Tony Zarb is not a retired behemoth of the socialist movement who farted from the wrong end in his dotage calling a 100 women with homemade placards and matching T-shirts whores, traitors and seditionists.

He’s a government official, paid by the state as a consultant of Konrad Mizzi, the only government Minister in the European Union to be named in the Panama Papers scandal and the only Minister I’m aware of to be so named in any democracy in the world to remain a Minister after that.

A protest demanding justice and defending rule of law is a protest against the continuation of the political life of Konrad Mizzi.

A protest demanding the sacking of the commissioner of police and the attorney general is a protest against the state officials who did not even deign to inquire into the proven misdeeds of Konrad Mizzi. Among others.

Tony Zarb cannot tolerate such a protest because it affronts his personal pecuniary interest.

This incident personifies the toxic combination of tribalism and amoral familism that is in the background of every political reality of this country.

The tribalism is in the assumption that in protesting government actions, the 100 women on the steps of Castille last night were serving the interest of the opposing party. Protesting for love of country is inconceivable. There is only the interest of the tribe and where this is not served that means the tribe is under siege.

The amoral familism is in the willful abandonment of the socialist principles of gender equality, freedom of association and freedom of speech in favour of the higher value of the lira żejda biex inżidha mal-pensjoni.

The man who slandered a hundred women sleeping overnight in a square, inciting hatred and retribution on people who he branded traitors, whores and seditionists – stripping them in the process of the basic humanity that would restrain the striking hand of their objectors – will now say I’m bullying him because I’m calling him out.

There is something uncannily symbolic in the fact that Daphne Caruana Galizia was burnt alive. That is the traditional end of women feared by men and sentenced for witchcraft.

Truly, Tony Zarb, you are an embarrassment to my gender. But while the government retains you on their payroll at our expense, your misogyny is on them as well. They who said we would have the most feminist government in history.