We did not vote you in for this. You have no mandate

I could never have imagined that we had a monster at the heart of a government who has known all throughout the workings of what led to the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia

Keith Schembri outside Castille
Keith Schembri outside Castille

In these abnormal moments, as the stories unravel before our very eyes, the argument that the Labour party has the right to govern for another two years and a half is simply not justified.

If PN leader Adrian Delia believed he had a compact party he would not have hesitated to call for a national election. That would have been the natural and next political statement to make.

That decision and subsequent victory at the polls would have led to the complete renovation of the Labour Party and the chance of a Nationalist Party to win the next election and offer a new government.

I say this because the Labour Party argues it has a mandate and strangely the PN says the same. Yet in the current crisis it is clear to me the government has lost its moral standing. The Prime Minister failed to act and his chief of staff Keith Schembri is knee deep in the proverbial shit.

It should be over for the Labour government.

I argued before 2013 that this country needed a new chapter, new faces that would do away with the archaic form of government that ruled Malta for 25 years under one party, the Nationalist Party, which had lost its way; a new government that would embrace change and introduce social reforms and inject new ideas.

It seemed to be happening. Radical social reforms and an economic feel-good factor spread across many strata of society.

Having a good economy is not always a recipe for corruption. But yes, the argument that business expansion had no limits was clearly evident.

Yet I could never have imagined that we had a monster at the heart of a government who has known all throughout the workings of what led to the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Those who argue “they knew”, are simply basing their assumption on their ingrained prejudice against anything which is Labour. Nobody knew or imagined that the heart of this assassination had started in Castille itself.

Call me naïve or gullible, but nobody had an inkling that this could be possible.

I have never been an admirer of Caruana Galizia. Many others shared my utter distaste for the manner in which she punched down on anybody who was a critic of the Nationalist government, and of course those associated with Labour. This was her one-sided view of politics.

Yet those who say she was a hero are right, even despite the recklessness of her work. But that does not make me or her critics murderers.

I have no intention of convincing anyone to change their opinion of me, and neither do I expect them to love my view of the world.

What is important now is that we need change. And we also need to understand that if we are to change this country we have to realise that this country needs reconciliation.

Thousands of Labourites and thousands of others who chose not to protest because they do not feel comfortable with what is being said or who is saying it, or because they think Caruana Galizia was unkind to them, did not kill her. They are outraged, shocked, hurt, and heartbroken by what is happening. They do not condone the actions of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his chief of staff Keith Schembri.

They will not say it, but they will show their true colours when it matters.  And this democratic country has shown that people show this when they come to choose politicians and parties they elect.

We are entering once again into a toxic environment with friends and foes hurling abuse at each other on the social media. We cannot allow division to kill our fragile democracy right now.

Unfortunately the PN is not credible or forceful enough to win a national election right now. So the only solution left is for Labour to elect a new leader and steer the country into some kind of normality.

A new prime minister would have to rekindle an investigation into all the angles of the allegations, starting off from the Panama accounts, 17 Black and links to big business and the role of all political officers – bringing back those who were released from custody only days ago, under renewed scrutiny.

Today everyone is expecting the worst but we cannot go on imagining that nothing is possible.

This challenge will have to be the commitment of the new Maltese prime minister and it will also mean that the police force and the Security Service are given a new lease of life.

What is urgently needed is a reform of government, led by a strong Constitution.

The protests now need to be translated into something positive. We need to see what will happen next in the PN, for there is little doubt that neither Adrian Delia nor Simon Busuttil will succeed in winning the next election. 

I say this because it is clear that at this stage even with such a crisis the PN cannot win an election. Even the PN will need a new face, and a new leader that will embolden the middle-road electorate and fight with a renewed message of hope.

In 1987 when the country was on the precipice of civil war with the gunning down of Raymond Caruana, it was a turning point for many people who simply could not stomach the excesses of thuggery and violence. Many people who never associated themselves with the PN flocked to the Nationalist Party.

They were driven by the charisma of Eddie Fenech Adami. That force is not present at the moment in the PN. As things stand we can only expect a change in the PL leadership and a new Labour prime minister.

That person must have the will to change. If this does not happen, we are doomed.

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