mardi, janvier 17, 2006

Don't Blame it on the Sunshine

Hogan Has Answered
Last Sunday's Maltatoday is online and us expats who do not have the luxury to chew through Hogan's columns during Sunday breakfast can now sample the next episode in the "Notaries and Political Credibility" melodrama. Unlike Vlad at Fool's Cap we do not have the venerable Times under a microscope but the volcanic maltatoday and its People Politics. The reactions in the printed media to the hodgepodge of fries and slander that appeared last Sunday have provoked a further response from Hogan. He does so in two separate articles. The Editorial (by Saviour Balzan) and the Opinion (by Saviour Balzan).

Obviously J'Accuse cannot claim any hand in the provocation because it is evidently an unread orphaned blog. I thank the two blog readers who either directly or indirectly implied that I.M.Beck's Saturday piece was inspired by yours truly but I am sure that Bocca could have arrived at the same conclusions without needing to peek at this little corner of the net.

Meanwhile in the Hogan rant and rave we find once again the "I am right and you are ALL wrong" reasoning that so benefits Maltese society. Dismissing with one swish any argument coming from legal quarters Hogan insists that the subject is political credibility and not legality. We must agree to disagree. Firstly because it is a FACT that a Notary cannot refuse his client. Secondly because it is an OPINION whether you will count his political role when assessing his credibility. Some would say that Mangion should have taken a step back from his role in MLP on this issue. Others would say that there are ways in which a Notary refuses a contract.

Hogan chooses to confuse issues. While answering I.M. Beck he describes previous involvements of Mangion with shady characters (again dropping links and testing serendipity like no other would dare). Philosophically speaking he has decided to solve the present argument on a present set of facts by including arguments and insinuations which are not at all relevant for an objective evaluation. No matter how many friends of ill repute Mangion might have this has no bearing whatsoever on the Pender Place deal. But relevance is not Hogan's forte (remember Peralta the Freemason?). Bubble bubble toil and trouble, slander much and then see double!

It's the Law Stupid.
I hate people who dismiss lawyer's arguments just because, these arguments are coming from lawyers. It is all too easy. I find it even more despicable when these people then try to talk of the law as though it is their bread and butter. Listen to this line from Hogan:

"This is not the first libel for damages and it will not be the last.Dom Mintoff, Gino Cauchi, Mark Sammut and Bertu Mizzi have all libelled MaltaToday await in earnest their pound of flesh."

Spot the error. If you cannot... I suggest you dial a lawyer. (As for the grammar dial-a-Lorna - I am sure she understood).

Further on in the opinion piece, again in his conversation with IM Beck, Hogan once again attempts a metaphor - a simile - a comparison. He asks Bocca:

"Just imagine dear Andrew, if tomorrow morning we read in one of those exciting dailies that you, as defender of the tobacco industry, were to act as a lawyer to Dr Mario Spiteri, anti-smoking crusader at the head of the Health Promotion Unit. The situation would be certainly farcical, hardly damning maybe."

Apart from Bocca's horrible horrible habit of defending the spinners of kill, there is absolutely no liasion (nexus, link) with the notary story. Why? Because, dear Hogan, Bocca is a lawyer (advocate, attorney) and being a man of such an old and kind profession, he can (actually must) refuse a client on the basis of conflict of interest. Why? Because the lawyer acts in the interest of the client and NOT of the public. He is NOT a public officer but a servant of his retainer. Get it? Guess not. But we enjoy pointing it out anyway.

Hogan's Crusade
Having said all this I must reiterate (lest, once again people misunderstand my intentions) that I sympathise with the crusade against all things partisan in our little corner of the Med. I too find it disgusting that George Pullicino finds no time for Maltatoday and that Tonio Borg finds time on live radio to laugh about writing off debts owed to government. I would love to see investigative journalism getting a strong foothold in Malta and baring one or two ugly truths. Really. But this is not what we have been offered. The sleaze-slinging, chip-on-the-shoulder article I highlighted last week is far from our (possibly common) Utopia. I will not try to teach Hogan (or any other Hero) journalism.... but I guess it's time he left law to the lawyers.

Meanwhile don't blame it on the sunshine...
don't blame it on the moonlight...
just blame it on the boogie!

Do you read me Matthew? :)

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