I think that anyone who has been tuning into my articles for the past few years can pre-empt what this week’s croaking of doom will be about. There are, of course, other things that I could write about but if ever there was a case study of everything that is wrong with this country, today’s subject would be it.

On Monday morning, bright and early, reports started to trickle in from various sources that the old trees in Mosta Square were being butchered. Not content with turning Mosta into a concrete obstacle course devoid of character over several months, Mosta councillors unanimously voted for the 12 ficus trees next to the church to be removed and transplanted to another part of Mosta back in October.

As usual, no one thought to consult the people who elected them. It was awful enough to see those majestic, towering trees shorn of their branches and reduced to little more than lengthy stumps but the really heartbreaking part came as evening fell and dozens of confused birds circled their once place of shelter and safety.

As usual, only the activists showed up to attempt to stop the barbaric cull from going any further and, as has become normal in this country, it was the attempt to do the right thing that earned Graffitti leader Andre Callus handcuffs. As two policemen dragged him away to the shrill screams of a female bystander, I couldn’t help but dwell on the black irony of the situation.

Here we are in a country overrun by alleged money launderers and criminals and you’re about as likely to see an arrest of a person in power as I am to wake up looking like Claudia Schiffer with Rupert Murdoch’s bank balance. We paste over major scandals and show our teeth and start nit-picking the law when it comes to the man in the street.

The ongoing circus that is this country never fails to entertain- Anna Marie Galea

Does no one see the blatant hypocrisy? Four hundred million stolen from the people and our institutions play Pass the Parcel when it comes to responsibility and shuffle around like wheezing old men leaving church after Sunday mass. A group of citizens go to protest against the further rape and uglification of our environment and the police show up ready to make an arrest.

We are living in an upside-down world. A country so corrupt that good is punished and evil is allowed to spread unchecked like cancer. Like seasoned abusers, our authorities keep pushing the boundaries to see what they can get away with and we keep taking them back, stroking their heads and telling them that we understand.

As we all now know, this particular paragraph in the story of our country’s destruction has a happy ending, for now, at least. The U-turn was made; everybody blamed everyone else and the opposition attempted to take credit while everyone with more than one brain cell shook their heads in disbelief. If it serves for nothing else, the ongoing circus that is this country never fails to entertain.

As the Dalai Lama once said: “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” Today’s victory belongs to the mosquito; we should remember that the next time we think there’s no point in showing up for a better Malta.

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