The Prime Minister’s first test: will Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando be asked to resign for bringing the MCST into drunken disrepute?
This is a photograph of the Chairman of the Malta Council of Science and Technology, standing on the counter of a crowded bar last Sunday, 10 March.
He is blind drunk and leading fellow Labour supporters in a chorus of chanted abuse against the outgoing prime minister and his defeated government.
The bar is crowded with unsavoury individuals who are cheering him on.
In any sane, normal, EUROPEAN democracy, if the government-appointed chairman of an important state organisation were to do anything like this, let alone be photographed doing it, his resignation would be demanded within minutes.
This is the first true test of whether Joseph Muscat meant what he said about seriousness, credibility, honesty and meritocracy. If he doesn’t demand the Chairman of the Malta Council of Science and Technology’s resignation immediately, we shall have to conclude that he and that chairman are cut from the same unprincipled cloth.
I truly hope – for if this is not the case, then we should despair – that not a single one of us, whether we vote AD, Labour or Nationalist, wishes to live in a country where the chairmen of state organisations (more so one dedicated to the pursuit of science) are permitted to be drunk and disorderly in a public place, standing on a bar-counter and leading a group of tattooed roughnecks in a chorus of vulgar abuse against an outgoing prime minister/government, WHOEVER that outgoing prime minister/government are.
This is behaviour so unfitting that I don’t know where to begin. It does not only shame Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando (he has done enough of that already). It does not only shame the government whose appointee he is.
It shames us all for tolerating it, for allowing it to happen, for not making our dismay known.
It shames the press for taking such gross indecency for granted, as though we are all helpless in the face of it because this state organisation chairman, drunk and abusive and standing on a public bar, has the protection of the prime minister.
This was Sunday. The next morning, Monday, still wearing the same trousers, he walked in Joseph Muscat’s triumphal parade down Republic Street and joined him at the Auberge de Castille for the celebrations.
We live in a country where these things happen because we let them happen. We voice neither our protest nor our dismay.
The standard to which we hold the Labour Party, its government and its people has always been way too low. When they are not bashing people up or setting fire to things, we praise them like children being good.
We are just grateful when they are not wreaking havoc. We have another five years of this, and with such appallingly low standards, it can only get worse.
It is not the Labour Party which is to blame, for the Labour Party is made in the image of those who vote for it, of those who do not oppose its excesses and its very serious inadequacies.
Shame on us all.