Have you ever watched Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmare episodes? It is all about failed restaurateurs doing the same dismal shit over and over again without realising that they are out of synch with what the clients want. And then superstar chef Ramsay comes to their aid, swears a sack load of vulgarities, shows them the obvious, revamps their menu, revamps their restaurant, teaches them some management skills and, hey presto, the clients start loving the place again.
If only there would be a political equivalent to Chef Ramsay who could be brought in to the Nationalist Party headquarters to revamp and resurrect a dead dodo of a political party wishing itself to be an electable opposition, whilst doggedly refusing to change the tactics, style and strategy of these last years which have made it so alien to the voting electorate.
I have already written here about the sheer folly of asking everyone except the kitchen cook to resign simply because they are of a left wing background. Unfortunately, a kidnapped leader of the opposition has no alternative than to keep on braying from a discordant and archaic libretto. Because that is what he is being ordered to do. Irrespective of the fact that yet another survey (this time published by his allies at The Times of Malta on the supposed date of the Election Day he announced in vain in November) shows him faring abysmally bad with numbers much less than all his predecessors since Malta’s independence.
Temper Tantrums of Baby Politicians
This small coterie of deluded right wing godfathers of the opposition have now deemed to attack the integrity of the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. For what? Well, basically for doing his job to the letter. With no titivations to the spirit of the law and the legislation related to Parliament. Naturally, these zealots wanted the Speaker to embellish the regulations in their political favour for their political gain. But to no avail. They really do not know the stuff that the Speaker of the House is made of.
Before I continue, let me make one thing clear. Dr. Anglu Farrugia, the Speaker of the House, does not need anyone to defend him. Let alone me. But the public needs to understand two factors here. The right winged zealots mentioned above have now taken it upon themselves to attack public persons who occupy constitutional roles that do not allow themselves to descend into the fray of partisan politics to defend themselves. We have seen attacks on magistrates, judges, civil servants…we have also witnessed the astonishing – and foolhardy – attack on the President of the Republic himself. These persons are all constitutionally gagged and cannot retaliate to the unjust and uncalled for attacks on their integrity.
And just when we thought that they could not go any lower, in the first week of December – when Valletta is being geared up for Christmas shopping after two years of shitty COVID-19 restrictions – they decide to attack the Speaker of the House and shout out, inside and outside parliament, for his resignation. Worse still, they tried to project a weak speaker who is merely a puppet in the hands of a Labour government and that he is part of ‘the system’ which do not ‘punish the corrupt’.
PN’s Love – Hate Relationship with Anglu
These demented accusations need to be debunked and exposed. Due to my close work with Dr. Anglu Farrugia, both in the past and in the present, I know that what I write is unassailable and precise. And before some pseudo politician scribbles a full article on my being on the payroll of the Speaker of the House and thus am just a political troll, let me state that I have never been on his payroll, both before and after he was appointed to the office of Speaker of the House.
That I was part of his core team when he was Deputy Leader of the Labour Party is accurate enough. That he was one of the reasons why I kept my faith in a Labour Party which was always losing elections due to illogical and banal decisions being undertaken during that particular period of time is also accurate. But all this is beside the point. The point is: who is Dr. Anglu Farrugia and why would the extreme zealots within the PN want to take him down?
Who is Dr. Anglu Farrugia and why would the extreme zealots within the PN want to take him down?
This is the same Dr. Anglu Farrugia who was also a long-serving and distinguished police officer. The same police officer who had the full and personal trust of the then Prime Minister of Malta, Dr. Eddie Fenech Adami, to lead the prosecution in the trial of the ex-Commissioner of Police, Dr. Lawrence Pullicino. During a Nationalist-led government. The same Anglu Farrugia, now a respected lawyer, who tore into and laid bare the blatant and contradictory lies spewing from the mouth of hardened Nationalist criminal Zeppi l-Hafi. The criminal who obtained a Presidential Pardon whilst meeting with the same mentioned Prime Minister under a bridge at midnight with no witnesses. Even this happened during a Nationalist-led government.
Dr. Farrugia’s abhorrence of anything sleazy and/or irregular is legendary. That is the reason why he won all the lawsuits he presented in court against Daphne Caruana Galizia, who loved to tear him apart with lies, innuendo and fantastic and unfounded conspiracy theories. They were always proven in court as fallacious and libellous. No wonder her son got so wound up when he kick-started this right-wing attack on the Speaker of the House.
Dr. Anglu Farrugia was elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party specifically because the delegates saw in him a clean, incorruptible, paternal persona who would steer the then young newly elected leader of the Labour Party into power whilst having Dr. Farrugia by his side to ensure that the social ideals of the party were in safe hands. Naturally, not everyone was happy that Labour had an incorruptible no. 2 at the helm during this period. When he was forced to resign from the post of Deputy Leader of the Party in December 2012, on my birthday to be precise, he became the symbol used by the PN and Lawrence Gonzi of what a ‘genuine’ Labourite should be like. And he was wooed from all quarters – left and right – because, simply, the nation could not lose his talents. I was there and know precisely what I’m talking about, even though it is Dr. Farrugia’s story to tell, not mine.
Dr. Farrugia’s abhorrence of anything sleazy and/or irregular is legendary
When he was appointed Speaker with consensus from both sides of the House, he immediately set out to do the impossible: he managed to separate for the first time the office of the Speaker of the House and the budget pertaining to Parliament from the government. No other Speaker had managed to do this. Throughout his role as Speaker of the House, as Prime Minister Dr. Robert Abela rightly pointed out, there were scores of rulings which the Speaker took which ‘favoured’ the opposition. Not because he was bought. But because it was the correct thing to do according to Parliamentary procedure. Various leaders of the opposition before Dr. Bernard Grech even used his rulings as political soundbites to show the electorate how right they were.
The Real Mafia Connection
Notwithstanding all this, the motley crew of PN zealots still figured out that the Speaker was fair game and had to be attacked and denigrated. Whilst most of them were busy spending their gazillions of direct orders from a dying PN government led by Dr. Gonzi, Dr. Anglu Farrugia was being regularly invited to be one of the main speakers in various anti-mafia manifestations in Sicily. His speeches, alongside real anti-mafia warriors including Sicilian magistrates, journalists and officers of the law, were shown on Rai TV and aired on various Sicilian radio stations. This is not detto del detto. I accompanied him for these manifestations and witnessed first-hand the high esteem he elicited from the real heroes of the anti-mafia operation in neighbouring Sicily. This is the real thing, not some pseudo-politician whose only claim to fame is a disastrous public transport service who wanted to play the would-be anti-mafia hero, when the mafia that is talked about exists only in the conspiracy theories of these zealots. We are talking about the real thing here. And they dare to throw such dirt to stick on such a personality, with the hope of winning votes. Nothing could be further from the truth.
He managed to separate for the first time the office of the Speaker of the House and the budget pertaining to Parliament from the government.
Whilst these zealots were preparing for this week’s demonstrations against the ‘corrupt’ Speaker, the real anti-Mafia personalities in Sicily had just launched a new Foundation called Med Mez – Centro Studi per le Ricerche e la Documentazione sul Mediterraneo e il Mezzogiorno. The foundation was launched at the University of Enna with a week long program of events featuring studies related to Napoleone Colajanni. I would not be astonished if these pseudo-politicians who have hijacked the Nationalist Party have not even heard of Colajanni.
Napoleone Colajanni was an Italian writer, journalist, criminologist, socialist and politician. In the 1880s he abandoned republicanism for socialism, and became Italy’s leading theoretical writer on the issue for a time. He has been called the father of Sicilian socialism. Due to the Socialist party’s discourse of Marxist class struggle, he reverted in 1894 to his original republicanism. Colajanni was an ardent critic of the Lombrosian School in criminology. In 1890 he was elected in the national Italian Chamber of Deputies and was re-elected in all subsequent parliaments until his death in September 1921. He fought alongside Garibaldi for the unification of Italy but he is mostly known for his published work Nel Regno della Mafia (In the Realm of the Mafia, published in 1900). He is referred to as the father of criminology related to the Mafia.
What does this have to do with our Speaker, one might ask? Simple. There were a number of high profile guest interventions and endorsements of the new Foundation during this initiative in Enna. These included the President of the Region of Sicily, the Hon. Nello Musumeci, the Speaker of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, the Hon. Roberto Fico and, hey presto, the Speaker of the Maltese House of Parliament, Dr. Anglu Farrugia.
If the zealots running the conservative party in Malta were not so dangerous to the country as a whole due to their systematic auto-erosion of the opposition, they would be the laughing stock of the electorate. Unfortunately for all of us, their stupid choices have sunk the ship called a democratic opposition in Malta. No wonder the Prime Minister did not opt for an early November election. With polls and surveys every fortnight showing Labour increasing its popularity, who wants to win by a landslide when one can win with an even bigger landslide?!
It is high time that boys are left in the wayside playing with their toy soldiers and grownups take the reins of politics within their respective parties.