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Simon Busuttil, a thorn in Labour's side

Alfred Sant, for many years the Labour Party’s biggest liability and serial loser since that balmy Sunday morning in Cospicua when he labelled Mintoff a traitor, has said that Simon Busuttil is a millstone around the PN’s neck.

It seems that time has erased the man’s memory. He seems to have forgotten his tirades against the business barons and against corruption. He seems to have morphed into yet another sycophant, paying lip service to the most corrupt, underhanded and undemocratic regime since the Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici days. Yes, remember those days? Talk of one-party Labour State. Police beatings galore. Disappearances and murders.

Busuttil annoys them all because no one likes being reminded of their sins and most have got used to getting away with murder in this country. Good governance, clean governance, ethical behaviour and honesty are too much to bear for those intent on despoiling the coffers of State and enriching themselves off taxpayers’ hard and honest work, as well as for those who couldn’t care less so long as they share in the spoils and those who just tag along like sheep.

It’s common sense after all.

This attitude applies across the board and it explains the appeal to some of Adrian Delia too. He makes them feel good because they know that he cannot make them feel bad. He’s one of them. A kind of morbid marriage of convenience. It also explains why Labour love him. Heck, there were many who used to say that Joseph Muscat could easily be Nationalist and there are equally many who say today that Adrian Delia could easily be Labour. Well, recently he sure as hell has been making an effort on that front, hasn’t he?

But back to Busuttil. His biggest calling was surely the good governance mantra. He sought to convince us that bad and unethical governance hurts us all and we all end up paying for it through higher taxes, lower opportunities, more litigation and truckloads of more injustice and social inequality. We all know this to be true.

He authored an excellent and far-reaching policy document on good governance that sought a new and far healthier equilibrium between the State and its citizens, ensuring the independence of our institutions, taking the hands of politicians off our institutions, reducing State power, removing the grotesquely ludicrous inequalities in our constitutional set-up and neutralising the myriad conflicts of interest in our system.

The people did not buy it, but common sense tells us that this was not because it was not a great policy initiative or because we do not desperately need it, but rather because the immense power of greed, the insatiable and overwhelming golden calf embedded in our psyche and a sensational abuse of the power of incumbency in the run-up to the general elections, zombified the people over the steep cliff. Time will show the importance of that call for good governance.

Sant, who together with Joseph Muscat coined the infamous and highly irresponsible ‘Partnership rebaħ’, perhaps a harbinger of their true colours in terms of democratic credentials, has forgotten his own ‘clean government’ mantra and has conveniently forgotten Busuttil’s huge efforts on that front. He is now regaling us with his wisdom on how Busuttil is a liability to the PN.

Awfully nice of him to offer his opinion of course. He was a bit slow on that however, considering how most Labour politicians and their aunts, as well as their ‘hero’ Adrian Delia, have all been clamouring for Busuttil’s head ever since the Egrant Inquiry was concluded. That kind of backfired for Delia didn’t it?

What Simon Busuttil has been is a wake-up call to something nobler and far more important than the pettiness and hypocrisy we are seeing these days

We all know the conclusions of the inquiry, but we also know the context of that inquiry. In any event, as requested by its very specific terms of reference, the inquiry did not find evidence, in any document or record the magistrate managed to examine, linking Egrant and the Muscats, or indeed Egrant and Pilatus Bank and Pilatus Bank and the Muscats.

That is exactly that, and it is not anything else. In no way does it clear up anything or anyone else. Indeed, common sense tells us that it doesn’t even clear up much on Egrant itself: that Egrant exists is a certainty, so much so that Brian Tonna had clumsily claimed it as his own, and we all know for certain that Egrant was set up with the Mizzi and Schembri Panama companies, as clearly evidenced in the Panama leaks.

In hindsight, Egrant was a strategic mistake in terms of its usage as a major electoral weapon. Of course this is all hindsight because the circumstantial evidence was overwhelming.

So why are they all so intent on having Busuttil’s head? Our conclusion is that it really has nothing to do with justice, political responsibility, fairness or rule of law. Anything but!

Common sense tells us that it has everything to do with them having a golden opportunity to rid themselves of a nuisance, a distraction, an obstacle to their orgy of abuse, direct orders, persons of trust, concealed contracts, secret trips and more.

And in their merry mission they requested the help of Delia who immediately obliged with gusto in his mad rush to emulate Muscat’s ruthlessness and seek revenge on Busuttil. The sheer madness of that miscalculation has now dawned on him but it may be too late. The damage has been done.

It’s not just the embarrassing manner how Muscat reduced Delia to poodle status, or how humiliating it was to those who are Nationalist through and through, but it is also the sheer lack of common decency in accepting the Labour’s invitation to humiliate a former leader of the party and a man who is owed so much by the country he served so well especially its successful road to EU membership.

First Delia tried desperately to hide his actions behind a call to move on because we cannot live in the past and we have to free ourselves from the past. Awfully convenient isn’t it, both for Muscat and equally for Delia. Yes, let’s cut with the past, but how? By disrespecting a former leader who gave so much? By humiliating hard-working and honest people? By wiping the slate clean so that all the abuse and corruption is forgotten and forgiven?

Great pals they have become those two, united by a common goal. Perhaps Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici’s one-party State is closer than we think. Now Delia had to relent when he was faced with a strong rebellion in his Parliamentary group. Talking about failed strategy, Delia.

Objectively speaking, what Busuttil has been is a wake-up call to something nobler and far more important than the pettiness and hypocrisy we are seeing these days. What he has been is an awakening to what a politician is meant to be, a person who serves the nation, not himself.

What he has been is a wake-up call to all those people of goodwill who fought so hard for what was right, what was good and what was just.

The fact that the majority did not back him does not mean that his clarion call of good and clean governance is wrong. Far from it in fact, and we have seen that and continue to see that on a daily basis. At some point there will be a dawning and what we will see on the horizon will make us think and regret.

So we say again to Alfred Sant: Busuttil is not a millstone around the PN’s neck.

Common sense indicates that what Busuttil has been is a thorn in your collective side.

Compiled and written by a team of people who believe in CommonSense. E-mail: maltacommonsense@gmail.com or www.facebook.com/maltacommonsense/.

David Griscti, Peter Mercieca are members of #CommonSense.

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