No, I never wanted to register my website. I just wanted all the income tax returns of every MP on the government benches.
I have just been informed that the Minister of Janice said on Saviour Balzan’s Xtra-Lousy show that I wanted to register my website with the Department of Information, and said as much in court when that woman-hating Pawlu Lia kicked up a sandstorm of fuss about whether I’m a journalist or not.
I am also informed that the Minister of Janice leaned across to Balzan, handed him a copy of my testimony that day, and said, “Here, you might want to write about this.” (You can’t accuse them of not being transparent sometimes.)
What utter rubbish. I never wanted to register this website. I wanted to get hold of the income tax returns of every single member of parliament on the government benches, and Franco Debono’s and Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando’s besides, and the only way a journalist is able to do that is if he or she is a registered editor at the government’s Department of Information.
I went to the Department of Information to register myself as the editor of this website for that sole purpose, planning to de-register myself immediately I had acquired those documents, and was told that I am not allowed to register myself at all.
This meant I was denied access to that important information, and so is the general public, because every registered editor on this island is empowered under the law to get those documents, and yet – for some reason that boggles my mind – they won’t.
That’s right: they are empowered at law to demand and obtain Chris Cardona’s, Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando’s, Franco Debono’s, Manuel Mallia’s, Helena Dalli’s, Anton Refalo’s, Joseph Muscat’s, Deborah Schembri’s, Michael Falzon’s – need I go on? – actual income tax returns for all the years they have been a member of parliament, and for a year before and a year after, and they don’t. Instead, every year they wait, gagging in anticipation, for the meaningless ‘declarations of assets’ made to parliament.
And the Opposition’s registered editors won’t ask for them either, because it can’t be doing with any retaliatory action from the Labour Party’s registered editors. So they have bilateral disarmament by tacit consensus.
So all those stories are going to waste, unreported, and electors are not being kept apprised of what the members of the government benches are up to, and have been up to.
They are supposed to declare all the perks they get, the cars leased to themselves, the rent from a score of buildings (Anton Refalo) and we have no way of checking whether they are doing that because Malta’s registered editors apparently can’t be arsed to do it and I am denied access because I am not a registered editor.
Oh, and Noddy – I wanted your income tax returns, too. I’m guessing you’ve all overlooked this one little privilege which only registered editors have, because it’s not in the Press Act which you’ve been carefully ripping apart, but in the Income Tax Management Act, where you’d never have thought to have looked.
You idiots. Now what are you going to do? Every single person who registers as an editor of a news site can write to the Speaker of the House and ask for the income tax returns of every single member of the parliament, on both sides, for every year they have been in parliament, and one year at either end. Or is it two years at either end? Then they can publish them all, which – when you’re talking internet – means scanning the entire things and uploading them as PDFs which can be shared.
You actually thought I wanted to register myself as an editor because I’m the obedient type who just loves to be regulated and registered for the sheer pleasure of feeling myself registered and controlled, did you? You poor things. I knew you were thick, but I hadn’t worked out just how thick.