Is this computer misuse?

2023-09-29T10:04:28+02:00Fri, 29th Sep '23, 10:04| Speaking for someone’s right to put up a meme that makes light of Down’s Syndrome is an unenviable job. They say that if you want to be funny punch up, not down. Mock those more powerful than you and you’ll get a laugh out of us. Mock the less powerful and nobody, apart from [...]

Speaking for the washed up

2023-09-29T08:35:48+02:00Fri, 29th Sep '23, 08:35|

If there’s any advice I should ever find myself giving, that would be not to take my advice. I have no illusion of knowledge or life experience that could endow me with any confidence I might foresee a tsunami before it drowns me and everyone else.  Also, I’m acutely aware of my inconsistencies, attitudes that [...]

At your service

2023-09-28T08:41:18+02:00Thu, 28th Sep '23, 08:41|

Eddie Fenech Adami often repeated the phrase that ‘politics is a service’. He meant it in the Christian sense that politicians should remember that the power they are given is not for their reward but for the benefit of others. The more powerful you are, the more you need to remember that your function is [...]

Pro Memoria

2023-09-28T08:20:31+02:00Thu, 28th Sep '23, 08:20|

You’d have missed this comment because it was uploaded yesterday under this blog post from April 2021. In that post I wrote about how slow the Maltese judicial process can be. Lassan Cisse was killed for sport in April 2019. Two soldiers were charged with his murder and were released on bail while waiting trial. [...]

What else are you lying about?

2023-09-27T08:29:31+02:00Wed, 27th Sep '23, 08:29|

Joseph Muscat told the Public Accounts Committee the European Commission knew all about the agreement his government had made with Azerbaijan’s gas company. The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation fact-checked that and the Commission told them it wasn’t true. Confronted by the Commission’s flat denial, Joseph Muscat pivoted. He could no longer say the Commission knew [...]

Cultural revolution

2023-09-26T10:33:22+02:00Tue, 26th Sep '23, 10:33|

The government’s response in court to the challenge from the Council for the Maltese language is truly disgusting. Quick sum-up for background. In a press statement the government announced the creation of a new entity and appointed former TVM editor Norma Saliba to head it. With the announcement came a legal notice that said that [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: Defining kleptocracy

2023-09-24T10:17:23+02:00Sun, 24th Sep '23, 10:17|

From my article in The Sunday Times today: "Fraud and forgery are part of any society outside Utopia. Neither element suggests there is something particularly evil about the governance of this society. But limiting the analysis of this scandal to fraud and forgery takes our eyes off the real motivation of the perpetrators of this [...]

Big of him

2023-09-22T09:27:08+02:00Fri, 22nd Sep '23, 09:27|

Bernard Grech will have expected yesterday’s newspapers to give more prominence to what was officially the warm-up act on Wednesday night. The PN hasn’t seen Wednesday’s sort of crowd at its Independence Day events for many years. The crowds did not swell because Bernard Grech was giving another speech. Bernard Grech knew that. Politicians are [...]

Needed to be said

2023-09-22T08:34:14+02:00Fri, 22nd Sep '23, 08:34|

Charles Scicluna’s homily at the official Independence Day mass justifies the ecclesiastical paraphernalia in an entirely secular holiday. I’m not a big fan of official religion, but even I can see that what Charles Scicluna said on the day marking Malta’s independence, no elected official, no bureaucrat, no judge would have had the courage to [...]

Bernard’s choices

2023-09-18T06:00:51+02:00Mon, 18th Sep '23, 06:00|

Any decision-maker should have the opportunity to fly kites. You need to throw up options, even outlandish and unlikely ones, and have them debated and tested by trusted associates. The act of discarding a mad notion helps distil the remaining options. Whatever is left after you throw out the bad ideas should be good. When [...]

The evidence you cannot see

2023-09-16T11:37:13+02:00Sat, 16th Sep '23, 11:37|

One of the grievances raised in the beginning of the French Revolution was the (buy then rare) use of the ancient procedure – though the word ‘procedure’ may be misleading – of lettres de cachet. These were letters signed by the king and sealed with instructions to put someone in prison or in a mental [...]

Media Reform Initiative: False and misleading statements in OPM’s press release

2023-09-15T13:58:01+02:00Fri, 15th Sep '23, 13:58|

Together with Therese Comodini Cachia, Natalino Fenech, Monique Agius, and Joe Borg, I'm part of the Media Reform Initiative, an effort to ensure transparency in the process of reforming press laws and making sure that changes made enable press freedom, rather than restrict it. This is a statement we published this morning: The statement by [...]

Secrets and lies

2023-09-14T09:49:29+02:00Thu, 14th Sep '23, 09:49|

If you’ve been following, you know all this. If you haven’t been following, you wouldn’t care. And yet, if you’re still here and I’m still here, then it must be because we both think this is worth remembering. Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed in 16 October 2017 by car bomb outside her home. She was [...]


2023-09-13T09:07:58+02:00Wed, 13th Sep '23, 09:07|

Doctors sitting on the board that approved applications for severe disability benefits supported by forged documents complain to Times of Malta today that they “were cheated too”. They could not have known the signatures were forged, they said. They speak to the Times on condition of anonymity although there aren’t hundreds of people who could [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: Buying Streets

2023-09-10T08:19:13+02:00Sun, 10th Sep '23, 08:19|

From my article in The Sunday Times today: "The thing with political favours is that people who are happy to sell their vote will negotiate to acquire from the politician, in exchange for their currency and commitment, what they wouldn’t be able to acquire by right anyway. Electoral clientelism is not about making sure that [...]

This is how we’re governed

2023-09-06T10:13:42+02:00Wed, 6th Sep '23, 10:13|

The government is scrambling to cover up the fact that it covered up the benefits fraud scandal. Times of Malta did not stop at revealing the story. They’re pushing the government to answer its questions and the mess of the responses the government are giving is a story in itself. Consider for example answers to [...]

The laws they forget exist

2023-09-04T14:51:40+02:00Mon, 4th Sep '23, 14:51|

Robert Abela’s Sunday sermon yesterday will have gone down like all other Sunday sermons. It tickled people’s confirmation bias, realigning people to the convictions they were born to. Perhaps a handful might have been curious to see if Robert Abela would react to Times of Malta’s story that morning. They should have known better than [...]

Watch the book play out

2023-09-04T10:22:31+02:00Mon, 4th Sep '23, 10:22|

Times of Malta broke the story. That’s how it almost always starts. The police spoke to the Labour MP who was at the centre of the scheme of forgeries and benefit fraud to consolidate the partisan support of likely voters of the Labour Party who have fallen on hard times. The police arrested the MP [...]

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