the cosmetic differences! We are happy so long as the ones cheating us are Maltese.

As many others have said today, Malta will never be free so long as the private interests that rule both the Nationalist and Labour parties retain their influence over our politics, planning and policy and continue to place themselves above the law.

We must say no to lobbyists and legal bribes. Replace them by uniform State financing of political parties, funded via a tax on the businesses and link the amount to an approximation of party income relative to legal bribes and favours today. It will be the same but with no strings attached. Politics is not a business.