Burger flippers pick up a fight with women

It’s always a very good PR exercise to pick up a fight with women. It’s even better if you are a police force accused by many women of not taking domestic violence and harassment seriously and then chose to pick up a fight with them by insisting in a press conference that a murderer who raped and killed a woman wasn’t motivated at all by the fact that his victim was a woman.

Brandon Pisani: Police Corps PR guy.

Am I the one who is being stupid here or is it the police force’s PR guy, Brandon Pisani who is stupid in this case? It seems like I need to be mansplained this circus by the powers that be. Brandon Pisani is the son of the John Pisani:  racist Labour hack who worked as a “journalist” for the Union Press. John was part of a toxic and rubbish clique of men who published vitriol of any kind from racism to misogyny, vitriol against journalists and many other others. Their editor was Josef Caruana who was then given a job at the OPM by Joseph Muscat. Brandon comes from this mould of Labour Party propagandists who would probably starve to death hadn’t the Labour Party need toxic men to do some dirty writing. Brandon was of course appointed as a PR man to the Police to ensure that the Police’s PR doesn’t hurt the Dear Leader and the Party.

I will not delve into the legal exigencies of the police on the case as there, supposedly are many experts in Malta in criminal law. But the PR guy’s job is to make PR not win the case. He could have surely spun this in a better way without interfering into the criminal case such as saying something on the lines of: “We very well all understand that this incident is considered as a femicide by sociological categories, however, the police have their interpretations which they will be making exclusively in court so as not to jeopardise the case”.

Bloody hell, what a bunch of burger flippers. And to shame for the political class and the Prime Minister for being so silently dumb. Good for theatre but horrible at leading the country. The Prime Minister attended the protest and memorial held for Pauline Dembksa and when asked for comments all he could say is “This is not the time”. You’ve got to be kidding me?! It was the time and place for a statesman to make a comment you dumb idiot, that is why you are there in the first place to provide direction and leadership in times of crisis.

All that women want is for society to consider that we acknowledge that femicide exists. That femicide takes place and it is a real thing. Just do it, politically, legally or otherwise you dumb bloody idiots, what the hell is your problem?

 

Another virtuous buffoon

Minister for Tourism, Clayton Bartolo has been handed over a speech to read out in parliament by Robert Abela’s stooges. Clayton obliged, of course. That’s why he is there in the first place:  a ridiculous and vacuous buffoon whose only role is to read and act the scripts he is handed over by his masters. The speech was a diatribe against David Thake for not paying his taxes in which he remarked that Thake’s companies were not eligible for the Covid tax deferrals due to his failure in submitting accounts. You don’t do give out pre-written scripts to stalwarts like Chris Fearne and Evarist Bartolo who have their own mind. Robert Abela needs an array of vacuous buffoons like Clayotn Bartolo and the newly appointed Members of Parliament, Andy Ellul, and Jonathan Attard who just say and do whatever they are told. Clayton Bartolo has a history of conflict of interests and rent-seeking as well, notably by voting on DB’s high-rise project in the Planning Authority after failing to declare that his father was in business with DB. The vote was a pre-ordained sham of conflicts of interests.

Clayton Bartolo’s virtuous buffoonery is overshadowed by rampant criminal corruption and excessive rent-seeking at the Malta Tourism Authority. These political acolytes think they are scoring goals with their virtue-signalling when in reality they only keep confirming Robert Abela’s gamification of politics where nothing matters other than theatre and winning elections. It’s not only the hypocrisy that is obscene, but it’s the fact that Robert Abela thinks that he can ram down our throats his stupid narratives while at the same time his government is involved in rampant rent-seeking and corruption.

Clayton Virtuous Buffoon Bartolo

The Shift News has been doing a very detailed investigation on the corruption going on at the Malta Tourism Authority. One of the corrupt officers at the MTA, Lionel Gerada, a convicted fraudster, has been giving out millions of Euros worth of contracts and direct orders to his friends and business partners, Labour donors and other rent-seekers. These include sponsorships to organise mass events like the Cirque de Soleil and Summer Daze parties and whatnot on the excuse that they bring tourists to Malta. It’s also an excellent way in how to intervene in a free market and give gifts to your friends at the advantage of honest business operators. It is also a great way in how to stifle the local culture industry and promote our country as a cheap and trashy destination. Meanwhile, Clyde Caruana Minister of Cultural Influence wants us to pay our taxes in full and on time because it is supposedly virtuous to pay these publicly-funded rent-seekers a living from our own taxes.

Prosit Ministru. Ejja ħa mmorru Malta ħa nsiru żibel, bro.

 

“The essence of being an intellectual is that one fabricates ideas about everything” – Hannah Arendt

After two years in government, Prime Minister Robert Abela has made his first albeit small legal step forward to reform institutions and restore rule of law. He appointed a committee to propose a reform in response to the conclusion of the Public Inquiry on the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The government has not missed the chance to make a mockery of this committee. One of the members of the committee is Labour Party hack, vice-Rector of the University of Malta and government consultant Carmen Sammut. Carmen is known for producing pseudo-intellectual diatribes against Daphne Caruana Galizia and defending Keith Schembri’s privacy. She also poured constant praise on her dear leader Joseph Muscat – a fair deal for her given that he had promoted her as vice-rector at the University.

This is a summary of Carmen Sammut’s Paper published in 2019:

Carmen Sammut underlines that the murder of journalist
Daphne Caruana Galizia in a car bomb on October 16, 2017, rocked the
Maltese archipelago, situated in the heart of the Mediterranean, as well as the
international community. Her killing highlighted growing concerns around
the world with the increase in numbers of physical attacks on journalists
and the atrophy of press freedom. The Maltese blogger and journalist was
immediately elevated to martyrdom. In Malta, the notions of deification and
demonization find fertile ground since these are typical tools of polarization
in a society typified by strong party-media parallelism. This chapter argues
that the case of the slain journalist reifies Hallin and Mancini’s conceptual
framework (2004) of “pluralist polarized” contexts, where even online
disrupters operate within a scenario that sustains contending political elites.
The decline of political ideology within this democratic state has resulted in
the media retaining a crucial role in the construction and reinforcement of
bipolar political distinctions. Political and economic interests are juxtaposed
here against a weak culture of professional and ethical journalism which,
at the local level, contributed to ambivalent responses to Caruana Galizia’s
death. While her political supporters and family advanced the grand narrative
of anti-corruption journalism, martyrdom, and government impunity which
resonated internationally, at the national level, a considerable segment of
media players opposed “trials by media,” arguing that investigations and
justice need time to take their course and, moreover, that her death did not
exonerate her from the politics of odium and divisiveness which she had
amplified. Such nuanced explanations were rarely reflected in international
assessments of the case

It is a rare assessment, indeed because it is wrong. Daphne was right about Joseph Muscat’s government and the rent-seeking boom, and we knew that she was right when she was murdered. Our only problem back then was to find who was terrorising us, but meanwhile, Carmen was busy plotting academic nonsense to further muddy the waters. Carmen was an unwitting part of a well planned and multi-pronged orchestrated campaign to cover up the truth of the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Carmen did this by questioning Daphne’s narratives and stories and normalised the grotesque collapse of rule of law by fancy academic terms and analysis. She also perpetuated ONE’s narrative back then that Daphne was a divisive character because of her unethical journalism and private attacks on people creating two categories in journalism between the ethical and non-ethical and putting Daphne in the latter. In this way, Carmen painted Daphne’s “martyrdom” as simply the dogmatic exaggerations of a particular section of society.

Here is the non-academic truth. As a Labour Party member (still am and not leaving) and a full-time writer, who, unlike Carmen, is not paid a publicly-funded salary, Daphne’s murder has made me fucking furious and Carmen’s made-up bullshit categories of journalism in her fantasy world don’t matter. Here’s some ethical journalism for you Carmen – fuck off.

Hannah Arendt has an excellent take on these kinds of intellectuals. Arendt argued that a large section of the intellectuals in Germany in the 1930s defended the Nazis in order to save their jobs and many of them even went on to use their academic skills to print positive narratives about Hitler. And in their excessive zeal to stand out these academics became Nazis even more than ordinary people to the extent that they eventually believed their own lies.

You can watch the full interview in this link (the part about the intellectuals is at 32):

As for the committee, I’m obviously not going to trust anything that Robert Abela has direct control of. And I’ll keep writing whatever the hell I want irrespective of all the bloody laws they make. Whatever they do it doesn’t matter. We know that it is not in Robert Abela’s interest to have a free and plural press. The thing is, much to his frustration that he can’t do anything about it.

Cyde Caruana: Minister of Cultural Influence

The Minister of Finances, Clyde Caruana was brewing with pomposity as he made a speech in parliament extolling the virtues of tax collection. I liked the script and I have no problem with pomposity and a bit of arrogance and I exude some of it myself, admittedly.

Clyde’s pomposity will be excused if the current tax regime collects the taxes of Malta’s rent-seeking classes who have abused the system endlessly. As of now, it is all and still lip-service, pomposity and nice speeches. Charles Polidano (Iċ-Ċaqnu) is set to receive government contracts worth millions of Euros despite the fact that he has a hefty historical tax bill to pay. And like Ċaqnu there are many others who have acquired wealth irregularly and even illegally and these include also politicians. There is still a great chasm between how the tax department treats honest businesses and businesses who constantly abuse the system and participate in rent-seeking or corrupt practices. Clyde can sing beautiful ideological songs as much as he likes, but it is about time he realizes that he is not just a social media influencer who can change the culture or mentality of how things are done – he is also the Minister of Finance and has the ability to execute. There is also another important point that can’t be overlooked in Clyde’s speech.

Clyde is saying that the government should collect more taxes so as to pay for the ever-increasing debt. So, finally, the Minister of Finances admits that we have a debt problem and the solution, according to him is by exclusively paying it off with taxes. There may be nothing wrong with Clyde’s thinking and economic-political theory in a normal set-up, but we would miss the wood for the trees if we also fail to mention the fact that an excessive amount of public money is still being wasted in corrupt contracts and rent-seeking. The payroll of the Office of Robert Abela grew from €12.5 million to €21 million in the last two years alone and Clyde wants us to pay for these ever-increasing bills. Apart from the ever bloating of the public sector wage-bill for Party hacks and both incompetent and corrupt government officials, we also have to contend with the fact that the government is still paying off the recipients of corrupt contracts such as in the Electrogas contract and the Steward’s Healthcare public hospitals contract. Then there are the vanity and rent-seeking projects such as the race-track and the lavish building for seized goods.

Clyde’s virtuous position on tax collection is overshadowed by the government’s lavish rent-seeking bill. Simply put you can not extoll your virtues on tax collection if your government is constantly blowing money away on rent-seeking and corrupt contracts and useless jobs for Party hacks.

There is more. A big part of tax evasion in Malta takes part via Party donations and adverts to Party media in exchange for public contracts and favours. Gearing up the tax department to collect more taxes is the obvious and the right thing to do, but Clyde’s speeches miss the wood for the trees. The culture of impunity in Malta is not exclusive to tax evasion – it is rampant in all sectors because the government enables it and allows it in the first place.

Clyde will stick to being Minister of Cultural Influence if the problem of rent-seeking is not addressed structurally. The Nationalist Party has made the small and yet important step of proposing a raft of new bills which would restore rule of law by enhancing and adding new institutions against corruption and providing new laws against the corrupt and criminal association and conspiracy of politicians. Robert Abela’s government is two years in and the technocrat that so many lauded Clyde to be, is yet to deliver.

Propaganda Broadcasting Services

In life, you can become whatever you want, including a government propagandist – Mahatma Gandhi.

The annual budget for the Public Broadcasting Services is the equivalent of 2021’s yearly increase in salaries and wages paid by the Office of the Prime Minister. According to the last Budget, the payroll of the Office of the Prime Minister increased from €12.5million to €18.5million from 2020 to 2021 – a 6 million Euros increase in one year alone. For 2022, the salaries and wages budget for the OPM is €21 million. The yearly budget for PBS is around €6 million.

On the other hand, the Public Broadcasting Services doesn’t need to be propped up with a lot of money to serve as a propaganda machine. The previous editor and current head of news at PBS is a previous ONE newscaster and Labour propagandist, Norma Saliba, who was married to another Labour propagandist, Manuel Micallef. Norma Saliba has been replaced as editor but retained her role as head of news in PBS’ newsroom after making it blatantly obvious she was copying and pasting the scripts sent to her by the OPM and ONE. She didn’t even bother doing any editing showing us how hard at work she really was while following her goals. Take a look at the screenshots posted below which show how the arrest of Keith Schembri was reported on the 20th of March: they both have identical headlines omitting Keith Schembri’s name. Everyone knew that it was Keith Schembri being dragged to court, but PBS and ONE omitted his name in the reportage intentionally.

Mark Sammut, a trusted Party hack and PBS’ new executive chairman is now entrusted to bring some semblance of normality in PBS, but the situation can never be normal when PBS is in direct control of the Prime Minister and is blatantly used as his propaganda tool. Robert thinks he can convince us he will be playing fair in the next elections by playing musical chairs in PBS and bringing some neutrality to the broadcaster. Had Robert really wanted to reform PBS he would have started by doing the obvious and hiving off PBS into a separate ministry instead of keeping it directly under his control. Robert is delusional enough to think he can fool people with his infantile games but it’s going to be very difficult to find someone who will play Robert Abela’s game of appearances since most of the willing propagandists are already known to be propagandists or bażużli. Charles Dalli, the new editor at PBS, is not an editor. He’s another Party hack and previous ONE employee who will serve as a temporary replacement to Norma’s editorial role while Robert figures out who he is going to choose for the role.

And this is also why we will never become a normal country under this infantile idiot prince. Public funds and institutions are not there to be used as tools for the Prime Minister. The Public Broadcaster deserves a proper reform, significant budgets to produce quality educational and critical content and a structured long-term commercial plan. As of now, PBS remains a propaganda tool and a cesspit of rent-seekers making money off our backs.

In any case, cultural and educational content are not in the interest of the Prime Minister. Let’s blow six million Euros on a troll farm instead.

Prosit Ministru.

 

It’s not a game: it’s serious business

Bernard Grech: Leader of the Opposition

Labour has been playing games in politics because Robert Abela doesn’t know better. This is why it is important to discuss the personal character traits of people in power because they help explain how and why they act accordingly. Having never worked an hour in his life, Robert Abela doesn’t understand the values of labour and struggle, so for him, politics is just a game that he plays for his personal and selfish interests completely oblivious and ignorant of the great impacts that his actions have on the lives of people and the future of our society.

By now it should be clear that Robert Abela has weaponised the tax department in his favour and has direct access to personal files and information of his critics and his enemies. He is using this information against his enemies in a selective and timely manner and in this way he believes he holds leverage on his enemies. As soon as Bernard Grech was elected Leader of the Opposition, Labour released his story on his alleged past tax offences. Rosianne Cutajar’s corruption case was treated as a simple tax issue instead of a serious and potential criminal corrupt act. Now, Labour has leaked the story of David Thake’s troubles with the tax department just in time when the Nationalist Party released a mega-package of bills on corruption.

The Labour Party is not a press agency and does not have the privilege to act as a publisher, and neither does it have the right to leak information selectively and only when it serves its own interests. You are either running a press and publishing business or you are trying to lead the country and if you are trying to lead the country you are supposedly busy trying to fix it not abusing the information at your disposal to attack your critics. Had Labour been so liberal and generous with leaking information, they would have leaked all the current corrupt arrangements with Electrogas and other private-public partnerships. Labour will of course, not do this, because Robert Abela isn’t able to comprehend the fact that he is not playing a game, but rather playing with the lives of ordinary people and the future of our country.

Meanwhile, David Thake has unwittingly sabotaged what could be an important and historic turning point for the Nationalist Party. I will not be the one to invoke my virtues over businesses having tax problems. Having tax problems doesn’t necessarily mean you were avoiding taxes or involved in wrongdoing either. And had the same standards been applied to the Prime Minister and his allies as well, David Thake wouldn’t be the only one taking the heat.

However, the size of the material infractions of David Thake’s businesses doesn’t allow him for a lot of excuses. You can not have your business affairs in a mess and at the same time try to run the country. A businessman entering politics should ensure to have his or her house in order. In addition, a failed businessman shouldn’t even dare to enter politics in the first place – I’m not saying David Thake is a failed businessman, but he has surely not projected any high standards in how he runs his affairs. Thake also knew that his affairs were going to be used against him, eventually and it was his responsibility to clear them as soon as he entered Parliament. Let’s not forget that one of the reasons why it was deemed to be obvious that Adrian Delia wasn’t fit for purpose as Leader of the Opposition was that his private financial situation was a total wreck of unpayable debts. Businesses can have their problems and struggle too but one would expect MPs to apply high standards to their own business as well. So, in David Thakes’ case there should be no excuses.

Yet, it remains also clear, that despite the attempted gamification of politics by Robert Abela, Bernard Grech is showing a great sense of maturity in the face of the biggest challenges and issues in society. As David Thake resigns from PN’s parliamentary group, Grech can keep focusing on what really matters: upturning the rent-seeking and corrupt structures in our society. Grech had also previously shown he is serious about corruption when he asked one of his mayors to resign over an alleged conflict of interest, although this resignation didn’t come out in the wake of Labour leaking any information. Now, Bernard Grech has done what Robert Abela should have done as soon as he entered office: present a series of legal reforms to address the current collapse of rule of law.

Robert Abela’s government is normalizing corruption by allowing previous corrupt contracts to remain in execution especially the Electrogas contract which is mired in Daphne’s blood and a large web of corruption. This situation alone is a travesty of justice, and completely abnormal. Miriam Dalli wants to convince us that it is practically normal for her to quote legal clauses when defending the current execution of the Electrogas contract, only that she fails to realize that now, as a Minister, she is not pandering to her “Prosit Ministru” crowd only but she is addressing the whole nation, and most of us are not impressed by people who recite legal clauses from memory when asked difficult questions.

Gradually,  Bernard Grech is positioning himself as the mature and normal person who is needed to run this country and alleviate it out of its political crisis in contrast to our Prime Minister who is only happy playing infantile games. The choice between who is the most responsible leader for the country is becoming quite apparent.