When reading the title of this article, you probably first thought about a parent giving some wise advice to their child about how to go about in life, what company to keep and what not to. In my case, what I was thinking about when coming up with this was the now very commonly found impression left by the two major political parties, and why people ought to steer clear of them and not have anything to do with them whatsoever.
Now, you might ask, where does this negative outlook come from? Given what has been the state of Malta’s political arena for quite a number of years now, it goes without saying that corruption, nepotism, bribery and other ill practices have become a dominant feature in the day-to-day running of Maltese politics, if not also being entrenched within Maltese society itself. Naturally, one can’t blame someone for holding this outlook, certainly in light of the news headlines which have characterised the airwaves and the events which we’ve gotten only too used to hearing about.
Having said that, corruption isn’t something to be accepted, normalised, defended or justified in any way. Neither is it something which a society must be complacent towards, nor should its impact be minimised. Just because something happens and has been happening for ages doesn’t mean that it ought to be accepted as the norm, especially when it isn’t a good thing.
Does this mean that all politicians are destined to be inherently corrupt? No.
Does it mean that politics can never be a force for good? No.
Does it mean that politics as a whole is something to be discounted because of a stereotype which tells us that ‘all politicians are the same’? No.
It can take a while for the damage inflicted by a few (or many in some cases too) to be truly felt. In this case, endless stories of corruption and self-aggrandisement have undoubtedly sowed seeds of doubt into the political system, with many feeling that the political class is nothing, but a club made up if crooks and thieves. One can’t blame people for holding this view, a view which certainly has a considerable amount of validity to it.
However, I don’t subscribe to this view in its totality. I do believe that there are individuals involved within Maltese politics who have done undeniably corrupt things, which are completely beyond even attempting to justify or defend. I also happen to believe that the intentions and consequences of such actions are not representative of all politicians. The deeds which stink of the stench of corruption should not have to overshadow the good being done in politics, as politics is ultimately a force for good as much as it may seem that isn’t. These acts shouldn’t have to discourage people from getting involved in politics either, or even depict politics as a whole in a purely negative light.
If we had to focus a bit more on the Maltese political scene, in particular, the Labour Party has a lot to own up to and answer forever since it’s been government. Past and present events show that the Nationalist Party isn’t perfect either. Perfection isn’t what I’m after, as it’s quite impossible to achieve such a thing in life, let alone in politics. What I’m after is the status quo being refuted if it’s having damaging effects across Maltese society, because having a laid back ‘it’s just the way it is’ attitude won’t solve things at all.
Corrupt acts are terrible, and they will continue to occur until change occurs from within. Unfortunately, that won’t happen unless people of good faith take that first crucial step to get into politics, and others who make politics out to be a dirty word stop making gross generalisations about politics to begin with. We have Urban Dictionary to thank for gifting us with several dirty words. Politics isn’t one of them, and it shouldn’t be.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors and must not be taken as reflective of the official policy or position of A Bird’s Eye View. Any content provided by our authors are of their opinion, and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, race, gender, organisation or person.
Written by: Jacob Callus
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