Google doesn’t lie – Konrad Mizzi did mention groceries

As soon as the news was out about a week’s groceries costing €25 I have to admit that I immediately jumped on the bandwagon. How could a Minister or his advisors not know how much people, even ones who are immensely careful every week, spend for a week’s worth of groceries?

This angered many people. If a Minister is elected to Parliament (especially on a Labour ticket) most people would assume that he is close to the pains common people face everyday, including how much it is spent on basic needs like groceries every week.

After I wrote the blog – which you can read here – I noticed that the mention of groceries were slowly disappearing from news reports and instead ’10 days worth of electricity’ was being mentioned.

After a whole day of being personally attacked about having some kind of agenda and being called a liar I decided to do some digging.

Google has a very useful feature called cache. Cache in simple terms shows older versions of webpages.

Here you can see how both Times of Malta and The Malta Independent reported how Minister Konrad Mizzi said that €25 is a week’s worth of groceries. I doubt two journalists from competing newspapers made the same mistake.

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 08.39.27

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 08.39.36

What does this mean for the rest of us? Not much. The truth is that online news can be manipulated and whilst other news organisations have comments about what has been altered from a news report as times go by, this is not done locally.

The €25 being worth a week’s groceries was bad PR by the Minister. Trying to hide it and sweeping away every evidence of it is horrible. If the Minister felt he did a mistake this should have been clarified by his PR person by issuing another statement.

In politics, especially in the age of Google, these lies will come to surface.

The top 5 things you can do with Konrad Mizzi’s €25

What the Government thought would be the perfect PR exercise to show people compassion after last week’s power cut quickly turned against them when Minister for Energy and Health Konrad Mizzi showed the rest of Malta how out of touch with the realities faced by the common people.

During a press conference where Minister Mizzi announced the compensation given to individual households after the blackout, Mizzi said that a week’s worth of groceries would cost €25, so that is the perfect amount to pass along.

Now I don’t know where he shops but when going to the supermarket I have to actually pay for things with this weird thing we common people call money.

Now apparently there is this thing called Konrad €25 Mizzi money which if you’re one of the lucky 8,000 you will get through the post. This note looks something like this:

Konrad Mizzi €25This note seems to have hidden value. It might have €25 euros on the front but can be redeemed for much more. Yes you guessed it, a whole week’s worth of groceries. Or else, if you want to treat yourself we count down the top 5 things than you can do with this special currency.

Number 5
For the sensible people amongst you, you can use this money towards your next ARMS bill, that’s three months worth of free electricity.

Number 4
Why not go for a bottle of Champagne, say a Bollinger GD Anne Rose 75cl, 2002. This will also leave you with a bit of change if you want to feel patriotic and want to follow it with a few cans of Cisk.

Number 3
If you really want to treat yourself why not go for a one night stay at one of the fabulous 5 star hotels we have in Malta. I hear Gozo in October is simply magical.

Number 2
But your loved one that special piece of jewellery, after all, who did you turn to when Malta descended into darkness and you had no fan or AC to cool you down?

Number 1
Finally, if you’re feeling extra generous you can share this with 5 of your friends and treat everyone to a special meal at your favourite Chinese restaurant.

Just in case you were wondering, this is what €25 of real money gets you in the real world.

  • 1 Benna full fat milk – €0.83c
  • 1 Benna flavoured milk chocolate – €0.62c
  • 4 yoghurts – €2.00
  • Flora proactive 250g – €3.25
  • 200g Sliced ham – €1.75
  • 200g mortadella – €1.50
  • 175g Cheddar- €2.60
  • 6 pieces fresh gbejniet – €4.70
  • 500g of bigilla – €2.20
  • 250g stuffed olives – €3.25
  • 6 eggs – €1.45

This is just the basic food every family have in their fridge. I am not counting any vegetables, meat or fish or even anything that one might have had in the freezer. On another note, if you would like to read my thoughts on last week’s blackout you can read my piece on The Times of Malta by clicking here.

And just in case you’re thinking “but Konrad Mizzi did not mention groceries…” The truth is that he did, and here is the proof.