On Joseph and Adrian

The Nationalist MPs may need to remove Delia and put someone who brings together the factions and the middle-of-the-road voters to win and offer an alternative government

I have to get one niggling thought out of my head. Has anyone yet heard Joseph Muscat say sorry?

I am not referring to an apology in relation to the Caruana Galizia family or the nation.

If he did say so, please let me know. If he did, I hope it was to all those who thought that his inclusive politics, his social reforms and his economic masterstrokes were the greatest thing that ever happened to this nation.

It is akin to someone who is a church-goer, listens passionately and attentively to the sermons of their parish priest, then invites him home for dinner, prays with him, confides in him, only to discover that the priest is a paedophile who abused their own children.

I am not a dreamer, but this is one moral that is certainly not up for discussion. Nothing can ever justify murder. And more so if it is State-sponsored and finds its origins inside the heart of government.

I listened carefully to Joseph Muscat’s televised speech from Girgenti announcing his resignation. I did not smile; I did not cry; I was simply very angry.

I switched off the television and asked myself if the man had any appreciation of how he had destroyed so many people’s dreams and hopes. And how he would always be remembered for this horrible crime.

Since he won the election in 2017, he has been working round the clock to leave Malta and become EU president. It was as some people around him told me “all about him”.

If he had managed to get chosen for EU president, he would have had to resign today. It would have been the second Maltese EU appointee to be forced to resign as was the case with the disgraced EU commissioner John Dalli.

Yesterday, Joseph Muscat met the Pope. And probably prayed with him. I am not a religious man but in moments like this I pray that the people who supported him and sacrificed so much for him realise how they have been taken for a fucking ride and treated worse than horse dung.

I have been asked by countless Labourites: “He is not a stupid man: how did he not know about Keith Schembri?” Another said: “I am devastated, how could he do this to us?” And yet another: “Then Egrant must be true.”

There are those who defend Joseph Muscat who insist that his only mistake was not to kick out Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri. The question that everyone in Labour is asking right now is upsetting: “So there must have been a kickback plan linked to the Electrogas contract.”

This State-sponsored murder is so serious, that I could not give a hoot what Caruana Galizia ever said about me or my family, or her unfortunate habit of lashing out at people whenever she wanted to be nastier than nasty. I really do not care anymore.  

Neither do I care if David Casa paints Malta like a moribund Haiti, or whether any journalist calls me names and accuses me of being this or that. I really do not give a toss anymore.

Because what is at stake here goes beyond the mediocrity of the Opposition and the hypocrisy of fellow journalists. What is at stake here is our country.

Muscat used to argue that Mizzi and Schembri were facing magisterial inquiries and that he would await the conclusions of the inquiries before any deliberations.

It was a fat and sick joke, and I have to hit myself for not having said this earlier. The truth is that details of 17 Black, Fenech’s Dubai firm, would never be released because Dubai is a secretive financial centre.

The one mistake Caruana Galizia made – and now it is clear that she knew – is not letting everyone know that 17 Black belonged to Yorgen Fenech before 2017.

I am sure she knew from the instance that information came to her about 17 Black – my guess is that the information was in the hands of the FIAU as soon as it started its probe into the Panama Papers during April 2016.

Yorgen’s father – the late George Fenech – was a very good friend of a very close friend of Daphne. Together they travelled on casino junkets where George Fenech’s lucky number when playing roulette was 17 Black.

Why she did not let that cat out of the bag is unclear to me. Or maybe not. Maybe there was a reason why she did not instantly out Fenech.

What I do not know is why after having won the 2017 election even in the midst of a last-minute leak of a draft FIAU report hinting at an Electrogas bribe, they wanted to kill her.

Had we known before June 2017 that 17 Black was indeed Fenech’s, it is possible that the Labour party would not have won the election, because its chief electoral promise – the lowering of energy rates through the construction of a natural gas power plant – was at the heart of the nexus between the Panama companies, and Fenech’s 17 Black.

Which brings me to the next point. Today’s MaltaToday survey proves that Adrian Delia has no chance in hell of winning an election. Even in these circumstances, he can hardly show his face above the waves of discontent.

If there ever was a time for the Nationalist Party to be elected it is now. No one has a God-given right to stay in power, but what we need now is an Opposition fit to move into government.

I found a Nationalist government stifling and mediocre enough before, but in these circumstances my argument has no foundation. A government that sponsors murder has no place in this country. In 1987, the murder of Raymond Caruana led many young people to militate against the Labour government.

The MaltaToday survey today shows that despite the chaos and mess we are in, this has not dented the Labour party. There is an ocean of ‘do not knows’ who are unwilling to vote for Labour but would not vote for the PN because of Adrian Delia.

I have said this several times: the Nationalist MPs may need to remove Delia and put someone who brings together the factions and the middle-of-the-road voters to win and offer an alternative government.

He cannot be a Simon Busuttil, but there are names who fit the bill, and I will not mention any names as yet. If Delia thinks that his position is more important than our country and his party then he should be given a dressing-down.

And if there is another person who could not give a hoot about the country… it has to be Robert Abela, who has put his name forward to be the next Labour leader just to force a leadership race that only keeps Joseph Muscat longer in the seat of power.

Like his father George Abela, who waged his own battles on Labour, Abela junior may not exactly be renowned in the party’s lower ranks.

The Abela law firm was indeed lucky enough to have received over €400,000 in a direct order legal consultancy between 2008 and 2013 under a Nationalist administration.

After the race for the PL leadership in 2008, the Planning Authority chose to outsource its legal caseload to George Abela’s law firm, after losing the Labour leadership. In the ensuing decade, Abela Strafrace Advocates was paid some €1.23 million for legal services up until 2011.

Parliamentary question payments from 2008 show the firm was paid €92,000 in direct orders; €65,000 in 2009, €126,000 in 2010, €74,000 in 2011, and €70,000 in 2012.

The Labour leadership contest will now mean that Joseph Muscat will stay on longer. What we needed was partial closure with one nomination and a swiftly elected prime minister.

And then, ideally, a strong and dynamic Opposition.

So, while we wait, enjoy your Netflix crime drama… if you even bothered to watch television these weeks.