Robert Abela said yesterday that he could say with pride that under his tenure, now two years’ old, there hasn’t been one single episode of bad governance to report. I suppose ‘good’ or ‘bad’ are normative descriptions that come in degrees and what’s perfectly good for Robert Abela is bad for the rest of the country.

Just off the top of my head and in expectation that you will remind me of others, here are thinks I remember from these last two years that Robert Abela presumably considers episodes of “good” governance.

He retained Carmelo Abela and covered up for Chris Cardona after multiple witnesses named them in connection with an armed bank robbery. He intervened on a decision by the Attorney General in a politically-sensitive plea bargain in an attempted murder case. He rejected calls to debate legislation to implement Daphne inquiry. He protected Konrad Mizzi from Parliamentary scrutiny over NAO findings on Electrogas. He overruled the electorate choices in casual elections to force his personal choice of unelected officials on Parliament. Justyne Caruana spent public funds to pay her boyfriend for work he did not do and could not do. Robert Abela retained Owen Bonnici as a government minister in spite of a court decision that he breached fundamental human rights. He retained Johann Buttigieg in government in spite of offering Yorgen Fenech to work for him. He ignored addiction-fighting NGOs throughout the adoption of cannabis liberalisation laws. He ignored calls for consultation on changes to whistle-blower protection laws to make sure no one accusing ministers of corruption gets any protection. He retained Alex Dalli as prison director through multiple suicides and sustained allegations of torture. He retained Rosianne Cutajar in his parliamentary group and as a Labour candidate after admitted receiving a large cash gift from Yorgen Fenech. He ignored Council of Europe recommendations to rein in engagement of “persons of trust”. He delivered formal government announcements over Labour TV station before Parliament, the press, or public TV. He deleted criminal convictions from the public record without any basis in law. There were inexplicable false starts avoiding the prosecution of John Dalli. There continues to be failure to charge Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri over the Panama Papers, Electrogas, and VGH. There has been failure to act after Joseph Muscat was exposed for payments from VGH. Arrest warrants against Maria Efimova were retained. Robert Abela retained Karl Stagno Navarra as a mouthpiece of his party after the exposure of false police reports to harass Karol Aquilina. He appointed Manwel Mallia to Malta’s London Embassy in spite of resignation in disgrace from cabinet and admitting stashing €500,000 in cash at home. He kept draft anti-SLAPP and journalist-protection laws secret for months. Labour TV incited hatred against church and media because a priest and a journalist walked by a protest. His government sold passports to people unconnected with Malta in breach of EU law. Robert Abela spent money announcing a metro project, then went silent. He planted a puppet to run TVM turning it into an uninhibited propaganda vehicle. He appointed Edward Scicluna as Central Bank governor in spite of an ongoing criminal inquiry. He took no action after the Labour Party was exposed organising a cover-up scheme to hide funds from Yorgen Fenech. No action was taken against the owners and directors of Pilatus Bank. His government attempted to shut down Repubblika on false accusations of illegality. His ministers like Alex Muscat and Ian Borg spent public money in vote-grabbing projects of dubious public utility in their constituency. Three teenagers are facing life in prison charged with hijacking and piracy for the crime of providing translation to other passengers on the ship that rescued them from certain death. Robert Abela ordered migrants rescued in Maltese territorial waters to be illegally pushed out. He ordered migrants rescued in Malta’s search and rescue area to be illegally pushed back to a war-torn country. He retained Edward Zammit Lewis in spite of bromance with Yorgen Fenech after the 17 Black revelations. He pressured the Daphne Caruana Galizia inquiry to shut down before time. He retained Chris Fearne, Evarist Bartolo, Jose Herrera, Michael Falzon, Carmelo Abela, Justyne Caruana, Michael Farrugia, Owen Bonnici, and Ian Borg after the Daphne inquiry found them responsible for Daphne’s killing. He failed to act on the Daphne inquiry’s call for the state to assume responsibility for Daphne’s killing. He intervened on Clint Camilleri’s behalf to stop Standards Commissioner George Hyzler from asking questions to ministers suspected of unethical conduct. He protected Carmelo Abela after he was found using public money to advertise his face on Sunday newspapers. For months Robert Abela’s government denied access to the press to the prisons and detention facilities. He permitted his party’s candidates to dish out gifts to their constituents. He attempted to subvert the constitution by removing free trial safeguards for people fined millions by administrative agencies. TVM used public money to fix odds on betting on the Eurovision. Robert Abela fixed tax deals for property tycoon party donors owing millions over decades. He hired Neville Gafà to mediate for them in Libya even though they knew he worked with warlords blacklisted by the UN. He did nothing after the NAO found that a €275 million contract for St Vincent de Paul flouted basic rules of public procurement and was illegal. He ran campaign to undermine Ombudsman. He set up “grievances” boards to bypass the Ombudsman and pay money to Labour cronies. His government clamped down on NGOs and charities to prevent them raising funds for their causes. A Labour Party councillor was convicted of smuggling. Robert Abela retained Joseph Cuschieri on government boards after resigning in disgrace from the MFSA for advising and travelling at the expense of Yorgen Fenech. The government retained Matthew Pace’s Zenith on the list of recommended financial advisers in spite of court-ordered asset freeze. He decorated Ian Abdilla for service to the country in spite of an inquiry that could not believe his excuses for covering up for Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi. He drew up plans for a prison ship anchored beyond the horizon. And then there’s the detail that Joseph Muscat is still a member and a hero of the Labour Party when he should be drawing up a big board on his living room wall to keep up with the court appearances he should be facing.

Except for these and maybe others you can think of, there hasn’t been a single episode of bad governance since Robert Abela took office.