Malta's Finance Minister declared that the rate of corruption today is no higher than it was in the past. I have no clue how the honourable gentleman worked this out but, whatever method he used, this conclusion is still shocking.

It is shocking that we have come to accept corruption in this land as normal and that, rather than saying that he is fighting it and has been instrumental in eradicating it, he is complacent about it.

If he can rest easy because it happened before then all murderers, thieves, scoundrels and fraudsters can be excused because they have existed since the time of Cain and Abel.

This land is at a horrible crossroads.

A few years back- just five - but that’s a very long time in politics - the saintly Edward Scicluna was appointed minister for finance. Then the Labour movement was promising a new deal: clean government, transparency and meritocracy.

But, under the watchful eye of Joseph Muscat and his fellow cabinet ministers including Prof. Scicluna, a bank like Pilatus was allowed to operate freely and all sorts of shady dealings went on.

Maybe, as the minister alleges, it would take a good sleuth to catch the bank in full flagrant fiddling.

But weren't there enough whiffs around the bank, enough trails uncovered by a “biċċa blogger” and various others?

Did we need a sleuth to suspect the chairman, now indicted in the US, of wrongdoing when, in the dead of night, he loaded a case on to a mysterious flight headed to Azerbaijan?

Still, this is not what should trouble our finance minister, financial gurus and lawyers or people running financial and other institutions in Malta. Attending weddings is not a crime.

Let's assume the prime minister had no idea what sort of dealings the chairman was - or would be - up to... he still should have been very wary before accepting his invitation.

It is not just the powerful who are guilty: all of us, to a certain extent, do this. We get too close to people we might one day want to take a stand against. Being close to people sometimes more than obfuscates our vision and our actions.

We need to wake up and change our ways and our relationships. Incest is leading to our nation's downfall: inbreeding kills.



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