You know the traffic situation is completely out of control when on the same morning (yesterday, as it happens), two Air Malta flights - one to Munich and the other to Amsterdam - are delayed because the pilots are caught up in the gridlock on the way fro
The solution to the pilots' problem seems pretty obvious and it's the same one used when pilots have to overnight in foreign cities: have them sleep somewhere in the airport perimeter.
There are no airport hotels in Malta because, as one wag said, the island is so small that all hotels are airport hotels - except in reality, because of the unbelievable Beijing-level traffic, they're not.
So it would seem that the time has come for Air Malta to think seriously about airport lodgings for pilots and air crew who are on duty first thing in the morning. Except that Air Malta, of course, has far more serious problems right now.
The Prime Minister is seeing his way clear to letting the public down gently - so to speak - about the failure of his hopes of getting Alitalia to come to the rescue.
It's long been known that the Italian national carrier needs rescuing itself, but a couple of days ago its dire situation was given further exposure when the national newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore detailed how the airline is going to need another massive capital injection before the year is out.
At this rate, Alitalia is not even going to take on Air Malta for the token one euro to enact the transaction, because it will only be adding to its already copious liabilities.
So Muscat has been going about town telling journalists and others who will listen that "he will not sign on the deal if it is not to Air Malta's advantage" (well, um, okay), and now even that he has a "fall-back plan should the deal with Alitalia not come through".
Really - what might that fallback plan be - selling Air Malta to his chief of staff, Keith Schembri, via a company registered in Gibraltar?
If Muscat did have a fall-back plan, then it would have been Plan A from the outset, and not Plan B, because this business with Alitalia was a write-off before it began.
I am totally against lowering the age for voting in general elections to 16, and have written about it before, when the Labour Party had begun to make noises about it some three years back.
But now that the Nationalist Party has had the same bright idea too, I shall have to write about it again.
There are reasons why certain things belong to the realm of adults, and voting in general elections is one of them.
Another, incidentally, is contracting marriage - but under Maltese law you are, crazily, permitted to contract marriage at 16, two years before you are allowed to drive, and two years before you reach, ironically, the age of consent for sex, which remains 18.
Talk about topsy-turvy: it is the age of consent for sex which should be lowered to 16 and the age at which marriage may be contracted raised to 18.
As for voting in general elections, giving those aged 16 and 17 the vote defeats the democratic principle that nobody should be barred from standing for an election in which he or she has the vote.
People aged 16 and 17 should not have the vote in general elections because they are not permitted to stand in those elections.
Nor can the rule on allowing them to stand be changed, because for a wide variety of legal and common-sense reasons that need not be gone into here, you have to be over 18 to become a member of parliament.
At 16 and 17, people have their mind elsewhere and not on politics and current affairs, and they do not have the werewithal or the interest to make a sensible decision about voting - or about many other things, as practically every parent who has had to contend with one or several 16-yearolds will attest.
Then, at 18, it is as though a switch goes on in their head and their personality, and there really is a shift to maturity that sometimes seems to happen overnight.
There is a reason why 18 is the age of maturity. Yes, you can argue that there are many, many people who are over 18 - sometimes decades older - and who are unable to make a proper assessment of politicians and policies, as the last general election showed frighteningly.
I agree, but the proper response to that is: that's an argument for not adding to the mess, not an argument for making it worse.
You can't take the vote away from those who are over 18 but can't think straight, for it would be a violation of their human rights.
But you certainly should not give the vote to those who are not yet 18, because it is a cynical imposition on them, forcing them in adulthood two years ahead of time, and because they have not yet reached legal maturity.
Oh, and they're not permitted to stand in a general election, so it follows that they can't be permitted to vote in it either.
This is a daft and unpleasant idea and I can't stand the thought of the way both political parties are going to be chasing the 16and 17-year-old vote. Teenagers are going to become commodities.
The Malta Independent Thursday 6 October 2016