It’s time to throw away the “serenity” and “peace of mind” cliches

The survey published by the American analysis firm Gallup which found that the Maltese are among the most angry people in the EU is a reminder of how hollow political declarations can be and how they run counter to experiences people’s daily lives.

Recent survey results revealed that a quarter of Maltese interviewed for the study said they had experienced anger a day before being interviewed, while 64% of respondents said they had felt worried about something at some point during the day before taking the survey. Half of the Maltese respondents also felt stressed the day before their survey interview.

What a contrast to the rhetoric of “peace of mind” and “serenity” so often uttered by our politicians. One of the last times we were told how ‘peaceful’ and ‘serene’ Malta was was in February, when the eyes of the world turned to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine .

As Ukrainians began to flee their homes, our Prime Minister publicly reassured his supporters of the unfolding tragedy by saying he was grateful to live in Malta where one can enjoy the “serenity, tranquility of spirit and peace” that the country enjoys, while other countries, including other EU member states bordering Ukraine, are concerned about the influx of refugees.

Whenever we hear a far-fetched statement from politicians that includes the word “serenity,” chances are it was uttered by individuals just when trouble was about to catch up with them.

Stai Sereno“, Matteo Renzi told former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta and his colleague from the Italian Democratic Party (PD) just before the party. ousted Letta and handed over the premiership to Renzi.

‘I am calm,’ ex-interior minister Matteo Salvini said before facing court on charges of kidnapping and dereliction of duty when he stopped a migrant boat from docking in Sicily.

A “profound serenity” is what Joseph Muscat apparently felt when he resigned in disgrace as Prime Minister of Malta, although that serenity seems to have dissipated recently.

The results of the Gallup survey with other polls suggest that the country’s emotional state is deteriorating and are further confirmation that “serenity and peace of mind” couldn’t be further from the country’s current collective state of mind or state of mind. spirit of our current administration.

We can not expect much in terms of “serenity” in a country where the construction lobby has such a hold on our policies and “regulatory” authorities where land and green spaces are regularly engulfed by abominable “blocks” , destroying habitats, landscapes and historic architecture.

What peace of mind do residents have when they are constantly on the lookout for the next planning permit to oppose or the next marina knowing that the Planning Authority – without planning or great authority – favors interests of the mega-promoters and not theirs?

Does the Maltese traffic conundrum inspire serenity and peace of mind? Roads have been widened, flyovers opened, pesky old trees removed and direct drives given out in abundance, but everyone’s daily commute is more miserable than ever, roads are still flooded where they shouldn’t and traffic continues to back up as soon as there is an accident. Only the public coffers are the worst off.

There is also absolutely nothing serene about an administration that has subverted the public procurement process and turned public funds into a pickpocketing bonanza for ministers to do with public funds as they please. .

It doesn’t matter if it led to maladministration, corrupt practices, unethical behavior or the haemorrhage of public funds if somewhere someone personally benefited.

Surely there can’t be a more anxiety-provoking state of mind than the snatch-and-grab and “what’s in it for me?” attitude, which is ubiquitous in Maltese society, ages and origins.

This mentality is why the Labor party in government used everything at its disposal to feed this attitude and why in March people received checks in the mail during the election campaign signed by the Prime Minister instead of the tax commissioner.

Imagine the energy it takes to dream up a scam, support the scam, and make sure no one finds out about your scam. And the effort required to avoid being held responsible once the scam has been discovered?

From your government shadow consulting jobs to ill-fated large-scale projects like Electrogas and Steward Healthcare? Just imagine the somersaults of the people involved because there was profit to be made – not just any profit but a big profit.

Think of the government’s extensive efforts to block access to public interest information and the contempt with which it treats independent journalists and their critics and, ultimately, the taxpayer.

Think of the time wasted in parliament devoted to speeches attacking independent institutions that criticize government practices and all the resources the ruling party invests in supporting its propaganda machine and reining in the state broadcaster – an administration confident in his job wouldn’t need to do that.

There is no “serenity” in any of these actions. In a country that has not yet obtained justice for the murder of one of its journalists, serenity is far away.

This is not to say that honesty, integrity, selflessness and beauty cannot be found in Malta. They can be, and there are plenty of people out there who know what those values ​​are and where to find them, it’s just that they’re constantly drowned out.

They are drowned in empty propaganda promises of a better future as the present crumbles before our eyes. The least our politicians can do is start by throwing “serenity” into the dumpster of clichés in its place, once and for all.

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