Truth is not a commodity. It cannot be negotiated, watered down or traded off for a different version. It is what it is. It also has a funny way of deciding when, how and where to make itself fully visible, even if only bit by bit.

It is always there, lurking beneath the surface, sometimes breaching the surface spectacularly like a whale and at other times showing itself in instalments, completing the mosaic or jigsaw puzzle, bit by painful bit. It cannot be totally suppressed forever. That is for sure.

There are those who are not interested in the truth ever reaching the surface. The reason for this is very simple really. The specific truth in question is already known to them and it scares them. ‘They’ want the actions that they committed secretly to stay secret in order to avoid the consequences. That way, what happened in wherever should stay in wherever. Unfortunately, for them, the truth is not cooperating and has chosen to surface in different pieces, giving an ever-growing outline of a picture that is not particularly pleasing.

‘They’ are aware of this and have quickly become masters of obfuscation, muddying the waters to previously unseen levels of opaqueness, strategic deviation of attention elsewhere, blatant refusal to answer relevant questions and, worse of all, shooting the messengers. The shot messengers in these particular circumstances are journalists, Maltese politicians and, especially, the civic-minded groups of citizens who have not yet given up on truth and justice, notwithstanding the negative environment the obfuscators have created and are maintaining.

Those who seek to expose the truth do not taint the reputation of Malta. It is those who carried out the disreputable actions who have disrespected our reputation as a nation

Their weapons of choice for these pot-shots are poor attempts at ridicule, a thwarted and misplaced sense of pseudo-nationalistic pride and the blurring of the line that distinctly separates Malta as a whole from individual Maltese people, whoever they may be and whatever position they might hold. 

Those who seek to expose the truth do not taint the reputation of Malta. It is those who carried out the disreputable actions who have disrespected our reputation as a nation and ‘they’ are now realising that by their actions they have risked all we have achieved over the past years. That is a very simple action-to-reaction equation. It is actions that lead to consequences once they are brought to light, and this exposure is only a matter of time – because even ‘they’ know that they cannot run and hide forever.

No wonder that ‘they’ try so hard to blame others whenever a new snippet of the truth is made public or a new fact finally comes to light. Wagons have been circled very tightly and the disclosure of facts has been described as a coordinated attack or as allegations to deflect attention away from the nature of the new revelations and the links and ties that they point at.

Admittedly, this picture, unlike the €15,000 one bought by the Prime Minister’s office from a minister’s husband, is not yet complete, but the dots are slowly and surely being joined and the pieces of the puzzle are coming together in a way that what had previously seemed to be unconnected and unrelated is now making more and more sense.

The indications are there and getting stronger and more damning by the day.  This is being countered by more muddying and obfuscation, more in-your-face defiance of accepted norms of public behaviour and decency and an ever-increasing suppression of the role of the free press in our country. 

We must and we will keep support-ing those of us who are painstakingly digging away amid the grime, putting the pieces of the puzzle together to get at the whole truth.

We all want the truth and as we hear so often in courtroom dramas, it has to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. 

Anything else would be just a post-ponement of the inevitable.

Twitter: @RobertaMetsola

Roberta Metsola is a Nationalist Party MEP.

This is a Times of Malta print opinion piece


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