The absurdities never stop, do they? From Robert Abela’s misleading claims about economic growth to President George Vella’s attempts at exonerating himself by claiming ignorance of wrongdoing, the week was full of tragi-farcical bluster. Here is some of the week’s nonsense that caught our eye at The Shift.
Go Green yourself
Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia launched Go Green Week to encourage individuals and companies to implement more green initiatives to support the local environment.
These initiatives are definitely worthy and welcome, but there’s no changing the fact that the minister’s words ring hollow and smack of damage control given that a couple of days earlier he sidestepped questions about the proposed Marsascala marina that has been met with fierce objection by residents. And that is without addressing his unfortunate comparison between Marsascala residents opposing a yacht marina to Gudja residents opposing Malta’s International Airport.
Then there is that small detail about the environment that is actually and constantly being destroyed with every new unsightly project proposal, expansion or revision. Initiatives like Go Green Week, and the Environment and Resources Authority’s adverts (which must cost a pretty penny) about protecting the sea around Malta cannot be taken seriously when the latter is clearly doing abysmally on land, and the government keeps eating up all the public spaces with more roads and concrete, with no real effort being made to curb urban development and the continuing ‘uglification’ of Malta.
While we’re on the subject of the proposed marina at Marsascala that nobody wants, Transport Malta is reported to have reassured bidders for the project by telling them that the objections are “speculative due to the fact that there is no approved design of the marina”.
Talk about using big words to try to hoodwink your audience. What is that supposed to mean? That once a design has been approved, the objections will be classified as definitive? That those who objected will change their mind once Transport Malta has an approved design in hand?
There was nothing “speculative” about the people’s objections to the project. Even the idea of a marina is objectionable. That much is clear.
Joseph Muscat has apologised, ok?
Not content with being interviewed and taking up precious space, disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat has insisted that he has already apologised to the family of murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and is not expecting one back.
Then again, Muscat also wrote that he does “not intend to enter into any tit-for-tat with Caruana Galizia,” (which he was in effect doing), and not before reminding readers of his “reservations about the inquiry”.
In the Labour Party’s crosshairs
Fresh from trying to discredit former prison inmates, the Labour Party’s ONE News has set its sights on professor Kevin Cassar, whose articles feature in a number of independent media outlets, including The Shift.
ONE News took issue with an article penned by Cassar and published by Newsbook where he argues that Malta’s worrying trends in education, specifically in science education, may account for the gullibility of voters and may explain Labour’s lead in the polls despite the corruption, sleaze and incompetence that has landed Malta in this mess.
As if to prove his point, ONE News interprets this article as an insult to Labour voters and tells them as much. Unsurprisingly, the Labour Party’s efforts to thrash Cassar make no mention of Edward Zammit Lewis’ description of Labour voters as “ġaħan”. That, it would seem, was merely a reinterpretation of Maltese folklore by our justice minister.
But the real issue, and the dark side of all this, is that once again, party media is being used to single out for attack dissenting voices. And there is no indication that this will stop despite the public inquiry’s conclusions warning of the dangers this presents.