Invisibility cloak

By
2017-09-06T15:18:53+02:00Wed, 6th Sep '17, 15:18|

The passport scheme is a pet hate for me: for reasons of principle, because I cannot conceive how citizenship can have a price tag; for reasons of reputation, because our European friends and allies are rightly annoyed about the implications on them of our little bargain sale; for reasons of social justice, because property prices [...]

Cracks in Malta’s property boom – Italian expats publication

By
2017-09-06T14:19:09+02:00Wed, 6th Sep '17, 14:19|

See this editorial of the Corriere di Malta, an Italian language website for expats living here. The publication has expressed doubts about the sustainability of the growth of Malta’s properties for some time now. But they are taking their editorial concerns up a notch with this commentary, particularly now that it is witnessing quirky policy [...]

Life membership: what does that even mean?

By
2017-09-06T09:53:02+02:00Wed, 6th Sep '17, 09:53|

To be a member of the PN one must be a Maltese citizen of at least 16 years of age and accept the statute and the discipline of the party. There’s a safety clause in the statute that also requires a party member to be approved by the party’s executive committee or an official delegated [...]

Plus ça change

By
2017-09-05T11:58:44+02:00Tue, 5th Sep '17, 11:57|

The primary vocation of a political party is governing. There is no doubt about that. Anything else is second best and therefore defeat. The constitution assigns very important roles to politicians who do not make it to government but government is where they all want to go. And it is right because politics is a [...]

The choice Chris Said made

By
2017-09-04T10:13:07+02:00Mon, 4th Sep '17, 10:13|

Chris Said had three options to choose from. The traditional thing to do would have been to withdraw his candidature and openly back Adrian Delia in the final round going for party unity and ensuring for himself an influential future in the PN led by his erstwhile rival. That normally happens when the choice of [...]

Party unity

By
2017-09-02T23:06:25+02:00Sat, 2nd Sep '17, 23:06|

The deadline for my piece on tomorrow’s The Sunday Times loomed large at 10am this morning. I wrote my piece on the basis of what seemed to me to be the likeliest scenario after today’s vote. I wasn’t wrong. Adrian Delia has been commended to the members of the PN by the members of the [...]

Go on. Do your duty.

By
2017-09-01T16:26:38+02:00Fri, 1st Sep '17, 16:26|

As PN councillors you are entrusted with the responsibility of filtering nominees for the election of the next leader of our party. There has been so much talk bandied about that this candidate or that one should have been prevented from contesting. That there should have been vetting of candidates before the process started and [...]

The populist option

By
2017-09-01T01:00:02+02:00Fri, 1st Sep '17, 00:09|

Of course it may very well be that at the next Independence Day Adrian Delia will be PN leader. There is no reason to doubt his claim that his support among the grassroots has been galvanized by what he has projected as the establishment’s intervention to attempt to prevent him from taking over the leadership [...]

STAR COMMENT: What the PN can and cannot choose

By
2017-08-31T07:48:53+02:00Thu, 31st Aug '17, 07:48|

Sent in this morning in reaction to last night's post on Adrian Delia's decision not to withdraw his candidature for leadership of the PN: "There are things that are given to you and they may be taken away; there are other things that cannot be taken from you but only you may throw away. In [...]

A trainwreck in slow motion

By
2017-08-31T03:39:57+02:00Thu, 31st Aug '17, 03:39|

As I see it the allegations of impropriety or dubious ethical standards against Adrian Delia are secondary. Their provenance irrelevant. A short list of facts has been established by media outside the control of the PN from documents and records that if not discovered and revealed now before his election to the leadership would have [...]

Job requirements

By
2017-08-30T10:35:23+02:00Wed, 30th Aug '17, 10:35|

When I wrote this piece about the qualities I hoped to see in the next PN leader, the election result that extended the PN’s term in Opposition for another 5 years, was 20 days old. Simon Busuttil had confirmed his decision to leave as did all the administration of the party. The process of changing [...]

Q&A: Have leadership elections always been quite so rough?

By
2017-08-29T10:51:51+02:00Tue, 29th Aug '17, 10:49|

I got this question in the comment boxes: I would like to ask a question that maybe you can answer through your experience in the party. Were previous elections for leadership so bitter or is this bickering being magnified through the availability and usage of social media? I would like to know from people who [...]

Stay this madness!

By
2017-08-28T16:24:36+02:00Mon, 28th Aug '17, 15:57|

The wild vortex that has gripped the PN over the past 8 weeks or so risks uprooting the entire edifice. When the debate was about the hesitations of the conservatively inclined about gays and lesbians and bells and rings, the wind felt rough, windows were banging and dusty sheaves of shelved papers in trays marked [...]

The large minority

By
2017-08-26T20:50:50+02:00Sat, 26th Aug '17, 20:18|

There are two main strands of debate being fired across the Facebook battlefield of the PN leadership race and both are a reaction to a universally shared assessment that Adrian Delia has a very good chance of becoming the next leader of the PN before next month is out. The first strand is of his [...]

Crisis of faith

By
2017-08-25T17:25:06+02:00Fri, 25th Aug '17, 17:25|

I am not going to paste screenshots. I am not going to quote names. I am not going to link to Facebook profiles. It would be legitimate to do so but all I have left is the hope I am wrong and in case I am at least right about that, I don’t want to [...]

Animals sleeping in beds … without sheets

By
2017-08-25T12:33:05+02:00Fri, 25th Aug '17, 12:33|

Evarist Bartolo and Owen Bonnici indulged in a bit of inelegant semantic acrobatics when they explained donations they got for their political campaigns from people they appointed on the public payroll to advise them in their Ministerial roles. This is from Ivan Camilleri’s report in The Times: “The ministerial code of ethics lays down that: [...]

The true meaning of l-aqwa żmien.

By
2017-08-24T16:13:40+02:00Thu, 24th Aug '17, 16:13|

To my mind the worst thing that’s going on is that this whirlwind around Daphne Caruana Galizia’s reporting of Adrian Delia’s affairs is creating and solidifying a set of myths that replace reality as it should be obvious to everyone and postpone indefinitely the day when the PN comes to terms with that reality and [...]

Where the analogy stops

By
2017-08-24T16:00:26+02:00Thu, 24th Aug '17, 14:40|

I have drawn parallels between Maltese politics and Donald Trump before. When Joseph Muscat blamed the Russian Secret Service for the Egrant revelations – that’s not what he called them of course – I wrote that Muscat was taking a page out of the Roger Stone playbook and imitating Trump’s methods in the interest of [...]

A campaign in meltdown

By
2017-08-24T15:57:06+02:00Thu, 24th Aug '17, 13:46|

Donald Trump is President of the United States. Two years ago that sentence would have got a good laugh in a late night satire. Climbing up the ranks to secure a major party’s nomination to the United States is an exceptional achievement. But it would have been considered an absurd notion for a complete outsider, [...]