Letters | Sunday, 08 March 2009

Party priorities, diversions and successful spins

The threat of a most vicious global economic crisis hangs on our heads and most sectors of the local economy are already experiencing its effects, or are waiting for them to start: with redundancies in the manufacturing and a downturn in tourism, to name just two.
The most important aspect of our infrastructure is literally crumbling, our roads being in the most dismal state they have ever been and car owners are incurring unnecessary costs in tyres and suspension repairs. Blaming the rain is a feeble excuse to cover up for the lack of serious supervision and incompetence of local road builders. If we are spending good money on our roads, we should engage good contractors, even foreign ones.
All households and industrial and commercial enterprises expect to get a shock and a tsunami as a result of the haphazard increase in electricity and water rates proposed by Government. One suspects that one of the aims in announcing abnormal rates at a time of very low oil prices, is to recover the horrendous losses made as a result of Enemalta’s amateurish handling of its forward buying strategy.
What about the promise of free energy-saving light bulbs, which would be of benefit to the entire population, energy conservation and the environment? Yet 11 months after this single promise was made, we cannot see the light at the end of this tunnel. Maybe the delay is due to the fact that these energy-saving bulbs have been ordered from China and shipment takes long. Another more credible reason for the delay is for Enemalta to cash in on the very high surcharge on top of very high water and electricity bills. Are we really in favour of energy conservation, or cash conservation?
The forth national issue concerns the scandalous situation at Mater Dei and the serious maladies affecting our health care, as stated by none other than Minister John Dalli, who is known to call a spade a spade. Maybe the PN was uncomfortable with John Dalli because he was always concerned with action not words, and action is not something the PN practises, except for the months preceding a general election.
With these four very serious scenarios affecting every single household, Government regales us with the most efficient forward thinking strategy concerning the choice of President and the Valletta entrance and opera house construction: two issues which do not affect people where it hurts and which we can easily do without.
It is so obvious that these two unimportant issues are only meant to create a diversion among the population from the more crucial problems we are experiencing and which will get worse. In this case Government has succeeded because the diversionary tactics have created tremendous interest and attention among the entire population. Well done Government. Spin works among a gullible lot.
In the case of the new President, Government announces the person who will occupy the post, (which has been described by current President Fenech Adami as ‘leisurely’), three months in advance, as a decision had probably been taken many more months before.
In the case of the Valletta entrance and opera house diversion, one fails to see the urgency and need of priority having lived with them for the past 60 years. Government is more concerned with image, propaganda and spin, than substance. It is only the quality of its propaganda, moving speeches and empty promises full of hot air that elected this Government, albeit with a very thin margin of votes and sustains it in running the country or more appropriately running it to the ground.
Besides, an election is four years away and by that time we will be told that Malta is heaven on earth or the promised land, and once again at least 1,500 voters will be gullible enough to believe it and return a clique that has been enjoying the trappings of power for almost a quarter of a century.


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