RCC, JPO, OIM, oh so many TLAs

Richard Cachia Caruana, Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, Only in Malta, oh so many three letter acronyms.

As I was browsing Facebook today I came across a status update my Immanuel Mifsud saying “Tqażżiżt naqra “Only in Malta” għal affarijiet li xbajt narahom kull fejn ersaqt. Kull darba li naqra din ir-reazzjoni nieħu l-impressjoni li hawn min qatt ma ħareġ minn dar ommu u missieru.” (I’m fed up of seeing “Only in Malta” comments for things which I’ve experienced over and over again in every other place I’ve been. Every time I read this reaction I get the impression that there are some people who haven’t ventured out of mummy’s and daddy’s house).

Too true, in fact, I immediately liked the status. The Only in Malta fad was funny when it first made its rounds on the internet, well in all honestly, it still is a little funny. But when you start repeatedly seeing it on the timesofmalta.com comment boards every time an article in published, from some baby having a stupid name, to a story about a short power cut then it becomes mundane, and frankly quite idiotic. Immanuel Mifsud’s status update cannot be more appropriate.

However, I have to say it – Only in Malta is the Permanent Representative forced to resign after the Government fails to win the majority on a resignation motion which was brought up under such spurious grounds.

Hungary’s President resigning over plagiarism scandal – yes that sounds fair, the Dutch Prime Minister having to resign over austerity measures – I totally get that, but for someone to be forced to resign because of what seems from my side of the screen, a personal vendetta? That sounds quite childlike.

Truth be told I’m still trying to understand this whole Wikileaks debacle. I read and reread the very comprehensive articles of both The Times and MaltaToday on the matter, and the more I read the more the mind boggles. I still have no idea why there was a motion in Parliament in the first place, if the AG didn’t find anything wrong with what happened.

Not a week goes past that Labour doesn’t ask for someone’s resignation, and now we’ve been served with the second one. Statistically, it was meant to happen really, but what will our fellow compatriots at the EU say. Basically Malta’s ambassador has just been forced out NOT because of some scandal, or of any wrong doings but because JPO doesn’t like him, and apparently neither does Jesmond Mugliett? Well hello Malta being the laughing stock of the EU and congrats to Stefan Zrinzo for that VERY funny comment on Twitter;

Such a joker he is, only surpassed by Glenn Bedingfield really;

I mean, what’s wrong with the opposition’s activists making fun of our political situation in such hard times? This simply means they are a step closer to getting into power, no? Never mind the national interest. This is where I lose all my hopes in democracy.

ACTA in Malta part 2

Things have changed since I wrote my first post about ACTA, I now know it’s not as evil as I thought.

As soon as I started participating in the debates about ACTA online I wanted to get as much information as possible about it so I read and read and read. Unfortunately there is so much information about ACTA on the internet that you end up not knowing what or who to believe. All I wanted, and still want in fact, is answers, however I’m very sceptic about the answers that have suddenly started cropping up. Just today, this appeared on timesofmalta.com. 

The link takes you to a very basic HTML page with 10 facts about ACTA. The page seems to address the accusations which appeared in a video some time ago on youtube, but completely disregards the concerns and questions many of us still have.

Having said that, I still think this is positive – meaning someone out there is at least listening.

What I cannot stand is the continuous politicizing of the matter on social networks. From the start I was adamant that such an issue shouldn’t be another argument towards elections. Unfortunately, ACTA is being used for this;

Not only do these people show how much they care about ACTA, but they also show how much they care about current affairs. Check out who the current Finance Minister in Malta is…

Franco Debono’s mystery book

Just in case you’ve been wondering what book Franco Debono is sporting on todays The Times front page, fret not and read on. He was seen carrying the mystery book last night on his way to parliament where the No Confidence Vote in the government was going to be discussed.

The book is “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” by  Tibetan Dzogchen Lama, Sogyal Rinpoche. Since I’m a true gem I’m even linking to amazon just in case you would like to get yourself a copy too.  

I think the choice of book speaks louder than any words can possibly utter. The book’s synopsis (taken from amazon) says the following:

This acclaimed spiritual masterpiece is widely regarded as one of the most complete and authoritative presentations of the Tibetan Buddhist teachings ever written. A manual for life and death and a magnificent source of sacred inspiration from the heart of the Tibetan tradition, The Tibetan Book Of Living and Dying provides a lucid and inspiring introduction to the practice of meditation, to the nature of mind, to karma and rebirth, to compassionate love and care for the dying, and to the trials and rewards of the spiritual path.

Quite a lot to chew on if you ask me. What does Franco Debono want to secretly tell us by showing off this book? Moreover, it was the only thing he seemed to be carrying in his hands, and so very close to his heart. If you ask me, this is simpy not fair. Now apart from trying to guess which way he’s going to swing on Thursday when it comes to the confidence vote, I also have to worry about his choice of books. Us mere mortals simply want an answer, is that too much to ask for?



Maltese elections in 140 characters

Everyone seems to have stepped into election mode, and since I’ve been lured to the J’accuse election blogroll I thought I’d write something about the sorry state of local Twitter use amongst the local political parties.After the Barack Obama win in 2008 the world started seeing the potential of Social Media when fighting out an election. If some of you remember the latest British elections in 2010 Twitter was an unexpected tour de force. Would the same thing happen locally?First things first; thankfully both parties have a Twitter account;
Partit Nazzjonalista (PN) – https://twitter.com/#!/PNmalta
Partit Laburista (PL) – https://twitter.com/#!/PL_Malta

These are the numbers, including a Klout score which is a nifty way to measure online influence, assuming influence is what the elves behind the accounts crave.

So far, analyzing the numbers, the PL are definitely way far ahead than PN when it comes to Twitter use. However, and this is a big however, both parties’ use of Twitter is appalling.  Why? There is no engagement. Nada, zero, zilch! Whilst the PL have automatic posts from their Facebook, which is already a big no-no in Social Media, the PN post every single thing which is published on their online newspaper. There is no interaction with other Twitter users, no reply or retweets.One way communication with everything else pretty wide shut. PN even go a step further and not even follow any users. Both parties treat Twitter like a link garbage can, abusing it only for the link juice it so freely provides.So why do PL have a better Klout score than PN if they are doing the same thing? This happens because the PL happen to be more active when it comes to posting than the PN are. The PL have a very strong following on Twitter which continuously retweet whatever they post and mention them in a lot of their posts. Most of these are their own MPs which seem to have taken to Twitter quite well, and that is why they are currently winning the Twitter war.

AD, Malta’s Green Party, also unfortunately makes the same mistakes and this gives them a Klout Score of 10. And I say unfortunately because I truly believed they would be the ones who would try to use means such as Twitter to better reach their target audience.

That brings me to the question – will Social Media lead the next elections in Malta? From the way things stand, the answer is no. None of the parties seem to want to devote any time, money, or interest to Twitter. Facebook will be discussed in a later blog, but for now it seems like it all rests on the good old BORING billboards.

Ma che Franco!

After reading the countless articles written about Franco Debono I decided to do this little mock up. Take it at “face” value… But please don’t forget your sense of humour when setting your eyes on this image.

Pro-FDs will probably see it as a reflection of his character, Anti-FDs will see it as a disgrace to Che who was a true revolutionary.