Fascinating. There’s only one way to describe the PN handling of the Arrigo spinoff of DimechGate. Fascinating and of course, unbelievable. Literally unbelievable. DimechGate included allegations of improper behaviour (let’s settle on that term) by Nationalist MP Arrigo, implying that he threw his weight around the Sliema Local Council quite a bit. Notwithstanding the pooh-poohing of columnists engaged in other important matters (footnote – 1) who tried to hide the glaring wart on PLPN politics that is the Sliema Local Council there was much there that merited consideration – and no it’s not Lilliputian, it’s the face and result of the “responsible voting” that went on last election (remember the accusations at those who urged for a vote for change?).
So Arrigo is under the microscope and this because, among other things, councillor Yves (Bobby) Cali went on record with the Times pointing his finger at Arrigo’s bravado actions in the council. He subsequently denied having actually said that so the Times published the transcript of what he said (footnote – 2). Then we have a PN MP accused of impropriety (“another one?” I hear you say). Which prompts the service of the PN disciplinarian bodies into action. The question is do they (A – not a footnote) Use the heavy hand of Paul and come down on the MP like a ton of righteous christian democrats and expect such punishments as “immediate resignations” et cetera et cetera? or do they (B – also not a footnote) Do the “Stand by Your man” tactic reserved for such elite politicians as PBO (VAT) and Tonio Fenech (VAT/Stamp Duty)?
It turns out that parliamentary considerations of a numerical kind – better known as the fictitive extra seat obtained thanks to a relative majority of seats thanks to the PLPN amendments – force the PN to deny the known truth. You see, the PN cannot and will not afford to toy with its one-man majority that can bring Humpty Dumpty, all the kings men, all his horses and all his disgruntled backbenchers tumbling down. Which is why when faced with a TRANSCRIPT of factual statements recorded by a journalist and a subsequent denial by the same person who uttered the transcribed words here is what the PN smart machine churned out:
The general secretary stood by the party’s declaration earlier this week when it took Mr Calì’s word that he never made the allegations, insisting that the transcript published by this newspaper was “not faithful to the statement of clarification made by Mr Calì”.
Lordy, lordy. Do they actually read what they are saying? A transcript of a recorded conversation was not faithful to a statement of clarification. “He said that but he did not mean it… and we choose to believe what he meant not what he said”. Which is why PBO is still secretary general of the party. Because he is a medium and voyant and he can read the minds of his party members better than any other. Funny how the very same party chihuahas who described the attention afforded to the Sliema Council affair as watching “trouble in lilliput” barked (or should I say yapped?) this about Arrigo:
As Robert Arrigo tries to wriggle out of the Nikki Dimech/cocaine addiction/patronage/bribery mess down in Sliema, he must know that his chances of persuading the prime minister, against his wisdom, to make him part of his cabinet are now shot to hell. (…)
The party hierarchy, however, lost the battle to stop him standing for election to the Sliema council on its ticket in 1994, and he contested every Sliema council election after that until 2003, when the party finally relented and allowed him to stand on the PN ticket in the 2003 general election, no doubt because of the ‘all hands on deck’ nature of that election which would decide on Malta’s EU membership.
Because he was allowed to contest then and brought in enough votes to allow him to throw his weight around, he was selected for the PN ticket again in 2008.
And now the party of values that confirmed the “all hands on deck” approach thru 2008 is having to back Arrigo come rain or shine as trouble is afoot in Lilliput. You know what they say … if you’ve got Lilliputian values don’t cry if you get Lilliputian politicians.
And Paul Borg Olivier ends up denying the hype…. you heard it first from Public Enemy….
(1) Such as convincing the world that since the law on VAT and income tax makes no sense with regards to maids/cleaners/whateva then we are free to break it at will until a more sensible law is in place. Go figure – you’d actually think these people are experts on VAT (and its payment).
(2) and boo to you conspiracy theorists – the Times DO have priorities and this shows clearly that the moment they are backs against the wall being accused of lying they will forget their other loyalties