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Let’s stop humming and hawing about the MFSA chairman

Politics is often something of a circus with strange acts by politicians and stranger ones by those chosen by politicians to head our most important institutions.

Back in time, but coincidentally also when Labour were in power, we even had a Police Commissioner who was in due course jailed after being found guilty of association in a murder at the police headquarters. Today’s Police Commissioner might not be up to much physically if you rule out munching on a bunny but he has undoubtedly been a shining beacon of inaction.

And of course the Police Commissioner has the full trust of Joseph Muscat.

Reflect on this for a moment: Joseph Muscat appointed Lawrence Cutajar and he is the fifth Police Commissioner since Labour came to power.

Muscat kept going through commissioners till he found one who fits his cap perfectly.

Muscat is now being investigated on damning evidence revealed by a whistle-blower.

How in any god’s name can a Prime Minister of a democracy which loves the rule of law hang on to his position and say serenely that he has full confidence in the Police Commissioner?

A Police Commissioner who, incidentally, only acted regarding the Pilatus Bank affair when the pirates had reportedly already taken the documents away from preying eyes.

All this is monstrous, all scary, all damning us for a long time both in actual terms and, even more troubling, is the perception out there both locally and overseas that we are too steeped in funny deeds and our country and jurisdiction is hopelessly compromised.

Some, especially from the financial sector, even fear we have reached the point of no return.

Beyond the political scenario, there is one man who has retained his seat of power way too long. He has outlived numerous prime ministers and seems totally untouchable.

He is a true survivor and obviously a powerful man. Many believe that—for some inexplicable reason—he seems to have a total hold on anything connected to our financial sector.

The man is Joe Bannister, MFSA chairman. Even if he is not implicated in any misdeeds, he passed his sell-by date ages ago. He has been around way too long and too many things have come to light which should compel him to exit the scene as quickly as possible.

If politics is a circus act, Joe Bannister is our evergreen Houdini.

Joseph Muscat will no doubt reiterate that he has full confidence in him.

If elected Prime Minister, Simon Busuttil has made it clear that he will, as the usual practice dictates, ask for the resignation of all chairmen and heads of organisations who are chosen by the Prime Minister.

Like he did in connection with the Police Commissioner, Simon Busuttil should spell it out that he will definitely not re-appoint Joe Bannister.

If Busuttil does not do this, he risks, like too many people in the past, being suspected of complicity in partial or complete cover-ups.

The MFSA chairman should go and a full, independent investigation be initiated to find out what really has happened in everything connected to this body and all it should regulate. Failing that, one day soon our whole edifice will collapse like a pack of cards.

Simon Busuttil, the nation needs your commitment to fire and investigate someone else when you are elected Prime Minister.

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