Breakfast, Owen?

2021-12-19T07:51:31+01:00Sun, 19th Dec '21, 07:51|

In an interview with Times of Malta, Owen Bonnici today says he “genuinely” feels sorry he “might have hurt” some people when he ordered the Daphne protest memorial cleared some 500 times, but “in (his) defence”, he says he was doing it to “keep the calm in our country”. He said he was ordering the [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: Everything stays the same

2021-12-19T07:28:09+01:00Sun, 19th Dec '21, 07:26|

From my article in The Sunday Times today: "A 2019 EU directive introduced higher standards for European whistleblower protection laws. Since then, the government has ignored repeated and public calls for consultation on the changes. They also ignored the ombudsman who publicly complained he was never consulted when the law assigned to his office responsibilities that [...]

GUEST POST: A Contemplation on Freedom of Expression

2021-12-17T19:56:36+01:00Fri, 17th Dec '21, 19:56|

In a country so finely ruled under the Rule of Law that even cases against state organisations are tolerated (I quote Mr Speaker’s faithful legal beagle here, who let slip his sublime take on democratic governance while arguing a case on behalf of no less an august institution as the FIAU) it is perhaps a [...]

GUEST POST: The story of two young politicians

2021-12-16T14:57:31+01:00Thu, 16th Dec '21, 08:48|

The measure of a man is what he does with power – Plato Joseph Muscat and Roberta Metsola are perhaps the most prominent politicians of their generation. Joseph Muscat was born in 1974 and at the age of 18 he joined Labour’s One (at the time Super One) Radio. In 1995 he was elected to [...]

GUEST POST: Analysing Electrogas’s financials for 2019

2021-12-13T09:00:05+01:00Mon, 13th Dec '21, 09:00|

I have reviewed the most recent audited accounts filed with the business registry by Electrogas. The audit was carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers and signed by directors Rustam Shomurodov and Paul Apap Bologna on 12 March 2021.  You will see from the facts below that Electrogas is in financial dire straits. Paul Apap Bologna publicly described [...]

GUEST POST: I M Beck’s Saturday rumination

2021-12-11T16:54:35+01:00Sat, 11th Dec '21, 16:54|

I was chewing the fat, duly masked and distanced, with a bloke of sound mind, and similar to mine and we riffed on a theme. We agreed, as blokes of similar minds tend to, that we have no illusion about the state of the PN and the capabilities of Bernard, as they are viewed by [...]

Education, Education, Education

2021-12-11T10:45:31+01:00Sat, 11th Dec '21, 10:45|

In one of his hopeless attempts at sounding guileless, Evarist Bartolo recently posted that we all have a duty to fight corruption. He didn’t fight corruption when he could have and should have. That’s by his own admission in an interview with Tim Sebastian where he admitted falling far short of the principled objective he [...]

WATCH: Maria Ressa’s Nobel lecture

2021-12-11T05:37:47+01:00Sat, 11th Dec '21, 05:37|

Maria Ressa accepted the Nobel Prize together with Dmitry Muratov on behalf of truth-chasing journalists holding the line. Her opening words are a recollection of journalists killed on the line of duty who could not be there to accept the Nobel Prize because it's never awarded posthumously. She remembered among others Daphne Caruana Galizia. Daphne's [...]

De La Cheese

2021-12-10T07:04:33+01:00Fri, 10th Dec '21, 07:04|

That's how Anthony Agius Decelis was introduced once at a Labour Party event. He needn't have complained because this guy's attention to detail is the worst since the guy surveying the land for the bell-tower of the cathedral of Pisa assured everyone the wet puddle would get dry. Here's Anthony De La Cheese inviting you [...]

Satabank SLAPP suit quashed by Bulgarian appeals court

2021-12-09T14:55:20+01:00Thu, 9th Dec '21, 14:47|

The Regional Court of Varna has overturned the decision of a lower court and dismissed a defamation suit filed against this website by Christo Georgiev, owner of the now defunct Satabank in Malta. The case against me was filed in February 2020 over an October 2018 article I wrote when Satabank's clients found their bank [...]

Piping gas

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?

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

2021-12-09T12:32:45+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

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

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

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

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

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 [...]

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