Surely she can’t have thought this would be left without remark or exclamation.

Here’s the report on newsbook of how Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera just got a €20,000 scholarship to “further her studies” 28 years after her last day at school.

Just ten months ago a committee made up of the Chief Justice, the Ombudsman, the Attorney General, the Auditor General and the President of the Chamber of Advocates rejected Justice Minister’s Owen Bonnici’s plans to promote Magistrate Scerri Herrera to a judgeship.

They were reported to have disqualified her because of her behaviour in her life outside the courtroom.

Now, presumably, the government is funding her to make up for her misbehaviour with academic excellence.

But consider that the scholarship she won is under the Endeavour scheme funded by the EU to support improved skills in specific economic priority areas for the country. Here are four of the top criteria for selecting candidates for funding:

  • Improve the quality and relevance of the education system;
  • Reduce skills mismatches particularly within the priority economic sectors;
  • Support further research in science and technology; and
  • Increase the capacity and level of research, innovation and development activity in Malta.

How will a Magistrate stuck in a career rut, already rejected for promotion, make any difference to the relevance of the education system, reduce any skills mismatch in a priority economic sector, research any science or increase in any way any form of innovation?

Quite obviously, glaringly, shamelessly and painfully indifferently to any muted reaction from a public numbed to shock and scandal, this was a way for the government to use tax money denied to some hard-working science student whose real project has just been rejected for funding, in order to compensate a Labour crony who feels entitled to a promotion she does not deserve.

Her brother Jose’ Herrera this evening in Parliament referred to my blog which he looks like he has been reading with some enthusiasm. Perhaps he can stand in Parliament again next time he’s there and speak about this as well.