Cyrus Engerer already meant to run for MEP in the past. He withdrew his candidature in the last minute because of a conviction for spreading revenge porn photos of his ex boyfriend after a bad breakup.

His withdrawal from the candidature was hailed by Labour’s Joseph Muscat as heroic. Indeed he endowed a former PN Councillor with a serious pending criminal accusation with the honorific ‘soldier of steel’, quite possibly the highest honour bestowed by the Labour Party on anyone.

But the Labour Party feared backlash at the time should Cyrus Engerer be on their ticket.

They still owed him for abandoning the PN so they arranged a paid Brussels job for him and his boyfriend.

He remained in his important Brussels position practically as an ambassador of Malta until he had had enough and returned back to Malta to continue where he left off: he’s going to run for MEP.

What of the reasons that forced him to withdraw his candidature five years ago have changed? Was his name cleared? No. He was convicted and his conviction was confirmed on appeal. Have we acquired greater tolerance for revenge porn? Not that I’m aware. We since had a political storm over a video of a couple doing the nasty in their car that spread on social media like wildfire.

I should imagine the Opposition is just as indignant at Cyrus Engerer’s candidature now as it was five years ago, though I have yet to hear their complaint.

Then what changed?

The complete and utter sense of impunity of a government that feels untouchable. The fact that since 2014 we now know people in elected office include tax dodgers, fraudsters, inveterate liars and suspect there are murderers as well. What’s a revenge pornographer going to be in the general scheme of things?

I should hope no one will argue, except Cyrus Engerer if he bothers, that Cyrus Engerer has paid his political price by not running in 2014 and has now served enough political consequence for his criminal infraction. 

His candidature is yet another symbol of the downward spiral of standards. It’s starting to look like crime is a pre-qualification for Labour Party politics. You need to prove you’re rotten before you even start in order to live up to the high expectation of rot when you actually get down to business.