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.

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Owen’s latest gimmick

Earlier this week, Justice Minister Owen Bonnici explained to the press the measures proposed by the government in order that Parliament will be in a position to examine its political appointees nominated to head various state agencies or institutions as well as those appointed to ambassadorships from outside the civil service.

Naturally, the first reaction to Owen Bonnici’s declaration is that government’s proposal is a positive small first step. However, when the detailed proposal was published, it was clear that this was another gimmick. It is proposed that a Parliamentary Standing Committee will be able to examine potential political appointees through written questions. On the basis of the answers received, and supplementary (written) questions, the Parliamentary Standing Committee will be expected to advise the government on the appointments under consideration.

This is a far cry from what is expected in a modern democracy.

Parliament, either directly or through a standing committee, should not be expected to simply advise. It should decide on the suitability or otherwise of the government nominees. This should be done after the nominees have been examined in a public hearing in the same manner as that of the US Senate Committees or the Parliamentary Committees of various other countries. This can only be done if Parliament reclaims the powers it has ceded to the government over the years.

Parliamentary scrutiny means much more than answering a set of written questions. Examining the nominees to ascertain their suitability for the post they have been nominated goes much further than the superficial examination of their professional competence. It also entails the examination of their past performance in order to ascertain whether they are capable of withstanding political pressure which seeks to sway their judgement in favour of political expediency and consequently influence their behaviour.

Such an exercise cannot be done through written questions but through a viva voce examination where it is not only what is said that matters. Interpreting body language and reactions to unexpected questions or statements is generally more relevant than deciphering boring, long-winded answers that go around in circles and generally avoid providing an answer at all.

During the general election campaign a few months ago, we were told that we needed “Labour-proof institutions”. In reality, government institutions and agencies should be at arms length from the government of the day in all day to day matters. This is done by ensuring that the running of government institutions and agencies is not the prerogative of political cronies but of suitably qualified appointees.

The government proposal is one that ensures that Parliament, through it’s Standing Committees, will not be in a position to carry out any meaningful scrutiny.  Parliament needs to have the authority to block the appointments which it considers to be unsuitable and in order to be able to act in this manner, the government’s proposal needs to be heavily revisited.

It is for this reason that – in the recent general election manifesto (and even in that of the previous general election) – we Greens proposed a much more effective policy: that parliament (or its committees) should have the authority to decide, and not merely advise on, public appointments and that this should be done through a public hearing without limitations.

These are the essential building blocks of a healthy democracy.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday – 1st October 2017

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.

L-għarbiel ta’ Owen Bonnici : b’toqob kbar

Il-pass li ħabbar Owen Bonnici li l-Gvern ser jitlob il-parir ta’ kumitat parlamentari qabel ma jagħmel numru ta’ ħatriet hu pass il-quddiem. Pass żgħir iva. Imma xorta l-quddiem. Dan ma nistax niċħdu, avolja hu fermi l-bogħod milli wieħed jistenna fid-dinja tal-lum.

Il-liġi proposta għadna ma rajnihiex u għalhekk dawn il-kummenti huma bbażati fuq dak li qal Owen Bonnici. Il-Gvern, qal Owen Bonnici, ser jibqa’ jkollu l-aħħar kelma, imma ser ifittex il-parir ta’ kumitat parlamentari qabel ma jagħmel ħatriet politiċi ta’ ambaxxaturi u ċ-Ċhairpersons ta’ numru ta’ entitajiet pubbliċi. Dan hu tajjeb imma imbagħad, dejjem skond ma qal Owen Bonnici l-iskrutinju li jista’ jsir mill-kumitat parlamentari hu wieħed limitat ħafna. Għax jista’ jsir biss bil-miktub u ser ikun limitat dwar kompetenza professjonali.

Din il-limitazzjoni fil-poteri ta’ skrutinju hi daħq fil-wiċċ u jfisser li fil-prattika l-iskrutinju li jista jsir hu limitat ħafna u ftit li xejn jista’ jservi ħlief fejn ikunu nominati persuni inkompetenti.

L-aħbarijiet ta’ TVM qalulna li l-ħatriet ser jgħaddu mill-għarbiel tal-Parlament. Imma ma qalux li l-għarbiel ta’ Owen għandu toqob kbar, li minnu jgħaddi kważi kollox.

Fil-Manifest Elettorali tal-aħħar elezzjoni (u anke f’dak ta’ qabilha) Alternattiva Demokratika ipproponiet miżura ferm iktar drastika u ċjoe li l-Parlament (jew il-kumitati tiegħu) jiddeċiedi u mhux sempliċiment jagħti parir. U biex jagħmel dan għandu jgħarbel sewwa permezz ta’ skrutinju pubbliku (public hearing) mingħajr limitazzjoni.

U mela mistoqsijiet bil-miktub!

Inċineratur? Le grazzi.

 

L-iskart hu riżors li għandna nutilizzawh flok ma narmuh. Biex nilħqu dan l-iskop irridu nibdlu l-attitudni tagħna u minn ekonomija lineari naqilbu għal waħda ċirkulari. L-istrateġija dwar l-iskart tistabilixxi s-sena 2050 biex sa dakinhar jintlaħaq l-oġġettiv ta’ skart zero fil-miżbliet. Biex dan l-oġġettiv ikun jista’ jintlaħaq hemm diversi għodda amministrattivi.

F’ekonomija lineari aħna nużaw (jew nikkonsmaw) prodott u wara li l-ħajja utli ta’ dan il-prodott tiġi fi tmiemha narmuh. L-ekonomija ċirkulari taħdem b’mod differenti b’mod li l-prodott użat (jew il-partijiet li jiffurmawh) jibqa’ jeżisti wara li jtemm il-ħajja utli tiegħu u dan billi jintuża biex jinħoloq prodott ġdid.

Hu possibli li nimmiraw għal tnaqqis fil-ġenerazzjoni tal-iskart (waste minimisation). Dan isir billi meta l-prodott ikun iddisinjat, min joħolqu iqis sewwa l-iskart li dan il-prodott jiġġenera matul il-perjodu kollu li jkun qed jiġi użat. Permezz ta’ eko-diżinn il-prodott jissaffa minn dawk l-elementi tiegħu li ma jkunux neċessarji u b’hekk jonqsu id-diffikultajiet li jkun riċiklat.

Nistgħu nnaqqsu l-iskart li niġġeneraw billi nassiguraw li nixtru biss dak li għandna bżonn u li dan nagħmluh fi kwantitajiet addattati għall-ħtiġijiet tagħna. Nistgħu, pereżempju nużaw prodotti fi qies kbir flok kwantita ferm ikbar tal-istess prodott f’qies iżgħar. Bħala riżultat ta’ dan aħna jirnexxielna nnaqqsu l-iskart li niġġeneraw u dan billi narmu numru inqas ta’ kontenituri jew pakkjeġġar.

L-iskart li xorta jkun iġġenerat minkejja politika li tfittex li tnaqqsu jista’ jkun irriċiklat. Fil-fatt nirriċiklaw il-karta, l-metall, il-plastik u l-ħġieġ. Nirriċiklaw ukoll l-apparat elettriku u elettroniku. F’xi lokalitajiet beda ukoll ir-riċiklaġġ tal-iskart organiku li niġġeneraw.

Sfortunatament madwar 12% biss tal-iskart li niġġeneraw hu rriċiklat, ferm inqas milli qed jirnexxilhom iwettqu l-parti l-kbira ta’ pajjiżi oħra. Dan hu falliment fl-implimentazzjoni tal-istrateġija dwar l-iskart. Biex jgħatti dan il-falliment, il-Ministru għall-Ambjent, għan-nom tal-Gvern, qed jipproponi li nibdew naħarqu l-iskart li niġġeneraw f’inċineratur. Il-mira hi li jinħaraq 40% tal-iskart tal-gżejjer Maltin. Il-Gvern qed jipproponi li flok ma nibgħatu l-iskart dan naħarquh f’inċineratur biex nevitaw il-ħtieġa ta’ iktar art għal iktar miżbliet.

L-inċinerazzjoni ma tinkoraġix lin-nies biex jagħtu kaz ta’ dak li jikkunsmaw. L-inċinerazzjoni tinkoraġixxi soċjetà li tarmi u twassal il-messaġġ li hemm ħaddieħor li qed jieħu ħsieb jerfa’ l-problemi li noħolqu bil-konsum tagħna.

Qed jinfurmawna li bl-inċinerazzjoni ser niġġeneraw l-enerġija mill-iskart. Studju li ġie ikkummissjonat mill-NGO internazzjonali Zero Waste Europe intitolat The Potential Contribution of Waste Management to a Low Carbon Economy jindika li meta nirriċiklaw l-iskart niffrankaw bil-bosta iktar enerġija milli tista’ tkun iġġenerata meta jinħaraq l-istess skart. Allura fejn hu l-benefiċċju ambjentali?

Hemm bżonn ninvestu sforz ferm ikbar fir-riċiklaġġ tal-iskart. Din l-industrija għandha l-potenzjal li tiżviluppa f’pilastru ewlieni tal-ekonomija l-ħadra b’kontribut sostanzjali lill-ekonomija inkluż bil-ħolqien ta’ numru ta’ impiegi. Il-proposta tal-Gvern favur l-inċineratur ser joħloq ostaklu sostanzjali biex dan l-element importanti tal-ekonomija ċirkulari ma jitħalliex jiżviluppa.

Ikun ferm iktar utli kieku flok ma jwaqqaf kumitati dwar deċiżjonijiet li jkun diġa ħa, l-Onorevoli Ministru tal-Ambjent jipprova jifhem ftit x’inhu mistenni minnu.

Il-ħruq tal-iskart permezz tal-inċinerazzjoni ser iservi biex ikompli jnaqqas l-impenn tal-ftit li qed jirriċiklaw. Hu meħtieġ li minflok ma naħarbu mill-problema tal-falliment tal-politika dwar l-immaniġġjar tal-iskart neżaminaw bir-reqqa ir-raġunijiet għal dan il-falliment.

Ippubblikat fuq Illum : 24 ta’ Settembru 2017

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.

Incinerator? No thanks.

Waste is a resource which should be used instead of being thrown away. For this to be achieved, we need to change from a linear to a circular economy.

Malta’s waste management strategy identifies the year 2050 as the target for achieving zero waste going to landfill sites and in order to achieve this target, various policy tools are available.
In a linear economy, we use (or consume) a product and at the end of its useful life we throw it away. A circular economy functions differently in that at the end of its useful life, a product – or its constituent parts – remains in existence by being utilised to create another product.

Through waste minimisation, the waste we generate is reduced to the minimum possible. Life-cycle thinking is key to reducing waste throughout the useful life of a product and this is done when a product is still on the drawing board. Through the application of eco-design, the unnecessary constituent elements of a product are weeded out. In addition, these constituent elements are also examined to ensure that none of them impede eventual re-cycling at the end of the product’s useful life.

We can also minimise waste by ensuring that we purchase and use only that which is required in appropriate quantities. We can do this, for example, by using products in large sizes instead of similar multiple products in small sizes, which will result in less packaging being sent to waste.

The waste that is generated, notwithstanding a waste prevention policy, can be dealt with in various ways. The preferred option is to recycle it, that is to seek alternative uses. We recycle paper, metal, plastics and glass. We also recycle electric and electronic equipment. Recycling of the organic part of the waste we generate is also in hand in various localities.

Unfortunately only around 12 per cent of our waste is being recycled, substantially less than in other countries. This is a failure in implementing the objectives of the Waste Management Strategy. To cover up this failure, the Environment Minister, on behalf of the government, has proposed to embark on a process of incineration, targeting a maximum of 40 per cent of the waste generated in the Maltese Islands. The government is proposing that, instead of sending waste to landfill, it should be incinerated –  thus eliminating the problem of identifying more sites for landfills.

Incineration does not encourage citizens to care about what they consume. It encourages the throw-away society and sends the message that others will shoulder the problems created by our consumption.

We are being informed that incineration will generate energy from waste. A study commissioned by the international NGO Zero Waste Europe entitled The Potential Contribution of Waste Management to a Low Carbon Economy indicates that recycling of waste can save substantially much more energy that can be generated through the incineration of the same waste. So where is the environmental benefit of incineration?

More effort needs to be invested in the recycling of waste. The recycling industry has the potential of developing into a very robust pillar of the green economy, creating a number of green jobs. The government proposal in favour of incineration will be an insurmountable obstacle as a result of which this important element of the circular economy will not be allowed to develop.

Rather then setting up committees to consider half baked decisions, it would be more appropriate if the Honourable Minister for the Environment would attempt to master his brief.

Burning waste in an incinerator will further reduce the commitment of the few who are currently bothering to recycle. Instead of avoiding addressing the failure of implementing the waste management strategy, it would be more appropriate if the reasons for this failure are identified.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday : 24 September 2017

It-tmexxija ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika

Aċċettajt li immexxi lill-Alternattiva Demokratika issa, f’dan il-mument kritiku. Mhux l-ewwel darba li ġejt nominat. Drabi oħra f’dawn l-aħħar disa’ snin ma aċċettajtx it-tmexxija li kienet offruta lili u minflok għażilt li nagħti sehmi taħt it-tmexxija ta’ ħaddieħor. Fil-fatt huma żbaljati dawk li l-bieraħ irrappurtaw li fil-passat jiena diġa kont Chairman ta’ AD. Fil-fatt ma kontx.

Il-bieraħ indirizzajt il-Laqgħa Ġenerali l-ewwel darba bħala Chairman. Fid-diskors tiegħi emfasizzajt li Alternattiva Demokratika trid torganizza ruħha aħjar. Idealment AD għandha tkun preżenti f’kull lokalità f’Malta u Għawdex. Mhux faċli, imma ċertament li dan hu possibli. Biex ikollna riżultati elettorali aħjar jeħtieġu li norganizzaw ruħna aħjar.

Biex dan ikun jista’ jseħħ hemm bżonn ta’ involviment ikbar da parti tal-membri ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika fil-ħidma ta’ kuljum tal-partit. Ħidma li nistgħu nippjanawha flimkien u nikkoordinawha aħjar.

Każini m’għandniex u l-anqas ma qiegħed nippjana li jkollna.

Waħda mill-ideat interessanti li qed nikkunsidraw hi dwar jekk ikunx għaqli li niftħu xi uffiċini reġjonali: tnejn jew tlieta. Dawn jistgħu jkunu l-bażi tal-ħidma tagħna mifruxa fil-pajjiż. Imma biex dan ikun jista’ jseħħ neħtieġu ħafna iktar riżorsi.

Din hi l-isfida tagħna għal dawn il-ġimgħat u x-xhur li ġejjin.

L-Air Malta u l-arroganza ta’ Konrad Mizzi

 

It-theddid ta’ Konrad Mizzi (f’isem il-Gvern) li jekk il-Unions fl-Air Malta ma jbaxxux rashom għal dak li qed jgħid il-Gvern ma jkollux triq oħra għajr li jagħlaq il-kumpanija u jerġa’ jiftagħha b’impjegati ġodda hi l-agħar forma ta’ arroganza ta’ Ministru.

U meta theddida bħal din tkun ġejja minn Ministru Laburista li l-partit tiegħu repetutament wiegħed li mhux ser jagħlaq l-Air Malta din mhux biss hi theddida imma fuq kollox hi manifestazzjoni ta’ iprokrezija grassa.

Mhux qed ngħid li ma hemmx bżonn tibdil fil-prattiċi industrijali fl-Air Malta. Probabbilment hemm ukoll element ta’ intransigenza li żviluppa fil-proċess tan-negozjati. Imma ikun tajjeb li Konrad Mizzi jifhem li l-proċess tan-negozjati hu “give and take”. Li tinnegozja jfisser li tifhem u tfiehem u wara li tagħmel dan tipprova issib soluzzjoni ġusta għaż-żewġ naħat.

Fl-aħħar għalhekk hemm l-arbitraġġ: biex jekk il-proċess tan-negozjati ma jwassalx, il-partijiet jippruvaw jaslu bl-involviment ta’ persuni indipendenti.

Imma kif nafu lkoll, aħjar soluzzjoni miftehma minn waħda imposta.

Nawgura lil Konrad li jiġi f’sensieh. Fl-interess ta’ kulħadd.

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.