Whose privilege is it anyway?

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2017-08-17T16:46:10+02:00Thu, 17th Aug '17, 16:46|

Attorney General Peter Grech has several times since his appointment to his office resorted to the excuse of client privilege to avoid answering questions on information he is privy to as an official of the state. I am not qualified to dispute the fine detail of the law. There are experts who do that and [...]

STAR COMMENT: Dangled carrots

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2017-08-16T15:10:07+02:00Wed, 16th Aug '17, 15:10|

In response to my earlier post where I pointed out that Judge Antonio Mizzi is presumed to be a candidate for the upcoming vacancy of Chief Justice of the Maltese courts, I received the following eminently pertinent comment: "I would add that the Attorney General is also a presumed candidate for the upcoming vacancy of Chief [...]

PN leadership election: how it works

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2017-08-15T15:44:56+02:00Tue, 15th Aug '17, 15:44|

It may be useful for those who want to understand what will be happening by the next school run to brush up on the rules governing the election of a PN leader. ‘Brush up’ is a bit of a misnomer because it suggests these are established rules that have been gathering dust after a very [...]

Ma’ min rajtek …

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2017-08-14T08:30:16+02:00Mon, 14th Aug '17, 08:30|

This piece in the Daily Mail is intended to damage its real target – Tony Blair – by his association with two unsavoury characters Ilham Aliyev and Joseph Muscat. The Daily Mail dislikes Tony Blair for its own political reasons. It’s a fiercely pro-Brexit newspaper and Tony Blair’s objections to Brexit are an annoyance it [...]

Full Disclosure. Please.

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2017-08-12T15:13:45+02:00Sat, 12th Aug '17, 10:05|

Over the last 3 days Daphne Caruana Galizia published damaging reports on Frank Portelli’s and Adrian Delia’s outstanding debts with HSBC. Frank Portelli’s were long known. His St Philip’s Hospital has been out of business for years and he has been trying to flog it to the government since even before it closed its doors. [...]

The EU Medicines Agency bid: how Labour hurt our chances

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2017-08-10T14:38:21+02:00Thu, 10th Aug '17, 14:28|

Government is bidding hard for the relocation of the EU’s Medicines Agency from London – no longer a suitable home for an EU institution after Brexit – to Malta. Parliamentary Secretary Deo Debattista gave The Times some details about the concerns employees at the Agency are raising about Malta and how he might address them. [...]

Token salaries

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2017-08-09T12:44:39+02:00Wed, 9th Aug '17, 12:44|

The Times picked up a government legal notice that announces the President of Malta has been paid 478 euro in arrears after she got a pay rise below inflation rates for this year over the previous one. That’s her yearly weekend break in Sicily paid for then. Now our President earns the unpresidential sum of [...]

Unhorsed knights

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2017-08-09T10:03:13+02:00Wed, 9th Aug '17, 09:47|

I don’t know what it is about Facebook that gets the worst out of people. I suppose it’s the almost total absence of inhibition. Also the false security that its infrastructure gives that hints at privacy where there is none. Watching people at each other’s throats over the choice of the next party leader is [...]

UPDATED: Too poor to learn

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2017-08-08T14:31:00+02:00Tue, 8th Aug '17, 09:19|

An Education Directorate internal report seen by The Times gives background on truancy from compulsory education. The newspaper’s headline is on the low recovery rate from fines imposed on parents whose children missed too much school. Since this is hardly about public revenue – we are not talking about the government failing to collect capital [...]

Redefining poverty

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2017-08-07T16:17:47+02:00Mon, 7th Aug '17, 16:17|

The pain of despair is palpable and transparently visible among some of the PN voters in the upcoming elections for a new party leader. They’re looking for the man, for there is no woman who would be chosen, that could beat Labour and they’re not entirely sure what would be necessary to achieve that feat. [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: The legacy we leave

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2017-08-06T09:22:33+02:00Sun, 6th Aug '17, 09:22|

From my article in The Sunday Times today. (Link to full article here). "We have an administration utterly and completely bereft of foresight and an electorate inebriated by the borrowed surplus of the here and now: borrowed, of course, against a future no one is planning for. "The bursting of bubbles is the reckoning of debts, [...]

The foreign whore paradigm

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2017-08-04T10:14:19+02:00Fri, 4th Aug '17, 09:18|

The witness who is believed to have testified that a Panama company in the name of the prime minister's wife received millions in funds that cannot be legitimately explained is nowhere to be found and appears to have left the country. It should not be surprising the poor woman caught in the vortex of the worst [...]

Unsolicited advice

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2017-08-02T08:44:25+02:00Wed, 2nd Aug '17, 08:44|

Chris Cardona and Chris Fearne want to tell the PN how to run its affairs. Bugger off, won’t you? There has been plenty of analysis into the PN’s electoral loss. The PN has been examining its conscience like Joseph of Arimathea perhaps taking on more auto-flagellation than it really deserved. No one benefits from all [...]

Advocates shot the messenger

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2017-07-31T19:24:30+02:00Mon, 31st Jul '17, 19:24|

I can understand the Chamber of Advocates’ stern reservations on Simon Busuttil’s request that Judge Antonio Mizzi should not be hearing Joseph Muscat’s appeal against a lower court’s decision to order an investigation into the Panama Papers. But I can understand Simon Busuttil as well. To coin a phrase, justice must be seen to be [...]

Marlene’s 18 Brumaire

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2017-07-30T22:06:35+02:00Sun, 30th Jul '17, 22:06|

Marlene Farrugia has openly lamented she is ineligible to run for the leadership of the PN. This in spite of the fact she is the leader of her own party, which she has only very recently founded and on behalf of whom she has secured the first viable pre-electoral alliance in Maltese political history … [...]

Let’s be Frank

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2017-07-29T17:57:08+02:00Sat, 29th Jul '17, 17:57|

The witty title is not original. Credit to Lou Bondi writing some time in 1997 on the same Frank Portelli who was being a prick at the time. Some things do not change. When a candidate for party leadership says idiotic things (see here a MaltaToday report of Frank Portelli's notions) the reaction is not [...]

Pakistan shows us how

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2017-07-28T10:14:18+02:00Fri, 28th Jul '17, 10:14|

Pakistan’s Supreme Court has just disqualified the Prime Minister there, Nawaz Sharif, from holding public office because his children held secret accounts stashed abroad revealed by the Panama leaks of 2015. There are no fine points or subtle distinctions. What Sharif is accused of is identical to what Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi are accused [...]

Great police work there

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2017-07-19T10:32:02+02:00Wed, 19th Jul '17, 10:32|

The reason why we have courts is they get to hear all sides of the story before deciding on someone’s guilt. So it is unwise, albeit very tempting, to reach conclusions from a newspaper report of a day in court. But this The Malta Independent report of the case against Khalen Ben Nasan who blew [...]

Inspiration wanted

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2017-07-18T13:54:18+02:00Tue, 18th Jul '17, 13:48|

Party leadership elections are by definition introspective and bloody affairs. It is hard to imagine our political system surviving the harsh primaries of the American, and latterly the French system, were an open and unseemly battle is fought by hopefuls suffering wounds in the campaign to get their party’s nomination, which they’ll then have to [...]