Aktar minn sena wara l-aħħar elezzjoni, l-aqwa bikja tal-Oppożizzjoni donnha baqgħet dwar li l-ġenna għadha mitlufa. Diżappuntanti kif l-Oppożizzjoni u s-segwaċi tagħha m’għandhomx temi koerenti ta’ kritika għall-ħidma tal-gvern tal-ġurnata u jiġġebdu bejn żewġ, forsi tliet, fazzjonijiet li jridu jsostnu l-aġenda tagħhom.

Diżappuntanti għax tajjeb jew ħażin, kull demokrazija parlamentari teħtieġ Oppożizzjoni għaqlija u dinamika biex tiżgura li t-tmexxija tal-pajjiż tkun ċara u effettiva f’perspettiva tat-tul.

Biżżejjed taqra l-artikli ta’ diskussjoni u l-editorjali fil-midja hekk imsejħa indipendenti biex tagħraf kif anke min jipprova jipproġetta messaġġ ta’ opinjoni jitlaq minn premessa magħluqa: il-ġenna kienet ilbieraħ. Madwar dal-messaġġ il-kotra li tinġabar hi minoritarja, mhux l-anqas għax numru sabiħ minn dawk li suppost qed jaqsmu fil-bikja, telqu biex “igawdu l-ġenna” illum, fost il-fillieri tan-naħa l-oħra u ma jidhrux imħajra jiċċaqalqu minn hemm.

SIĠAR

Ħaġa tajba ħafna li qed tqum kuxjenza kontra l-qerda tas-siġar. Fi gżira niexfa u għerja bħal tagħna, niħtiġuhom bil-kbir. Huma affaxxinanti ċerti verżjonijiet tal-istorja qadima ta’ Malta li jsemmu kif kien hemm żmien meta l-gżira kienet imballata b’siġar taż-żebbuġ u oħrajn, sakemm l-abitanti li nzertaw għexu hawn, qatgħuhom biex jibnu, joħolqu għelieqi u jkollhom bhiex isajru.

Ħaġa tajba wkoll li fejn hemm bżonn, id-difiża tas-siġar bil-ħdura li jipprovdu ssir permezz tal-protesti publiċi. Biss m’inix konvint li l-protesti tal-lum huma daqshekk ġenwini. Donnhom parti minn tattika ta’ fazzjoni politika fil-PN ħalli takkwista t-tieni nifs fil-ħidma tagħha.

X’jagħti lok għal das-suspett? Il-fatt li uħud minn dawk li “jipprotestaw” qatt ma tniffsu kontra l-ewwel pass li kien ittieħed biex jitneħħew is-siġar minn fejn kienu ilhom iżejnu post: quddiem Kastilja.

KOKKA

Għoġobni ħafna film li ħareġ fl-1968 u li kont bqajt ma rajtx minkejja li matul is-snin smajt sew dwaru. Imsejjes fuq rumanz ta’ Leonardo Sciascia, “Il Giorno della Civetta”, imtella’ minn Damiano Damiani kellu fost l-atturi lil Claudia Cardinale, Franco Nero u Lee J Cobb.

Jittratta dwar il-qtil ta’ kuntrattur żgħir fi Sqallija u l-għibien fl-istess jum ta’ raġel ieħor li kien jgħix qrib il-post fejn seħħ il-qtil. Mart dan tal-aħħar issus biex issir taf x’ġara minnu waqt li l-ispettur tal-pulizija, stazzjonat minn barra Sqallija juża kemm-il strataġemma biex jinfed il-ħitan ta’ omertà li jostru xi jkun qed jiġri tassew.

Ir-reċtar hu impekkabbli u għalkemm it-tmiem hu pjuttost prevedibbli, diffiċli tgħid jekk dan hux għax drajna matul is-snin, b’temi fejn l-aġir tal-Mafja jitkebbeb f’intriċċi ta’ ħruxija ambigwa.

English Version – Paradise is still lost

More than a year has elapsed since the last elections, but the main cry that the Opposition still seems to proclaimremains focussed on the loss of paradise. It is disappointing that the Opposition and its followers lack coherent themes about which to criticise the activity of the current government while they stay divided between two, possibly three factions, which insist on pushing their separate agenda.

This is disappointing because any parliamentary democracy needs for better or for worse, a cohesive and dynamic Opposition to ensure that from a longterm perspective, the country is being run in a clear and effective manner.

Just by reading the opinion pieces and editorials of the so called independent media one can understand how even those who try to project critical messages start from a premise set in concrete: paradise was yesterday. The people who are stirred by such a message are clearly in the minority, not least because a very good number of those who ordinarily would have been taking part in this lament, have left to “enjoy” paradise today… among the ranks of the other side. Nor do they seem at all tempted to move away from the position to which they have shifted.

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Trees

That a consciouness is growing among us against the uprooting of trees is a most welcome development. In a dry island like ours, with its shallow soils, we need lots of them. Indeed some versions of Malta’s ancient history are fascinating because they refer to times when apparently the land was overrun by olive and other trees, till the inhabitants who happened to be around then, cut them all down to build dwellings, to create fields and to use their wood as fuel for coooking.

Just as welcome a development is for the defence of trees to be mounted by means of public protests, when and as necessary. However, one cannot be totally convinced that today’s protests are really genuine. They do look like a tactic employed by some political faction within the PN in order to acquire a second wind.

What gives rise to such an impression? Well, it’s the fact that some of those who are now “protesting” were completely silent when the first decision was taken to remove trees from where they had long been standing to adorn a particular place: the Auberge de Castille.

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The owl

I liked a lot a film issued in 1968 about which I had heard much over the years but still had not seen. Directed by Damiano Damiani, based on a novel by Leonardo Sciascia, “Il Giorno della Civetta” included Claudia Cardinale, Franco Nero and Lee J Cobb among its cast.

It features the murder of a small contractor in Sicily and the disappearance on the same day of another man who lived close to where the murder took place. The latter’s wife tries to find what has happened to her husband while the local police inspector, attached to the post from outside Sicily, deploys a number of tricks to try and pierce the fences of “omertà” which screen out whatever has truly been going on.

The film contains some very fine acting though the ending is a bit predictable. It is difficult to decide whether this is the case because we have now gotten accustomed to storylines where Mafia activity comes packaged in plots that rely on incidents characterised by acts of ambiguous violence.