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Not so Honourable behaviour

They believe a diplomat should resign because he did not inform Parliament on his strategy in granting Malta access to NATO documents and meetings without re-negotiating a new Security Agreement, as directed to do by Cabinet, while basing a motion on the completely unrelated issue of re-activating Partnership for Peace membership without involving Parliament four years later.

They said a diplomat should be held accountable, but like Lino Spiteri, many think that "it would be a fine mess indeed if the country’s ambassadors were personally held to account before the House of Representatives in censure motions. It is the executive politicians who make and are responsible for policy. They are accountable."

They spoke about the need of strengthening libel laws, but never about removing the greatest loophole in our libel laws: their privilege to slander and lie about anyone they want under the much abused parliamentary immunity.

They said the country should "not be run by bloggers" - but it's them who are actually the first politicians who have based their parliamentary votes on what bloggers should or should not be allowed to write, and whether a prime minister publicly condemns them or not, rather than on the issues at hand.

They spoke about the dignity of Parliament, but they turned it into a school-yard of immature self-interested agendas.

It seems times have changed.

Once, it was a question of what you should and what you shouldn't do, not what you can and what you can't do.

Once, parliamentary privileges and immunity were given under the assumption that the Honourable members acted honourably and would not abuse them, not because they couldn't but because that was the right way to act.

Once, stands were taken based on arguments, reason and principles, not on personal revenge and animosity, or worse, on what bloggers write or don't write.

Once, people valued respect, ethics and honour. Today many seem to admire bullies and primadonnas. And since the Honourable members are, after all, people's representatives, should we be surprised that today some of them value personal ambition, power and payback, more than decent and ethical behaviour? In a society where even a Judge speaks of "it's not worth it (to break the law)", rather than "it shouldn't be done", should we be surprised that our representatives behave like school-kids on personal quests rather than as politicians in the search of righteousness, concerned only with what they can do rather than with what they should do?

Maybe they really do represent us after all: a society where personal gains have become the only measure of worth, and where everything becomes acceptable for our own personal advantage, silencing our conscience with the Maltese 'min fattar mexa' maxim while being quick to point our fingers at others.

Yes, perhaps the House does truly represent us.





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