The mood in Malta over the past few days has been apocalyptic. The political implications of this earthquake in Castille have irreversibly tarnished not only local politics, but our position in the world. Never have there been so many protests in the space of a week, and never has such a diverse group of people come together to demand our politicians shoulder political responsibility.
The Prime Minister knows he is in an untenable position. He knows, however, that Malta has no viable opposition given that Adrian Delia is also implied in scandals of his own. A lot of what Daphne Caruana Galizia alluded to (though not all, take note) turned out to be true. If so, Delia is a crook too. Period. Muscat also knows that he built the party around his image, so he is blackmailing his voters into thinking that his downfall will also be the downfall of the whole party.
To be clear, both PN and PL do not deserve to be in power. This situation is ashambles, and is the result of decades of what is, fundamentally, a very broken constitution and very flawed politicians who resorted to tribal politics for way too long. It should be clear to all now that blind party loyalty is the death of democracy. The political flaw is perhaps the role of the Prime Minister himself. It is too powerful a role, controlling the very institutions that should be investigating him. Perhaps the drafters of our constitution naively thought that no leader of the country would ever be so compromised as the PM himself is today. Oh sweet, summer children.
In all this, a dangerous undercurrent of party loyalists is baying for blood, for revenge, for an assuaging of their incredulity. The party machinery has no shame and seeks to appease these people, clearly in denial stage, instead of eating humble pie.
That switcher, Karl Stagno Navarra (who has over 15 court cases against him pending, please note) has quite pathetically asked all those diehard fans of the PM to light candles in their windows to show their support. Social media is rife with conspiracy theories, with accusations that this is all a PN coup, and that “it’s just PN being jealous”, and so on.
It is time to own our country, and not let ourselves be owned. Become active citizens
They don’t seem to realise this is a national crisis, thinking purely from partisan lines, bleating to the call of their masters.
On Sunday, Labour’s newspaper it-Torċa announced that a poll it took finds no change in Malta’s support for Muscat. It is accompanied by a picture of Muscat with the caption “Muscat bl-aqwa fiduċja fost il-Maltin” (Muscat with the highest trust among the Maltese people).
This is irresponsible behaviour, and only shows how toxic and dangerous it is for parties to own their own media.
To make matters worse, the urgent Girgenti meeting called on Sunday morning just led to a reaffirmation of the Prime Minister to take the ultimate decision.
It is clear that in Malta we do not elect prime ministers. We elect god-kings. Cult worship ensues.
And that needs to change.
What our PM hoped to achieve by calling for a mass meeting on Sunday is baffling. Did he want his ego stroked while increasing tensions, drastically?
Does he really think he is above the law? He assures us that he will stay on in order to make sure the case of Caruana Galizia’s assassination will be solved. Does he think we are that naïve and stupid? We know he controls all the institutions, so how can he, a highly compromised individual, be playing this game and expect to be taken at face value? Why is his party refusing to seize the bull by its horns and asking him to quit?
Muscat – it is time to leave. If you truly care about your country, then leave it in the hands of an interim leader until the party elections in January 2020. You are not more important than our country and its desire for justice in face of all this heinous corruption and murder.
This is where civil society (and by that term I mean the actual definition of the term ‘civil society’, not as some would have it) comes in, and needs to take on a more important role in our country’s future. The future of the country we love is at stake.
This is just the start of a long journey of healing and change, and we have a lot of work to do.
Removing the corrupt snakes at the top won’t do much long-term unless it is accompanied by eventual changes in our constitution, separation of powers and, to be blunt, a long deep-cleaning exercise by PL. Our role as civil society is now more crucial than ever.
It is time to own our country, and not let ourselves be owned. Become active citizens. Participate in our future. Vent your pain productively. Let us not pander to childish egos in the form of morally bankrupt politicians. We can no longer afford to remain complacent complainers.
We get what we deserve.
And tell me, don’t we deserve something better?