Every previous government administration and prime minister has an event or a major factor that characterises its core history. For example, in Dom Mintoff’s case, it was industry due to the explosion of the manufacturing industry. For Eddie Fenech Adami it was the European Union. For Lawrence Gonzi it was simply the collapse of the Nationalist Party. For Joseph Muscat it was the rent seeking boom and Daphne’s murder. For Robert Abela it’s simply Benny Hill politics charcterised by cabinet ministers inaugurating parking lots.
At this point in time, It is fair to say that that we have a dumb Prime Minister leading a Benny Hill-style government with Chris Fearne being the only technocrat in the house. Allow me to explain concisely in point form.
Upon the announcement of the candidature of Roberta Metsola to the post of European Parliament President, Abela claimed that he was going to support her candidature despite the fact that she tarnished Malta’s reputation in the European Parliament. Now, let me get this straight. I am not a fan of our members of the European Parliament given the irrelevance of the European Parliament itself and least of all a fan of Metsola. I, as a writer and a historian without filters, have a license to tell stories and entertain people in various ways including by being petty and trashy. The prime minister does not have this license even though he constantly acts like an infantile idiot without any gravitas. In such a moment, Abela could have been the bigger man and simply say something dignified of a statesman such as a comment how Metsola represented the competitive and thriving success of every Maltese abroad, but no, he had to act like an idiot because, in fact, he is one.
Abela is more of a boy and less of a man with the intelligence of a teenage gym rat and a vision of a headless chicken. His lack of emotional and intellectual development stems from the fact that he never worked an hour of his life and had everything set ready for him by his peers. He got lucrative consultancy deals from Gonzi’s administration thanks to his father and eventually became leader of the Labour Party thanks to Joseph Muscat. Practically, he has no political or economic achievement to his name and his international perspective does not extend beyond the limits of Rome being the furthest city any Maltese village lawyer goes to in the penultimate pinnacle of their success before they reach their zenith by becoming robot bureaucrats in Brussels.
Having been launched into power without having anything to show for, Abela is very insecure, so he wants to assert his power with an election. However, he is deluding himself. Labour voters don’t care who is Pope as long as the Church is intact and while the Nationalist Party is still in ruins, Abela is riding the wave. And as he is immersed in his extreme infantile frustration for not having the acknowledgement of the general public, he is raiding the public coffers and splurging on as much as he can to literally buy out the country for his re-election. What do you expect an over-grown infant with power would do?
2. The fundamentals
Do you remember Richard Sultana “Tal-Farfett”? People used to be entertained by his absolute conviction that he would get elected by promising to give anything to everyone. Robert Abela will give you anything as long you support him. As of now, there isn’t enough data to cover in detail the government’s splurge in corrupt and rent seeking practices, but employers have been complaining that there is a huge government employment drive that is draining workers from the private sector. The government’s recurrent expenditure has grown by up to 300 million Euros in the first half of this year alone as compared to last year, yet only around an additional 56 million Euros have been earmarked for recurrent expenditure in the health sector as compared with last year for the whole year. Meanwhile, contractors are already fighting over a yacht marina which Roberta Abela has promised them, while the construction industry keeps being pumped with free public money and generous subsidies. Abela thinks he can easily insult people’s intelligence by saying the most outlandishly stupid remarks. Despite the fact that industrial real estate is an extremely prised and rare asset in Malta, Abela had the audacity to call the lavish 20 million Euro expense on a car racetrack in an industrial estate as an “investment”. The government will also be building another vanity project to pay more contractors and party donors with a ridiculously useless expensive building to host seized goods. There was a time during Muscat’s administration when industrialists were coming to Malta looking for industrial real estate and couldn’t find any available, now Robert Abela is plundering it in the crassest manner possible. To add insult to injury, Abela claimed in his typically bombastic fashion that he lead the country in its worst economic crisis ever. The little idiot doesn’t even know enough of his country’s history that what he faced as a leader amounts to nothing compared to what our forefathers and foremothers had gone through. He is even much better off than Gonzi given that Abela has the privilege of the European Central Bank’s free money QE policy.
Abela took over a strong public coffer. By the time he will be gone his successors will have to find ways to start paying the bills. We’ve probably never had a prime minister this wreckless in our history.
3. The Pandemic
Robert Abela has made a total mess out of the pandemic. Hadn’t been for Fearne we would have probably have had a disaster. Constantly pressured by his ruffians and shady figures in the tourism industry, Abela decided to fully re-open the country in the Summer of last year allowing the reopening of the cheap island party industry model. He placed another idiot as tourism minister, Julia Farrugia Portelli, who went on the BBC and said that our mechanisms will keep our country safe just right before the said parties were the cause yet another spread of the virus leading to the eventual shut down yet again. Abela threw all the blame on his minister, Julia Farrugia Portelli and fired her from the post. Very convenient for him to throw his mistakes onto others. Don’t expect high standards from this kid. Crazy to think that the only thing that stands between Abela’s total stupidity and our lives is an adult in the room.
4. The Restoration of Rule of Law
So far, apart from replacing the previous police commissioner, Abela has done practically nothing to restore justice and rule of law in our country. Despite all the bombastic talk about the great reforms taking place in our country, what is actually happening is that Abela has imposed total censorship in the public broadcaster and is turning state entities into means of electoral leverage. So far he has protected Joseph Muscat’s allies by placing Edward Zammit Lewis as Justice Minister and is keeping Rosianne Cutajar in his parliamentary group while she is preparing for reelection. Most of Muscat’s rent seeking and corrupt executives like Johann Buttigieg and Robert Musumeci have been kept in power as well. So far, the police haven’t moved in on any politician and despite the rubbish talk about being serious on corruption, the government has so far made no moves at all to recapture back corrupt proceeds made out of the Electrogas and Vitals deals. The quarter of a billion Euros deal over the government’s old people’s home is also going through. Meanwhile, there remains an unresolved elephant in the room which is the fact that this government, appointed Victoria Buttigieg as attorney general despite having been the same deputy to the attorney general who covered up the corruption of Joseph Muscat and his friends.
5. No vision, no future
Robert Abela has no vision for the country. He has never made any significant or contributory public service. When Lovin Malta asked Robert Abela what he knew about my story of the irregular refuelling of a Russian warship under Joseph Muscat, he said he knew nothing of it. OF course, he knew nothing of it: Robert Abela was only a consultant to Joseph Muscat in name but not in reality. Think about it. What actual use did Joseph Muscat have for Robert Abela other than to get him to tag along for grooming and useful political ends?
Somehow, some progressive reform may seep in given Labour is in government. Free public transport had long been in the plans of Joseph Muscat’s vision of the country. Abela will apply it. But god forbid the metro works starts under Abela’s administration for that will be the day when another potential rent seeking boom will come. It will be yet another bonanza to the construction industry while the young generations keep getting priced out of the property market.
It is also important to keep some facts under consideration. Free public transport should be viewed in the context of the overall quality of life which is rapidly deteriorating to the extent of making most young people desiring to leave.
In the end this may be Robert Abela’s greatest legacy: the great exodus of the young generations.
Prosit Ministru. Ok ħabib?
PS: I think that the government is saying a lot of bullshit about its marijuana reform. But more on that in another post.