Photo: Matthew MirabelliPhoto: Matthew Mirabelli

I would like to express my sincere admiration for the three Caruana Galizia brothers, who had the courage to state a clear strongly-worded ‘no’ to the latest rigmarole by a leadership in disarray. Their refusal to endorse the desperate measures proposed by the Prime Minister to try and restore some credibility to his image and reputation, which has plummeted internationally, deserves applause, support and solidarity.

Their courage to stand up to hypocrisy testifies to the education and determination that has been imparted to them by their parents, and is a worthy tribute to their mother.

Given the seriousness of the situation, I think that it is important to take some quick and effective concrete action. I call upon all political parties and institutions to agree to an independent commission of inquiry, made up of experts who are really and truly supra partes.

Its members should be carefully chosen and fully approved by all political parties (red, blue, orange and green). The commission members should be chosen from among persons not involved in politics, the current judiciary or the executive. This special commission would be tasked to look into this murder and its real underlying motives.

It should be given a free hand to rope in the assistance of teams of experts (both local and foreign) in those sectors where it feels it needs help and further expertise.

Certainly this is no guarantee that we will ever get to the truth, but at least we may finally begin to take a step in the restoration of some semblance of order, by giving space to true expertise in a country where most experts have either resigned or been removed, and which is being run in many sectors by peoplewhose lack of competence is certainly undeserving of the salaries they earn.

Like many Maltese I am still reeling from the shock of Daphne’s horrific assassination. I am certain that I am not the only person who is also shocked by certain barbaric reactions. I had never realised the extent of the hate culture nurtured with regard to this bold journalist.

I have heard people who have never known or read her say how much they detested or even, hated her. I had once watched a TV sketch on ‘the witch of Bidnija’ and had resigned myself to the fact that Maltese television is plagued with bad acting and spiteful silliness.

We have to stand up, like the Caruana Galizia brothers, and say a firm ‘no’ to the sorry mess this country is experiencing

Today I realise how naïve I was – the vulgar sketches, the bad press, the venomous spite were effective measures to brainwash and indoctrinate persons who have not been taught to use their own brains to think.

As a result, this strategy effectively ensured evading the questions that need to be asked and that Caruana Galizia was asking very pointedly and insistently, concerning the corruption that is choking this country’s leadership and institutions.

I write this just after having watched the evening news, and despaired over the pathetic performance by the Commissioner of Police in his botched press conference. This is another in the long list of bungled situations since Black Monday, which have brought clearly to the fore the way the three powers governing the State – legislative, executive and judiciary – have been pauperised, and have lost the capability to do their job and do it well, bringing down the name and reputation of Malta, and of us, Maltese citizens.

It was a sorry sight to watch the highest-ranking policeman hardly dare open his mouth, and when he did, contradict his Prime Minister’s declared intention to call in foreign experts specifically to help with the assassination case.

I cannot but recall Daphne’s final words about the danger lurking all around us, and link it to the image Manwel Delia has recently provided of the current situation, when he compared our leaders to the little boys who have blithely and unwittingly handed over the country to the big boys who can really play the corruption game, and who are now ruthlessly controlling sensitive sectors of the country.

On a minor – but nevertheless serious – note, it would be advisable for particular members of our judiciary to realise that appearance and behaviour while on duty should be in keeping with the gravitas of their public role, which is paid for out of Maltese taxpayers’ money.

They – or should I say she? – should understand that when exercising their public role, they should not dress as though they are going for a picnic.

More importantly it goes completely against their station to behave callously to family members who have just undergone a major trauma, by making them wait for hours in vain in court, and fail to appear.

This is petty, insensitive, condemnable behaviour.

Moreover, if they are incapable of understanding this, their superiors should step in to ensure that they do. But insensitivity, indifference and gross incompetence seem to have become the order of the day.

The current situation is such that we have to stand up, like the Caruana Galizia brothers, and say a firm ‘no’ to the sorry mess this country is experiencing.

It is essential to see concrete action being taken and true justice delivered. It is vitally important to keep this barbaric butchery alive in our memories for a long time to come. Let us all hold steadfastly to the precious famous words: Lest we forget…

Vicki Ann Cremona is associate professor in Theatre Studies, head of the Department of Dance Studies and chair of the School of Performing Arts.