My first proper memory of the phrase “Gvern tagħna nagħmlu li rridu” was nearly 10 years ago when a friend of mine had turned up to another friend’s birthday dinner in a pair of jeans and an old T-shirt when we had all stuck to the dress code (Great Gatsby themed – yes, it was 2013, when Baz Luhrmann’s rendition of the Fitzgerald classic had everyone and their dog invited to at least one 1920s themed event).

We asked why he hadn’t bothered to make the effort and, rather than give us any logical explanation, he just said: “Gvern tiegħi, nagħmel li rrid.” I’d heard the phrase a few times before but I’d never stopped to think about what it really meant, especially since the context in which I’d heard it was always light-hearted.

I had a flashback to that day a few months ago when I read that the Minister for Education, Justyne Caruana, had given a consultancy job to a “good friend” of hers to the tune of €5,000 a month. Apart from the ethical issues, it turns out that this person is totally unqualified to provide such a consultancy.

Naturally, compared to everything else that has gone on in the last eight years, a €15,000 consultancy, however undeserved, pales in comparison. The fact remains that,  however insignificant among the laundry list of corrupt and bad appointments, kickbacks and nepotism, even this remains wrong and it is this insignificance that is a true test of how jaded we have become to the way this country has been run in the recent past.

The thought process behind Caruana’s belief that she has any right to essentially gift €15,000 of public funds to a friend and Transport Minister Ian Borg’s seemingly unilateral decision to build a marina that will change the way of life of the people of Marsascala are one and the same. The “Gvern tagħna nagħmlu li rridu” mindset has permeated right through Labour and many of its supporters, just as it did back in the 1970s and 1980s under a previous Labour government.

Political patronage in Malta under this government knows no end. If one has the right connections, some people feel they can get away with anything, including murder. A lengthy inquiry by a panel of three members of our judiciary reached the conclusion that a culture of impunity exists in Malta which led the perpetrators to believe that they could murder a journalist in broad daylight and get away with it.

The impunity highlighted by the learned judges is the same impunity that allows ministers to dish out non-existent jobs to people to buy their votes. It is the same impunity that allowed Edward Scicluna to raise the salary for the position of governor of the Central Bank when he knew that, within a few months, he himself would be occupying the position himself.

The latest opinion poll by Times of Malta offers hope- Emma Portelli Bonnici

Indeed, it is the same impunity that allows building contractors to close roads to their hearts’ content, to divert traffic off major roads into village centres turning previously quiet residential roads into major thoroughfares, inflicting misery and pollution to thousands of families across the country in the process.

I could go on and on: the takeover of our beaches by concessionaires, the illegal hunting and trapping that goes unchecked practically all year round, restaurant tables on pavements and a director of prison who prances around in full military gear. All of these different actions have the same foundation as Daphne Caruana Galizia’s horrific murder. They do it because they think they can and will get away with it.

One of the first items on the PN’s agenda will be the restoration of the rule of law in Malta.

My decision to enter politics was not an easy one but such is the state of affairs that Malta finds itself in at present that I felt I had to do something about it beyond carrying a placard during a protest or writing about it on various social media. ‘Meritocracy’ and ‘honesty’ are two words that have entirely gone out of style under a Labour government.

A government that does not act in an honest manner and actively promote meritocracy cannot be called democratic. It is a clique of people out to prioritise their own gain and steamroll right over a population fed government propaganda day in, day out.

The latest opinion poll by Times of Malta offers hope. It shows that while Labour enjoys a substantial lead among voters who feel at ease expressing their voting intentions, up to 40 per cent of those who have a right to vote have either not given an answer or declared that they are not going to vote. That is over 132,000 votes that, in theory, are still undecided.

The Maltese population is waking up to the fact that the whole Labour Party is – to paraphrase our oft-absent former minister Konrad Mizzi – “not fit for purpose” and I can assure every one of you that I will dedicate every ounce of my energy between now and the election to make sure that our country has a government, ministers and other public officials that are truly fit for purpose. No more Gvern tagħna nagħmlu li rridu – let’s finally put our country first.

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