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Much has been and is yet to be said about the Cabinet reshuffle which occurred on Saturday. Like any other good palace drama, it was accompanied by scenes of political aristocrats walking up the steps of the throne room, eager for their opportunity to carve out a slice of the pie for themselves.

All in all, it seemed like less of a reshuffle and more of a tragicomic line-up of shysters playing a game of musical chairs in which the only one who actually lost a chair was Aaron Farrugia. The Nationalist Party is claiming that at least two ministers – finance minister Clyde Caruana and home affairs minister Byron Camilleri – actively resisted prime minister Robert Abela’s attempt to remove them from their position.

Former health minister Chris Fearne, by far Abela’s biggest rival in terms of electoral power, will now temporarily serve as miscellaneous minister for European funds, social dialogue, and the protection of the consumer, presumably in anticipation of Fearne’s expected nomination as Malta’s next European commissioner and, while they were at it, to conveniently dump two portfolios nobody wants in the lap of someone whose sights are set on Brussels, anyway.

Given that it is unlikely that Fearne developed a sudden interest in social dialogue and protecting the consumer, it is quite telling that two portfolios which nobody in Abela’s Cabinet wanted both involve listening to people’s complaints and actively addressing them. A detail, but one of those kinds of details in which the devil doth reside.

Other than the humiliating solo execution of Aaron Farrugia and Fearne’s golden handshake, the overwhelming majority of Cabinet posts remained in the hands of their incumbent masters, some of whom have been firmly entrenched in their bunkers long before Abela ever set foot in Castille.

In that strict, numerical sense, the Nationalist Party’s statement is indeed correct. Since I do not rub shoulders with ministers at cocktail parties, I have no way of verifying whether Caruana and Camilleri actually did resist being removed from their position, nor do I care enough about this exercise to chase that particular nugget to see if I can more or less verify it. Regardless of whether the bit about Abela’s apparently failed attempt at axing Caruana and Camilleri is true or not, the fact that Abela wields little to no control over his peers is not a well-kept secret.

The “new” faces are not new at all. Watching Glenn Bedingfield waddle into Castille to be made parliamentary secretary for public cleanliness was a stark reminder of how morally bankrupt the Labour Party is. There he went, a man who ‘made a name’ for himself among his party’s circles for being a vicious peddler of bile on the internet and posturing as his party’s response to Daphne Caruana Galizia, an unstoppable force of nature which, in the narrow recesses of their brains, could only be classified as a ‘Nazzjonalista ħadra’.

There he went, a man who spent the last couple of years filibustering the proceedings of the Public Accounts Committee and haranguing opposition MPs attempting to grill the thieves involved in the Electrogas heist. And now, he is a member of Cabinet.

A man who never shied away from doing his party’s dirty work and made it a point to spew filth about his party’s greatest critics, now in charge of public cleanliness. If Bedingfield and his mates in Cabinet weren’t such a threat to the well-being of the half a million people they are holding hostage on a sun-baked island in the Mediterranean, it would be too hilarious to take any of this seriously.

Besides Bedingfield, the other opportunists whose star is on the ascent have so far largely stayed off the public scrutiny radar, although some of them have already been caught dipping their snouts in the trough just like everybody else in this political party that has made an art form out of abusing public funds to achieve personal gain.

There were also a few slaps on the wrist for some ministers, possibly due to the way in which their gross misconduct in matters relating to specific portfolios attracted too much attention. One striking example is the removal of the Lands Authority from economy minister Silvio Schembri’s slimy fiefdom, a bone that was thrown Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi’s way after Gozo minister Clint Camilleri snatched the coveted planning file. One shudders at the thought of what Clint Camilleri, il-patrun tal-kaċċaturi and the owner of a sizeable property portfolio himself, is planning to do with this domain he clearly lobbied for. I doubt he is going to use it to stand up to developers.

If you need any proof that the Labour Party has not deviated from its character arc as a bona fide villains’ club, just have a look at how quickly the comments section on this advert spiralled out of control. The advert consists of a simple poster bearing the slogan ‘coverage that matters’ and a few of the featured photos I used for some of the articles that I published on this website. It had no political message of any kind on it and was largely intended to draw in new people who have not yet discovered this site.

Within a few hours, Labour trolls began infesting the post with the same nasty scorn that you can find in the comments section of pretty much any significant news portal on the island. Instantly, I was cast as a jealous supporter of the Nationalist Party who wishes to destroy the era of phenomenal prosperity that the Labour Party’s supporters believe their patrons have brought upon us all. The comments ranged from almost unintelligible to somewhat unhinged, with a few verging on threatening.

When the first few comments came in, I made no secret of my disdain for both those posting them (or those posting comments using a fake profile) as well as the party they defend so viciously. I never made any kind of effort to pretend that anyone who votes for the Labour Party deserves to be respected as an equal, and I do not plan on beginning to do so now. Eventually, the comments became too many to bother responding to individually, and it all just became a mess of non-sensical conversations that weren’t going anywhere.

More importantly, I surely do not intend on taking any of Abela’s pathetic reshuffling seriously. You don’t need a trained eye to spot how the only thing that is holding the Labour Party together is avarice. There is no magnetic leader keeping the whole enterprise in tight formation. There is no overarching motive for the party to exist, no great cause to fight, no ideological glue filling in the expanding cracks in the foundation.

The way in which the comments section of my relatively innocuous social media advert was flooded with abusive commentary within hours serves as a reminder of how the Labour Party, whose leader is so politically crippled he can’t even reshape his Cabinet according to his prerogative, is unwilling and unable to ever become anything other than the monstrosity that it is. It is a party that would rather eat itself alive than change course.

The way in which those same trolls almost certainly never bothered to read my articles but did bother to think of insults to throw my way is representative of the churlish manner in which the Labour Party has been operating for decades. It is a party that went past the point of no return a long time ago and has now come to a point where it is unable to function in a manner which resembles anything coherent.

There is no point to the Labour Party. It is simply a vehicle for personal advancement that is controlled by mercurial individuals who are willing and able to knife anyone who gets in the way of their ambitions. Attempting to reanimate or change it at this point is worse than flogging a dead horse – it is asking the dead horse to write a treatise on animal cruelty.

The only antidote to the Labour Party is total, unashamed rebellion, an unreserved, defiant sense of spite towards all who still bleat hymns of praise for it, and a collective effort to make it all but impossible to publicly call yourself a supporter of the Labour Party without being thoroughly mocked and ridiculed.

Our gloves should have been taken off the minute we all heard about how the shredded chassis of a Peugeot 108 was propelled a distance of 80 metres and landed in a field in Bidnija following the detonation of a bomb that blew up the vehicle and killed its occupant, that very same journalist whose immense shadow haunts the shriveled conscience of her murderers to this day.

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