Ten years of a corrupt Labour government, Malta brought to its desperate knees – and we’re going to do it to ourselves again

Published: May 6, 2017 at 10:13am

June, 1982: I had just sat for my A-levels. There was no work at all. My friends were scrubbing around looking for jobs behind shop-counters, that paid dirt wages. Others somehow found their way out of the country, moving to London as illegal immigrants, working in shops and ducking behind fitting-room curtains when the immigration police called by.

Malta was destroyed. Extreme corruption was the order of the day. Bombs went off so often that we’d hear an explosion and say “Another bomb”, then go back to whatever it was we were doing. But the worst of it was the way the economy had collapsed because of all the corruption and bad policies.

The tension was terrible. Everything was falling apart. Money left the country in floods. There was a massive brain drain as people found ways and means to get out of here.

The government fell into the vice-like grip of Muammar Gaddafi as Prime Minister Mintoff desperately sought any means to make up for the money Malta lost when he tried to raise the rent on Britain’s military base here, and the British government said, actually, we don’t need a military base on your island anymore, and left on 30 April 1979, leaving the dockyard redundant and thousands out of work. Now Malta is falling into the vice-like grip of Azerbaijan and China.

Ten years of Labour government and back then Malta had turned into a hell-hole of Albanian proportions. The government which had started out in a blaze of glory in 1971, having won a general election against the severely weakened Nationalist Party, had ended up hijacked by the dictators of other countries and by its own corrupt politicians and their robber-baron business associates.

And we still had another five years of that nightmare ahead of us, all the way up to 1987. I look back and wonder how we got through it. And now I fear we are about to do it to ourselves all over again. The masochism is unbelievable.

A sound economy can’t be built on corruption and shady deals. It will eventually collapse, dragging our lives down with it. If you need an illustration of that closer in time, take a look at Greece and Cyprus in recent years.

I actually cried watching this video, thinking how we are about to slash our own wrists again.