Read this report of yesterday’s question time in Parliament where opposition MPs pressed the government to explain why a clean criminal record was no longer a requirement to join the police corps and be promoted within it.

Police Minister Michael Farrugia, not famous for his senatorial debating capabilities, stammered and spluttered in the vain attempt of defending the indefensible. As people are made to wait in line at Police HQ to get certified as ‘clean’ before applying for just about any job in the country, those who thought they might find it hard to quit a life of crime now know they can have a career in the police.

It beggars belief.

Perhaps it’s because he’s recently been in the local news that I’m reminded of Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange. In his dystopian near-future, criminals would be recruited to the police force on the grounds that they’d be the most qualified to enforce.

Of course the whole point of A Clockwork Orange is that it paints a picture of a future crushed under over-powering cynicism where ethics and the exercise of state power are well and truly estranged.

You know you’re living in somebody else’s nightmare when pages out of dystopia are in your direct experience. You find yourself alone shocked not merely at the fact that today the sun rose in the west but rather at the fact everyone around you is walking around as though this day were just like any other.

This is a new standard in the national campaign of lowering standards.

This is from yesterday’s parliament report:

“The MP (Jason Azzopardi) asked whether theft and fraud were also acceptable crimes, to which (Police Minister Michael) Farrugia replied ‘it depends on the amounts and whether it is classified as serious or not’.”

Come on! Can there possibly be a conviction of theft or fraud that can be deemed not serious? It’s not like if someone did a Jean Valjean and stole a loaf to feed their starving daughter they would likely get a conviction in today’s courts. For the bother of investigation, arraignment, prosecution, conviction and confirmation on appeal a convict would need to have done rather worse than something which is not serious.

It was particularly amusing when the rather more eloquent but no more senatorial Glenn Bedingfield jumped to the defense of his Minister and argued that the decision to promote a convicted criminal to the number 2 post in the police force was taken by the constitutionally autonomous Public Service Commission. Unfortunately that is hardly any comfort. It is merely proof of yet another institution of the state being thoroughly hijacked by the totalitarian monopolisation of power perpetrated by Bedingfield’s political master.

What country is this, where the conduct qualifications to drive a bus (in regulations written for us by sensible European legislators) are stricter than the conduct qualifications to join or be promoted in the police corps? This is completely upside down.

Viddy well, little brother. Viddy well.