At times, out of sheer defiance at my dishonourable discharge from the National Book Council by Robert Abela’s government, I say “I have no regrets”.
I’m proud at having revived a book industry and introduced new sources of revenue during a time when the book industry was going through a slump. I’ve made many mistakes which I regret, for sure, but they are not mistakes of a political nature. I am not perfect and I am fully aware of my limits as an irrelevant mortal. People often misjudged me by saying that I could have acted differently in order to keep the peace with the government and the Labour Party, of which I am a member. With regards to the preconceived actions and positions I took in the frame of this latter advice, I say again, and quite clearly, that I have no regrets.
I have never acted with hostility towards the government or Prime Minister Robert Abela, and least of all towards the Labour Party when I was an executive with the government. The executives who damaged the government’s reputation and ruined that of the party are people like Johann Buttigieg, who solicited business from Yorgen Fenech in his official capacity as a government executive, and Jason Micallef, whose incompetence, rent seeking and acerbic verbiage make him equivalent to a sexless monkey on LSD.
Then there are the Victoria Buttigiegs: their epitome is the current Attorney General who got promoted for abetting and covering up the corruption under Joseph Muscat and is currently ensuring that her corrupt boss, Edward Zammit Lewis, who returned the favour of Yorgen Fenech’s gifts by defending him under Joseph Muscat’s administration, doesn’t get hauled to court on criminal charges of bribery and corruption.
I am proud to say that, in my position as a government executive, I have served no one but the Republic and the book industry and its stakeholders. I am proud of what I have created and my contribution, and despite the repeated attempted humiliations I have been imposed by the powers that be, I stand tall in legacy and history on these thickset and slippery pieces of shit.
In reality, I have many regrets. After I finished my book, my positions and ideas have become even clearer and I am now even more confident in what I believe in. For the record, these are my regrets:
I regret starting a Phd at the University of Malta. I never finished it. I regret many other things in this regard, but for now I’ll keep them to myself.
I regret the political position I took in 2017, but in reality I know that, even in a parallel universe, I would probably not have acted differently. The position of many Labour rebels, including mine at that time, was extremely difficult. It’s never black or white. I explain this in my book. I know very well the consequences of my mistake and I carry its burden. I can take it. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Fuck it. Labour can still absolve itself from its sins, and it should make an effort to regain its trust with the journalistic and intellectual community. This won’t happen under Robert Abela’s premiership.
I regret giving Robert Abela the benefit of the doubt. Today, Robert Abela makes no pretences of ruling the country like a feudal lord. Apart from the sense of arrogance and entitlement, the reality is that he doesn’t know better. In recorded Maltese history, he is by far the dumbest and most vacuous village lawyer who has ever been thrown into power by the sheer gravity of Maltese rent seeking and robot bureaucracy; I explain this in my book. He is cutting the country into pieces and giving them to specific groups to buy electoral support. He gave l-Aħrax to the hunters, Ta’ Qali to the petrol heads and now he is giving Marsascala’s coastline to the rich. He has total contempt for free speech and is decapitating public institutions that could potentially furnish society with critical dialogue, such as what he did with the Public Broadcaster and the National Book Council. He tries to impress the common folk struggling to make ends meet with pitiful €50 cheques sent by post. Sure, I agree with direct cash giveaways to aid workers while stimulating the economy, only that, today, the public purse is viewed by Robert Abela as an exclusive tool for his electoral success. And forget about getting the construction industry reformed: he’s completely on their side and has been all the way. Robert Abela was part of the same bureaucracy which aided and abetted the construction industry during Joseph Muscat’s rent seeking boom. They’re all in this together and they’ll keep doing it.
Why are you so angry? Take a break, man.
I’m not angry, I’m fucking furious. But I’m not spiteful. I think it will get better, but it will get worse before it does. I am still a Labour Party member and I won’t be voting for PN in the meantime but third parties. I want to become active again in the Labour Party in the future. That’s where my past and my future lies, but not the present. And it’s going to take many years before I return to the political fold. Had they kept supporting my work at the party library and archives where I had successfully restored and catalogued the original archive, I would have become a subdued party acolyte offsetting my sins with my essential archival work. I wanted peace not war, but it was clear from the onset of Robert Abela’s administration that I was to be purged. I thank deeply from the bottom of my heart Gino Cauchi and Toni Abela who had supported my work in the the Party’s Archive.. I salute you.
My emotions were also very transparent and I trusted many friends in the party who eventually turned against me and abandoned me. I regret being so emotionally transparent and today I am more guarded.
My book is available for pre-order and it will be out in all bookstores next Friday. I will be holding a Twitter Spaces Q&A online next Sunday at 19.00. Follow me on Twitter and you’ll get the link. Come join me if you want to talk about my book. Everyone is welcome, including my enemies.