The Malta Independent 28 May 2023, Sunday
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With whom one hangs out

Alfred Sant MEP Monday, 20 June 2022, 08:00 Last update: about 12 months ago

It has become part of the political game, common to all participants, that they can be criticised not for what they did or did not do, but as well for what was done or could have been done by those they are close to.

What does “being close to somebody” really cover as a phrase? The establishment of a professional relationship with a client? For in that case, lawyers (and others) would have an enormous problem: most have contacts with notorious criminals, and others who are less so but still... They would get hit at the neck by the wellknown proverb: Tell me whom you hang out with, and I’ll tell you who you are.


Should it cover a personal relationship or friendship? Surely. And here the need for a total transparency in public management provides a strong contrast with the respect due to a person’s privacy.

In between these two extremes, there exists a wide range of behaviours which could be classifed as “hanging out” with somebody. We are still quite a way off from finding how to establish clear and straight rules by which to satisfactorily make such relationships transparent.

Sometimes however, one suspects that really and truly nobody wishes to see this problem cleared. I wonder why.



The amendments that the government proposed to the IVF law make sense. Precautions adopted in order to avoid that in certain well-defined instances, the creation of life does not end up simply transmitting the seed for the destruction of what is being created – and this simply by preventing the creation from occurring – is an action that actually boosts the meaning of life. The dignified and humane explanation given in Parliament by Prime Minister Abela during the debate on this law situated the proposals for change in their true and best perspective.

Still, the government needs also to ensure that it explains how its proposals in no way mean there has been some move towards a policy based on eugenics. Some people are poised to project this deceptive and malicious caricature of what is currently being intended, by which they aim to terrify all good souls.



The view is well established that laws are applied differentially according to whether one is up or down the social ladder. I have to say there is much to show that such a view is hardly incorrect. True, some wise guys hasten to tell us that this is today’s reality – for it never happened before. How ridiculous.

Which does not mean that whether it was good or bad yesterday, it still is not so today.

One has to ask why the belief... and the reality... was and remains so widespread. What’s worse is that this happens while on the outside, the procedures – or perhaps best say – the rituals of legality are being observed.

The fact is that when many of those who lack special protection and who come from the downside are caught, they finally end up having to pay for their misdeeds.

While others who have committed the same mistakes while coming from upside seem to live under a special dispensation that rolls back the punishment they deserve till it cannot be applied any longer.  


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