Crowd planting

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2017-07-14T14:54:26+02:00Fri, 7th Jul '17, 09:55|

How many fresh switchers does it take to plant seedlings on the verge? This chain-gang scene from the 1930s dust-bowl was seen this morning in Ħal Luqa. It is becoming an increasingly common sight. It is comforting to know that as employers struggle to find productive labour without having to import it, they will have [...]

Another lawyer on poorly drafted laws

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2017-07-09T21:50:03+02:00Thu, 6th Jul '17, 16:00|

Justin Borg Barthet a few days ago wrote a guest post on this website criticising the quality of the drafting of the Marriage Equality law approved through its second reading by Parliament yesterday.He did not discuss the merits of whether marriage equality was right or wrong. (Like me he is a supporter of the notion). He [...]

Politics of good sense

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2017-07-14T14:55:13+02:00Thu, 6th Jul '17, 13:45|

Joseph Muscat lays traps because that is how he plays his games. But that doesn’t mean the PN will fall for them. It was a very disappointed prime minister yesterday who stood up to face an Opposition that proved to be not quite as gullible as he thought they would be. It is clear the [...]

Amateur Land

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2017-07-09T21:49:54+02:00Tue, 4th Jul '17, 11:20|

Since 2013 I’ve been out of my original line of work – politics – and have done various jobs here and there trying to grow new feet in my dotage. For some time I taught history (under the contemporary guise of ‘European Studies’) in a secondary school. The experience was more rewarding for me than [...]

The Ringmaster

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2017-07-09T21:49:54+02:00Mon, 3rd Jul '17, 01:59|

It is a month to the day since the last election and it feels like it could have been years.The ability of Joseph Muscat to determine and manipulate the national agenda has been proven less by his confirmation at the polls and more by how he has again managed to dip the PN’s tail in [...]

No such thing as a barred vote

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2017-07-09T21:49:55+02:00Sat, 1st Jul '17, 18:06|

Precisely as Joseph Muscat intended it to be, the gender equality vote is proving to be a dusty hairball in the PN parliamentary group’s collective throat. This sort of thing tends to happen with weak leadership. Right now the PN is led by a lame duck with its guts flowing out of its mid-action seppuku. [...]

The race ahead

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2017-07-09T21:49:57+02:00Thu, 29th Jun '17, 13:12|

The field of candidates is starting to take shape.From within the parliamentary group, Chris Said has come forward and at least one other may be getting ready to step up. Claudio Grech keeps being mentioned, one should think not merely because of wishful thinking. From among the party officials, Alex Perici Calascione is publicly flirting [...]

It ain’t me

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2017-07-09T21:50:03+02:00Wed, 28th Jun '17, 20:41|

I am not a lawyer, nor is one of my names Adrian, and this blog is not a coy bid at the leadership of the Nationalist Party. I started this blog because as an ex-journalist, ex-civil servant and ex-would be politician, it’s the only way I know how to let off steam.I have a cousin, [...]

Poorly written laws

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2017-07-09T21:50:03+02:00Tue, 27th Jun '17, 22:16|

Read this guest post by expert lawyer Justin Borg Barthet on the Marriage Equality Bill.While a silly debate between ayatollahs rages on, on whether the law should speak of mothers or birth-givers to avoid offence, the real issue most have not noticed is the pathetic poverty of the making of this law and many others. Otto [...]

GUEST POST: On the New Marriage Equality Law

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2017-07-09T21:49:59+02:00Tue, 27th Jun '17, 21:34|

This Guest Post is by Justin Borg Barthet, a lecturer in law at the University of Aberdeen. Dr Borg-Barthet has published work on cross-border recognition of same-sex relationships, and has been commissioned by the European Parliament to advise on the reform of divorce jurisdiction.Through the Marriage Equality Bill, Malta joins a small group of European nations [...]

Financial Services: Corking a punctured barrel

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2017-07-09T21:50:00+02:00Tue, 27th Jun '17, 13:49|

Think of a barrel of whiskey with a corked hole at its bottom. It is water-tight and holds the whiskey inside, for years if it needs to. As long as the cork holds. That is its weakest point that may hold for decades or give at any moment and let all the whiskey gush out [...]

Demanding the Impossible

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2017-07-09T21:50:03+02:00Mon, 26th Jun '17, 08:54|

I had some friendly backlash to my piece yesterday on The Sunday Times. It surprised me, although perhaps it should not have.I was told on the one hand that I’m a hopeless idealist chasing unicorns and that the job requirements I listed for the job of PN leader were impossibly onerous and no one alive, [...]

Irridu naqdu ‘n-nies

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2017-07-09T21:50:02+02:00Sat, 24th Jun '17, 09:42|

So fair and foul a phrase I have not heard.It’s a mantra repeated without fail but with much frustration by the party loyalists who will stick with the PN through thick and thin but who have a shared theory on why others would not. It’s that verb ‘qeda’ that is so loaded in the Maltese [...]

A People’s Party

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2017-07-09T21:50:02+02:00Fri, 23rd Jun '17, 09:10|

Political parties do not exist for their own sake. They are an enabling tool for the functioning of democracy. It helps to understand where they came from. Commons elected to Westminster were chosen, not for belonging to this or that party, but for being the favourite representative of their constituency.But in a chamber of hundreds, [...]

Note to the PM: We’re not idiots

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2017-07-09T21:50:03+02:00Wed, 21st Jun '17, 17:23|

On election’s eve, Joseph Muscat, wanted to make sure the justified rumblings among employees and people who economically depend on the gaming industry changed nothing in the outcome he wanted out of the election. Not for him electoral loss because of the economic consequences of the corruption in his government.So he resorted to the simplest [...]

Two weeks

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2017-07-14T14:43:58+02:00Tue, 20th Jun '17, 14:30|

It’s been two weeks to the hour that this blog has been around. It was two nights after the election result and the first morning back to work and the old routine. Everything was the same again but everything was different. I’ve now been away from the local political scene for over 4 years. I [...]