The Dalek invasion of Pietà…

Jason Azzopardi has set things up rather nicely for yet another ‘cliff-hanger’ final confrontation: in which either the Nationalist Party, or his own credibility, will surely emerge ‘exterminated’, once and for all…

It might be just an impression of mine – I was, after all, brought up watching ‘Doctor Who’ (Tom Baker era) in the 1970s and 1980s – but doesn’t anyone else see a certain resemblance between Jason Azzopardi, and… um… a Dalek?

Not just physically, mind you. (Note: on that score, he looks much more like the original ‘Cybermen’ from the 1960s.  Seriously, though: Google them, and tell me if what you see isn’t just ‘Jason Azzopardi wearing headphones’…)

But when it comes to Daleks, the resemblance is much more ‘behavioural’.  And even if you’ve never watched a single episode in your entire life… you would still surely recognize the basic behaviour pattern of this most iconic (and clunkiest) of Doctor Who super-villains.

And if Daleks are famous for doing one thing, in particular: it’s running around in circles, and endlessly shrieking ‘EXTERMINATE!’, ‘EXTERMINATE!’, at the top of their grating, metallic voices…

Well, there you have it: an entirely accurate description of Jason Azzopardi’s entire political career, for around the last seven years at least…

Nor does it even stop there: even though, from now on, you may have to be something of a ‘Classic Whovian’ (like myself) to keep up with the analogy.

So, for the benefit those who are still hopelessly lost: I recommend you watch a six-part 1977 series called ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ (if you’re lucky, it will still be available on Dailymotion). As for the rest: I’m afraid you’ll just have to make do with the following, VERY abridged synopsis.

Right: how did the Daleks originate, anyway? The short answer is that they were the brainchild of a typically ‘mad’ and ‘evil’ scientist named Davros: who predicted that his own race – the humanoid Kaleds (geddit?) – would eventually degenerate into some kind of squishy, gelatinous ‘goo’, with absolutely zero chances of future survival.

Rather than trying to ‘halt’ or ‘reverse’ this process, however… Davros chooses to ‘accelerate’ it instead: while simultaneously designing a mobile, armoured exoskeleton (out of a bunch of old beer-cans, it seems; and everything he could find under the kitchen sink) for the resulting defenceless life-forms to eventually inhabit.

Thus was created the first Dalek: but – as in every self-respecting ‘Frankenstein’ rip-off – there was a teenie-weenie little snag. Predictably, Davros also made the mistake of programming his creations to… you guessed it… ‘EXTERMINATE!’ pretty much everything in sight. (To be more specific: every single other life-form, in the entire Universe, that ‘wasn’t a Dalek’…)

Oops! I guess Davros never actually read ‘Frankenstein’, did he? But anyway: no prizes for guessing what’s coming next. No sooner does he press the switch that animates his lethal creations… than the Daleks take one look at their creator; conclude (quite correctly) that he is ‘not a Dalek’; and, therefore…

… well, in the end Davros is not only ‘killed by his own creation’; but ‘at his own explicit command’, too! (Even though the character proved so popular, that he was resuscitated for multiple future episodes. And who knows? The same might happen to Jason Azzopardi, too…).

Speaking of whom: I imagine you’re probably seeing at least part of the Dalek-Jason connection, by now. It would, of course, be unfair to say that the Nationalist Party (or, even less, Bernard Grech) ‘created’ Jason Azzopardi… or even that he was ‘programmed’ to become the extermination-machine he so clearly is today.

But still: Jason Azzopardi was undeniably a product, as it were, of the same PN he is now trying so very hard to ‘exterminate’. And besides: this isn’t even the first time he has (in pure Dalek-fashion) spun his head round 180 degrees, and ‘opened fire’ onto his own party like that.

Indeed – and the irony here puts even Davros’ fate to shame – it is precisely BECAUSE Jason Azzopardi (and the rest of the Blue Heroes, remember?) had so successfully ‘exterminated’ the PN’s previous leader… that Bernard Grech himself even occupies that position today!

So, to be fair: there is a stronger case to be made that it was actually Jason Azzopardi himself who ‘created’ Bernard Grech – or was instrumental in his creation, anyway – than the other way round…

But still: that doesn’t make his own behaviour any less Dalek-like, does it? Especially, when it comes to the motives behind this latest ‘extermination’ attempt of his.,.

Come to think of it: why IS Jason Azzopardi suddenly so keen on destroying the PN, anyway? Is it because – as he himself suggests, in his resignation letter – the PN had ‘compromised with mafiosi’, by accepting (or ‘wanting to accept’: this part’s a little unclear, to be honest) a donation from Yorgen Fenech’s relatives, in exchange for a future Presidential pardon?

Or is it because – as, funnily enough, Jason Azzopardi also suggests, in the same post – Bernard Grech had ‘sold him out’ to the same ‘mafiosi’: by promising them, during a ‘secret dinner’, that he [Jason] would ‘no longer be a Nationalist MP after the next election’?

Hmm. Already, you can see that it’s slightly less clear-cut than simply: ‘Are they other Daleks, or not?’ For starters, the former option seems rather improbable, at best: given that – if Azzopardi’s allegations are true, anyway – he must have known about this ‘dinner with mafiosi’ since December 2021, at the earliest; yet it was only after the second option became a reality – and Jason Azzopardi was indeed ‘no longer a Nationalist MP’ – that he actually saw fit to make it public.,,

One can only wonder, then, whether Jason Azzopardi would have ever revealed this ‘dirty secret’ of his at all… had he actually won his seat at the last election; and was still a (suitably ‘loyal’) Nationalist Party MP, down to this very day…

I guess that leaves us with ‘Option B’, doesn’t it? I.e., that Jason Azzopardi is feeling ‘bitter’ and ‘resentful’ towards the Nationalist Party (and Bernard Grech, in particular)… over what actually turns out to be quite a few, entirely ‘personal’ grievances against both.

Apart from Bernard Grech’s perceived betrayal, these also include: a) because the Nationalist Party had somehow conspired to ‘sabotage’ his political career… by, among other things, ‘sidelining’ him during the campaign; and, b) simply because of Bernard Grech’s (somewhat unnecessary, to be honest) provocative barb, to the effect that Jason Azzopardi himself was ‘past his political expiry date’.

At which point, we may even have a tentative title for our new Doctor Who episode: ‘Revenge of One Seriously Pissed-Off Dalek!’ (subtitled: ‘Hell Hath No Fury, Like A Blue Hero Scorned…’)

Al the same, however: no matter how personal, petty, and - let’s be brutally honest - hypocritical Jason Azzopardi’s motives appear to be, from that perspective… there is no denying that (once again, in true Dalek-fashion) his extermination methods are pretty darn ‘lethal’, when it comes down to it.

For even if he is no longer a Nationalist MP: Jason Azzopardi is still the legal representative of the Caruana Galizia family; and as such, he is still – at the time of writing, anyway – very-much a front-running exponent, of the entire ‘Justice for Daphne’ cause.

Now: having said this, it remains very far from clear where both the Caruana Galizia family itself, and all the civil society groups that champion the same cause, actually stand in this matter themselves. (Though we have been given a few hints, here and there, to the effect that Jason Azzopardi is most likely NOT speaking on those people’s behalf, no...)

Either way, however: the allegations themselves remain, not just ‘highly, highly serious’, by any standard; but also, of direct relevance to the outcome of the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder trial itself (and everything it has since come to represent).

Besides: if true – important caveat, that! - Jason’s claims would also constitute a truly COLOSSAL betrayal of the entire ‘Justice for Daphne’ cause: by both the Nationalist Party as a whole; and by Bernard Grech in person.

Nor does it help much, that the latter was even foolish enough, on a couple of past occasions, to lend some credence to those allegations himself (it was, after all, Bernard Grech who once – twice, actually – publicly contemplated a possible ‘Presidential pardon for Yorgen Fenech’. Now: where could he possibly have got THAT idea from, huh…?)

And all this, of course, just a few days before the Nationalist Party’s Executive Council convenes to reappoint Bernard Grech as leader, too! (I mean: talk about a typical ‘cliff-hanger’ Doctor Who ending, will you?)

Unfortunately for my own running analogy, however: here is more or less where the Dalek connection also comes to an abrupt end. Not just because Jason Azzopardi’s actions betray an entirely human ‘emotive’ response (of the sort that would be totally alien to a Dalek’s algorithmic mind)… but also because…

What the heck? Real Daleks didn’t exactly go about exterminating their victims’, just by blasting them with ‘unsubstantiated allegations’, did they? No, indeed! (They also threatened them with kitchen-sink plungers: before vaporising them with ‘ray-guns’ that looked suspiciously like parts of your mum’s Kenwood mixer. You know: stuff like that…)

Now: I can perfectly understand that Jason Azzopardi might not have access to such advanced, sci-fi weaponry - but… I mean, come on! ‘Unsubstantiated allegations’? After everything this country has been through, these past seven years? Was that really the best he could do…?

But, oh well: at least, Jason Azzopardi has set things up rather nicely, for yet another ‘cliff-hanger’ final confrontation: in which either the Nationalist Party, or his own credibility, will surely emerge ‘exterminated’, once and for all…

And oh look: we’re right back in ‘Doctor Who’ territory again, aren’t we?