Starting 2019 on the wrong foot (1)

Starting 2019 on the wrong foot (1)

We are starting the year poorer, much poorer than we ended the last. And on the wrong foot !

For now that grotesque oversized cheques have been glamorously presented with clownish fanfare thus destroying the very intrinsic essence of charity, solidarity, generosity and altruism, in the yearly drama splashed on all tv stations and we have been declared by none other than the President of the Republic (of Paqpaqli catastrophe fame) as the most generous and altruistic people on Earth, we can now comfortably afford to go back to each others’ throats in a year of insults, hate, threats and incessant fighting (not to mention the occasional murder), in what is probably, considering the small size, one of the most highly politically polarised places on Earth.

And we start the year poorer because no one bats an eyelid when Presient Coleiro Preca, who not only made a Gargantuan effort to distance herself from the Paqpaqli ghall-Istrina catastrophe when things went wrong, but has also taken all this unbelievable thing to a completely new level, makes some of the best delusions of grandeur declarations we’ve ever heard – we are the most generous country on Earth . . . .or something of the sort . . .

But we start the year much poorer also because we have, in our inimitable style managed to destroy the intrinsic meaning of true solidarity, true altruism, true compassion, true empathy which necessarily consists of giving without getting anything back, without mentioning let alone advertising in the most in-your-face method. We are much poorer because we have managed to destroy the true meaning of all these fundamental values turning them upside down and patting ourselves on the back for the doing so. These are the clear symptoms of a decaying society.

We start the year poorer because we have not yet started to realise, let alone learn that the metric of solidarity, empathy, generosity and altruism is not measured by pounds, shillings and pence just like distance is measured in metres not kilograms. This notion of wrong metrics is not limited to solidarity. Not to mention that even if one had to argue that money is the right metric for solidarity that would be a huge injustice since one can hardly compare donations by a civil servant to that of a corporate donor. The issue is really complex indeed.

All this national patting on the back, megalomania and delusions of grandeur concerning things that shouldn’t even be made public is one of the reasons why this country thinks its people can afford to spend the intermediate periods between l-Istrinas hurling all forms and manners of hatred towards each other. For let’s be honest hatred in all forms and colours has increased in the last few years. So l-Istrina helped nothing in reducing this.

We are poorer because no one questions even for the sake of questioning, even for the sake of the fundamental democratic value of healthy debate and to convince ourselves we have not completely dried out of ideas, and to convince ourselves are not robots, to convince ourselves we are not in a coma.

It was a good idea twenty years ago a new thing, I have no doubt about the genuine intentions of the volunteers, but now that we had ample time to assess the pros and cons of it all the next President needs to take the bull by the horns. The same volunteers can produce something much better. Seven million is a small sum to include in the following year’s budget especially for a country in a booming economy. But then what are the Social Policy and Health Ministry there for?

2019 should be the year when the new President of the Republic gives much more attention and energy to his/her constitutional roles rather than to fundraising. 2019 should be the year when this country sheds its blinkers and awakens from its coma and rediscovers the real meaning of solidarity and charity – the exact opposite of the Istrina glamorous show featuring gigantic cheques ensuring all the world sees. Solidarity, charity and altruism are the complete opposite of the Istrina drama. They may be other things but surely NOT altruism or a genuine sense of charity which always meant giving without mentioning let alone advertising.

In 2019 we should convince ourselves that we are not the most altruistic and generous country on Earth because ONLY THEN can we start seriously tackling the flip side of the argument, the more realistic one – the hatred and deep divisions in this small society.

In a society that needs to tackle hatred, nothing worse can be done than that society being told it is the most generous and altruistic in the world. Indeed we have started the year on the wrong foot. Since another year has passed and we haven’t realised what’ wrong with all this not to say we took it to a lower level we start the year poorer.

And since the President’s term comes to an end in a few days’ time that is certainly one thing the Presidnet could have changed but didnt’t!

I will be campaigning for a more dignified L-Istrina for next year which focuses and enhances the true values of solidarity, empathy, compassion and altruism so that only then we can subsequently tackle the consequent isues of deep hatred within this society. As long as we think we are the most generous people on Earth we are doomed.

And one final thing – even if we were we shouldn’t be saying it . . . . . out of compassion and respect for those less generous than us!

  • Evelyn VC
    Posted at 21:21h, 02 January

    Min jghati l-flus biex jghin, ghandu jghati bil-mohbi u mhux jixxejjer ic-cheque jew jghamluh kbir biex jintwera. Min irid jghin verament ghax qalbu tajba u thoss ma jghatix ghax ha bhal xi kumpanijji imma jghati ghax jaf li ghandu dmir li jghin.

    Posted at 20:39h, 02 January

    Jien ma qbiltx ma’ dak li ghamilt fil-passat Dr Debono imma dan il-blog juri verita’ sagrosanta dwar kif iddegenerat l-Istrina. L-ewwelnett li l-prezentaturi jheggu n-nies biex icemplu biex jghidu grazzi lil President hu nsult li tant morda u l-familji taghhom – incempel biex nghin lil dawn hutna Maltin. It-tieninett, li l-prezentaturi kontinwament jghidu biex in-nies jixtru minghand min qed jidher bic-cekkijiet kbar (riklam ovvju) hu diskriminazzjoni kontra dawk l-eluf ta’ nies fin-negozju li jaghtu bla ma jridu jidhru. Allura lil dawn ma nixtrux minghandhom ghax ma uzawx l-Istrina biex jinqdew biha?

  • Giov DeMartino
    Posted at 19:11h, 02 January

    Distance is not measured in kilograms

  • Robert Callus
    Posted at 14:06h, 02 January

    Hammer hits the nail.

  • Marco Spiteri
    Posted at 11:20h, 02 January

    Well put Franco…totally with you on this one

  • M.Mifsud
    Posted at 10:55h, 02 January

    Nistaqsi, kif baqghat l istorja tragika ta Paqpaqli ghal istrina?
    Il President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca farfret mir responsabilta u l President ta qabel George Abela xehed li hu kien ikun responsabbli u mgharraf bid decizzjonijiet.
    Min fejn ser jigu kkumpensati l vittmi?
    Kemm hemm min baqa mmankat ghal ghomru?
    Kemm hemm li ghandhom isofru effetti psikologici?
    X tghid il kostituzzjoni fuq il President?
    Ma jidirliex li rwoll kostituzzjonali tal President jigbor fih riklamar tal Benna u kampanji ta gbir ta flus.
    Imma f din il gzira li jisimha Malta, incapcpu u nifirhu u nghamlu hafna storbju biex nillupjaw il mohh milli jahseb.
    Sa danittant il kbar ikomplu jikbru u jirriklamaw u iz zghir ikompli bilkemm ikampa.
    Kollox taht il kappa qarrieqa tal karita.

  • louis brincat
    Posted at 10:16h, 02 January

    ara pep int ma nafx xnaqbad nghin li int,sewwa int bdejt li ghanna nixtru biss ma dawk li taw fl istrina,sewwa mela miskien min dis sena minhabba haga jew ohra,gitu hazina,flok nghinhuh naqtajlu rasu u ma nixtrux min ghandu,……il posizzioni tal lum hija VERU LI MIN GHANDU jkompli jistana u min u batuwt inkomplu inkisruh

  • Mary Anne Curmi
    Posted at 09:50h, 02 January

    Am really worried about this blessed country..nothing makes sense anymore..something needs to be done..faster then we think!!! But the nation seems to be in utter trans :'(

  • Rachel Williams
    Posted at 09:25h, 02 January

    I hardly ever agree with you Dr Debono but here you are completely right. Chapeau

  • Sergio Gatt
    Posted at 05:59h, 02 January

    …why do we even have a president? It’s not like any Maltese president actually took the right decision when any prime minister failed to do so 😔

  • Philip INCORVAJA
    Posted at 01:44h, 02 January

    Paul V Tabone.
    Spot on sir.
    All the Istrina had become is a huge PR circus for big business. Incidentally when were the last audited accounts published. They’d tell us a lot !!

  • Chris Cremona
    Posted at 00:34h, 02 January

    “It is much more easy to have sympathy with suffering than it is to have sympathy with thought. Accordingly, with admirable, though misdirected intentions, they very seriously and very sentimentally set themselves to the task of remedying the evils that they see. But their remedies do not cure the disease; they merely prolong it. Indeed, their remedies are part of the disease. They try to solve the problem of poverty, for instance, by keeping the poor alive; or, in the case of a very advanced school, by amusing the poor.But this is not a solution; it is an aggravation of the difficulty. The proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible.” Oscar Wilde

  • tony sultana
    Posted at 22:40h, 01 January

    Looking up from down under, the impression you try to give the rest of the world, that Malta is god’s summer holiday island, you also believe that you are god’s chosen people. pity you people keep you eyes firmly closed when overseas. don’t believe what you read locally .I left Malta in 67, never heard of homeless people then. we genuinely & rightfully had more pride then. Talk is cheap, showing off leaves a bad taste, makes it hard to believe anything after.

  • Paul V Tabone
    Posted at 22:10h, 01 January

    I had been involved with the Malta Community Chest Fund from Agatha Barbara until Ugo Mifsud Bonnici. The scope of fund raising was to help families and individuals who get into difficulties until the Social Welfare System kicks in. Until my time we helped persons to accompany a sick person to UK when a nurse was needed. We provided food to families whose father abandoned the family until the department concerned took over. We at no time became part of the Health Department. Up to my time we had no homeless. Today this phenomenon is an area where The Community Chest Fund would have helped, again until the Housing takes over.
    Agreed, in charity the right hand should not know what the left hand is doing. Hence I no longer contribute to this fund.

  • anthony micallef
    Posted at 21:37h, 01 January

    jien inhos li president mandux jintazel min xahad fil politika

  • Comrade
    Posted at 21:29h, 01 January

    Dak is-suldat li tkecca mix-xoghol ftit qabel il-festa tal-Milied, b’ nuqas ta empatijja lejh u lejn il-familja tieghu, dak x’ghamlet biex tghin il-President?