THE SUNDAY TIMES: The going of David Thake

2022-01-16T09:20:11+01:00Sun, 16th Jan '22, 08:40|

From my article in THE SUNDAY TIMES today: "The general rule of thumb is that the public is more lenient on Labour politicians. It’s the fate of the nerds, I suppose. Teachers expect the worst from the recidivist hooligans who sit in the back of the class causing all sort of trouble. Any minor infraction by [...]

The myth of the Mizzi Übermensch

2022-01-16T10:00:55+01:00Sun, 16th Jan '22, 08:34|

People who should know better still speak in glowing terms of Mintoff’s economic policies though those policies were only slightly more enlightened than Soviet collectivisation. It shouldn’t surprise us then that there are people out there who still think Konrad Mizzi could count. He can’t, except when he’s dividing bottom lines by 10 to work [...]

GUEST POST: The American University of Malta Goes Remote

2022-01-14T17:13:41+01:00Sat, 15th Jan '22, 09:30|

Covid restrictions have had an impact on pretty much everything. Most, if not all, universities across the globe moved from face-to-face to online teaching. The University of Malta is home to 11,850 students on a range of 930 courses, including 1,242 international students from 119 different countries. Nevertheless, and in line with many other educational [...]

Robocop strikes again

2022-01-14T13:47:26+01:00Fri, 14th Jan '22, 13:47|

I really don’t understand this. Robert Abela answered questions today about the plea deal with Darren Debono it-Topo. Some days ago, the Parliamentary Opposition asked the Attorney General – not the prime minister – to explain her decision about the plea deal. Read here for the arguments why the Attorney General’s decision is being questioned. [...]

Media freedom NGOs warn PM they are watching what he’s doing about media freedom

2022-01-14T11:46:08+01:00Fri, 14th Jan '22, 11:46|

The following is a statement issued by media freedom NGOs today after the government announced a "committee of experts" to recommend improvements to media freedom in Malta. Our organisations note Prime Minister Abela’s announcement that a Committee of Experts has been appointed to implement the recommendations of the Public Inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. [...]

The rights of the many and the rights of the one

2022-01-14T09:42:01+01:00Fri, 14th Jan '22, 09:42|

You will have often heard me say that people in the employment of political parties should not be calling themselves journalists but propagandists. Of course, that doesn’t mean that propagandists cannot do journalism when it doesn’t have anything to do with the partisan interests of their employer. It doesn’t matter to me that the court [...]

Consulting in the confessional

2022-01-13T12:29:49+01:00Thu, 13th Jan '22, 12:29|

I keep going back to the government’s statement of two days ago announcing a committee of experts to treat the issues concerning journalism 6 months after the Daphne Caruana Galizia inquiry documented the conditions that killed her, including the ones that persist as conditions in which journalists in Malta must work. The government’s statement is [...]

How dare you say corruption?

2022-01-13T11:46:46+01:00Thu, 13th Jan '22, 11:46|

I came to the court building in Valletta today to attend the first session in a court case started last year on Repubblika’s initiative to make the point that (bear with me here) Electrogas is buying gas from Socar at higher than commercial rates, and therefore Enemalta is buying electricity from Electrogas at rates higher [...]

The “Committee” (4): Two professors

2022-01-12T13:39:46+01:00Wed, 12th Jan '22, 13:39|

Two university academics sit on the committee appointed by the government six months after the conclusions of the Daphne Caruana Galizia inquiry to propose “developments” to the media sector in Malta. Their views are well known, and it is, in my view, perfectly fair to argue that they have been chosen to sit on the [...]

The “Committee” (3): Who else thinks a State Censor is a good idea?

2022-01-12T12:02:41+01:00Wed, 12th Jan '22, 12:02|

This one goes out to Matthew Xuereb, Kurt Sansone, and Neil Camilleri, three journalists sitting as a minority group in the “Committee of Experts” announced by the government yesterday “with the aim of analysing the journalism and media sector in Malta, underline areas which require development and make recommendations to the Prime Minister”. Let’s call [...]

UPDATE: Having Saviour do ‘something’ about the Daphne inquiry (2)

2022-01-11T16:20:31+01:00Tue, 11th Jan '22, 16:15|

UPDATED: 16:20 The government has indeed announced that Saviour Balzan has been appointed to the committee of experts making recommendations on the implementation of the Daphne Caruana Galizia inquiry. Continues from here. The rumoured appointment of Saviour Balzan to a board of experts hired to oversee the implementation of reforms to protect journalists recommended by [...]

Doing ‘something’ about the Daphne inquiry (1)

2022-01-11T16:05:07+01:00Tue, 11th Jan '22, 16:05|

The government appears set to announce the appointment of a board to help implement the recommendations of the Daphne Caruana Galizia inquiry. You’d think this will be a good thing. You’re meant to think this will be a good thing. But that will be taking things out of context which is what the government wants [...]

GUEST POST: Is Malta in a state of crisis? 

2022-01-11T13:00:18+01:00Tue, 11th Jan '22, 13:00|

Recently I had a discussion with an academic colleague who was arguing that Malta is not facing a crisis. Let’s consider the situation these past few years. First there were the revelations of the Panama papers and a prime minister who adamantly defended his two closest collaborators caught out with secret offshore companies. There was [...]

GUEST POST: System Failure

2022-01-08T10:25:04+01:00Sat, 8th Jan '22, 10:25|

The year began with the news that Malta had lost another daughter in the most terrifying and horrific of ways. Paulina Dembska. A young woman with her whole, bright future ahead; attacked, raped, murdered and left on the ground; a woman in the wrong place at the wrong time. The fact that it could have [...]

Pray speak Victoria

2022-01-07T09:35:22+01:00Fri, 7th Jan '22, 09:35|

The Attorney General has so far ignored public calls, including from the Parliamentary Opposition, to justify her decision to cut a deal with a man who eventually admitted his involvement in a daring and violent armed robbery in 2010. Darren Debono did not just try to steal the money. He tried to get away shooting [...]

Change the world with a Facebook post

2022-01-05T16:16:20+01:00Wed, 5th Jan '22, 16:16|

Oliver Scicluna seems quite disturbed by voters offering him to trade their vote for some favour or other. Though already an MP, by the grace and gift of Robert Abela, Oliver Scicluna now has to go through the grind of canvassing and electioneering to get re-elected, and it seems he’s not enjoying that part of [...]

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