“The man who is angry at the right things and with the right people, and, further, as he ought, when he ought, and as long as he ought, is praised.” – Aristotle
Anger is a much-maligned emotion, often cited as a negative quality in a personality and listed as an undesirable trait. But there are times when anger is not only righteous, but also very much required. Malta in 2021 is one such example. We now know, beyond any reasonable doubt, that for the past eight years, Malta has been governed by a contemptible gang of corrupt criminal thugs, murderers, incompetents, thieves and enablers.
This has been clear to many people for a long time, but after Thursday’s court sitting, there can’t be anyone left who doesn’t see it. The extent of the depravity of this government can no longer be denied or downplayed. And as more and more detail emerges of what the people entrusted to run the country have been doing, covering up or ignoring, the only appropriate, right and imperative response is anger.
And not only from opponents of the administration. Anyone forming part of this government but not directly involved in the corruption, sleaze and murder should be standing up and roaring their fury at the criminals destroying the reputation of their political party and their country.
If there are any members of Cabinet who didn’t participate in the crimes committed by their colleagues, why are they cowering in the shadows instead of showing themselves incandescent with rage at what’s happened? Why are we not seeing white-hot fury from backbench MPs? From PL supporters who feel hoodwinked into having supported an organised crime network whose tentacles have reached into every single institution, every single authority, in the country?
The sheer hideousness of the evidence around the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia is devastating. Traumatising, for the whole country. And yet, we’ve seen no statements of anger or outrage from any of the PL MPs so far not implicated in the murder or the corruption she was exposing.
Marlene Farrugia in 2015 and Godfrey Farrugia in 2017 did what any honest, principled MP would do when faced with evidence of criminality in their Party. They stood up and walked out. But since then, all we’ve seen from PL politicians is cringing, spineless wailing about ‘Kitchen Cabinets’, hidden hands and concealed agreements.
Despite the tsunami of evidence of criminality, we have not seen a single other PL MP stand up and refuse to be a part of this corrupt and murderous administration. We have seen none of the anger that we might have expected from “innocents” who may have been deceived into supporting crooks.
Self-confessed killer Vince Muscat claimed in court that at least one Labour politician, Chris Cardona, was involved in the plot to murder Caruana Galizia, as well as Cardona’s associate David Gatt. His testimony also implicated disgraced Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s chief of staff, Keith Schembri, and bolstered the claim by middleman Melvin Theuma that high-ranking policemen were relaying information about the timing of raids and arrests to the hitmen.
While many of us have been convinced of this for years, Muscat’s evidence makes it impossible for even the blindest, most naïve naysayers to continue to deny it. Indeed, anyone with a smidgen of intelligence will not only have to accept this truth but will also have to acknowledge that the entire Labour government must now come into the frame.
The court reports read like something out of a horror film set in a dystopian future, a frightening, inhuman world peopled by monstrous beings that look human but have none of the qualities that make us human, no conscience, no compassion, no soul: the embodiment of what we used to call pure evil.
But there’s no other way to describe the men who undertook to murder Caruana Galizia. Reading the assassin’s descriptions of the preparations to kill her and the casual nonchalance about the possibility of randomly slaughtering anyone who might have been with her would make any human being’s blood run cold.
And there’s no other way to describe those who hatched the plot to murder Malta’s most prominent journalist in order to cover up their crimes against an entire nation, and indeed, those who may not have been directly involved, but who compromised themselves by continuing to support their obviously guilty, corrupt colleagues.
They might whine and whimper that they didn’t know what was going on, but if this were true, where is their anger? Where is their fury? All we’ve seen from them is self-pity and excuses. Men, and women, who feel and express anger at the right things, in the right way, are to be praised, Aristotle concluded, almost two and a half thousand years ago. A criminal becoming angry at a journalist for exposing his crimes and expressing that anger by murdering the journalist is wrong; an ethical person standing up and expressing anger at the murder by demanding the criminal is punished is right.
And yet, still they remain silent. Still, we see no anger from any of them. Thursday’s testimony helped confirm that our deepest, darkest suspicions about this criminal government were correct. It helped lay out in the cold, clear light of day how taking that unthinkable step of ending another person’s life literally means giving up your own soul in exchange. “Kill her, even if she’s with others,” read one headline.
For many of us, each fresh revelation, each new horrific detail, emphasises and justifies the righteousness of our anger. But equally, the astonishing absence of wrath, or outrage, from the PL ranks, from government ministers and MPs to party officials and supporters, helps more than anything to confirm the monstrous reality of life under a Maltese Labour government.