Edward Scicluna may be a professor of economics. But his rare comments to the media, apparently thoroughly rehearsed, are completely unhindered by logic, reason, decency, and self-awareness. One would have hoped that his ‘famous last words’ would be how the FIAU reports about Konrad Mizzi’s shenanigans were merely “written to be leaked”.

Alas, Edward Scicluna, is one of those bad vampires in grindhouse movies who defy the laws of vampirism and get back on their feet with a stake through their heart chewing garlic in sunlight. As far as he’s concerned he’ll be Central Bank Governor in 2124 and no one should dare hope otherwise.

That is what he sounded like today as he told reporters how inconceivable it was for him to imagine his resignation even as he was getting ready to plea to serious charges of fraud and misappropriation at the expense of the Maltese government.

They won’t be his last words, but they’ll be famous: “No government, Opposition or NGO can ask me to resign,” he said today.

See what I mean by a complete absence of compromise with basic logic? Of course, the government, the Opposition, an NGO, you, me, my dog, and the octopus stretching its last legs at the Marsaxlokk market canask Edward Scicluna to resign.

What he should have said is that none of these can force him to resign.

Yes, as a European Central Bank official he enjoys immunity. It is also shockingly true that in at least one other case an equivalent official of the ECB from another country was convicted of worse than Edward Scicluna is being accused of, and that guy didn’t resign. Nor, disturbingly, did the ECB move to remove that other fellow. So, Edward Scicluna can presume his job is safe. He can continue to count his peanuts (another one of his legendary quotations if you remember how he justified what he’s paid and compared it with what PhD-free monkeys are entitled to expect).

The ECB’s expectation and viciously zealous protection of its autonomy is, I should imagine, understandable. When governments can apply pressure on central bankers, everybody is likely to suffer. But their independence does not mean they are also liberated by an expectation of any standard of decency that we are entitled to expect.

And the immunity enjoyed by central bankers has a legal limit anyway. They can expect immunity from prosecution of any of their actions qua central bankers. But they can’t expect immunity for something unlawful they did elsewhere. Edward Scicluna is protected from prosecution for what he may have done in his current office. Nobody is complaining about that. The issue here is that in his previous office of Finance Minister he, allegedly, committed fraud at the expense of the government he was a minister of.

So, though no government, no Opposition, and no NGO can force his resignation, it does not mean nobody can. Culturally and by precedent we can expect his buddies at the ECB to protect him. He should be less optimistic if the case comes up to the European Court of Justice. And though it’s unlikely for the government to take that path, I think I know of an NGO who may accidentally join its hands at the finger tips right now and bring its indices to its lips in meditative consideration.

Should it really come to that? Can only resignations which are forced be expected to occur? Does no one use the phrase ‘to do decent thing’ in conversation without irony anymore?

Since time immemorial, and until this very year, any government employee in Edward Scicluna’s situation, who would be made to respond to charges of crimes that are punishable by over a year in prison, would have been automatically suspended from their jobs and half their salary withheld until they’ve cleared their name. If they don’t and they’re definitively convicted their dismissal from employment would be automatic.

All this would happen without hearing the concerned person’s side of the story because the action of suspending someone responding to charges was not deemed a punishment as such. It was rather a precautionary measure to ensure that though the accused is presumed innocent, the process of the accused defending themselves does not stress the activity or the reputation of the office they hold or they work in.

This has always been the rule. Until this year. It may or may not be that the rule was dropped when the government got wind that so many of its officials, right up to its Deputy Prime Minister, could expect criminal charges. As in fact happened.

Think then about the reasons for this now defunct cautionary procedure. Edward Scicluna must be presumed innocent until he’s convicted. But he must also respond and defend himself from an accusation brought against him by the government of having defrauded that government. They can’t force him to resign, and as Robert Abela perversely has done, neither will they ask him.

But the stress on his office as Governor of the Central Bank is self-evident. The damage to the bank’s reputation is inevitable, even if it were to prove temporary. And let’s not overstate the importance of the central bank in these days of a single European currency. The real damage here is to the reputation of the European Central Bank, such as it is.

I grant Edward Scicluna the fact that he’s not the worst liability the ECB has hanging around the neck of the history of its reputation. But just because he’s not its biggest sin, doesn’t entitle him to his self-serving stubbornness. Is this how he wants to be thought of, as the slightly less embarrassing liability?

We may no longer expect seppuku if your attempt at a silent fart in the presence of your Edo lord turns loud or messy. But we expect that people in office who are embarrassed by criminal charges brought by prosecutors against them to resign their office. We expect them to be embarrassed to begin with. Scicluna and the other wet fuck-smears in this Joseph Muscat cabal look positively and bewilderingly pleased with themselves.

Edward Scicluna confuses his independence and autonomy with infallibility and impunity. And he imagines he is relieved of accountability and even the most basic decency.

Few can force his resignation and it’s a long and painful road to get there. But does he really want to find out if anyone can? Is he really so lacking in the most basic self-awareness to realise that whatever he may believe about his chances of getting acquitted, his insistence on exploiting the terms of his incumbency to squat in his job looks conceited, even desperate. Even greedy.

When being tried for fraud and misappropriation, greed is not a good look.