Compare what goes on in this polity, where state, government and party are indistinguishable and like something from the council of Nicaea that indivisible trinity is personified in Joseph Muscat, and other normal democracies.

A policeman whistle-blower in Ireland clear his throat to accuse the force that employed him of corruption. To cover themselves his bosses prepare the classic defense: attack the messenger and seek to discredit him by attributing motivations and their own personal record.

A government minister — the Deputy Prime Minister — gets wind of this and does not seek to stop it. She is found out.

The government goes in crisis, parliament threatens withdrawal of support and the minister is forced to resign.

Here the government leads the campaign to discredit the whistle-blowers and engages its media and its army of trolls to intimidate and threaten the whistle-blowers. Policemen issue international arrest warrants to drag whistle-blowers of major crimes to answer for minor misdemeanors, as they are doing with Maria Efimova.

Or, as they are doing with Jonathan Ferris, they fabricate stories of political subterfuge and imagined conspiracies. Consider today’s front page story on l-orizzont (an online link is not available yet) where Jonathan Ferris is spotted on a plane to Brussels. That, shock horror, is proof of … It isn’t quite said but the implication for the l-orizzont reader is unmistakable.

Consider this other example. The Minister for Brexit in the UK applies black ink to portions of internal reports released to Parliament. The Speaker of the Parliament, elected by the majority in the chamber but adopting the role of the guardian of Parliamentary rights, not of the interest of the government, accuses the Minister of misleading Parliament and a political storm ensues. It is not clear yet whether the Minister will see the other side of it.

Here documents tabled in Parliament, if and when they are, are redacted to the point of absurdity as a matter of course. And if anyone dares complain? We have a 40,000 majority so you can just shut up.