The process of choosing a new Police Commissioner is now more complicated than it used to be. But it is no less predictable. The choice of Angelo Gafà was a given even with the side-shows of a wife-beating ex-policeman who resigned in disgraced just a few months ago thrown in. This is a country for betting men.

The fact is the new process of choosing a police chief is administered by a public service commission handpicked by the prime minister who short-list two candidates for the prime minister to choose one, just in case the PSC goes for his second-favourite option.

Angelo Gafà’s choice is not more legitimate than Lawrence Cutajar’s before him. Or Michael Cassar’s. Or Peter Paul Zammit’s. The chief of police will be the choice of a prime minister who has taken over from Joseph Muscat, a predecessor who resigned in disgrace who used to be his client and who he still seeks to protect.

Even if Angelo Gafà were to get any bright ideas, he’s still serving under probation for a year during which he can be removed without so much as a reach over. And if we know nothing about Angelo Gafà we certainly know he’s a talented careerist.  It is ironic that he is now the CEO of the police force, a position created to relieve the police chief from the force’s administration. Angelo Gafà was deemed the best man for that job. And now he’s moving to the job of the police chief he was relieving.

How will Angelo Gafà deal with Lawrence Cutajar and the scandal of a police chief tipping off criminals behind the back of the investigators reporting to him?

How will he deal with Konrad Mizzi’s extended stay in the UK? Will Konrad Mizzi now feel comfortable flying back to Malta?

How will the new police chief deal with Keith Schembri? With Chris Cardona? With Joseph Muscat? Will he reactivate the stalled investigations into the Panama Papers? Will he open proper investigations into Pilatus Bank and into the procurement of Electrogas?

Will he upscale resourcing for the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation? Will he be open to a joint Europol investigation into the murder?

How will he restore order within the police force as we continue to hear interviews with police officers accusing each other of corruption?

Will police officers find him exemplary? Will his weak explanations about finding his way on the party guest list of someone he prosecuted convince anyone of his integrity? Will he be able to undertake he’s a better example than some of the people who vied for his new job, that there are no skeletons in his closet, no damage to property, no domestic violence, no discoveries that could subject him to unseen pressures?

Ultimately the measure of the man will be in his work and the results he obtains. The manner of his appointment gives us no reason to believe he’ll be any different to all his Labour-serving predecessors that succeeded John Rizzo.

They say that the more things change, the more they stay the same.