One of the main propagandists in the social benefits racket is Owen Bonnici who used to send his constituents to Silvio Grixti to obtain medical certificates so as to fraudulently apply for social benefits they didn’t deserve. Owen Bonnici also sent his constituents to Silvio Grixti through other third parties who canvassed for him. The racket was well-known to Owen Bonnici’s constituents who made use of Silvio Grixti’s services thanks to a reference by Owen Bonnici’s canvassers.
I know Owen Bonnici very well – a corrupt imbecile who got drunk on power because he didn’t know anything else in life. Owen Bonnici was a mundane and naive kid who married a loving wife with whom he moved into a humble apartment in Marsascala. He didn’t have much of a social life. He worked for Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici in court taking over his cases, militated in Labour, and campaigned for the elections. Overall, he was very quiet and inhibited.
As a young and reckless spendthrift at a very young age, and before Labour entered office, I used to enjoy life in many ways including by dining with my ex-girlfriend at good restaurants. I used to rent a large apartment in Xgħajra in a very beautiful location at the end of a valley very near the coast. Overall I had a very good life and I can never complain.
All of a sudden, when Labour entered office, you would see the kids who had got jobs with the government frequenting places they had never been to and all of a sudden, government ministers like Owen Bonnici became regulars at many restaurants. It was impossible to avoid them as many of them celebrated and took the maximum opportunity of their newly-gained status. It was indeed, a very ridiculous and decadent phenomenon that made liberals like me feel gross for the first time about things we never thought about that much. Owen Bonnici left his wife and started dating a Super ONE journalist as soon as he had a little bit of power and status. It was as if he was waiting for that moment in order to change his personal life and create a new world for himself.
Owen Bonnici’s attitude like many others changed when Labour entered office. This was a man who had barely ever experienced anything meaningful in professional life other than doing criminal cases in court, and it took just a little bit of status and power to radically change him into an opportunistic and corrupt tool. This was the general atmosphere with many young and inexperienced Labour ministers and officials, many of them coming straight out of their parent’s house. This was the build-up to the “L-Aqwa Żmien” atmosphere – the parties, the corruption, the cocaine, the sex workers and brothels, impunity and eventually, the murder of a journalist. It’s the story of how village lawyers and Labour Party activists evolved into indulgent and corrupt tools of power.
Today, the young Labour Party activists are following in the same footsteps. Their role models are people like Robert Abela and Silvio Schembri who got rich by illegal means, so they join the Party and as soon as they graduate from University they are awarded lucrative and mostly fake public contracts. The magic word of consultancy. It was very different before Labour entered office. There used to exist values such as labour and the value of work, the value of voluntary work, and the value of public office and these were values that were paired with the way many of us in the Labour Party lived. Many of us know what it means to be poor, to work hard, and to sacrifice your time and resources for public life – all values and experiences that have been withered away by the gross indulgence of many and the corrupt machine of the Labour Party.
There is also fear and insecurity behind the character of Owen Bonnici and others like Rosianne Cutajar and Silvio Schembri who indulged excessively thanks to public office: a deep-rooted fear of poverty and the loss of status and this motivates desperate indulgence. The urgency to take and indulge as much as you can before the curtains close. Most of them have been very successful in indulging enough to retire – Rosianne Cutajar doesn’t need to work another day in her life, but before Labour entered office, she didn’t even afford to pay for her own website.
Owen Bonnici was fearful enough of the consequences of indulging in large-scale corruption such as Silvio Schembri’s or Robert Abela’s, but was willing enough to aid and abet the corruption of Joseph Muscat to protect his own status and position in power. Owen Bonnici hired Brian Tonna to do consultancy work for his ministry, appointed Donatella Frendo Dimech as magistrate on her request, and influenced Attorney-General Peter Grech so as not to take any action on the corruption claims against Joseph Muscat and his friends. He was found guilty of breaching the human rights of protestors by sending government employees to clean up the makeshift memorial to Daphne Caruana Galizia. He described Daphne Caruana Galizia as a hate blogger and defended Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri for opening off-shore companies in Panama all the while he was Minister for Justice.
Owen Bonnici is a truly despicable scum. He will tell you that he contributed to bringing more freedom of speech with his reforms that he didn’t do. The law on the removal of artistic censorship was written by my lawyers under my guidance, while the press bill that removed criminal libel was only written once again by my lawyers after I insisted he changed his original bill that was meant to increase civil libel damages. The man is a total fraud and despicable liar. Today, he is promoting a law that will consolidate the criminalisation of insult by making “exceptions” to artists. The man is also a total idiot. When arguing against the removal of criminal libel, in the presence of his corrupt Attorney-General Peter Grech, he told my lawyer and I, “What if Ċetta from Żejtun goes on the rooftop of her house and calls her neighbour a bitch?”. He is dumb, hollow, shallow and corrupt.
Today, he is Minister for Culture after he was removed from his post as Minister for Education for his incompetence. However, he doesn’t need to be competent at the Ministry for Culture. So far he has filled public cultural entities with Labour stooges causing rampant incompetence and corruption in these entities. Labour views the Culture Ministry as simply a tool for nepotism and a Party honey-pot where public resources can be extracted for loyalists. Now, he is embroiled in a controversy for creating a cultural entity headed by one of his stooges without consulting anyone. Undoubtedly he is still in power because he knows too much about Joseph Muscat and his corrupt cabal and being an accessory to their grievous crimes, Owen Bonnici is being kept in the cabinet to keep him happy and silent. In turn, Owen needs an electorate to back him up and these can only be the illiterates and those who owe him for giving them public funds or favours. No sane and rational person votes for this corrupt imbecile. Owen Bonnici’s survival depends on his distribution of public funds to his constituents and people like Silvio Grixti who serve him as useful tools.
It’s a food chain of useful fools and tools. I didn’t want to be part of this food chain and paid material consequences for my decision, however, I sleep happily knowing that my status doesn’t depend on being in power.