Piping gas

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2021-12-09T10:09:45+01:00Thu, 9th Dec '21, 10:09|

Just because it’s funded by the EU, it does not mean we should not reflect about the expense for an undersea gas pipeline to feed the power station owned and operated by Electrogas. After all the EU money we choose to spend on it is taken away from other potential alternatives which may, after more [...]

Does Johann Buttigieg pay on a first date?

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2021-12-09T10:03:45+01:00Thu, 9th Dec '21, 10:03|

Times of Malta appears to have just saved taxpayers a considerable amount of money that the Tourism Authority was about to spend on luxury hotel rooms for its staff to have their wee breaks while manning the Christmas village. I won’t bore you with predictable comments about why the MTA didn’t need this. This takes [...]

GUEST POST: The Inner Sun

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2021-12-09T10:00:31+01:00Thu, 9th Dec '21, 10:00|

Sitting in the typically mild Northern sunshine in Brussels, surrounded by typically grey urban buildings in an unremarkable-looking city, I got to thinking on the thirst for culture that drove me out into the wild world away from my small sunny island, whose climate I shall always sorely miss. I keep wishing that the sun [...]

Take a balanced view

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2021-12-09T09:50:53+01:00Thu, 9th Dec '21, 09:50|

It was a relief for me to read Ranier Fsadni’s opinion piece today assessing the debacle after Helena Dalli published an internal style guide hyperbolically alleged to attempt a ban on Christmas. It must have taken courage to comment that the Pope got it wrong. Yep, the comparison with Nazism was grotesque. Helena Dalli and [...]

The weed on Parliament’s floor

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2021-12-07T10:51:27+01:00Tue, 7th Dec '21, 10:51|

Not everything, I grant you, is useful evidence to support the argument that democracy is eroding. But, I promise you, this is. NGOs, experts, and professionals are turning to the President of Malta urging him to refuse to sign into law the new cannabis liberalisation bill recently approved by Parliament. As elsewhere, I am not [...]

The rot is everywhere

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2021-12-06T08:07:40+01:00Mon, 6th Dec '21, 08:07|

On Saturday, Times of Malta ran an editorial that put a simple to understand but rather rhetorical question. Is Malta’s justice system working? Since the question followed a chilling list of documented episodes of administrative, procedural, and technical failures in investigations, prosecutions, and judicial processes the answer cannot be anything but a resounding ‘no’. Two [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: The way they do things

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2021-12-05T19:30:27+01:00Sun, 5th Dec '21, 09:42|

From my article in The Sunday Times today: "The European Commission is funding an OECD research exercise to advise the standards in public life commissioner on how to improve oversight rules and procedures. The government is invited to participate, along with the opposition, experts and civil society. The government was represented at the introductory meeting, behaving [...]

GUEST POST: Of statesmen and politicians

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2021-12-05T09:40:27+01:00Sun, 5th Dec '21, 09:40|

American theologian and author James Freeman Clarke (1810-1888) posited that the difference between a politician and a statesman is that a politician thinks about the next election while the statesman thinks about the next generations. Over the years, Malta has had its fair share of statesmen who had the foresight and the wisdom to pull [...]

Something beginning with ‘a’

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2021-12-03T09:17:25+01:00Fri, 3rd Dec '21, 09:17|

I have written here a few times about the disturbing trend of aspiring politicians going into strategic marriages to marry a spouse with a surname beginning with the letter ‘a’ just so they can adopt their spouse’s family name and climb to the top of the ballot sheet. The technical term for declaring voting indifference [...]

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Do it again, Joe

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2021-12-03T10:49:00+01:00Fri, 3rd Dec '21, 08:43|

Right on cue Joseph Muscat protested that it was Christian Grima’s fault that he did not show up to back up his claim that he had been libelled by the suggestion that he “blew up Daphne”. The man practically invented the hollow excuse that has since become a tiktok trend. Er, sorry your honour, I [...]

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His reputation just got worse

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2021-12-02T12:11:16+01:00Thu, 2nd Dec '21, 12:09|

Joseph Muscat will try to spin himself out of this because he’s spun himself out of much worse. But not showing up to argue in the libel suit he filed against Christian Grima and having his case thrown out as a result is simply an implicit admission that he does not fancy his chances arguing [...]

Psyched

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2021-12-01T11:51:39+01:00Wed, 1st Dec '21, 11:51|

I found the interview prison psychologist Gail Debono gave Malta Today’s Raphael Vassallo disturbing reading. A couple of brief disclaimers out of the way first. This interview was timely and the questions asked pertinent. After the episode when a man was urged to jump off a bastion by onlookers filming tiktoks, instant psychologists sprouted everywhere [...]

Dissecting audiences

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2021-11-29T08:29:15+01:00Mon, 29th Nov '21, 08:28|

It’s not people who follow timesofmalta.com or read The Times of Malta in print in the morning who are likely to be impressed by some Anthony Degiovanni accusing Matthew Caruana Galizia of “contributing to his mother’s killing”. So, when an unidentified “spokesman from the OPM condemns” Anthony Degiovanni’s remarks to comments made exclusively to the [...]

GUEST POST: The age of the mediocre

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2021-11-28T17:04:23+01:00Sun, 28th Nov '21, 17:04|

We are living in the age of the mediocre. Our scorn for mediocrity blinds us to its vast primitive power. We stand in the glare of our superior intelligence unable to see into the dim lights of the room, to dilate our eyes and see the potential danger of the masses. We cannot quite believe [...]

I can’t bear this

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2021-11-27T16:36:34+01:00Sat, 27th Nov '21, 16:36|

A friend told me it was wrong of me to call the Speaker and his lawyer piles of shit, not when I complain about hate speech. I tell other people that words are like stones, they should use them to build bridges not to throw them at someone else. And yet I am weak and [...]

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