Owen Bonnici and Mario Demarco don’t want to be full-time politicians unless they are cabinet ministers
Last night on TVM, Saviour Balzan asked Mario Demarco whether he would be a full-time politician if the law changed to make membership of parliament a full-time career. This is how he responded.
Later on in the show, the totally uncultured Minister for Culture and Justice was interviewed, and Balzan asked him the same question: if he had to choose between being a full-time politician and his law career, which would it be?
“Nigi f’dilemma,” Owen Bonnici replied. Balzan appeared taken aback. (Too many of his heroes are turning out to have feet of clay.)
And of course, in both Bonnici’s case and Demarco’s, Balzan missed the blatantly obvious follow-up question that I called out to the television from my sofa, in my irritation at this slow-on-the-uptake journalism.
“YOU ARE MORE THAN HAPPY TO BE A FULL-TIME POLITICIAN AS LONG AS IT’S AS A CABINET MINISTER, THOUGH, AREN’T YOU?”
That’s a full-time position: cabinet ministers are not permitted any form of private practice or business, a sole exception being made for lectures at the university.
Both Mario Demarco and Owen Bonnici are very content to be full-time politicians as long as they get to be cabinet ministers. Saviour Balzan should have pointed out to Bonnici that he’s a full-time politician right now, has been one for the last four years, and is working hard on continuing to be a full-time politician for another six if Labour wins the general election.
He should have pointed out to Mario Demarco that he was a full-time politician for years as a minister in Lawrence Gonzi’s government. And he should have asked him whether, if Busuttil wins the election, Demarco will expect to be made a full-time politician again, in his cabinet.
So obviously, being a cabinet minister is a lot more interesting than their professional practice.