What will happen next? Joseph Muscat has planned this transition because he is not quite done yet serving a cold dish of revenge. In his small mind Joseph Muscat did not have to resign because of anything he did wrong or anything he was supposed to do and did not. His sense of entitlement tells him his own corruption was fair payment for his genius.

He blames instead Daphne Caruana Galizia who’s still on his mind as it was the day he first won power and the first question he had for his police chief was “tal-bidnija orrajt?”

His mind-bending obsession with her has extended since her killing to her family and to the protesters and marchers that in his mind are an extension of his nemesis’s will. He’s right about one thing. Without the pictures of people out in the street, he would not have had the pressure from within his cabinet and the calls he got from European capitals that ultimately forced him to quit.

You can see how central the visceral hatred of protesters and civil society is in the remarks made by Robert Abela that reduced civil society protest to a “provocation”. The reaction to that provocation is now around the corner. Contrast that with Chris Fearne’s suggestion he would meet civil society during his first week in office as prime minister to discuss restoring the rule of law. Not what your garden variety Labour Party delegate wanted to hear. They’d rather see civil society under a shower of tear gas and truncheons than walking up the steps of “their” Castille.

But it’s not tear gas and truncheons that Joseph Muscat has in store for us. That’s not a cold dish. And he knows how best to serve vindictiveness.

Joseph Muscat used marriage equality to break up the Nationalist Party and he will use abortion to break up the civil society opposition that he’s had to face.

It’s a powerful weapon. Abortion is divisive and emotionally extremely charged. For opponents to abortion there is hardly any space for compromise. Any relaxation to the complete ban, however minor, is perceived as catastrophic. And there’s no better way to oppose your opponents against themselves than to put in the mix the sort of discourse that the abortion debate brings up.

Why would Joseph Muscat do this? He’s been prime minister for 6 years when he had the power to introduce abortion, why does he campaign for it after he resigns? Because as with anything he’s ever done that did not make him money he doesn’t actually give a flying fiddle for female empowerment. He’s interested in having his opponents who came together to resist him break up in bitter mutual recrimination.

In the meantime, he also has a plan “to work in sports, helping Maltese athletes practice their sports abroad”. It would not surprise me if Joseph Muscat becomes the chief of a football club in Italy. No opportunity for corruption there, of course.

Robert Abela was Joseph Muscat’s choice because Robert Abela will be fine with this. Nothing better for a new prime minister than to have someone else decimate his opponents for him. He would not have had to be the one to say what Chris Fearne said to his regret: that the Labour Party’s status as the only viable government party in Malta would become permanent.

While the opposition eats itself up about abortion, the corruption can go on.

Joseph Muscat figured Chris Fearne would not allow that. And no one knows better than Joseph Muscat how the status of incumbency in the leadership of the Labour Party allows any party leader to get party members and supporters to applaud anything he says.

Robert Abela knows it too. It’s a lesson his father would teach him. George Abela was deputy leader of the Labour Party when Alfred Sant was prime minister. In a hot Labour Party conference in 1998 George Abela stood up to speak to recommend to the party not to agree to have an early election. The audience at that conference gave him a standing ovation.

He was followed on the stage by the party leader, Alfred Sant, who said the opposite. It was time for an early election. He too got a standing ovation.

That was reminiscent of the scene in Animal Farm when Snowball rose to speak at the meeting and the sheep bleated with delight. Then Napoleon growled the opposite view and the sheep bleated with delight.

Those sheep chose the prime minister for the rest of us. But it is the rest of us who are being led to the slaughter like lambs.