The Musumeci syndrome
Among Malta’s many problems insularity ranks high. Even if it can be a boon sometimes, on the whole our smallness causes problems: the Maltese are all too closely linked and related. So, when it comes to politicians’ friends or people who give them their services, the situation is sometimes very worrying.
Robert Musumeci is a renowned architect; renowned not for his grand designs and architecture, but as someone who manages to offer his clients a superb service. Whatever the client needs, the Siggiewi architect delivers beautifully, and legitimately. So there’s nothing wrong with him.
The fact that Adrian Delia uses his services for his house extension is very wrong. Wrong on many counts - but what happens in Malta, even if it is surreal, is always fine and usually goes unnoticed.
Delia explained that he employs Musumeci as he lives down the road from him in Siggiewi and was also his architect before he, Delia, became PN leader and Leader of the Opposition. Again nothing wrong there, especially when Musumeci is so conveniently placed.
But scratch the surface, delve slightly deeper and you get the full horror of what our politics is.
Delia emphasised that he always pays his architectural fees. This elucidation is important, especially because Delia has been known to dodge a few payments, including to the taxman, so by extension he could also be dodging architectural fees.
The political history of Musumeci is quite colourful. He started off as a DJ, entered the political fray with the PN, was councillor in the Siggiewi local council and almost got elected to parliament on the PN ticket.
Then he went ballistic, switched sides and joined the Labour Movement. He extolled to highest heaven the merits of Labour messiah Joseph Muscat, he who can turn dust into gold dust.
Again absolutely nothing wrong with that—all men and women are allowed free speech and free movement, including moving from one political party to another.
There is nothing wrong at all that Musumeci was one of the PN’s enemies when that party was last in power. When Lawrence Gonzi was in power - was that an age ago? - Musumeci loved throwing barbs at the crumbling party; the more the ones who betrayed the party brayed the more he egged them on.
He was one of the blackguards who turned Gonzi’s tenure into a farce, who turned the PN into a slowly disintegrating party which bled from all sides until the election was finally won by Labour.
Musumeci was triumphant—and made it clear he was backing Joseph Muscat. He is still tied to the Labour Party and thinks that Muscat can do no wrong.
So how can Delia be so close to him, enrolling him as his architect in his latest real estate venture?
Could it be because, like Musumeci, Delia had a running feud with the biċċa blogger (the mere blogger), Daphne Caruana Galizia? Before she died, when Delia won the PN leadership race, Musumeci emerged triumphant once again and declared that Caruana Galizia’s hegemony on the PN was over. Musumeci wrote over and over GaliziaBarra thus echoing what Delia himself had been saying.
Of such ties and shadiness are our political leaders and minions and architects made.