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John Baldacchino

  • The discrete charm of Malta’s bourgeois democracy

    The discrete charm of Malta’s bourgeois democracy

    Those of us who could see an election approaching like a car crash in slow motion, anticipating an ensuing cacophony that would drive the Dalai Lama to absolute distraction, cannot help but aim for levity, especially when everything else becomes...

  • Those of us who are not shouting

    Those of us who are not shouting

    On September 19, 2016, I wrote an article which I titled A leader’s gamble, where I dwelled on the Panama papers and the political choices made by the Prime Minister. I won’t regurgitate my words but in my concluding question I asked whether we...

  • Schools and religious freedom

    Schools and religious freedom

    In 2009, I wrote an article titled, 'Religious education in schools' on The Times. It was prompted by Fr Rene Camilleri’s anxiety over how in their Matsec exams, students of religion “were simply ‘regurgitating’ answers (…) from parish catechesis...

  • Two ugly, boring and oppressive political parties

    Two ugly, boring and oppressive political parties

    Joseph Muscat’s Labour government and Simon Busuttil’s adopted strategy to oppose him, might shed some light on the anxiety that many voters express when faced with a choice between voting for either large parties or taking the risk and voting for...

  • Tacit Genocides and the curse of a punitive morality

    Tacit Genocides and the curse of a punitive morality

    While they take delight in using any opportunity to attack each other, our MPs have kept their peace over what is being planned by Europe, under Malta’s Presidency, with regards to refugees coming from Africa. This does not only tell us a lot...

  • Institutionalised quietism

    Institutionalised quietism

    Often, Malta reminds me of DeChirico’s work, and Maltese tribalism recalls those two solitary figures in his metaphysical paintings about which Italo Calvino wrote his essay Travels in DeChirico’s Cities. Calvino tries to imagine what these two...

  • Aunt Gerit

    She looked very much like the old silver-haired mother in Umberto Boccioni’s paintings. A great aunt with few words to say, mostly sitting majestically against the light of her window overseeing a backyard smelling of basil and lemons. Great Aunt...

  • The angry politics of corporate nationalism

    The angry politics of corporate nationalism

    Confronted by angry politicians whose followers refuse to be rational and who have a total disregard towards empirical facts, we are increasingly becoming afflicted by a sense that we have lost the ability to think freely and intelligently. This...

  • If I may, Your Grace…

    If I may, Your Grace…

    I often find myself defending Archbishop Charles Scicluna for the wrong reasons, though this time I might be right. Over a year ago, in another part of the Maltese press, I published an article titled “Two Charlies and a secular quandary”, where I...

  • To each his own

    To each his own

    All twenty articles that I have since written for this blog, come from one premise: that the “disagreement” between the Opposition and Government is an expedient way to sustain tribal interests which continue to weaken democracy while sustaining...