Another handy downplayer very much in use lately i“s the “it is still unclear”.
Panama are not something he would find time to concern himself with.
Also common place is the phrase “the information requested is of a commercial nature and thus cannot be published”. This buzz phrase has now become the go-to phrase for every minister, ministry, agency and public private partnership.
From Herod to Pilate – pass it on until it comes round again, a little more worn. This one is crucial to the requests for information on the Vitalis agreement for health services, for the Health & Safety Impact Assessments of the LNG power station, for Electrogas commitments, for Air Malta discussions, for Transport Malta and any other business. With it also comes “could not give a definite time-line”.
On the Offensive ones
These include “with no disrespect” – invariably followed by a clear lack of respect towards the person in question. It is also a good intro for bringing up something from the PN past.
With it comes the now wildly famous “negative” accusation. Being “negative” was the first one commonly used, anticipating the trend of others to come. Possibly arising from a lack of vocabulary and ability to criticise intelligently, this kindergarten cliché is outdated and yet continues to be used indiscriminately. Chronic stagnation.
Evidence of a false sense of superiority and totally – actually – disrespectful.
The ditched ones
All of this, when, three years ago, the buzz words were Transparency, Accountability and Meritocracy. Where are these words now? Rusting at the bottom of the sea, it seems. Maybe someone deleted them from the Labour lexicon and try as they might, these three pillar words of the 2013 electoral campaign, are unrecoverable.
Weak replacements are No Comment. No comment on whether Konrad Mizzi should resign or whether Manuel Mallia should have resigned or on how the promotions at the AFM and the Police are managed or magistrates appointed.
Is it the result of a 36,000 majority that permits this stupidity and lack of responsibility towards the public and Parliament? How far can it stretch? Is it time for journalists to stop bothering to show up at press conferences or to stop sending their questions by email? Let the showmen be ignored and you will soon find one who breaks rank and craftily come out with the comment.
As things stand, it is futile and a waste of time to pursue information and interviews which might result in actually bringing news and analysis to the public. When the press office of Castille comes calling to ask why nobody showed up at the conference or why there is no mention in the news of the “important development”, why not return the reply: send your questions by email. The media has better things to do than stand for this conceit. Not reporting any of the standard empty phrases, will do no disservice to the public and time could be better used to do some investigation of the facts leading to the real story. On the contrary, we might have some relief from the chronic cliché fatigue.