The Pharisee – Kevin Cassar

Jesus told the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else.  The Pharisee prayed, “I thank you God, that I am not like other people.”

Robert Abela, the leader of another party, uttered a similar prayer at the congregation of his faithful in Xaghra last Sunday.  “Unlike the opposition, we don’t believe we are superior and that we’re always right while others are always wrong.”

Abela’s speech was a masterclass in doublespeak.

We don’t believe we are superior but we’re far better than the opposition.  We are superior to the opposition because we don’t think we are superior, was his bizarre argument.

We are right that the opposition thinks it’s always right, was his message.  The opposition is wrong because it always thinks the others are wrong, was his reasoning. But Abela confirmed that he believes the opposition is always wrong.

He shouted, “Neither Bernard Grech nor the establishment that leads the PN can ever bring positive change to this country.”

So if the opposition is wrong because they always think others are wrong, isn’t he wrong too, since he believes the opposition is always wrong and cannot ever bring positive change to the country?

One thing is sure, Abela has never studied logic. Maybe he should give it a try. Maybe he could also look up Orwell’s doublespeak.

As the writer Edward Herman noted, what is really important in the world of doublespeak is the ability to lie, whether knowingly or unconsciously, and to get away with it.

Abela’s Xaghra speech ticked all of Herman’s boxes.  “We must listen to our critics – even those who don’t agree with us,” he told his audience.

The same man repeatedly defied calls to implement the Daphne Caruana Galizia public inquiry’s recommendations.  This is the man who completely ignored critics and rammed through half-baked cannabis legislation – such that months later it’s still not implemented.

This is the man who refused to meet international press freedom organisations. This is the man who is pursuing 40 separate vexatious lawsuits intended to cripple The Shift and who pigheadedly ignored appeals from organisations such as Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the International Press Institute to drop those cases.

Abela ignored calls to remove Joseph Portelli’s architect from the chairmanship of the Building and Construction Authority, only to have to kick her out after a catastrophic demolition project on Psaila Street for which she was responsible.

Abela appeals to his audience to listen to critics. But he unleashed his mob onto his own Gzira mayor for daring to stand up to Abela’s obscene plans to hand over the locality’s last remaining garden to a friendly businessman to develop another petrol station.

Abela’s conveniently ignored thousands who asked him to retain an open green space in Mellieha that he intends to sell to developers. Abela is giving €12 million worth of public land to friendly developers for an annual ground rent of just €280,000.

Instead of listening to his critics, Abela is completely deaf to the desperate pleas of over 700 signatories of a parliamentary petition against the sale.

“We never showed arrogance,” Abela claimed. The next minute he screamed, “Only we can bring positive change to allow this country to progress.”

This is unadulterated arrogance – that quality of being unpleasantly proud and behaving as if you and only you can do something. “Pride begets the type of arrogance we saw before 2013 – we never were, aren’t and never shall be arrogant,” he declared.

Abela has a catalogue of arrogance to his name. Arrogance is when you earn €17,000 a month from the Planning Authority and thousands more from contracts with the Gozo Ministry, Air Malta, the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation and ARMS Ltd.

And then you claim an additional €80,000 in “overtime” or “additional hours” at the rate of 20 extra hours per week.

Arrogance is when you are the prime minister but escape to Sicily while your health minister announces new restrictions to help combat Covid-19.  Arrogance is when your office refuses to reply to valid questions about whether you were actually tested for the virus.

Arrogance is when you rent out your uninhabitable Zejtun property to prospective Russian passport buyers to help them cheat the system by claiming a genuine link to the country. And then simply fail to declare your earnings from that property in your declaration of assets.

Arrogance is when you are caught dealing with an alleged kidnapper and money launderer over a “small Zabbar plot” to make €40,000 and then refuse to answer reporters’ legitimate questions on the ludicrous pretext that The Times’ editor had met a Nationalist Party strategist.

Arrogance is when you publicly dine with Joseph Portelli on the eve of the election, days before his mega-development in Sannat was approved.

“We always told the facts as they were” was another classic Abela doublespeak. He leads a government whose default position is to refuse freedom of information requests.

When the Information and Data Protection Commissioner rules that information in the public interest should be released, Abela orders his legion of lawyers to mount multiple legal challenges at taxpayers’ cost.

Abela, who always states the facts, is squandering tens of thousands of euros of our money to deny us our fundamental right to information.

There was plenty more. “I will work hard to prevent the PN from sowing division and disturbing the country’s serenity.”

“We will not adopt a siege mentality,” he adds. “We will start to build a new hospital in Gozo in this legislature.”

He even referred to the Barts medical school project as “the most beautiful investment”. That’s no investment. It’s a rip-off.

We’re paying €1.2 million per year to fund the medical education of wealthy fee-paying students who’ll never contribute a minute to our health service, while Maltese medical students don’t even have their library because it is still being used as a ward.

As for the Pharisees, even Jesus held them in contempt. Whitewashed tombs, he accused them of being.


Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
17 days ago

Neither Bernard Grech nor the establishment that leads the PN can ever bring positive change to this country.”
kif ma tisthix bob, int u shabek tal-muument KORROT gibtu bidla GHALL-AGHAR u hammaratulna wiccna bis-serq ta’ flus il-poplu, assassinju u korruzzjoni sfrenata. ISTHU – gibtu malta mizbla.f’kull sens tal-kelma.

16 days ago

spot on

Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
16 days ago

Simply and absolutely unbelievable – yet as simply and as absolutely true!

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
16 days ago

Jekk wieħed hu il-Prim Korrot,l-ieħor hu il-Prim Gidieb

R Pace Bonello
R Pace Bonello
16 days ago

Will the people ever learn? These criminals defence is silence. How much longer can this go on? What an amazing people we are

16 days ago

Looks to me that the ‘Master’ was briefing him beforehand so that he knew what to say because otherwise, PM Abela must always stand beside himself in order to save himself the embarrassment of his speeches.

I think that if I had to listen to all this contradictions and twists of the truth coming from the PM, I would have left the place after a couple of minutes in disgust. Better still, never went there in the first place as this is all a waste of time. If he wouldn’t be PM, I think that probably nobody would listen to what he says.

16 days ago

The guy gets a higher pay than Macron or the German Prime Minister.

16 days ago

Dejjem jitkellmu f’isem gahan u dawk li jerdghu u jaqbzu lill sehbithom Maltin.

4 days ago

F’kelma qed jaghmel min kollox biex shabu il-kriminali ma jsibux ruhhom il-habs

Related Stories

George Vella is waiting – Kevin Cassar
President George Vella, a doctor by profession, hasn’t uttered
Abela’s arguments against Jean Paul Sofia public inquiry identical to Muscat’s
Prime Minister Robert Abela’s justifications for refusing to initiate

Our Awards and Media Partners

Award logo Award logo Award logo