There’s been some backlash at the point I made that appointing a party crony to the governership of Finance Malta was just the sort of nepotistic partisanship that is harming this country’s chances of having a future to speak of. The argument was twisted to the point that Carlos Zarb’s defenders claimed and that any objection to the appointment of a 19-year-old party crony must have been grounded in prejudice against young people. Consider this article by Andrew Azzopardi as a sample.

Even Robert Abela stepped in, using his Sunday morning speech to criticise me for daring to have an opinion on the matter. We never learn, do we? A prime minister on a party media live transmission of an address to the nation criticises a journalist writing on his blog for having criticised his policies. What a country.

The point about the appointment to Finance Malta was that the person that was appointed has no documented knowledge, even a suggestion of any working appreciation, of the financial services industry. The CV published on the Finance Malta website doesn’t show a smidgen of experience or training in an industry he is supposed to promote.

He could be 19, he could be 60. The thing about being 19 is that the guy hasn’t even had the time to apply for a mortgage let alone acquire enough of an understanding of the sort of instruments he is supposed to be promoting.

He is incompetent. If the position of governorship of Finance Malta does not require any specialist skills or knowledge, then anyone can do it. If anyone can do it, then the position is unnecessary. We’re spending money for nothing. Hardly surprising.

So please spare me the waxy straw man melodrama that rebuts the appointment of a teen minister’s canvasser to a strategic position in a public-private partnership with the hollow accusation that the objection is the product of prejudice against young people.

He could have been a young, black, lesbian, Olympic medallist that feeds the poor. If she can’t fly a plane, she cannot be a pilot.

Carlos Zarb was not appointed to Finance Malta because Robert Abela “believes in young people”. He was appointed to Finance Malta because the Minister who filed his nomination needs him to canvass for him in his district and Carlos Zarb is a committed (and presumably a precocious and capable) Labour Party campaigner. But his Minister is not going to pay him to campaign for him. You are.

Consider this other appointment. Last week the government appointed Rachelle Borg Dingli on the working group to propose local government reform. Expect to hear any criticism of her appointment to be an assault on women and their ability to contribute to the governance of this country.

Even at the risk of that, I’m willing to hazard a guess the real reason she was appointed was that she is Mrs Ian Borg. Up to you to decide whether she got the job because this government wants to engage more women in public office or because this government wants to keep its Ministers happy by giving jobs to their spouses.