I am not Martin Scicluna’s shadow and life’s too short to read all his drivel, let alone answer it. But you can see in his article of today, coupled with it Steve Mallia’s return from the shadows last Sunday, and a few other hints here and there of eloquent frenzy, a picture taking shape of a change of strategy.
I like to say that Daphne Caruana Galizia held up a mirror to our society and pointed out warts we did not want to see. And the criminal elite that has taken charge of this country has realised that putting up another mirror to face the first appeases their own conscience, such as it is, and projects their own faults on to their enemies.
So now the irrational, the sycophant idol-worshippers, the One TV followers, the trolls, those who close their eyes to ever-mounting documentary evidence of corruption, the friends of the assassins who bombed a journalist: those are the guys with reason on their side.
Disagreeing with them is emotional delusion compared repeatedly with those who insist the earth is flat.
It’s no longer a matter of saying ‘Labour-this’ or ‘Labour-that’. This bunch of crooks, criminals and wilful accessories to the crime, wears the mantle of articulate discourse, of rationality, of balance and cool rationality. While the rest of us who scream our anger and frustration at their impunity and barefaced gall are pictured as unhinged, slaves to emotion, like toddlers with their tantrums.
Today Martin Scicluna fires on the crooks’ favourite living target: Simon Busuttil. He says “Busuttil denied the magistrate’s verdict (on Egrant)”. Verdict you say? I’m sorry, has there been a trial and we missed it? Has evidence been heard in open court and witnesses cross-examined? Has Joseph Muscat been tried by a jury of his peers and acquitted on the base of the evidence?
None of that has happened. There has been no verdict because there has not been a judicial process. The fact that the magistrate conducted an inquiry does not make this a judicial process. Or even an investigative one for that matter.
Does that make us angry? Of course, it does but no one blames the magistrate. We sat down glued to our screens after we read a blog post from Daphne Caruana Galizia telling us where, physically, the evidence was. We watched the police chief saying he had no reason to investigate. We watched the bank owner, an indicted crook, rush out with bags of evidence. We saw pictures of a plane flying out without passengers on its way to Azerbaijan where the alleged bribes came from and then the plane’s owner given a million euro for no reason other than allegedly to buy his silence. The next morning we saw the police raid the bank and after more than a year of waiting we heard what we knew already that night: the evidence would not be found.
Martin Scicluna says Aaron Bugeja’s conclusions are “based on concrete evidence, extensively collected factual data and logical, evidence-based deductive reasoning”. Perhaps it is. But how does Martin Scicluna know that? Is his deductive reasoning based on blind faith? Because we have not seen the concrete evidence. We have only been told that none was found to prove Joseph Muscat took bribes from Azerbaijan.
Martin Scicluna speaks of “Magistrate Bugeja’s charge sheet of fraud, forgery, perjury, false evidence and attempting to pervert the course of justice”. Which? Where has he seen it? Like him I’ve heard of it but where is this charge sheet? Who are the accused? What are they supposed to have forged?
And this opens a very interesting thought. Even Martin Scicluna waited more than a year to speak of forgery. He may have now secretly and illegally read the inquiry report and know more than we do.
But Joseph Muscat knew about the alleged forgeries within 24 hours of the Egrant story being published by Daphne Caruana Galizia. Look at this Times of Malta report of a TV debate on 21st April 2017. Aaron Bugeja had not yet sat at his desk. But Joseph Muscat was already speaking of “falsified” documents. How did he already know that then?
Is it irrational to ask Martin Scicluna? Is it unhinged to be angry at a conspiracy, overt and blatant, to fulfil Joseph Muscat’s prophecies as he projects an image of the world of a country of crooks? What else can the world think if we are led by one to such enthusiastic applause?
You see Mr Scicluna the Holy Inquisition also spoke in legal terms, adopted the gowns of intellect and spoke on the back of rational authority. The people who asked them to look through a lens to see that the movement of the planets cannot be explained if the earth is flat were branded hysterical, heretic and were burnt at the stake unless they recanted.
And when we see what we know of Egrant, and we see what is hidden from us though perhaps not from Martin Scicluna, we can only mumble eppur si muove.