Welcome to the end of another week full of mind-numbing news in which the Opposition self-destructed, more trees are to be uprooted in Attard to make space for even more cars, and in which common courtesy to customers who come to spend money in your shop now has to be displayed through a ‘#IlkollMerħba’ sticker.
Where does one even begin? Well, while ministers Konrad Mizzi, Chris Cardona and Edward Scicluna throw ‘the whole cabinet’ under the bus for the blood-curdling Vitals Global Healthcare deal and the PN hammer the final nail in their coffin on tonight’s Xarabank, we should probably be thinking about the people at Mount Carmel. You know, the ones all the politicians seem to be forgetting about or ignoring while they pat themselves on the back for doing the bare minimum, like tarmacking a road, taking 10 years to figure out that we need a fourth Gozo ferry, or losing an election by 50,000 votes as opposed to 70,000.
Speaking to a Parliamentary committee earlier this week, the ex-COO of Mount Carmel, Paul Dalli, revealed how patients had to take ice-cold showers in the winter months because the boilers in around eight wards of the Victorian asylum weren’t working, how patients had no privacy when it came to showering, how the floor tiles were cracked and posed a danger to their safety, and how the lack of security personnel meant that patients were escaping the facility. That, of course, was a few years back but don’t be fooled. Just this April, we also found out that the 425 patients were crammed together because most of the building’s ceilings were crumbling and, thus, dangerous.
This is not what should be happening at a time when a supposedly socialist Government keeps insisting we’re living in ‘l-aqwa żmien’, but it is indeed what’s happening. And it’s made even worse by the fact that the Opposition is too weak to place any pressure on the Government, having to spend most of its time bickering over the obvious.
But we, as the people, can’t turn a blind eye to those among us who need our help. We can’t get lost behind the glittering façade chock-a-block with international conferences about blockchain and talks of surpluses. Neither should we let the politicians who run this country dazzle us with their talk of how they care, because here is concrete proof that they don’t.
So, dear politicians with any sort of power: for God’s sake, get your act together and do something about the abominable situation at Mount Carmel. How can you sleep at night and show your face in public when you can’t even safeguard the basic human rights of, and provide basic decency to, those who are most vulnerable?