If the Prime Minister is making you feel it’s all for nothing, his strategy is working

Joseph Muscat is no idiot. Of course he knows Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri are now suspects in a criminal investigation. That in itself is not proof of wrongdoing and they continue to deny the wrongdoing. Innocent until proven guilty and all that.

But even by the dismally low standards of Malta’s Labour Party, politically they should fuck off already. They’ve more than overstayed their welcome and no one in politics should stay on while a Magistrate has acknowledged there is ‘credibility … to a precisely documented allegation … that a crime (involving Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi among others) … has occurred … and that the requirements at law for an inquiry to commence are satisfied’.

I know Magistrates do not write for the excitement of polemicists. What matters to them is not the political impact of what they write – thank heaven for that – but the legal consequence.

The legal consequence is these two crooks are now under investigation. The political consequence of that should be their dismissal, even if temporary, until justice takes its course.

Joseph Muscat pivoting on his promise from some time ago that the opening of a Magisterial inquiry would force Keith Schembri to resign is just what you’d expect from the silent partner of Schembri’s criminal conspiracy.

But it’s also what you expect from a callously cynical master of political manipulation.

The pigs scribbled on the wall of laws that no animals would sleep in beds. One day, when the pigs decided it was time for them to sleep in beds, the rest of the farm found that the law actually always said no animals would sleep in bed with sheets. They just didn’t remember that last bit.

Keith Schembri would have to resign if a Magistrate opened a criminal inquiry investigating him. Now that one has been opened, Joseph Muscat is saying his promise does not kick in because the inquiry merges with an existing one.

Sophistry? You have no idea.

You see the inquiry that has been extended to investigate Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi was already, it appears, investigating 17 Black.

We found out about it when the existence of that inquiry (Charmaine Galea’s) slipped off Owen Bonnici’s tongue when he was under pressure to explain why no one was investigating the revelation that the Dubai company was owned by Yorgen Fenech.

It’s worth repeating. Daphne Caruana Galizia revealed Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi owned Hearnville and Tillgate in Panama. The Panama papers later confirmed that. The Daphne Project revealed 17 Black undertook to pay Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi $5,000 each a day. The Daphne Project later revealed 17 Black is owned by Yorgen Fenech.

Yorgen Fenech runs the Tumas Group, one of the partners of the consortium Electrogas that Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi to which awarded an 18-year energy contract that is replete with eye-wateringly generous advantage for the supplier at the expense of the Maltese consumers. As an expert for the UK’s The Guardian had put it we’re “losing money hand over fist” on that deal.

When we found out 17 Black was the subject of an inquiry, we reminded Joseph Muscat he had promised Keith Schembri would resign if an inquiry is underway.

Aha, Joseph Muscat said, he doesn’t have to you see, because the inquiry was into 17 Black as a company (not into the people who owned it or may have been paid by it).

That was absurd of course.

But here we are, we now know that the terms of reference of that inquiry have been extended precisely to connect it to Hearnville, Tillgate and (and, and, and, and … read that conjunction as loud as you can without getting fired) Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri.

Joseph Muscat understands this better than anyone. And he knows you understand it too.

He wants you to think it does not matter. Not because it isn’t true, but because you need to get used to a reality where the laws that apply to you do not apply to him.

This is the tyranny of evil men. And it has come to pass.

Joseph Muscat is telling you this will not go anywhere. He has no confidence that it will fall through without his effort. He controls the police, he controls the attorney general, he is assuming full mastery of the judiciary and is quashing every effort to resist that latest development.

Did you ever wonder what a ‘mafia state’ is? It’s one where the interests of the governors trumps the interests of people, the community, the nation and whatever other notion you may have of anything outside the narrow, egotistical mania of a tyrant who can no longer distinguish between himself and the country he runs.

It is a state of affairs were crime is law and godfathers proffer their hand for kissing by those who would rather be blessed by its magnanimous generosity than the terminal violence of its wrath.

Go on then, Konrad Mizzi, Chris Cardona, Brian Tonna and all you compromised caporegimes who owe your impunity to the power that sprinkles unto you from above. Remember to kiss Joseph’s hand.