Parliament of fowls
No I have not turned literary and am not in Chaucerian mood—all I know and will say is that our parliament has been turned into a meeting place of people with grievances, anger, jealousy and now we have sublimated it into a place of fouls with fowls clucking away and clutching at each other's throat.
Do I want to defend Richard Cachia Caruana (RCC) or that other fallen giant, Carm Mifsud Bonnici? Better men and women can do that—and they have defended themselves quite eloquently and, dare I say, with dignity.
I know, and accept, that the role of an opposition is to oppose and oppose I expect Joseph Muscat and his MPs to continue doing—vehemently and with vim and vigour. So I understand most of their stands and stances. But, alas, these last few months they have turned into a sniping, draw-blood-at-any-cost party set on bleeding and attacking anything connected to Gonzi and his now battle-hardened, and jaded, team.
All is fair in war and parliament I hear some say—well I, and other more sensible people, tend to disagree. And if dignity is not restored and restored super-quickly to this august body then I'm afraid we are not going to see much respect in parliament for a long time to come. And while Europe, or quite a sizeable part of it, burns we turn petty squabbles into pretty messes. And if Gonzi and his team are making a royal mess of it the last thing we need from the opposition and Gonzi's own MPs is petty activists with only revenge on their minds.
More sensible people than me have said it so I will not go into details here: the motion regarding Richard Cachia Caruana was not fit to be discussed in parliament and was completely wrong, out of place and illogical.
But because they sensed a victory—and in politics it seems all victories, even if not elegant or strictly right, are welcome—they went for the jugular. And they not only sensed blood but shed it.
Joining the Labour motion against RCC was Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando(JPO) who went on and on about why he will be voting against RCC—and in the meantime proved beyond doubt that if there has ever been anything wrong in parliament it was this motion of no confidence in an Ambassador. But JPO had some scores to settle and settle them he did. And blood was shed and the Government was bludgeoned and Muscat and Co can beam and preen away with yet another head on a stick.
That RCC has faults is not connected to this motion or the outcome of the vote. Even his merits should not be subject to a parliamentary vote—to me the repercussions of such a vote will reverberate for a long time to come. That he had more power than a man ought to have is neither here nor there—and definitely not for parliament to decide on his merits as an ambassador or on how he acted in connection to his position.
Government, or the minister under whose authority he falls, should have been the one held accountable. The rest was a series of blunders. And if these blunders were not evident the inane questioning of the now former Ambassador's salary proved it beyond doubt. The questioning and accusations were puerile and utterly out of order with JPO heaping a litany of faults all derived from cold-bloodied revenge.
As the opposition rightly says often, no one in this country is held accountable—so carry on acting like a parliament of fowls where anything goes and everything will ultimately be turned upside down. As long as you manage to get some heads rolling who cares about the method and the ways?
Blood unfortunately begets blood. And the smile of conquest that JPO and Joseph Muscat sport today will come to haunt them in the very near future. If this is the new politics as promised so eloquently by Dr Muscat I for one want nothing of it—it is more of the same old theatricals fit only for a barnyard.
If we believe that Gonzi and Co are treating parliament and politics in Malta abominably—and this is true and abundantly so— this surely does not give free rein to the ways of the opposition who seem to be loving the slug-fest.