As awful as it was, Joseph Muscat’s interview with Manuel Cuschieri did the country a service. It revealed the continuing threat Muscat presents.
Maintaining his shamelessness, Muscat lied, repeatedly. His threats, coupled with his distortion of the truth, shone a light into the darkness of his cynicism.
He depicted himself as the helpless victim of a heartless conspiracy of freemasons, doctors, the establishment and special interest groups. Yet he launched vicious threats against the inquiring magistrate, judiciary and civil society.
Muscat’s gall doesn’t surprise anybody. His menacing threats are a reminder he might yet inflict more damage than he’s already wrought. His hysteria is reminiscent of another interview – Donald Trump’s with Sean Hannity.
The two disgraced former leaders have much in common, so much you couldn’t tell them apart.
- (DT): “They can’t beat me through the ballot box so they try and beat me through the law”.
- (JM) “There are some people who never won democratically against me and never will”.
- (JM) “They try to play with the courts – they turn the judiciary into an army, even politicise it”.
- (DT) “I have a judge who hates me and whose family hate me”.
- (JM) “I requested the recusal of the magistrate because of the continuous leaks – the inquiry is a sieve… her father and her brother told people to protest”.
- (DT) “I’ve been treated very unfairly by this judge”.
- (JM) “She (the magistrate) chose not to hear what I have to say”
- ( DT) “This is another scam; it’s a political witch hunt, I’m going to have to fight”.
- (JM) “I’ll keep fighting because she cannot continue hearing that case”.
- (DT) “How can they charge me when I did nothing wrong?”
- (JM) “In none of these reports did he point his finger at me regarding any illegality”.
- (DT) “I have notified them of my intent to file a lawsuit over their repeated defamatory statements”.
- (JM) “I warn those doing these things, I will sue you”.
- (DT) “If I am charged, there’ll be death and destruction”.
- (JM) “I know if this happens, the support will be there”.
Like the US, Malta faces the pervasive malignancy of its narcissistic former leader. Both leaders claim to be victims of a hostile establishment.
Muscat’s claimed that an uncontrolled freemasonry, an entrenched establishment and vague interests conspired, and are still conspiring, against him.
He made a bizarre claim that his fraudulent hospitals’ concession failed because influential doctors, hellbent on retaining their private control over the health service, worked tirelessly to wreck it.
Concerning income tax returns, Muscat complained that “they only asked for mine”.
“Those who thought the government is theirs by divine right cannot forgive me personally for this,” Muscat insisted. “If they want to crucify me like they did to Mintoff, it would be my honour”.
“I am the son of a salesman; they cannot accept that,” adding, “They want to put us through another calvary, another martyrdom”.
Like the US, Malta endures the threats of its ousted leader. “I have no problem. I challenge them – do whatever you like, reopen it (Egrant), but this time, after nothing’s found, I will sue for damages. We’re not playing bingo… I warn those who are doing these things”.
“They can do whatever they like. At the end of the day, I know that if this happens, the support will be there,” he warned. “I know where the people’s trust lies”.
While battering the magistrate with threats, Muscat methodically undermines the public’s trust in the justice system. “The situation in court is a joke. No wonder people lose hope in the judicial system,” he said despite boasting when prime minister about the reforms he implemented.
He levelled wild accusations of leaks from the magisterial inquiry without evidence. He alleged documents were falsified. “I need to see whether false documents were used – who knows, I still need to see them”.
Peppered throughout were hints of Muscat’s obsession – money. “I got what I deserved according to the formula, which is always updated,” he said about the obscene golden handshake he gave himself.
He didn’t say that he updated that formula twice before stepping down. That formula hasn’t been “always updated”. The last time was in 2004.
“And I didn’t get as much as Richard Cachia Caruana, who got far more,” the spiteful Muscat hissed. He didn’t compare his package with his predecessor as prime minister – Lawrence Gonzi – who served much longer and got far less.
That same obsession drove him to humiliate himself. He rented his private car to the State for a pitiful €7,000. He accepted €27,000 for first-class tickets to the Middle East. And vintage Petrus wines, a Bvlgari watch, and consultancy roles, including with a bankrupt exotic bird company.
Muscat incriminated his Cabinet in that interview. He said, “Everything was discussed in Cabinet” and that “everybody who needed to be informed was informed”.
Instead of mounting a concerted fightback against Muscat’s falsehoods, Labour remains silent – passive before Muscat’s looming threat that “like a good boxer, I will finally deliver one good punch and knock them out”.
Labour allows Muscat to continue to rile his supporters and incite their anger.
Donald Trump has been found liable for sexual abuse and fined US$5 million. He’s indicted over 34 counts of fraud. He faced two impeachments. Yet he will almost certainly be the Republican candidate for President.
An ABC poll on 7 May showed that if Trump ran against Biden, Trump would win. Only the Republican party is to blame for Trump.
And Labour is to blame for Muscat. Labour will not get rid of Muscat and his malignancy by waiting for someone else to do the job for them. They must show respect for the country, the Party and themselves by standing up for basic decency.
They must call out and condemn Muscat’s blatant lies. Anything less is dangerous cowardice.