Michael Briguglio, James Debono, Claudine Cassar and I were targeted today by the Labour Party media for standing up and expressing views that are in opposition to the politicians they protect. We stood on stage and gave witness to our commitment to continue Daphne Caruana Galizia’s fight.

For the Labour Party to expect  to hear speeches that are gentle breezes caressing their inner ears from today’s event is a layer of Maoist totalitarianism that is truly revolting even for their historical standards.

A few of them came to tonight’s demonstration. Expecting what exactly? That we tell them that they are blameless? That Daphne herself is the caused of her own demise? That we think they are the suitable government to ensure justice for Daphne and for the rest of us is achieved? That we think the police commissioner and the attorney general deserve a medal? That we think we owe the prime minister our loyal and silent gratitude?

Of course they no longer have Daphne to throw their venom on.

So as others step up to continue her cause, Labour moves to dehumanise the next front of people holding it to account.

Michael Briguglio is disqualified because he’s a PN Councillor in Sliema. James Debono is disqualified because he publicly declared he could not vote Labour at the last election (having done so before) and he must therefore be senile. Claudine Cassar: not sure what they think is wrong with her, but she’s off too.

And then of course I have no right to speak because buses were late seven summers ago.

Labour trolls were out in full force to rationalise tonight’s event. Mark Farrugia at the Prime Minister’s office led the charge. Sandro Mangion, another government official, followed. Jason Micallef, he of the flowers. Mark Camilleri, the book council guy whose personal motto is on record as “Fuck the Fascist PN”. And Rosianne Cutajar, erstwhile Nuxellina the hostess. Then of course your sundry volunteer Facebook troll army marched to their generals’ commands. And they dared to call Daphne a blogger of hate.

I suppose it must be my girth. I’m an easy target.

In Super One’s reporting, people at today’s march (except of course Chris Fearne and his props) do not really care about Daphne Caruana Galizia’s loss. They’re just there because it’s a political platform for the PN. It was all over the red flag waving half of Malta’s chamber on Facebook: Manuel Delia should not speak. He should shut up.

Well Daphne Caruana Galizia faced that every day of her life for 30 years. It took semtex to stop her. So unless you intend to roll out the semtex for me as well, dear Labour Party by all means indulge yourself.

The fact of the matter is political parties today did not have the moral authority to give leadership to a people in very tough times. The Labour Party continues to behave like nothing has changed. That it can continue to use its grip on media and its army of online trolls to mobilise hatred and resentment and to intimidate anyone who dares criticise it. If their favourite object of obsession, Daphne Caruana Galizia, is not there anymore, it’s time to find new targets.

The Nationalist Party too is compromised by the inability of its leader to clear his name from Daphne Caruana Galizia’s allegations and for having adopted wholesale Labour’s biċċa blogger spiel to defend himself from her.

Both party leadership teams had agonising internal debates today about how to manage a community of people who were congregating without first waiting for the political parties’ cue. If Joseph Muscat showed up he’d have been jeered and pelted. If Adrian Delia showed up he risked similar treatment and even if not, it is doubtful his parliamentary group would have stuck with him during the march.

Our leaders seem unable to lead. They seem unable to manage a situation that has gotten completely out of hand.

Joseph Muscat’s attention now seems utterly distracted by the need for this crime to be solved neatly in a few days in a way that allows him to push back the description that Daphne Caruana Galizia’s death amounted to a political assassination.

The police investigations are led by an officer who is (literally — because here unbelievably you need to clarify this is not a metaphor) married to a government minister. Police sources are suggesting investigations are designed to provide a neat and clean box: an official story that empowers Joseph Muscat’s regime to move the national agenda away from the notion of a political assassination and into an ordinary any-give-Sunday revenge murder.

Labour would then swiftly pivot from a defensive position to an attack on those who called for political and institutional changes. They — we — will be blamed for the economic catastrophe sure to follows the reputational disaster we are experiencing.

And the Nationalist party, without order and without a goal, will be ineffective in resisting this last chapter in the fascist cancellation of truth perpetrated by an authoritarian and populist Joseph Muscat regime.

Joseph Muscat has every right to be comforted by the fact that a majority still backs him. He has every right to have his confidence boosted by the fact the PN cannot effectively mobilise a national platform to resist him.

But that does not mean it is impossible for a national platform to take shape anyway, this time in spite of political parties rather than because of them.

Independent action is possible. It can survive the psychological violence perpetrated by official Labour party media, by Labour trolls on social media and by its sundry, profiteering allies. It can survive violence of an altogether different order as the march today, 7 days after Daphne’s assassination, has shown.

So, Super One TV. Planning to target me in the way you targeted Daphne Caruana Galizia? I should be so lucky. Bring it on.

Photo with this piece is from The Malta Independent.

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