Skip to main content

I want to take some time to pick up a thread that has been largely overshadowed by the legitimate anger and cynicism surrounding the Jean-Paul Sofia public inquiry report and its immediate aftermath, which this website is still in the process of assimilating into a comprehensive analysis piece.

As has been the case on a continuous basis for over a decade, one of the ways in which the Labour government has managed to remain afloat the veritable flood of sleaze it has engineered is by overwhelming the general public with too many scandals.

How can you even be sure of how bad things are if you are constantly faced with an avalanche of conflicting information? It is an assault on the senses, like a DDoS attack on your nervous system. It is exactly the same reason why I set up this website’s data library – to clarify the record that was deliberately obscured by the same people whose actions merited the creation of a corruption database in the first place.

When the truth comes out in big, sputtering spurts like a water tap that’s forcing air bubbles out of its plumbing, it is inevitable that some of it will be all but forgotten about for some time, especially when the bad actors which are exposed by it do everything in their power to muddy the waters.

Throughout eleven years of sleaze and counting, the Labour Party has had plenty of opportunities to address the festering wounds it has opened in the country’s psyche. Given the government’s penchant for delaying, denying, and defending, much of the truth about their actions throughout this time span is coming out now, years after it occurred and was covered up for as long as possible. It is in these watershed moments where an opportunity for reparations is available, an opportunity which is always turned into another act of war against dissidents instead.

Throughout last year, the hospitals scandal was, deservedly so, one of the dominant headlines, with the court’s unequivocal condemnation of the deal leaving an indelible black mark on the Labour government’s already abysmal track record. True to its traditions, instead of seeking to use all means at its disposal to recoup the hundreds of millions in taxpayer money which went down the drain, the government hid behind the office of the state advocate to block or otherwise slow down any court action initiated by the Nationalist Party.

Meanwhile, prime minister Robert Abela, working in tandem with his predecessor, disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat, brazenly launched a vitriolic attack on the judiciary as part of the Labour Party’s unsuccessful attempt at derailing the Vitals inquiry, prompting a formal warning from the Chamber of Advocates.

Of course, former health minister Chris Fearne thinks that just because the government evidently used disgraced former health minister Konrad Mizzi to do its dirty work on the hospitals concession, he’s getting out clean and easy, effectively one quick kick upstairs away from a cushy European Commission gig. He thinks we’ve forgotten how instrumental his endorsement of Steward Healthcare was in ensuring the fraudulent private concessionaire could extract a few more hundreds of millions in bogus fees that yielded no investment for public infrastructure.

As Fearne whiles away the time until he begins formally going through the Commission’s scrutiny process – which I sincerely hope will be as uncomfortable and embarrassing as this interview was – newcomer Jo Etienne Abela was brought in to quietly mop up the mess left behind in the healthcare sector following the aftermath of the hospitals deal.

Following the court’s total disavowal of the concession, the dominant headlines in the healthcare sector have been all about Mater Dei Hospital’s evident inadequacy in the face of the pressures generated by a ballooning population count, a ten-year low in the number of students graduating in nursing, and wage pressures caused by the exploitation of health workers forming part of the third-country national demographic which were exacerbated by a belligerent health ministry that regularly sought court action to block industrial directives.

Of course, Fearne’s successor, in his somewhat regular declarations to the press about the need for a second national hospital and an increase in the facilities which offer the services that are currently provided by Mater Dei Hospital, fails to acknowledge the elephant in the ward: the fact that the Labour government sold off three public hospitals to a private concessionaire and that it did nothing to account for the fact that they’ve been returned looking worse for wear than they did when the deal was struck to begin with.

A scandalous hospitals concession that dominated the headlines for a decade and peaked last year is already well behind us in the rear view mirror. The health minister’s declarations about the need for a new hospital have not been met with incredulous anger that bristles at the mere suggestion, because how dare they even mention that without acknowledging that the main reason for the glaring gaps in our healthcare sector is their own greed and corruption?

The Jean-Paul Sofia public inquiry is all the rage at the moment, and again, deservedly so. The government, conscious of its ever-shrinking credit with the population, has treaded carefully around the inquiry, lining up plenty of cannon fodder for the hungry masses, parking a few CEOs on the sidelines while the prime minister’s people and standards division figures out where else to put them.

They’ve even pledged to implement the inquiry’s recommendations, a notable contrast with their steadfast refusal to as much as acknowledge the Daphne Caruana Galizia inquiry’s conclusions (let alone onboard their recommendations).

But how long will the government’s pretense of maintaining goodwill actually last? How long will they keep paying lip-service and claiming that everyone in the construction industry and their mother will now be subject to strict licensing before we eventually figure out the system has holes in it and people are still getting away with breaching the law with impunity?

The government passed on the opportunity to heal the bleeding wound that has been left behind by the hospitals concession. Instead of taking corrective action by prosecuting the individuals responsible for this daylight robbery, the government is now floating around the idea of further private investment in the public branch of the healthcare sector, as if Abela’s administration could ever be trusted not to pull another scandal.

It has already done the same with the multiple instances in which an innocent victim – Miriam Pace, Hayrettin Kok, Jean-Paul Sofia, and all the other people we lost – died because of the state’s criminal level of health and safety negligence. Instead of taking the situation head on to avoid any further loss of life, the Labour Party delayed, denied, and defended for as long as it could, right up until it couldn’t.

When it came down to crucial moments in which our prime minister’s mettle faced a real stress test, the truth was plainly visible: he is made of blue clay, a brittle man with no objective grounding in reality or morality. When placed with his back against the wall, he lashes out vindictively and never holds himself or his Cabinet responsible for anything.

The Labour Party is quick to concede your country’s national infrastructure to corrupt private interests. It will quickly concede your right to a solid legislative system that is adequately enforced and therefore, in a position to assure you that you are safe in your own home, at your workplace, and in your neighbourhood, also to corrupt private interests.

One thing it will never concede is that those among its own ranks who are responsible for those faults will pay the price they should be paying for it.

Instead, they’ll kill your countrymen with negligence and tell you that you should be grateful for the reforms they’re going to carry out.

Leave a Reply