How deep is your change?

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2020-03-23T16:50:32+01:00Mon, 23rd Mar '20, 15:55|

Zhou Enlai (not Mao Zedong as an earlier version of this post wrongly said) was asked once what he thought the impact of the French Revolution was. He replied that it was too early to say. That was almost two centuries after the fall of the Bastille. Trying to predict what life will be like [...]

GUEST POST: Safe European Home

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2020-03-23T15:04:35+01:00Mon, 23rd Mar '20, 14:06|

Is it just me or have we all gone right back into that busy hectic social whirl we’re supposed to be relinquishing? Seriously, quarantine really has upped the social ante. It’s as if we’ve never seen the inside of our own homes before, the internet has become some kind of newly-discovered resource and – horror [...]

Robert Abela. Pandemic. Deer. Headlights.

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2020-03-23T12:07:51+01:00Mon, 23rd Mar '20, 12:07|

The prime minister needs to do more. Now. The prime minister has not spoken to his people for many days. A transmission on the Labour Party radio station does not count. Rather the contrary. When the media of a political party is used we are divided into tribes when we desperately need to be together [...]

Closed casket funeral

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2020-03-23T09:41:09+01:00Mon, 23rd Mar '20, 08:39|

This tweet shows a small anthology of exasperated Italian mayors trying to get people to realise that after 5,600 people were killed by coronavirus anyone could be next. One of the mayor complains rather wittily about people ordering their hairdresser to come round to their house because the shops have been on lockdown for two [...]

24 days later

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2020-03-21T16:01:04+01:00Sat, 21st Mar '20, 16:01|

The leap Marthese Portelli made from parliamentary politics to lobbying politicians on behalf of the construction lobby is unseemly. It’s like dating too soon after your spouse’s funeral. Worse. It’s like dating your late spouse’s neighbour with whom your family has been in a long-standing property dispute. Let’s get some obvious objections out of the [...]

Satabank owner’s POS business advertised on Maltese media

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2020-03-21T15:00:55+01:00Sat, 21st Mar '20, 15:00|

Christo Georgiev's company myPOS that sells portable point of sale terminals for contactless payments was advertised yesterday in a paid advertorial carried by local website Lovin Malta. The feature, marked 'sponsored' by the website, promotes the services of Malta company 247Pay the local partner for Christo Georgiev's MyPOS a company based in the UK. Christo [...]

Ali Sadr sentencing set for 17 August

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2020-03-21T14:44:55+01:00Sat, 21st Mar '20, 14:44|

A slowed down caused by the coronavirus pandemic may be the reason why the sentencing of Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad has been set for five months after he was found guilty by a New York jury of 5 counts of money laundering, bank fraud and busting sanctions against his native Iran. The date of the [...]

GUEST POST: Into the future darkly

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2020-03-21T11:59:38+01:00Sat, 21st Mar '20, 11:58|

As I write this, on Sky News two grinning idiots are being asked why they are out, having a drink in a public space, despite the UK government’s request that people don’t do this. Admittedly, their Prime Minister is himself a grinning idiot, albeit one that has finally started listening to the grown-ups. Their answer [...]

An imagined letter from Covid-19 to humans

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2020-03-21T11:33:40+01:00Sat, 21st Mar '20, 11:33|

Someone sent me this but they don't know who wrote it. I thought you might like to read it. Stop. Just stop. It is no longer a request. It is a mandate. We will help you. We will bring the supersonic, high-speed merry-go-round to a halt We will stop the planes the trains the schools [...]

GUEST POST: She died for freedom.

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2020-03-21T11:28:54+01:00Sat, 21st Mar '20, 11:28|

Have you ever heard the song of a nightingale? It’s very seductive. Its harmony hypnotic and many are held in awe of it. Poets have dedicated works to it. But allusions can very easily be illusions. It’s not the first time a crow masqueraded as a nightingale and so in King Lear we are warned [...]

In memory of innocent victims of the mafia

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2020-03-21T09:49:07+01:00Sat, 21st Mar '20, 09:49|

Daphne Caruana Galizia is being remembered today along with hundreds of people killed at the hands of mafia organisations in the bloody history of violent deaths of innocent victims of organised crime. For the last quarter of a century umbrella anti-mafia organisation Libera has marked 21 March as the day of remembrance for innocent victims [...]

UPDATED: Entrepreneur threatens to uncover Silvio Schembri’s “personal interest” in blockchain promotion

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2020-03-21T16:05:12+01:00Sat, 21st Mar '20, 09:36|

Updated at 16:02 An entrepreneur who has set up a co-location facility in St Julians for “digital nomads” people working remotely in cities away from home, has warned Minister Silvio Schembri he would reveal information on the minister’s “personal involvement and interests” in the Blockchain project unless the policy of deporting third country nationals who [...]

Beyond the clouds

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2020-03-20T17:26:10+01:00Fri, 20th Mar '20, 17:25|

This poem was shared with me by a regular reader. It was written by an Irish-French Catholic writer, Kathleen O’Meara (Dublin 1839 - Paris 1888), who also wrote under the pen name of Grace Ramsay, and is to be found in her novel Iza’s Story, set against the background of the Polish struggle against the [...]

Exposure of the vulnerable

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2020-03-20T14:58:17+01:00Fri, 20th Mar '20, 14:58|

Earlier today I wrote a post about areas of information that are remarkably lacking in the briefings the government is giving about the ongoing crisis. Here’s some more information I think we should be hearing. What’s happening to people who sleep rough? We know there are cases of people reduced to sleeping on cardboard in [...]

The need for urgency

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2020-03-20T10:47:06+01:00Fri, 20th Mar '20, 10:47|

The government is being reasonably transparent on its management of the coronavirus. At least it is reasonable to believe it is. Every day we are updated on the number of tests conducted, how many of them test positive, a brief background on every new case and a record of recoveries and deaths. None of the [...]

MONEY MAGAZINE: Flawed democracy – is the roof going to drip?

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2020-03-20T09:41:21+01:00Fri, 20th Mar '20, 09:40|

My article in this month's Money Magazine, written well before the coronavirus outbreak: Let’s be clear: democracy is receding worldwide. When red stars were pulled down from the spires of the Kremlin someone could write with confidence that we had reached ‘the end of history’. Everyone wanted the free market and liberal democracy and those [...]

Nowhere near enough

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2020-03-19T15:13:05+01:00Thu, 19th Mar '20, 09:39|

A song by self-described anarchist Mario Vella starts out with a prayer, of all things: “Alla lliberani minn dil-pjaga kiefra neoliberali”. The song complains about the hegemonic view that markets can solve everything, that inefficient businesses deserve to fail and the pain of their dismantling is beneficial to the greater good. And the song complains [...]

GUEST POST: 19.3.2013 and after… lest we forget

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2020-03-17T07:49:11+01:00Thu, 19th Mar '20, 07:40|

The 19th of March, for many of us Maltese, brings to mind the feast of St Joseph, even though unfortunately this year many are going to miss deeply the celebrations that we usually have in various parts of our island. The date itself shows that the episode I am referring to, happened barely a week [...]

That phrase does not mean what Silvio Schembri thinks it means

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2020-03-18T15:59:01+01:00Wed, 18th Mar '20, 15:59|

When you “set the record straight”, it’s because the record is crooked. So, when Silvio Schembri set out to set the record straight and then proceeded to apologise for saying “charity begins at home” and “foreigners who lose their job must go back to their country” he confirmed the record was perfectly fine. It’s just [...]