Robert Abela is going ahead with his threat. Read my comments from when Robert Abela first warned the opposition that they either agreed with his choice of Commissioner for Standards in Public Life or he’d change the law to go ahead and appoint his choice without their help.

I will not repeat the objections to that except to add that this new law not only allows the government to force through a nomination the opposition disagrees with but also to come up with a final choice which the opposition was never given the opportunity to review.

This is a callous and cynical law that reduces a Parliamentary official whose job it is to scrutinise misconduct by persons in public life, to a government employee working at the pleasure of ministers. In other words, the position is neutralised, our government is opaquer, our Parliament is less able to do its basic job of overseeing the government, our ministers have a greater opportunity to break rules with impunity, and our right as citizens to know what’s going on and how our money is being spent is crushed deeper into the frozen ground.

Robert Abela’s government has learnt from the best fascists. They are not killing democracy by machine gun fire. They are lulling democracy to sleep, killing her softly, making her oblivious as they gnaw at her feet.

They published the bill abolishing Parliament’s power to choose a person to scrutinise their activity a day after Boxing Day. That fact alone betrays their fear that someone somewhere might still be concerned about what they’re doing to democracy and might be tempted to do something about it. Perhaps they over-estimate us. Face it, who cares if they legislate what is already practically fact? They do as they please, don’t they?