The intense summer heat and the full-blown silly seasoning only add on to the grotesque situation of our country. Money pours in, cement is ever-present in every corner of the country and all seem well-fed, well-cushioned from the world’s misery and strife.
A few weeks ago we were in electoral mode. Times were tense, with accusations at fever pitch, counter-claims and fervent waving of flags accompanied by prayers that our tribe, our man, or woman, would prevail. For a few weeks Malta was a hooters’ parade—with klaxons and noise pollution that seemed interminable.
Times were also frightening with talk of institutional meltdown, international intrigue, investigations, all somewhat apocalypse now without the bloodshed but with all the ingredients for a total collapse of what we previously thought we could take for granted.
We had the lighter side of things back then: A Police Commissioner intent on not investigating all there was to investigate if it interfered with his enjoyment of the bunny on his plate; a bank aptly called Pilatus which seemed to provide all the ingredients for a comedy show, with bags taken out at night and safes safely hidden from sight; and a plethora of others who should have known better and washed their hands from delving deeper into any illicit stuff.
Yet we survived. Actually, we not only survived: the ones investigated were crowned heroes and their positions elevated. The king, or in this case the Prime Minister, triumphed beyond imagination and is now an emperor hardly with no clothes on but bedecked in finery and fur (metaphorically wearing such stuff of course).
The election result was so good for Labour that no one dared so much as mention the investigations. The only whimper, and that was just a whispered one, came from the PN. But they were disregarded and left to carry on their bloodbath.
If ever the PN needed a new beginning, it is now, yet all it is doing is implode with all its constituent parts seemingly intent on destroying the others.
The PN right now seems like that angry belligerent boy who is left in the classroom alone, as a punishment, while his schoolmates have their lunchtime fun. The classroom is locked to definitely prevent any contact with the bully. The teacher and pupils return only to find him full of bruises and cuts. The teacher approaches the bully and sees his nails full of blood and pieces of skin—the boy, lacking anyone to bully and hit, has attacked himself.
Now there is a 4-horse race for the PN leadership: a less inspiring lot could not have been found and not even a token woman to try and right the terrible gender imbalance. The four are a strange-sounding more-of-the-same or insanely-out-of-it concoction; one of them even dreams that just by using the mantra of inclusivity and freshness all will be fine.
Joseph Muscat is king and little is done to depose him or affect his insanely high trust rating. In all this eerie surrealism, instead of Labour operatives being happy with the status quo and the apparent annihilation of the PN, the man who seems to have built Labour into an invincible machine has now asked the police to proceed criminally against Simon Busuttil.
The men at the top, at Castille, know what they are doing as they have routed the PN to smithereens but this is madness gone awry. I shudder to think why Keith Schembri has acted now.
Malta is at peace, an eerie peace that few seem to comprehend or assess. May the PN blues end and the summer lead to a better way forward for our beleaguered country.