This is completely unacceptable. Demarco should step down or resign the brief.

Published: March 4, 2017 at 2:52pm

And I’m afraid it’s even too late for that choice, because even if the Nationalist Party’s deputy leader resigns Silvio Debono’s brief, he has already been marked out as somebody to whom Silvio Debono has a hotline and access.

The Nationalist Party will lose the general election if there is the perception, let alone the reality, that it has lost even five inches of the moral high ground.

In the approaching general election, people will be voting expressly to put a boot up the arse – and I make no apologies for using that expression, because this is just how people feel – of individuals like Silvio Debono and the politicians who are their enablers.

They will not bother if they think or know that Silvio Debono has paid his way into both camps, whether it’s by outright bribes or professional fees.

Life is all about choices. You can either work for people like Silvio Debono, or you can be deputy leader of the Opposition, but you can’t do both.

The issue with the land at St George’s Bay is not the value placed on it or the price that Silvio Debono won’t pay for it. No. The issue is that he got the land in the first place. The issue is corruption, not land value.

I have been deluged with messages from people who are disgusted. A couple of them even came from men who have spent the past four years ripping Simon Busuttil to shreds because in their view, Mario Demarco was the better man who should have been the party leader, and hassling me because I thought otherwise. This morning one of them sent me a screenshot of the article below, and a picture of a banana, which he said should be the new Maltese flag.

“I can’t believe it,” he wrote. “Truthfully, I liked Mario and preferred him to Busuttil. But now this. Busuttil should ask him to resign as deputy leader. That will show that he is strong against corruption. But I fear that he won’t do it. This is not a matter of compromise. This is a matter of having no principles.”

I will be writing about this further. But first I need to calm down, because right now, the way I see it is that Malta risks being condemned to another five years of Muscat and his crooks so that Mario Demarco and others can carry on receiving professional fees from Silvio Debono and other crooked businessmen.

When a corrupt businessman puts money in a brown envelope and hands it to a key politician, that is a bribe and a criminal offence, but when he says “Send an invoice for X job”, it’s not. But they do it for exactly the same reason, and let’s make no bones about it.