Things that make one think ‘wtf?’

Did no one in the justice ministry or the Attorney General’s office check their facts before nominating the two women to the judiciary?

WTF… Since when has competence been linked to the age of a person? Competence is something that is usually intrinsically linked to aptitude and ability. And since when has the fact that one is the son or daughter of a minister or speaker relegate one to be unelectable or unsuitable for a nomination? The real thought here is that the appointments were catalysed by other considerations as scripted in our front-page story. 

WTF. Did no one in the justice ministry or the AG’s office check their facts before nominating the two women to the judiciary? Why is it that this government has the habit of shooting itself in the foot? Everyone, at least anyone with some basic knowledge of the Constitution, would have figured out that:

1) Zammit Young was constitutionally barred from taking up the position due to her chairmanship of the Employment Commission.

2) Farrugia Frendo has not technically completed the obligatory provision of having worked for seven years as a lawyer.

WTF. Everyone is saying they are hopeless. They said the same about Wenzu Mintoff, when he was made judge, and now everyone in the courts is praising his judgements and wisdom. 

WTF. Opposition leader Dr Simon Busuttil promises a new way of doing politics. I heard that one before, but does he not realise that apart from the sloppy way of doing politics, Labour is trying to redress the great and real imbalance in the political leanings of the judiciary, who were politically appointed by previous Nationalist administrations.

WTF. I am all for competence as an important and irrefutable criterion for selection but I cannot quite fathom this attitude towards people who are older. And by older I really mean older. What is this hang-up about older people, as if anyone over a certain age is useless and just a burden on our social welfare system.

In the UK, the Labour party delegates chose Jeremy Corbyn, aged 66, and in the US the Democrats have as potential presidential candidate senator Bernie Sanders aged 74. Sanders has a good chance of beating Hillary Clinton, 68. Ronald Reagan was 73 when he went into his second term as President. Here anyone over a certain age is considered an antique and a dinosaur. Has anyone quite measured the importance of young age versus maturity and experience?

WTF. Simon Busuttil says that he considers any questions about the past as ridiculous. It is a stereotyped response and measured answer that would carry more weight if he stopped praising the achievements of the past whenever he wants to pump up the eligibility of the PN to be the party in government.

WTF. Jason Azzopardi, not exactly God’s gift to the good guide of being an exemplary minister, accuses Owen Bonnici of being the most incompetent Justice minister we ever had. He must have conveniently forgotten Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici – by far the most inert and useless individual that occupied the office of a Home affairs ministry. Perhaps Jason needs some reminding what a friggin mess the Home Affairs ministry was all about then. But I am afraid I cannot quite refer to the past unless it is something that elevates the party. Of course, that party.

WTF. There is a lot of talk of Labour losing its soul and moving from left to right. I do not want to be a wet blanket but I am sure that the change has already taken effect. If everyone was thinking that Toni Abela was keeping this altogether they must be quite out of their minds. The Labour party won the election for one simple reason: it embraced business and shed its image of a workers’ party. If it had chosen not to do this it would have never made the mark.

WTF. Sometimes I really ask myself what political parties stand for. I guess some will say that they want change and want to improve things, in general that is the case. In other cases it is all about ego. But the problem is that most parties get lost in this endless endeavour to either remain in power or to win more power. The power struggle translates into an electoral machine that more often than not leads many people to forget from where they started off and more importantly, where they are heading to.

WTF. I wonder whether anyone has realised that come rain or shine our future is very much bound to what happens in the world around us. One important decision that will have a serious impact on our economic future is the attempt by Europe to harmonise taxes. Perhaps not all have realised that Europe is not happy that we attract so much business to our shores because of our low tax regime. The second consideration is that we will soon have our status in the EU changed as contributors rather than receivers of funds. Well, I thought some people could do with some reminding.

WTF. How can we take the Malta Environment and Planning Authority seriously when it does not give a flying hoot about biodiversity – at least at the political level. I am referring here to Wied Moqbol and the quarry that stands on the cliff face adjacent to some very vulnerable sea bird colonies. The truth is that the more MEPA continues to sanction these kinds of development, the more difficult it is for us all to believe that they are not married to the construction industry.

WTF. There was an interesting correlation between rubber plantations, the destruction of the rain forest in South East Asia and the tyres on our cars. The more cars produced translated of course into the greater destruction of rainforests. Well, that is something we have little control over. But if we had to seek a correlation between what is really a local environmental cost, the Gold Award has to go to our quarries.

Everyone seems to forget that the more we build or construct roads, the more we quarry. And most of our quarries produce poor hard stone, and most of our hard stone quarries are sited in the most sensitive ecological localities. For years, decades, many of the quarries have operated illegally and decimated hectares of pristine land. The land around Girgenti, Gharghur, Naxxar, Wied Moqbol, Qala in Gozo and so many other places have been destroyed by hard stone activities and the local resources authority has been not only complacent but incredibly inaudible.