It’s not that we can call anyone who doesn’t like us a mafioso. It’s not a general term that can fit any hostile circumstance. If it is used like that, we’d dilute the meaning. We’d end up crying wolf once too often.
That big poster outside Christian Borg’s second-hand car sales showroom with a photo-montage mocking Jason Azzopardi was not unlike billboards the Labour Party put up of Azzopardi when he was in politics. His ex-wife had said he had told her he’d spent the night praying at Christ’s empty tomb when it turned out he was in a hotel with his partner. That marital lie had made Jason Azzopardi the subject of a national chuckle. Fortunately, the country was spared the defence that Rosianne Cutajar had attempted, that his privacy had been violated.
When Labour did it – mocked Jason Azzopardi in a billboard campaign – it had been a cruel exploitation of a vulnerability to hurt a politician who had been hurting them with his assiduous work and his disarming ability to hold them to account.
Christian Borg, Robert Abela’s business partner, the subject of multiple investigations into various violent crimes, a lying, kidnapping, fraudster, decided he had the license to repeat the Labour Party’s methods of discrediting Jason Azzopardi.
His reason? Jason Azzopardi is representing a number of people who bought second-hand cars from Christian Borg and feel they have been cheated and defrauded. They’re suing Christian Borg in court in order to recover their losses. They still need to prove they have suffered these damages.
Christian Borg, apparently, and his frontman, Joseph Muscat’s personal photographer Joseph Camenzuli, do not appear to expect to be successful in court in defending themselves from the evidence brought against them by their victims. They are instead seeking methods of coercion to force their accusers to quit trying to obtain justice. Christian Borg’s firm released Facebook videos unlawfully identifying their cheated clients misusing data that was only in Christian Borg’s possession strictly for the purpose of the purchase and now instead turned against the customers to humiliate them in public.
And then this poster of Jason Azzopardi, ostensibly mocking him, but effectively seeking to force Jason Azzopardi’s clients to regret even having had the idea of expecting to be treated fairly by Christian Borg’s business.
As Monique Agius argued yesterday, it’s short-sighted to see that poster as ‘mockery’. This is no satirical show pulling the legs of people in public life. Christian Borg is not a cartoonist or a social commentator. He heads a criminal organisation and will use any means, lawful or not, including the right to free expression, to reach his unlawful ends, in this case to cheat his customers. That’s not ‘mockery’. That’s intimidation. It is coercion, sought, if not yet obtained given the legendary hard headedness of Jason Azzopardi, by the force of threats.
Jason Azzopardi may be irremediably stubborn. But are his clients?
And what of all the other people who have had dealings with Christian Borg and have realised as a result of these news that they’ve been fucked over by him? Will they have the courage to seek their rights and interests when they realise they’re up against a bully that will not hesitate to act unlawfully to get his way?
Have you considered that this man, together with a gang of thugs, at least in one case kidnapped and detained someone they wanted to force to comply with their criminal intent? His potential detractors will have.
Above all, anyone thinking of saying no to Christian Borg will remember that Robert Abela owes Christian Borg. He has worked for him and profited from his activities. Robert Abela will make sure nothing ever happens to Christian Borg. He will ensure that Christian Borg permanently enjoys the impunity that preserves his interests no matter what he does.
It is significant that Christian Borg imitates the Labour Party in this case. It is significant that they publicly urinate on Jason Azzopardi’s vulnerabilities in order to discredit him and in order to undermine the causes he represents. Too many people continue to think that the Labour Party there was acting as a political party would when it had done no better and been no better than Christian Borg: criminals seeking to cover up their crimes by discrediting and attempting to intimidate those who would expose them.
There is a straight and short line from the Labour Party’s historical campaigns against Jason Azzopardi and Christian Borg’s campaign. It’s as straight and short as the line between Robert Abela and Christian Borg.
So, sum it up, won’t you? A criminal organisation using means of intimidation and coercion to secure the profits from its legitimate businesses, relying on access to government power through the kompromat of politicians and officials. There’s a word for that.