It was 635 for, 46 against and 12 abstentions. That was the result of the vote in the European Parliament in a strongly worded resolution that insisted that the rule of law and justice should prevail in Malta. Look at the numbers again. The word “overwhelming” is not out of place in such circumstance. This is “tkaxkira” material – barrowloads of “lumi”, if you get my drift.
Labour’s four idiosyncratic MEPs were supported (for want of a better word) by a hodgepodge of far-right extremists. The rest of the EP – including Labour’s “home in Europe” voted overwhelmingly in favour of the resolution. The usual suspects are out attacking (PN MEPs) Roberta Metsola and David Casa for having betrayed Malta and instigated this great coup at the EP.
The story being spun out there is that Malta is doing ok despite the pandemic and that this is the moment to hold together as we pass our Moneyval and FATF exams. Well, Moneyval is already in since that one was simply about whether we got our papers in order. As I explained in an earlier article it is the FATF test that is more dangerous since it investigates actual compliance.
The government coterie is having a bad, bad time. As if having wonder ministers like Ian Borg mired in direct order scandals were not enough, we now have the NAO report on the Saint Vincent de Paul scandal. Every project embarked upon by the Labour government is somehow tainted and yet Abela’s team still manages to garner enough support to be sure of another election victory.
The mantra from above is split between attacks on detractors and the trumpeting of a long list of perceived achievements. Yet the foundations upon which the Tagħna Lkoll dream was built seem to be crumbling fast. The “working institutions” defence has been weakened by a succession of decisions that are transparent in their bias.
Take Speaker Anglu Farrugia’s pathetic abstention on a Commissioner for Standards report that practically meant that said report was shot down. No amount of excuses can hide the fact that it was about an institutional figure doing what Labour does best… throwing spokes in the wheels. An appearance on Jon Mallia’s podcast this week by the chairman of the Book Council has been doing the rounds because of what some are describing as revelatory declarations.
It transpired from the chairman’s incoherent ramblings that quite a few of the Labour insiders were not happy with Joseph Muscat for having hung on to Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi. If we are to believe them, they even staged some form of revolt demanding that Muscat let go of this pair of albatrosses.
Once again, I am not impressed by such damascene revelations. For one thing, if these unnamed objectors really had the slightest suspicion of something illegal happening at the higher echelons of power it was their duty to do much more than attempt a clumsy coup d’état – even more so if said coup depended on the word of a suspected criminal.
This, however, is Labour of the ‘blokka silġ’ fame. For all that talk of “letting the institutions do their work,” it is hard to understand why major exponents (including Cabinet members, if the Book Council chairman is to be believed) of the Party did not take their suspicions to the institutions and let them do to their work. Instead, they seem to have opted for an inside job. A bit of pressure for Muscat to let go of Schembri and Mizzi, a meek set of threats to withdraw support.
We all know what happened next. Muscat hung on till whenever he felt like. No amount of disgrace had discouraged him so why should the spineless apparatchiks who had clung to the corridors of power have any say in how he chose to exit?
We have begun to witness attempts at redemption by those who stuck to the corrupt bandwagon for a long time. They would love to rewrite history and claim to have somehow been on the side of the victims and immune to the charms of the corrupt in charge. The road to redemption though is much longer than they could ever hope for. Emancipation from mental slavery is a tough process that requires goodwill and determination.
For too long, they stood aside and looked while our prophets got killed.