Sent in by someone known to me:

Salarino: Why, I am sure. If he forfeit then wilt not take his flesh. What’s that good for?

Shylock: To bait fish withal. If it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He has disgraced me and hindered me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies.

The justice meted to dissenting subjects of the monarchs of the great ancient pagan civilisations was disproportionately brutal and barbaric. The Romans gave especial priority to the rule of law and set the standard for all despotic regimes through the ages. They perfected the craft of capital punishment to ensure maximum suffering. They also ensured a slow death in order to prolong the agonising public exhibition. It was intended to strip the offender of his dignity, to publicly humiliate and to punish his family. The intention was to act as a deterrent against similar dissent.

The Mosaic law “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” was a great advance for its time. It was to ensure that justice and punishment were proportionate to the severity of the crime. For the advanced Jewish population, it superseded the pagan barbaric justice. But even that advance of punishment walked a fine line between true justice and revenge. In his infamous speech, Alfred Sant advocated that type of justice where the Labour Party is concerned.

The New Testament precept of justice was to set the standard for modern society. “The turning of the cheek the other way if struck on the right cheek,” cannot be taken literally as it’s not physically possible. Rather, it means resolving a wrong through dialogue and argumentation with the scope of disarming the offender. It is intended to make them recognise the wrongness of the act, so they can mend their ways. Not all people have the gift of the gab so that that’s where litigation and lawyers come in. This also forms the basis of diplomacy where wrongs are righted and disputes are resolved through compromise. There are moral victors on both sides with this mode of justice. Even if you lose your short-term material cause, you emerge a moral victor.

For Glenn Bedingfield, Daphne Caruana Galizia’s death was just a perfectly natural and therefore inevitable reaction that was automatically triggered off by her behaviour. However, the real-life facts contradict this. As do his replies to questioning from another angle when he admits that the part he played was retaliatory albeit proportionate and therefore justified. Bedingfield’s reasoning at the public inquiry was not dissimilar to that of the protagonist in Sister Helen Prejean’s book “Dead Man Walking”. The context and circumstances of the case are completely different. The prisoner used the same cause and effect theory in his appeal to downgrade his sentence. The appeal was promptly turned down by the judges.

Sister Prejean was frustrated in her attempt to seek redemptive closure for both the criminal and the victims’ families because the criminal obstinately refused to accept responsibility for his part in the crime. He depicted himself as a victim of circumstance and arrogantly defended his victimhood by going on the attack. For him, the two murdered children were the aggressors as by their behaviour they provoked his criminal reaction. In the end, the murdered victims brought it on themselves.

It’s always the truth that hurts. When in the wrong, arguments to disprove the truth are ineffective. That is not the case when attempting to counter blatant falsehoods unless, of course, you shut your ears and persist in believing the falsehood.

Daphne Caruana Galizia was right on most major issues (and she will also be proven right on Egrant with time). When in the wrong, Labour cannot handle the truth. They were unable to compete with the sheer cutting force of her logic and cogent arguments. Labour apologists refused to meet her on equal ground as per the New Testament precept of dispute resolution.

So, they covered up their misdeeds by going on the attack against the messenger. Labour meted out its own brand of justice as defined by Chris Cardona in his infamous axeman speech to rousing applause. Glenn Bedingfield shrugged it off as an inevitable but just “eye for an eye” predicament. He nonchalantly expressed his matter-of-fact homespun philosophy of every action having an equal and opposite effect. In actual fact, it was way beyond that. It was the disproportionate pre-Judeo-Christian type of sadistic, barbaric punishment that through the ages has been practiced by despotic governments right up to modern times.

What’s with Labour people that they cannot take criticism? They shouldn’t be in politics if they cannot take any form of criticism. They are in government to be criticised. That is a central tenet of true democracy, being held to account by the public and the third estate. What is eating them when they are “hurt”?

If their skin is so thin and delicate, they are not qualified to be in politics, let alone in government. The worst type of villains are those wolves who cover themselves in sheepskin when the going gets tough. By doing so, they seek to take over the high moral ground of victimhood. Once they do so, their retaliation is masked as an act of self defence against the iniquitous aggressor that the critic becomes.

In that manner, they legitimise their vengeful aggression within the public square. Or maybe, they are so inhuman that they don’t have any exosketeton at all. Or more likely, they’re frauds like those playacting footballers. After minimal contact, these players roll in agony on the ground grimacing and squealing with excruciating imaginary pain.

The entire team engulfs the referee inducing him to sanction the player with red. Remember the Valletta council meeting for the removal of the memorial. A dismissive gesture on the part of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s sister in relation to a Labour stooge (posing as a journalist who invaded her private space with his filming) was hyped up by the Labour media and the useless association of journalists into a charge of hurtful assault and battery.

Daphne’s caustic criticism of Labour officials was no different to the Pope’s spontaneous physical reaction when an over-enthusiastic, well-meaning pilgrim manhandled him out of the blue. It was a reflex act in response to the painful handling that could have led to a shoulder dislocation or a hip fracture. It wasn’t pre-planned or intentional. If anything, it underpins the weakness in her strength. Not so with Glenn Bedingfield’s personal attacks. They were well planned, coordinated and had a premeditated objective. In the public inquiry, he displays the braggadocio of the gleeful soldier firing wildly at the defencelessly pinned down enemy with the bravery of being out of range. This personage was a character in Roger Waters’ “Amused to Death” opus.

At the public inquiry, Glenn Bedingfield implied that Daphne Caruana Galizia got what she deserved because she destroyed families with her reporting. It was the miscreants who damaged their own families with their acts. He kept reiterating that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So, he justified Labour’s behaviour with the misconstrued and misplaced metaphysical equation of cause and effect that in a democratic society should not apply to the press. That is the job of accomplished political journalists. If they’re not doing that, then they’re merely disseminating propagandistic material.

Glenn Bedingfield’s defiant, unrepentant statements suggest that under the new prime minister, the same anti-Daphne-style measures are to be unleashed against the journalists who stepped into the vacuum left by her untimely death (besides, of course, the Caruana Galizia family). The writing is on the wall. We have seen it all before: the SLAPP suits, the costly cyber-blocking attempts, the taxpayer funded blog that is to be resurrected, etc. The new enigmatic prime minister is behaving more and more like the two-timing ogres repeatedly unmasked by the Scooby Doo gang.

Following the death of Miriam Pace, he stated the obvious: “Progress cannot be achieved at this price, at the cost of human life. A man has become a widower and a mother and a wife has died in her home.” Clearly, he did not say that as Joseph Muscat’s legal advisor in the aftermath of Daphne’s assassination.

Glenn Bedingfield’s cause and effect theory may hold water after all, but not in the sense he’d wish it to. Consider the headmen who co-ordinate the abusive piling up of concrete bricks on a wooden ceiling raft. As the weight builds up, the ceiling eventually gives in causing a massive brick fall that crushes an innocent woman on whom their entire malicious attention was focused.

Although that Bedingfield brick might not have been the one to strike the fatal blow, it still was one of the bricks in the rubble under which the mangled corpse was buried. He was a cog in the elaborate machinery, that was to make possible the killing of an innocent woman whose only “crime” was to passionately do her duty as a political journalist to the best of her ability.