The Malta Independent 5 August 2020, Wednesday

Keep your mouth shut

Rachel Borg Saturday, 22 February 2020, 08:49 Last update: about 6 months ago

Robert Abela looked at himself and the job he has done so far and felt pleased.  It was time for a moment of rest.  Normality, he said excitedly, has been restored.  We can only say, yes Prime Minister, the normality of things as they are as a matter of routine under Labour, as they were under Joseph Muscat and Keith Schembri and the whole corrupt cabal, with only scant exception.

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If he meant to say that things have now been restored to normal, then he is very wrong.  In order for things to get back to normal, as it is perceived in a democratic country that follows the rule of law and good governance, there must be a whole raft of changes and renewal put in place, rights wronged, key persons arrested for serious crime, for evading taxes, for witness tampering, obstruction of justice, political interference in criminal cases, disregard for the rule of law and basically dis-respecting a nation that they were supposed to serve and causing it disrepute around not only Europe but also the international order.  Even Libya, it would appear, does not wish to have any more ties to Malta.

The problem, though, is that Joseph Muscat turned loyalty and trust on its head and created a cult around him to feel like a King.  Like a substitute called in to play for a King, Robert Abela is still in awe and gratitude of Muscat and is showing that he has only a limitedpower of his own and little will to de-throne the King.

Senior politicians used public office to seek financial reward when it was not theirs to have.  This mentality was quickly picked up by ordinary workers who spoke the same language.  Should anything go wrong, the King would pardon them.  This intention was tried over and over again, as testified in the Daphne inquiry, in the case of the arrest of the brothers Degiorgio and Vincent Muscatand also with YorgenFenech, suspected for his part in allegedly contracting the car bomb that killed Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Keep your mouth shut and I’ll protect you.  That was the common talk being passed on.

For so many to have done what they did, breaking the law, committing serious offences, giving false statements, money-laundering and going on down the food-chain, fraud, taking bribes and favours, rogue landlords or contractors, everyone had to feel they were protected.  People close to the OPM are linked with consorting with organized crime types and yet defend themselves shamelessly.  What does this say?  It says that Muscat will save his pals and his pals will save their pals and God save the King.

Keith Schembri is still free and travelling.  Joseph Muscat is possibly representing foreign interests in Malta in highly questionable investments.  I wonder what Dom Mintoff would think of that?  Robert Abela does not even mention the fraud and corruption revealed in the Police Force.  No, he must convey the message that they will be protected, if he too is to be King or carry on ruling in the Kingdom of Muscat.  Maybe we should change the name of Malta to Muscat but there is already a city by that name, the capital city of Oman.  It is the seat of the Governorate of Muscat.

Outside of this crooked kingdom, there are the ones who fight, who protest and who demand justice.  The message to them is also clear.  Anyone who would say anything against the protected, the protector and the public office, Parliament, political appointees, small time crooks, serious offenders, who all acted in the line of duty to serve the King, are to be blasted, driven to the ground, dis-credited, vilified and obstructed in every way possible.

Dr. Simon Busuttil, in his last speech in Parliament before resigning his seat in order to take up the prestigious job in the EU, spoke of how he had been made to look like a monster, lied about, false accusations made against him and his life made the subject of ridicule, all because he continued to fight the corruption and crime that our country has become engulfed in.  He praised Daphne Caruana Galizia for her work and all that she had done to try and fight for a better country.  During Dr. Busuttil’s speech, the government bench was empty with one exception, showing a crass immaturity from all the Labour MPs and a total disrespect to the people who elected them to do their job.

This kind of intimidation goes on even now.  That is the only normality.  The continued political interference in criminal cases.  The weight of incumbency on the institutions and organisations, the lack of enforcement and the business as usual attitude.  Owen Bonnici is still a Minister.  The acting Commissioner of Police is still quietly in place although linked by his previous job to the revelations of the traffic police.  Michael Farrugia, responsible for Home Affairs at the time of this practically institutionalized fraud in the Force, also claims protection.  So, why wouldn’t the staff?  I am sure that everyone expects to be pardoned, from the big ones to the fiddler. 

Not only do the big chaps expect pardon.  They also expect, that in case of some hitch, as happened with Konrad Mizzi, they are well compensated for their removal from public office from where they were able to manage their “future”.  Epic, truly epic.

So, how will Robert Abela go from Epic to normal?  I’m surprised it is even in his vocabulary.  Labour does not do normal.  They are the creators of the abnormal.  Of the corruption, self-dealing, fraud, deception, tax avoidance or abuse of power. Of the protection racket and the recycling of persons with a record into the Army or the Police Force. 

By extension, just take a look at the State Prison and the misery and abuse that is being said to take place there in the worst conditions, where journalists are not even allowed access.  We, the public, demand to know what is going on in the prisons and journalists are not allowed in to get the story.  Same with the Hal-Far and Marsa refugee barracks.  Whilst on the streets, people continue to seek their right to a roof over their head, when their property collapsed due to the negligence of others. Women have to dodge their abusers, hoping not to run into them and basically live an underground life.  Should anyone, local or foreign, though, begin to make life uncomfortable for the King and his friends, then all the guns are out.  In comes the Labour One machine and get your candles ready. 

Take a look at yourself, Prime Minister and see if some moral, ethical and social rehab is in order before we can say that you have engineered any normality other than the usual routine we are quite sick of and will continue to protest whenever we feel it is needed. Good governance doesn’t come from empty words. It needs a strong spine. And that has been lost a long time ago.  Instead of allowing the police to turn on the whistle-blower, why have you not defended the person who had the moral fibre to come out and speak about what was going on? I suppose he or she is not qualified for the protection normally reserved for the bent ones who operate freely.If putting your house in order means that you risk losing some of the majority previously gained by Labour, so be it, Though actually, it can translate to a gain elsewhere.The job done by the labour machine with neutralizing the PN under Adrian Delia still holds, so that is one front less. 

Better to be true to your office than to disregard the urgent need for getting back to normal in Malta and regaining the respect that was lost under your King. 

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