Now it’s a matter of joining forces to oust the corrupt and the deceitful

Published: April 11, 2017 at 2:15pm

When Marlene Farrugia left the Labour Party – not out of personal pique or ambition but because she is as horrified and disgusted as very many of us are – she set up a fledging political party.

I wrote at the time that this was the worst thing she could possibly do, worse even that stepping out of politics altogether and leaving the Labour Party to it, because this would split the vote of those who are opposed to Muscat and his outfit and Muscat and his outfit would be re-elected by default.

To win the general election, the Labour Party does not need to get more votes than the Nationalist Party and the small parties put together. All it needs is to get more votes than the Nationalist Party. It is the single party which gets the most votes that wins, because political parties cannot band together after the result is out and say “Hey, but we’re getting together and we have more votes than you do.”

Nor can political parties get together before a general election with two separate parties saying “We’re a coalition.” The law does not permit that. Different political parties are different political parties.

I wrote that anybody who is opposed to the corruption and sleaze which have devastated standards in public life and compromised all institutions has but one choice if they wish to do the decent thing and what is best for Malta: throw their weight behind Simon Busuttil and the Nationalist Party. This is not a matter of political partisanship. At this stage in a very dangerous game, it is a matter of common sense.

Things have deteriorated so badly in just four years that we can’t even hope to imagine the destruction and theft of the next five as, with no plans to seek re-election after that, Muscat and his crooks will go at it full tilt.

Marlene Farrugia has since understood that by campaigning for a separate party she will get the opposite result of the one she wants for Malta. She began speaking to the Nationalist Party and they seem about to reach some kind of agreement. That is wholly a good thing, and not a bad one, and I can’t understand why some people around the Nationalist Party, egged on by Labour and its fellow-travellers, are grumbling about it.

If they honestly preferred to have Marlene Farrugia campaign separately for her own small party, it’s because they are putting their own personal preferences before the strategic need to have as many people as possible band together to remove a real and present danger.

Those who cannot see the strategic wisdom in this should observe the manner in which the Office of the Prime Minister, through its website fronted by one of its persons of trust, Glenn Bedingfield, has spent the last few days ripping into Dr Farrugia and into Simon Busuttil for being in talks with her. When they make somebody or something a target, it’s because they’re worried and want to undermine that somebody or something.

The Prime Minister’s decision to have his communications officer lay into Dr Farrugia publicly and nastily is all the more significant because she is as good as married to his party whip. It is the equivalent of the Prime Minister’s Office attacking Mrs George Vella or Mrs Edward Scicluna or Louis Grech’s companion all over the internet, should any one of them decide to do what Dr Farrugia is doing.

It’s easy to forget that, because Godfrey Farrugia maintains such a low profile, and also because Marlene Farrugia (the surname is her own maiden name, coincidentally) has such a strong and separate persona.

Whatever our personal feelings are, our private animosities or our dislike or this one or that one, our grudges and our real or perceived wounds, now is the time to set all that aside and pull the same rope, bearing in mind that we have a duty and an obligation to root out the corrupt and the scandalous and work together to remove the danger.

This duty and obligation is even more incumbent on those who helped put Muscat, Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri into power. Admitting to mistaken judgement is not sufficient when that mistaken judgement has had terrible consequences. In that situation it becomes even more important – for one’s self-respect if nothing else – to work to right the wrong that one has wrought.

Whether you agree with her or not, approve of her or not, like her or dislike her, approve of her over-use of emoticons or shudder at it (enough with the emoticons, Marlene, please; we’re in our 50s and in public life), it has got to be obvious that this is exactly what Dr Farrugia is doing. She has even said so explicitly: that she is driven primarily by the need to rid Malta of the corrupt and dangerous people who now run it, and by her desire to expiate her burdensome guilt at having helped put them there.

20 Comments Comment

  1. Pappagallu says:

    If there are Nationalists who are averse to Marlene Farrugia working together with the Nationalist Party to oust Labour, then I say “You do not understand a thing of the necessity of getting rid of this lot in government; and also you do not know a thing of the electoral laws. Grow up and learn.”

  2. john says:

    Good to have the decent and feisty Marlene Farrugia on board. Here’s to a successful conclusion to the talks, and to the end of the revolting Labour lot.

  3. Julian Borg says:

    Try explaining this to the spiteful AD.

    • Jozef says:

      Still offended at Fenech Adami’s decision to ensure the referendum result in 2003. They can still appeal to Astrid Vella who absolutely and positively voted AD but who felt duped by Labour all the same, if that makes any sense. I just quote.

  4. Marco Spiteri says:

    Now waiting for AD to take the same decision, although with Caccopardo at the helm this is very remote.

  5. AD claims not to care whether it is Labour or PN in power, because they say they are just the same. Of course, this is intellectual dishonesty of the worst kind.

  6. Cyclops says:

    What’s the point and logic of having a current Nationalist candidate elected instead of Marlene Farrugia if the PN stays in Opposition. Please put aside personal ambitions. It is our country at stake.

  7. No. A party needs a relative, not absolute, majority. In 2008, the Nationalist Party won the general election with 49.34% of the vote.

  8. Edgar Gatt says:

    This is the time for some Nationalists to understand that they have to have full confidence in Simon Busuttil’s decisions. It is a very wise move and If candidates in the 5th district feel threatened by Marlene Farrugia then all they have to do is work harder for the votes.

  9. Truth says:

    Labour’s behaviour was always borderline between acceptable and illegal. Today we know why.

  10. Truth says:

    That’s it. Especially to say nothing at all and not denounce the wrong.

  11. john says:

    Pillow talk works both ways.

  12. Jozef says:

    Seeing how AD’s taking up a far left stance lately, courtesy of Malta Today and Michael Briguglio, they don’t just not care, there’s ideological affinity. They’re a crowd and lately a cult. A bit like Bernie’s.

    I mean, does one have to incarnate loser whose political manifesto centers around marijuana?

    Ever heard AD push for materic and cultural flair? Of course not, too borghese.

  13. Saskia says:

    With Dr. Farrugia on board the Nationalist Party stands a chance of winning.

  14. rcamilleri says:

    AD and PN should see reason and speak to each other. Some humility on both sides is not a bad idea at the moment.

  15. Pat1254 says:

    Thank goodness Marlene Farrugia and Simon Busuttil have the good sense to do what needs to be done.

    Their teaming up is the last thing the Labour Party needs.

    Pity AD will never see sense.

  16. Reggie Bonello says:

    “there are still many who think that they are the intelligent(s)ia and that they know it all”.

    Now that, as a reflection on the ultra-pretentious Maltese society is a fact. I have always felt this, but whether it actually determines political outcomes, I don’t know.

    Maltese people are proud, for sure, and certainly this “know it all” attitude is a defining feature of the political class and very much in evidence, who seem to think that they can lord it over everyone.

    They actually get away with it. We lack common decency, compared to other societies, but how we got to this point, I don’t know.

  17. Ramon Garcia says:

    Unfortunately, AD has become the most outdated party in Malta. They are no longer the defenders of the environment. PN has stolen their thunder in this regard. Their only hope is to embrace change and join the coalition against corruption or face extinction and oblivion.

  18. A Camilleri says:

    On Sandro Chetcuti’s claim that he was approached by both parties to contest the election, the PN should have been in a position to flatly deny.

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