The Malta Independent 17 December 2018, Monday

TMID Editorial: Someone should really have a word with Konrad

Friday, 30 November 2018, 10:01 Last update: about 16 days ago

Some things, as they say, you just can’t make up. 

Like when a country’s auditor general publishes a 600-page report slamming a government minister’s dealings seven ways to Sunday over what very well could be proven to have been the biggest heist ever to have been perpetrated against the state, should the 17 Black revelations be actioned upon.

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Or like when the auditor explains it all in sordid, finite detail leaving just the dots in the middle to be joined, but that same minister stands there brazen-faced as ever saying that that report confirms he implemented ‘best practice’ – minus a few administrative hiccups.

Or when the minister then goes on to misrepresent a European Commissioner, claiming Commissioner said that the project in question, and all that went with it, had been endorsed by the Commissioner as an example of ‘best practice’ and a ‘blueprint’ for the EU’s energy projects – replete with Facebook posts with the Commissioner plastered all over them.

And this when, in actual fact, the good Commissioner had been referring to the ways in which the project mixed different types of energy.

We do not like to paraphrase the words of the opposition leader, but he hit the nail squarely on the head when he said the minister must be living in some kind of parallel universe.  Either that or he really believes that the vast majority of the Maltese population dwells in such a parallel universe where the normal laws of reason and logic do not apply and where the people will believe whatever he spoon-feeds them.

That is certainly not the case.

Mizzi’s problem here is that when the country’s auditor general releases the findings of the ilk he released on Wednesday, he simply cannot resort to his usual fallback position of labelling it fake news.  We in the independent media have grown accustomed to that utterly false nomenclature, but the auditor general is a constitutionally appointed position.

And his findings are all there, in the public domain on the National Audit Office’s website.  There is a press release with the main findings, the abridged version of the report for the short read, and the full whammy 600-page report for anyone who cares, or dares, to read it.

We will not go into the nitty-gritty details here. We do elsewhere in today’s issue.

Yes, someone really needs to at least have a quiet word with Minister Konrad Mizzi or, better still, perhaps his colleagues should organise an orchestrated group intervention at the next Cabinet meeting and, like a rebellious teen who has continually been caught with his hand in the cookie jar since toddlerhood, be given a stern talking to  in the hope he may mend his ways.

Mizzi has, after all, since his toddlerhood in government, which started back in 2013, appeared to have rarely had his hand out of the cookie jar.

At this stage it is difficult to determine whether it is more insulting that the minister has been caught with those hands in the cookie jar time and time again and yet no action is taken against him, that he is allowed to persist in these actions, or whether he can so plainly attempt to mislead the people and practically challenge them to take his word for it against that of the auditor general.

And we have not even gone into all those nasty details revealed in the Panama Papers about his planned financial machinations, just the auditor general’s report, which has showed so many holes in the entire power station commissioning process that it puts the best of sieves to shame.

The next thing we know, Mizzi will be calling the auditor general a purveyor of fake news.  One wonders what the esteemed gentleman thought as he watched Mizzi’s repeat performances on Tuesday evening in the wake of his so damning report.

The country deserves a lot better than this, much better.

This editorial was published in The Malta Independent printed edition.

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