This government is continuously unfairly criticised by Opposition and opposition friendly quarters for stupid things based on arguments of convenience by those who do not seem to understand that they are no longer in government and that they have no God given right to obstruct a government legitimately elected through a fair democratic process.
There is however very little or no criticism of the real constructive type and this does not help an executive to take better and more informed decisions.
There are two policy matters which are currently rubbing me on the wrong side.
Freedom of the press is essential to the preservation of a democracy; but there is a difference between freedom and license. Editorialists who tell downright lies in order to advance their own agendas do more to discredit the press than all the censors in the world.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
I am all in favour of progressive liberalisation of the space that the media need to operate in but such liberalisation must bring with it increased protection for the rights of individual against gutter media who prefer populism to factual reporting and fair comment.
At a time when government is protecting the rights of minorities and helping them to live as normal citizens in this peace loving nation, we must be wary not to oppress a new minority by exposing them to ill-intended allegations by media who can take risks in the knowledge that at most they will be found guilty under civil libel proceedings several years down the road.
If we allow such a state of affairs to flourish, knowing how easily the anti government media calls for resignations on the slightest perception of infringements, we will see many careers destroyed, many valid people distancing themselves from politics and and families hurt and damaged as the balance of power shifts towards the media and against the individual. I can of course speak from personal experience but I am not here to defend my personal case. I am defending the rights of several individuals who like me have been hurt by irresponsible pseudo journalism and are still working through the several years it takes for civil libel proceedings in court to come to a final conclusion.
I am NOT suggesting for government to walk back on the proposed liberties for the media. What I am proposing is the setting up of an Arbiter for the media on the same lines as the Arbiter for Financial Services where libel cases can be heard in an informal setting and brought to a conclusion in a matter of months not years, with full right of appeal for those who feel aggrieved by the Arbiter's decision.
If we have created a mechanism for easy despatch of financial grievance that may involve a mere few hundred euros against payment of a token fee, how much more we need such mechanism for libel cases that may ruin careers, families and lives!! Civil libel proceedings currently cost an arm and limb even to file let alone to follow through all the way to appeal if necessary.
What is also rubbing me the odd way is yet another Air Malta restructuring. As an honest taxpayer I am afraid nobody is representing my real interest in the negotiations going on at KM hoping to give it a sustainable future.
Before conducting another half baked restructuring at Air Malta I suggest people concerned read what I had written about previous restructurings in 2010/2012. See links below.
A serious restructuring cannot but start with identifying the number of people and related skills needed to run an efficient operation . All the rest are a load on Air Malta's finances which will not allow the Company to fly into profitability.