The Malta Independent 20 July 2018, Friday

From Jason’s rant to Anglu’s misguided decision to Adrian’s silence

Noel Grima Sunday, 18 March 2018, 10:44 Last update: about 4 months ago

So Jason Micallef, who turned Valletta 18 into a non-event, felt aggrieved because two of the hundreds of repetitive posters displayed all around Malta have been covered by a banner mentioning Daphne Caruana Galizia and imperiously ordered the banner remo

It is true that were it not for the hundreds of banners displayed on the main roads, we would have forgotten that we are still living in the Capital City of Culture year. He had asked for the removal of the oil rigs on the other side of Grand Harbour but they are still there. His power does not seem to extend to the other side of Grand Harbour.

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In addition, he reminds us of the many times Daphne wrote about him. All one has to do is to type in his name on Daphne’s blog. He is still smarting from her blistering attack … and it shows. Pity he cannot obliterate her jibes as he has taken down the offending banners.

These are the people that are on top of the pile in 2018 Malta. People who are not there because of their personal merit but rather ‘for services rendered’. Take Anglu Farrugia, first removed from the Labour line-up for comments that revealed what was taking place on the fourth floor, and then appointed Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Last week, former Leader of the Opposition Simon Busuttil asked a question about the prime minister’s aide – whether he has/d bank accounts in Dubai and/or with Pilatus Bank but the Speaker peremptorily stopped him, citing precedents from the House of Commons.

Similar questions have been asked before, it was claimed, and no objection was raised. So we must now add Anglu Farrugia to the long list (getting longer) of gatekeepers protecting the inviolability of the Joseph Muscat government.

Six months after being chosen as Leader of the Opposition, Adrian Delia is now known more for his silence than for what he says (apart from the fact that what he says is more often than not insipid and commonplace).

One of the issues he remains silent on to this day is Daphne Caruana Galizia. The Labour media enjoys running his speech about the ‘biċċa blogger’.

Delia and his group have been trying hard to rope in former PN figures with whom the party had quarrelled (or the other way around) – inviting Franco Debono to a debate, rejoicing that Ninu Zammit won libel cases, and offering a peace branch to Michael Falzon.

But he has not done anything to restore links with Daphne’s followers. He is friendlier with Joseph Muscat than he is with Simon Busuttil. He has never joined the people honouring Daphne’s memory even though it would take him less than a minute to cross over from the Law Courts on the many occasions he goes there and spend some moments at the shrine.

There is, to be sure, opposition to his leadership from the Daphne group, but that is one task that a leader must undertake, cost what it costs, hard on self-respect though it may be, the difference between a leader who can make it and a leader who will not make it.

Politics, as Joseph Muscat has taught us, and as Simon Busuttil never learned, is all about segmenting the electorate and establishing ties and links with successive segments. To try to lead a party while discarding a clear and important segment of your own core is madness personified.

We are a country which goes into a frenzy on the most unimportant of issues – the rash judgements passed on incorrect information as to what led to a young man’s death in Paceville, the Chamber of Lawyers engaging in a duel with the magistrates and judges over two new lawyers when there are innumerable examples of shady lawyers out and about.

But as long as our Joseph Muscat is no Robert Fico and will not resign over the killing of a journalist, that’s OK, I guess.

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