STAR COMMENT: What the PN can and cannot choose

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2017-08-31T07:48:53+00:00Thu, 31st Aug '17, 07:48|

Sent in this morning in reaction to last night's post on Adrian Delia's decision not to withdraw his candidature for leadership of the PN: "There are things that are given to you and they may be taken away; there are other things that cannot be taken from you but only you may throw away. In [...]

A trainwreck in slow motion

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2017-08-31T03:39:57+00:00Thu, 31st Aug '17, 03:39|

As I see it the allegations of impropriety or dubious ethical standards against Adrian Delia are secondary. Their provenance irrelevant. A short list of facts has been established by media outside the control of the PN from documents and records that if not discovered and revealed now before his election to the leadership would have [...]

Job requirements

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2017-08-30T10:35:23+00:00Wed, 30th Aug '17, 10:35|

When I wrote this piece about the qualities I hoped to see in the next PN leader, the election result that extended the PN’s term in Opposition for another 5 years, was 20 days old. Simon Busuttil had confirmed his decision to leave as did all the administration of the party. The process of changing [...]

Q&A: Have leadership elections always been quite so rough?

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2017-08-29T10:51:51+00:00Tue, 29th Aug '17, 10:49|

I got this question in the comment boxes: I would like to ask a question that maybe you can answer through your experience in the party. Were previous elections for leadership so bitter or is this bickering being magnified through the availability and usage of social media? I would like to know from people who [...]

Stay this madness!

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2017-08-28T16:24:36+00:00Mon, 28th Aug '17, 15:57|

The wild vortex that has gripped the PN over the past 8 weeks or so risks uprooting the entire edifice. When the debate was about the hesitations of the conservatively inclined about gays and lesbians and bells and rings, the wind felt rough, windows were banging and dusty sheaves of shelved papers in trays marked [...]

The large minority

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2017-08-26T20:50:50+00:00Sat, 26th Aug '17, 20:18|

There are two main strands of debate being fired across the Facebook battlefield of the PN leadership race and both are a reaction to a universally shared assessment that Adrian Delia has a very good chance of becoming the next leader of the PN before next month is out. The first strand is of his [...]

Crisis of faith

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2017-08-25T17:25:06+00:00Fri, 25th Aug '17, 17:25|

I am not going to paste screenshots. I am not going to quote names. I am not going to link to Facebook profiles. It would be legitimate to do so but all I have left is the hope I am wrong and in case I am at least right about that, I don’t want to [...]

Animals sleeping in beds … without sheets

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2017-08-25T12:33:05+00:00Fri, 25th Aug '17, 12:33|

Evarist Bartolo and Owen Bonnici indulged in a bit of inelegant semantic acrobatics when they explained donations they got for their political campaigns from people they appointed on the public payroll to advise them in their Ministerial roles. This is from Ivan Camilleri’s report in The Times: “The ministerial code of ethics lays down that: [...]

The true meaning of l-aqwa żmien.

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2017-08-24T16:13:40+00:00Thu, 24th Aug '17, 16:13|

To my mind the worst thing that’s going on is that this whirlwind around Daphne Caruana Galizia’s reporting of Adrian Delia’s affairs is creating and solidifying a set of myths that replace reality as it should be obvious to everyone and postpone indefinitely the day when the PN comes to terms with that reality and [...]

Where the analogy stops

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2017-08-24T16:00:26+00:00Thu, 24th Aug '17, 14:40|

I have drawn parallels between Maltese politics and Donald Trump before. When Joseph Muscat blamed the Russian Secret Service for the Egrant revelations – that’s not what he called them of course – I wrote that Muscat was taking a page out of the Roger Stone playbook and imitating Trump’s methods in the interest of [...]

A campaign in meltdown

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2017-08-24T15:57:06+00:00Thu, 24th Aug '17, 13:46|

Donald Trump is President of the United States. Two years ago that sentence would have got a good laugh in a late night satire. Climbing up the ranks to secure a major party’s nomination to the United States is an exceptional achievement. But it would have been considered an absurd notion for a complete outsider, [...]

UPDATED: Creating a vacancy

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2017-08-22T14:00:43+00:00Tue, 22nd Aug '17, 13:41|

Read this by Mark Fenech asking on Facebook what would happen in the rather likely event one of 3 PN leadership candidates who are not yet MPs is elected to the post: “Let us assume that the PN leadership contest will be won by one of the three non-MP candidates. Naturally, the winner will then [...]

Trading Places

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2017-08-22T09:09:44+00:00Tue, 22nd Aug '17, 08:56|

Kurt Sansone spotted a glossy brochure produced by the government giving EU medicines agency employees, details about living in Malta, including, as you would expect, rent prices. His report in The Times digs up some background work on property rentals and quotes Central Bank and National Statistics Office findings that rent prices have been shooting [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: Imitation as flattery

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2017-08-20T11:07:38+00:00Sun, 20th Aug '17, 08:21|

From my article in The Sunday Times today: "Years of hatred and vilification exercised by Labour towards the independent press have nullified its credibility with Labour supporters. That was startling enough in a world of free and open access to information. But it is truly extraordinary to witness entire chunks of PN militants and, quite [...]

LISTEN: BBC documentary on Malta passport sales

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2017-08-18T11:27:18+00:00Fri, 18th Aug '17, 09:25|

This is a BBC radio documentary on Malta’s passport scheme in which: Identity Malta CEO Jonathan Cardona admits flat out the great bulk of passport procurers never invested anything in the country. Henley and Partners MD Christian Kaelin explains his target market for Maltese passports is investors with business interests in the EU who use [...]

Whose privilege is it anyway?

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2017-08-17T16:46:10+00:00Thu, 17th Aug '17, 16:46|

Attorney General Peter Grech has several times since his appointment to his office resorted to the excuse of client privilege to avoid answering questions on information he is privy to as an official of the state. I am not qualified to dispute the fine detail of the law. There are experts who do that and [...]

STAR COMMENT: Dangled carrots

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2017-08-16T15:10:07+00:00Wed, 16th Aug '17, 15:10|

In response to my earlier post where I pointed out that Judge Antonio Mizzi is presumed to be a candidate for the upcoming vacancy of Chief Justice of the Maltese courts, I received the following eminently pertinent comment: "I would add that the Attorney General is also a presumed candidate for the upcoming vacancy of Chief [...]

PN leadership election: how it works

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2017-08-15T15:44:56+00:00Tue, 15th Aug '17, 15:44|

It may be useful for those who want to understand what will be happening by the next school run to brush up on the rules governing the election of a PN leader. ‘Brush up’ is a bit of a misnomer because it suggests these are established rules that have been gathering dust after a very [...]

Ma’ min rajtek …

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2017-08-14T08:30:16+00:00Mon, 14th Aug '17, 08:30|

This piece in the Daily Mail is intended to damage its real target – Tony Blair – by his association with two unsavoury characters Ilham Aliyev and Joseph Muscat. The Daily Mail dislikes Tony Blair for its own political reasons. It’s a fiercely pro-Brexit newspaper and Tony Blair’s objections to Brexit are an annoyance it [...]