If Robert Abela really thinks that all politicians are elected to deal out favours to those who vote for it whether they are entitled to these favours or not, then he is a crooked misinformed despot who should not hold office.

Absolute monarchs or dictators do exactly that. They choose whom to favour either because there are backhanders involved or else, in have-been-democratic countries like ours, which get hijacked and turned into a system of nepotism, party favouritisms and syphoning assets from the national wealth for themselves and their party members, they can get the votes required to stay in power.

This is no longer democratic. A healthy democracy is based on the exercise of the rule of law and the blind administration of justice.

The recent Times of Malta survey shows that over 70% of the Maltese population also disagree with the prime minister about this. This is not the way they expect their government to act.

It may have some rotten eggs among the elected body. But to have reached the stage when the Prime Minister proudly pronounces the end of the separation of powers and the end of the independence of the institutions, then the country simply no longer belongs to the comity of nations like the EU. Yes, there are certainly some fifty dictatorships and absolute monarchies around the world in the 21st century. Yet, in the area where we, as Maltese, consider ourselves to belong to, such dictatorships of the criminal few handing out favours to those who belong to their clans, their party or to who aspires to vote for them in exchange for the favours, should be anathema.

They should be discarded and punished by the others in the group. Just like a rotten apple in the barrel.

Robert Abela should be ashamed of himself for uttering such a statement about the role of the elected members of Parliament.

He should resign. He should be called by his fellow heads of state of the EU and the representatives on the Council of Europe to answer for such a statement.

By his own admission, the two most recent schemes on disability pensions and driving licences are probably only the top of the rotten stinking barrel.

One wonders and realizes now how building permits which should never have been granted have passed through the administrative system. How do fines suddenly get cancelled or forgiven when some friend or prospective voter suddenly is suffering from too many? How are some contractors and companies allowed to avoid or postpone paying taxes, hide their profits abroad, fail to declare their accounts in time or just do not publish accounts at all and get away with it?

How do restaurants and coffee shops sprout everywhere and spread far beyond the permitted areas granted by the friendly permit-giver without any consequences? How many AirBnBs reap in weekly payments but declare only a portion thereof or none? How are criminals travelling with former prime ministers allowed to come and go abroad with our police force just waving them through?

The list which according to Abela is the normal practice in our system is interminable. It is shameful and no wonder our next generation have lost hope and leave our shores to go to countries where their talents and their hard work alone is the reason for them to succeed.

I have been one of those youngsters who left in the seventies under the terrible time of Lorry Sant, and Dom Mintoff and Patrick Holland where even going to university or being a protesting doctor led to severe discrimination. In those days getting a tv set was a crime unless one was a party member of paid baksheesh, same with a telephone line or a place at university.

Today more sophisticated schemes are led by the backroom planners of the Labour Party and celebrated in today’s statement by our own prime minister. He is the primus inter pares and the godfather of the mafia-like system that has borrowed money to pay off friends and labour voters from public funds bankrupting our country. The national airline, 50 years old next year, the brainchild of their idol Dominic Mintoff has been ploughed into bankruptcy by the last seven years of mismanagement by the likes of Konrad Mizzi.

How have we been brought to this state of affairs?

I remember that in the 90s just after Mintoff’s time with his idiotic forays into the world of the non-aligned and his friendship with Gaddafi I had the task in Brussels to try to persuade the European Union that we were mature enough to join the EU. That we were honest enough to be treated as a European democratic nation with functioning Institutions. It was an extremely difficult task and in the first years of constant meetings, explanations, arranged visits of experts, lectures and changes to our legislation in Malta the message was clear and adamant. There is no place for Malta in the EU.

But slowly and over a period of around 4 years of constant pressure by the Maltese body politic, under the sober and calm leadership of Fenech Adami and DeMarco, with independence of the institutions being crafted and strengthened, we wore down the resistance.

The EU report which had been leaked partially to me in advance was considering saying no to Malta because it was overpopulated, had too many barriers and defences to protect its internal market from free trade and still had no resources. It also was still a very young democracy which could easily fail if it was led by the wrong people.

The Knights of Malta in 1530 had also prepared a first negative report on Malta. The Knights found it underpopulated, defenceless, and arid without natural resources. We shared the copy of this report from our national library with the enlargement team of the EU. The Order came to Malta and turned their venture into a two-hundred-and-seventy-year period of success. I think that meeting was a turning point since they understood better the changes that were being undertaken by the government of the day to strengthen the institutions and the natural resources of Malta were its people with the good education system and the mastery of languages. The promise that we would remain honest in the future too with the motto that our word is our bond seemed to make the trick.

The EU Commission improved its report, and this was also approved by the European Parliament with a great majority too. Finally, the Council too made the decision that Malta would join in the next enlargement, in the Council held in Corfu, in the palace of St George built in Corfu in the early 19th century by Maltese workers using Maltese natural stone.

That day was the proudest of my life.

But now I see that our word was not our bond. The present Labour Government over the past 10 years took us back in our horrible international reputation to the times of the Mintoff era and they have dismantled and made a mockery of the independent institutions. They are leading the country to economic and moral bankruptcy. There will come a time when, either the Maltese population declare to have had enough of being dependent upon the begging bowl to try to get what they deserve by law and to stop by-passing the law to get what they do not deserve as long as they promise to vote Labour or the EU will impose sanctions.

It is not me who is saying that this is the case in Malta today. It is our prime minister, Robert Abela, proudly announcing this anti-democratic statement from his pulpit. Last week’s Budget is just a confirmation that he intends to continue along the same path.

Wake up my fellow citizens, before it is too late.