Mickey Malta

Notes from the zone where 'normal' things don't happen very often

Posts Tagged ‘Elections

Justice is served

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Court case . . . voting documents . . . court case . . . voting documents . . .

Court case . . . voting documents . . . court case . . . voting documents . . .

A man charged with disobeying police orders was acquitted after the officers who were meant to testify as the prosecution’s main witnesses missed the court sitting because they were distributing voting documents.

The presiding Magistrate lambasted the prosecution as its main witnesses failed to turn up at a court sitting to do some other job. But what is it, one may ask, that’s so important to take precedence over a court sitting? The pleasure is yet to come . . . .

The two police officers, who happen to be the main witnesses in this case, were distributing votes for the upcoming elections.

Ironically, this person was facing charges of disobedience towards two police officers who were investigating a report filed by a customer. Needless to say, the Magistrate was ticked off at the fact that such a menial task took priority over a court case, and as a result of this, he dismissed the case.

Amongst the many tragicomic aspects of this incident, I am fascinated by the fact that one of the main objectives of both EU membership and local councils was the improvement of our way of life. It’s extremely ironic that a court case regarding a customer’s complaint had to be thrown out of the window because the main witnesses were knocking on people’s doors to hand out voting documents for elections that should improve their customer services and consumer rights, amongst other things.

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Written by mickeymalta

11/05/2009 at 18:33

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Norman Lowell: PRESENTE

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The only thing he can offer is 'irritainment' - as a friend of mine put it

The only thing he can offer is 'irritainment' - as a friend of mine put it

According to a report in today’s The Times, Norman submitted his nomination for the European Parliament elections to be held next month.

His name was included in the list of nominations issued yesterday evening by the Electoral Commission. He was convicted last year of inciting racial hatred and insulting the President, and was eventually given a two-year jail term suspended for four years and fined €500.

According to the Constitution, a person is disqualified from contesting elections “if he is serving a sentence of imprisonment exceeding 12 months… or is under such a sentence of imprisonment the execution of which has been suspended”.

Consequently, Norman Lowell is not qualified to take part in the EP elections. An appeal from the sentence was dismissed last October after it was found that his fundamental human rights had not been violated by a judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeal and a Constitutional application where he argued that he was denied the right to a fair hearing by the appeals court was eventually dismissed.

So, if I understood correctly, he is not eligible to contest these elections. Therefore, I ask, why did he submit his nomination in the first place? Why was he allowed to submit it?

Does he want to give the impression that he’s a martyr? Does he expect us to pity him? Why am I not surprised that some people find him entertaining?

After all, that’s how it all started. Do you remember the guys at Maltafly posting his ‘interviews’ on their site? Do you remember hearing the ‘interviewer’ laughing at his incredulous assertions? It was only until some people started actually taking him seriously that they stopped uploading these ‘jokes’.

Why did the Electoral Commission publish his name if he’s not eligible? Couldn’t they just refuse it straight away?

This is truly the zone where normal things don’t happen very often.

Written by mickeymalta

04/05/2009 at 19:02

Posted in Blog Main Page, Politics

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Bring on the troglonecks

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The only means of transport used by our European cousins to come and visit us. We are nothing but circus monkeys.

The only means of transport used by our European cousins to come and visit us. We are nothing but circus monkeys.

Two different reports published in yesterday’s The Malta Independent on Sunday confirmed to me that this place is truly stuck in a time warp. Worse still, it emerges clearly in a back page report that some of our European cousins see us as troglonecks – a monstrous hybrid between a troglodyte and a redneck.

In the Religion section, TMIS reproduced an interview that euronews carried out with one of the leading theologians of all time, Hans Küng (http://www.euronews.net/2009/04/07/kueng-catholicism-heading-back-to-middle-ages). Unsurprisingly, Küng makes a number of interesting observations, but one point that was discussed during this interview is worth singling out.

During the interview, Küng explained how the Catholic Church is steering away from Vatican Concil II and is heading back to the middle ages. The reason he gives is that “the Catholic Church is once again taking a course towards reaction, anti-modernism, and the Middle Ages”. Doesn’t this sound like an accurate summary of our Bishops’ sermons?

However, what struck me most is the fact that the same church he is criticising as being on a journey back to the Middle Ages is far more avant-garde than the Church here on the Rock. This means that we’re far worse than the Medieval Vatican.

The following Q&A explains why:

euronews:
Since the second Vatican council, the Catholic church has accepted, to put it simply, a separation between church and state. That’s not always the case in Islam. Does that pose a problem?

Küng:
The Catholic church didn’t accept the idea of human rights and tolerance, in a positive way, right up to the era of Pope John the 23rd and the second Vatican council. The Catholic church needed an enormous amount of time to get there. So we need to understand that Muslims too need plenty of time. But today, there are positive signs regarding the separation of church and state – in Turkey for example. It’s vital that Islam finds a new model to redefine the relationship between religion on the one hand, and the state on the other.

While the Catholic Church seems to have generally accepted the separation of powers, the Bishops here still choose to put pressure on the State publicly even on trivial issues like the Nadur Carnival. Worse still, the State dances to this tune and takes action as prompted by the men in the frock.

This brings me to my second point. Take a look at this report:

Swedish foreign trade minister Ewa Björling has had what she calls a very unusual and positive response during her visit to Malta – discussing not only the expected question of commerce and patents and Sweden’s coming European Union presidency, but also the question of AIDS and condoms – otherwise rather taboo subjects in that Catholic island nation with close ties to a anti-condom Vatican, Radio Sweden reported last week.

The Swedish minister is a professor of virology and has long worked with AIDS – and admits she was determined to bring this up with Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi.

Prof. Björling said that, to her surprise, an at-first surprised prime minister agreed with her that condoms and safe sex campaigns in Africa are essential to save lives, and that only healthy people can carry out business and international trade.

The Swedish minister added that when she travels to places like Africa, she always has condoms in her luggage, which she hands out even to Catholic clergy – even if they become angry and annoyed – and concluded that she will continue with this kind of international diplomacy.(http://www.independent.com.mt/news.asp?newsitemid=86532)

Admittedly, it is unusual – if not inappropriate – for a Foreign Trade Minister to talk about condoms with the Prime Minister of a country (although this is technically a county, and that makes the PM technically a Mayor). No wonder that the Prime Minister was surprised.  Yet, the message is that we are seen as such a backward country that follows the Vatican blindly, that this person felt the need to bring the subject up out of a genuine concern.

The key point here is that Ms Björling was surprised to see that Dr Gonzi actually disagreed with the Vatican. Wow. She was actually expecting the PM to give her a lecture about the ills and evils of condoms. To me, this proves that we are perceived as Vatican lackeys and that we are seen to be closer to the Vatican State than to the EU. Maybe now you can understand why I will not bother to vote for any candidate in the EP elections. This is also a wake-up call for the main party loyalists who think that all other countries look at our MEPs in awe when they deliver their (irrelevant) speeches in the EP. The truth is . . . . they look down on us.

And why is this so? Well, for a starter we’re the only EU country to deny divorce to its citizens; Stitching is banned on religious grounds; our Social Policy Minister runs to the Holy See to discuss ethical issues, abortion is a taboo -even in cases where the mother’s health may be at risk because of pregnancy .  .  .  . shall I go on? I can keep writing an endless list till sunset. The reality is that we do not embrace the European values of civil liberties.

In the grand scheme of things, we are nothing but circus monkeys where people from the big land entertain themselves by looking at us in our small cage. They must be really entertained by our strange acts and unusual behaviour, and when they hand out bananas and peanuts to us, they make us feel needed and important. How we fail to see the bigger picture beats me beyond recovery.

While most of us look at Turkey as a third world country, Hans Küng cited this beautiful place as an example of how things are changing in the Muslim world. Meanwhile, the smiling Bishop over here keeps warning his congregation (which incidentally involves most, if not all, Parliamentarians) about the ills of secularism.

No wonder that our European cousins see us as a freaky monster, a fusion between a troglodyte and a redneck. How can you blame them?

Written by mickeymalta

20/04/2009 at 10:52

My home(page) visits

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Will I still be on the friends list of MEP candidates?

Will I still be on the friends list of MEP candidates?

I decided to return the favour to some political candidates who knock on our doors to talk to us common folk about their extraordinary vision(s) during their home visits. I left a lighthearted/sarcastic message on some of the candidates’ Facebook pages.

Unsurprisingly, the ones who reacted so far (either the candidates themselves or ‘other people’) did realise that my comment was tongue in cheek. We’re so used to take everything dead seriously that, many times, we fail to realise that there are other ways and tones how to convey messages.

I hope that these people haven’t already reached breaking point. I also hope that they’re so at their wits’ end, that they can’t even take other people’s wit.

I honestly hope that they will get used to my visits, and that they won’t take offence at my comments. We really need to lighten up and let our hair down because we take ourselves too seriously. Especially in the two areas that interest me most: politics and religion.

Written by mickeymalta

14/04/2009 at 23:39

Why should I bother? I’m not represented anyway

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Let the sycophants come to me

Let the sycophants come to me

There is no better time than EP election time to voice my concerns about our complete detachment from the EU where civil liberties are concerned.

I remember a number of PN officials, during the referendum campaign, painstakingly explaining to us that the EU membership is not an A la Carte kinda thing. You can’t pick the things you like and ditch the ones you don’t. And you know what? They were right. However, it is very sad indeed to see the same people acting like EU membership IS a pick ‘n mix facility.

Our dear government seems so keen to adhere to EU principles and directives that are related to fiscal policy, and then it acts like a fundamentalist state that is light years away from the continent where civil liberties are concerned. Isn’t this an A la Carte approach?

Many people saw the EU as the only possible vehicle that will take this country to the 20th century, as unfortunately we’re still stuck in the 16th century where civil liberties are concerned. Our government decided to ignore the liberal minority (that’s growing very rapidly, though), and as a member of this minority group, I think that this is the right time to return the favour.

As Isaac Newton put it: “for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction”. This perfectly explains the reason behind my actions.

My plan is very simple. As we approach the EP elections this June, the party leaders will be doing their best to convince us that it is in the absolute best interest of the country to elect their candidates. They clearly must think we’re idiots; as even if one party elects all 5 members, it will not make the slightest difference in the grand scheme of things. Dr Siggie refers to this as “delusions of Grandeur”.

Yet, since this is such an important event for the parties, I will speak the only language they will understand: the votes language. So Minnie and I decided that as soon as we will receive the voting documents, we will send them to our friends who live in glass houses, Paul and Jason. Some friends have already decided to join us. I think that we’ll manage to please some people at Maltapost.

In keeping with the tradition established by this website, we will give you a sneak peek of our letter to the Secretary General of both parties. This is not covered by copyright, so please feel free to copy it and paste it should you decide to borrow our idea.

Dear Mr Micallef / Mr Borg Olivier

I am sending you my voting document as evidence of my abstention from the upcoming EP elections. I don’t feel that our country is embracing the true spirit and principles advocated by the EU, hence I see no reason why I should take part in this process.

At the end of the day, judging by the voting behaviour of your EPs during the last five years, I still don’t feel represented in the European Parliament by local candidates. Instead, I feel represented by other candidates who come from other countries on the opposing side of the Continent.

The day you stop being more concerned about pleasing the Catholic Church rather than addressing the needs of the people you represent, I may consider to start listening to what you have to say. Meanwhile, you can keep on being in cahoots with an institution that’s becoming increasingly irrelevant as time goes by.

Life is all about choices. You made yours, I made mine.

Now, if you excuse me, I am off to a week-end break with my family. I will be going somewhere that’s far enough to make me feel detached from the shenanigans and all the antics that will follow the EP elections. Please don’t bother to call me at home on election day, as no one will be there to pick up the phone. Besides, as you know very well, I am not able to vote, as you’re in possession of my document. Cherish it, and keep it in a safe place.

When your party commissions ‘experts’ to issue a report explaining the reasons behind your abysmal performance, you can attach all the voting documents that you receive in the Appendix section.

Thank you very much for your understanding, if any

Yours sincerely

Mickey/Minnie Malta

PS A copy of this letter is being sent to your counterpart within the other party.

Written by mickeymalta

08/04/2009 at 17:57

Posted in Blog Main Page, Politics

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