Never get your adult son or daughter a job: but if you must, make sure you’re not a cabinet minister

Published: August 23, 2017 at 1:36pm

The Times of Malta reports this morning that Martina Herrera, whose father is the cabinet minister Jose Herrera, has been given an appointment as a Commissioner for Justice.

Commissioners for Justice preside over tribunals which decide traffic disputes and similar matters. Ms Herrera graduated in law from the University of Malta only eight months ago, and has been practising law – in the law office her father continues to maintain – for just five months.

You will see that there are two separate issues here, but they are related (because of the first, she needed the second to get the job). The first is that a new graduate with absolutely no experience in interpretation of the law or dispute settlement is not fit for purpose. And the second is that she was appointed directly by a cabinet colleague of her father’s – in other words, nepotism and cronyism, both alien to properly functioning democracies.

As a side note, if Ms Herrera wishes to be taken seriously, she should insist that the ‘model’ agency in question takes down the photographs shown below, which are on public view on its website, where she is still being advertised in classic glamour-model (rather than actual model) poses.

As another side-note, I am constantly disturbed by the manner in which Maltese parents of all socio-educational backgrounds think it entirely normal and actually desirable to create a dependency mentality in their sons and daughters. Instead of making sure that their sons and daughters not only can but actually want to go out into the wide world to fend for themselves, prove themselves and achieve things under their own steam, they set about finding a job for them as soon as they graduate – and more shocking still, the sons and daughters in question actually accept it and feel ‘privileged’, not understanding just how shameful and embarrassing a situation like this is.

Because what is Jose Herrera saying here, really? “My daughter is incapable of making her own way in life, so first I gave her a job in my office and then after a few months I abused my position to have her put on the state payroll.”

And what is Martina Herrera saying? “I’m so incompetent and lacking in drive and initiative, that I couldn’t get a job on merit or find one for myself.”

Shameful and awkward all round.