(Apologies to Nicholas Cage)
I don’t purport to be Greek, like one of our politicians. I don’t pretend to be British even though I am a British citizen by virtue of having been born in the UK. Wherever I go and whoever I deal with, I identify myself as Maltese. How could I do otherwise? I served in the Armed Forces of this country for 25 years, my family, my home, my life is all here.
But there are times when carrying the burden of being Maltese becomes almost intolerable. This generally happens when our political class make absolute fools of us on the international stage. The events surrounding yesterday’s address to the Maltese parliament by President Zelensky took this stupidity and incompetence to a new level.
How is it that the leader of a country engaged in a battle for its very existence can take the time to research the relevant and historical issues at hand while all our mediocre politicians can do is repeat the hollow platitudes that they have been bleating for years? Why does the Leader of the Opposition feel that making his speech in English is in some way indicative of professional courtesy or heightened intelligence? How can we grant someone the title of Speaker when the one thing that he is utterly incapable of is stringing together a coherent sentence?
Yesterday’s events did not leave me in any way ashamed of being Maltese. But they left me deeply ashamed of the rambling, incompetent and immoral politicians who represent our country on the international stage. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: every time we look at events in the Ukraine, we must remember that there, but for the grace of God or whichever celestial power looks after fools, goes Malta.
However our politicians try to spin it, the facts are clear. We sold Maltese citizenship to provide convenience and protection to Russians who are now, directly, or indirectly, engaged in supporting the rape and pillage of the Ukraine. Why? To make a quick buck. We proudly extol the virtues of the Maltese Shipping Registry but are resistant to ensuring that it does not facilitate the financing of hostile actions against the Ukraine. We leverage the disproportionate powers that we enjoy within the EU to delay or suppress actions designed to punish Russia further for its unwarranted aggression. And I say we because, whether we like it or not, as Maltese we all bear a degree of responsibility for this avarice, immorality, and stupidity.
What is most infuriating is the fact, which had to be pointed out by the President of a foreign country, that our history provides ample reasons to know better. This country has been through war, not in the distant past but in the memory of some still alive today. And yet all we can do is hide behind the moral fallacy of neutrality rather than standing up for what is right.