Stay home please, Dr Gonzi. Stay home

For Gonzi to share the same podium with the River of Love’s self-appointed pastor Gordon John Manche – a questionable figure by any stretch – shows just to what extent his thinking is skewed.

I cringed when I saw former Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi standing foursquare against embryo freezing in the good company of diehard so called pro-lifers, including the one and only Gordon John Manche. He was present at a press conference in which a new pro-life organisation launched a petition against proposed changes to IVF legislation that could allow embryo freezing, surrogacy and sperm donation.

Life Network chairperson Miriam Sciberras warned that if the law is approved by legislators, they would collect signatures to hold an abrogative referendum. 

Gonzi told the press after the event that the proposed introduction of embryo freezing is “equivalent to the destruction of life”.

Wow, I said, looking at a man who surely has not realised that his time is up.

“If such a law passes, it will represent a conscious decision to end human life and will sow the seeds for abortion,” Gonzi said.

Gonzi, the man who lost his party 36,000 votes, alienated thousands of Nationalists and misjudged the mood of the country on divorce is now taking another conservative stance.

He said: “The IVF law was passed in Parliament unanimously after months of analysis and debate, and it is unheard of for somebody to suddenly come up with an idea that will discard it all.”

He was of course referring to Muscat.

Gonzi has unwittingly done a great favour to Muscat and disservice to the whole debate. With Gonzi’s presence, Muscat can turn to his faithful mass of followers and tell them, “Trust me like you trusted me on gay and divorce issues.”

Gonzi’s presence is uncalled for. 

The man should stay at home and be happy with what he achieved… or rather, failed miserably to achieve.

The press conference was attended by Nationalist MP Antoine Borg, Alleanza Bidla leader Ivan Grech Mintoff, National Women’s Council president Mary Gaerty, and the River of Love’s self-appointed pastor Gordon John Manche. 

For Gonzi to share the same podium with Manche – a questionable figure by any stretch – shows just to what extent his thinking is skewed.

Last month, Muscat declared that he will forge on ahead with plans to re-introduce embryo freezing, which was banned in 2013 under the Embryo Protection Act made law by the Nationalist government.

“I am resolute to introduce embryo freezing,” Muscat had told MaltaToday in a clear message to legislators who are expected to vote on the amendments in the coming weeks.

Last Sunday, Deborah Schembri, the divorce campaigner, surprisingly announced that she was against embryo freezing.

I met her, and asked her why she took this position.

“I told Muscat that I would stand for election only if abortion and embryo freezing would not be introduced. He kept his word and I stood.”

But Muscat has now indicated that he wants embryo freezing. What will she do?

And of course Labour maverick – who started off as a Laborite, then turned to the PN, then again to the PL – Marlene Farrugia has said she is against embryo freezing. But then, Marlene stands for nothing, has zero credibility and might as well say nothing whenever she opens her gob.

So two government backbenchers – Marlene Farrugia and Deborah Schembri – have since declared they would vote against embryo freezing.

Miriam Sciberras confirmed that the group will call for an abrogative referendum if the law passes. 

“It shouldn’t have to come down to this though,” she said. “All major Maltese political parties have already declared themselves against abortion, and no party had included embryo freezing in its manifesto.”

But this is not the point.

Embryo freezing is not abortion, no matter what they say.

And Sciberras, in a supposedly emotional plea, said: “Every person, every journalist cried when they saw pictures of a dead Syrian child on the beach,” she said, referring to images of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi that went viral last month. She was simply echoing what that empty vessel Marlene Farrugia said in The Independent.

As a journalist I did not cry when I saw that picture. We see countless pictures of its kind. It has been happening all the time. It is a pity it took us so long to realise what is happening in the very sea that surrounds us.

Miriam Sciberras continued: “We made an emotional connection because we could see his face. Although we can’t see the embryos’ faces, we all know what goes through the minds of women as soon as they find out that they’re pregnant – they all know that they’re going to have a baby.”

On surrogacy and sperm donation, Sciberras claimed that such practices would deny children the right to grow up without a biological parent. 

To add weight to that argument, she has invited Joanna Rose, an English daughter of a sperm donor who has a PhD in donor conception, to deliver a speech on how the discovery of her origins damaged her psychologically. If you want to read all about Joanna Rose (note the emphasis that she has a PhD) either go to the Catholic Herald or that tabloid rag the Daily Mail. A bastion for retards.

I have serious issues with her objection to sperm donors.  

The reality check for this controversy boils down to the fact that people aren’t likely to see this as a prelude to abortion. What they’re more likely to get out of this is the chance for more people to start a family. At the end of the day they see the end result: the possibility of having a child.

It’s all remarkably similar to when the Church laid down its rabid opposition to that handy sheath that stops sperm from finding its way to the ovum, years back. Catholics, in their vast majority, used the condom and ignored the Church’s directives.

Along the years, the Church changed its objection to the condom and many priests simply shrugged and looked the other way when faced with the guilt of their parishioners.

Gonzi’s presence at the press conference represents everything that sours you to the old ways and emboldens you to embrace the new ones. His reappearance is bad news. 

It is perhaps understandable why Gonzi after all side-lined the late Fr Peter Serracino Inglott in 2011, when the philosopher said: “Freezing embryos is in itself ‘not wrong’, and the government should not be looking at the Church’s stand on this but focus on its impact on society.”

“Freezing per se cannot be considered to be a way of killing the embryo since it is keeping it alive. It is wrong only when freezing is done with an ulterior motive to destroy the embryo,” Serracino Inglott had said.

This is what Muscat wants – another battle of principles that will steer the liberals to his side and those that cannot stand Gonzi to rally behind him.

It is also the kind of battle that will overshadow Muscat’s immoralities on governance, nepotism and environmental degradation.

I for one feel that the embryo freezing should not have been politicized. But now that it is, I am on Muscat’s side. Even though when it comes to other topics I oppose him and reject his politics.


In today’s issue, we have yet another story on the rogue oil trader George Farrugia. He deserves to be the highlight of my next book. Yet, a question which I have no answer for is why the Maltese police never looked into neither his Swiss bank account, nor his audit trail?

Why? Well, I do not have the answer.

And since we are on the subject of the police, it would be pertinent to point out the silence that followed after an inmate was found dead in police custody.  When this happened under Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici all hell broke loose. When it happens under Carmelo Abela, the whole media circus seems to forget it.