No one can take your voice away and long may it sing and flood the great music halls of the world.
But your decency you have given away of your own accord.
It is not that you sang at an event that is so representative of the rot that has shamed our country across the world. It is that not satisfied with rationalising what you did to appease your own conscience, you then sought to justify it to everyone else.
When I first wrote about this event several weeks ago saying you should back out of it you got your lawyer to speak to me to tell me that you’re frustrated by the bad publicity and were stuck in a contract you could not get out of. That was before The Daphne Project hit the world’s front pages. I don’t think you’ve been reading those front pages because speaking to protesters outside Draper’s Hall yesterday you did not have her global-scale investigations in mind but how your delicate sensibilities were offended by things she said about people.
Your excuse that singing at Henley and Partner’s event is not an endorsement of their product is banal. Would you sing at a party hosted by a drug lord? Not likely. But you accepted a booking to sing at an event of a company that sells the citizenship of your own country.
Your excuse that you honoured your contract to sing even if you were booked before “this hullabaloo” (I mean seriously, is that how anyone describes an assassination these days?) because you’re ‘a professional’ is offensive. It is important to be professional but it is more important to be decent. And the decent thing to have done was to stay away from a sales charade where crooks host crooks to trade the nation you say you’re proud of as a commodity.
Your excuse that your duty as ‘Cultural Ambassador’ requires you to perform even when you do not wish it is superficial. What is a ‘cultural ambassador’ anyway? Are you a functionary of the state obliged to deliver Joseph Muscat’s messages right or wrong? Or are you rather a face meant to make this country look good? Can you not judge which of the two you have done by singing last night at the Henley and Partners shindig?
You have reinforced Malta’s image abroad as an island of pirate profiteers for whom money comes before any other consideration and who quote the law and contracts to justify their greed and malice. Like little Shylocks we stab our stocky and grubby fingers on contracts that justify any action. We ignore the reality around us and the consequences of our pursuits because the world is only useful to the extent of what we take from it.
The fact that you passed your fee to charity does not absolve you. You obviously share Joseph Muscat’s advisory team and learnt from his Puttinu charade. The Pablo Escobar handbook has really made the rounds.
I will not tell you that you have lost loyalty from some of your Maltese followers. Nor that this will have a consequence on your fame or wealth. You probably correctly calculated you can go on tomorrow morning and pretend none of this happened, using your soaring voice to drown out the din.
After all as you bluntly put it “the fact of the matter is Daphne Caruana Galizia is dead”. No shit.
All you need to know is that today you have let your proud mother — the Malta you take to the world — down.