That Strong Nationalist Government

Ah the heavy hand of those in power. Ah the strong arm of the leaders of the realm. Suits you Sir! as the Fast Show comedians were prone to say. I just cannot believe it. First we had the farce whereby we are made to believe that the government is strong enough to stop spring hunting. The truth lay in the fact that government had to wait for the slaughter of 300 more protected birds after having probably flaunted the EU Directive for four years in a row. Not so strong and determined then. And then today I read this:

“After almost two weeks of noisy protests and never-ending meetings between the government and the Valletta open-air market (monti) hawkers, an agreement has finally been reached, with the hawkers agreeing to relocate the market to the site proposed by the government, and the government accepting the hawkers’ proposal to temporarily relocate their stalls to Freedom Square as from today. As from 7 June, the market will be located on the stretch of Merchants Street between Old Theatre Street and Archbishop Street, as well as part of Old Theatre Street where a few hawkers already used to have their stalls. The new location includes the area just outside the historic Valletta market (Is-Suq tal-Belt), which is being cleared of its trees and levelled out to accommodate the hawkers’ stalls.

By the time of the move, the new area is expected to be neatly surfaced and safe to work on. The paving will be laid at a later stage, when the open-air market will again have to be relocated to Freedom Square for “a few days”, according to the Investment, Industry and Information Technology Ministry. In a statement issued after the agreement was signed yesterday, the ministry said the government would be paying for new stalls, which would be made specifically to improve the appearance of the open-air market and they would also be made to size, in line with legal parameters.”

Somebody pinch me and tell me this is for real. I just cannot believe it. First of all who is accepting whose proposal? Is the government imposing Freedom Square or is it the hawkers who chose to go there? And what is this bloody “clearing of trees” business in order to accomodate stalls that will sell pirate DVDs, fake football shirts and tacky underwear? If that were not enough, the taxpayer is also being informed that the money that is left over after whatever is spent on pulling down trees and making space for hawkers’ stalls will be spent to build the aforesaid stalls. Yessiree that same government that stands strong and mighty in the face of Hunters and Hawkers is dishing out the dosh for their new trendy stalls. What next? We buy new guns for the hunters once the election is over?

Spineless is a way to put it. Sans couilles* is another. The thing is that while we stand by and watch this farce unravel there are a still good 90% of the population who still think in terms of us and them and ours and theirs. Serves us right doesn’t it?

Suits us in fact.

*Non habet testiculam

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