We came to this piazza of power, the prime ministers' piazza, where crowds usually flock and go crazy to get a glimpse of the leader, fresh from victory, as he comes out on the balcony, crowned, and waves at them. They cry with joy and scream his name on top of their voices. The piazza of power. This is also the piazza where, for the past few days, power shifted from this palace before us to the people who amassed, expressing disapproval at those at the helm who came to power with a cry but collapsed with another, very different from the original.

This piazza can narrate many stories, some of which we now know well, others, I hope, we shall still learn because it is our right, the people who came here today angry rather than joyous, to know and to know everything.

This piazza can teach us a lot, and in these past few days, it asked us to take note of many things, of many blisters growing on the Republic's face, of warts that are making her look ugly, and of wounds.

We should take note, the piazza instructed, that we had a political murder, not the first of its kind. There was a murder that manifested to which extent hatred can come to, a crime that showed how defiled this country is. This crime has made us note that from now on, when we're sitting comfortably watching The Godfather or Gomorra, we should be aware of our own godfathers and that Gomorra is not a far-off place.

We should take note, the piazza urged us, that the era of kings and queens should have ended long ago; that the Republic neither needs nor deserves to have royal families complete with dukes and duchesses. And since we're mentioning the royalty and nobility, let us also note that the barunijiet which we used to talk about in the past, are still here; actually, they've become better off and more powerful.

Let us take note, as it was very evident during the past few days, that this country is still divided in two tribes that hate each other because that's what the 7.30pm television programmes, those which are supposed to inform the viewers, like to teach. Let us take note that it is not true that we have Malta at heart: there are only the party and the leader at heart. And let us also take note that only yesterday this oracle on tv was urging viewers to light a candle in sympathy for the leader. In 2019 we are again being told to light candles to leaders!

Let us take note that this country is at war with herself, not only because there are two cruel tribes, but also because each time we spot a tree we kill it; each time we sight an open space we build it up; and we cover each patch of sky there is.

Let us take note that this is a double-faced country: we hold marathons for the poor, yet we hate black people, and sometimes we even love to shoot some of them.

Let us take note that finally there are ministers who discovered what has been known to us for a long time: we are not in the best of times, because not everyone is enjoying the same lifestyle, not everyone has their share from the big pie, and not everyone sits at the same table.

Let us take note that the neo-liberal experiment has failed once more, mainly because it hurt many people who followed the pseudo-news that party strategists and ideologues wrote to feed them the mantra of the best of times, only to notice meekly their bank was broken.

Let us take note that the neo-liberal experiment failed because Tracy, Nina and their babies ended up living in garages while others bought a yacht and a second yacht, and could go holidaying in exotic place at the same time Bertu and wife were overjoyed just because they could get a flight to Sicily.

Let us take note that the neo-liberal experiment failed because, while recently some guys are wearing designer shirts bearing that little logo of a jockey, others wish to do the same but realised they could not afford it.

Let us take note that we still have a Republic with only two parties in parliament. And I believe that this country deserves better, and it should become like other countries so that even those who have rejected this system (and let's remember the biparty system was not since ever) feel they are represented.

So let us take note, that some have rejected their family's political credo which they were supposed to pass it on to their children and grandchildren. We're not the majority, but we are here.

Let us take note, that after this bad dream the nightmare is still with us; there are still scandals and sharks still surround us, and there's still the blood of who uncovered crimes and was blown in a car. And there are still princes and princesses, and the odd count here and there and barunijiet too. There's still all of this.

The piazza is insisting we make some significant changes, cleanse the power machine and tidy up the palace before us. We need to launch a new Republic.

Mr Mifsud delivered this speech at the protest organised by Graffiti on Saturday.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us