‘It’s blasphemy for socialists’, Graffitti activist Andre Callus on Muscat return

Left-wing activists say disgraced former Labour leader Joseph Muscat’s MEP candidature would be a reversal of any good will from the new leadership

Left-wing activists have branded Joseph Muscat’s embrace from Labour leader Robert Abela a “blasphemous” turn of events for the party.

Muscat, who resigned in 2019 in the aftermath provoked by the arrest of magnate Yorgen Fenech on suspicion of masterminding the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, is mulling a return to politics with a run in the next European elections.

“For those who truly are beholden to socialist principles, this is nothing but blasphemy,” said Moviment Graffitti activist Andre Callus. “The crisis within Labour is unbelievable,” activist and writer Wayne Flask said. “The party is bringing back those it had discarded.”

Callus said Muscat had promoted a neoliberalist politics inside Labour that opened tthe door to corruption and a capitalist orgy.

Callus cited as examples the privatisation of energy and health, which Labour once militated against; the granting of public land to the private sector; Labour’s proximity to business magnates and construction, and the exploitative use of foreign workers.

“Labour acolytes should remember that Muscat wanted to eliminate the idea of the left and socialism within the party, and only started using the term when his back was to the wall over accusations of corruption, so that he could appeal to the grassroots.

“I understand Muscat’s popularity. Much of it stems from his capacity to convince people, especially those who feel historically emarginated, of their inherent value. But we cannot forget what Muscat did with his politics.”

On his part, Wayne Flask – formerly of Graffitti – said Muscat was carrying out “his own little coup on a tiny nation”.

He said Labour has been courting political figures from the 2019 political crisis and showing no signs of political redemption. “You get Gozo stalwart Ġuża Cassar posting a photo of her on Facebook with Keith Schembri... Clint Camilleri made super-minister for Gozo, hunting and planning... Justyne Caruana and Rosianne Cutajar are lost sheep Robert Abela is herding back.”

Flask said Muscat’s return to Labour headquarters for a party exhibition – apparently the first time in three years – provoked reactions of exaltation from party stalwarts.

“The impact of Muscat as MEP For Labour will be big: first he plays ‘hard to get’, then he lets the pressure on Abela grow bigger...

“This Brussels block-vote is how Abela thinks he can kick Muscat upstairs despite all those scandals and consultancies and conflicts of interests, and keep that fourth MEP seat... it’s just lack of good will, stubborness, disrespect, and vindication for old colleagues. It’s a stake right at the heart of his political career.”