By Jove, did that hamallu say ‘motherfucker’?

Andrew Borg Cardona is of course free to make a fool of himself and to express his opinion, in all his self-conceit and bias, but considering that he is an online contributor to The Times, it would be interesting to see if an ad hoc committee will be set up by the newspaper’s owner, the Allied Group, to consider whether his behaviour is in line with the ethos of the company.

Dr Borg Cardona, renowned for his gibberish scribblings and one-sided politics
Dr Borg Cardona, renowned for his gibberish scribblings and one-sided politics

Jesus, it must be getting real hot under the collar. Or perhaps he ingested some chilli peppers? God’s gift to mankind and Times blogger Andrew Borg Cardona, calls the Prime Minister a motherfucker on Twitter, and Ira Losco, a bitch.

Just imagine someone calling Opposition leader Simon Busuttil the same thing. Or just imagine Joe Grima calling anyone a motherfucker. The tut-tutting would never cease.

And this from a former president of the Chamber of Advocates, no less, a champion of the tobacco industry, recipient of many handsome retainers and declared apologist for anything Nationalist, who later said that he had intended to send a private tweet to David Thake (to the PN what Manuel Cuschieri was to the PL).

As if that made any difference – some lame excuse! In public, polite and erudite, in private, as low and cheap as anyone. The poison-pen Jekyll and Hyde.

I remember three years back when Borg Cardona reported me to the police for perjury, a crime which can land one behind bars (no sympathy protests in the courts then) because in evidence I gave in court I had described him as an “apologist”. He argued that I had invented the evidence, since he was not an apologist. The police did not prosecute.

Borg Cardona is of course free to make a fool of himself and to express his opinion, in all his self-conceit and bias, but considering that he is an online contributor to The Times, it would be interesting to see if an ad hoc committee will be set up by the newspaper’s owner, the Allied Group, to consider whether his behaviour is in line with the ethos of the company. Surely the directors will go for it with the same verve they showed when one of their leading lights told a senior female government official to get laid by a black man, in the presence of other journalists.

This leaves me with one particular aftertaste and an observation that I simply have to share with my readers.

You will remember that this week, a director of The Times was revealed to have had a Panama company. His name was mentioned in the Panama Papers. This was known of course to the bile-queen, who conveniently omitted any such mention of it, just in the same way that certain names in business were left out from the Swissleaks coverage in Malta.

The Times director’s company was registered under the name Petrofina and according to the same director, the company was set up because he needed to purchase a property in London for his family.  

At this point, it is very important to distinguish the difference between the kinds of persons who are, or could be involved. If for example, I were to say I had a BVI company because I need to purchase a home in London for my family, that excuse would be considered hopeless.
But if I were a soft-spoken man from some well-heeled family and, more importantly, positioned on the right side of the political border, then that excuse would be considered a wonderfully, bloody good reason.

Needless to say Konrad Mizzi’s reason falls in the other category.

Bear with me. I have got to be mad or loony, but is it a coincidence that you name your BVI company Petrofina to purchase a home in London when at the time the same director was involved in business pertaining to commercial gases? I’ll stop there for now.

What I would like to ask is something rather simple, because in a way I am curious. When this particular director took the bold step of calling an urgent board meeting to review the rants of the bile queen, did he look at The Times’ then managing director, Adrian Hillman, in the eye and ask him about his BVI account? Did he at any point twitch because he himself had such an account? Did he feel guilt, I wonder? Did he feel embarrassed?

I guess not.

Giovanni Bonello, as chairman of the three-man board, still has to finalise the findings of his inquiry into the alleged graft. The brief, from what I can recall, was to ascertain the evidence of influence on the editorial staff by Adrian Hillman, and secondly, to substantiate any proof of kickbacks to him by Keith Schembri, the PM’s chief of staff.  The other two members of the board have had their hands rather full, too, from the look of things. The other two (Kevin Valenzia and Kevin Dingli) were also mentioned in the leaked list of offshore riches.  

Che sfortuna!

Because the problem is that no one is likely going to care any more, seeing that apparently no one has the credentials and the moral high ground to pontificate and judge.

Who cares? Life goes on, I just hope that there is a heaven and a hell.  Because it sure is not working out down here.

One other point to consider. The editors at Allied denied they were at all influenced by the management in the coverage of the electoral campaign. They claimed total independence. The management does not interfere with their editorial work. Can they also claim editorial independence in their decision to not cover, and deny their readers, the saga of what is unfolding in the courts in relation to the heir of the late Mabel Strickland?

If there was no management interference on what to do about the court reporting, one would then ask, just what sort of journalism is this, which deprives the paper’s readers of such alleged skulduggery? It just makes one think…

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When I wrote two weeks ago about Toni Abela, I had hoped that he would decide to go for the deputy leadership of the Labour party, the post he gave up to oblige Joseph Muscat in nominating him to the European Court of Auditors. I would have also hoped that he would have found the backing of the party. Well, in the end he did not stand.

Three candidates have now come forward. Lydia Abela also thought of standing but in the end she did not. Edward Zammit Lewis also, but he did not come forward, perhaps he is looking for something else!

The three names are Chris Cardona, Owen Bonnici and Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi.   They are all lawyers and relatively young. I do not think that the delegates should be confused. Their obvious choice is now Owen Bonnici.

Zrinzo Azzopardi served as president in 2008 when Labour lost its election, and was exactly the organiser and driver that many wished for at the time. He may have improved since then, but he is not as belligerent as the other two.

Chris Cardona is experienced, an efficient minister, well spoken and belligerent.  But he has baggage. Not dirty baggage, but, simply, baggage.

And if we want to be direct and sincere, in the present situation he will be flogged unfairly and the idea of putting his party through more agony should be in the mind of all delegates when they come to choose the next deputy leader.

If I were a delegate I would vote for Owen Bonnici. True he is young. But he is steady, poetic, eloquent, good on deliveries and can take rough handling. He looks incredibly prepared for his age and experience. And Muscat needs to be supported by someone who looks steady and solid. And impregnable.

Now I would have loved to discuss this on TVM’s ‘Reporter’, with all the candidates, but some cretin in the Labour party barred them from participating.

Great move, when everyone is talking about transparency.

Owen Bonnici may not be the towering figure that would overshadow Joseph Muscat, but at a time when Muscat needs someone to take on the issues of transparency, environmental protection, accountability, deliverables and liberal politics, Bonnici is well placed.

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