Some people were offended because I expressed cynicism at the sincerity of the fervent patriotism being displayed, mostly by the Nationalist party and its more fanatic supporters regarding the citizenship scheme issue.
However, this morning, after reading comments of disappointment because the RAI feature on Ballarò last night in which Simon Busuttil was interviewed was not “effective” enough, I can only reaffirm my doubts about what this thirst for international attention is hoping to achieve.
The disappointment stems from the fact that the feature did not limit itself to the PN’s objections to the selling of passports but put it into the wider context of ships being registered under the Maltese flag, the tax benefits for the igaming industry, and the apparent affluence of the country in stark contrast with the immigrants being held at the shabby detention centre.
In short, the feature portrayed Malta as a money-grubbing nation on various fronts.
Now before anyone rushes (again) to accuse me of wanting to stifle the free press, let me assure them that I do not have a giant switch in my back room to turn off the world wide web. Nor are my FB comments or blog posts going to strike terror into the hearts of the editors of the world’s newspapers or TV producers, forcing them to stop mentioning Malta. As we have all learnt by now, those who wish to spin untruths about others have their own ulterior motives (which kind of makes me question: just who is trying to stifle whom?).
In the global village we are living in, we were bound to receive international media attention and negative press for this ‘selling of passports’ scheme, but the bad light thrown on Malta because of this government’s decision is not something we should be rubbing our hands with glee about. Is it really that difficult to step back from this burning desire to inflict the maximum possible damage on the present government and look at this whole thing objectively?
After all, international observers don’t really care whether political decisions are taken by a PN or a Labour government; they just say, “Malta did this”. So perhaps all those who are rejoicing because the Labour party is being put into a very bad light and crowing that they have been “proved right” when they predicted that with Labour in power, “we are ashamed to be Maltese”, should really calm down and do some self-analysis. What exactly are they so delirious about?
Seems to me that maybe, just maybe, my definition of what patriotism really means, is different to theirs.
If both sides really have the nation’s best interests at heart then I believe that consensus on this scheme is possible rather than this never-ending scoring of political points. Especially since, apparently, what this is really all about is that the PN wanted to introduce this scheme itself, but the Labour party beat them to it.
No wonder I find their moral outrage a little difficult to believe.