Defiance

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2018-02-13T21:27:57+01:00Tue, 13th Feb '18, 21:27|

Today’s Valletta Council meeting and the decision not to vote on a Councillor’s motion to destroy the Daphne Caruana Galizia memorial in front of the Court house is no cause for celebration. The Mayor’s decision, perfectly correct, to rule the motion outside the Council’s competence, does not address the question the motion raised: not whether [...]

Campaigning for the 16-year old vote

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2018-02-12T17:05:00+01:00Mon, 12th Feb '18, 17:05|

I kept thinking how, in the midst of the general euphoria for the emancipation of 16 and 17 year-olds, I was going to explain my queasiness about this notion. And then I saw the picture below and perhaps without having to say much I can be better understood. Is this what we need for our democracy [...]

Monumental mistakes

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2018-02-12T17:09:05+01:00Mon, 12th Feb '18, 16:40|

I will not go into the merits of if and when and where a permanent memorial for Daphne Caruana Galizia should be erected. If I try I suppose I can form an opinion on the subject but I don't think this is really the most important thing on the national agenda right now. When I [...]

Gaming authority to clamp down on Italian licencees

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2018-02-12T12:20:23+01:00Mon, 12th Feb '18, 12:14|

Specialist industry journal GamingCompliance quoted "high-ranking Maltese sources" saying that all Italian online gambling licences in Malta will be investigated to root out connections with illegal betting shops in Italy. Not a moment too soon. This is welcome news for an industry tarnished by ineffective policing on the mafia who has been using Malta to [...]

What are we supposed to think, Neville Gafà?

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2018-02-12T21:12:18+01:00Mon, 12th Feb '18, 11:41|

Neville Gafà is pitying himself for having a rotten reputation of corruption, particularly for extorting money from immigrants seeking an entry visa. He tweeted his anger at PN MP Claudette Buttigieg for retweeting someone who first tweeted Neville Gafà when quoting newspaper reports that a quarter of the American University’s student body vanished after they [...]

The MAM should not be left alone

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2018-02-12T10:26:18+01:00Mon, 12th Feb '18, 10:26|

It is high time for the other unions to speak up about the privatisation of hospitals. MAM, the doctors’ union, has issued a statement today (see below) reminding everyone how it has stood, mostly alone, against the dismantling of our national health service since this corrupt idea first popped out of Konrad Mizzi’s genius.  And [...]

Joseph Muscat for President: Labour MP tweets support

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2018-02-11T12:45:51+01:00Sun, 11th Feb '18, 12:45|

Rosianne Cutajar, Labour MP, has tweeted her support for Joseph Muscat's transition from prime minister of a parliamentary democracy to president of a presidential republic with enhanced and concentrated executive power. She expressed her support of the notion with her characteristic kiss-my-sweaty-balls attitude in response to a tweet asking whether Joseph Muscat's intention for constitutional [...]

Reform by plebiscite

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2018-02-10T15:56:51+01:00Sat, 10th Feb '18, 15:56|

Joseph Muscat gave a rare interview today. From the Times report: “Dr Muscat also spoke at length about the changes to the constitution and did not exclude a referendum to get a strong mandate once the discussions are concluded and the changes proposed. He said work was underway behind the scenes to ensure there is [...]

Rags to riches

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2018-02-09T17:21:14+01:00Fri, 9th Feb '18, 17:21|

Great twitter thread by BugM. Everyone loves a rags to riches story. 1/ Meet Ikona Artworks, a #Maltese "boutique" (aka small & unknown) design firm owned by Joel Saliba and Margaret Pace, of crumbling jablo #V18 statues & friends in #Malta Gov fame. pic.twitter.com/Fbv9XYdzMR — BugM (@bugdavem) February 8, 2018 2/ In 2012, Ikona Artworks, [...]

Soft landing

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2018-02-09T17:14:52+01:00Fri, 9th Feb '18, 17:14|

You wouldn't want Edward Zammit Lewis to suffer hardship after losing his job as a Minister. He did not make it to Cabinet after the 2017 election which entitled him to a soft-landing allowance equivalent to half a year's pay as a Minister. When he eventually did make it to Parliament he got the MP's [...]

Your government may be watching you now

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2018-02-09T11:02:22+01:00Fri, 9th Feb '18, 10:04|

As part of a BBC documentary on the House of Saud, the authors interview a professional hacker turned whistle-blower who for several years worked in Malta for an Italian company that designs spy-software for governments. Alberto Pelliccione describes Trojans hidden inside mobile phone or desktop Apps that give security services access to your devices. They [...]

Updated: Il-mitt miljun

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2018-02-09T20:22:51+01:00Fri, 9th Feb '18, 09:52|

Five years ago today was the most triumphant day of Lawrence Gonzi’s premiership. As the EU was cutting down on its 7-year budget, he pushed and secured a considerable increase in the allocation of funds to Malta. 1.128 billion euro for the subsequent seven years. Labour governments got to spend it. That’s fine. It’s the [...]

Longer life as a Laburist sal-Mewt

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2018-02-09T11:04:01+01:00Fri, 9th Feb '18, 09:49|

‘Laburisti sal-Mewt’ is a Facebook group for people who think support for their party is a life-long commitment. Or perhaps they think it’s a terminal illness. Either way they congregate there to live in a world where everyone agrees with them and any traitors in their midst can be made to walk the plank. It’s [...]

UPDATED: A bit like Bette Davis

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2018-02-08T20:51:21+01:00Thu, 8th Feb '18, 17:25|

Update 19:49 Adds clarification from Frank Psaila. Frank Psaila wrote a moving piece on Eddie Fenech Adami. So moving he moved himself to tears. That is not remarkable in itself. What is remarkable is Frank Psaila felt he needed to thank himself for having brought himself to tears. It's something to will yourself to cry. [...]

The Atlantic: “It may take time to solve her murder, but the question is whether Malta’s institutions have the political will to try.”

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2018-02-08T20:53:08+01:00Thu, 8th Feb '18, 13:26|

US News Magazine The Atlantic published a detailed report on the aftermath of the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia remarking that "the murder of a journalist in Europe, at a time when democratic institutions face severe tests worldwide, risk making Malta the weak point that could threaten the entire bloc". The enormous ramifications of this [...]

From ‘Arloġġ tal-Lira’ to ‘Anything Goes’

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2018-02-08T10:17:49+01:00Thu, 8th Feb '18, 10:17|

Conflict of interest is not an absolute. It's not like virginity: you either have it or you do not. Which is why it is always so controversial. There are lines you should not cross in public life but however real they are, they are invisible. Standards and expectations change over time and normally, one would [...]

UK Government: ‘We’ll never let US health companies bid for National Health Service’

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2018-02-08T15:16:48+01:00Thu, 8th Feb '18, 09:24|

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has assured the public she would exclude the National Health Service from any free trade agreement with the United States. A UK The Times story (you'll need a subscription to read it in full) reports on questions from Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable to the prime minister demanding she "confirms [...]