The Malta Independent 25 April 2019, Thursday

In George we trust

Victor Calleja Sunday, 14 April 2019, 09:30 Last update: about 11 days ago

All hail to the king. Well not quite a king but a president with just some silly stuff to do, parties to attend and pictures to have taken with known and lesser known mortals. He is George Vella, loved by many and said to be quite the baħbuħ which, in Maltese, signifies a nice guy, a kindly old gent who loves us all.

Parliament was nearly unanimous in its faith in our new Head of State. The President then went on to deliver a truly magnificent and unifying speech. Cheers and hurrahs all around to this man of steel, who has always stood by righteousness in the country and fought for justice for all.

His speech was praised to the heights and celestial skies. His was the way to go. He even had the grand holiness of mentioning - in his opening speech - Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Who is as good as our George - doctor and, until he was elevated to the highest position of the land, the Grandee of the Labour Party?

Yet all he said was a load of baloney. What the new President did was just pay -as sparsely as possible - lip service to what he knows he and the whole Labour Movement cannot get away from: the blood of a journalist.

George Vella, in mentioning Daphne, very intelligently put her on the same level as Karin Grech and Raymond Caruana. He called the murders all blots on our landscape.

What is certainly true is that all three will never, even if justice is done, be brought back to life. Their families and friends will never feel the happiness they could have enjoyed, had they lived. They were all slain horribly and the motivation was, most probably, political.

But by shoving the three together the President has erred beyond imagination. No: he has more than erred, he has shown he is part of the problem in our land. He might cry out that he wants justice but what he really wants - and will accept - is any whitewash of justice; anything to wash the guilt away.

To the people of the Labour Party, Daphne - while alive - was a scourge. And her dying, and the fact that now the spotlight of the world is on Malta, is her fault, it's her doing because she dared to get assassinated. She investigated, she prodded in raw horrors and, by dying, she caused us and our national reputation irreparable damage.

The cold-blooded, horrendous murders of Raymond Caruana and Karin Grech were terrible and made more terrible because the perpetrators have never been caught. Both were murdered once and that was the end of it. No one attacked them viciously before and after their murder.

Daphne's case is completely different to these other two cases. She was targeted before - and after - her murder: targeted by a rabid crowd but also by people who were part of the Labour Party and then, for a short time, even - ironically -by the PN. She was targeted and murdered metaphorically several thousand times.

She was attacked, dehumanised, threatened, spoken of as a vile creature and sued by Ministers and politicians. Before being blown to smithereens, she was called all sorts of monstrous things.

No one - including George Vella as deputy leader of the Labour party, MP or Minister - stood up to be counted by demanding a halt to the rot of attacking a woman, a journalist and a seeker of justice. Not once did the man show he was a man by speaking up.

After her callous assassination - 'execution' to be more exact - George Vella never asked the TV stations, which are silent about what is really happening in Malta, to stop the rot of blotting out the truth and disguising the reality in which we are living.

If George Vella, on taking office, had gone straight to Daphne's memorial and pledged that whoever seeks the truth, in whatever way, should never be killed, then I would truly stand up and salute him.

If he was a true believer in freedom of speech, he would have declared that he might not agree with Daphne Caruana Galizia's ways, but he should have defended her right to say whatever she believed without being murdered a few dozen times a day while alive. 

Until that happens there will be no unity. If unity lies in corruption or false values and hollow ideals, then I choose disunity.


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