So, as of yesterday, women who are actually experts in fine and expensive things, such as precious jewellery and overpriced branded bags which can be re-produced easily with craft tools at home, have informed me that Catherine Tabone’s precious loot, necklace and handbags are worth up to €100,000.
Impressive. So unless they are making an exception for her and providing her with a €100,000 salary, her salary should be pegged at scale 3 with a gross income of up to €64,000 at best. I could not confirm her salary yet, and I tried to contact her to ask her questions but she didn’t reply to my calls and my message.
Failing to contact her, I could only speak to a large number of people who know her well and that was quite easy since I know most of her connections in the culture industry. According to her LinkedIn page, she has had a career as a government bureaucrat, but why and how she ended up so favoured by the Labour government in the cultural institutions, including being chairperson of the National Orchestra was still a mystery to me. She had no experience working in the culture industries until she had a government post and this is bizarre and inappropriate.
And indeed, her history was very easy to know, and it actually brings back some memories of things I used to hear back then. So it makes perfect sense.
Catherine Tabone has successfully navigated the government system by having very close relationships with the right men, including Peter Portelli who was previously permanent secretary of the Ministry of Culture and then a Labour Party fixer who is very regarded in the Party and works in the background – I am making an exception and not mentioning this person because he is a friend of mine whom I knew way before I joined the Labour Party (I was also never involved in politics or government affairs with this person). This is why Catherine Tabone could become so important in Malta’s public cultural institutions, and not because she had any prior experience working in the culture industries.
In any case, the story started with Catherine Tabone flashing her jewellery and designer bags during government-funded trips. So, I asked about them, and apparently, Catherine has been boasting with various people that she has various admirers and receives many gifts.
Impressive. As an ex-government director, I never knew I could accept gifts worth tens of thousands of Euros from my admirers, but then again I am not a woman, and I should ask women whether it is normal for them to have many admirers who give them such gifts. Surely, the fact that she is a government director does play a role in attracting admirers who would give such gifts.
Meritokrazija taz- zija!
Competing with Nuxy, are we?
In-nannu kien jgħid illi l-oxx aqwa mill-kmand!