Yesterday was a bit of a coming out of the shell moment for me. I never wanted this blogging business to be about me, especially after Daphne was killed and this bit of fun on the side became my life and my mission. I didn’t want to be speaking about Arriva which happened 10 years ago while Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi were robbing us dry and getting away with it.
But when Silvio Zammit, John Dalli’s henchman who negotiated for his boss a big fuck off bribe that pushed Malta down the slope of worldwide shame, challenged me yesterday to say “what I got from Arriva”, that was one troll too many.
Vaguely implicating I was bribed by a publicly listed bus company which is a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn is one of the trolls’ standard mantras.
Here’s another one. I made Malta the laughing stock of the world when the then Mayor of London, the great Boris Johnson, crowed that he had rid London of articulated buses and many of them were now clogging the streets of Malta instead. Oh how watchers of One TV wallowed in shame at the damage to Malta’s reputation. Oh how low had Manuel Delia dragged the country in the eyes of the world.
Boris Johnson’s government pushed through Westminster yesterday a law imposing higher requirements of oversight on financial transactions with Malta because, wait for it, there’s a high-risk Malta’s financial services are used to finance terrorism and launder illicit money.
Puts big fucking buses in perspective, doesn’t it?
Bendy buses clogged the street of Malta for a while. But here we are now paralysed with an angina attack of illicit money that ranks us with North Korea and Iran and the ever so slightly less malign Haiti, the Philippines, South Sudan, Albania, Barbados, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Mauritius, Morocco, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Senegal, Syria, Uganda, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.
Do you remember Alfred Sant squealing his party would make us the Switzerland of the Mediterranean? Is it too soon to think Panama of the Mediterranean is funny?
I know I’m biased but if I had to choose between Boris Johnson cracking a lame quip about articulated buses on the Sliema waterfront and relegating the entire country to financial pariah status, I know what I’d pick.
Thank Joseph for l-aqwa żmien. Imn’alla ruħi.