Latest stories

  • Police commissioner: myths and facts

    In the summer of 2001, on the day that John Rizzo’s appointment as the new police commissioner was announced, I was having dinner with someone who had had an advisory role in the choice. Rizzo’s predecessor had resigned after a sex scandal, and the adviser was relieved that finally, the whole affair was behind the […] More

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  • Flying the Jolly Dodger

    When Robert Abela’s critics call him the continuity candidate, they are throwing his words back at him as an accusation. But what they understand by continuity is not what he promised. It’s important to understand the growing gap between the two. All Abela meant by continuity was what Labour Party members understand by a return […] More

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  • Voldemort returns

    Joseph Muscat’s supporters and critics are at it again. This time, though, it’s the critics who are hyping him up, the supporters downplaying his role. Is he really charting Malta’s path to post-pandemic recovery? Or should we pay heed to Silvio Schembri and Edward Scicluna, respectively ministers for the economy and finance? They say he […] More

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  • The real game in the migrant saga

    Is it legal, the way that Malta is treating irregular migrants crossing from Libya? Strangely, this question is a distraction. It prevents us from taking in the full picture of what’s going on. It’s strange because international law lies at the heart of the case. It’s a distraction because international law is no longer the […] More

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  • The leisure of gods

    If you think democracy and transparency are expensive – wasting money on red tape, independent institutions, and State-funding of political parties – you should try crony governments that refuse to tell you what they’re doing. Bill Gates has pledged $100 million (€92 million) to fight the coronavirus outbreak. Konrad Mizzi, as minister, pledged $110 million […] More

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  • The patriotism we owe ourselves

    Patriotism – wrote Mark Twain in a serious mood – is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. Today, many flags will fly over Malta’s houses, in a requested show of support of Robert Abela’s government. Technically, the flags have been requested as a sign of national solidarity in […] More

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  • The good in the bad and the ugly

    A memo to readers who, upon reading of Keith Schembri’s fake newspaper, began to exclaim in tongues: It’s not Pentecost, yet. Today is Easter Sunday, our subject is the good news, and this week has been full of them. Occasional self-doubt is a mark of sanity, and any sane person who has been a critic […] More

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  • A time that’s defining Robert Abela

    In last week’s Sunday Times, an op-ed by Robert Abela described this period as a time that’s defining us, prodding us ‘to come together in our aims and actions’. Two days later, he followed that up by urging national unity on a partisan TV station with a partisan flag beside him. That communication misfire was […] More

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  • Steward: If not now, when?

    During a press conference devoted to how seriously the government was taking the national interest, in the face of the coronavirus, the Prime Minister was asked about the role of Steward Healthcare. It was an inevitable question. It’s on everyone’s lips. What wasn’t inevitable was the answer. Steward has taken ownership of three of our […] More

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  • Labour’s playbook catches coronavirus

    When they tell you it’s not about the money, it’s obviously all about the money. Steward Healthcare, which bought three of our hospitals for a song, while milking the public purse to the tune of €188,000 per day, fooled no one when it told The Shift that it was “insulting” to be asked about what […] More

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  • Gateway to a golden age

    I did not think I would live to see Maltese people everywhere queue in an orderly fashion, respecting personal space, and accepting that signed warnings applied to them as well, not just others. Nor have I ever seen such broad consensus – where it is not just the lion that lies with the lamb, but […] More

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  • Lessons from Babylon

    Here’s a lesson from 2,800 years ago for anyone seeking to learn anything from Monday’s tragedy in Santa Venera. The Code of Hammurabi stipulated that if a building collapsed, the builder was to be executed. We have a lot to learn from ancient Babylon. It’s not the punishment that’s instructive. It’s the reasoning that went […] More

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