The poster boy of democracy’s slow death

Konrad Mizzi has said he wants to complete the Labour government’s plan to “modernise” Malta. He wants to be remembered as some sort of trailblazer but instead he will go down in history as a one of the poster boys of democracy’s death in Malta. 

The man who is allergic to independent journalists felt comfortable enough to appear on TVM’s Xtra this week and announce that he will be seeking re-election in four years’ time.   

“I will run. We’re halfway through a journey. I want Joseph Muscat to to stay and will work… to convince him to stay,” Mizzi said.

Such audacity from a man who is clearly in politics for the wrong reasons. His bucket list before entering the political arena must have included Panama, new power station, 17 Black and a few dollar signs. Mizzi must think he’s God’s gift to Malta but somebody must tell him that he is nothing but an embarrassment, especially to his party. 

Somebody must pull him aside and tell him that the Labour Party and the country need him as much as the Vatican needs paedophile priests. 

But it seems that nobody within Labour has the balls to tell him to get lost. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has not only refused to sack him after his plans to use a secret company in Panama were exposed following the leak of 11.5 million documents from Mossack Fonseca but he reappointed him to his cabinet after the 2017 elections and still stands by him after the 17 Black revelations. 

Muscat must have his own reasons to stick by Mizzi but others should not. Yet, nobody from within Labour’s parliamentary group has the found the courage to do what is right.

Mizzi’s position within government, parliament and the Labour Party is clearly untenable. He not only intended to commit corrupt acts but he has constantly denied indisputable facts.

This week he was at it again, saying “I don’t know anything about 17 Black.” Somebody within Labour must surely feel as irked as I do when I hear Mizzi blabber such nonsense. Yet nobody tells him that he is making a fool of himself and taking democracy for a ride. Or if anyone did then the message did not get through. 

I’m pretty sure that there are people within Labour who understand that Mizzi should have no place within the party. I’m sure people within the party would like to boot Mizzi out but the party has been hijacked by Muscat and Keith Schembri. 

Sadly nobody within Labour is prepared to put their political career or cosy job on the line. This does not come as a shock in a country governed by direct orders yet I would expect the opposition to at least put up some resistance, albeit symbolic, in Parliament and outside. 

But when presented with an opportunity to discuss a motion of no-confidence in Mizzi, the PN leadership decided to opt for a motion calling for an independent inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder and the resignation of the police commissioner and the Attorney General.

Sure, there’s a better chance of the PN winning next year’s European election than government losing the no-confidence motion proposed by Partit Demokratiku. But the same can be said about the motion on Caruana Galizia’s murder. 

The PN once again missed an opportunity to pile more pressure on Mizzi and Labour MPs who ostensibly refuse to call a spade a spade. Instead the motion might be discussed in January and government will have more time to defuse the situation and make sure no cracks appear. 

With a parliamentary opposition like this, Mizzi can get away with anything. But it goes beyond the opposition or the lack of it. What do the people expect from their politicians? How low is the bar the people set for politicians? It is up to the people to decide what kind of moral leadership they expect from their political leaders. If we vote in one corrupt administration after the other then that is exactly what the country deserves. 

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