I feel silly having to say this and I’m warned that by drawing attention to things Simon Mercieca, that self-loathing slug who splutters through the slime he excretes and proceeds to ingest, I give him the attention he craves and help spread the lies he spews.

It would seem sensible to ignore him, except that for his followers, such as they are, ignoring him is confused with accepting what he says as truth.

So, for the record, Manuel Delia, this website, and the NGO I work for, Repubblika, are not funded by rich (or poor) tycoons who are trying to influence public discourse or policy. Nothing in my writing and in my work can at any time have been read to be an argument that serves anyone’s private or commercial interests. I don’t take money for advertising, except through Google Ads and Taboola which means I never get to have awkward conversations with advertisers. I refuse all offers to carry paid posts. And I especially don’t speak for a business tycoon in the hope he’s let off a murder charge.

So, anyone can criticise what I choose to write and not write about as a product of my biases, my prejudices, my errors of judgement, but never the product of the exertion of anyone’s influence on me, particularly through the promise of financial reward or the threat of withdrawing the same.

And I stand by what I write which means I’m perfectly happy to do so without being paid to write it. I acknowledge that Simon Mercieca could say the same, but more shame on him because if he’s going to argue for the release of a millionaire journalist-killer he might as well charge him money for it.

Not that I owe Simon Mercieca an explanation because even if he was a reader of this blog, I’d much rather he wasn’t. I am frankly not accountable to him. But I still resent how he seeks to undermine my credibility by pretending to wonder aloud if I’m on the take.

Fuck right off, won’t you?