Malta has two political realms. There is the political realm of the Labour Party in government which is totally distinct from the other reality on the ground and then there is the other political reality where the Opposition, the Nationalist Party, NGOs and civil society are fighting to rebuild the country. The Labour Party’s political realm consists of the rent-seeking regime whereas the Party survives on the donations of the construction industry and through its control of public institutions. In Labour’s realm, politics is all about theatre because what actually matters is the rent-seeking regime.
With a damning court sentence on the public hospitals’ deal, you would expect the Prime Minister to be hunkered in his bunker planning his war against the fraudulent corporate executives and the corrupt politicians who robbed the country of hundreds of millions of Euros, but instead, Robert Abela is doing theatre – as expected, of course.
In a very bizarre move, Robert Abela chose to attend the graduation ceremony of students of medicine at the University of Malta. The University of Malta is publicly funded and for many years has been a cesspit of government nepotism and corruption but it is particularly, bizarre that Robert Abela would use it as a prop for his politics so brazenly and so openly. At least, previously, we used to pretend that the University was independent. As per protocol, it’s actually the Head of State that should be honouring graduates and not the head of government. As it happened, most probably, Robert Abela’s staff called their Labour apparatchik of a rector, Alfred J Vella and asked him to take one for the team. So, Robert Abela is using the University of Malta to deflect attention from one of the biggest scandals in our history. It’s as if the University of Malta hasn’t yet reached a new low in standards.
The University of Malta has no qualms in showing it is simply a government department owned by the Labour Party, and this is not surprising. As said, the University has always been a dumpster for government goons and today, the university is loaded with a bunch of pseudo-intellectuals who owe their position there only thanks to political connections and rent-seeking (the board of governors of the University is chosen by the government). The list of such nepotism and corruption at the University of Malta is endless. For example, the rector Alfred Vella is a well-known Labour diehard. The pro-rector, Carmen Sammut is a Labour stooge and government apparatchik who is involved in the government’s proposed authoritarian press reform – Carmen is also a proponent of “ethical journalism”. Then you have for example Dominic Fenech, who is bizarrely and simultaneously both Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Head of the History Department. The History Department is like a ghost town which never ever produces historiographic research and Dominic, the pro-Labour and ex-Labour Secretary General, who barely does any work, is supported by allies at the University like the far-right and pro-mafia wacko Simon Mercieca. Then there are the academics who owe their positions to the Nationalist Party and many of these come from the conservative fold of society, like the men at the Faculty of Medicine who are currently discriminating against professor Isabel Stabile for campaigning for abortion. The University of Malta is like a small mafia village but for nerds who can’t tie their laces properly.
One of my greatest regrets is getting a post-graduate degree from the University of Malta when I could have easily got it elsewhere. I don’t regret getting my undergraduate degree at the University of Malta because I was poor enough not to have any other option, but at least I was lucky enough to be thought by very capable lecturers such as Anthony J. Frendo who thought us Biblical Hebrew and Godfrey Wettinger who thought us history. However, these kinds of highly skilled professors are increasingly becoming rare at the University of Malta. Most of the other lectures were a waste of time because the reading material would have been more than enough. So, from personal experience, the University of Malta was only useful for me as a poor person who had no other alternatives. Once you have the means to study elsewhere, I suggest you should.