The European Union seems to have dodged the bullet it might have had to bite had Joseph Muscat been appointed to a position of relevance within one of its institutions. 

However, it would be worth taking a step back in order to see whether, in fact, there may have been any reality to the possibility of such a calamity of European proportions – about which his faithful dwarves raised expectations in our limited circles – or whether it was just a matter of delusional pipe dreams.

Let us start from the tail end. Upon the announcement of the European Council’s proposals for the top posts, none other than Karl Stagno Navarra regaled us with a tweet that reminded me of past European achievements by Chiara and Ira Losco. 

He tweeted exclusively (which given his standards is to be read as “he concocted”) that Muscat had “edged quite close tonight to be appointed” President of the European Commission. 

I searched far and wide for traces of this claim anywhere else but did not manage to find the slightest acknowledgement of Muscat’s existence in the discussions anywhere, let alone of him having been considered for that post. Not even a whisper! 

Notwithstanding the chimera-like nature of Stagno Navarra’s tweet, it was swiftly confirmed by that most faithful of lackeys, Kurt Farrugia. Farrugia promptly re-tweeted this with a comment saying “Very close. True”. 

I somehow suspect that the Twitter limitation on character count foiled Farrugia here as what he actually meant to say was “Very closed. True”, but only with reference to the doors that Muscat faced when he tried to get himself to be considered for any of the many posts being discussed. 

Muscat’s aspirations for a European appointment have not seen the light of day but his dreams – which, by their very nature, usually end with the light of day – have come to the surface. 

There is still one possibility that he could grasp at, though. If he nominates himself as the Maltese Commissioner, as an ex-PM, he would automatically get the title of vice-president – a title that, in reality, means nothing, but which would serve him well as a face-saver for the many Labour trolls and those of blind-faith to use as ammunition. 

Among his ‘peers’ in the European Council, he commands absolutely no respect

There is a difficulty, though. He would still need to undergo grilling by the European Parliament, and that is the heart of the matter. If his appointment is blocked by parliament, it means the whole Commission might be blocked. Will his mates in the EU states look kindly upon his putting the delicate agreement reached about key positions at risk, especially when they know full well his approval by the EP is no sure thing, not even by a long shot? 

There is always a silver lining for someone, however. In this case, it does not take much imagination to see the invisible hands holding all the strings, including purse strings, being rubbed together in glee. 

The Plan B that had been launched just in case, namely the petition by those insisting that Muscat stay on, can now be accelerated and put on the front burner. 

Muscat will humbly accept to commit another U-turn in his winding career and accept to stay on, probably by acclamation or by a show of hands at a party conference. This would mean that the crooks, wheelers and dealers would get a new lease of life, especially considering that the chances of Muscat losing the next election are even slimmer than the ones he had of getting a European Union post.

Muscat has been a very big fish in our small pond for a long time, but this does not seem to have earned him any points in favour of being allowed into the ocean. 

On the contrary, he has been firmly locked into his aquarium together with the piranhas and the puffer fish. 

He might act big and tough before his loyal audience and his following here, but the harsh reality is that, among his ‘peers’ in the European Council, he commands absolutely no respect. 

If, at the beginning of his tenure, he might have been considered interesting, even if only as an object of curiosity, his track record in office has surely put paid to any regard he might have initially enjoyed. 

For those who know how to read signals, the whole process for the appointment of top positions in the EU has shown Muscat where he truly stands on the stage beyond our shores. 

He is considered to be a pretentious, dishonest upstart who, unfortunately, has to be tolerated, because he is the big fish on this little island called Malta, his pond.

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