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  • The sanity of crowds

    “What is there new to say?” asked Petra Caruana, as she began to address the crowd gathered yesterday evening in Valletta. Her point, to the people protesting against corruption: We’ve known all the politically damning facts for some time. It’s not talk we need but for other people, who acknowledge what’s happening to the country, […] More

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  • The Three Amigos Ride Again

    The three Cabinet ministers with special involvement in the Vitals Global Healthcare (VGH) deal are once more appealing a magistrate’s decision to order an inquiry. The arguments in their appeal have implications that go far beyond this particular case. Here’s a paradox: if you believe the ministers are innocent, you have more reason to be […] More

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  • Parliament should summon Neville Gafà

    For too long, the press has declined to address the full implications of the mysterious relationships that the equally mysterious Neville Gafà has with Libya. The press has been very good in showing the slipperiness and evasions of both Gafà and the government. But the affair has been treated as largely a domestic scandal, not […] More

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  • A dirty bill of health

    No well-governed country is immune from corruption. Normally, however, the discovery of corruption leads to a strengthening of the system. Checks and balances are reviewed. Loopholes are closed. More layers of security are added. And if even shaky evidence of corruption surfaces, a full police investigation is welcomed by the government. The system calls for […] More

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  • Identity Malta and Hitchens’ Razor

    The late Christopher Hitchens, scourge of humbuggery, once formulated a principle he immodestly dubbed Hitchens’ Razor, designed to shave off nonsense: An assertion made without giving evidence can be dismissed without evidence. It’s tempting to wield the razor when faced with Identity Malta’s latest response to the news that yet another Maltese-passport buyer, Anatoly Hurgin, […] More

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  • The battle for our minds

    Tory Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s strategy, from a position of electoral weakness, throws a spotlight on factors that are part of the populist playbook. And, despite the particular circumstances of post-Brexit Britain, that playbook helps us understand Maltese politics better. Hungary and Turkey today are textbook cases of how wannabe dictators build large majorities and […] More

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  • Journalists should be pussycats not watchdogs

    The implications of last week’s court decision by Judge Giovanni Grixti, denying Repubblika’s request for a magisterial inquiry into whether corruption was involved in the VGH deal, go beyond the actual case itself. If the judge is right, the law is almost pointless and journalists are pussycats, not watchdogs. Grixti overturned the earlier decision by […] More

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  • It’s my turn to eat

    If you watched it, you’ll remember how you felt seeing the recording of the top men of Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates boast, to undercover French journalists, about how their political connections made them so good at obtaining golden passports for their clients. But have you spared a thought about how the partners of other firms, also […] More

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  • The inquiry of forking paths

    All eyes have been on the Board members of the public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. But the terms of reference call for a closer look, too. They pose several fundamental choices, a series of forking paths that can take the inquiry in one direction rather than another. Where […] More

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  • Spinning away an award

    Had Caroline Muscat won the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Award for Independence in 2012, instead of this month, one Malta headline could have blared, ‘Anti-Gonzi blogger wins RSF Award’. For she did used to write a blog that focussed mainly on the then administration’s shortcomings, sometimes using the rhetorical device of addressing the Prime Minister […] More

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  • Ending the siege mentality

    One of the dominant ways in which we think about our history is to think of it as a series of sieges. Don’t be surprised if you come across it again today, as the State commemorates the Great Siege of 1565. An island of strategic military importance is bound to be defined by the attempts […] More

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  • In favour of development

    Moviment Graffitti has a great slogan – Iż-żejjed kollu żejjed (too much is too much) – for Saturday’s national protest against reckless development. It’s not just the idiomatic flavour. In Maltese, so many Żs in a short space come packed with furious, defiant exclamation. In American English, Zs are associated with snooze and pizzazz. In […] More

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