We should never have exported our problem. Inevitably, Dalli has embarrassed Malta.
Published: October 16, 2012 at 8:26pm
John Dalli should never have been made EU Commissioner. It was wrong to export our problem, it was wrong to give that important position to the most inconvenient person rather than to the most qualified and deserving, and it was wrong because he was clearly unfit for purpose.
The man is inarticulate, boorish, incompetent, and for years had a long shadow of whispered wheeler-dealing over him. His brother Bastjan is a drug smuggler who took refuge in Libya – where John Dalli had an extensive network of business and other contacts under the Gaddafi regime – when wanted by the police. And though nobody is his brother’s keeper, these two are very much in touch and John Dalli had no shame in talking about how his brother in prison had been approached in his cell by a disembodied voice that told him XYZ about John.
While EU Commissioner, he gave a press conference at the start of the Libyan war, suggesting that he was on Gaddafi’s side and that the rebel army were faking their deaths for the international cameras.
While EU Commissioner, he campaigned against the prime minister and government of Malta by appearing on the Opposition party’s television station, Super One, to carp, whine and make all kinds of accusations and allegations.
While EU Commissioner, he shamelessly lobbied in public for the Maltese government to buy an experimental power station from Sargas, appearing again and again on Labour’s Super One to speak in its favour. It was then revealed that he had worked for Sargas as a consultant just before becoming EU Commissioner.
And on and on it goes. Or went.
No, he shouldn’t have been given that job. It’s shameful that the prime minister gave it to him for no other reason than to shut him up and get him off his back. That kind of thing never works, and in any case, you don’t use positions that are in the public good for your own personal convenience.
You especially don’t do that when the person you need to get off your back is somebody like Dalli, because that just means exporting the problem and giving him far greater scope for whatever it is he is inclined to do.
What was the likelihood that he would have behaved himself? Quite close to zero, I would have said, as with the Evil Twins who demonstrate similar behaviour and think of him as – to use Dalli’s own term – their Father Confessor.
Now the inevitable has happened.
And while I am glad that it has happened, because John Dalli has been pushing that envelope too far and for too long, I am angry that he was put in a position where he was bound to give a bad name to Malta.
To the eyes of the watching world, he is not John Dalli, the sleaze-ball politician who was shipped out. He is the Maltese EU Commissioner.
And justifying it by saying ‘Oh, he was always a bit of a sleaze-ball’ cuts no ice, for the simple reason that if we knew he was a sleaze-ball then we should have kept him home.