So my sources were correct, there is a smear campaign being conducted against me, although it hasn’t made it into the media, relegated instead to furtive messages on Twitter and Facebook. Perhaps because I pre-empted it in an earlier post? But more likely because none of the accusations actually stand up to scrutiny.
That’s because they’re trying to pass off one Andrew Galea’s misdemeanours for another. This could simply be remarkable ignorance and laziness on the story-peddlers’ part, or it could be because it’s terribly convenient in their efforts to discredit critics. They must be relying on their listeners to swallow what they give them hook-line-and-sinker.
Apparently there’s an Andrew Galea who was done for drug pushing at the age of 21 as outlined in this Times of Malta story. Sadly that story is thin on facts and context, but thankfully the Independent elaborates a little more on this man’s circumstances here.
This Andrew Galea, who hails from Birzebbugia, was reported to police for cocaine-trafficking by his brother.
A sad story, I hope that particular Andrew Galea is doing better now. However that wasn’t me. I don’t have a brother and I’m not from Birzebbugia.
Even if this were true, what relevance does it have to anything I’m writing about or criticising?
Even if I had, at age 21, been a drug pusher but had since in the last 10 years turned my life around, how does that detract from my main message: the government is a corrupt fascist anti-democratic cabal that needs to be scrutinised?
I personally am not too bothered by this kind of thing. I’m a pretty open book, and if you have any questions about my past behaviour I’m happy to answer them. In some respects it’s a very good sign – it means that in my short time blogging I’ve already managed to ruffle a few feathers. And if my source is correct, and these stories are being disseminated by the Office of the Prime Minister, then that’s all the more telling.
However it’s yet another example of the atmosphere of oppression, intimidation and bullying that often discourages others from voicing their criticisms of a corrupt government.
They will attack the messenger to undermine the message.
This is minor in comparison to what others endure on a daily basis. I cannot begin to imagine what it must have been like for Daphne Caruana Galizia to have to be subjected to this Kremlin-style character assassination for thirty-odd years.
It’s interesting too that I came across the below Tweet just today about similar practices in Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria and Slovakia (journalists were killed in two of those countries incidentally):
Of course Malta is aligning itself with illiberal democracies in more than culture. It’s a structural/systemic issue too, which is why “a judge on Monday upheld a civil society group’s request for the current system of judicial appointments to be vetted by the European Court of Justice and said the referral had to be made “with urgency”.
In the eyes of Europe Malta is now mentioned in the same breath as Hungary and Poland.