Dear Mr. Farrugia,

Not knowing your clerk’s email, I write to you directly. Not being a citizen of Malta, I trust this to be acceptable. It is a pleasure for me to start the day on this positive and very personal note!

I hail from a small European State that suffers from similar ailments in governance and democracy that Malta also seems to suffer from, with one of the hallmarks of these being that the hard lines between the institutional pillars of the state tend to be fuzzy and leaky. Unfortunately, when it comes to states and democracy, size does seem to matter, and the smaller states get, the harder it seems to keep things straight, clean and honest.

Fortunately, in my country we have not yet been through the murder of a journalist exposing the maelstrom afflicting the upper echelons of power. Unfortunately though, some of us realize that this does not owe to absence of such business, but rather to the fact that investigative journalism in my country is still-born. The generous and institutionalised handouts of my state to the press – otherwise owned by large foreign media conglomerates renowned for their compliant, middle of the road and blinkered “news” cycle – ensure that no “reasonable” or “decent” journalist here would ever get out of bed in the morning to go, to investigate and to report on the murky deals that plague the heart of our city. Like Malta, we are not much more than just that – a city.

Anyways. For this, I confess to be full of envy, and Malta is extremely fortunate to have the one – or better put; to remain with the one – investigative journalist of international clout adorning your shores, edifying the citizens of Malta, and the world at large, about what goes down in the chambers of high office in your land.

With regards to Manuel Delia’s recent piece, entitled “Anġlu Farrugia and his lawyer, unqualified piles of shit”, I did not need all that much time to make sense of the, admittedly, rather unusual title. And I thus write, because I wanted to express to you my congratulations for your new-found international fame as a Speaker of a House who does not grasp what institution he represents and leads, and what his actual function is.

And I write, because I would like to sincerely thank you; people like you make people like me, evolving in a similar type of “Banana Republic” (we are a “Grand Duchy” actually…), feel better. You make us realise that we are not alone – somehow, I came to realise that people from small countries have that tendency to sometimes feel a bit “alone.” Thanks to you, I realise that there are citizens elsewhere who buckle under the weight of equally uninspiring chamber rats, that think nothing, stand for nothing, root for the status quo, err or head into the wrong direction, eat the cheese and the cake, and resist the otherwise mundane temptations of accountability – often with great panache.

So thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me feel part of a real community of real citizens – my connection to Malta grows by the day, reading about achievers like your good self! And thank you – to Manuel Delia (in copy) – for keeping us connected!

Yours sincerely,

Gilles Hosch