We’re fast running out of scapegoats for Malta’s corruption cases. Now that’s what I call a crisis!

The Skinny | No 41 • Konrad: Kicking and Screaming

Not me! Konrad Mizzi
Not me! Konrad Mizzi

What are we skinning? Konrad Mizzi’s kicking-and-screaming departure from the political scene.

Why are we skinning it? Chiefly because it was a kicking-and-screaming departure in the first place.

Why is that such a problem? Well, given that the Montenegro wind farm scandal happened under his watch, and that its damning nature has been confirmed black on white, the least he could do is not publicly declare he is refusing the Prime Minister’s request to step down.

But surely he has a right to clear his name in court before deciding his next course of action? Undoubtedly. But the fact that he insists on wilfully ignoring the political ramifications of it all is, quite frankly, a little bit disturbing.

But these are extraordinary times. Shouldn’t the engineers of the same Labour Party administration that ensured we remained economically afloat during the COVID-19 crisis be given their due? First of all, technocratic success, no matter how spectacular, should never be used to whitewash suspect manoeuvres. Secondly, the Montenegro case involves private businessmen skimming off monies made through public ventures, so the whole thing hardly makes a case for the aggrandisement of the public purse, either...

But what do you make of the fact that a worrying segment of Labour supporters still rallies behind Konrad Mizzi despite everything? You mean, beyond Stockholm Syndrome? I would say it’s about backing the right horse, and recognising a champion of power and holding on to them like a talisman.

That sounds heavy. The notoriously code-switching-friendly Konrad Mizzi might just appreciate being called ‘heavy-shadowed’ (dellu tqil), yes.

But I doubt it. Yes, I have a feeling he’s got other things on his mind...

So Konrad is out. What now? My main hope is that the protracted nature of his eventual dismissal – matched somewhat in tone and timbre by the Chris Cardona saga – will serve as an illustration and a lesson to both Malta’s political class and its electorate.

A lesson in what, exactly? Of being careful what you wish for when you pledge allegiance to endless economic growth and put the consequences at the backburner.

Do say: “While Konrad Mizzi is certainly free to express his thoughts and feelings on the Prime MInister’s decision to oust him from his parliamentary post, it is also true that the ‘kicking and screaming’ as he departs does little to safeguard his legacy, much less cultivate an aura of dignity.”

Don’t say: “With both Chris Cardona and Konrad Mizzi gone, we’re fast running out of scapegoats for Malta’s corruption cases. Now that’s what I call a crisis!”

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