Labour’s de­te­ri­o­ra­tion: from Fran­cis of As­sisi’s peace prayer to Old Tes­ta­ment vengeance

Al­fred Grixti, the man Mus­cat’s gov­ern­ment put in charge of the Foun­da­tion for So­cial Wel­fare Ser­vices, has made the news – and not just in Malta – for scream­ing on Face­book that it’s time for harsh re­tal­ia­tory ac­tion against the Na­tion­al­ist Party.

Malta Independent - - DEBATE & ANALYSIS - Al­fred Grixti


The rea­son? Three mem­bers of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, who were elected on Malta’s Na­tion­al­ist Party ticket, did not vote in favour of (sub­stan­dard) Leo Brin­cat.

Apart from the squalid thought pro­cesses by which Grixti ar­rived at the con­clu­sion that Mal­tese peo­ple should sup­port other Mal­tese peo­ple in non-Mal­tese con­texts, and that twisted pa­tri­o­tism is a proper sub­sti­tute for in­tel­li­gent de­ci­sions and in­tegrity, his arith­metic is a non-starter. Three votes will not have made a dif­fer­ence, be­cause the vote against Brin­cat was over­whelm­ing. I sup­pose Grixti will say that it’s the prin­ci­ple that counts – be­cause you know how it is with peo­ple who are al­most en­tirely de­void of prin­ci­pled moral­ity. They al­ways tell you that it’s the prin­ci­ple that counts. And in stick­ing to their gen­er­ally odd and per­verted prin­ci­ples, they do a great deal of harm. In this case, the harm caused is through bla­tant and in­cen­di­ary ag­gres­sion.

After a few highly sus­pi­cious years in which the Labour Party and its big cheeses put on a false front of amenabil­ity (mainly to peo­ple with money and votes to switch), with Mus­cat even scrap­ing the be­havioural bar­rel by shame­lessly quot­ing Fran­cis of As­sisi’s fa­mous prayer, they are back in form, with dag­gers drawn and fire-torches at the ready. Me­taphor­i­cally speak­ing, of course, as the Min­is­ter for the Econ­omy would have us be­lieve. But now we’re three-anda-half years into Mus­cat’s term in gov­ern­ment – doesn’t time fly when you’re hav­ing fun? – and his party-cum-gov­ern­ment is demon­strat­ing all the signs of feel­ing it­self un­der siege. It’s pulled up the draw­bridge, put croc­o­diles in the moat, cranked up its me­dia ma­chine, put Gland Bust­ing­field on the bat­tle­ments to pour boil­ing oil on En­e­mies of the State (in quiet pe­ri­ods, he uses it for chips), and put John Bundy in charge of TVM and Ra­dio Malta. And the Prime Min­is­ter has gone in a brief four years from recit­ing “Lord, make me an in­stru­ment of your peace” to pay­ing his party ap­pa­ratchiks with money from the state trea­sury – that’s what putting them on the state pay­roll means – to in­sult, slan­der and ex­pose to the op­pro­brium of the Labour mob any­body who says anything that can be con­strued as crit­i­cism of Mus­cat and his band of thieves. Right now, there’s a war be­ing waged against The Sun­day Times, The Times of Malta and the Arch­bishop. Would that have hap­pened four years ago or even three? Not on your life. Back then they were smarm­ing up to ev­ery­one they could, cur­ry­ing favour and brown-nos­ing for brownie points. But now shifty Keith Schem­bri’s slip­pery pal, Adrian Hill­man, is no longer in charge at those two news­pa­pers, so what­ever un­der­handed arrangement they had go­ing has been blown to smithereens and the Labour dag­gers have been drawn against that news­pa­per house in good old time­honoured Mintof­fian tra­di­tion. So much for vot­ing for change.

For­mer Prime Min­is­ter Al­fred Sant has said ex­actly the same thing as Al­fred Grixti did about an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. It ap­pears to be one of his favourite pro­nounce­ments – I dis­tinctly re­mem­ber him us­ing it back when he was ex­plod­ing with rage in the last few weeks of his 22-month premier­ship in the late 1990s. But we’ve for­got­ten al­ready that the first Labour tool to rant and rave on the in­ter­net in the same fash­ion since Joseph Mus­cat be­came prime min­is­ter was ac­tu­ally Ron­nie Pel­le­grini, one of the worst of the lot, who in a black comic script that writes it­self is now chief aide to the Min­is­ter for Civil Lib­er­ties. The ex­e­crable Pel­le­grini was the long­time hench­man of one of the most corrupt gov­ern­ment min­is­ters Malta has ever known, Lorry Sant, which is clearly why he is so com­fort­able with the cur­rent state of af­fairs. He had a lot of yelling to do about ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’. And then, of course, there was Econ­omy Min­is­ter Chris Car­dona, who said the same thing in more sav­age terms still: ‘If peo­ple threaten us with a dag­ger, we’ll go after them with an axe’.

These peo­ple are re­ally quite un­bear­able. You would think that, hav­ing wilted in Op­po­si­tion for a quar­ter of a cen­tury, they would have been gag­ging to show how great they are at gov­ern­ing. In­stead they’ve been fill­ing their pock­ets and those of their cronies, while ex­pend­ing time, en­ergy and re­sources on hatch­ing plots to threaten and dec­i­mate their crit­ics.

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