Another one bites the dust

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 June, 2020 at 12:39 pm by Andre Camilleri

The untimely end of Konrad Mizzi’s political career had long been overdue, at least since he was outed as having a secret account in Panama, the only minister in the EU to have done so and to have been allowed to stay in office.

But Joseph Muscat kept him, though moving him around, defying public opinion not just in Malta but internationally as well.

But then Dr Mizzi always had a sort of ascendancy over Dr Muscat, as witnessed by the ‘iced bucket’ prank some years back.

He was not the typical Labour politician as Chris Cardona, for instance, was, even though his family was, and is,  Labour-supporting. Konrad Mizzi offered something that the others did not have – an ability to think outside the box, to try a novel approach, to think on a wider level.

But then he was many times tempted to think of a personal cut from anything he handled. And Joseph Muscat proved singularly unable to rope him in, even when he kept switching his ministries around. (There’s a more sinister interpretation that could be made).

Muscat kept getting warnings from near and far, but disregarded them all. Morto Sansone e tutti I Filistei.

At the end, after the recent developments in the various court hearings linked to Daphne’s murder, the dyke burst and Prime Minister Robert Abela had to bite the bullet.

The way is now open for any police Investigations there may be and even for eventual court proceedings. In this regard, how does one go about arraigning an MP? By lifting the immunity?

Let this be a warning and a lesson for all politicians of today and tomorrow. Gone are the times where nobody dared criticise a politician. Maybe we should have gone down this road years and years ago.

At the same time, care must be taken with regards to Konrad Mizzi’s  ‘babies’ – Air Malta above anything else.

It is ironic that just as Dr Mizzi was going, the airline was desperately trying amid a thousand difficulties to fly non-stop to India, a target Dr Mizzi yearned so much to achieve.

While other airlines are out and about to start flying again and informing would-be passengers about new security features, our national airline is embroiled in a very damaging war with its pilots and aircrew.

Against his predecessor, Dr Mizzi went for expansion in routes and planes. But as it is, not enough time has passed to assess the impact of the expansionary project. And there’s the pandemic to consider too.

Then there’s the hospitals case to consider, since the former minister had a hand in that too. Since the previous prime minister had been prevailed upon to redact the relevant documents, we still do not have enough information to guide us. And of course we still need to evaluate the validity of the contracts in the background of many complaints about non-investments.

It is not easy to draw a line and look ahead. Those politicians who voted to kick him out of the parliamentary group on Tuesday were mainly the same who voted in his favour earlier.

Politics, one never tires of saying, is not for the personal gain of the politician.

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