Did you notice how useless the new PD deputies are? Did you see Agron Shehaj’s speech, how ridiculous it was?
Social media was flooded with such rhetorical questions and comments, right after the discussion session of Rama’s government program.
There are plenty of tough, illiterate, and ugly criminals in the Parliament, but never before had I witnessed a public reaction against them, like the one against the PD deputies, and especially against Agron Shehaj. I don’t recall there has ever been a similar resistance against the violent ignoramuses and painfully ridiculous people that have filled up the Albanian elite these past years.
Therefore, I listened to Agron Shehaj’s speech because I was curious. I was revolted and in despair, because it was a speech that is rarely heard in politics these days: it was a sincere speech that is rarely shown in our public discussions.
It seemed though that people hadn’t considered the content of the speech, what Shehaj had said, but that they had focused on the manner this speech had been conveyed. In reality, it was sad because of the speaker’s noticeable lack of experience in public speaking.
What did Agron Shehaj really say?
He condemned Edi Rama’s approach to include everyone, including Democrats, in the same category with himself. Shehaj addressed Rama by expressing that he, Shehaj, would never make an alliance with crime for power, would never allow the cannbization of the country, and would not put poor people in jail to give money to oligarchs.
Shehaj said that it was ironic that Rama made 300,000 Albanians leave the country in the past four years and has now created a Ministry for them, the Ministry of Diaspora. Shehaj highlighted that this will continue because the US government data shows that the number of applicants for American lottery has spiked up from 65,000 in 2013 to 200,000 in 2016.
Shehaj condemned the Minister of Finance Arben Ahmetaj for his manipulation of public opinion, skillfully using technical terms and intricate indicators that are hard to understand by the common people to create the impression that there is economic progress. Shehaj showed simple numbers, easily understood, and coming from trusted sources. He informed that the latest IBM report on foreign investments shows that Serbia is the country that has created the most job openings per capita through foreign investments, while Macedonia is third and Moldavia fifth. Albania doesn’t figure at all in this list, which includes the 20 main countries in the world according to this indicator.
Shehaj held up a printed copy of this report, and the Prime Minister asked him contemptuously to give him a copy, proving that he and the Minister of Finance have no clue that this report exists, even though it is one of the most important and trusted reports in the world regarding foreign investments results in the world.
Shehaj said that he had conducted an online survey that he admitted was not scientific, but only illustrative, and discovered that 82% of those who had answered wanted to leave Albania and 56% of those were actively searching for ways to leave. The main reason to leave was the uncertain future for their children.
Then, Shehaj announced that according to official Italian statistics, only in the past 6 months of 2017 1,600 underage unaccompanied Albanians have migrated to Italy. Shehaj asked the deputies to imagine for one second the trauma experienced by an underage migrant alone in a foreign country. He asked them to imagine how these young people would feel in refugee camps together with Afghans, Syrians, and other citizens from war-torn countries. He asked them to imagine the trauma experienced by parents of these kids, who decide to part with them because of despair felt in their own country.
Shehaj shared a message with the deputies he had received from a parent, who had just put his kid on a plane to Canada for school. Together with all the advice that the parent had given to his child was also to never return to Albania, not even for his father’s funeral.
Shehaj showed that after he became a deputy, he had to close his company’s account in London. Shehaj was the owner of the largest callcenter company in Albania, which exports services all over Europe, because English banks are banned from opening accounts for Albanian politicians, for reasons that are easy to imagine.
Shehaj admitted that while with the former Berisha government things were not going smooth, they at least headed in the right direction. But with the Rama government Albania has gone in the direction of drugs, and ever new forms of theft. Now they use new public–private partnership (PPP) schemes, not just simple tenders and concessions. Shehaj ironically added that PPP sounds better than “concession” or “tender” (referring to the acronym of the former communist Party of Labor, PPSh).
Understandably, Shehaj’s speech caused reactions from Socialist deputies, including the Prime Minister Rama and his ministers.
During the whole time that Shehaj spoke, he was booed, he was teased and was mocked by the Socialist deputies. The reason was simple: a deputy was factually exposing the lies of many. Their pretext was the lack of eloquence or the dialect and the tone of Shehaj’s accent.
The lack of experience in public speaking in a place where respect and ethics are non-existent, such as the Albanian Parliament, made Shehaj lose his temper over the aggressive vulgarity of the Socialists, its mocking deputies, and responded with comments or actions that made him look naive and inexperienced. These reactions only inflated Socialists’ scorn.
To understand the essence of what happened, it suffices to see one of the back and forth between Shehaj and the Socialist deputies. While Shehaj was telling the story of the kid whose parents pleaded him never to return to Albania, a history that is commonly heard today, a Socialist deputy addressed him from his seat with the merciless sarcasm of people stripped of human sensibilities: “Did you cry?” Immediately, the other Socialist deputies united with the mocking ridicule.
Right after Shehaj finished his speech, the media controlled by the government started mocking Shehaj, while not even dealing with the content of his speech, instead focusing on his uncertain manner of speech and naive reactions. It is ironic that in this ridiculous game, the most active journalists were those salaries come from owners who steal from the state budget, abd thus from taxes that Shehaj pays.
Every normal journalist should have found out the name of the deputy who mocked the history of the parent who pleaded with his kid not to return, and everyone should have criticized this deputy for his detachment from reality and for mocking his own people. They should have exposed that this deputy is a thief and a criminal and should have sounded the alarm that such deputies are destroying the future of this country.
The country’s intellectuals, especially the children’s rights organizations, should have echoed the tragedy of the underage emigrants. They should have thanked Shehaj, who became a visible representative of their problem. However, an important representative of one of these organizations, which manages hundreds and thousands of euros in the name of children, was happy about “the ridiculous PD deputy” when I randomly met her in the street. She didn’t take long to express her negative comments and asked me to immediately write about this.
Economic journalists and economic intellectuals should have checked the data that Shehaj brought forward and should have been alarmed that Albania has become the black hole for investments in the Balkans, while our neighbors, like Macedonia and Serbia, are nowadays more attractive destinations for foreign investors.
Objective people should have noticed something. In that Parliament, where deputies are worth tens of millions of euros, only one of them had become a legal millionaire without the “help” of the state: Agron Shehaj.
Unfortunately, the majority of the Tirana elite felt and expressed a delightful contempt against Shehaj, inflated of course and widely justified by the media propaganda and the agitation army of Prime Minister Rama.
In attacks similar to these you cannot fail to notice the attackers and mockers’ implied overestimation of themselves, their feeling of superiority over everybody, even though the truth is that they are all mediocre, both intellectually and spiritually. They are confused by their narcissistic instincts and because of its deep ignorance, our elite mixes slogans, dogma, and ready-made formulas taking them for deep knowledge and wisdom.
Naturally, in all of these stories, there is a profound element of perverted pleasure that our society finds in aggression, because it has lost the ability to tell right from wrong, good from bad, corruption from honesty.
The truth of the matter is that those who shout and scold for morality, for democracy, for honesty, are themselves deeply corrupted and morally derailed. A part of them condemns what they daily commit themselves, without any scruples. But we like aggression, in spite of the absence of sincerity or morality. Therefore, the fact that the elite has currently lost any human sensitivity is in essence the result of our inability for making a moral choice.
Such an elite without any values and morals is easily manipulated, bought, and sold and is easily pushed into aggression and perverted contempt toward anything and anyone that is different. Edi Rama has exploited this to transform them into “necessary idiots,” as Lenin called them, who comprise the main foundation of any autocratic government.
An idiotic elite is perfect for Edi Rama’s autocratic megalomania, an elite that doesn’t care about thousands of underage Albanians migrating each year, but that rather notices the different accent of Agron Shehaj.