Opinion: Rehab for political junkies

Justyne Caruana is the latest name to be enrolled in Robert Abela’s very particular system of rehabilitation for political junkies.

Caruana had faded into political limbo following a double-whammy of resignations in the short span of two years. Like the other potentially rehabilitated political junkie Rosianne Cutajar, Justyne Caruana had to resign due to events linked to alleged Daphne Caruana Galizia murder mastermind Yorgen Fenech.

Caruana’s then-husband, a police officer, had been too cosy with Fenech. Subsequently, a re-instated Caruana was again obliged to resign in a jobs-for-friends scandal. Cutajar, too, cosied to Fenech (an understatement if ever there was one). She ended up resigning from the Labour Party parliamentary group following the leaking of chats between her and Fenech. 

Abela has composed a new set of standards for politicians. In his spanking new book on Ethics and Politicians, there are heinous violations of public standards, and then there are misdemeanours. According to Abela, time is a great healer, and persons such as Caruana and Cutajar should be allowed to return to the fold and presumably take up public office once they have sat in the corner long enough to absolve their sins.

“It-trapass taz-zmien” (the passing of time) has become a favourite phrase of Abela, spat out in his conflated, bombastic lawyerese. He rewrites the book on liberal democracy that has existed for centuries. He rips up the unwritten rule that a politician who has betrayed the electorate’s trust is no longer electable, let alone appoint-able to the highest institutions of the land. 

It’s not exclusive to Malta, you know, this rule. A good litmus test is what happened in one year in Boris Johnson’s conservative government in the UK.

Resignations abounded for reasons from the breaking of social distancing rules (by a health secretary to boot) to breaches of lobbying rules, sexual impropriety, drug use, and watching pornography in the commons.

Under the normal system of democratic rules and checks and balances, any politician worth his salt would know that a scandal is a one-way ticket out of the political scene.

Parties do not hold on to scandal-affected politicians. Above all, there is no place for them to be recycled and Robert Abela knows that. However, Robert Abela cannot submit to the written and unwritten rules of politics. As I detailed in last week’s article, all of Abela’s moves are attributable to gearing up for elections.

The Movement has chosen. The Movement has chosen to grip the seats of power tightly, which is necessary for the machine to be fed from top to bottom.

First, there was the beginning of the rehabilitation of the Chief Junkie Muscat. “My friend Joseph”, as Robert put it. As the chessboard pieces begin to fall into place and battle lines are drawn, Abela can ill-afford to bother with the standards and requisites of political representation.

Some pieces are dropping out – see (Gozitan MEP) Josianne Cutajar’s decision not to re-run for election. Gaps will be filled by the faithful who have hitherto manned the unmeritocratically filled echelons – see the candidature of Project Green CEO Steve Ellul. 

However, Robert needs more than a gamble on new blood. The rehabilitation of disgraced politicians serves two purposes.

Firstly, he might be able to bring electoral heavyweights back into the fold. Secondly, and more importantly, the rehabilitation may be seen by the electorate as a possible whitewashing of the original misdemeanours that had led to the ousting of the political junkies.

The system works that way.

Having transformed the whole system of representation into a money machine that dispenses salaries, contracts and jobs, Abela must put back into place those who can maximise the dividends in voting terms. This way, the rape of our system of representation continues. 

It must continue; otherwise, the house of cards that Joseph built and Robert has been entrusted to maintain will come crumbling down. In other words, if we want everything to remain the same, we must change everything.

                           

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Lawrence Mifsud
Lawrence Mifsud
1 month ago

It-trapass taz-zmien se ‘jahfrilna’ d-dejn?

Thomas
Thomas
1 month ago

Thanks to the landslide victory in the 2022 GE, Abela has still three years left to continue with his ‘practices’ as pointed out in this article. Nothing has changed for the better, rather for the worse, and one is left to wonder how much worse it will have to get yet. It’s hard to tell.

In 2027, when the next GE is due, Malta will be even more unrecognizable then as it is already. I wonder what will be left after the PL has managed to sell out everything down the line to the last brick they can get their hands on. That means that Malta is in for further three years of suffering due to this PM and his government. It doesn’t really matter who’s following whom in reshuffles because the old ‘Mintoff-Muscat’ system never changes. I also think that decent people refuse to be bought by the PL, in any way whatsoever. Therefore, the PL has to deal with that sort of personnel they have and get the former disgraced ‘re-emerge from the ‘banishment’ which was evidently merely ‘temporary’. As if these people knew it all along and could reckon with being ‘re-installed’ sooner or later ‘by the grace of PM Robert Abela’.

In compare to the parts in this article regardig the UK, Malta is that small a country that it’s even harder to ‘dry out the swamp’ in which these PL chums thrive and get awarded for their misdeeds, even when they ‘had to stand in the corner’ for a while.

The whole PL is that swamp as this article and the others on this website point out. Maybe in the end (whenever that might be), this swamp of their own making is going to finally swallow the whole party one day and it’ll be gone. When I imagine a Malta without this PL, curious as it looks, but it looks as if all the many problems had vanished into oblivion. But their legacy looks like a big mountain of rubble left behind and as a matter of fact, both in imagination and reality.

mick
mick
1 month ago
Reply to  Thomas

I would wholly agree with you, and for myself the Maghtab Mountain which is still growing and can be attributed to Mintoff, represents everything that they have achieved and continue to aspire to, in simple terms a “Mountain of Shit”.

C. Fenech
C. Fenech
1 month ago
Reply to  Thomas

What a dreamer

David
David
1 month ago

Abela vera waqa ghal livell baxx biex biddel lil din ma Josianne. Ingassa ma ghonqu . Panic state. Abela qed jeghreq u qed jaqbad ma kull tibna. Ma jdumx ma jtir hu wkoll.

Leonard Schembri
Leonard Schembri
1 month ago
Reply to  David

I have a feeling that if the PL loses one of the MEP seats, Abela will be challenged.

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
1 month ago

We might see snakes in Brussels now.

Anne R. key
Anne R. key
1 month ago
Reply to  saviour mamo

No- this will not take place Fearne’s approval of the Vitals / Stuart saga will not be greeted well within the corridors of the EU establishments. Their memory is far better than the lackey’s…..
!

Emmanuel
Emmanuel
1 month ago

The Abela /Muscat tandem has grown out of new candidates and ideas. It has resorted to recycling the old waste.

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