Stephen Calleja : canvassing the PN



In todays editors blog, in the Malta Independent, Stephen Calleja deemed it fit to write a blogpost entitled A vote for AD is a vote for Labour.

A vote for AD is a vote cast in favour of ADs principles. As things stand it is also a vote against both the PL and the PN.

Has Mr Calleja ever considered what a vote for the PN means?

Stephen Calleja has every right to canvass the PN. I do not seek to deny him such a basic right. When exercising such a right he may consider it superfluous to inquire about the Hon. Claudio Grechs statement that he did not recollect ever meeting George Farrugia, of oil scandal fame. Searching for reasonable explanations and possibly the underlying truth does not seem to bother Mr Calleja the journalist.

He could also inquire deeper into the Capital One Investments Limited and maybe bother to ask whether as a minimum, the Hon Beppe Fenech Adamis judgement in accepting a directorship of the Company was a grave error of judgement.   

Mr Calleja could examine Mario de Marcos legal assistance to the db Group while Deputy Leader  for Parliamentary Affairs of the PN Parlimentary Group. In so doing he may recollect that Dr de Marco had stated that he had sought Dr Simon Busuttils second opinion on whether he should take up the brief with Dr Busuttil not finding any difficulty at all.

Of course, any inquisitive journalist would go one step further and seek an explanation as to what the term conflict of interest means. A Member of Parliaments duty on all sides of the House essentially entails holding the government to account. This definitely includes scrutinising the executives actions in negotiations relative to the transfer of property in public ownership.

When any Member of Parliament does not understand the above, it is serious enough. But having both the Leader of the Opposition and his Deputy without any clue on the matter, certainly says quite a lot about the ethical standards of the Opposition. If these are the ethical standards of the next government I do not think that there will be any change at the helm. It will be simply more of the same.

I could go on and on. I have limited myself to the PNs compromised leadership, as currently it is the most effective canvasser of the Labour Party.

Mr Calleja has every right to ignore all this when he canvasses the PN, but then doesnt that say a lot about his standards and values?

One final point. AD held exploratory talks with the PN during which talks, the above and more were referred to.  The proposals made by AD were aimed to create a functioning coalition which would not be burdened by the accumulated sins of the PN. That no progress was made is certainly not ADs fault. Given the right conditions, AD was willing to participate in a coalition but it never accepted to be tagged as anybodys appendage.

Tonio Borg: his nomination and Malta’s reputation

Stephen Calleja heads the editorial team at Standard Publications, publishers of the Malta Independent as well the The Malta Independent on Sunday.

He considers himself to be “independent” so much that he did not bat an eyelid in accepting to present a TV discussion programme on the PN political TV station NET TV: l-Iswed fuq l-Abjad. Its independence can be attested by considering his choice of speakers and his myopic consideration of the  issues discussed.

In today’s edition of the Independent on Sunday Mr Calleja speaks of “restoring Malta’s reputation” when discussing the consideration by the EU institutions of Tonio Borg’s nomination as John Dalli’s successor on the EU Commission.

Calleja’s point is that The Green’s criticism of Tonio Borg’s nomination and credentials will tarnish Malta’s reputation.

It seems that those defending Tonio Borg’s nomination, including Mr Calleja, consider that he has only one positive point, that he is Maltese and they expect all to rally behind this nomination on the basis of his nationality.

Calleja fails to give due weight that Tonio Borg has destroyed his own candidacy by his utterances and actions as a Minister. His actions on immigration  when he supported Berlusoni’s agreement with Gaddafi’s Libya to send back immigrants to Libya to be tortured is compounded by the 2002 Eritrean refugee mishap documented by Amnesty International amd UNHCR. Tonio Borg as Malta’s Minister for the Interior  was responsible for sending back Eritrean immigrants. Some were tortured others disappeared.

Tonio Borg’s utterances against tenancy rights of same sex couples during the rent reform debate in Malta’s Parliament may have been forgotten by Stephen Calleja.  Calleja may even consider as unimportant the fact that Tonio Borg defied the referendum result and opposed divorce legislation.

In view of Tonio Borg’s record as pointed out above I do not consider that his nomination was the appropriate one.

When Lawrence Gonzi, notwithstanding the above decided to proceed with Tonio Borg’s nomination he was gambling Malta’ reputation.  He should have nominated someone else. There are plenty of suitable candidates amongst Malta’s  404,000 population.

It is on Lawrence Gonzi’s doorstep that Stephen Calleja should direct his criticism. But obviously, as he is “independent” he will find considerable difficulty in doing so.