That venerable Sunday paper called Maltatoday only reaches us expats on a Tuesday afternoon - this is probably due to the delay of uploading the rag in the hope that a few more copies are sold before everybody rushes to read the (free) electronic version. It is probably also the reason why the Malta Times is not online before 10 a.m. And it makes sense.
Anyways. All this to help you understand why our fresh pillorying of the great Hogan is happening today id est Tuesday ... a good two days after his works have been published. Hogan has an article called "How to pussyfoot" in this edition and we are, as always, thankful for this mass of discombobulated pontification from the faux liberal pulpit.
In this particular edition Hogan is intent on pillorying (yep he's at it too) my former Criminal Law lecturer - poor Silvio Camilleri - who is busy Attorney Generalling and representing the Maltese State in issues and instances before the Commission of the European Communities. The usual waiver resulting from my current occupation applies and therefore I will minimise my intervention to correcting a factual error committed by Hogan... to be exact ....this one:
For those who have no spare time for our feathered creatures, it would be helpful to point out that Malta was presented with an infringement procedure last November. The infringement procedure is what Malta as an EU member state was awarded for having allowed hunting to continue in Spring. After an infringement procedure runs its course through comings and goings from Brussels, an EU member state gets to face hefty fines, daily.
So. According to Hogan once an infringement procedure runs its course a state is subject to hefty daily fines. Erm. Not exactly. You see the infringement procedure is just the beginning. As has been explained in this blog before, it is just the first step. Once the Commission vs Malta battle is exhausted on the political and diplomatic front - an exhaustion that involves much exchange of letters, documents and toing and froing of poor Silvio to Brussels there can be two outcomes.
Either the Commission concludes that Malta has satisfied whatever the Commission wanted Malta to satisfy. And no fines. Or the Commission still believes that Malta is in infringement of Community law and will therefore drag Malta (and Silvio) by the hair to explain itself before the Court Justice of the European Communities in Luxembourg. That is another procedure Hogan. It is in fact the procedure that MIGHT end up with Malta facing hefty fines. Yes even daily fines. See?
And once we are on the subject of law and pleading let us take a look at the attempted character assassination of the abovementioned AG Camilleri. Hogan first admits that he has no clue as to who Dr Camilleri is and then proceeds to sow seeds of doubt about this persons abilities. He claims that Dr Camilleri is not well versed in all things avian and therefore is not the right person to represent our venerable state in the matter. I personally have no idea whether Camilleri can tell a budgie from a parakeet, and quite honestly I don't think it makes a difference...
Why? Because, Mr Balzan, lawyers are trained to read and understand the application of the law. Nowadays laws range from the classification of products for the purposes of customs to the regulation of complex networking systems for the internet to the care of milking cows, the transportation of animals and the killing of birds. Is Mr Balzan implying that every lawyer should know everything under the sun before embarking on a case in a specialised area of law?
By analogy to Mr Balzan's argument a journalist should not report about anything he does not fully comprehend. He should limit himself to reporting whatever it is he studied in Journalism School. Journalists should not report anything wihtout having first completed a course of studies in the subject being reported upon. Hux Hekk Salv?
But then what on earth would there be left for to Hogan write about?
Pussyfooting indeed. Obviously not! (as I am sure Silvio would say)