Civil Society Network co-founder Michael Briguglio has little time for critics who say the group is a Nationalist Party Trojan horse, saying that shunning partisan help would leave the activists isolated from society at large.
"Can we only appeal to the 4 per cent who don't vote for anyone? Then we'd really become a group of hermits," he says, suggesting the hidden hand of government communications chief Kurt Farrugia guided much online criticism of the CSN.
"Kurt Farrugia posts on Facebook, and suddenly an army of people, many of whom are in positions of trust, start attacking us. It's no coincidence."
In this Times Talk interview (see video above), sociologist Dr Briguglio, who also serves as a PN councillor for Sliema, says that there was nothing underhand about the CSN only acknowledging PN involvement after being asked about it.
"We could not have been more transparent," Dr Briguglio insists. "When were activists calling for the morning-after pill - and I was one of them - ever asked who was doing their advertising?"
The activist group is self-financed by its small nucleus of members, he said.
Dr Briguglio acknowledges that survey results suggest the majority of Maltese do not share the CSN's lack of faith in Malta's police force, but makes it clear numbers only tell half the story.
"It seems that for a number of people, perhaps the majority, good governance is not all that important an issue. But some issues are not about the numbers...this isn't a vox pop or beauty contest."
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