We only see what we’re allowed to see. We can only try to figure out what happens in the background, behind closed doors. I’m going to give you 6 things you’ve seen the front of these last few days and ask you what lingers in the vast blackness behind them.

Consider the Steward’s decision to drop the €6 million lawsuit filed against one of the VGH investors accusing him of collusion with the government. That case would have, or at least could have, brought us closer to an independent determination that the VGH deal was indeed awarded in a corrupt manner. It would have forced participants to speak out. Yesterday Joseph Muscat would have had to testify in court.

Why have Steward withdrawn the case without explanation? Who told witnesses summoned on the day they needn’t bother to show up?

What follows is what could be the answer. The lawsuit by Steward was another screw in their arsenal intended to press the government to pay them what they want. Steward don’t really mind the millions anyone outside them walks away with from this deal if they’re not having to pay for it.

The government is worried about Steward spewing allegations about corruption around. Steward is not keen on that either. If they can avoid it, they will. A contract that is deemed corrupt can be nullified. If they wanted out, they’d have left already. They want to keep the contract but not at the cost of paying bribes promised by other people to other people.

How does the government get out of the mess? By using your money to buy everyone’s silence. What we saw yesterday may have been the outcome of several handshakes in gothic dark rooms. All the parties to this swindle would rather the sound of clinking glasses than the bang of a judge’s gavel, whichever way it falls.

Consider the liberation of Żonqor Point. Here’s another rotten deal masterminded by the Dick Dastardly of Maltese politics, the evil genius Joseph Muscat who is specialised in cunning plans that lead to personal profits and public catastrophes.

We’ve been told Smart City will be part of the quid pro quo. Let’s see what may be happening here. Although the government told critics of the so-called American University of Malta that they were wrong about everything, the reversal of the Żonqor allocation proves they weren’t. Critics then may have been right that this so-called University is nothing better than a front for property speculation and perhaps, washing cash and drying it as concrete.

Renouncing Żonqor reduces the property profile and potential of the AUM project. Turning over Smart City increases it back again, perhaps more so, spreading the benefit with some other friends of Joseph Muscat. Smart City was meant as a township based on economic activity from the knowledge industries. Since Keith Schembri stepped in it became a speculative platform for a company run by Joseph Muscat’s ally Kevin Deguara.

What we have out in the open are hints, unanswered questions, red herrings, and self-congratulation for “taking back” land the government had already given away. What’s in the background of that?

Just across the cape from Żonqor there’s Marsascala Creek which Ian Borg intends to transform into a marina in which swimming is only practical if one is pushed overboard. Chris Fearne joined public objections marking a portion of the bay as an area where, he thinks, no boats should be berthed to let people swim.

Though this was in direct opposition to what the government planned, Ian Borg, and then Robert Abela, said they agreed with Chris Fearne. Chris Fearne wins brownie points with some very frustrated constituents, keeping votes within the Labour Party even if voters abandon the more loyal MPs and Councillors who publicly supported the government’s original plans.

Is Chris Fearne being paid a political price to suppress his innate desire to rebel and detach himself from Robert Abela’s embarrassing shenanigans? Those sorts of conversations stay in the background.

What changed in Konrad Mizzi’s diet? What has he been given to smoke? After 5 months of cringeworthy spectacle at the Public Accounts Committee, dodging questions like a wild boar on a horseback hunt, squealing and screeching like any of that would make a difference, he went to the PAC yesterday behaving like Paul of Tarsus had just fallen off a horse, to mix equine metaphors.

How did he get to calm down? What poison has been sucked out of him to relax the strings that kept him so taut until now? What promises have been made to him in the background?

Robert Abela was all panicky when news of his wheeling and dealing with gangsters came to prominence. He didn’t expect anyone to notice. He was surprised and angry that the story came out and he looks scared more is yet to come. Publicly he told Jacob Borg he is a victim of a conspiracy, naming a PN official and the Times’s managing editor among the conspirators.

Did he suspect the involvement of someone else? Did he confront them about it, or did they confront him before he thought of it? Did they maybe confront him well before the story became a story?

Steward shuts up. Sadeen hands back Żonqor. Chris Fearne is gifted political brownie points. Konrad Mizzi mellows and giggles in smoke. Robert Abela runs scared.

You must wonder what has been keeping Joseph Muscat busy in the background these last few days.

On another note, consider finally, the Deputy Attorney General’s remark in court yesterday that “probably” other people are involved in the conspiracy to murder Daphne Caruana Galizia, and they haven’t seen the inside of a holding cell yet. He wouldn’t just say that to convince the court to deny the Degiorgios bail. He would say it because he thinks it’s true. That’s even though Angelo Gafà, when the Maksars were arraigned, led people to believe the police weren’t looking for anyone else any longer.

A signal was sent out yesterday. The authorities may not have in their possession enough evidence to charge other co-conspirators. But that doesn’t mean they stopped looking for them.

It’s not likely there were other gofers and dogsbodies. These are not people that Vincent Muscat or Melvyn Theuma may have been able to positively identify. The people Vincent Muscat or Melvyn Theuma could identify, bomb-makers, bomb-layers, and bomb-detonators, are awaiting trial.

The only other rank of co-conspirator left to find is co-planner, co-payer, some decision-maker in the planning and execution of the murder and, or, its covering up. If the authorities do not have enough evidence to charge these people, but have enough intelligence to openly declare they suspect them, they’re once again sending out a message to the one person who can help them get what they need.

The background remains dark.