The Herrera/Jason Micallef/Ronnie Pellegrini faction versus the Joseph Muscat faction: take note of this

Published: June 16, 2013 at 4:11pm
Consuelo and Jose Herrera: she wasn't made a judge and he wasn't made a minister, and I believe it's all down to their close friendship with Jason Micallef

Consuelo and Jose Herrera: she wasn’t made a judge and he wasn’t made a minister, and I believe it’s all down to their close friendship with Jason Micallef

One of the top items on the agenda, at the first Labour government cabinet meeting in 15 years, was the appointment of Marlene Mizzi’s husband as a judge and Toni Abela’s office partner as a magistrate.

Three months later, those appointments have been made, and with them another: Aaron Bugeja, who happens to be married to Marlene Farrugia’s cousin (a liberal number of her other cousins have been engaged by her boyfriend at his Ministry of Health) is another new magistrate.

But the real point is this. When a new judge was chosen, it was Marlene Mizzi’s husband, and not Consuelo Herrera, who got the job.

Because of all the networking she did for the Labour Party, organising parties, introducing people and bringing them together, socialising with X, Y and Z, bringing her boyfriend Robert Musumeci on board, having Joseph and Michelle visit her at her home in Siggiewi at night (they were seen going in at around 10pm), we took it for granted – as she did – that one of Muscat’s first acts of government would be to make Consuelo Herrera a judge.

In the same way, her brother took it for granted that he would be made Minister of Justice, but he wasn’t even made a minister.

Consuelo and Jose Herrera belong firmly to the Jason Micallef camp (sorry, but there’s not other word), alongside Ronnie Pellegrini and Charlon Gouder. They are all extremely close.

When Magistrate Herrera got the police onto me ‘to protect her reputation’, just four of her friends and none of her family were there to support her. Those four friends were Jason Micallef and Ronnie Pellegrini (in coordinated suits and ties, like a hick American couple in matching tracksuits), Charlon Gouder and Jose Herrera’s ‘canvasser’ Doreen Tal-Fjur.

Jose Herrera has now given Charlon Gouder a big role in his Culture Secretariat and Doreen Tal-Fjur has a new job at the Manoel Theatre, though we’re not quite sure what it is.

More pertinently, he has appointed Jason Micallef chairman of Valletta 18, in open defiance of the prime minister, and Jason is in turn using that role to undermine the PM, including staying on as chairman of Super One after saying on Facebook that it was time to move on to new things.

And Ronnie Pellegrini has manoevred his way onto the board of Malta Freeport.

The Herrera/Jason Micallef/Charlon Gouder/Ronnie Pellegrini faction has been there for some years. It was in fact one of my ‘unsuitable conduct’ arguments against Magistrate Herrera – that she is too intimate with these people – and a main line of my (successful) defence.

What is interesting is how these two factions have gone into full-on Cold War after using each other to get what they want through getting Labour into power. Joseph Muscat has got what he wanted – he’s the prime minister. But Jose Herrera hasn’t been made Minister of Justice and Consuelo Herrera hasn’t been made a judge, at least not in the first ‘intake’. Jason Micallef’s appointment came via Jose Herrera, not the prime minister, and was clearly an act of revenge.

I don’t think that Muscat has avoided making Jose a minister and Consuelo a judge because he has qualms about their possibly being what are known in British slang as ‘wrong ‘uns’. It hasn’t stopped him with others, most notably and recently John Dalli.

I think the real impediment to their advancement is their intimacy with Jason Micallef. Basically, the prime minister has classed them (accurately) as ‘friends of Jason’, and we all know by now that the dynamics between the prime minister and Jason Micallef are – how shall I put it? – a little odd.

16 Comments Comment

  1. jojo says:

    There seems to be a lot of dark muck in both Jason’s and Joseph’s past…mystery of mysteries.

  2. jaqq says:

    Aaron Bugeja hails from a PN family.

    [Daphne – What does that have to do with the price of eggs? I ‘hail’ from a family of Stricklandjani. DJ Gianni Zammit ‘hails’ from a family of diehard Nationalists, but is now a major Laburist.]

    • rustic fairy says:

      Gianni Zammit’s aunt is married to Alfred Sant’s brother and their son was a Labour candidate..

    • Mediocrity rules says:

      I knew Aaron at University. He was known to be a Laburist. Not sure what you mean that he hails from a PN family unless it’s the pseudo PN sort there seems to be lots of.

      He was a nice guy actually, but once again not one of the the brightest ones.

      I wonder why this seems to be a trend with those called to the bench. The reign of mediocrity sitting in judgement over the rest of us.

      Ganni is actually what is better known as an opportunist. Of which again there seem to be many.

  3. DJ Gianni what? says:

    Sorry? DJ Gianni voted Labour?

    [Daphne – Yes, of course.]

  4. ciccio says:

    There is something about these factions which needs more analysis.

    It had been stated before on this blog that Consuelo was appointed magistrate at the time of the Sant government, when George Abela was deputy leader of Labour.

    Abela was Joseph Muscat’s main rival for the post of Labour Leader in 2008. Back then, Jason Micallef openly made clear that he did not support the leadership bid of George Abela (The Times, 16 March 2008), effectively lending a hand to Muscat to become leader.

    It is therefore possible that the Herreras are closer to the Abela side of the party, and therefore find themselves within that faction which in 2008 opposed the leadership of Joseph Muscat, and actually lost their bid.

    But how does one explain Jason’s ‘close connection’ with the Herreras considering his opposition to Abela? This needs to be explained.

  5. RosanneB says:

    Spot on, Daphne! You made me aware, more than ever, of the BIG picture.

  6. Melita Galea says:

    Jien niftakar lil Dr Alfred Sant isemmi il-hbieb tal-hbieb. Mela qal xi haga sewwa.

  7. sammy says:

    How can one be so sure about how someone voted? Gianni voted Labour? Really? Interesting.

    [Daphne – Nothing new. No secret, either.]

  8. Alfred Bugeja says:

    Call me conspiracy theorist, but the reason why Aaron Bugeja was made a magistrate has nothing to do with his Labour leanings. There are many other Labour lawyers who would have made the grade.

    He worked at the AG’s office and was by far the best prosecutor they had there. Look at the cases he was handling in court. You’ll find that one of them rings a bell.

    This is merely a case of someone being kicked upstairs.

Reply to Thaddeus Click here to cancel reply