All political groupings in the European Parliament yesterday voted in a resolution on the rule of law in Malta. The resolution included an urging to introduce the right to abortion in our law which was a point the liberal grouping wanted added. Sources in the EP say that Labour MEP Cyrus Engerer pushed for the reference to abortion to be included but his wasn’t some principled desire to exert influence on Malta on this subject. It might have been had he voted for the resolution. He didn’t vote for it. He didn’t vote against it. He slipped out when the vote was taken so he would not have to assume responsibility for the damage he intended to cause.

The intended damage? Not the fact that the European Parliament urged Malta to introduce abortion. There’s no harm in that. The European Parliament has been urging Malta to introduce abortion for years. Malta has chosen to ignore that urge as it is likely to continue to do for some years yet. The intended damage was that today we’d be speaking about what the European Parliament said we should do about abortion rather than all the other things the European Parliament said we should be doing.

Consider this TVM report of yesterday’s resolution.

You’d be forgiven to think abortion was all the resolution was about because that’s all TVM reported on. Cyrus Engerer wants you to think this was a resolution about abortion in Malta. TVM wants you to think this was about abortion in Malta. Labour wants you to think this was about abortion in Malta.

The truth is the European Parliament yesterday “pays tribute to Daphne Caruana Galizia six years after her assassination and to her essential work in exposing corruption, organised crime, tax fraud and money laundering and in holding those involved in such illegal activities accountable”. That’s something the EP has done every year over the contrary votes of Malta’s Labour MEPs. Paying tribute to Daphne Caruana Galizia is something our own government has always failed to do. The EP also said it was “deeply concerned” we still haven’t convicted the mastermind behind Daphne’s killing.

Here’s a good one. The EP said it was “appalled” by Robert Abela “downplaying acts of institutionalised corruption”. Can I please underline that there were only 2 socialist MEPs who voted against the resolution that declared itself “appalled” by Robert Abela, one of the leaders of the European socialist party? And those 2 socialist MEPs are Maltese, of course.

Here’s a few other things the EP said apart from that we should introduce abortion.

They described the implementation of the Daphne Caruana Galizia inquiry report “is still highly deficient” which feels to me like a form of reluctant flattery. The EP wants “swift and independent investigations and prosecutions of all public officials allegedly embroiled in corruption.” It wants European monitoring of the investigation into the misuse of data for political discrimination. It wants rigorous prosecution of financial crimes. It is “alarmed” at the slow progress in the Pilatus Bank case.

The EP said Malta should have better capacity to investigate and prosecute crime. It thinks the Venice Commission should help us improve our legal framework to properly punish corruption. It wants the European Commission to “take seriously the cultural of impunity in Malta.”

The European Parliament is concerned that Joseph Muscat, Keith Schembri, and Konrad Mizzi continue to enjoy impunity. TVM had nothing to say about that.

The EP is worried about “police action against activists” because, in a silent reference to Robert Aquilina of Repubblika being dragged to the Ħamrun Police Station for daring to criticise TVM that action “constitutes intimidation that has a chilling effect on public participation and contributes to the silencing of civil society.” TVM had nothing to say about that either.

The EP wants the Maltese government to stop “its negative rhetoric targeting journalists.” They say the government’s proposals “do not improve the media freedom situation” and it’s concerned the government “did not conduct meaningful public consultation” on press reform. They deplore the fact that journalists “are currently still target of SLAPPs” and, they say, Malta should have “a framework to ensure transparency in state advertising.”

The EP calls on Malta to fix whistleblower protection, appoint a Human Rights Commission, implement the recommendations the Council of Europe and its subsidiary agencies handed down to us over the last 6 years, and stop selling passports.

And they say we should have safe and legal abortion.

And all we’re talking about is that they think we should have abortion. If you’re against abortion, can we agree to ignore just that recommendation and adopt the rest? This would be a much better place.

Needs to be said. Only fourteen MEPs voted against this resolution. Two are independent MEPS: Marcel de Graaff who quit the far-right political grouping because he found the bleeding hearts of neo-Nazis insufficiently resolute to side with Russia in its war on Europe, and Slovak Milan Uhrik who calls himself “patriotic and conservative”, but fascist would be closer to the mark. Eight dissenters come from the baby-eating neo-Nazi German AfD party, and two come from the right-wing fringes of the right-wing ECR group. Then there’s Alex Agius Saliba and Josianne Cutajar.

Alfred Sant had the decency to avoid being placed in that list of far-right extremists and Cyrus Engerer was too much of a coward to allow himself to be placed in that list of far-right extremists. Which presumably places Cyrus Engerer firmly in the anti-abortion camp, an irony he’s probably too jaded to notice. Because if you think about it, Cyrus Engerer’s strategy of pushing for the inclusion of abortion in this resolution cynically exploits the fact that many people who support the cause for improving the rule of law in Malta are also against abortion. Labour relies on the opinions of people against abortion in order to mobilise hostility to the calls by the entire range of political opinion in Europe (which does not propose the abolishing of democracy) t0 stop downplaying corruption as Robert Abela does or to continue to get away with it as Joseph Muscat.

TVM didn’t report any of that either. They are dishonest propagandists who are cheating their audience of the truth. They are no better than fascist mouthpieces of their criminal bosses.