The Don Quixote syndrome

▪️ The Don Quixote syndrome ▪️ Let the children come

I honestly cannot blame the Labour media for giving such frequent prominence to the theatrical outsbursts of the Don Quixote of Malta who has, for several years, dazzled fruitlessly with his negativism inside the European Parliament. Nationalist Opposition MEP David Casa is so immersed in his imaginary battles that describing his enemies as windmills would be an insult to the great 17th century author, Miguel de Cervantes, who created the famous two-part novel and its eternal protagonist.

At a time when people are carefully deliberating on what is being proposed  by the two major parties – well, one of them, really – for the forthcoming European Parliament elections, you get Casa howling and steaming about holy battles he plans to launch against a Labour government that has, ironically, bettered its majority the more windmills he fought (in the book one finds it as “tilting at windmills”), ending up with his lances broken and twisted.

There’s an obsessive air about it all. Casa is completely bereft of any political or personal charisma in a political cauldron that distinguishes genuine contenders of all colours in the political spectrum from the Elvis hound dogs surviving the race thanks only to scraps and leftovers they feed on. Even worse, they cry victory when issues are resolved peacefully through the proper channels that interconnect between the real European Union stakeholders and the Maltese authorities, always willing and often anticipating the changes that needed to be made to old laws and systems no government before had had the guts to update.

You would have thought Don Quixote had learnt his lessons, finally accepting the reality that the windmills were windmills after all, and not the imaginary enemies – giants to his fizzled thought – he has to fight all the time. As Don Quixote scholars will tell you, Cervantes’ windmill represents some people’s potential for misguided fights that they romanticise in their minds. Over and over again, because they have absolutely nothing new to say. There is another famous Don Quixote quote that fits the bill: “When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies?”

Not that Casa’s fellow PN candidates are doing any better or at least seeking to outdo him by going for a serious debate about what is crucial to voters in this election. One female contender is now recorded to having described Labourites as “plucked chickens”, an unsavoury and insolent way of doing politics, especially coming from the camp which considers itself as the crème de la crème of Maltese politics.

In stark contrast, Labour was not only a distant mile ahead of its adversaries in what has become standard electoral preparedness, but it can rightly claim to be in the home straight. With its simple, straightforward, 10-principle manifesto, it presents the voter with a clear choice between the future with a guaranteed retention of continued economic growth and a better quality of life as against the windmills of some people’s minds.

No battles, no windmills, and no bitterness. Just a crystal-clear Europe-inspired path to even better things in such fields as the economy, the environment, employment, foreign investment, social benefits, salaries, and sports, among others. This, of course, frustrates the Nationalist Opposition’s campaign of muck and drivel at a time when voting men and women want facts, realities, and plausible commitments.

Let the children come

As the future beckons, children represent an even stronger factor within the population. A happy childhood is what we may happily recollect, but an even happier one for the children who come after as a social reality that is often addressed by politicians on whose deeds this very reality depends.

Maltese Generation X children are fortunate to be part of the positive societal whirlwind of recent years. The vast majority belong to united family backgrounds, replete with devoted parents, caring grandparents, and a social system that protects them and provides them with free education, new sports and recreation facilities, and definite opportunities at the late-teenage stage, all of which attributable to economic growth.

One only has to see what is happening elsewhere.  According to former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, “children in the UK are suffering the highest levels of poverty in living memory, with basic toiletries including shampoo, soap and toothpaste now considered luxury items.” He said he felt “shocked and ashamed” at the current levels of poverty in Britain which “has not been seen for many, many years.”

You find similar stories in France, Italy, and elsewhere in Europe where the austerity tactics of right-leaning governments have failed miserably. One cannot ignore the small segment of children still facing hardship and, at times, even poverty within Maltese society. Economic growth does leave its residues which are being addressed in what is a concentrated and dedicated government drive already paying dividents.

To think of the children in Gaza and Ukraine is an even worse, more heart-wrenching reality, making even the above comparisons hardly worthwhile.

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