Sorry not sorry
"I'm sorry I was chatting on my phone, didn't see the lights turn red and wound up ramming the side of your car."
"I'm sorry I forgot to declare a huge chunk of my earnings last year."
"Oh, did I mention I'm terribly sorry I walked into your shop and left with a lovely jacket that I forgot to pay for?"
There, the magic phrase was uttered and everything is well with the world, right? After such a grovelling apology, insisting on your pound of flesh in a court of law would be the ultimate in churlishness, really.
Oh, what's that you say? It's still gonna hit the fan, despite this very sincere apology?
Well, really, how totally unacceptable. Saying sorry is such a rare thing, it wipes the slate clean and grants automatic forgiveness.
Hell, if you move in the right circles, it might even earn you a ministry without a portfolio and a fleet of fellow ministers sticking their neck out on Rai 3 on your behalf.
Shame that, for this to work, you also need to be a member of the privileged PL fold, first. Look at Konrad Mizzi, he has the art down to a tee, with no less than the justice (and culture too, lolz) minister taking Italian journalists to task for daring hound the poor Mizzi after he had so graciously tendered an apology to the great unwashed.
Anyone watching the news clip featuring Dr Bonnici on Rai 3 yesterday will know what I'm talking about. The rest can read my colleague's report here.
Surreal doesn't even begin to describe it. When you remove all frills from the story, what we have is a member of the higher government echelons currently being investigated on an international level, being defended at all costs by the entire government apparatchik, come what may.
It's like Konrad Mizzi is untouchable - even by those whom it behoves to cut loose, unless they want their political credibility (though I'm starting to think that, much like the unicorn, this is a mythical beast) to be sacrificed at the Mizzi altar.
Question is: why has Konrad Mizzi joined the untouchable echelons occupied by the likes of Manuel Mallia?
Looks like the answer to this will forever be shrouded in mystery. Much like Dr Owen Bonnici's categoric assertion, during the same news clip, that, "nobody has done anything illegal".
Oh, really? And how, pray, does Dr Bonnici claim to have arrived at such an absolute assertion that he felt confident enough to share it with thousands of television viewers? Let's take a moment to analyse his statement and its implications, shall we?
Nobody... Has done anything... Illegal.
Unless they possess some sort of X-Men power the likes of which even Magneto would kill for, it is pretty impossible for anyone to make that statement and mean it. Such words can only be uttered as a platitude.
And really, Dr Bonnici, the time for platitudes has long gone. The people are angry, and they will no longer accept to be taken for a ride so brazenly.
There is no world in which Dr Bonnici can vouch for the actions of a third party without the full knowledge that there is a good likelihood his claim turns out to be inaccurate. Well, not unless he is unbelievably naive. And, anyone that naive certainly has no place holding one of the main ministries on the island, or speaking to the international press on behalf of Malta.
So, which one is it? Naïveté? Or platitudes? Whichever it is, we deserve better.
PS: Please do ditch that smug, condescending smile. It's really not helping.