MaltaToday: Janus
OPINION | Sunday, 30 December 2007


Time seems to have developed an increased speed as we look back at the same period last year and perceive it to be not so long ago. It may be the quick, back to back succession of events, both in Malta and abroad, that is dissolving one day into the next, and one month into the other, making time a fleeting reality.
Some 12 months ago, like the mythological Janus, we were again standing at this point, watching 2006 end and looking with apprehension and expectation at 2007.

Now that 2007 is nearing its end, each of us can look back and see how many of our fears and hopes have in fact materialised. Let us ensure that the occurrences during this closing year help us to better ourselves by adding to our accumulation of knowledge and understanding. Let it not be history but let it be an experience which we can draw upon as we face the world at the various levels of concentric circles of relationships during the next year and beyond.
I will not be analysing 2007. There will be many who will do that. A few will do it objectively. Most will be subjective opinions enveloped within particular agendas. We must make sure that our filters are effective to discard all the cacophony of manipulative double talk, half truths, insinuations and misinformation that have become the tool kit of most of our media people.

I will make a very brief observation. On the local scene, 2007 is ending generally on a positive note. The economy is looking up and the social texture that has retained its cohesiveness even in the face of the pressures that present themselves from time to time. The value index unfortunately kept going down as egoism dominates our actions and perceptions, making us believe that the abnormal has become normal and that the unacceptable has become acceptable.
The global scene has become gloomier as the sense of solidarity and fraternity amongst nations has been defeated by pique and unbridled interference that submits human rights to the whims of those who wield power. The global hot spot map is showing expanding boundaries of red areas where strife, lack of understanding, and savage manslaughter are the rule. Terrorism has continued to rear its head as international media coverage feeds it with a purpose for devastating activities. This is in turn strengthening the hand of pompous ineffectual security freaks that keep chipping away at our civil liberties under the guise of fighting terrorism. 99.99% of the world’s population are being subjected to gross intrusion into their personal lives while the other 0.01% who should be targeted and controlled are having a field day devising ways of going around the controls that are imposed on each and every one of us.

What is in store for 2008? More of the same?
We will surely be called upon to exercise our right to determine the course of our way of life for the next five years. Will it be the same? Should it be the same? What changes would we like to see? How should these be brought about? Who is best suited to bring these about? Most of us have thought about this and have formed their opinion. Others seem to be still thinking and mulling over these questions, while others are not thinking about them at all but are rather giving in to their emotions.

Think we must, as the decisions we are being called upon to take are very important ones. On it rests the social and economic future, short and long term, for us and our country as whoever is to be entrusted with the decision making faculty will affect the structure of our community, the capacity of our wealth generation, and the equity with which the wealth that is created is distributed.
Let us take the decision. Let it be an objective decision. Let it be an honest and responsible decision.

Sad news
I heard the news of the Alfred Sant’s health problems with trepidation. I wish him well and a very quick recovery.


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30 December 2007

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