Latest stories

  • Circus without nets

    A unfortunate misunderstanding is haunting Europe. It just doesn’t understand Malta. A mental block has afflicted some of its prestigious bodies – like the Venice Commission; GRECO, the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body; and of course the European Parliament. Time after time, over the past weeks, they have asserted that Malta has grave problems with […] More

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  • A darkening horizon

    Liberal critics of the current state of Maltese politics spend a lot of time finding similarities between populism here and elsewhere. It’s time we focus on a key difference, since it could shape the future. Finding similarities is no trivial matter. It pays to know that populists can emerge from the left as well as […] More

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  • Politics of angry triumphalism

    Should you today pay brief attention (I’d recommend it) to the State celebrations of the 40th anniversary of Freedom Day, remember to be surprised. It’s not what you’ll hear or see that will surprise you. It’s what lies in the background. Today’s rhetoric of gravitas, forward-looking sense of destiny, of prosperity with freedom-lovin’ purpose rides […] More

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  • Dangerous liaisons and the news

    A new Reformation is underway in Europe and North America, promising liberation from the stranglehold of corrupt traditional churches and offering every man and woman the prospect of being their own priest and preaching their own good news. As always, however, there’s a catch. In the 20th century, the press in liberal democractic societies functioned […] More

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  • Why all the flowers go

    Another vigil, another clean sweep of the flowers and candles. Seventeen months after the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, we’re used to it. It would be astonishing if, sooner or later, the flowers and candles left at the Great Siege memorial after last night’s vigil are not removed on government orders. But why does it […] More

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  • Return of the Middle Ages

    They are the best of times, they are the worst of times. It’s a time for the invention of new forms of finance, science and knowledge. A time for fusion food and an age of romantic love. For passionate public debate, challenges to authority and crowdfunded startups. For warnings about Islam and the end of […] More

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  • The rise of the brazen lie

    At some point over the last three years, a new kind of lie began to take centre-stage in Maltese politics. Don’t get me wrong. Liars have always been with us. They came in various guises. To go by the complaints, the most frequent were hypocrites, who dissembled about their true character. There were also the […] More

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  • Lurve for country

    We have been warned. A pandemic of love of country is going to break out all around us once the MEP election campaign begins in earnest. Those who ‘don’t love Malta’ (because they dare criticise the erosion of institutional independence when in Brussels) will be contrasted with those who do. Joseph Muscat is urging even […] More

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  • Why I’d like to sell passports

    Here’s a nice proposal to enrich everyone by selling passports while the sun shines. It’s true the European Commission frowns on our sales of citizenship. But, thanks to The Shift, we know that Henley and Partners, Joseph Muscat’s favourite passport seller, has spent some €300,000 lobbying in Brussels. For the moment, it appears the Commission […] More

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  • Googling Joseph Muscat

    It was a point of honour, Joseph Muscat said in court recently, for him to pursue his libel case against the heirs of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Years from now, the Egrant allegations will still pursue and tarnish his name. Someone googling him will come across the issue. Therefore, he will not drop the case unless […] More

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  • Corruption destroys unity

    Malta’s significant drop in the Corruption Perceptions Index has been scrutinised for its long term impact on our democracy and economic development. But the growing, widespread perception of corruption has a more immediate impact. It renders meaningful national unity impossible. There can be no meaningful unity without solidarity or rule of law. Systemic uninvestigated corruption, […] More

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  • Passport-selling patriots

    May’s MEP elections are expected to pit liberal democratic internationalists against a populist right intent on taking over the EU. But anyone interested in tracing that debate in Malta is going to have an interesting time. Remember, this is the country where the political party most frequently accused of espousing right-wing populism, Labour, also champions […] More

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