Partit Demokratiku’s motion of no confidence in Konrad Mizzi is important and needs to be done. If Parliament does not confront government, who will? Political stability requires governments to be propped up by Parliamentary majorities. That’s fair and it’s why things work. But accountability requires governments to answer to Parliamentary minorities.

And Parliament is not only made of 3 groups. It’s made of individuals. Each one is called by their group to vote a certain way. But each one is called on the basis of their conscience and their direct responsibility to their voters to vote in Parliament according to the real needs of our democracy.

Yes, each one has the responsibility to be the judge of that and each one is held then to account for the judgement that they pass.

Quietly mumbling that the prime minister should really be rid of Konrad Mizzi is not enough. Each member of the government is an MP in their own right.

They will be called to vote and of course we know that every single Labour Party MP will vote against the motion to remove Konrad Mizzi. The awesome power of Joseph Muscat on his party will be demonstrated again.

But why is this worth doing? Because it is right that Labour MPs are challenged once again to confirm their loyalty to their crook of a colleague. It is also right that Labour MPs are challenged once again to join their boss and prime minister in obstructing the service of justice on Konrad Mizzi.

Because whatever they tell themselves Konrad Mizzi should not be a Minister for a day longer. He shouldn’t have been since the Panama scandal broke. But now that at last we know a criminal inquiry is underway how can MPs say they are allowing justice to take its course if they keep Konrad Mizzi around the most powerful table in the country?

Incidentally there is no reason why Parliament should not also debate a no confidence motion in Keith Schembri. Intuitively that is not quite right. After all unelected officials appointed by government are accountable to those who appoint them. If Parliament has a bone to pick with an appointee of the prime minister they can call on the prime minister to fire him or, failing that, declare they have no confidence in the prime minister.

But this clean logic did not apply when Joseph Muscat was Opposition Leader and he orchestrated a no confidence motion on Richard Cachia Caruana.

Then, once again, it is right that MPs are challenged to decide whether they want to join Joseph Muscat’s manifest obstruction of the course of justice.

But one word of warning: the Parliamentary vote is not a match with winners and losers. We know what the outcome of the vote will be. We know Parliament’s majority will reject a motion of no confidence in Konrad Mizzi, and if one were to be held on Keith Schembri the majority will resoundingly reject that too.

Labour will then walk away from that claiming some form of victory. Konrad Mizzi had said the Egrant inquiry exonerated him, when of course it hadn’t even looked into the skulduggery he was up to. Now he will say Parliament has declared confidence in him.

This is why Parliamentarians alone cannot confront government. They can do their bit, and indeed they must. But their limited means cannot be used to give closure to a government keen to hide.

That’s where the independent media and civil society come in. We don’t take a vote and that’s not because we’re not democratic. It’s because we are and we never tire of reminding corrupt and honest politicians alike that democracy is not just government by the people. It’s also government for the people. But Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri are in government for themselves.

Whatever Parliament says about them we can never have confidence is crooks caught red handed. And we can never have confidence in those who cover for them.