So foul a day… but fair?
During the 2008 electoral campaign, Labour accused Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando of “corruption” in relation to an application by a developer to construct a nightclub on the MP’s land in Mistra.
Dr Pullicino Orlando hounded the then Labour leader everywhere he went protesting his innocence, crying in public and asking Alfred Sant why he was victimising him.
Throughout, however, Labour remained insistent. And following the publication of a Malta Environment and Planning Authority audit report into the Mistra case some days after the election, the party said its claims had been vindicated. Furthermore, it called on the Nationalist Party to explain why it was “fully supporting” the MP in the wake of the findings.
Last Monday, Labour and the very MP it had accused of “corruption” climbed into the bunker together, to politically assassinate Richard Cachia Caruana. It’s a funny old world, if at times a nasty and brutish one, when it is occupied by people with very short memories of convenience.
Dr Pullicino Orlando says now that he was “manipulated” by Mr Cachia Caruana and others to act the way he did in 2008. While there is no doubting he followed their instructions, the sensible money would be on him doing so because it suited his own electoral cause at the time. Were the tears he shed in front of the cameras the result of him being “manipulated” too?
Dr Pullicino Orlando also maintained he did not vote with the Labour motion last Monday because of any personal vendetta. Yet he spent virtually no time on the substantive side of the motion (does anyone, including Labour, actually want to remember what it was?) and dedicated a great deal of time to how, in his opinion, Mr Cachia Caruana had attempted to have him ousted from the party after the 2008 election.
Truth be told, not a soul believes the ‘not personal’ argument. As for Jesmond Mugliett, it is difficult to understand what his argument was because he failed to string a sentence together in Parliament to make one. The very least the people who voted for him deserved was to hear it.
Where does this leave the country, which has been unfortunate enough to watch Parliament sink to unseemly depths? Clearly not in a pleasant place.
The party in opposition has now been behind the decapitations of two senior government personnel without managing to substantiate any purported reason – other than knowing it could garner the support of disgruntled MPs on the opposite side of the fence – for acting in such a manner.
And the Nationalist Party is in turmoil, seemingly not knowing which way to turn. While on one hand various exponents talk in terms of the government running the full term, on the other it appears to up the ante by censuring its rebel MPs. By taking this muddled approach, the party continues to reveal a fundamental and ultimately fatal flaw: that it still cannot decide how to handle what has now been the long-running issue of disgruntled MPs.
If it is to go down the censure route, it should go the whole hog and expel them – with all the consequences such a move would bring with it. The other alternative is to put an arm around them and limp on – risking more internal attacks – until the election is ‘due’ to be held.
This is not very dignified. But as we have seen in recent days, a number of politicians do not seem to do dignified anymore.
They do whatever they think suits them best, all the while hoping the public are too stupid to realise.