The Malta Independent 21 September 2021, Tuesday

Words say one thing, actions another

Peter Agius Wednesday, 4 August 2021, 09:03 Last update: about 3 months ago

PM Abela vouches to implement the public inquiry recommendations, but then makes sure to stifle free media at PBS while endorsing Edward Zammit Lewis, the Minister for Good(?) Governance who was in cahoots with the owner of 17 Black while toeing the Labour Party line of doing the bidding for Yorgen Fenech.

Abela's words say one thing, his actions another.

The judges say it clearly. The culture of impunity led to the killing of Daphne and its obscene aftermath. The judges spare no words - the Labour Cabinet bears collective responsibility. Let us not forget for a moment that Muscat's premiership was supported by Robert Abela as his right hand man, his legal consultant.

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Instead of admitting Muscat's failures and vouching to correct all the systematic failures which keep afflicting Maltese society, Abela reverted to weak arguments, such as that Muscat is no longer Prime Minister. The report speaks about collective responsibility, but this matter was disregarded too. Now we learn that Minister Zammit Lewis remained cushy with the owner of 17Black, one of the major scandals Daphne was after.

Instead of firing him right away, labour kept protecting politicians such as Zammit Lewis and Rosianne Cutajar who should not even deserve to be presented to the electorate due to their association with the alleged mastermind of the assassination.

Abela needs to walk the talk rather than taking people for a ride and believing that they are fools. If not, it will be the PN to continue to request accountability and for the recommendations to be fully implemented.

Spinning at the expense of amateur fishermen.

The public inquiry report also speaks about journalism and how this is being shackled. Even here, Labour has clearly shown that it has learnt nothing. The public broadcasting service did not explain to the public the outcomes of an inquiry which was of national importance. The public deserved to know more about the matter. It felt no duty to explain how politicians' behavior led to one of us being assassinated. Clearly, the public broadcasting did not play its role well in this regard.

However, TVM found ample of time to cover Labour's propaganda. If there is one thing Labour is good at, that is spinning the news. This time it was Minister Anton Refalo's turn to get the limelight on the national broadcasting station, informing the public that Lampuki fishing will now be open to amateur fishermen.

But nowhere did the news item or his statement issued by the Department of Information say that this is something that has been taking placed for no less than three decades, and that all the Ministry is doing is reopening the administrative process which falls under the Ministry's responsibility. Fishermen need no spin and theatrics, but good policies that help them to do their job. What fishermen need is for the Minister to reduce bureaucracy to access EU funds and for regulations to be fairly drafted and implemented, rather than to be, at times, treated as criminals. It is thus no surprise that the latest proposal for a channel dedicated to news raises a lot of questions that need to be answered. Will this be another propaganda machine for Abela's government?

Public broadcasting or propaganda machine?

In the latest episode in a never-ending crusade against journalists, such as that experienced by Norman Vella and Peppi Azzopardi who were excellent producers and presenters on the national TV station, it was now Mark Lawrence Zammit's turn to get the Labour treatment.

Zammit cited interference in his work, which is a no go for a professional journalist who wants to ask tough questions. Out of loyalty to his audience rather than to his pockets, Zammit decided to leave and in doing so, leave behind his childhood dream.

While his courage deserves applause, the case deserves deep analyses, as Labour has sped up its campaign to completely capture public broadcasting. Robert Abela is keeping to his promise of 'reforming' the national broadcasting on his own terms and conditions.

Labour is obsessed with propaganda and in feeding news to the public which suits its upcoming electoral campaign. It has thus not only used its TV station to spread fake news, but is doing all it can to annul the last remaining elements of independence in public broadcasting. Guess what? Zammit's replacement will be none other than Quintin Scerri (former Labour Mayor and consultant to a Labour Minister). Do you think that Quintin Scerri will be objective in his analysis and questions? Following the outcomes of the inquiry, Abela said that he will meet journalist to strengthen the media in Malta. I leave it up to you to judge if he truly meant those words or if he wants to discuss how to control it.

Labour is not willing to make the reforms this country needs to heal the wounds and move forward. Another reason why Malta needs a new page. 

 

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