The latest episode of government harassment of a journalist it doesn’t like

Published: September 29, 2015 at 3:34pm

How desperate can you get?

How desperate can you get?

There’s a suspicious-looking rubble wall on Charles and Paul Polidano’s Montekristo Estate and zoo, which has been described by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority as “the biggest illegal development ever”.

I think I should alert the Labour Party’s newspaper and its television station, so that they can run several stories about it over three days, complete with covert shots taken by trespassing on a farmer’s cultivated fields.

They are fascinated by rubble walls in fields.

If they tell me they’ve run out of petrol and can’t go, I’ll remind them that there’s a nice, illegal petrol station owned by the corrupt Joe Gaffarena just down the road, and there’s another highly suspicious rubble wall there too. They can do another story about that. That should fill their airtime for another three days.

And when the Labour Party reporters have done with their undercover investigation of the rubble walls at the Montekristo Estate and Gaffarena’s petrol station, they can drive over and investigate all the very, very suspicious rubble walls at Zonqor Point. They are so highly illegal that the prime minister is planning to remove them by giving the land to a Jordanian construction magnate – who would have been described as an invading Muslim Arab had he come by boat – to replace them with a very legal tourism compound masquerading as a college in an Outside Development Zone.

I mean, really, can the government make itself any more ridiculous and desperate than to send its party reporters trampling over my neighbours fields to take “undercover” pictures of the wall at the edge of his fields, on his land, and make out that the wall was built so that I could STEAL PUBLIC LAND.

And then we had a nice close-up of stairs that have been there since I was in primary school, with the claim that I built them (at the age of five) so that I could ANNEX THE PUBLIC LAND THAT I STOLE.

Are these people insane? They actually thought that they could make a scandal out of this, to intimidate and discredit me and take attention away from their own massive corruption. And instead all they have done is shock people. Yes, shock them. People are shocked that the government has been reduced to this level: harassing a journalist it doesn’t like and wishes to intimidate about a blinking rubble wall while making plans to destroy the ODZ area at Zonqor Point and ignoring Polidano’s illegal zoo, Gaffarena’s illegal petrol station, and all the truly illegal developments of their disgusting and corrupt cronies.

Yes, there are some people around who understand that a journalist giving a government a hard time is not the same thing as a government giving a journalist a hard time. The first is democracy, but the second is abuse, harassment and intimidation.

Amazingly, the Labour Party reporters somehow managed to get hold of the name and telephone number of the farmer on whose land the wall is built – a name and telephone number to which only the Government Property Division has access.

His reaction when he saw on the news that they had trampled through his fields to get to the wall was one of absolute fury. And his reaction when they rang him for his “kumment” was just typically wonderful: “Taf x’naf jien? Naf li dhaltuli go hwejgi minghajr hadd ma taghkom permess biex taghmlu vendikazzjoni kontriha. Din kollha vendikazzjoni!”

But of course, that bit didn’t make their evening news, did it.