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Shocking revelations - Arnold Cassola

The two articles in La Repubblica and the ensuing fracas in Parliament last week have taught me and the Maltese something more about the hidden dirty works ofour country.

First, we learned that the price of blasphemy depends a lot on who it is and where one blasphemes. If a self-declared Satanist blasphemes in the sancta sanctorum of a Maltese court room the price is indeed hefty: €1000 for every haqq uttered: total, €4,000-€5,000.

However, if you happen to be a parliamentary lout you can enjoy the privilege of blaspheming in the other supposedly sancta sanctorum that is Parliament – for free. Ask the most Honourable Glenn Bedingfield, who got a red card by the Acting Speaker… and that’s it. It is much less financially onerous to lose the plot (“tliftha”) in Parliament than in court.

Bedingfield is indeed a lucky person. He is Joseph Muscat’s veritable shadow, picking up the ‘twos’ and thus ending up in the most prestigious political posts available: Muscat leaves the European Parliament and Bedingfield takes over as MEP; Muscat becomes Prime Minister and Bedingfield lands the plum job of person of trust in his secretariat, with a job description that included the vilification of people in his now practically defunct blog; Muscat is elected on first count in Cottonera… and ‘Mr Ħaqq’ again picks up the twos.

A second element evident in the parliamentary fracas is the visceral hatred that seems to dominate the relationship between Simon Busuttil and Muscat. Watch the video of Chris Cardona speaking and forget Cardona: just look at the facial expressions of Muscat sitting at his right.

Busuttil and Muscat simply cannot stand the look of each other

A furious Prime Minister had scorn spewing from everywhere. His undulating jaw with uncovered clenched teeth was spewing out insults and accusations in the direction of Busuttil. To be fair, being a passionate person, I myself would be furious if I were falsely accused of owning Egrant. 

On the other hand, Busuttil reacted with his usual, cold-blooded and artificial seeming calm. Even in the tensest moments, with his perfect altar boy image, Busuttil does not manage to communicate emotions to the listener. Pity, because being subjected to the venomous delaying tactics of the government side was no joke.

It is evident to one and all that deep inside, Busuttil and Muscat simply cannot stand the look and presence of each other, and the poisonous relationship seems to have dramatically worsened since their Jesuit schooling and EP parliamentary days.

The La Repubblica articles (if what they maintain is true) were shocking. They revealed to us horrible facets of the state of our country which we have so far preferred to ignore: Maltese Secret Services actually dictate what magistrates do or don’t do. Scandalously, for eight months until promotion to judge, they deprived Magistrate Anthony Vella of the materials he was asking for. If true, why did the magistrate not speak out publicly that he was not being allowed access to the demanded phone logs?

Another La Repubblica revelation is that somebody in the law courts leaked the contents of the “secret” inquiry to the newspaper. Very, very bad. Even though it is thanks to these “unofficial” whistleblowers that we Maltese can get to know something about the dirty behaviour of politicians like Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri.

Finally, we discover that Il-moll tal-pont in Marsa is a centre of Mediterranean delinquency. So strange that the mayor and others are so vociferous about the supposed ‘klandestini’ sleeping under the stars but they have never noticed Maltese citizens entering the illegally occupied potato shed in their BMWs and corvettes.

This is the omertà to which the blind two-party allegiance has led us. Do we want to continue like this? 

Arnold Cassola is former Alternattiva Demokratika chairman and former secretary general of the European Green Party.

This is a Times of Malta print opinion piece

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