My closing remarks at yesterday’s launch of The Third Siege of Malta.

You’re walking away with 135,000 words I wrote so the last thing you need is a speech. So just a few words of thanks from me.

First, thanks for everyone helping out tonight and for the panellists who took time out and managed to do something that doesn’t often happen in my experience – find nice things to say about me.

For the blog: I thank my donors, subscribers, contributors, commenters, guest writers and translators. Actually, it’s one translator who takes time out almost every day to translate many of my articles to Maltese. I’m not supposed to call out their name but they can hear my thanks anyway.

And of course, I thank the blog’s readers and visitors who are the point of it all. Truth must be told, but there’s little point if it isn’t also heard.

For my column, I thank my editors at The Sunday Times: Mark, Anthony and Herman. Thank you for the space and the opportunity. I’m told the first time I don’t feel excited I’m on The Sunday Times next Sunday is when I should quit writing. My next column is almost done.

For the book, I thank Alessandra and her eidetic memory. With the genius. This book would either be longer than the family edition of The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire or not exist at all, were it not for her.

I thank Martin Bugelli for ringing out most of the typos and adopting the logical orphans.

I thank the cartoonists and illustrators who have enriched this book with their art, their humour and their insight. Thank you Celia, Sebastian, Pepito, Ġorġ, Miriam, Steve, Marisa, and Gattaldo: you’ve made this a better book. A special mention for Rebecca Zammit Lupi whose art is also a part of this book. May you be reminded of her beautiful but all too brief life whenever you see again this book on your shelves.

I thank Joe Mizzi for once again being my courageous publisher. I mean ‘courageous’ as Humphrey Appleby would use it when he meant to discourage his Minister. But nothing discourages Joseph Mizzi. Not even the legal letters and the threatening phone calls.

Which takes me to my next set of thanks. For blog, column, books, and all my other adventures, I thank my lawyers – Eve, Therese, Jason, Paul, Matthew, Karol, Michael, Antonio, Simon and – every day, out of nothing but friendship but with much too much patience and generosity added on top, Andrew Borg Cardona, il-Boċċa himself. Boċċa is the only reason most of the threats for libel I’m faced with remain just threats. If you’re in my business make sure your best friend is a good libel lawyer.

Thanks go to my colleagues at Repubblika, and all other activists in Occupy Justice, the Daphne Foundation and other groupings and organisations who continue to resist this Siege. Every day I strive to be worthy to fight alongside them.

Thank you to colleagues in Maltese news organisations who eke out the truth like water out of the stubborn and secret rock that is our government. I write my commentary largely on facts established by others. On their shoulders I stand. And I’m told that can be unpleasant for someone beneath me.

They can never be named but they must be thanked: sources, whistle-blowers, people of conscience who help journalists and who help me understand what is really going on. Before it’s told, truth is learnt: from its witnesses who overcome fear and gamble with risk for no reward but a sense that they have served justice.

I wish to thank Daphne Caruana Galizia. For her example, her sacrifice, and her heroic presence even now.

There’s no risk this will sound like Oscars night, what with ponies roaming freely, the chickens, and big old glamorous me giving you this final good night. But please indulge my final thanks to my wife Clemence and our children Benoit, Jerome and Amelie to whom this book is dedicated.

For your patience, thank you.