Keep your eyes peeled, because it sounds like there’s a story being concocted about me in an effort to smear Occupy Justice (and indeed any civil society group or activist campaigning for clean governance) that may do the rounds on government media soon.
First of all the main government strategy, as we know, depends on trying to discredit their critics because they cannot really tackle the facts of the arguments. Helped by their media wings (TVM, ONE, It-Torca, MaltaToday and Orizzont) they deploy whataboutery, tu quoque arguments, lies and inventions to baffle and bullshit their audiences.
Of course their principal victim was Daphne Caruana Galizia.
But we’ve seen this happen repeatedly – be it to Caroline Muscat of The Shift News, or Manuel Delia, or Ivan Camilleri from The Times of Malta. To the Occupy Justice activists (I’m thinking of Pia Zammit here).
They’ve deployed fake websites against Ana Gomes who was an MEP at the time, and character assassination was their first port of call when trying to rebut Special Rapporteur Pieter Omzigt’s report.
The list goes on.
However it’s not just the journalists and politicians that they’ve armed themselves against.
They compile information and dig around into the history or anyone they perceive as a threat. You’ll remember Matthew Carbone in the early days, making it publicly known that the government was snapping photos of people for their records.
So I wasn’t surprised when in one of the many Twitter spats I’ve had with the delightful Rosianne Cutajar she let slip in the heat of the moment that she’d done her research on me (or got one of her minions to) and had somehow got hold of the only old court case of mine I’ve ever had, in which I was charged with ABH (attempted bodily harm) for a fight in Paceville I had when I was 17 and for which I was acquitted.
Should you be interested at all, the full case file is publicly available here (it’s buried in Google somewhere and would take some committed digging to unearth).
I will draw your attention to a couple of lines in the court case that sum up my acquittal:
I mention this now because I have it on good authority that this story is being disseminated by the Office of The Prime Minister to journalists and will likely come out in Illum, Maltatoday or Orizzont.
My source says that they will try to plump it up with some nonsense about me being a drug dealer or something laughable like that. I’ve never dealt drugs, but I have been in a few altercations in Paceville. Any one who has ever visited the place knows it’s not hard to do so.
I’m not going to pretend I’ve always been the best behaved – I’m not sure anyone can make that claim, certainly not at age 17 anyhow.
Of course, I’m flattered to be even remotely associated with the troops on the ground like Occupy Justice, and honoured that the the powers-that-be think they can get to OJ by attacking me. I think they continue to underestimate how resilient those activists are.
It also indicates that I’ve already pissed a few people off, and that they’re desperately scrambling to try undercut me. They need to make me the story for a while because the scrutiny from all sides is too intense.
You’re used to the pattern by now. I trust you also know that I’m not fussed by it. If anything it’s quite amusing.