J'Accuse... party funding.
Here at J'accuse we have constantly commented on the fishiness of the party fund-raising affairs. Unfortunately our laziness in maths never led us to make the calculations that Hogan made last Sunday. And well done Hogan we say. Here is his reasoning regarding the PN's Lm300,000+ fund raiser on Republic Day:
Indeed, I hope no one for a minute is gullible enough to believe that the amount that was declared had been collected from Joe Citizen by the two political parties on the 13 December is a reflection of the truth. Take for example the collection at the PN premises, and for a wee second please turn to your calculator. At the Stamperija as we always used to call it, I noted eight phones. With eight phones and an average 15 phone calls an hour over a 12-hour period and pledges of Lm10 a call, the maximum amount one would collect works out to be Lm14,400. The PN insists it collected over Lm300,000. If that is the case, then only a miniscule amount originated from the general public by way of pledges on the phone. If the PN wanted to collect Lm100,000 alone from phone pledges in 12 hours it would have to have at least two phone calls a minute on every phone for 12 hours with pledges of Lm10 every time.
Now imagine we owned a company involved in dark deals - let us say we owned a chain of men who manage a string of women who solicit business on the trottoirs of Gzira. Let us also say that there is a company behind this chain of men who run this string of women (highly improbable but let us assume). Let us say that this company also prints a newspaper, has a travel agency and owns a TV (again not very probable). Let us say that this company obviously (and hypothetically) makes more dosh pimping than it does printing. So suddenly one day the CEO of Pimpin' Enterprises hits on a brainwave. A one-day telethon on 15th August - to fund raise for the general benefit of the Pimpin' Enterprises. And hey presto! Suddenly the ins section of the balance sheet perfectly balances the out.
In some countries this could be called a sad form of money laundering - a mechanism to bring illegally obtained funds into the market. In some countries the tax inspector would become ultra suspicious. You know... when you earn money... you pay tax on income or if you are a company some kind of company tax etc etc. If you do a telethon you just see the money roll in. No?
See where I am getting at? Not only do we not regulate party funding in Malta. We also do not ask where the money is coming from - whether the parties are busy soliciting for rich customers in exchange for services rendered (or promised). We do not question the obvious scams that are perpetuated every time Wenz and Fred need money. We do not even ask whether these parties pay tax like we do. No we take all this and more for granted.
So the parties get to swim in Dosh like they've won the lottery at least once a year. And how much dosh they have we will never know... "Dosh kemm ghandhom?"
And as in the case of electoral boundaries, the same parties who play the dirty game also get to write the rules. Which puts us in the position of the biggest fools in history - witnessing the scam, participating in it year after year (for those eedjits who still send in money)... and the worst bit... actually voting the pimps back to parliament on the first chance we get.
J'accuse will be organising Malta's First Internet-thon sometime in the new year. All donations will go to a good cause that improves the general well-being of an upright citizen like myself.