More reasons to look at that photo again.

The guy who first posted it, in what was have been a moment of braggadocious impunity, is living the best of times. He had a lot to expect from 2019 that gave him reasons to raise a glass or two last Christmas.

He is CEO of the Lands Authority which is the authority that regulates the enforcement of conditions with which public land is transferred to private use. One of those transfers is the land on which the old Fortina Hotel in Sliema was built. They needed the government’s OK to change the use of that land from a hotel (which was the purpose for which they were given the land) to something else.

It’s now going to be offices for a betting company – Bet365 – that is exiting the hell that is Brexit, moving from the British territory of Gibraltar to Malta.

So far so good.

Except that apart from being the regulator of the relationship between the owners of the old Fortina and the owner of the land (that’s the public at large), James Piscopo is personally also in business with the owners of that land.

He went into business with them before he became CEO of the Lands Authority but when he was already a major supremo in the infrastructure of Joseph Muscat’s government as CEO of the Transport Authority.

In this Times of Malta story James Piscopo said he wanted to avoid claims of perceived conflict. Good luck with that, mate.

But does it really matter? Not when you have a seat at the only Christmas dinner party that matters.