Joseph Muscat and Keith Schembri have found Owen Bonnici’s Achilles heel

Published: January 7, 2017 at 1:21pm

And whatever it is – some of us have a pretty clear idea – they are using it to control him, making him their newest malleable tool and mouthpiece. The first clue was when they took the Identity Malta portfolio away from the Home Affairs Ministry, where it reasonably belongs, and gave it to the Justice Ministry, where it most definitely does not.

This is because they want a controllable cabinet minister with a massive Achilles heel in charge of Identity Malta, so that they can do as they please – the same reason they’ve got Konrad Mizzi in charge of energy, had him in charge of health, and still have him in charge of Projects Malta, which signs off on all major government deals and contracts.

Now those corrupt fixers – desperate to stay in power for another five years not only because they want to keep wheeling and dealing but also because they’re terrified of the police and fiscal investigations into their affairs that are likely to follow the election of the Nationalists to power – are using Owen Bonnici as their mouthpiece to launch assaults on Jason Azzopardi, the shadow minister for justice.

If you monitor the media as closely as I do, you will have noticed that Azzopardi has been selected by the Labour Party machine as the focus of the latest series of character assassination attempts.

Seeing members of the government calling press conferences for the express purpose of attacking members of the Opposition is so unsavoury. I can’t recall the Nationalists, during any of the five terms they were in government in my adulthood, ever doing anything similar. Except for the last term, where focus was lost because of the chaos wrought by Franco Debono and Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando in league with Muscat, they were completely focussed on governing, on building and implementing policy, and when they called a press conference it was always about government policy and not to launch an assault on an individual member of the Opposition.

That we have come to accept such things and treat them as normal – cabinet ministers calling press conferences to fling dirt at Opposition rivals – shows how far we have internalised Labour’s ghastly propaganda and perverted sense of democracy. We have become twisted and perverted ourselves and no longer know right from wrong or up from down.

You would be forgiven for concluding that Owen Bonnici has been chosen to lie about Jason Azzopardi because Azzopardi is his justice counterpart. But the subject is not justice; it is lands. Azzopardi, in the previous government, was responsible for the lands portfolio. So it is Deborah Schembri, the parliamentary secretary for lands, or her boss the Prime Minister, who is Minister for Lands, who should be speaking about this subject. But they want to keep their hands ‘clean’.

It’s just going to get dirtier, and if the Nationalist Party knows the first thing about strategy, what it’s got to do now is get to grips with whatever it is that the corrupt triad is using to control him. It’s clear that he’s not being allowed a piece of the money action and that he’s not in it with them on the corrupt contracts. But they’re still pulling his strings, and there’s a reason for it.

  • callixtus

    Joseph Muscat is unlikely to appoint anyone to a strategic position unless he has him by the short and curlies.

  • canon

    Noddy is working to be Deputy Leader for Parliamentary Affairs and Deputy PM.

    • Peter

      No chance – Joseph Muscat will favour Edward Zammit Lewis for that position.

  • S. Vella

    Semmi il-korruzzjoni u jaraw kif ikisruk bhal ma ghamlu lil salvu mallia nehhewh minn l-aqwa programm kulturali fuq TVM.

    • Macduff

      U ejja, gejjin “bl-aqwa programming kulturali fuq TVM”. It was passable.

      The only proper culture/history programme ever broadcast by TVM was scripted by Henry Frendo, and it too was stopped as soon as the timeline approached the Seventies.

      Ma jmurx kienu jiehdu ghalihom il-Laburisti.

  • That’s extremely cynical and typically Maltese – because actually, lots of people who are not typically Maltese do exactly that. They are the ones who help others and do good works silently – and you’ll find that many of them are not even religious so they’re not doing it for a reward in the afterlife.

  • Ah, but the Nationalist Party is not going to expose the Justice Minister’s Achilles heel, is it. Le ta, ghax ma naqblux li tidhol personali. Injoranti. Right now I could shake them for their block-headed stupidity in these matters.

    • pronoia

      I agree with you. They didn’t stop these individuals when they were in government for fear of retribution, let alone in Opposition. Vera stupidi.

  • EarthwormDave

    And the first thing he did after looking it up on Google? Find a fresh pair of underpants?

  • Jozef

    Lemme guess, something to do with lowering the age of consent.

  • may borg

    Sometimes I think Muscat is so deep down in dirt that he has stopped acting like a human being. He has lost control even of himself.

  • c calafato

    To add to it all, TVM’s news bulletin gave a long coverage of the press conference with photos of Jason Azzopardi with awkward facial expressions. I don’t expect anything else but it really was as if I was watching the Labour Party’s television station.

  • Franco Debono

    What chaos I wrought in the past legislature? Formulating and presenting in Parliament a Holistic Justice Reform ? – which has now been almost fully implemented mostly with unanimous Parliamentary approval.
    Campaigning for, drafting and presenting in Parliament the Law on Party Finance which has since been unanimously approved by Parliament?
    Calling for better infrastructure and a cleaner environment in the south, especially the heavily polluted (especially at that time) B’Bugia and Mxlokk?
    Wrought havoc by pushing for a constitutional reform and for taking stands in favour of ministerial accountability?
    Wrought havoc when I abstained in the Arriva vote ? – everyone has by now agreed that Arriva was a big mistake even the Nationalist Party
    It was others who wrought chaos within the Nationalist Party – surely not me


      I would have got you some for Christmas, but you need a prescription.

    • D. Buhagiar


    • RF

      This is passé by at least three years. How can you justify the thousands of euros being passed to you by this corrupt government for doing sweet FA if not for having wrecked chaos in the last legislature?

    • Jozef

      Now why does Franco Debono feel such a thorough need to distance himself from Owen Bonnici? Debono seems to believe he might still make it to justice minister.

  • c calafato

    He will call for a press conference to inform us that his feet are fine. Not understanding the real meaning but the literal one.

  • Probably cruising for 13-year-olds.

    • Peritocracy

      What does this and another similar comment I saw refer to? Have I missed something over the holidays?

  • Come on, use your head. The reason why he can’t – rather than won’t – resign from the Labour Party is obvious: because the minute he does, it’s open season on Marlene Farrugia, on him, and on certain aspects of their very long relationship. He’s doing it to protect her and the third party/ies immediately connected with them. Does the Labour Party ever say anything about Marlene Farrugia, no matter how badly she attacks them? Well, exactly. But if Godfrey Farrugia leaves the Labour Party, it’s not only she who will be ripped to shreds.

  • Really? I think he’s one of those tragic cases who start out with plenty of potential and end up drunk and dissipated in an amoral wasteland, with their future behind them, at 40.

    • Dave

      36. Pity

      • I know he’s 36. I said 40 because he’s not there yet. He’s still sort of holding the facade together, but only just.

  • The Labour Party is not afraid of Godfrey Farrugia. Godfrey Farrugia is afraid of the Labour Party.

  • In a normal country, you would not hold public office. You would be in a clinic with pleasant grounds, spending your days weaving baskets in between bouts of medication or shock therapy.

  • Ramon Garcia

    Is Janice still a minor?

  • Please sue me. I would love the opportunity to bring a psychiatrist to the witness stand.

  • Yes, in fact the law permits 16-year-old gifts and boys to contract marriage, if their parents allow it.

  • I can’t, either.

  • The reason that people with mental illness are stigmatised is precisely because of people like Franco Debono and Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, who demonstrate on a very public stage what people’s real fear of mental illness is: that it is dangerous to others in a way that cancer is not.

  • He doesn’t sue me for saying that he needs a psychiatrist because he knows that part of the process will involve putting one on the witness stand.

  • La Redoute

    I see I am not the only one who thinks Bonnici looks and sounds like a predatory pervert.

  • Rosie

    Reputation, my big fat arse. This post is about Noddy, and the Commisioner is hoping to be presented with an opportunity to take a dig at him.

  • Macduff

    Agreed, but I was only referring to the question whether the victim was a girl or a boy. Wrong is wrong, and the victim’s sex doesn’t change how bad it is.

  • That’s only in criminal cases.

  • Ah, I see – so you only want to sue for the money and not to clear your name. from the accusation that you need a psychiatrist, badly.

  • J Sammut

    You didn’t slip this in :

  • J Sammut

    Was this included in this: ?