Earlier this year, the government convened a sham committee of pseudo-representatives of the press, to present a set of sham reforms based on a sham proposal by the Prime Minister. I respect the judge who is chairing the committee but the judge has been put into an impossible situation as the committee is made up of three government lackeys namely Saviour Balzan, Carmen Sammut and another unknown professor whose name I forgot.
Carmen Sammut is a vile government propagandist who was promoted as pro-rector at the University for her loyalty to the Labour Party. Meanwhile, Saviour Balzan runs a media business model which is basically dependent on government funding and involves him running and publishing pro-government propaganda with his senile and unwatchable TV programme on the state broadcaster and his pro-Labour rag, Illum amongst others. By the way, did you ever watch his TV programme? It’s a place where he invites government ministers who would talk on a script of easy and comfortable questions. Had Lou Bondi not sold out to Labour, we may have had something better on TV.
You would have expected the committee to take a stand on the law which the corrupt politician Rosianne Cutajar is abusing to file a criminal complaint against me. Saviour Balzan prefers to thank his pay-masters for the subsidies they are giving him along with other Labour propagandists instead of dealing with a proper media reform.
Clearly, Saviour Balzan can never represent the free press in Malta in a committee of law reforms. His position on the committee is untenable as long as his model depends on government funding. On the other hand, the government uses Saviour to promote its friendly attitude toward the free press but the reality is far more different. The government refused to apply the conclusions of the public inquiry on the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and then went on to reject the Nationalist Party’s raft of proposals on the restoration of the rule of law which include an anti-mafia bill. The latter proposal would have made journalists indeed much safer, but Robert Abela went on to reject this proposal with Orwellian rhetoric that it was going to destroy the economy. I wonder what really destroys the economy: rampant rent-seeking, conflict of interests, corruption and cover-up for the mafia or actually laws which keep out the mafia from politics.
The government’s pretences and official discourse are based on fraud – there is very rarely something of substance which is said out of honesty and goodwill. Robert Abela doesn’t seem to know better. Like the 1000 idea manifesto but the agriculture industry is getting wiped out and the economy and the environment are still getting wrecked. It’s all a show for a group of boys to get richer through rent-seeking and public office because they don’t know any better. Rent-seeking made Robert Abela and it’s all that he did throughout his career.
So, I’m not expecting the committee of pseudo-experts to reach out to me and ask me what I would like to see for reform. They are even standing idle as the government proposes a law which will apply foreign SLAPP cases to the Maltese legislature. The corrupt mafia member Edward Zammit Lewis is still boasting that the government is abolishing SLAPP law in Malta when in actual fact they are doing exactly the opposite. It’s really fraud, more fraud, malice and stupidity.
Despite being a government executive as head of the National Book Council, I took a quite intransigent position on the government’s libel reform in 2017. I went on to change the law and deleted criminal law and capped the maximum damages at their existing rate instead of supporting the government’s proposal to actually increase them further. I would like to see the same intransigence from the sham pseudo-committee of journalism reform but we are not going to get it. From Carmen Sammut I expect only fraud, malice and deceit and from Saviour Balzan I expect accolades to the government sung along with the tune of his sad and old violin.