How endearing of the prime minister yesterday to complain the Nationalist Party did not file comments on the cannabis liberalisation proposal. I don’t speak for the Nationalist Party. But neither does Robert Abela, or he shouldn’t be in any case.

The government’s consultation initiatives are a bit of a rare joke. Rare because they almost never happen, certainly not on important matters. The government here changes Malta’s Constitution without as much as an if you please. But will ‘consult’ on laws that it wants to draw out for its tactical advantages.

Consider a consultation started with much fanfare last October to draw up a “first national plan against racism and xenophobia”. The government opened its doors to opinions and views and then, nothing. No summary of opinions was published. No draft action plan was published. No conclusion to the process happened.

The reason they started it was that they needed to tell the European Commission they were busy working to minimise racism and xenophobia. But a government led by a prime minister who openly says the country is “full up” for a certain type of migrants and “open for business” for a certain other type, which types are largely defined in terms of race – African v Rest of the World – racism and xenophobia is official policy.

The cannabis process may have a conclusion if the government calculates it will benefit it in terms of votes. The childish remark the prime minister made chiding the Nationalists for not speaking about the things he chooses for them, suggests that the prime minister calculates the matter is advantageous to him and his party.

This morning’s Times of Malta report of Robert Abela’s speech makes a pointed observation. Even as he spoke about what the PN chose not to speak about, Robert Abela chose not to speak about the fact that the newspaper yesterday confirmed one of his Ministers is the subject of a criminal investigation into whether he was the inside man in a bank robbery.

The hypocrisy of it all.