The following are the concluding sentences from a post on the US website on international affairs, the International Policy Digest:

The tumour of corruption in Malta has grown too large for the government to perform self-surgery particularly as the ruling elite have had a major hand in the descent into sleaze. As foreign owned businesses continue to plan their exit strategies from the island, EU officials will be relying on FATF sanctions to stem the tide of crime or Malta’s membership of the Union may come into question.

It’s just the opinion of a guy writing on a website, I grant you. But we have come to the point where the very viability of this country as a country is being questioned. These are existential questions Malta has not confronted since its independence. We’ve had problems before. We’ve had challenges of lack of economic diversity or major transitions such as out of a military economy or out of low-end manufacture.

Those transitions were always a way out of a paradigm and a way into the next one.

What’s our next step? And do we seriously think Robert Abela is willing to throw away all he’s ever understood about the world to lead us into taking that next step?

Do we seriously think that wise guy Bobby, attorney to scammers, low-life gangsters, get rich quick, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, sign on the dotted line son is going to convince the world he best represents our new-found zeal for financial correctness, tax compliance, and ethical capitalism?

It is inevitable to hang Robert Abela to Joseph Muscat’s nose. But the twisted pedigree of Labour leadership goes far back. No, this is not going to be CliffNotes on Dom Mintoff. Let’s just go back to the guy who is still an MEP for Malta.

Alfred Sant was once on TV arguing why joining the EU would be a bad idea for Malta, and why staying out of it better fit our character of fixers and make doers. In untranslatable Maltese he explained how he planned to convince the Europeans to allow us to enjoy the benefits of membership (like access for us to their markets) without burdening us with the costs (like access to our market for them). He said “nagħmlu kif nagħmlu dejjem, inbażwru ‘l hawn u nbażwru ‘l hinn.”

Tbażwar is one of those verbs you use in contexts unrelated to its original meaning. The noun bażwa means hernia. The verb bażwar is to cause hernia or, in its secondary meaning, to bungle, to mess up, to do shoddy or clumsy work. In other words, to do things improperly just to get what you want done with the least effort possible. Any more effort and your hernia will get worse.

Alfred Sant’s anthropology is unimpeachable. What he was utterly blind to, was the fact that we’d find ourselves inbażwru even more within the EU than we ever could have outside it.

We sold EU passports to crooks and now that we are moving into the world where a European war of aggression perpetrated by Russia is not entirely inconceivable that piece of shoddiness is going to acquire even greater significance.

We opened our banking system to crooks, we industrialised secrecy with cryptic crypto currency, we are making fools of ourselves prosecuting financial crime pretending to be blundering idiots but being serpents under the innocent flower we attempt to look like.

There was a silly song in the EU campaign that I sang along only half embarrassed. It said we would “say yes” (in a referendum on whether we should join the EU) in our interest, in the interest of our children, and in the interest of our country.

The song was silly. The words rang true. That’s why we did it. For our children. To give them a future to look forward to which we imagined, rightly as it turned out, to be found within the EU rather than shuddering outside it.

Many, too many, back then disagreed anyone heeding the advice of Eddie Fenech Adami could do anything in the interest of their children. They wanted “the partnership” (which was the nice way Labour called staying out of the EU to caress our chronic hernia) because that’s what Labour told them to want.

Now almost all of them tell pollsters how well they (and their children) did out of EU membership they had campaigned so loudly to resist.

They, and their fully grown children, are in the throes of collective selective blindness again refusing to recognise that their beloved Labour Party is preparing to leave to their and our children a desiccated legacy. We’re leaving our children an emptiness of regret, a country deprived of the viability of functioning as such and of being recognised as such. And all because we felt entitled to get rich quick. Well, Robert Abela and his type did.

The real problem here is that this time these enthusiastic herniates amount to more than the very large minority that voted against EU membership. They are now a sizeable majority.

Not only, as the author of the piece I cited above, is the tumour too deep for our government to perform self-surgery, the collective rupture seems too wide for the country to excise its government.