Google doesn’t lie – Konrad Mizzi did mention groceries

By | August 21, 2014

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.

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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.

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  • Edgar Micallef

    This is quite shocking! Whilst it is understandable that some people may say things on the spur of the moment and may want to correct them afterwards, it is completely unethical to attempt to delete the actual record of what was said and replace it with a fabrication, also known as a lie in plain language. This is something which would not be tolerated in any professional field, however unfortunately when a government Minister does this, it is considered normal, at least here in Malta.

    In reality we all know that no Minister actually writes his or her own speeches. They are generally prepared by minions in the Ministry PR or communications secretariat and in this case it is likely that the boo boo was made there. It is however a little alarming that it was allowed to be passed to the Minister without being corrected by his communications coordinator or by the Chief of Staff. I recently read a very relevant comment by Jaques Rene Zammit in another forum about how this government gets away with appointing manifestly incompetent people and why not much fuss is made about this. It seems to be the gold standard for the Taghna Lkoll appointee.

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