G Farrugia Calleja: Culture Shock

By
2018-01-21T17:37:26+01:00Sun, 21st Jan '18, 17:37|

Despite Joseph Muscat’s best efforts, Valletta is able to celebrate being a 2018 Capital of Culture. Because of Joseph Muscat’s government, what should have been a spectacular opening night turned into a spectacle of mediocrity of cringe-inducing proportions. We were spared excerpts from “Ġensna” (for the non-cognoscenti, a ‘rock’ opera lauding a Mintoffian view of [...]

Maltese culture festival invents the wheel

By
2018-01-21T22:28:29+01:00Sun, 21st Jan '18, 16:39|

You couldn't imagine these things if you tried. From his stage, all pomp and circumstance, Joseph Muscat yesterday declared "this Maltese festa will be marked by authenticity". Oh does he protest too much! The Tritoni of City Gate, not authentically Maltese in the best of time, were represented by crane-held marionettes in a "spectacle unlike [...]

Tomorrow at the Council of Europe

By
2018-01-21T10:46:00+01:00Sun, 21st Jan '18, 10:43|

The Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly convenes this week. At its winter session Dutch Member of Parliament Pieter Omtzigt will be asking the governments of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe the following question: "Will you request formal explanations from the Maltese Government on its Police Force's failure to investigate evidence of [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: Reverse decolonisation

By
2018-01-21T10:03:04+01:00Sun, 21st Jan '18, 10:03|

From my The Sunday Times article today: "For this to be dismissed as a case of social envy is to miss the point completely. The dream of moving up social strata has to be remotely achievable. The idea of the ‘American dream’ only applies if you can get there with hard work, resourcefulness, initiative and [...]

There is no culture if there is no humanity

By
2018-01-20T20:08:04+01:00Sat, 20th Jan '18, 20:08|

This is also Valletta tonight. In the midst of all the glare, the noise, the stalinist rhetoric, the self-congratulation, the submissive adulation, the uniform compliance, the bonapartless bonapartism, the contracts, the nudges and the winks, the cross-party complicity, the historical revisionism, the memory-wiping, the forced smiles, the pretense that all is well when obviously all [...]

The inequalities of l-aqwa żmien

By
2018-01-20T18:48:55+01:00Sat, 20th Jan '18, 18:48|

Look at this post from the realty agents Simon Estates following up on a inews story on people paying 250 euro a month in rent to live in an underground garage. It's not that real estate agents are meant to be heartless profiteers without conscience. But one would expect them to be the last to [...]

Smile whether you like it or not. The party in Valletta has started.

By
2018-01-19T22:13:03+01:00Fri, 19th Jan '18, 22:13|

No doubt there will be a splendiferous, neck-cracking, jaw-aching, retina-burning, ear-drum-shattering spectacle at the opening of the Valletta Capital of Culture festival and may the thousands that will flock to it have a great time. There's always the risk of conflating culture with spectacle but the program is long and intense and the variety wide [...]

Council of Europe Assembly asked to monitor investigations into the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia

By
2018-01-19T21:35:38+01:00Fri, 19th Jan '18, 21:35|

Members of  national parliaments from 47 European countries meeting in Strasbourg in the next few weeks will be receiving appeals from several individuals and organisations asking for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to appoint a special rapporteur to monitor the murder investigation, investigate the broader circumstances surrounding Daphne Caruana Galizia’s death, and [...]

Cypriot media saying Maria Efimova is wanted for Daphne Caruana Galizia’s killing

By
2018-01-19T21:02:51+01:00Fri, 19th Jan '18, 21:02|

Sections of the Cypriot media are now connecting Pilatus Bank whistle-blower Maria Efimova with the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The outrageous notion was reported today by Cypriot news sites SigmaLive.com, Offsite.com.cy, Kathimerini.com.cy and 24sports.com.cy. I discussed this reporting with Cyprus Business Mail journalist Stelios Orphanides who told me “some Cypriot media are owned by [...]

INTERPOL’s public records show no arrest warrant requests for Maria Efimova

By
2018-01-19T08:10:33+01:00Fri, 19th Jan '18, 08:10|

Requests made to Interpol for the international arrest of fugitives sought by member countries are published on their website. It shows pictures of drug lords and terrorists, child abductors and slavers, and all sorts of unsavoury characters. But running a search for warrants requested by Malta and Cyprus, and a search for all the Marias [...]

They want to crush the right of protest

By
2018-01-19T08:03:26+01:00Fri, 19th Jan '18, 08:03|

The makeshift memorial for Daphne Caruana Galizia around the Great Siege Memorial in Valletta is the target of the hive of Labour trolls who believe it should now be 'cleaned up'. Look, by way of example, at the tactful Emanuel Cuschieri who dares to call others 'hate bloggers' when he is probably  individually most responsible [...]

The SLAPPers are slapped

By
2018-01-19T10:03:40+01:00Fri, 19th Jan '18, 07:28|

Pilatus Bank have been trawling the specialist press on a saccharine self-promotion exercise mouthing inanities about transparency, ethical banking and compliance intended, without irony, to present this boutique launderette as the paragon of monetised virtue. They must be acting on some primordial advice from some pre-google manual of self-help public relations. Industry journal bankingexchange.com published [...]

“A sunny place for shady people”

By
2018-01-18T12:25:02+01:00Thu, 18th Jan '18, 12:25|

The Catholic Herald marks 3 months from Daphne's killing. "The last three months have not just put Daphne in the spotlight, they have also put the island of Malta under the microscope. Before now the smallest EU nation was but infrequently in the news; now it is regarded as a 'sunny place for shady people', [...]

GUEST POST: A successful year for traitors

By
2018-01-17T10:35:45+01:00Wed, 17th Jan '18, 10:35|

By Benjamin Dalli of activist NGO Awturi: Government cronies have been praising the past year as a year of successes. I’d like to know what they’re smoking. It would be a lie to say the government did not have a road map. Saying otherwise would undermine the power of Joseph Muscat’s budding cult regime. Naturally, [...]

Not Joseph’s best day

By
2018-01-17T10:33:49+01:00Wed, 17th Jan '18, 10:19|

Canadian Professor Marc Edge recently reviewed for Newsbook Joseph Muscat's performance on the BBC Newsnight interview with John Sweeney. He said he was shocked by the appalling performance. Anyone outside the country not wearing the blinkers that fit us so tightly here, will have found Malta's prime minister untrustworthy. And that's being nice. Marc Edge [...]

The Cyprus connection

By
2018-01-17T09:21:56+01:00Wed, 17th Jan '18, 09:21|

Timesofmalta.com (not the printed paper) this morning reports: “arrest warrant for Russian whistleblower issued in Cyprus – reports. She is being accused of stealing from a company she worked for four years ago”. The Times is covering a piece on the Cyprus Business Mail though it does not link to it. The link is here. [...]