This quotation from John Milton’s Paradise Lost, which most of us who took English at O or A levels have had to study, came to my mind on reading a recent article in the Times of Malta describing how quickly the present government have managed to transform Malta from a Paradise to a Hell on Earth.
One is old enough to recall the frequent biblical connections made by our political leaders and this time calls for us to remember how Satan, who failed to overthrow the forces of good in heaven, was banished to hell.
Once in hell, Satan and his followers decide to make the best of the situation they had created for themselves. Instead of despairing, or seek forgiveness by repenting, they decide to hunker down and to make the best of their dire situation.
Satan tells his followers that “the mind is its own place and in itself can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n / Here we may reign secure, and in my choice to reign is worth ambition though in Hell.”
Does this not sound very apt description of Robert Abela? He is so proud of his position of power and so tied to the taste of power that, even though he, as a lawyer and with a good education, should know that his predecessor’s policies have led Malta to become more like Hell than Heaven, he persists in the promise of continuity which he made to those who put him in power. His persistence is damaging to Malta both in its appearance, its reputation, its economy with the biggest national debt ever in our history, its environment damaged to such an extent that it probably cannot be returned to a sustainable state and to its national identity. More and more people have started to react, and these include members of the Labour Party. The public appears to have lost its trust in politicians and almost half the electorate seem to be inclined not even to vote in the coming elections.
Our local Satan with his closest associates and the hard-core labour party followers, the so-called Laburisti sal-Mewt, believe that abstention by voters will allow them to obtain still enough votes to overcome the present opposition. Because of this belief and because, like Milton’s version of Satan, our PM is drunk with power and does not listen to criticism. He is so arrogant that he never answers questions, he lies as do most of his ministers and when caught out shows no remorse. The way he treated the suffering mother of Jean Paul Sofia when she begged him to open a public inquiry gave away his coldness and absolute indifference to the suffering of people. To his choice, to reign is worth ambition though in Hell.
But just as in Milton’s epic poem there is a second part called Paradise Regained, so too even though it may take time, there will also be a change in Malta which one day will lead to Paradise Regained.
The first signs are appearing already now and the best opportunity for the unhappy Maltese public to show its disgust with the present state Malta finds itself in, is the upcoming elections to the Local Councils and to the European Parliament in ten months’ time. If the voters do not dethrone him, then the breakdown of the infrastructure will. Drowning in sewer overflow is quite a hellish way to go out of power.
The unhappy voters can show their disdain for our over-ambitious leaders, who arrogantly keep eating out of the trough of the national purse like pigs, keep growing our national debt that will have to be paid by the young voters under 30 and their children, and keep bringing in more foreign cheap labour to push wages downwards and damaging our national identity. The present inept and ambitious government ministers continue issuing permits to overbuild out hotel stock so that the present over-tourism that is making us ugly, unhappy and overcrowded must double in number to satisfy the blind investors. The band of demons managing our country politically and economically must be removed. Next year’s elections are a good opportunity for everybody who is unhappy to vote either for the Nationalist Party or for independent candidates. Voting for the status quo will only make matters worse. If a massive anti-Labour vote is entered next year, this will force Abela out of office and bring in those members of the Labour Party whose ambition is to serve the Maltese and not to reign and serve Mammon. It will allow the present Labour Party to remain in power at the national level for another two years within which time they will have to show to the Maltese electorate that that really put Malta l-ewwel u qabel kollox once more.