It started with a bang

So this week, we had a little bang at the Malta Freeport Corporation...

I sometimes cannot understand why it is okay to have business investment in Smart City and Zonqor Point but not at the Freeport
I sometimes cannot understand why it is okay to have business investment in Smart City and Zonqor Point but not at the Freeport

You will allow me to give away my age by taking a cue from my favourite 1970s bands – Hot Chocolate.  

So this week, we had a little bang at the Malta Freeport Corporation. Simon Busuttil, the PN leader, made a visit to the container hub in Birzebbugia and of course said what every politician is expected to say.  

But he said the wrong thing, by reminding everyone rather unnecessarily that the Freeport was created and grew exponentially under the Nationalist government. 

Chapter 2 did not take long to come, and Joseph Muscat declared that he does not see any need for more expansion at the Freeport.

In Chapter 3 Busuttil expresses dismay and surprise at the PM’s reaction. How can Muscat say such a thing for such a growing and dynamic business? he asks.

Chapter 4 and Muscat steps in with his brigade, to say that Busuttil is in favour of development in an ODZ area. And guess what – Front Harsien ODZ supports Muscat’s resolve.

In Chapter 5, the Labour-led council at Birzebbugia passes a resolution denouncing Busuttil’s plans to expand into the ODZ.

Chapter 6, a simple Google search reveals that the politically appointed Freeport chief executive, Aaron Farrugia, who happens to be a Labour candidate, had told an online newspaper site partnered with The Guardian that the government wants to expand the Freeport by land reclamation at sea.

Chapter 7 will never be written because the story is one silly summer argument that really should not be anyone’s concern. The truth is that the Birzebbugia local council will do exactly what Castille wants it to do, and if a decision were to be taken to expand the Freeport there is little doubt in my mind they would not embrace the decision. And finally, if the Freeport can expand and make money, I cannot see anyone saying no.

The moral of the story is rather simple. Politics has turned our logic upside down. Economic growth is something Muscat cherishes, encourages and pushes. Why not at the Freeport? I sometimes cannot understand why it is okay to have business investment in Smart City and Zonqor Point but not at the Freeport.

Busuttil on the other hand should have been careful with his words about how thankful we should be for having the Nationalist party. They had to have something to show, after all, for 25 years of administration. And if by expansion he did not mean to go into ODZ he should have said so. Especially in view of his ‘ODZ is ODZ’ statement.

On the other hand the Front Harsien ODZ should realise that not all inroads into ODZ are wrong, unnecessary or inevitable, and once again their focus on ODZ has allowed the present government to direct all its energy to tinker with planning policy, allowing for a rampage of our village cores and countryside. In other words, while everyone is talking of development in these so called no-go areas, we are not realising that the local plans devised years ago are being used by speculators and developers as a licence to decimate our countryside and landscape.

***

The other day, I sort of remembered a man who was unjustly accused in the courts. He is a free man now. He fell from grace, lost his handsomely paid job, got falsely accused by Malta’s biggest rat, got slandered and abused by the political media and for five long years did not have an income. He sold his house, his car and he lost his personal life.

The worst part is that he is forgotten, used and abused. Politicians dumped him, used and accused him. And the ones who invented the stories and were the real culprits are drinking and dining and living their good lives.

And in a country like ours it is difficult to be forgiven even when it is proven you did nothing wrong.

But this time round, I have no intention of giving up on a man who deserves more.

But more on this next time round.

***

In the newspaper Illum, a story is carried about a woman who surprisingly injured eight police officers. The police chose not to announce the incident on the premise that the woman is undergoing medical attention. Better still, she will not be prosecuted for the time being.  

But some weeks before this bizarre incident the same woman alleged that her estranged husband wanted to kill her. An allegation that is not always taken seriously by the police when it comes to long-standing acrimonious matrimonial discord.

In this particular case, which has landed in front of Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech, the husband who denies the singular allegations and charges, is facing a tough time.

The woman by the way is not being charged for assaulting eight officers. I guess I am missing something here. But then I was always so thick!

***

John Bundy has been appointed Chief Executive Officer at PBS, The Times of Malta announced rather soberly. It is a strange world but then with what is happening in today’s world, everything is possible. I have stopped trying to understand what is happening in government. Most politicians you see are not really interested in upholding principles, but in making appearances and keeping their ‘own’ people happy.

***

Deo Debattista is a Labour MP, and I really question what the f*** he is doing in the Labour party. What does he stand for? His objection to the morning-after pill is reminiscent of a debate by some loony pro-lifers embedded in the deep American midwest. His view on ‘what defines rape’ was rooted in that kind of prejudice that would fit perfectly at a Donald Trump rally. Maybe he should take a stroll and embrace the conservative opposition on this matter.

It is sad that in 2016 we are debating the morning-after pill. If Muscat has no control over his conservative MPs he should have never taken this to committee stage but instead bulldozed his way as he did with the gay civil union reform.

***

One Labour minister arrogantly told me this week: “We do not really care what is written in the press.”

I retorted that is what a Nationalist minister had told me before 2013. Just in case you were trying to guess who the Labour minister was, I should state a priori that it was not Edward Zammit Lewis.

No.... it was not this ‘Nationalist-looking’ minister who is now campaigning in the 10th district and is busy cavorting with the press that is not even sympathetic to his own prime minister.

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