The moment I saw the prime minister’s glee-filled face hinting at the return of Rosianne Cutajar to the Labour cabinet, it felt like an advert for malpractice was being billboarded across the screen.

No more than a few months after the commissioner for standards declared that his office could not investigate the allegations of misconduct, given that an investigation was time-barred, we are left with several unanswered questions.

Abela’s advisers are comfortable enough to feel they will get away with this form of socialism in style. The problem is not the decision to re-elect a distracting MP who does not deserve attention but the glee with which another way of evading consequences was celebrated.

History repeats itself after Konrad Mizzi’s re-election following his departure from the PL. It was deemed a divine sign of democracy working itself out to make up for previous alleged indiscretions. Who knows, perhaps it might work out this time…

The sensible thing to do in both cases would have been to resign nonetheless, leave quietly, perhaps on an extra-long holiday, fend off some articles with a humility that does not involve texting whatever comes to mind on Facebook, and saying to oneself that it’s been excellent run, while zig-zagging out of memory.

Perhaps the bacon in the latest case needs more tenderising before it can be served and we have not yet seen the full script.

After the Twin Tower attacks, terrorism rates increased. A prominent rallying call to arms to fellow terrorists could not have been more effective than a national monument being struck down by two American planes in the middle of New York during the day.

Similarly, claims of overindulgence in profiteering from public coffers less than a year ago, damning statements by the Council of Europe and uninvestigated misconduct claims are dismal forms of advertisement. They can only invite more people in the country to follow suit and stuff themselves with someone else’s cake while wondering what seat the prime minister promised back.

The prime minister wants to seem like a benevolent medieval pardoner- Ian Baldacchino

Alas, journalists have been crying wolf for so long that we are accustomed to this normality. The opposition is geared up to going to court, while people also want to express that they are hurt, are not coping, are angry, and have a voice. The other half appears appeased in some sense, according to polls.

Labour wants to appear as if it accepts every dodgy background and can plaster over any wrongdoing with a makeover. Adding further insult, the prime minister wants to seem like a benevolent medieval pardoner, a role no court or ethics watchdog can adequately perform.

The government must cauterise the wound for the last time.

The courts do not get proper funding; otherwise, the State cannot pass judgements through social media. Ethics watchdogs remain under-resourced or ministers would risk losing their control over them.

Prescription periods must become shorter or judgments might actually be delivered. Court decisions that are unpopular with the State must be criticised to avoid loss of face. Discussions about the national media are relegated to appear as though some form of a debate is ongoing.

Everyone is deserving of a second chance. Except, when there are no consequences there is no justice, no trust in neighbours, no court-guaranteed safety.

Malta is becoming an island that does not let anybody out without having them pay their fair share of pizzo, rather than being a welcoming state.

Thankfully, the younger generations seem to be gaining an edge bit by bit towards taking over, so I have not lost all hope yet.

People with integrity must remain an example and provide a vision for dignified living instead of selling themselves out, even if it comes at a personal cost.

Ian Baldacchino is a specialist in family medicine.

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