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Why does the PM keep the Commissioner?

’Why should the commissioner resign, anyway. He has not done anything.’  ‘That’s exactly it,’ I replied. ‘He has not done anything, when he should have been doing lots!’

There have been repeated calls for the removal of the police commissioner. I will not go into the merits or otherwise of why he should go, resign or be removed. The reasons are there for all people of good will to see.

Very few would dispute this, the more partisan among us would maybe argue that the PM has his valid reasons not to, or it is up to the PM to decide, or that there are others who are just as bad.

Anything to uphold the party flag.  The television clip of the commissioner enjoying his free time whilst the Pilatus director was running away with vital evidence is still imprinted in our minds. The fact is there definitely is a public outcry for the removal of the commissioner.

So why does not the PM oblige? It is a well-known fact that, to his credit the PM is always ready to please.

On occasions he has even gone beyond his remit to do so. Café Premier immediately comes to mind.

He is concerned with what the people have to say, as a matter of fact one slogan of his is ‘ Gvern li jisma’, and let it be said that few politicians have understood the people like our present prime minister has.

So why is it that the PM does not oblige? He has requested the resignations of others before, and for lesser reasons. Let’s face it, the present police commissioner is not the sharpest knife in the shed, nor is he instrumental in formulating government policy.

He is not in any way, shape or form irreplaceable. Though one, here, has to stop and think – he may not be irreplaceable, but then who does one replace him with? Pretty little to choose from down the ladder, so chaotic has the line of promotions been reduced to. But surely this would not be the reason our PM does not ask the commissioner, even politely, to leave.

There is then the other issue. Why should the PM request the commissioner’s resignation and not that of the Attorney General? More or less they are indicted with the same omissions.

I remember once a staunch Joseph follower asked,

’Why should the commissioner resign, anyway. He has not done anything.’

‘That’s exactly it,’ I replied. ‘He has not done anything, when he should have been doing lots!’

Back to the issue in question. No two ways about it, resignation should be requested of both the Police Commissioner and the Attorney General. But the latter had been appointed by the previous administration? Why somebody is asked to resign does not depend on who had put him there in the first place, but on whether he has or has not carried out his duties satisfactorily.

So it is settled – these public officers should be removed. Then why does the PM refuse to do it?

Let’s face it, removing a police commissioner when it has taken you four previous ones to get to the one who fits the job, one ready to do your bidding, would be asking too much. Could we not sit down to a drink and arrive to some sort of compromise? However my decision remains what it is.

Way back in 2013 our PM inherited a police force that was up to its job. Malta had a police commissioner who was tried and tested. If his political affiliations were a parameter for selection, even then the new PM should have had no problems.

The force and law and order came foremost in this officer’s priorities. And yet the incoming PM went for change. Why? That commissioner was not for turning. The PM had his own agenda for the police force. It was only years and four commissioners later that the PM would be able to add to his ever increasing list another institution that would do his bidding.

Law and order are the remit of the police force. The police should, of their own accord initiate investigations into activities that give rise to suspicion. The Attorney General or the judiciary could even ask the police to investigate as could also the FIAU. But it is the police that has the requisite tools for investigating. It is the police commissioner who triggers off the process.

In the circumstances would anyone blame me if I were to think that the PM will not remove this commissioner because this official is obliging in not investigating an activity that the PM would rather were not investigated?

This is the ridiculous situation we find ourselves in. This is the democracy we so pride ourselves to be living.

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