The Malta Independent 17 February 2020, Monday

I will not be silenced… and some other themes

Andrew Azzopardi Wednesday, 15 January 2020, 14:48 Last update: about 2 months ago

During the time I have been involved in the media - which must have been at least 12 years of broadcasting with Radju Malta, anchoring a number of TV programmes (TVM and F-Living), writing opinions on various newspapers for more time than that, contributing to programs on all the media houses as a guest - I’ve had my share of threats.  Those that came from people I don’t know don’t surprise me that much, but some others… I never thought would come to that.  Some ‘seniors’ would stupidly advise me that I am too vocal, ‘saying too much’! 

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Let it be known, I will not be silenced. 

I will keep speaking my mind and heart and saying it as I think, always respectfully but still shouting from the rooftops.

There is a Maltese saying that goes; ‘id-diskors zejjed lanqas ghall-avukati mhu tajjeb’.  Well this saying has never really clunked as far as I’m concerned.  I might not be a lawyer, but I will talk and I will write and I will share as many ideas as I want, in the way I want.  Going a bit biblical here, but as Matthew 13:9 goes, “Whoever has ears, let them hear", I will not be intimidated – you’ve knocked on the wrong door.

 

Xarabank

We seem to take every chance we get to criticize and put down Xarabank.  This reproach is most common right before an election.  True, I have not always agreed with the style and methods applied by Xarabank, nor with the themes, choice of panel and the editorial slant they give.  For example, I’ve had numerous occasions where I spoke with Peppi on the notion of ‘charity’ which is simply decried from pitiful situations. 

Nonetheless, and I hope I am as clear as crystal here, Xarabank on a level of production, with its features and preparation is second to none.  I have seen some programs and newsrooms, whether those broadcasting on radio and tv or portals, that make features as pitiful as they come.  Just a tip, being guided by the Broadcasting Authority’s surveys is a good place to start. 

Now back to Xarabank. 

You can criticize Xarabank as much as you want, in fact I do that often, but one cannot remove the fact that this program is popular.  The proof of this is that you see endless members of Parliament squirming to get some time on their program.  So check, challenge and rethink, yes, but having a go at the most popular program on TVM and all of Maltese TV to win brownie-points is now a cliché gone fusty.

 

Robert Abela

Robert Abela is a nice bloke.  His smile is contagious and it is clear that he genuinely loves being with people.  He is fresh and untainted by the establishment, even though it is still early days. Yet, one cannot ignore the fact that he has gigantic challenges in front of him.  On one hand he needs to ensure that this Country keeps moving forward economically and takes civil rights to the next level and on the other hand he leads a Party that has been mutilated, with a great deal of soul-searching to do. 

Whilst I can understand the notion of ‘continuity’ (which is hardly him) which was inevitable to get him elected yet, the little I know Robert Abela the more I am convinced that he will be his own man.  His repeated statements during his installation speech, that rummaged on issues related to social mobility, social class, social justice, a business community that keeps its place, notions around community, reconciliation, rule of law, preservation and protection of the Institutions and social cohesion provide some comfort.  But this new Prime Minister, an almost unknown quantity, will also have to face the brunt of a political class that is in dire straits, a party in government that has been infiltrated by the villains, an OPM in conundrum, a Cabinet that hardly supported him (notwithstanding the hysterics seen this week reminiscent of the installation of the Ayatollah), and a society that is struggling due to an absence of morality brought about by a capitalist economy infused in our mind set.

 

Konrad Mizzi

I don’t think Konrad Mizzi knows when it is his duty to shut up.  I don’t think it is enough that not many in the Labour Party want him around and that many attribute the fall of grace of Joseph Muscat on him as well.  Whilst endangering self and others is despicable, such a populist comment he made following the fires that engulfed the Marsa Open Center only serve to fuel the racist slur...well, what can I say, nothing surprises me anymore in our political ‘class’.

 

A totalitarian mindset

Having factions within a party is fine, yes fine.  This notion that ‘we’ need to be seen united is ludicrous, false and fabricated by the propaganda machines of the parties.  This drama of seeing people crying and beating their chest claiming loyalty romanticised on the level of the Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace is pathetic. What’s wrong with having cliques, sides and offshoots within parties? What’s wrong with having coalitions and contrasting ideas within parties?  It is so unreal to think that everyone in any organization is in complete tandem with the Leader.  If that was the case, it wouldn’t be political parties that we have as we know them, but a Country run by a politburo.    

 

Joseph Muscat

Joseph Muscat is dead-set not to fizzle out into thin air.  Having said that, I think Muscat has to take a back seat and give all the space to Robert Abela to operate freely, which I believe he will do.  That he takes on a couple of issues and champion them seems to me like a good idea.  Having said that Muscat will realise that he will soon be forgotten as the new idol is now in post.  Yet it will take some work to undo the fall from grace of Joseph Muscat.

 

 

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