This week in Malta’s online media.

So many things happen during the week and sometimes we’re not online to see them. Melahart.com will be going through the bits and bobs that made it to the online medium during the week gone past. Every Friday should be a new instalment of the things I found weird, funny or just plain stupid.

By all means, this is not a roundup of the most important news so don’t get all pissed off if I miss anything. Having said that, I would be super happy and appreciative if you send me any suggestions. If you want I will also link to your blog, Twitter or Facebook page, or I can just keep you anonymous, whatever tickles your fancy.

Well of course this week, this happened:

IIP resolution

1) From treachery to bloodbaths

The citizenship debate has gone European and with it came an appalling sentiment by IIP supporters. Apart from the anti EU stance – which of course will only last a few weeks because then it will be time to promote PL candidates for the MEP elections – some started calling those with a different opinion traitors. While I do not particularly have any stance about the programme I cannot stand this fake nationalism which is being flung about by both parties. It seems like there is no space for debate, just mud slinging, gullible people furiously sharing articles they think they understand and MPs commenting ever so subtly on Facebook.

 

2) Time to learn the meaning of the word “Public”

On the same day news broke that three fools were fined for harassing notorious blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia. My absolute favourite sentence in that piece is:

He said that while people had a right to put up information about themselves on the social media, including Facebook, other people had a right to comment on what was put in the public domain.

So let that be a lesson to us all, once you press send on that status update or photo on Instagram there is no taking it back. Read about my take on the selfie issue.

 

3) Weddings and sexism

This advert, which can be seen incessantly on many local news portals, rubbed me up the wrong way. Yes I’m a feminist and very sensitive when it comes to the portrayal of women as the ones who need to drag their husbands to wedding fairs. It’s archaic and very lazy marketing. Also, not funny!

weekly roundup - wedding fair

4)      Getting freaky with a panda head on The Times

The Times on Tuesday decided to carry a story about KSU putting forward some of their proposals to the Education Minister, Evarist Bartolo, with regards sixth form repeaters. And what photo did The Times use for this article?

panda times

Clever Times, I see what you did there – “distinction between those who failed because of reasonable difficulties, and those who were negligent”.

The photo is actually a still from an attempt by JC students to do a harlem shake when those were in fashion (god knows why).

5) Chris Cardona’s problems with the 140 character limit.

Truth be told I am very glad the Government has made a move towards Twitter to continue reinforcing its message. It is mainly one way conversation as many of my questions remain unanswered but hey at least they started testing digital waters. However it seems that some have a bit of trouble stringing a complete sentence together to make sense.

Pajjiżna jrid ikun leader, fejn ikun ħaddieħor li jħares lejna u jagħmel bħalna u mhux bil-maqlub.

— Chris Cardona (@ChrisCardonaMP) January 15, 2014

 

After Norman Vella, what else is round the corner?

Normangate or even better, the series of events which led to Norman Vella being questioned by the police and having his mobile phone and tablet confiscated has raised more than a few eyebrows. But let’s be honest, this is just one other event in a long string of events which has had people talking.

norman vella
From memory, and I promise I didn’t go searching on Google, I can remember a few occasions which were handled far from delicately by the government;

  1. The suspension of a Gozo Ferry employee to cover up what looked like an abuse of power by the Minister for Gozo, Anton Refalo,
  2. The threatening of a security worker working during the Isle of MTV party by Home Affairs Ministry Chief of Staff, Silvio Scerri whose female companion was denied entry to a VIP area,
  3. The stipends debacle, which led to the resignation of the Chairman of the Students Maintenance Grants Board,
  4. The complete shrugging off when it was discovered that Shiv Nair, a consultant for the Prime Minister, is forever blacklisted by the World Bank,
  5. The case of a civillian’s wrong arrest and the witch hunt against Police Inspector Elton Taliana who was the officer who actually arrested the RIGHT culprit.

These are just a few events which sprung to memory. Weirdly enough, as I’m writing this I find myself thinking that all these have some sort of loose end. It seems like many stories, even when they consist of scandals, simply die out. I don’t know if this is because the media is not properly doing its job or if it’s because so many things are happening that the media cannot keep up. Or maybe it’s just a mix of the two.

For whatever reason though the Norman Vella case seems to have stuck and we all got a conclusion. Again, this case verges on the scandalous. If the Police were asked to investigate a person simply because of who he is and because he happened to cross paths with Ramona Attard (communications coordinator at the Ministry of Home Affairs) and Kurt Farrugia (communications coordinator at the Office of the Prime Minister) this is, for lack of better word, disgusting.

This is not just a waste of Police (and Court’s) time and citizen’s tax money but it is also a blatant abuse of power. If this is the kind of things you get away with by having a 9 seat majority in parliament, I’m worried what else might be around the corner.

Yes the Labour Party do have an astounding seat majority but that doesn’t mean they should show disrespect to the people who put them in power. Unfortunately all these shenanigans are doing just that, and they are a slap in the face to all those who voted Labour because the Partit Nazzjonalista was dubbed arrogant.

But that is not all, worst of it all is that there are certain Labour MPs which are trying to ridicule this whole thing. I am talking about MP Luciano Busuttil who took to Facebook to express his opinion saying;

Luciano Busuttil on Norman Vella on Facebook

There are so many people who like to make a scene and play the victim

Hon Busuttil should realise he is now part of the Government and not campaigning as we are in the run up to election. Those kind of messages are simply not on, especially when you are representing the Government of Malta.