Latest stories

  • 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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  • Freedom stuck in the middle seat

    If I had to compare the fate of liberty in today’s Malta, I’d say that more of us are feeling as though we’re confined to the middle seat of a passenger plane. Think of a world where, no matter how early we turn up at check-in, or whether we pay extra to choose our seats […] More

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  • The Jekyll and Hyde of equality

    Several times in the early part of his premiership, Joseph Muscat declared that it was his government’s ambition to create a new middle class. In some quarters he was suspected as meaning that he wanted to destroy the current middle class and replace it with another. However, his policies and messaging show that all he […] More

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  • It’s about injustice, not only trees

    We knew it already but the government’s actions underline it: the mass removal of trees at Santa Luċija and Attard raises important issues of justice. The government’s spin can’t help reveal the stakes. When the spin says that wider roads in Attard mean less air pollution, the aim is to paint the protesting residents as […] More

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  • Yes, the Attard protests are political

    Of all the lessons that history teaches us about successful popular movements, arguably this is the most important: people join the movement for one reason, but they stick with it for another. If a movement is pushing back against the power of politicians and commercial interests, then its project has to be long-term. Otherwise, the […] More

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  • If Adrian Delia is the answer, what is the question?

    Adrian Delia obtained 67% of the confidence vote held yesterday by the Nationalist Party’s General Council. Back in 2003, after losing two general elections in a row, Alfred Sant obtained the same result in a three-way leadership race. That contest settled the leadership question within the Labour Party but not the electability question with the […] More

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  • Daphne under the Satanists’ Sun

    It is time to make amends. I have long been a denier, contradicting anyone claiming there’s a Daphne cult. But it was staring at me in the face all along: the icon of veneration, the formulaic creed, the litanies recited in rising emotional tones, the ecstasy and the frenzy, the bond of solidarity between worshippers. […] More

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  • A public inquiry judges us, not the assassins

    So, the Foreign Minister, Carmelo Abela, states that the government’s intention is to hold an independent public inquiry within three months, as has been demanded by the Council of Europe. The Office of the Prime Minister insists that what Abela said is identical to what the Prime Minister said last month. In response something odd […] More

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  • Chameleon and leopard

    He had it in his grasp, only to fall from grace. He didn’t overreach. He wasn’t overlooked. It wasn’t a near miss. He was blackballed. It didn’t happen because of anything Hungary or Poland wanted about matters that had nothing to do with him. It had everything to do with him and it was western […] More

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  • Worse than Mongolia but better than Germany

    One fine February day, eight months before Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated, Glenn Bedingfield, patriot and visionary, put quill to parchment and gave heart to the decent people of Malta, living under the evil oppression of Caruana Galizia: The time is coming when her sordid mind will be laid bare to the public glare. […] […] More

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