Playing nice

2024-01-31T14:24:50+01:00Wed, 31st Jan '24, 14:24|

Only one Maltese MP voted at a recent debate at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on encouraging European countries to legislate against SLAPP. That was Labour MP Cressida Galea who voted in favour of the adoption of the resolution. She also gave a speech on the subject at the assembly reported, presumably [...]

Forgotten friends

2024-01-31T09:46:35+01:00Wed, 31st Jan '24, 09:46|

In 2019 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted on a resolution calling on Malta to get serious about investigating the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and to start addressing the corruption, the weak institutions, the rotten governance, and the intrusion on journalists’ basic freedoms. Only a few members of the Assembly voted [...]

That’s what a threat looks like

2024-01-30T11:50:49+01:00Tue, 30th Jan '24, 11:50|

Robert Aquilina filed a complaint with the police after a fan of Joseph Muscat, using an alias on Facebook, said he would pour acid on Robert Aquilina for sticking a sign to Joseph Muscat’s office door saying, “Joseph Muscat Prim Korrott”. The court found the man guilty of breaching Article 82A of the Criminal Code [...]

It’s re-education camps for me

2024-01-29T11:36:03+01:00Mon, 29th Jan '24, 11:36|

Franco Debono has been fuming that I should be sent (up to) 18 months in prison for comparing his determined return to politics to an unpleasant medical condition. Robert Musumeci, well known for having the PN’s interests at heart, has been advising the PN to bring back Franco Debono because of his “moderate voice” and [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: Fascism is not okay

2024-01-29T09:02:08+01:00Mon, 29th Jan '24, 09:02|

From my article in The Sunday Times yesterday "There’s little danger of Lowell becoming prime minister or dictator, though every vote he acquires is chilling in and of itself. The issue is not that a little publicity on a radio station talk show risks leading the way to a far-right takeover. Though the mainstreaming of [...]

State recapture

2024-01-28T05:24:43+01:00Sat, 27th Jan '24, 05:38|

Briefly, Joseph Muscat’s grip on the country loosened at the end of 2019. The convulsions after the arrest of Yorgen Fenech shook the leadership of the Labour Party. Keith Schembri was arrested, briefly. Chris Cardona “suspended himself”, briefly. Konrad Mizzi moved from a minister’s office to a better paid government consultancy job. He held on [...]

In character

2024-01-26T05:33:39+01:00Fri, 26th Jan '24, 05:33|

Neville Gafà was always odd, even for Labour. Somehow his proximity to Keith Schembri and Joseph Muscat gave him incredible access to power, completely out of proportion with his abilities. He always seemed out of his depth and yet, somehow, he enjoyed access to all manner of schemes. He was alleged to have taken massive [...]

Of unfortunate metaphors

2024-01-23T15:20:33+01:00Tue, 23rd Jan '24, 15:20|

I could have used some other metaphor to describe Franco Debono’s periodic returns to the public scene. The one I used, lit up all manner of outrage. I could have called him a mushroom that sprouts back every time you clean it out, mould that blotches the roof after every rain. Or a particularly buoyant [...]

The one who eats the scene

2024-01-22T10:52:40+01:00Mon, 22nd Jan '24, 10:52|

I remember Daphne writing about the plague of fragile men who must do more than inhabit your life, they must possess it. For them, politics and public life is vital, like air is for most people. They must consume the space around themselves with their real or imagined importance. They must have people speak of [...]

The one who hates the scene

2024-01-22T10:51:02+01:00Mon, 22nd Jan '24, 10:51|

Saviour Balzan does not like the fact that his sycophantic chats with Yorgen Fenech from before Fenech’s arrest are making the rounds again. An anonymous X (twitter) account is publishing screen shots. Balzan blames two people in particular, Mark Camilleri (who republished the leaks), and Jason Azzopardi, who Balzan believes is the source that leaked [...]

Fraud is not a private matter

2024-01-22T18:21:31+01:00Mon, 22nd Jan '24, 10:49|

The Data Protection Commissioner has told Mark Camilleri to take down copies of chats he published between Rosianne Cutajar and Yorgen Fenech. The Commissioner said the publication was in breach of Yorgen Fenech’s right to privacy and Camilleri’s argument that publishing the content of the chats was in the public interest is just not strong [...]

Emptiness at the top

2024-01-17T09:16:45+01:00Wed, 17th Jan '24, 09:16|

In 78 days, a new president should be sworn in. Just before that there’s Easter. Before that Parliament needs to meet and vote and appoint the new president. For the first time ever, the person will have to be chosen with the support of both sides of the house. So before that a consensus between [...]

Victimless crime

2024-01-17T07:55:50+01:00Wed, 17th Jan '24, 07:55|

Last night, a small number of MPs met with Justice Minister Jonathan Attard who is piloting the law which is all but abolishing temporary asset freezes for people charged with money laundering. They were going through what’s called ‘the committee stage’ which is when each individual article of the new law is debated individually and [...]

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