Wayne Flask

Author Translator Music Writer Public Annoyance

The Levee Breaks


Today I’ve turned down the opportunity to go on state TV to speak about the current political state. I regretted the decision, if only for a few minutes; deep down my bigger loyalty was to my recent vow of silence on political matters. But in a country like ours, this was always a shaky vow.

Simon Busuttil has done the unspeakable and shot himself in the foot while standing on a very thin ledge of glass; while his original aim was probably that of bringing down his “rival” Mario Demarco (possibly on orders from above) he also managed to shock a sizeable chunk of Malta (all of whom are residents of La La Land apparently).

I still can’t read the strategy behind this: a party who can’t even pay its own staff (see journalists leaving right after March 2013, let alone salaries paid by Seabank) can’t afford to piss off such a big donor. Maybe he thinks he’s being honest by outing Gauci’s SMS, but he wasn’t honest enough about his key personnel’s salaries and – poof – he was made to look like a homeless guy trying to shit on Oxfam’s carpet during a break-in.

I was shocked too. Not so much at the existence of business deals between the PN and Seabank (let’s not forget, big business is the party’s traditional stomping ground) but at the frankness with which Simon Busuttil tried to portray himself as a victim. A bit like a high-end prostitute in one of Berlusconi’s brothels: you don’t really feel for them even after they’ve spilled their guts, because beside the fundamentals of their trade which they ply for money, they get to live in swanky quarters. As we know, prostitutes are in no position to return money received for services rendered. (On a side note – I pity Seabank employees who don’t get paid a hefty €65000. Tough shite, eh, but do thank the directors for giving you a job).

Of course, the PL has had a field day. I’d love to say the Labour Party is a party with values, heart in its right place, morals, a progressive agenda in favour of those who aren’t doing very well because of the “booming economy” (a buzzword often used to justify the gluttony of – well – big business and its prostitutes), but I really can’t. There’s no reason for the PL to gloat about Busuttil’s harakiri. When Muscat shakes hands with the likes of Silvio Debono, or Louis Farrugia, or that guy from the MEA, and maybe in the future he’ll be present for the opening of Gasan’s hideous towers and shake hands with all of them; I ask myself one thing: where did the money for the 2013 campaign come from?

Big business and politics, hand in glove. But I’ve a ton of questions to ask too.

Tell me about Franco Mercieca and Menfi. Tell me about tax amnesties and their natural followup: the tweaking of ODZ and building policies. Tell me, not only about Panama, but also about Switzerland and the Caymans and New Zealand and the BVI, and give me long lists of names of Maltese burghers who haven’t declared a cent of these in tax. Tell me about other Maltese names – PEPs and non PEPs – who show up in the Panama Papers and why nobody bothered to investigate them. Tell me about Maltese “tax advisory services” and their lawyers and lackeys, knee deep in the legit (u ajma, close an eye, or both!) business of making money vanish. Tell me about Deputy leaders acting as company secretaries for hoteliers (not Demarco), or lawyers appearing for contractors who dumped construction waste into the sea. Tell me about floods of concrete and porous decision makers.

Tell me about them. I want to hear it.

But you won’t.

And it’s your electorate’s fault. They’ll vote you in no matter what. The electorate sells itself for an extra storey or cushy job or a planning amnesty. The electorate will vote red or blue because that’s what’s been pummelled down its throat for all this time. It’s unable to see the tumour of businessmen buying political decisions. It has no legal remedy to it either. It is powerless in front of the PA. It sustains through its loyalty and viewership two corrupt entities who – hey, when’s the last utility bill you’ve paid? You dangle the word “xogħol” and then “ġid” in front of it, just to mask your own gluttony, while (most of) the electorate works its arse off, maybe having to do two jobs, because you’ve created a hashtag saying #aspiration and if you don’t aspire you’re a poor lazy benefit scrounger.

Enough, with all of you. Enough of your billboards paid for from construction money, enough of your naked gymnastics in front of developers and big business, enough of your threats and your shaming on blogs, enough of the hate you spew at each other catching innocent bystanders in the middle, enough of your jumping on bandwagons, enough of your hypocrisy, enough of your benefits of the doubt and your rainbow alliances, enough of your baiting the minorities, enough of your deportations and your silence around them, enough of your passport schemes and your tax avoidance scheming.

You want my vote? You’ll get it. Torn in half, smothered in horse dung, and delivered right to your desks. Just a fraction of what you both deserve.

As for the electorate, I hope the water isn’t too cold. The ship is sinking, there are holes everywhere, but you’re probably looking at the menu.

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