A vote to weed out greed and corruption

I wish I could just sit back, sip a cocktail and enjoy the action. This election has all the ingredients for a mouth-watering, Pulitzer-winning, fictional blockbuster.

Although all the bits, pieces, plots and subplots come straight from the reality of our political life, any book based on them certainly wouldn’t be classified in the category of factual journalism: too far-fetched to believe, too fantabulously unreal.

Everything reads like a novel, a comedy of incredible errors of judgement, timing and anything connected to our immediate future.

But the need to win this coming election is unrealistically great.

Joseph Muscat, battle-weary, is fighting his fight to the end, knowing full well that unless he wins power again there looms a scary scenario for him. It’s not his potential position as leader of the opposition that is under scrutiny.

Muscat himself, rather arrogantly, has said he will not take on this role because if he loses the election he will resign the party leadership.

What is unfathomable is his position as a former Prime Minister highly embroiled in misdeeds, cover-ups and suspicious defence at all costs of his closest buddies, the buddies who are right now under a very ominous shadow. They will be under worse shadows when they are further investigated and subsequently, as seems to be the obvious case, indicted.

Muscat’s future will hardly be an easy, cosy or serene one. Whether or not he forms part of a cabal of the inner Castille core group who have plundered anything they could lay their hands on is not of any relevance.

The dots have long been obvious. Anyone with an iota of untainted objectivity knows that there is corruption and that it has been ignored by the institutions which should be doing their jobs, uncovering it, investigating it and taking proper steps not just to stop it but to arraign people in court and, if need be, put them behind bars.

That can be the only conclusion of any fair-minded observer of the local scene. Only blind, head-in-the-sand ostriches can deny that, post-2013, there have been at Castille many illicit plans to put dirty hands on illicitly made gains.

If Muscat is not also a part of all this then we have a worse scenario which is a horror of horrors: if the prime minister is completely in the dark of all that has transpired under his very nose in the palace of Castille, then he is the biggest idiot the world, and even fiction now and forever, has ever seen.

That all the evidence which keeps surfacing excruciatingly on a daily basis does not make him act should damn him not just by the voter who is normally non-aligned to any party but even by any upright, straight-thinking, staunch labourite.

We have gone way beyond a whiff of wrong-doing. With magistrates hard at work and with additions to the plot on a daily basis the last thing we should be facing is an insanely tense election campaign.

And this is where the timing alone proves that Muscat is guilty. Why else would he inflict this electoral campaign on a country that can ill-afford such madness? Chasing another mandate when all this is underway is truly shameless and shows complete disdain of the national interest.

The accusations and the revelations should have been handled in a serene atmosphere letting the magistrates and the competent—or incompetent—authorities to do their job quietly.

Even Muscat’s strangely contracted allergy to journalists, interviews and anything which puts him in the spotlight also sparks any thinking man and woman to shout guilty.

Shouldn’t labourites, and those free-thinking undecided voters, condemn  Muscat’s non-appearance at those events where they can hear his defence, his version, his reason why he should be given a second mandate?

Joseph Muscat hopes to remain at the helm and oversee a further institutional meltdown. To keep the checks and balances well and truly in check, he desperately needs a victory at the polls to then sweep—he hopes—all under the carpet.

If Joseph Muscat wins this election, the real loser unfortunately will not be Simon Busuttil or his coalition. The real loser will be Malta, or rather the love to cherish and uphold values and moral rectitude.

If Joseph Muscat’s mantra “all’s well as long as the economy is doing splendidly” wins Saturday’s election, another nail will be hammered in the communal coffin of Malta and its institutions.

That is why it is crucial that, come Saturday, even with a peg on their noses, voters should opt for ForzaNazzjonali, to ensure a victory for institutional normalcy, to make us all feel proud once more of being Maltese. And to tell the world that we do not tolerate institutionalised criminality and corruption.

Will we grab our chance at redemption or will we go further down the road of self-destruction?