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Were might to be right

Plato said it all when he warned: “Do not expect justice where might is right.” The great philosopher would have only confirmed his line of thought had he heard Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and some of his men speak over the past days.

Dr Muscat said during a brief interview on One Radio last Sunday that the answer to “statements and activities organised recently” would come on May 1 when a united Labour would hold its May Day celebrations. He did not elaborate but one would be justified to presume he was referring to the Daphne revelations, the activities held to mark six months since the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia and the controversy over the proposed IVF law changes.

Speaking over the phone from London with a din of children playing in the background, the Prime Minister pledged he would keep doing what is good for the country. He also said things like one should respect institutions, that one cannot be prosecutor, judge and jury at the same time and even made a veiled threat to those who denigrate the country’s reputation.

This is no child’s play, Mr Prime Minister.

Faced by damning documents, which those who authored them and those they speak about had never imagined would see the light of day, the best the government and the Labour Party can do is look the other way or discount their contents and calls for action as vile attempts by the enemies of progress and those wanting to harm Labour. The latest tag line is a united party.

In the wake of the latest Daphne project revelations, the international press has reported that Dr Muscat has now lost his chance of succeeding Donald Tusk as president of the European Council. That is sad indeed because it would have made Malta proud.

If what has been reported is indeed the case, it would be Dr Muscat who is to blame for he continues to defend people very close to him facing serious allegations of corruption and other wrongdoing.

Rather than Mr Tusk, the Prime Minister increasingly appears to be eyeing another European leader, Viktor Orban, of Hungary.

There, civic groups and NGOs accuse the authorities of harassing them and of being attacked by government politicians and certain sections of the media. Allies of Mr Orban’s right-wing populist party Fidesz, which enjoys very strong popular support, run supposedly independent institutions. And the independent press carries articles alleging corruption in government circles. Hungarian-American investor George Soros accuses Mr Orban of running a “mafia state”.

The European Union appears to be at a loss on how to deal with Mr Orban. It is also facing similar rule of law issues in Poland. In the bigger picture, minuscule Malta might seem too insignificant for the big brass in Brussels to worry too much about the very serious events occurring here, at the farthest southern end of the EU ‘territory’.

Still, the people of this tiny island had decided to join the EU in 2004 after long years of trampling of human rights, political violence and institutionalised corruption. They thought Brussels would not allow that to happen again and that might will never be right again.

Let’s hope Jean-Claude Juncker will not prove us all wrong.

This is a Times of Malta print editorial

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