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Update 3 | PBS hankering for deputy leaders’ debate on Xarabank

No decision taken on whether Dissett is to host first debate between Busuttil and Grech.

Matthew Vella
29 December 2012, 12:00am
Simon Busuttil - Labour demanded that he be invited to Dissett but it appears that the PBS editorial board was unwilling to have both deputy leaders on the programme.
The first television debate between the deputy leaders of the Nationalist and Labour parties could be scheduled for the 11 January on Xarabank, as the jury is still out on whether current affairs programme Dissett will be hosting the debate on 5 January.

The Public Broadcasting Services have hinted in a statement that a "recommendation" by the Broadcasting Authority to have Simon Busuttil and Louis Grech feature on Dissett on 5 January, might still not be taken on board by the station's editorial board.

Earlier today, the BA met with urgency on a complaint by the PN after today's edition of Dissett was to feature only Labour deputy leader for parliamentary affairs Louis Grech. The PN insisted that Busuttil should also be present.

Labour has declared that it had asked Dissett's producers at the outset to have Simon Busuttil also on the programme, but PBS declined to have both deputy leaders on the show, since both were scheduled to appear on the Xarabank debate on 11 January.

Instead, the PL proposed today that both deputy leaders participate in the 5 January edition of Dissett, so as to respect the Christmas truce agreed between the two parties. This meant that Dissett's edition of tonight (Saturday) had to be postponed.

"Labour asked for a debate between Louis Grech and Simon Busuttil on Dissett days ago, when it first received the invitation for Louis Grech and before the Nationalist Party decide to try and create an issue. It was solely PBS's decision to invite Louis Grech on his own," a PL spokesperson told MaltaToday.

On its part, PBS has pointed out that the BA's decision was not a directive but a recommendation, and that it was the editorial board to determine whether the debate will take place on Dissett or not.

"PBS notes that before the announcement of the new deputy leader, the station had already scheduled a debate for 11 January on Xarabank between the two party deputy leaders, which debate was already known to both parties. This will take place as planned."

The indications are that PBS is preferring to have both deputy leaders face off in front of the live Xarabank audience.

While both parties appear to have reached some sort of agreement today to have the Dissett debate postponed to 5 January, the PN issued its own statement to claim that Labour was trying to avoid the debate. "Labour's excuse was that the debate had to take place after the Christmas and New Year's holidays," the PN said.

"It looks like that as long as Louis Grech was to be alone in the studio there was no problem for this programme to take place during the holidays, but as soon as the PN asked to have Simon Busuttil present, Labour found an excuse to avoid this debate.

"This proves that Labour is not prepared to discuss policies on employment, health and education with PN representatives."

On its part, Labour has insisted that when it had received the invitation to Dissett it had asked to have Simon Busuttil in the studio. "PBS informed us of the decision to have Louis Grech feature on Dissett on his own. To avoid any controversy, Labour has agreed to have the deputy leaders meet on Dissett on another date... this a decision that respects the Christmas truce between both parties."

A PL spokesperson insisted that it was PBS that was bent on not having Simon Busuttil on the same Dissett edition as Grech. "The Nationalist Party is so set in its plans to hide Lawrence Gonzi that it is trying to create any possible diversion to make this an election between deputy leaders. Unfortunately for the Nationalist Party, it's not.

Matthew Vella is editor of MaltaToday.com.mt.

After graduating in a...
Gordon Chetcuti
Well to be honest i think that they first now have to go to dissett and after to Xarabank cause the more we see them presenting there ideas in front of each other the beteer for us voters.Its now time to see what they have in there sleeves we have to analize them and decide.
Polly Bonello
Xi dritt ghandhom in-Nazzjonalisti li imexxu l-PBS ikomplu juzaw ix-xandir publiku bhal ghodda politika ta GonziPN? Kulhadd jaf li Peppi, Bondi u Vella huma biased u sa fra tant, l-Broadcasting Authority thalli lil dawn jghadduna biz-zmien taparsi newtrali meta kulhadd jaf li kull darba li jidher kelliem tal-PL dawn iduru ghalih biex jaghtu palata lil kellime tal-PN, ghax , inkella ma,jistkujawx political points? Imbasta dhalna fl-Ewropa! Ir-riforma fix-xarabanks tal-linja ilha li saret: dik tax-Xarabank politiku ma jaqbilx li ssir rifroma? Disgrace!
Toninu
Tal PN jew jilaghbu HOME ghand il WE jew xejn. Dissett idejjaqhom, tghid ghax forsi ma jkollomx il mistoqsijiet min qabel?
Anthony Azzopardi
It seems to me that the GonziPN label is on its last legs as a campaign slogan for the upcoming election. We all know what kind of reputation this administration has earned over the last 5 years. The election plan is simple enough and when you add Simple Simon to the mix, you get the feeling that even Lawrence Gonzi would have to play second fiddle to Simon. However here is the problem with this grand plan to retain power on this blessed island that let’s face it, is not know to breed competent politicians. Simple Simon comes across as the intellectual chipmunk from Alvin & the Chipmunks and the reason he is being pushed as the reliable deputy leader is to make the electorate forget during these 3 months of electioneering the endless embarrassment of incompetence and fraudulent government that has engulfed the GonziPN administration. Inflating the rookie deputy leader who has arrived direct from Brussels does not necessarily be the solution to all the problems created by Richard Cachia Caruana, Austin Gatt, Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici, Franco Debono, Jesmond Mugliett and Jeffrey Pullicino Orland. Nor can he be the camouflage that can restore faith in the Maltese political system that has failed completely with questionable contracts, commissions and billings on Energy or the frustrating results on the contracts in Transportation that has delivered misery all over the island, while adding millions of euros to a yearly deficit and national debt. After that Xarabank deputy leaders debate, Simon is still an unknown quality because if you cannot outshine your opponent when he is so unprepared, where you will stand when your next opponent debating with you Business, European and Political Accountability has a very good record and will without a doubt overwhelm you? When GonziPN elected Simple Simon to go head to head with the opposition’s deputy leader, they were convinced that Simple Simon could be that guiding light against the PL and Anglu Farrugia. However the political arena has now changed and with the PL choosing a new deputy leader that can highlight Simon failures in negotiating Malta’s accesses to EU membership especially in regards the Hunting & Trapping regulations, Simple Simon might find himself in a position where his inflated ego has already started to loose its altitude.
m borg
@briffs ........... "...by default rather than risk muddying their hands. " What do you mean by this? Maybe you had in mind Simon's life style?
m borg
Trust the whimp Simnon Busutill to want to play home on Xarabank where he can get Peppi's help and hide the iPAD he uses for instructions from tal-Pieta. If he thinks tha PL , especially Louis Grech is going to shy away he is grossly mistaken and once more he's going to get the whooping he deserves.
peppi x
Holding the confrontation between Busuttil and Grech on Xarabank is convenient both for the Nationalist Party and Peppi Azzopardi. The former as Busuttil will have a helping hand during the programme.. the latter as he will be able to boast that he hosted this confrontation n his programme. But all the same do not be surprised if the Nationalist Party try to blame this further postponment on the Labour Party!!
Aristide Galea
One last word to Dr. Simon Busuttil . Don't let your head get bigger then your body , because it makes you look like Humpty Dumpty . Your attitude is making you look like you have reached heaven , but remember, the higher you get , the higher will be the drop . And that could be very hurtfull .
Aristide Galea
It seems like the PN is trying to manipulate everything . I saw and read the letter sent by the PL to the BA with the specific request to permit Simon Busuttil to take part in the programm . What is the problem with the PN that the programm is aired on the 5 th of Jannuary 2013 and allow Simon Busuttil to be on the panel to face Louis Grech ? Do they want to keep setting the agenda according to their wishes ? What are they afraid of ?
Rene Zammit
@Briffs: PL trying so hard to hide away the New Deputy leader from Simon? Are you serious? Do you understand english? Maltatoday: "Simon Busuttil - Labour demanded that he be invited to Dissett but it appears that the PBS editorial board was unwilling to have both deputy leaders on the programme" Labour demanded...Do you know what that means? The PL had sent a letter to PBS so Simon can take part in the program dissett with Louis.
Polly Bonello
How come the Broadcasting Authority never lifted a finger to make sure that Bond+,TVhemm, Xarabank are balanced not just in the politicians invited, but more so in the titles chosen, and in the blatant unbalanced way the political hot versions are conducted? The Broadcasting Authority, as it is,is a relic of our colonial past, and the 'European' GonziPN has made sure that it remains that way: so much for the 'change' that Simon Busutill says his Party represents!
Polly Bonello
How come the Broadcasting Authority never lifted a finger to make sure that Bond+,TVhemm, Xarabank are balanced not just in the politicians invited, but more so in the titles chosen, and in the blatant unbalanced way the political hot versions are conducted? The Broadcasting Authority, as it is,is a relic of our colonial past, and the 'European' GonziPN has made sure that it remains that way: so much for the 'change' that Simon Busutill says his Party represents!
Carmel Xuereb
Il-PBS jimxi ma l-istrategija tal-PN u jwittilu t-triq ghal iktar u iktar propoganda. PL tinsewx li l-PBS barra li hu mmexxi u ddominat minn kumpanija li hija kontra l-PL dejjem kien il-benniena tal-Partit Nazzjonalista.
john johnson
As a 'foreigner' who has a vote I like to watch the 'two tribes' fight it out in the battle for votes. It is clear the BA has no teeth. PBS do what they like. The Maltese idea of balance is letting each tribe have their own tv station. Seems like two bald men fighting over a comb sometimes. Until you realise how much it is worth to the tribe who gets in power. Looking forward to the 'beef' on 7th January. Toodle pip.
Angelo Dalli
The first ever one on one debate between Louis Grech and Simon Busuttil, as deputy leaders of their respective parties, should legitimately garner a bigger interest than usual from the audience. The first program to host such debate should be expected benefit from it both reputation-wise and commercially. Why would PBS hinder an in-house program, which enjoys a reputation of being amongst the most objective and impartial, by depriving it of this opportunity? Why would PBS favour, by giving such an opportunity, a program produced by a private production house instead?
louis fenech
aktar ma tikkumentaw fuq simon aktar qed isir popolari. SIMON DICTATES THE MLP AGENDA.
Oliver Zammit
"PBS hankering for deputy leaders’ debate on Xarabank" Obviously, Simon needs assistance.
Oliver Zammit
"PBS hankering for deputy leaders’ debate on Xarabank" Obviously, Simon needs assistance.
yan borg
ftiet xhur qabel l elezzjoni tat 2008 il polls kienu qed jghidu li il labour ser jirbah b 12.000 vot. kulhadd jaf x gara . Nahseb li il laburisti qed jibzghu wisq li ser jerga jigri l istess
albert leone
In the debate with Anglu farrugia SB performed a major faux pas when in his arrogance he strived to humiliate his opponent. This is something that in sports we learn to never do and always be gracious even with a weaker side Fortunately it backfired for by his action he ended up contributing to a much stronger PL lineup. I am sure that in his statesmen like way of treating debates in Oxford Union style Louis Grech will show him up as immature smart ass if he tries the same tactics.
m borg
If this is the best Simon can come up with? Then gonzipn are in for a shock should they ever elect him as leader. I am sure MPs like Demarco, Beppe, Said,Tonio and maybe a couple others are rubbing their hands with glee at Simon's persistent goof ups.
shirley tanti
I AM VERY KINDLY ASKING THE MALTA TODAY STAFF TO ATTACHED THE LETTER PUBLISHED BY THE PL. IT VERY CLEARLY SHOWS THE STATE OF AFFAIRS. 1. THE PL WANTED DR BUSUTTIL PRESENT WITH GRECH IN TONIGHT'S PROGRAM 2. THE PBS WAS THE ENTITY THAT WANTED A SOLO INTERVIEW 3. PBS WANTED TO GIVE SIMON A SOLO INTERVIEW LATER CONCLUSION:I THINK THAT AS USUAL THIS WAS AN ORCHESTRATED ATTEMP OF DECEIPT
shirley tanti
I AM VERY KINDLY ASKING THE MALTA TODAY STAFF TO ATTACHED THE LETTER PUBLISHED BY THE PL. IT VERY CLEARLY SHOWS THE STATE OF AFFAIRS. 1. THE PL WANTED DR BUSUTTIL PRESENT WITH GRECH IN TONIGHT'S PROGRAM 2. THE PBS WAS THE ENTITY THAT WANTED A SOLO INTERVIEW 3. PBS WANTED TO GIVE SIMON A SOLO INTERVIEW LATER CONCLUSION:I THINK THAT AS USUAL THIS WAS AN ORCHESTRATED ATTEMP OF DECEIPT
Ivan Esposito
Simon Busuttil is just a pompous, self-inflated has-been. Does he think people have forgotten all his promises and half-truths about the EU 9 years ago? I think he will soon find out that both Louis Grech and Toni Abela are more than his match. The PN is so embarrassed about it's leader and ministers that they have been completely excluded!
josef
Simon this and Simon that. Just a fake like Gonzi
Mario Attard
Sur Simon Busuttil, qed tiprova tiftah gwienhajk? Kont nahseb l int ragel serju imam mort zmerc. Fil-fatt kont qed nahsiba jekk nivvutax il-partit tieghek, imam serrah mohhok li b’dawn il-bahnanati zgur li mhux sejjer nivvota ghalikhom. Jekk il-Partit Laburista jghid “ghajn ghall ghajn u sinna ghal sinna” tghidu lil Partit Laburista vjolenti. Issa li l-Partit Laburista irid “Truce” lanqas ma joghobkom. Nixtieq inkun naf xil-qaddisin tridu? Mhux ahjar tghidu kif sejrin tehilsuna mid-djun li dahhaltuna fihom, meta sejrin taghmlu il-Whistle Blower’s ACT ghaliex Ghandi hafna x’nirrakonta, dwar korruzzjoni, serq ta flus f’overtime meta ma kien issir xejn lanqas waqt il-hin tax-xoghol, bazzuzlar li saru fid-dipartimenti fejn kont nahdem. Mhux ahjar imorru ghal ftit serjeta ghaliex wara dawn l-ahhar 25 sena kissirtu kollox specjalment il-haddiem, il-penzjonant, il-marid u dawk l-aktar fil-bzon.
Anthony Galea
The Nationalist Party seems to have invented the wheel. It seems that for the first time in history they have a deputy leader. What about Dr Tonio Borg? He was not only deputy leader, but unlike Dr Simon Busutill he was also Deputy Prime Minister. How come that Where's Everybody never thought to set up a debate between Tonio Borg and Anglu Farugia. Does this mean that the PN thought that Tonio was even worse than Anglu? Does this mean that Malta had a deputy Prime Minister who was not worth his salt? Is this the way that PN led Malta for the last five years? Did Tonio only bothered the PN beause they will be facing the electorate? I now ask Peppi Azzorpardi to take the opportunity and in the first debate between Louis Grech and Simon to ask the later a direct question. Where was Tonio Borg in the last five years and ask PN if they were happy with their deputy and if they took the first opportunity that came their way to get rid of Tonio, and Peppi please keep insisting, like you do all with PL representatives, to obtain and answer
Anthony Galea
The Nationalist Party seems to have invented the wheel. It seems that for the first time in history they have a deputy leader. What about Dr Tonio Borg? He was not only deputy leader, but unlike Dr Simon Busutill he was also Deputy Prime Minister. How come that Where's Everybody never thought to set up a debate between Tonio Borg and Anglu Farugia. Does this mean that the PN thought that Tonio was even worse than Anglu? Does this mean that Malta had a deputy Prime Minister who was not worth his salt? Is this the way that PN led Malta for the last five years? Did Tonio only bothered the PN beause they will be facing the electorate? I now ask Peppi Azzorpardi to take the opportunity and in the first debate between Louis Grech and Simon to ask the later a direct question. Where was Tonio Borg in the last five years and ask PN if they were happy with their deputy and if they took the first opportunity that came their way to get rid of Tonio, and Peppi please keep insisting, like you do all with PL representatives, to obtain and answer
Anthony Galea
The Nationalist Party seems to have invented the wheel. It seems that for the first time in history they have a deputy leader. What about Dr Tonio Borg? He was not only deputy leader, but unlike Dr Simon Busutill he was also Deputy Prime Minister. How come that Where's Everybody never thought to set up a debate between Tonio Borg and Anglu Farugia. Does this mean that the PN thought that Tonio was even worse than Anglu? Does this mean that Malta had a deputy Prime Minister who was not worth his salt? Is this the way that PN led Malta for the last five years? Did Tonio only bothered the PN beause they will be facing the electorate? I now ask Peppi Azzorpardi to take the opportunity and in the first debate between Louis Grech and Simon to ask the later a direct question. Where was Tonio Borg in the last five years and ask PN if they were happy with their deputy and if they took the first opportunity that came their way to get rid of Tonio, and Peppi please keep insisting, like you do all with PL representatives, to obtain and answer
ray zammit
gidba ohra ta gonzipn.liema huma id 9 stazzjonijiet ghax 7 naf jien
jesmond
Another p.n. foul. liar liar .
eddy privitera
Il-PN dejjem b'xi skuza biex taparsi Simon Busuttil huwa s-Superman li kullhadd jibza minnhu ! Issa ghax il-PL RIED li Simon ikun mistieden, u allura zgur ikun programm ta' konfrontazzjoni politika meta SUPPOST IL_PARTITI FTEHMU LI WAQT IL-FESTI MA JKUNX HEMM KONFRONTAZZJONI POLITIKA , U SSUGGEREW LI L-PROGRAMM ISIR IS-SIBT LI GEJ, GonziPN xorta qed jeqirdu !
GRACE PAVIA
It would have been far more interesting to unbiased, uncommitted voters, if Busuttil were to give an honest explanation for the enormous shortfall, than what was promised, to the EU net inward flowing (to Malta) funds up to 2013; and (AGAIN FAR MORE SERIOUS) the net EU outward flowing funds from Malta to the EU in the period 2014/2021. No bull and/or shallow excuses please!
michael sant
Tinduna mill-ewwel kemm gonzipn u l-klikka tal-hazen tieghu sar patetiku, ridikolu, vojt, ghajjien, bla gost, tac-cajt u daharu mal-hajt meta tara kif qed jippruvaw jonfhu bicca principjant li qatt ma ghamel xejn f'hajjtu daqs li kieku kien xi superman, xi eroj li qatt ma rajna bhalu.... meta kulhadd jaf li kulma ghamel f'hajjtu sa issa kien li gideb lill-kaccaturi, lil tat-tarzna, lil tal-air malta, is-sidien tal-karozzi tal-linja .... waqa' wahda kbira ghac-cajt bl-ACTA ... u kiteb manifest elettorali mimli gideb u hrejjef .... u dawn minghalihom li bih joqoghdu jonfhuh u jippumpjawh, jaghtuh ftit arja biex taparsi jidher xi ggant meta kulma fih erba' piedi u nofs .... b'hekk tinduna kemm gonzipn nixewf, dbiel, halliena u jinsab fl-ghafja tal-mewt .... minghalihom li simon ta' mannarinu hu xi star performer, xi rebbieh ta' xi oscar .... meta kulma hu persuna minfuha qisu bajda tal-ghid biex taparsi jaghti nifs lil gonzipn ..... halluna tridux ghax is-superman li minghalikom se jsalvakom dalwaqt tindunaw li ma jiswa xejn u li qed tonfhu figura tal-kartapesta li ma tiswa xejn .....
David Bezzina
Why are the PN so eager to show off Simon Busuttil and hide Lawrence Gonzi ? I guess the GonziPN brand has expired its sell-by date. And the PN have some cheek talking about PBS being imbalanced when they have hijacked PBS.
peppi x
It's a pity that a copy of the PL letter to the Broadcasting Authority was not included with the news item, as it tells a very different story from the interpretation being given by the Nationalist Party. It definitively shows that the Labour Party never tried to avoid a discussion programme between Simon Busuttil and Louis Grech. Actually the PL even suggested that Simon Busuttil be included in the Dissett programme.
fufa
Parir ta xih lil Dr Busuttil. Oqghod attent biex ma tantx tikbirlek rasek u min ghalik ilhaqt is-sema. Ftakar li aktar ma tkun fil-gholi, aktar tiehu tisbita kbira.
ray zammit
since when there is an urgency for a debate between the deputies.We want to see Joseph and gonzi the liar debate
Toninu
Simon tiela u Simon niezel. Fejn hbewh li Gonzi PN?
Joseph Sant
Il-PN qed jaghmlu l-almu klollu taghhom biex jippruvaw jonfhu ll Simon busuttil. Simon Busuttil fil-fehma ta bosta, specjalment dawk li hadmu mieghu jafu li busuttil huwa persuna bla sustanza meta jhigi ghax-xoghol. Jidher li Simon busuttil se jigriou bhal buzzieqa. Tonbfohha aktar milli jmissja u tinfaqa. Hekk se jigrilu Busuttil. Sa l-elezzjoni jkun mifquh.
Polly Bonello
Broadcasting Authority is a relic of days gone by. The fact that is being used by the Party in Government to continue its hegemony over news and spin is simply disgusting. I wonder why the BA never sees-what thousands of citizens see- that Bondi+, TVhemm, and Xarabank are nothing but the National Broadcasting transformed into the fifth column of GonziPN!
RAY BRIFFA
Why are PL trying so hard to keep even their new Deputy Leader away from Simon Busuttil? Labour are trying very hard to win these elections by default rather than risk muddying their hands.
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