1. Vaccine. This is an obvious one. The less obvious part is that it needs to be effective and for this to happen it has to be taken by the vast majority of people.
  2. Fewer cars. Fewer roads. Less tarmac and, by the power of whatever deity there is, fewer flyovers. Add to this a good study and immediate implementation of a sustainable, efficient public transport service.
  3. More, not bloody less, open spaces. Better urban planning. No, hold on, you can’t improve our urban planning as it’s totally non-existent. It’s late, nearly too late, but still worth trying to stop the rot.
  4. Justice. Once we’re on about rot, justice, or its near collapse, comes to mind. Get justice back to work fully. Beat the culprits, the big culprits who have turned our state into a mafia one.
  5. Arrests, arrests, arrests. People – those big fish involved in all sorts of murders, crimes, miscarriages of justice – need to go to jail. Pronto.
  6. Resignations. More of these need to happen. What we have seen so far in the political, judicial, governmental, financial world and beyond is not enough. Too many crooks are still in power. If the law does not allow for the condemnation of some malefactors that does not mean they can be in power or in high positions. All MPs caught screwing around need to start resigning or be harshly dealt with.
  7. Cleanliness. Besides the internal clean-up required, this country also needs a thorough external cleaning. On a good day, we look a real mess. You’d have imagined that in 2020 with fewer people in circulation, the country would have been turned into a clean gem.
  8. Fewer cranes. Malta’s landscape has become totally dotted with cranes. Let’s start a crane revolution – topple them all and let’s win back this country from the hands of the predators and developers.
  9. Heritage care. The more we “develop” the more we regress and the more we destroy. Heritage is not just looking after our temples or churches. Our heritage is that and much more: our food, our language, our way of life, our inclusivity which should be glorified not demonised, our sea, and all our artistic expressions.
  10. Vision. Politics and parties with vision instead of politicians who just care about remaining in power and what they can gain personally from that power.
  11. Tourism that starts making sense. If 2020 should have taught us anything it is that building on just numerical basis is self-defeating. We need to think totally out of our box. The old slapdash idea of giving visitors and locals a grand buffet to stuff themselves should stop. The environment would appreciate this new approach.
  12. Hunting ban. Hunting is wrong, it’s weird, it’s totally against anything our environment needs. Poor hunters. But there are much better things they can do as a pastime. Like care for the environment and learn about the beauty of flight.
  13. Environmental awareness. We need a true leap from token action to a reality check that the environment is precious. It’s a climate crisis we have. A few ideas like not allowing straws to be used will hardly change anything. Punish all polluters, change our ways and reduce our footprint. Unless we find out how to stop our near-total dependency on fossil fuels we are only exacerbating the problem.
  14. Freedom of expression, the real kind. Whatever the Labour Party trolls and troglodytes declare, this sacrosanct right is close to extinction. Malta has always had a problem with people speaking up but, since Labour got into power and turned into a bullying force, the situation has become dire. Few dare to speak and those who do are somehow attacked, reviled or silenced. Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder has taught us a few lessons. Omertà is now a bigger part of our national disaster.
  15. Recognition of the wrongs done to Daphne Caruana Galizia. Whatever happens in this country, whatever is gained, there can never be full justice because Daphne can never be brought back. If inroads are made and the real culprits and facilitators are caught and sentenced, we’d have moved a step closer to some justice. But the big changeover can only happen when the prime minister, the ministers, the Labour Party, Adrian Delia, the president, the former presidents and a whole load of others lead a convoy of people and publicly admit that they were wrong, and Daphne was right.
  16. Broadcasting revolution. The people don’t seem to care as they always vote into power a party which keeps our national broadcaster as the governing party’s, and its henchmen’s, lapdog. That Labour is worse than PN is neither here nor there. Politicians will not change the status quo. Civil society, hopefully, will one day.
  17. More tolerance. Kill racism in its bud. At schools, during sports. Ban, or heavily curtail, all professionals and especially clerics who preach, condone or allow racism. Add tolerance to our mix, to our heritage, to our supposed hospitable nature.
  18. Better health bill. Beyond covid-19 and beyond vaccines, the health of our nation is our main asset. This virus has proved that no footballer, singer, politician or developer is worth a hundredth of our medics. We, therefore, need to see better treatment of our health workers.
  19. Real diversification. The financial models used so far have worked. But will they see us through the next decade or two? We need to change the old thinking and embark on new routes. The old dependence on property booms needs to be tackled. We need to work earnestly to be prepared for a scenario where tax harmonisation in the EU will reduce our capability of attracting foreign companies to Malta.
  20. Banning corruption. Actually, this is already supposedly banned but we all know the real situation: that corruption is still rampant. Getting rid of corruption – especially the institutionalised one – would save us money to pump into our environmental battles, health and education.
  21. Turn all the above from pie in the sky to reality. This part of the wish list sounds truly unachievable. Yet if we overhaul our education system and introduce critical thinking, hey presto the rest is easy. If we change the way people think, the resultant societal change will be totally revolutionary. People would vote out all demagogues and charlatans and would not allow themselves to be duped over and over again.

Will all this ever happen, let alone in 2021? I very much doubt it but in these desperate times, we sure need to be able to dream, to hope, to think of a better tomorrow.