In the movie Groundhog Day (1993), Phil, a self-centred weatherman, is dispatched to the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to cover the annual 2 February celebrations, which revolve around a groundhog supposedly foreseeing the exact date of the arrival of spring. Phil makes no secret of his contempt for the assignment, the small town, and the “hicks” who live there.
He is later shocked when he wakes up the next morning and realises that he is reliving the same day, 2 February, over and over again. He remains in a time loop, the 2 February rebooted each day at 6am, until Phil figures out how to break the cycle. The secret, it transpires, lies within him.
There’s a leadership contest in the Labour Party, with two contenders, but none of them have what it takes. If the Labour Party does not elect a leader with integrity and competence, it will be like Groundhog Day for the party, the nation and the country.
If the leader that is elected does not possess both these qualities, there is no way on earth that he or she can clean up the mess that Joseph Muscat will be leaving behind. If it can be cleaned up at all, as the price will come heavy politically and economically, and it will have to be paid to the last cent. The bills are already coming in hard and fast.
And there are some messes which can never be cleaned up. No one can bring Daphne Caruana Galzia back to life.
A person of integrity does not compromise. Integrity is like virginity, you either have it or you don’t. It implies strong values and principles, it implies sticking to them whatever the cost, it implies that you act in accordance with your words. You cannot promise a clean sweep of the corruption and crime that has taken over our island, but not stand up to corruption and crime.
Like Joseph Muscat, Chris Fearne and Robert Abela surely must have figured out why Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi would be receiving 5,000 euros daily when the Panama Papers came out. Especially when the media revealed that the person who would be paying them 5,000 euros a day was Yorgen Fenech, a director in the Electrogas villainous project.
Yet both Fearne and Abela closed an eye. They closed two eyes. They closed their ears. They said nothing. They did nothing.
They even entertain the possibility of Muscat’s remaining an MP, and asking for his advice once they are elected.
His advice on what exactly?
On how to capture institutions?
On how to organise a constitutional crisis?
On how to break down the Rule of Law and let impunity reign supreme throughout the country?
On how to destroy Malta’s reputation globally, irreparably harming it economically and politically?
A true leader would stand tall, and fight to have Muscat evicted from the party yesterday. Instead, Chris Fearne and Robert Abela jockey for a photo with him.
Is there no man or woman with a pair in the Labour Party who will stand for leader? Is there no man or woman of integrity in the Labour party who will stand for leader?
If not, it’s going to be like Groundhog Day for the Labour Party, even under the new leader. If not, it’s going to be like Groundhog Day for the nation and for the country.
Integrity and competence are two virtues which have become nearly extinct, in a world where sex, power, greed and corruption are sought out treasures.
Malta is lacking in these two seed values within the political, business and professional class.
We need an earthquake of economic misery, before we start realising that, the world, and not less Malta, has to start looking for these values to raise from the dust of self destruction.