It looks as if this country can never get anything right, or rather, its’ politicians are hell bent for leather on self-destruction.
The latest two skirmishes now are on the much-vaunted and much-maligned buses and their routes, and a recent leasing of a hospital by the government.
Let’s start with the bendy-buses. London Mayor Boris Johnson has been widely quoted as saying ‘he was “delighted” they were clogging up the streets of Malta‘.
Now while I am truly disgusted and surprised at the services offered by Arriva in this country, I thought it was pretty poor form by the Mayor, who introduced these buses himself, and is now rather in a hurry to shift talk to who inherited them. As to why Mr.Johnson really needed these buses on most of London’s tortuous, winding roads, only God knows. An idiot could tell you that they were unsuitable for London except for the most far-flung routes… such as going from the centre of London Town to Zone6 areas, such as Hampton court.
As it is, Londoners rarely use buses (own experience), and use the quite efficient underground system most of the time. At the prices the bus carriers in England charge, it is hardly surprising. The equivalent of 3Euro for a bus trip from Tarxien to Marsa is the norm. And that is not a day ticket either.
Most buses are scratched, dirty, ramshackle affairs…. I recall them being called ‘bone-shakers’ by none-too-kind detractors of the system.
Now, obviously, all is laid on the step of Dr.Austin Gatt, minister of transport. Whether it is fair or not, I cannot comment, but what I do know is that in this little country of ours, a smattering of common sense could go a long way.
If the authorities had insisted that we keep the ‘Hub System’ in place, utilising central places for larger transportation of commuters at one go, this problem would never have arisen.
But the average Maltese Joe is a paragon of moaning. It is difficult for the normal person to accept change. Especially the elderly…I’ve seen more lenient donkeys and asses. So we were back to the old system. Nothing bad in itself, if only the bloody buses could keep to their schedule. How difficult can that be? Every 15 or twenty minutes, a bus HAS to leave the terminus, whether full or not.
There is no need to say that the incumbent power-hungry party in opposition, is taking full advantage of this situation, and jumping on the bandwagon. Only a day after Mr.Johnson’s now famous remark, billboards are appearing all over the island with hilarious slogans on them. According to the PL, they will wave their magic wands and ‘Stupefy’ everyone with their efficiency once in power.
An ardent PL supporter pointed out to me that once PL will be in power (a hardly surprising bet…) they will send Arriva packing. I am sure that he has a logistical plan in place…
St.Philip Hospital. Ah! The much talked over hospital lease. this week we heard on the news that following huge congestions in the new(ish) Mater Dei hospital, the government has decided to lease a private hospital that had gone out of business. In truth this hospital was being used for rehabilitation purposes already.
So when the government decided to fully lease this building, one can imagine that the opposition, once again, disagreed. I don’t know if the fact that now, two hundred beds will be used for rehabilitation, freeing the general hospital occupancy.
For those who are not from these islands, let me just point out in passing, that in our little country, we have a state of the art hospital, with free health care for everyone. I doubt many countries can offer the same as little Malta. But I digress…
So obviously, despite getting the lease for what I think is a decent price for the amount of years it will be in possession of the local health care authorities, the opposition, once more, disagrees. ( I dare say that the spokesperson for Health for the PL is not even up-to-date with the proceedings!)
And this, my friends, is the local political scene….
PN does one thing, and no matter what it is, the PL disagrees. And the PL says one thing, and the PN says it is wrong… the middle-of-the-road approach has long left the country, together with any semblence of dignity by our members of parliament.
…the same members who spend half a year on extended leave, but still getting paid from our taxes. I don’t know about you lot, but I don’t call these people my representatives…
(PS. due to my now long-standing health problems, much of my weekend mornings are spent in Mater Dei. Truthfully, I have rarely noted this congestion, and have always been treated extremely well. I have nothing but praise for the tireless hospital staff. Of course, you will find a rotten egg in any basket. I DO agree however that beds are sometimes being occupied in vain after clinical interventions, and I DO believe that the opening of St.Philip Hospital will be an added boon. Nothing’s perfect… but then, what is?)