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A modern coup d’état - Deborah Schembri

This week we’ve just about seen the darkest side of Maltese politics, the lengths some people are capable of going to in order to satiate their unquenchable thirst for power. All’s well that ends well, but the conclusions of the magisterial inquiry about Egrant Inc. left me with a very bad aftertaste… the realisation that behind this massive charade lies a maliciously orchestrated attempt at a modern coup d’état.

Someone, somewhere meticulously ran through every sordid little detail, cooking up a narrative, finding people ready to play along or duping them into doing so, falsifying documents, taking the media for a roller-coaster ride and engaging the Leader of the Opposition and his entourage, all too willing to jump on any bandwagon promising to take them past the finish line to an electoral victory, in order to inculpate none other than the Prime Minister and his wife of a crime they did not commit!

The sole aim was that of destabilising the country and wrecking its economic growth until the people, feeling the crunch and blaming him for it, vote him out of office in the then upcoming election.

The Egrant saga is the love child of those who believe they have a God-given right to govern this country and their Machiavellian ethos. They cannot fathom the fact that the Prime Minister, the man they keep on trying to undermine and outwit to no avail, has not only taken the seat of political power from underneath their noses but with his ever-increasing numbers has been sitting comfortably in it, working hard at fulfilling his electoral promises, living up to the people’s expectations and far exceeding theirs.

They knew that nothing short of a mega scandal could knock him off his seat so they started a dirty smear campaign, portraying lies for truths and doing all in their power to procure proof where none existed. Their strategy, whether consciously devised or otherwise, is in line with Machiavelli’s dictum ‘perception is reality’ and the strategic notion of ‘the big lie’.

They knew that nothing short of a mega scandal could knock him off his seat so they started a dirty smear campaign

It has oft been stated by political strategists that there is a certain strength of credibility in lying big to the masses since people would never think themselves capable of fabricating lies on such a massive scale, and therefore they would find it difficult, if not impossible, to believe that others have the audacity of misrepresenting the truth or outrightly inventing untruths in such a scandalous way. This strategy is effective since as a consequence, even though one brings black on white facts to prove the falsehood, some people still end up harbouring doubts that something is not quite right and that though proof was put forward to dispel the lie, there must be some other hidden explanation.

That is what these manipulative lot were banking on, that’s why they made sure that the news travelled from Daphne’s Running Commentary to the four corners of the world! That’s why the then Opposition Leader Simon Busuttil made people go out in protest and shouted at the top of his voice the infamous words “Barra, barra, barra!!” and didn’t think twice about letting his MEPs tarnish the name of our country at the highest levels of Europe’s political institutions.

But it backfired big time. The inquiring magistrate, who enjoys the trust of all and sundry, did a stellar job at getting to the truth of the matter, leaving no room for doubt as to the fact that the Prime Minister and his wife had nothing to do with Egrant Inc. It also found no truth in the accusations made against Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi. This state of affairs left those who concocted or perpetuated this web of calumnious lies, to have themselves unjustly catapulted to power at the expense of fellow politicians and the country’s reputation, facing a massive meltdown.

The Nationalist Party is in smithereens, its supporters, those who haven’t left yet, are as split as its top men and women between the old regime and the new administration. The truth is that those who crave power the most have even lost it within their own party and they’re as hell bound to bring Delia down as they are Muscat in order to restore it. Busuttil’s faction have openly opposed Delia’s decision to remove the former from spokesperson for good governance as well as his and the administration’s plea to suspend Busuttil from the Nationalist Party’s parliamentary group.

Busuttil himself, as expected, is too arrogant to bear responsibility, he will continue pointing fingers, clutching at straws, playing the martyr and telling the nation that he will continue to seek justice even if he’ll be the only one doing so instead of doing the honourable thing and resigning from public office for good.

The very least he can do is to pleasantly surprise everyone and publicly apologise to all those he wronged, and I don’t just mean the Muscats. This nation sincerely deserves an apology. In truth, it takes courage, a lot of it, to admit that greed for power blinded you to an extent that you were ready to bring a country to its knees and people unjustly behind bars on the basis of a fictitious crime for which you played judge, jury and executioner.

I, for one, have never expected courage from cowards so I’m not holding my breath waiting for it to happen!

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