I am not referring to the chat application frequently used by Edward Zammit Lewis to show his affection, his friendship and his worries to the alleged mastermind behind the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, Yorgen Fenech. And it’s not about the latter’s messages to members of his family about fleeing the country and his €8 million house in the United States.
It is about the reason, if there is one, that The Times of Malta published an interview with Joseph Muscat, crowned the most corrupt politician of 2019, the man who resigned in shame after pressure from civil society some twenty months ago. Joseph Muscat has refused to be interviewed for the past four years and then, bang, he gave a long, rambling interview to Malta’s leading newspaper.
It is not known if it was The Times that approached Joseph Muscat and asked for an interview or vice versa. I honestly think that it was the man from Burmarrad who approached the newspaper. It’s a pity that The Times accepted and gave him a chance to try and make himself ‘relevant’ again. But he failed miserably.
There are quite a few reasons why Joseph emerged from hibernation. Joseph Muscat was slowly but steadily vanishing into nullity with pressure mounting on Robert Abela, the anointed one, to cut all connections with the former PL leader and prime minister.
Desmond Zammit Marmara, a self-declared Labour supporter for 20 years recently made a scathing attack on Joseph Muscat asking the Labour Party to disown him. “If we don’t want Labour to continue suffering the consequences, and want the party to be spared the relentless criticism, including unjust accusations, we have to distance ourselves from the Joseph Muscat years and ensure he has nothing to do with the party.”
Another reason could be a sort of diversionary tactic from current problems being faced by the government. Justice minister Edward Zammit Lewis’s, whatsapp messages to Fenech come to mind.
It is shameful for a senior minister to correspond with a murder suspect after it became known that he was the owner of a company that was to facilitate the transfer of kickbacks from the corrupt Electrogas deal.
We should also keep in mind the anger felt and expressed on the social media by Labour voters after learning that Zammit Lewis referred to them as Ġaħan in one of his messages to Fenech.
The running of the Corradino Correction Facility is also giving Robert Abela daily headaches. The CCF is being managed by a narcissist macho-man doing the rounds carrying a pistol accompanied by bodyguards. Under his tenure there have been at least a dozen deaths at CCF.
Academic Andrew Azzopardi and human rights activist Peppi Azzopardi have been calling for reform for months and yet minister Byron Camilleri has failed to take any action. Instead the minister gave a press conference saying that there was a reduction in crime during the past year. What did he expect with people locked down?
Whatever the reason, in my humble opinion, The Times did a big disservice to its readers by giving so much space to a corrupt person who trashed Malta’s name and washed the country’s reputation into the gutter because of his greed for money.
With his back to the wall Joseph Muscat looked ghastly, trying to impress while clinging to feeble straws in stormy waters. He was, as usual, as slippery as an eel, responding with cryptic answers and blame-shifting whataboutisms.
His aim was to send a message to PL that they should think again before expelling him … or else. Joseph even told Herman Grech that he might write history one day – or rather, his version of the story. In Maltese, ‘storja’ has a double meaning – history and story.
And just in case that didn’t work, he even tried to play the tough guy, threatening that if people continue to annoy him he could return to politics. Joseph Muscat should get it into his thick, and swollen, head that there’s no way back for a man chased out of office by his own scandalous criminality. Stay home and enjoy your Michelle, Joey.