Co-opting the Doge

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2022-01-03T16:12:20+01:00Mon, 3rd Jan '22, 16:12|

I agree with this blogpost by Desmond Zammit Marmarà who expressed disgust on Newsbook at the cynical use of the ‘co-option’ formula to smuggle unelected people into Parliament. He explains the procedure and its misuse well, so read his article for background. I have also commented in the past (here’s a collection) particularly on the [...]

Everybody in Shawshank is innocent

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2022-01-03T10:51:18+01:00Mon, 3rd Jan '22, 10:42|

Siemens has been washing its hands of the corruption connected with Electrogas since the Panama Papers came out. Their excuse, repeated this morning in comments to Times of Malta is that Electrogas itself – the company they part own – did not pay any bribes to get the power station contract. They do acknowledge “wrongdoing” [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: Small shoes for Clifton Grima

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2022-01-02T13:43:37+01:00Sun, 2nd Jan '22, 13:43|

From my article in The Sunday Times today: "If Grima merely shows up to work to twiddle his thumbs, he’d be improving on Labour’s education record just by avoiding corruption, human rights violations and sleazy scandals. He’ll instead be remembered for that one time he lost his cool with Karol Aquilina because he couldn’t find his [...]

Breakfast, Owen?

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2021-12-19T07:51:31+01:00Sun, 19th Dec '21, 07:51|

In an interview with Times of Malta, Owen Bonnici today says he “genuinely” feels sorry he “might have hurt” some people when he ordered the Daphne protest memorial cleared some 500 times, but “in (his) defence”, he says he was doing it to “keep the calm in our country”. He said he was ordering the [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: Everything stays the same

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2021-12-19T07:28:09+01:00Sun, 19th Dec '21, 07:26|

From my article in The Sunday Times today: "A 2019 EU directive introduced higher standards for European whistleblower protection laws. Since then, the government has ignored repeated and public calls for consultation on the changes. They also ignored the ombudsman who publicly complained he was never consulted when the law assigned to his office responsibilities that [...]

GUEST POST: A Contemplation on Freedom of Expression

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2021-12-17T19:56:36+01:00Fri, 17th Dec '21, 19:56|

In a country so finely ruled under the Rule of Law that even cases against state organisations are tolerated (I quote Mr Speaker’s faithful legal beagle here, who let slip his sublime take on democratic governance while arguing a case on behalf of no less an august institution as the FIAU) it is perhaps a [...]

GUEST POST: The story of two young politicians

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2021-12-16T14:57:31+01:00Thu, 16th Dec '21, 08:48|

The measure of a man is what he does with power – Plato Joseph Muscat and Roberta Metsola are perhaps the most prominent politicians of their generation. Joseph Muscat was born in 1974 and at the age of 18 he joined Labour’s One (at the time Super One) Radio. In 1995 he was elected to [...]

GUEST POST: Analysing Electrogas’s financials for 2019

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2021-12-13T09:00:05+01:00Mon, 13th Dec '21, 09:00|

I have reviewed the most recent audited accounts filed with the business registry by Electrogas. The audit was carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers and signed by directors Rustam Shomurodov and Paul Apap Bologna on 12 March 2021.  You will see from the facts below that Electrogas is in financial dire straits. Paul Apap Bologna publicly described [...]

GUEST POST: I M Beck’s Saturday rumination

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2021-12-11T16:54:35+01:00Sat, 11th Dec '21, 16:54|

I was chewing the fat, duly masked and distanced, with a bloke of sound mind, and similar to mine and we riffed on a theme. We agreed, as blokes of similar minds tend to, that we have no illusion about the state of the PN and the capabilities of Bernard, as they are viewed by [...]

Education, Education, Education

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2021-12-11T10:45:31+01:00Sat, 11th Dec '21, 10:45|

In one of his hopeless attempts at sounding guileless, Evarist Bartolo recently posted that we all have a duty to fight corruption. He didn’t fight corruption when he could have and should have. That’s by his own admission in an interview with Tim Sebastian where he admitted falling far short of the principled objective he [...]

WATCH: Maria Ressa’s Nobel lecture

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2021-12-11T05:37:47+01:00Sat, 11th Dec '21, 05:37|

Maria Ressa accepted the Nobel Prize together with Dmitry Muratov on behalf of truth-chasing journalists holding the line. Her opening words are a recollection of journalists killed on the line of duty who could not be there to accept the Nobel Prize because it's never awarded posthumously. She remembered among others Daphne Caruana Galizia. Daphne's [...]

De La Cheese

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2021-12-10T07:04:33+01:00Fri, 10th Dec '21, 07:04|

That's how Anthony Agius Decelis was introduced once at a Labour Party event. He needn't have complained because this guy's attention to detail is the worst since the guy surveying the land for the bell-tower of the cathedral of Pisa assured everyone the wet puddle would get dry. Here's Anthony De La Cheese inviting you [...]

Satabank SLAPP suit quashed by Bulgarian appeals court

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2021-12-09T14:55:20+01:00Thu, 9th Dec '21, 14:47|

The Regional Court of Varna has overturned the decision of a lower court and dismissed a defamation suit filed against this website by Christo Georgiev, owner of the now defunct Satabank in Malta. The case against me was filed in February 2020 over an October 2018 article I wrote when Satabank's clients found their bank [...]

Piping gas

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2021-12-09T10:09:45+01:00Thu, 9th Dec '21, 10:09|

Just because it’s funded by the EU, it does not mean we should not reflect about the expense for an undersea gas pipeline to feed the power station owned and operated by Electrogas. After all the EU money we choose to spend on it is taken away from other potential alternatives which may, after more [...]

Does Johann Buttigieg pay on a first date?

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2021-12-09T10:03:45+01:00Thu, 9th Dec '21, 10:03|

Times of Malta appears to have just saved taxpayers a considerable amount of money that the Tourism Authority was about to spend on luxury hotel rooms for its staff to have their wee breaks while manning the Christmas village. I won’t bore you with predictable comments about why the MTA didn’t need this. This takes [...]

GUEST POST: The Inner Sun

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2021-12-09T12:32:45+01:00Thu, 9th Dec '21, 10:00|

Sitting in the typically mild Northern sunshine in Brussels, surrounded by typically grey urban buildings in an unremarkable-looking city, I got to thinking on the thirst for culture that drove me out into the wild world away from my small sunny island, whose climate I shall always sorely miss. I keep wishing that the sun [...]

Take a balanced view

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2021-12-09T09:50:53+01:00Thu, 9th Dec '21, 09:50|

It was a relief for me to read Ranier Fsadni’s opinion piece today assessing the debacle after Helena Dalli published an internal style guide hyperbolically alleged to attempt a ban on Christmas. It must have taken courage to comment that the Pope got it wrong. Yep, the comparison with Nazism was grotesque. Helena Dalli and [...]

The weed on Parliament’s floor

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2021-12-07T10:51:27+01:00Tue, 7th Dec '21, 10:51|

Not everything, I grant you, is useful evidence to support the argument that democracy is eroding. But, I promise you, this is. NGOs, experts, and professionals are turning to the President of Malta urging him to refuse to sign into law the new cannabis liberalisation bill recently approved by Parliament. As elsewhere, I am not [...]

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