Crocodile tears and the assassination of Daphne

Countless articles and opinions have been written about Daphne’s assassination last Monday, when the car she was driving was blown to smithereens.

Many theories have been woven as to the possible identity and motivation of those who planned and/or executed her assassination. I will not add to the speculation.

Like many others, I followed her writings through the years and found most of them informative. In the Maltese journalist community, her investigative skills were second to none. Her arguments were always very forceful even though a bias was always clearly present. She could alternate between well-written, clearly thought out and investigative articles and pure invective aimed at those she despised.

Her underlying political views were always clear and she promoted them mercilessly. Until June 2017, she ignored most of the sins of the PN and focused relentlessly on those of the PL. After June 2017 she practically lumped them both together in one basket, as they deserved, lending credence to the statement that there is nothing to distinguish the PN from the PL.

As for AD, it was one of her punching bags when it suited her, in particular at those critical political junctures where AD’s views and positions contrasted sharply with those of the PN. At other times, when she found AD’s views useful, she used them to buttress her own.

Her assassination is a direct blow against freedom of expression in Malta.

Various other attempts have been made to shut her up through the countless actions in court for civil damages. An attempt was made to cripple her financially with a legal mechanism, insisting that the claimed civil damages be deposited in Court when legal action is initiated. This was an attempt at intimidation which, unfortunately, the Law Courts did not see through. The attempt was only thwarted through the initiative of David Thake who organised crowd funding of the sums requested, thus short-circuiting the bully-boy tactics of Minister Cardona and his lawyers.

The Leader of the Opposition, Adrian Delia, having been under her spotlight for the past four months is now apparently out to milk her assassination for his party’s political gain, as is evidenced by his speeches earlier this week. He seems to want us to forget that he too was a contributor to the pile of actions for libel submitted against her. Their withdrawal this week smells of crass hypocrisy.

This is essentially the background to the crocodile tears being shed by some of those who say that they are “shocked” at her assassination.

Police investigations have commenced. Requesting help from foreign experts may ensure that all leads are followed. The investigation was almost torpedoed in its first seconds when Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera failed to realise that this was a definite no-go area for her. That she took hours to realise this, is testimony to the fact that some members of the bench still need to master much more than the law.

The Magistrate’s presence shocked all as soon as she arrived on site at Bidnija. Soon after, that shock was to be compounded by the comments posted on Facebook by a Police Sergeant from the police investigating team on his being overjoyed at the day’s happenings. The fact that he was suspended pending disciplinary action is not sufficient. It still needs to be explained by the Commissioner of Police why some members of the police force have still not realised that they should stay away from the social media as it may seriously jeopardise not only their integrity and impartiality but also that of the whole Police Corps.

Apparently, it was not only the Police Sergeant who was overjoyed on Monday afternoon. What about the few carcades which were organised? Anybody cares to assume responsibility?

The Prime Minister is very anxious to get to the bottom of all this. We all are. The sooner this is done the better. However, when this is done and dusted it would be appropriate to examine the extent to which it was avoidable. As indeed it was.

 

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday – 22 October 2017

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Kemm aħna iffurtunati li għandna lil Adrian Delia

 

Għadni kif smajt id-diskors fil-Parlament ta’ Adrian Delia. Kien kompletament jistona fiċ-ċirkustanzi tal-lum, il-qtil b’bomba ta’ Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Daphne ma kixfitx biss kif membri tal-Gvern kellhom x’jaqsmu mal-iskandlu tal-Panama imma kixfet ukoll l-iskandlu tal-bridel u kif dan kellu x’jaqsam mal-uffiċċju legali ta’ Adrian Delia innifsu! U bosta affarijiet oħra.

Imma l-ikbar waħda hi li issa aħna iffurtunati għax għandna lil Adrian Delia li ser jiddefendi l-istituzzjonijiet. Ħasra li ma kienx hawn qabel. Għax l-istituzzjonijiet ilhom jitmermru ħafna iktar minn ħames snin.

Kieku ħares ħarsa madwaru kien jara uħud minn dawk responsabbli.

Il-PN fis-sqaq tal-fundamentaliżmu

Adrian Delia appunta lilu nnifsu l-gwardjan tal-morali tal-pajjiż. Għalhekk, qal, li l-PN fil-Parlament ser jopponi l-avviż legali li jintroduċi 100 siegħa leave bi ħlas għal dawk li jfittxu trattament tal-IVF barra minn Malta (nisa infertili u lesbjani).

Billi l-liġi tal-IVF presentment fis-seħħ dan ma tippermettieħx Delia qed tniggżu l-kuxjenza u jidhirlu li għal din ir-raġuni għandu jopponi.

Adrian Delia għadu kif ħa ġurament ta’ lealtà lejn il-Kostituzzjoni. Fl-aħħar leġislatura din il-kostituzzjoni ġiet emendat biex anke id-diskriminazzjoni a bażi tal-ġeneru u l-orientazzjoni sesswali tkun ipprojibita.

Fit-triq li qabad favur il-fundamentaliżmu Delia mhuwiex jirrealizza li qiegħed ikasbar il-Kostituzzjoni ta’ pajjiżna li tobbliga anke lilu li jitbiegħed minn kwalunkwe diskriminazzjoni: f’dan il-kuntest id-diskriminazzjoni a bażi tal-ġeneru u l-orientazzjoni sesswali.

Fil-Parlament ftit ġimgħat ilu kellna d-dmugħ tal-kukkudrilli ta’ dawk li iddispjaċihom li kienu astjenew fil-vot dwar id-drittijiet LGBTIQ fil-leġislatura l-oħra fosthom Mario de Marco u Claudette Buttigieg. Nistennew u naraw jekk bidlux il-fehma tagħhom.

S’issa fil-PN qiegħed jinstema leħen wieħed biss favur ir-raġuni : dak ta’ Norman Vella.

Sadanittant il-PN jibqa’ dieħel il-ġewwa fis-sqaq tal-fundamentaliżmu, u minn hemm ser ikunlu diffiċli li joħroġ.

Wara l-battibekk bejn Michael Briguglio u Marlene Farrugia

Il-battibekk bejn Michael Briguglio u Marlene Farrugia dwar il-byelection għas-siġġu Parlamentari ta’ Jean Pierre Debono jixħed dawl fuq il-forma (jew aħjar in-nuqqas ta’ forma) li għandha l-koalizzjoni imsejħa Forza Nazzjonali.

L-ideat tiegħi dwar din il-koalizzjoni dejjem kienu ċari. Koalizzjoni iva, imma mhux a kwalunkwe kost.

Sfortunatament il-koalizzjoni li iffurmaw bejniethom il-PN u l-PD hi sempliċiment alleanza aritmetika li ġiet iffurmata a bażi ta’ analiżi żbaljata tal-fehmiet tal-elettorat, għax kien hemm min ħaseb li kien viċin meta kien il-bogħod ħafna.

Hi koalizzjoni li saret bil-għaġġla u bla wisq ħsieb. Suppost kienet koalizzjoni favur il-governanza tajba u kontra l-korruzzjoni. Imma min mexa ħażin xorta kellu post prominenti fil-koalizzjoni. La ġie iċċensurat u wisq inqas kien hemm min ipprova jfisser x’tgħallem minn dawn l-iżbalji biex forsi tonqos il-possibilità li jkunu repetuti.

Id-deċiżjoni tal-Partit Demokratiku li jagħti direttiva lill-kandidati tiegħu biex jikkontestaw il-byelection għas-siġġu ta’ Jean Pierre Debono ma tistax tkun injorata għax hi rifless ta’ kif il-Partit Demokratiku jħares lejn il-koalizzjoni. Għax jekk l-imsieħba fil-koalizzjoni mhumiex kapaċi jaslu għal ftehim fuq xi ħaġa daqshekk sempliċi bħall-byelection, kif nistgħu nemmnu li jista’ jkun hemm qbil (fil-koalizzjoni) fuq issues ta’ politika ferm iktar ikkumplikati u li xi drabi jirrikjedu kompromessi mhux żgħar?

Il-pedamenti tal-koalizzjoni huma dgħajfa ħafna. Mhux kulħadd jaf x’inhu jagħmel.

Delia “jirranġa”

 

Tħabbar li fil-laqgħa bejn Joseph Muscat u Adrian Delia dawn laħqu ftehim u irranġaw biex ma jkunx hemm bżonn ta’ elezzjoni għall-Assoċjazzjoni tal-Kunsilli Lokali. It-Times fil-fatt issejħilha “backroom deal”.

Iktar kmieni kien tħabbar li Robert Arrigo kien ġie mitlub biex ma jikkontestax l-elezzjoni għall-Viċi Kap tal-PN, biex jagħmel il-wisa’ lil ħaddieħor. Imma ma Robert Arrigo ma irranġawx.

Għalkemm dak li jkun jista’ jaħseb li ma hemm xejn ħażin billi wieħed jasal f’arranġament ta’ dan it-tip jiena naħseb li dan hu atteġġjament perikoluż fil-politika.

Bil-mod l-intriċċi tan-negozju li b’xi mod tirranġa mal-kompetitur tiegħek jidher li ser jagħmlu l-wisa’ għall-proċess demokratiku.

U ġaladarba dan jibda, ma tistax tkun taf fejn jispiċċa.

James Debono u s-suf t’għajnejja

 

Mela James Debono permezz ta’ artiklu ippubblikat illum fuq il-Malta Today żdied mal-lista ta’ dawk li qed jippruvaw joħorġu xi messaġġ politiku mis-suf t’għajnejja. Bħal dawk li jaqraw ix-xorti mill-weraq tat-te!

L-artiklu, avolja f’diversi aspetti hu inkorrett ma jdejjaqnix. Imma tajjeb li nwieġeb ftit.

James jargumenta li jiena u Arnold Cassola m’aħniex kapaċi nagħmlu kompromessi politiċi għax ma ftehmniex mal-PN bħalma għamel sieħbu, li waqt l-aħħar kampanja elettorali ipprova jaqdi l-funzjoni ta’ poster boy tal-PN.

Il-verità hi li l-PN mhux kompromessi ried imma sottomissjoni. Blank cheque. Ried jagħmel li jrid imma fl-istess ħin ried jgħodd il-voti flimkien għax kien mingħalih illi kien viċin u ħaseb li l-aritmetika setgħet tagħmel differenza.

Wara li dam tlett xhur itella’ u jniżżel jekk jiddiskutix magħna l-PN iddeċieda li jiddiskuti magħna ftit siegħat wara li kien ftiehem ma Marlene Farrugia.

Fi ftit kliem il-PN ried biss jimponi: jew fuq il-lista tiegħu jew xejn.

Stajna kieku ridna lagħbna id-double game bħal Marlene: taparsi niftehmu u nagħmlu ta’ rasna. Imma minnflok għażilna triq ċara u dritta.

Sal-lum jiena għadni konvint li f’AD għamilna l-għażla tajba, li bħal dejjem hi l-għażla d-diffiċli.

It-triq tan-niżla tal-PN

 

Tisma’ jew taqra l-kummenti konnessi mal-kampanja għall-elezzjoni ta’ Kap tal-PN bil-fors titħawwad u tistaqsi lilek innifsek: x’inhu jiġri? Min ħataf il-PN?

L-akkużi u l-insulti li għaddejjin min-naħa għall-oħra huma tal-mistħija u ma jixirqux mhux biss lil min qed ilissinhom imma l-anqas lill-partit innifsu li bla dubju jixraqlu ferm aħjar.

Imma t-triq tan-niżla ilha li bdiet, ħafna qabel it-tmexxija ta’ Simon Busuttil. Is-sinjali kienu hemm imma ħadd ma ried jagħti kaz tagħhom. L-arroganza kont tmissha b’idejk.

Issa l-PN wasal fl-istat li qiegħed illum. Ikun x’ikun ir-riżultat, kemm jekk jitla’ Chris Said kif ukoll jekk jitla’ Adrian Delia, l-PN irid jiffaċċja taħwid u diżillużjoni għal żmien konsiderevoli.

L-istil ġdid tal-politika

Il-voti li ġieb Adrian Delia fl-ewwel fażi tal-elezzjoni ta’ Kap tal-PN għandhom tifsira. Jfissru li (għal min ivvota lil Delia) dak li ntqal dwaru fil-ġranet li għaddew mhux importanti. M’għandu l-ebda sinifikat u piż.

Hi politika li qed trabbi l-egħruq fil-PN ukoll: politika tax-xejn m’hu xejn. Din hi l-politika ġdida li qed jippreżenta Adrian Delia.

Irridu naraw jekk ħmistax oħra din il-proposta għal-politika ġdida tkunx aċċettata jew le fl-aħħar votazzjoni. Għax imbagħad tkun il-politika ġdida tal-PN: tagħti każ ta’ xejn!

Russian roulette at Pietà

 

Introducing new blood in politics will not necessarily translate into a change for the better in the way in which it is conducted in Malta. It may well signify a backward step through the importation – lock, stock and barrel – of dubious and devious methods of operation from other areas of activity.

The current debate on the PN leadership contest has justifiably focused on the candidates’ ethical behaviour. Very pertinent in this respect is the report drawn up by the Consultative Committee on Ethics led by Louis Galea.  This report concluded that, in future, more time should be dedicated to ascertaining the suitability of candidates for top party positions.

It is now clear to everyone all that the appointment of the Consultative Committee on Ethics was in reaction to the information and comments published on the candidate Adrian Delia.

The Committee’s report laments that the restricted time-frame allowed was insufficient to enable it to carry out a rigorous examination and verification of the issues raised and the explanations offered. As a result, the report concluded, specifically in respect of Adrian Delia, that the serious doubts raised on his behaviour are still unresolved.

It is on this basis that the PN leader publicly opined that Adrian Delia should consider the withdrawal of his candidature. Having followed the public debate, as well as the available information, I tend to agree with Simon Busuttil’s position but consider that it may have been more appropriate if sufficient time had been allowed for the Ethics Consultative Committee to carry out its exercise. In the circumstances, a postponement of the election would have been more in order in view of the fact that the explanations given by the candidate Adrian Delia in public are in my view not convincing at all.

I am writing this on Friday evening before Saturday’s vote. There is a real danger that the PN Councillors would consider the ethics report inconclusive at face value and consequently a substantial number may consider giving Delia the benefit of the doubt. As a result, it would seem that the PN administration is playing Russian roulette with the future of the PN.

I believe that the PN has a duty, towards not just its members, but also towards the country to ensure that all the information available in thoroughly analysed. As a result a clear and unequivocal opinion would have been possible.

Having a half-baked report on matters of such importance may turn up to be suicidal for the PN. Those familiar with the PN councillors who turned up to vote yesterday are of the opinion that a substantial number of them would require a report which is clear and unequivocal to consider the ethical issues raised as a reasonable criterion for determining their preferred candidate.

I hope I am wrong, but it may well result that the PN has placed a loaded gun to its head.

published in the Malta Independent on Sunday : 3 September 2017

Fl-interess tal-pajjiż : Adrian Delia jeħtieġ li jwarrab immedjatament

Għadni kif qrajt ir-rapport tal-Kumitat Konsultattiv dwar Imġieba Xierqa u Etika dwar il-kandidati għall-elezzjoni ta’ Kap tal-PN. (Ir-rapport sħiħ jista’ jinqara fil-link li hemm mar-rapport tat-Times hawnhekk.)

Qrajt ukoll ir-reazzjonijiet li hemm s’issa dwar il-konklużjonijiet ta’ dan ir-rapport.

Il-konklużjoni ovvja u loġika hi li l-kandidatura ta’ Adrian Delia għall-Kap tal-PN mhux biss hi ta’ ħsara għall-PN innifsu imma hi fuq kollox ta’ ħsara għall-pajjiż. Għax hu fl-interess tal-pajjiż li kull partit politiku f’Malta jkun immexxi minn persuni ta’ integrità indiskussa.

L-għażla tal-persuna li eventwalment ser tmexxi l-PN hi għażla li trid issir mill-PN innifsu imma hi x-xewqa ta’ kull min irid jara iktar serjetà fil-politika lokali li Adrian Delia jirrikonsidra l-posizzjoni tiegħu immedjatament.

Dak li ġie ppubblikat dwaru fil-ġranet li għaddew jesponi dubju serju kemm hu persuna idoneja għall-ħajja pubblika.

Issa jiena, kif tafu, attiv f’partit politiku ieħor. Imma hu anke fl-interess tal-partit politiku li jiena attiv fih li l-PN jitbiegħed minn din it-trawma li ilu għaddej minnha tul dawn il-ġranet. L-irġulija w s-serjetà hekk titlob.

Il-mod ġdid li bih issir il-politika għandu jfisser li ħadd minna ma jistaħba wara subgħajh u li lkoll inkunu kapaċi nerfgħu r-responsabbiltajiet tagħna.

Huwa b’dispjaċir li ninnota li Dr Adrian Delia iddeċieda li jgħaddas rasu fir-ramel u jibqa’ għaddej. L-appell tiegħi għaldaqstant hu lil dawk ta’ madwaru biex jgħinuh jifhem li jeħtieġlu jaqbad triq differenti minn din. It-triq tas-serjetà u l-irġulija. Din ma tkunx biss l-aħjar triq fl-interess tal-PN imma fuq kollox fl-interess tal-pajjiż kollu. Għax pajjiżna jixraqlu ħafna aħjar.