I apologise for not being in a position to publish this column in a more timely manner this morning – I was swamped with work related to an investigation and I had to prioritise giving overdue attention to long-term work rather than constantly focusing on daily output.
By now, you’ve all probably seen the uproar caused by prime minister Robert Abela’s comments on Saviour Balzan’s television programme. After calling disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat his “friend”, Abela went on an olive branch offering spree, inviting the disgraced former Labour MPs Rosianne Cutajar and Justyne Caruana back into his party’s slimy fold. Former Cabinet minister Edward Zammit Lewis, he of “Ġaħan Laburist” fame – was also appointed as the head of Parliament’s foreign and European affairs committee.
Malta Today has made a habit of hosting the prime minister for an interview whenever he seems to feel the need to hit the panic button and make a controlled public appearance. They did the same exact type of interview, the kind in which Abela is effectively allowed to get away with ridiculous statements without being seriously challenged, on the day that half the country decided to descend on Castille after the Labour Party’s shameful decision to vote against a public inquiry for Jean-Paul Sofia.
Perhaps that might be one of the reasons why the government is so keen on protecting Saviour Balzan at all costs, How else would one explain why the government spent tens of thousands of euros to damn near well sink an independent newsroom that was simply doing its job like it’s supposed to?
Evidently, our prime minister couldn’t care less about the fact that, live on air with a media owner who is so closely affiliated with the government he may as well run for the upcoming general elections on a Labour Party ticket, he offered said olive branches to a former member of Cabinet who passionately defended alleged murder mastermind Yorgen Fenech in European fora, the same sleazy businessman in whom she confided her most intimate thoughts, and another who hired her abusive boyfriend on a sham contract that turned the education ministry into a laughing stock.
I think it is clear beyond any reasonable doubt that Abela’s lack of tact and political wisdom is a serious threat to the entire country. It is no surprise that his father, former President of Malta George Abela, is said to be spending most of his days at Castille trying to contain each and every mess that his son creates. It sure must be nice to get to rule a country by proxy without any of the hassle of being elected or even being held accountable when it inevitably all goes tits up.
The desperation has peaked so much that the prime minister has even resorted to calling Muscat a friend, even though he is fully aware that his predecessor is spending most of his time in court getting dragged over hot coals for all the wrongdoing he denies but has nonetheless committed (go ahead and send a legal letter through your lapdog Charlon Gouder if you want, Joseph – I’d be positively elated to come to court and list every single bit of wrongdoing Muscat has in fact been directly linked with).
The Labour Party is clearly running out of options and is unable to dig itself out of the hole it dug for itself over the past decade. The fact of the matter is that corruption is unsustainable. It is a house of cards that is destined to fall apart the minute a strong breeze pulls through. That breeze is going to pick up the pace this year, and the house of cards looks more fragile than ever.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the loony bin we call our House of Representatives, the kings of self-immolation are at it again.
This morning, we were treated to Nationalist Party MP Alex Borg’s ringing endorsement of criminal lawyer Franco Debono, who is evidently back to his old tactics of badgering anyone who will listen to give him a slice of the limelight again. Borg, whose credentials in politics so far seem to extend to wearing horrible gilets and going into property speculation with Labour Party MPs, tells us that Debono has now matured and that he has a lot to contribute to domestic politics.
I’d like to remind the Nationalist Party of who they’re about to admit into their circle again, because clearly, the whole party suffers from a particularly severe case of amnesia.
In November of last year, I published an annual report covering the year 2012, the peak of Debono’s antics in Parliament which, together with his fellow turncoats, served to destabilise and torpedo the Nationalist Party’s last year in government. It was a factual report backed with reams of detailed references which painstakingly outlined every single key moment of that year. Naturally, since Debono played such a crucial role in that whole debacle, the featured photo of the article bears his face on it.
I knew for a fact that he would not be able to resist commenting on it or somehow publicly disavowing my work in some sort of way. He is nothing if not predictable. Sure enough, he commented on the Facebook post in which I shared the article when it was published, only to then delete it shortly afterwards.
Unfortunately for him, I took a screenshot before he hastily removed his comment. He actually had the audacity to cast himself as the victim while implying that it was Daphne Caruana Galizia who bullied him and directed hate speech and insults towards his ever-so-noble personage. This is so wrong on so many levels that I will not even deign to delve into just how wrong it is to say it. The fact that he deleted it right afterwards says all you need to know about it.
The man wouldn’t know what self-awareness is if it sat on his face and farted. If the Nationalist Party is this desperate, then it might as well pack up its bags and call it a day.