From my article in The Sunday Times today:
“Forty thousand’ they say, warning their opponents that, once the result of the next election is known, they’ll have no choice but to shut up, perhaps leave the country. They don’t necessarily address that to the opposition in the wider sense as much as to Times of Malta, to Daphne’s sons, to Repubblika, to Metsola, to Newsbook and Lovin Malta, to the louder Nationalist MPs, to anyone, that is, that still refuses to prostrate themselves and swear them allegiance.
“Instead of a festival of public debate, a competition of policies, a competence contest of prospective national administrators, elections since 2017 have become acts of forceful intimidation, their outcome a foregone conclusion, only the extent and vehemence of the defeat a trickle to tease a small measure of interest.
“I find myself nostalgic for election campaigns that let us choose between a party that was pro-Europe and a party that was against. I chide my older self for wishing for a consensus over such an important thing. I now long for a time when Labour campaigned to defeat the Nationalists because they disagreed with them.”