Franco Debono, ‘Honoured and privileged to stand up to the oligarchy’

Franco Debono’s last speech lays into the ‘oligarchy’ he says led him to vote against the budget.

Franco Debono in parliament. Photo: Ray Attard/Mediatoday
Franco Debono in parliament. Photo: Ray Attard/Mediatoday

Nationalist MP Franco Debono's last speech in parliament for the second Gonzi legislature was a well-rounded sounding off to the oligarchy he so berated for the past 12 months. In his brief volley-gun of a speech, Debono addressed the prime minister directly, accusing him of choosing transport minister Austin Gatt over the longevity of his government; and listing a litany of complaints to illustrate the shortcomings of the last five years of Lawrence Gonzi's government.

Debono instantly picked up on a mere reference by Gonzi to his internal troubles, to which the rambunctious MP as the cue to launch his tirade against the Nationalist cabinet.

"The prime minister must have been referring to his ministers," Debono said, as he latched onto public transport reform, and infighting between party factions at the expense of the electorate's needs.

"I am tempted to explain my vote using Eddie Fenech Adami's now famous words: 'this budget is irrelevant'... after the scandals from the Fairmount deal, the ARMS fiasco, the increase in utility rates, and the power station extension and car park privatisation sagas, I cannot vote for a minister whose ministry saw so much corruption in its transport and maritime departments," Debono said, referring to Austin Gatt.

"How can I vote for a government to appropriate public monies when the decision to spend 12 million euros on the St Philip's Hospital incurred such public outrage from the electorate? How can I vote for a budget when this government fell four places in the Corruption Perceptions Index, or with an Auditor General's report proving volumes of mismanagement inside government ministries, with a one-million euro contract suddenly turning into 30 million euros?

"How can I vote for a budget for a government in whose party's deputy leadership contest, a brutal campaign was waged on one of the candidates by one particular faction," Debono said referring to a mudslinging campaign against newly elected deputy leader Simon Busuttil. "There is no light at the end of this tunnel."

As he had indeed promised, Debono held up Austin Gatt as the prime reason why he was voting against the budget, having months before warned in his personal blog that he would not support government any longer with the transport minister inside the government cabinet.

"It's been said that since Gatt is no longer contesting the next elections, he does not need to answer for his actions. But it is crucial that before he leaves, he pays for his actions and give account for what he has done," Debono said of the minister who was the chief of important reforms in public transport, energy, privatisation but also the author of the much maligned utility rates hike.

Harking back to the November 2011 confidence vote against Gatt, Debono said he had been a gentleman to abstain. But, he added, the prime minister had ignored the fiasco from Gatt's ministry since then.

His greatest criticism was left to the 'oligarchy' which he famously pronounced as being part of the 'network of evil' inside the Gonzi cabinet. "We are living times of extreme militantism," Debono said, the flipside to Gonzi's earlier overtures to the peace and unity of an electorate that had repudiate party divisions. "We are living times of militantism from people trying to bring down others from inside their own party. This was the trouble Gonzi faced, not from the Opposition's end, and this is what the prime minister expect responsibility for."

Debono's last act, having presented a motion of no confidence against Austin Gatt in the aftermath of the car parks privatisation, went largely ignored. "The government dug its head in the sand, while the prime minister hid behind this party while taking his country into the storm of his party."

Debono then turned to his own victimisation, accusing the "inner circle of evil" inside the heart of government of having grown wider. "I abstained from various votes of confidence in a bid to wait for the situation to be mended... since then local council elections have been lost, there was the resignation of Richard Cachia Caruana and Carm Mifsud Bonnici, and Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando became an independent MP, and government degenerated into a coalition. Had the prime minister been a gentleman with the critics who disagree with him... but people like me ended up being the victims of moral violence."

Debono then stepped up his speech a notch, saying Gonzi's relative majority of 1,500 votes in 2008 was the first sign of his affliction by the party's internal troubles. He dubbed the Public Broadcasting Services "a PN party club", having never invited him to explain his political position in the last months.

"Our parliamentary system of democracy has been swallowed up by a network of power, of hereditary titles, favours and contacts - that is our oligarchy that parasites have basked in.

"But we're no longer a colony and the people do not want tokens of charity, but rights. I am privileged and honoured to stop this oligarchy and vote against this budget."

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[email protected] , the man showed his true colours . Yes he showed the colour of honesty and integrity contrary to those who showed the colours of hate , corruption , oligarcy , frends of the inner circle , and the net of evel . We need politicians like Franco Debono . There is a place for this kind of politicians to keep an eye on those politicians who try to engage in the net of corruption .
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If there ever was a case of megalomania, apart from Dom Mintoff, then FD is a perfect sample, that is not to say apart from that he is a narcisist and really loves to hear himself speak. I bet he spends a lot of time infront of the mirror each day watching and listening to his arguments. It is a pity that this country had to endure a person who although he promoted some very good forward looking proposals could not deal and control his extrovert character. He believes that everyone else is wrong and that by hurting the rest of the population he will satisfy and quench his anger. I also pity the imbeciles who celebrated the loss of benefits that FD, JM and his team gave to the nation as a Christmas present. In my opinion they may have celebrated a bit too early like in previous occasions.
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WELL DONE FRANCO
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If there ever was a case of megalomania, apart from Dom Mintoff, then FD is a perfect sample, that is not to say apart from that he is a narcisist and really loves to hear himself speak. I bet he spends a lot of time infront of the mirror each day watching and listening to his arguments. It is a pity that this country had to endure a person who although he promoted some very good forward looking proposals could not deal and control his extrovert character. He believes that everyone else is wrong and that by hurting the rest of the population he will satisfy and quench his anger. I also pity the imbeciles who celebrated the loss of benefits that FD, JM and his team gave to the nation as a Christmas present. In my opinion they may have celebrated a bit too early like in previous occasions.
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If there ever was a case of megalomania, apart from Dom Mintoff, then FD is a perfect sample, that is not to say apart from that he is a narcisist and really loves to hear himself speak. I bet he spends a lot of time infront of the mirror each day watching and listening to his arguments. It is a pity that this country had to endure a person who although he promoted some very good forward looking proposals could not deal and control his extrovert character. He believes that everyone else is wrong and that by hurting the rest of the population he will satisfy and quench his anger. I also pity the imbeciles who celebrated the loss of benefits that FD, JM and his team gave to the nation as a Christmas present. In my opinion they may have celebrated a bit too early like in previous occasions.
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Why did Lawrence Gonzi let the PN and the whole country go down the drain in order to protect one of his sidekick Ministers? After all the fight and the NO vote were not against the budget, this whole mess came because of personal vendettas between two people. One Franco Debono and Austin Gatt. Franco Debono could have avoided all this if he voted against the no confidence vote the first time it came up, but he decided to abstain. Bad judgement. Both the PM and Austin Gatt were warned a long time ago that if Austin Gatt is still in the administration, Franco Debono will vote against the budget, no matter how good that budget is. Austin Gatt could have done the right thing to do and resign and again avoid this whole mess. But nobody wanted to give in and maybe compromise. Maybe this is a warning for the next administration and a good lesson in politics.
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If there ever was a case of megalomania, apart from Dom Mintoff, then FD is a perfect sample, that is not to say apart from that he is a narcisist and really loves to hear himself speak. I bet he spends a lot of time infront of the mirror each day watching and listening to his arguments. It is a pity that this country had to endure a person who although he promoted some very good forward looking proposals could not deal and control his extrovert character. He believes that everyone else is wrong and that by hurting the rest of the population he will satisfy and quench his anger. I also pity the imbeciles who celebrated the loss of benefits that FD, JM and his team gave to the nation as a Christmas present. In my opinion they may have celebrated a bit too early like in previous occasions.
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@mbusutill, nies bhalek jghatu r-rih li nies korrotti bhal ma hemm f'gonzipn. L-attitudni taghkom li xejn mhu xejn hija perikoluza u twassal ghal hafna tbatija ghaz-zghir, Jekk hemm xi hadd li ghandu jitturufna ruhu huwa int ghaliex qed turi mill-liema hdura gonzipn hija maghmula.
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It is not Franco who caused any damage but Gonzi, if he (Gonzi) had any decency he would have called an election a year ago but of course he likes all the perks of being PM and wanted to remain to the end. Shame on you Gonzi and well done Franco. Pity Franco has been kicked out of the PN.
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It is not Franco who caused any damage but Gonzi, if he (Gonzi) had any decency he would have called an election a year ago but of course he likes all the perks of being PM and wanted to remain to the end. Shame on you Gonzi and well done Franco. Pity Franco has been kicked out of the PN.
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Hats off to Franco for having the balls to vote against the oligarchy, this PN administration has disgusted me and as a true nationalist I will be voting PL this time round and urge all true nationalists to do the same, it's the only way we can stop the rot within the party which has become a capitalist party.
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Malta owes Franco Debono a lot of gratitude for his stand to confront an oligarchy that has destroyed the fundamental rights of democracy in this small nation. Let us hope that this brave stand is not easily forgotten and the electorate understands the necessity to keep in check a clique of cabals and chase them away from the national trough that they have manipulated for their financial gains with a lot of disregard to Malta’s constitutional laws, while making a mockery of its judiciary system. The evidence to understand how mediocre journalism has become in Malta, one had to witness the press conference of Dr. Muscat yesterday after the government lost it’s budget vote. Imagine the embarrassment when one of the EU correspondents from the Times of Malta, decided to issue a long statement before asking an impertinent and ridiculous question that has absolutely no bearing on the matters at hand. This is the same newspaper whose ownership is under litigation due to charges that Ms. Strickland will have been manipulated and altered to the detriment of its real heir. The journalist in question who came all the way from Brussels was none other than IVAN CAMILLERI whose arrogance and his presence are enough to make everyone in the press conference room throw up. How can someone whose occupation demands integrity on real issues that are relevant to the Maltese people come all the way from Brussels probably at tax payer’s expense, to ask such an ignorant question with regards the Olympic tickets scandal, at a time when the nation was being informed about the state of affairs in its parliament? Though one must question the ability and qualifications of such journalist, one can easily recognize the real interpretations for their actions. At this time, the Maltese people are prepared to ignore such paid assassins who remain adamant to insult the intelligence of the electorate. Let us hope that Franco’s courage and determination is not in vain.
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Hon Dr.Franco Debono . Grazzi tal-kuraġġ li wrejt biex twaqqaf l-arroganza ta dan il-gvern u nħeġġek biex ma tabbadunax il-politika għax il-pajjiz għandu bzonn nies bħalek , nies li għandhom il-kuragg biex jiġġieldu ix-xibka tal-ħazen u il-korruzzjoni li tul dawn is-snin kienu l-ordni tal-ġurnata . Nitolbok sur editur , biex ma tiċċensurax il-kummenti li ser jagħmlu biex jikkritikaw lill Dr.Debono ħalli naraw il-ħdura li għandhom f'qalbhom dawn in-nies .
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Hon Dr.Franco Debono . Grazzi tal-kuraġġ li wrejt biex twaqqaf l-arroganza ta dan il-gvern u nħeġġek biex ma tabbadunax il-politika għax il-pajjiz għandu bzonn nies bħalek , nies li għandhom il-kuragg biex jiġġieldu ix-xibka tal-ħazen u il-korruzzjoni li tul qawl is-snin kienu l-ordni tal-ġurnata . Nitolbok sur editur , biex ma tiċċensurax il-kummenti li ser jagħmlu biex jikkritikaw lill Dr.Debono ħalli naraw il-ħdura li għandhom f'qalbhom dawn in-nies .
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I am no fan of Franco Debono but to a certain extent I feel that yesterday evening he redeemed himself in his justification speech for voting against the budget. Firstly he showed that he not a wimp and does not cave in to pressure and has the courage to challenge the established order and bring it down. Secondly he showed that when he puts aside his ego and personal ambitions he is a fine political orator. Yesterday after we listened to the PM going over the top in singing his achievements and those of his party it was a relief counterpoint to see FD tearing into very core structure and fault lines of the present PN and exposing them for what they truly are. FD will now have to take a long timeout from the current political scene but I am sure that we will see him back once our political system is renovated and becomes more transparent and resilient in accepting criticism. I think that both Joseph Muscat and Simon Busuttil will herald in this new style of politics where even mavericks like FD will have a role perhaps within a radical party.
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Honesty,integrity and good will has prevailed. I wish I would have the gifts as Mr.Debono.
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The man showed his true colours; his perception of anybody he doesn't like makes him believe that they are his enemies, that they belong to an oligarchy which he would have been part of had he been given a ministry. He would then have seen things in a different light.
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And I too am privelged and honoured to be alive to vote in the coming general eection against the oligarchy in our beloved Malta.Lets get the reforms moving forward.
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Franco I too do not like Austin Gatt, but the damage you have done yesterday through your hatred towards him you have damaged us the people not him or any members of the parliament remembers we we have become your parasites due to your silly attitudes we gave you a vote not austin gatt or any memandbers of parliament thank you now please go to Italy and stay there
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Il bierah rajt il konferenza li ta Joseph Muscat u fost il- gurnalisti li staqsewh il- mistoqsijiet kien hemm carla stagno navarra u ivan camilleri, bqajt mistghageb bil hdura ta dawn it- tnejn, tant huma nies mahkumin mill mibgheda li il hdura tohrog fil pubbliku, sthajjilthom bhall dak il far li meta titfghu f kantuniera itir ghailik!! Dawn l- affarijiet ikexkxuni u iktar igghaluni nitbieghed mill partit ta gonzipn!! Haga ohra, Ivan Camilleri wera kemm hu vojt u bla sens meta ftit minuti biss wara avveniment storiku fejn il- budget ma ghaddiex u waqa il- gvern mar jistaqsi mistoqsija lil JM fuq il- gudikatura, mistoqsija li ma kellha xejn x` taqsam ma dak li kien ghadu kif gara fil parlament!! Ta gonzipn ma jitghallmu qatt, ilpup liebsin ta hrief.
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Franco I too do not like Austin Gatt, but the damage you have done yesterday through your hatred towards him you have damaged us the people not him or any members of the parliament remembers we we have become your parasites due to your silly attitudes we gave you a vote not austin gatt or any memandbers of parliament thank you now please go to Italy and stay there
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Franco I too do not like Austin Gatt, but the damage you have done yesterday through your hatred towards him you have damaged us the people not him or any members of the parliament remembers we we have become your parasites due to your silly attitudes we gave you a vote not austin gatt or any memandbers of parliament thank you now please go to Italy and stay there
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Franco I too do not like Austin Gatt, but the damage you have done yesterday through your hatred towards him you have damaged us the people not him or any members of the parliament remembers we we have become your parasites due to your silly attitudes we gave you a vote not austin gatt or any memandbers of parliament thank you now please go to Italy and stay there
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Franco I too do not like Austin Gatt, but the damage you have done yesterday through your hatred towards him you have damaged us the people not him or any members of the parliament remembers we we have become your parasites due to your silly attitudes we gave you a vote not austin gatt or any memandbers of parliament thank you now please go to Italy and stay there
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Thanks for sacrificing yourself to put an end to a "Dictatorship", to a person who preaches what's good and does exactly the opposite, putting and end to a five year of corruption, discrimination and oligarchy. I honestly hope that you won't give up politics in this country because because of you things have started to change a little. You have stood up to stop corruption and the Maltese need you. You might even think of starting the third party. I wish you good luck and the best of everthing cause you deserve it. You fought for what you belived. Well done.