A breath of fresh air

In the midst of the political crisis on our island, there’s a refreshing and unprecedented rise in civil society speaking out and taking a visible and tangible stand against the corruption, crime and treason of the highest order that has overrun the country.

People who never cared started caring. People who never spoke up started speaking up. People who never took a stand started taking a stand. NGOs came together to speak up and take action. New ones have been formed.

It’s time we realised that politics is not just about political parties, or exclusively their remit and domain, though political parties are of course essential, and their role can never be ignored, sidelined, bypassed or eliminated.

It’s also time we realised that being indifferent to politics is being indifferent to the society we live in and our quality of life, indifferent to the deterioration of human rights, democracy, rule of law and freedom of expression, indifferent to impunity, corruption and crime, indifferent to the principles of justice, fairness and social justice, indifferent to the quality of the air we breathe, to the environment and to the education of our children.

One NGO , a fledgling NGO which vociferously fights corruption is Repubblika. It has become conspicuous thanks to its admirable and unrelenting efforts, and thanks to its success in mobilising thousands to join in the fight against the impunity, the sleaze and the lawlessness that has taken over this country. It has become conspicuous because it is making a tangible difference.

During the meeting the NGO identified and approved the following areas which it will be directing its attention to:

  1. Public Life based on and guided by ethical principles
  2. Structural and Constitutional Developments
  3. Training for a participative and responsible citizenship
  4. A New, Honest and Sustainable Economy
  5. An Environment that is enjoyed by All
  6. . An inclusive, just and humane society.
  7. Equal Justice, Guaranteed Liberties

Their full policy document can be accessed in Maltese or in English.

It concluded that as citizens we need to understand that:

Democracy means much more than the five minutes we spend every five years to cast our vote.
Democracy is not the tyranny of the majority.
Democracy is far greater than a parliament that works on a part-time basis.
Democracy is a fragile treasure that is constantly under threat but which can flourish if we protect it and sustain it.”

They’re right about that. Democracy doesn’t go out with a bang, with an apocalyptic event. Democracies are dismantled in hard to perceive steps: take over the executive, take over the judiciary, take over the police, take over the institutions, take over the media. Bribe a media house. Democracies are dismantled when people don’t mobilise because their attention is diverted to smokescreens, to manufactured lies, conspiracies and enemies.

Wake up. All this has already happened.

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