Leo Brincat: loyalties and lip service

epa04912519 Maltese Minister for Sustainable Development, the Environment and CLimate change Leo Brincat arrives for an EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting at the conference center in Luxembourg, 04 September 2015. EU Foreign Ministers gather in Luxembourg to discuss on the ongoing refugees and migrant crises. EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

When Leo Brincat gave evidence before the EU Parliamentary Committee on Budgetary Control last week he was, as anticipated, quizzed on his position regarding the Panama Papers.

Leo Brincat made himself crystal clear by stating that he would have submitted his resignation – or else suspended himself from office until such time as matters would have been clarified – had he been himself involved.

He volunteered the information that there had been a point at which he had considered resigning from Ministerial office due to the manner in which the Panama Papers scandal was handled in Malta. He added that, eventually, however, his considerations did not materialise and he did not resign as he had no desire to be a “hero for a day and end up in the (political) wilderness” thereafter.

Then came the fundamental issue: what about his vote against the motion of No Confidence in Minister Konrad Mizzi which was discussed by Malta’s House of Representatives? He emphasised that he could not vote in favour of the No Confidence motion as he was bound by the party’s Parliamentary Whip! It was a basic standard of local politics, based on the Westminister model, he emphasised.

At this point Leo Brincat made it clear to the EU Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee that he had made a very important and fundamental choice: he preferred loyalty to the party whip to loyalty to his principles: those same principles which he has been harping on for ages. When push came to shove, solidarity with Konrad Mizzi took priority over good governance. This is what irked a substantial number of MEPs and prompted them not to recommend the  approval of Leo Brincat as a member of the European Court of Auditors. Leo’s declaration means only one thing: that his statements on good governance are only lip service to which there is no real commitment.

From this point onwards, the issue became one of principle, stated Slovenian Green MEP Igor Šoltes, Vice Chairman of the EU Parliamentary Committee on Budgetary Control and rapporteur on the European Court of Auditors, when interviewed by the local media. How is it possible to expect appointment to the European Court of Auditors and simultaneously give a nod of approval to Konrad Mizzi? Leo’s reluctance to distance himself from Konrad’s misbehaviour was his undoing.

Leo Brincat was considered as being technically qualified for the post of member of the European Court of Auditors but his public behaviour relative to the Panama Papers left much to be desired: it rendered him ethically unqualified.

Most of the information on Malta and the Panama Papers scandal is freely available online. In this day and age, MEPs and their staff, like anyone else, can easily look up all the information they need in an instant. They do not need any prodding by David Casa, Roberta Metsola, Therese Commodini Cachia or anyone else!

The facts are damning enough. Leo Brincat, unfortunately, came across as an ambivalent person who speaks in favour of good governance yet through his vote simultaneously gives support to its negation. Konrad Mizzi’s behaviour,, sanctioned in parliament by the vote of Leo Brincat and his colleagues on the government benches, signifies that the Parliamentary Labour Party in Malta does not care about good governance. Leo Brincat’s failure is quite representative of the Labour Parliamentary group’s behaviour in Malta, as they have all contributed to this mess – the effects of which are yet to come.

In fairness, I must also point out that the press had, at a point in time picked up information about a rowdy Labour Party Parliamentary Group meeting during which Leo Brincat and a number of other MPs (including a number of Ministers ) had argued for Konrad Mizzi’s resignation or removal. It is indeed unfortunate that Joseph Muscat did not feel sufficiently pressured to remove Konrad Mizzi from Cabinet, as that meeting was only followed up with cosmetic changes in Konrad Mizzi’s Cabinet responsibilities.

It is useless to try and shift the blame onto Joseph Muscat and his cronies. While Joseph Muscat is ultimately responsible, this does not exonerate Leo Brincat and each individual member of the Labour Party Parliamentary group; each one of them too must shoulder responsibilities for  failure to act in removing Konrad Mizzi from public office.

At the end of the day there is just one lesson: loyalty to your conscience is not up for bartering.

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L-apoloġija ta’ Konrad

Konrad Mizzi Parlament

Mela fil-Parlament Konrad il-bieraħ għamel apoloġija waqt id-diskussjoni dwar il-mozzjoni ta’ sfiduċja.

Wara għaxar ġimgħat qed jirrealizza li  kien l-anqas biss skuża ruħu.

Imma dan mhux l-istess bniedem li qal li ma għamel xejn ħażin?

Għalfejn tiskuża ruħek jekk inti konvint li m’għamilt xejn ħażin?

 

Marlene Farrugia u l-mozzjoni Parlamentari numru 326

Marlene Farrugia.Konrad Motion 326

Huwa tajjeb li Marlene Farrugia qed tinsisti fuq il-mozzjoni ta’ sfiduċja f’Konrad Mizzi li hi ppreżentat lill-Ispeaker tal-Parlament nhar it-18 t’April 2016.

Kif rappurtata fit-Times illum tagħti raġunijiet validi ħafna biex tiġġustifika dan.

Kien għalhekk, daqstant ieħor għaqli li, fuq parir tal-President tar-Repubblika bidlet id-deċiżjoni u mhux ser  tattendi għad-dimostrazzjoni tal-1 ta’ Mejju organizzata fil-Belt għada mill-Partit Laburista.

Għax kif tista’ tifforma parti minn dimostrazzjoni immexxija minn persuni li (ta’ l-inqas illum) ma jħaddnux il-valuri li hi tħaddan?

Hemm bżonn iktar ħsieb qabel ma jittieħdu d-deċiżjonijiet. L-impulsività tista’ tkun ta’ ħsara kbira għax kawża tagħha, mingħajr biżżejjed ħsieb, jittieħdu deċiżjonijiet żbaljati li mhux dejjem ikun possibli illi jissewwew.

Il-mozzjoni ta’ Simon ……………. ħela ta’ ħin?

Simon Busuttil 11

 

Hekk naħseb. Il-mozzjoni tal-bieraħ kienet ħin moħli. Għax minħabba l-aritmetika parlamentari, l-mozzjoni tal-Kap tal-Opposizzjoni qatt ma setgħet tilħaq l-iskop tagħha, jiġifieri li ġġiegħel lil Joseph Muscat jaġixxi.

F’dawn iċ-ċirkustanzi Joseph Muscat jaġixxi biss meta jkun politikament dahru mal-ħajt. Dejjem hekk għamel.

It-terminu responsabbiltà politika ma jeżistix fil-vokabolarju ta’ Joseph Muscat .

Fil-fatt ir-rapport tal-inkjesta li wassal għat-tkeċċija ta’ Manwel Mallia kien għamel dan il-kumment:

“In konnessjoni ma dan il-każ issemma l-konċett tar-responsabbilta’ Ministerjali …………………………………… Wieħed jinnota li dan il-konċett ta’ sikwit jiġi invokat mill-politiċi li jkunu fl-Opposizzjoni, iżda dawn malajr jinsewh appena  huma jkunu fil-Gvern.”

(paġna 11 tar-rapport tal-inkjesta dwar ix-xufier ta’ Manwel Mallia)

Bil-mozzjoni ta’ sfiduċja ma tistax tasal, ġaladarba l-matematika parlamentari hi dik li hi.

Tista’ tasal biss billi tkompli tissensibilizza l-opinjoni pubblika. Huwa riżultat ta’ dan biss li kellna diversi esponenti Laburisti li tkellmu favur ir-riżenja ta’ Konrad Mizzi [Alfred Sant, Evarist Bartolo, Godfrey Farrugia]. Huwa ukoll minħabba f’hekk li kien hemm diskussjoni imqanqla fil-grupp parlamentari laburista li għalkemm ma wasslitx għar-riżenja tat avviż ċar li hemm grupp li jinkludi numru ta’ Ministri anzjani li lesti li jitkellmu. S’issa illimitaw ruħhom għad-dibattitu intern.

Li kien hemm pożittiv fid-diskussjoni tal-bieraħ fil-Parlament hu li ħadd ma kellu l-kuraġġ li jiddefendi lil Konrad   …………. l-anqas Joseph Muscat. Għax il-messaġġ qiegħed jasal.

Quddiem il-ħmieġ ma tistax tiċċassa

 new parliament building Malta2

Kelliemi wieħed wara l-ieħor min-naħa tal-Membri Parlamentari Laburisti ħassew il-ħtieġa li jfakkruna li huma solidali mal-Prim Ministru fid-dibattitu tal-bieraħ fil-għaxija fil-Parlament, huma u jiddiskutu l-mozzjoni ta’ sfiduċja fil-Gvern.

Dawk li hu magħruf illi internament kienu kritiċi tal-mod kif aġixxa l-Gvern (u l-Partit Laburista) gidmu ilsienhom u minflok dak li qalu internament, daqqew diska oħra b’melodija iktar addattata. Favur il-Gvern, imma ukoll bi ftit inċens għas-serjetà.

Il-Membri Parlamentari tan-naħa tal-Gvern ħadu d-deċiżjoni politika li b’risposta għall-mozzjoni ta’ sfiduċja jsemmu lista twila ta’ affarijiet li għamel il-Gvern. F’numru min dawn il-każi, bla dubju, għandhom raġun. Imma d-diskussjoni ma’ kienitx dwar jekk il-Gvern għamilx tajjeb fid-diversi miżuri li ħa [hemm bosta tajjeb, bħalma hemm ukoll il-ħażin] imma dwar kemm għamel ħażin meta baqa’ tmien ġimgħat ċass fil-każ tal-kumpaniji li Konrad Mizzi u Keith Schembri l-Kasco rriżulta li għandhom fil-Panama.

Ħadd fil-Parlament ma iddefenda dak li għamlu Konrad Mizzi u Keith Schembri l-Kasco. Anzi, Evarist Bartolo qal li mhux biżżejjed li dak li jsir ma jkunx bi ksur tal-liġi imma jeħtieġ li jkun ukoll sewwa. It-tmexxija, żied Varist trid tkun ukoll permezz tal-eżempju. Kumment li irrefera għalih ukoll Joseph Muscat li żied jgħid li n-nies kienu jistennew aħjar. Imma ma tantx instema konvinċenti Joseph Muscat, għax ma tantx jidher li jemmen dak li kien qed jgħid.

Ma kien hemm l-ebda sorpriża la fil-mod kif tkellmu l-Membri Parlamentari u l-anqas fir-riżultat tal-votazzjoni. Fost id-diskorsi li kien fihom x’tomgħod, kien hemm dawk ta’ Marlene Farrugia, ta’ Louis Grech u ta’ Mario de Marco. Marlene tkellmet mill-qalb. Louis u Mario appellaw għas-sens komun u għar-rieda tajba. Imma sfortunatament ma hemmx rieda tajba.

Fl-ebda ħin ma ippretendejt lil dawk fost il-Membri Parlamentari fuq in-naħa tal-Gvern li ma jaqblux mal-imġieba ta’ Konrad Mizzi u Keith Schembri l-Kasco kienu ser ipoġġu ruħhom fuq l-artal tas-sagrifiċċju billi jivvutaw kontra l-Gvern. Il-kontribut tagħhom qed jagħtuh bil-għaqal mod ieħor. S’issa għadhom ma waslux imma għad jistgħu jaslu fil-futur.

L-istorja naturalment ma tieqafx hawn. Għax min hu serju ma jiċċassax quddiem il-ħmieġ. Imma hemm l-obbligu tattiku li jinstab l-iktar mument addattat, mument li ċertament għadu ma wasalx, għax in-numri għad m’humiex hemm! Hu mument li jista’ jasal meta jikber in-numru ta’ dawk li jirrealizzaw internament fil-Partit Laburista illi l-indeċizjoni biex jiffaċċjaw ir-realtà twassal għal konsegwenzi gravi kemm għall-pajjiż kif ukoll għall-partit.

Esperjenza li ta’ qabilhom diġà iffaċċjaw u wasslithom għal 25 sena fl-Opposizzjoni.  Matul dawn it-8 ġimgħat li għaddew il-Partit Laburista jidher li qabad l-istess triq. Diġà hu tard pero għad baqa’ ftit ċans li jibdel ir-rotta. Għalkemm diġà saret ħafna ħsara li mhux faċli li tissewwa.

Fid-dibattitu dwar il-vot ta’ sfiduċja, s’issa ………………

Malta Parliament

Ħadd mill-membri parlamentari laburisti ma iddefenda dak li għamlu Konrad Mizzi u Keith Schembri l-Kasco. Ħadd mill-membri parlamentari laburisti ma qal li Konrad u Keith għamlu sewwa.

L-istorja ovvjament ma tieqafx hawn.