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Quod non fecerunt

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Villa-Francia_akkuzaMaltaToday carries a story about how 1 million euros of EU funds are being allocated for the “restoration of the prime minister’s residence”. As is  done these days the press got the information from the horse’s mouth i.e. the non-constitutional role of Prime Minister’s Spouse. As is done these days, whenever a matter of national importance is being publicly announced, we had an array of ministers and members parliament of the realm each pitching in with his little explanation for this grand project. Thus Ian Borg of the “EU Fund management and spending” together with Buhagiar of the “god knows why I am also here other than to explain to Ian how to pronounce Francia” flanked Mrs Muscat and also chipped in their two cents worth as to why a million euros will be spent on the plants adorning the Lia residence.

Buhagiar told us that only one PM has acually lived in the house – Ugo Mifsud. That would probably be because it belonged to Mifsud’s family. Anyways, we had to witness another Magritte moment courtesy of this Newspeak government and its leechers. All three speakers made much ado of having found Villa Francia in a disastrous state of abandon – and they had the cheek to say this all the while that the camera was panning from well kept corner to other well kept corner. There is nothing wrong with Villa Francia or its gardens. Nothing.

I don’t know what drugs the Prime Minister’s entourage could possibly be on but surely they could spare us such displays of talking bull as this one. Fine, Mrs Muscat wants another playground where she can play princess and entertain “the public” – so be it. Ian Borg and Charles Buhagiar come up with a wonderful idea of how to spend one million of european funds set aside – grand. But to somehow try to concoct the idea of having been bequeathed a palace after the barbarians have left the scene is a little far fetched….

… even now that we are getting used to the idea of how easily a Labour representative can lie through his or her teeth.

 

Kliem il-Fieragħ

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

fieragh_akkuza

“Mhux fjer. Korrotti. Ħbieb tal-Ħbieb. Issa jmiss lilna. Issa daqshekk. Roadmap. Tagħna lkoll. Gvern ta’ Kullħadd. Għal kullħadd. Tagħna lkoll. Neħilsu iċ-ċittadin mil-jasar u mit-tgħakkis tal-kontijiet. Tagħna lkoll. Tagħna lkoll.”

Xi krexxendo sabiħ. Ifjen mill-oħla kant tal-knejjes kattoliċi. Il-kant tal-emmna fejn il-kelma hija il-qofol ta’ kollox. Verbum Dei. Il-kelma issawret fl-imħażen tal-partit u twasslet ma’ l-erbat irjieħ mill-qaddejja tal-mexxej. Għax hekk isiru l-affarijiet. U sabet art għammiela fost ċittadini skuntenti u nibtet iż-żerriegħa tat-tama għax forsi xi darba jmiss lili wkoll. Għax għalhekk għammiela… għammiela bil-bżonnijiet ta’ l-individwi li x’iktarx jiġu ala bieb għajnhom mill-bżonn u ġid komuni.

Imma l-kelma tal-profeta mhix biżżejjed. Kelma torbot fid-dinja tal-irġiel, u l-irġulija tiswa mitqla deheb. Imma mhux dejjem. Jekk int kelmtek tiswa daqs l-arja li toħroġ minn fommok meta tlissinha u daqs dik l-istess arja togħsfor fl-eteru mingħajr ebda xkiel allura tibda titlef il-kredtu. U jekk kelmet il-profeta tal-abbundanza kienet li se jibni kastell fi żmien sentejn u li permezz ta’ dan il-kastell ser iraħħas u jtejjeb ħajjet kullħadd – allura jew tkun dik kelma soda u tajba, jewilla tkun kelma fiergħa.

U jekk biex jurina kemm hu tost u ċert (ċertissimu), il-profeta jaħlef pubblikament fuq it-televiżjoni illi jekk ma jsirux l-affarijiet skont kelmtu allura jwarrab, allura iktar u iktar nippretendu li jekk dak li ingħad li għandu jseħħ ma seħħx għandu iwarrab. Kwistjoni ta’ irġulija jekk xejn. Kwistjoni ta’ kelma li tiswa mitqla deheb. Kwistjoni li tibqa’ titqies ta’ bniedem serju u mhux ta’ bniedem tal-kelma fiergħa.

U x’jiġri jekk il-kastelli li bnejt ikunu biss kastelli fl-arja? X’tiswa iktar kelmtek meta tiċħad is-sewwa magħruf? X’tiswa int u x’jiswew ta’ madwarek jekk tibdew tagħżqu bi kliem iktar fieragħ u faċċjoliżmi minflok ma terfgħu responsabilta li tkunu irbatt ruħek biha?

Muscat kien qal li jirriżenja jekk ma jitlestiex il-power station sa’ Marzu tal-2015. Issa reġa bdielu. Jaf lil jekk lin-nies iwiegħdhom roħs fil-kontijiet – jiġri x’jiġri – jaf iżomm dik l-art għammiela bi kwieta ftit ieħor. Sadattant Mizzi intbagħat jagħżaq b’akkużi oħra dwar għemil il-gvern passat sabiex jiddevja ftit l-attenzjoni minn nuqqasijiet ta’ dak ta’ llum. Għax għadhom jaħsbu li n-nies ċwieċ. Għadhom jgħodduhom bħala boloħ, li basta twiegħdhom ftit ċejċa u jkunu lesti jaħfrulek li tkun gdibtilhom f’wiċċhom.

Għadu, Muscat, ixejrilna il-pipa ta’ Magritte f’wiċċna. Għadu jirkanta kelmtu għal dawk l-imzazen li lesti jixtru bl-irħis. U kull ma jmur dik il-kelma qed titlef il-valur.

Kull ma jmur il-votant qed jitgħallem dan Muscat fiex isarraf.

Democracy Everywhere

Friday, September 26th, 2014

indonesia_akkuzaJoseph Muscat’s positively progressive band of meritocratic men announce the scrapping of Local Council Elections as a cost cutting exercise and practically nobody other than the opposition bats an eyelid. Ah but the opposition is negative isn’t it? And we need to save money because this administration has turned the very business of government into an expensive enterprise by exploding the emoluments bill for the meritocratically mandarins that have been absorbed within its ranks (and thus artificially adjusting unemployment figures).

Muscat speaks so proudly of legislative reform and second republic and emancipation of younger voters but then takes a right royal crap on democratic representation. We should be used by now to his Carollian interpretation of all the mechanics of democratic representation and how the constitution really works. So long as the newspeak keeps the sheep happy.

Not so in the fourth most populous democracy in the world. An Islamic democracy to boot – with all the perceived connotations of a feeble grasp of how representation really work:

The Indonesian parliament voted to scrap direct elections for regional office-bearers early Friday — a decision that critics say is a step backward for democracy in the world’s fourth most populous nation and biggest Muslim-majority country.When Indonesians woke up to the news, many reacted with anger and fury. “A Democratic Betrayal,” read the Jakarta Globe headline on Friday. (TIME)

Indonesia must be replete with “negative thinkers” who are ready to pounce on and criticise a progressive and positive government. I am sure Muscat would have a word or two for the people gathering out of the Indonesian parliament: to protest the scrapping of local elections.

Wake up and smell the coffee indeed. Rather than hanging onto tired clichès about Simon Busuttil’s negativity, the electorate would do well to listen to the dangerous warning signals that he highlighted during the Independence Day speech. The erosion of a culture of democracy and democratic representation begins when the electorate is prepared to allow people like Muscat’s band to take them for a ride.

Scrapping local elections should never be on the cards. No excuse is good enough – particularly the ridiculous cost-cutting exercise that Muscat seems to be clinging to as a lame excuse.

 

The Hunters and the Palace

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

hutners_akkuzaAll the love that Labour’s lost. Well in many ways it is just desserts. Whenever I asked how sustainable Muscat’s populist politics I always seem to be given confident answers in the positive. Of course it is sustainable – people are happy and happy people will generate wealth. Really?

On a recent visit to the island I had a chance to speak to persons active within the Labour party. They were overwhelmed by what they described as the triumph of different strands of progressive thought that were being allowed to express themselves. To me it seemed like a particularly strong attack of drug induced delirium but they were really convinced that the progress made in different legislative fields and the introduction of “rights” was the result of some progressive dialectic that was taking place within the Labour party and finding itself baked into government policy.

Blinded by such laudable successes as the belated introduction of gay partnership rights they actually believed that this was the beginning of the unraveling of a great programme of Labour social and civic policy.  At no point did they suspect that this was Labour allowing all the mini-sectors of society who had provided the much needed votes to cash their hard-earned cheques. No one was suspecting that this peppering of ex gratia interventions had no foundation in solid planning.

Trust the hunters to be the first to call the bluff. They had to be. The unruly lot are mired in twisted self-perception based on misconstruction of such terms as “conservation”. They have always laboured under the illusion of constituting a veritable block vote that will first and foremost back their “namur”. What was that daubed in paint on the Mnajdra Temples way back in less suspicious days? “Namur jew intajru”?

Muscat had wooed them with vague accommodating signals. Relaxing of licensing rules, a not too helpful approach with the nature wardens – including mass transfers of experienced personnel. Even the courts joined in the surreal dance by arraigning bird lovers for having displayed dead carcasses. Could you blame the Kaccaturi for thinking “Illum il-gvern taghna u naghmlu li irridu”? I wonder which strand of socialist progressivism leads to that kind of thinking. Not that the kaccaturi ever seem to care which party is sucking on their immense balls in order to pander to their vote-winning quality.

Yet here was their latest hero. Muscat’s government even went so far as to propose the sabotaging of the democratic process of local elections in what was too suspiciously a ploy to facilitate the hunters’ hand in the forthcoming referendum on spring hunting. How could they imagine such a paladin ever turning against them? He had dangled enough carrots to woo even the most hardened of donkeys onto his side.

Then they overdid it. The kids who had been handed air guns and catapults for Christmas suddenly found themselves in detention for shooting the neighbours cat and skinning it for good measure. Suddenly generous daddy who had won their kisses and praise became an irrational punisher. They could not fathom why. So they burnt the labour tesseri on youtube and yelled “No Kacca, No Party”. Oh how heavy handed Muscat seemed. Un pugno di ferro. And this after his monumental “moral” decision to keep out a sailor who was sick with hepatitis (it could have been ebola you know… and our hospital is prepared for an outbreak but not one that involves foreigners).

Of course Muscat’s bark could very well be a handy decision to boost Karmenu Vella’s chances during his commission grilling as a potential Environment Commissioner. If he is asked about Armier Boathouses and the raping of public land in order to get votes he may feign not having understood and repeat “But we stopped hunting abruptly” ad infinitum. You’d be surprised what percentage of gullible persons exist in any random collection of homo sapiens.

Once the grilling is over Muscat may yet return to the table with the Kaccaturi San Isplodu and hand out a few more carrots. He is also safe in the knowledge that the hunters cannot really threaten with votes since if his local council move really happens, the hunters will not be asked their opinion on which party is most likely to suck up to their demands before 2018.

The hunters are in the palace all right. They are busy exposing the faults in the underlying premises of Malta Taghna Lkoll. They may yet be appeased for another season but we have them to thank if Labour’s hypocritic policies are finally being exposed for what they are.

Bang.

 

There Can Be Only One (Union)

Friday, September 19th, 2014

union_akkuzaGordon Brown’s last minute appeal for Scottish voters to vote “No” in the referendum was the highlight of the campaign for me. It was not just that he seemed ever so passionate about the affair but also the reasoning that he gave as to why it was really “Better Together” that struck home home hard. Underlying his message was the assertion that voting against independence did not make anyone any less Scottish and that the identity and spirit could not only be hijacked by the Yes camp. Brown stressed that Scotland has always had a fundamental role in the building of the Union and that it can continue to proudly exist as a nation within such a Union. As one of the four nations.

His appeal also stressed that voting yes would be a vote that abandons Scotland’s crucial role of solidarity through which it has stuck to the Union through thick or thin and been a crucial part of the suffering as well as the achievements thereof. Sure, there may be a few tweaks to be made as to how power is divided and distributed within the Union – particularly to adapt to the modern day schizophrenic nation-state approach but there was much capital to be lost by abandoning the whole. Cliché it may be but “United We Stand” was really and truly hit home by Gordon Brown on that eve of the referendum final call.

Of course the referendum was not only about Gordon Brown – or Alex Salmond, or Alistair Darling. It was about a very defined people coming to terms about their chosen way of government. The stewardship of a sovereign people is at the heart of mechanisms of government and every Scot was being asked whether he preferred bearing the responsibilities of that stewardship alone – without depending or sharing such responsibility with other peoples. They risked abandoning the common path that had been trodden since the beginning of the 1700’s and going it alone.

The result has to be seen in this perspective too. The media hype on nationalistic sentiment as well as the hype and conspiracy theories about the subjugation to Westminster needed moderating in the sense that the Scots have (and will continue) to benefit from being in the Union. There were some telling signs from early figures in the polls. One of these was that middle and upper income voters were more likely to vote No and opt to stay in the Union. Which is rather interesting since if the myth that your average Scot would be richer and more comfortable through independence were true then the ones that would stand to gain the most (trickle down is just that, the drops trickle down but a huge part gets stuck around the waist) did not seem to be that convinced.

Without necessarily making it an issue of class, there could be some truth in the fact that the lower income brackets would be more easily persuaded by a nationalistic ticket accompanied by all the spiel of “get rid of the masters”, “stick two fingers up Westminster” and all that jazz. A young lass interviewed this morning claimed between one hiccup and another while wiping away her tears that “This vote condemns us to more austerity”. In a way it summed up the misunderstanding that somehow independence would shift Scotland into a vacuum utopia sealed away from the economic woes that has hit each and every nation in Europe.

Which brings me back to the “Better Together” theme plugged so passionately (and successfully) by Gordon Brown. In the run up to the referendum I had read an article that kicked off by reminding how kids in the Empire used to take pride in writing their address –  a representation of the concentric circles of society and power of which they formed part. It began with your house, your street, your town, your county, your nation, then United Kingdom, then Europe. Every step, every part of that concentric set of circles reflected a sense of belonging. Each and every step was  useful in its own way.

Scotland and the Scots has voted rather overwhelmingly to stay part of the Union. It is one of the “Home Nations” – a phrase that itself acknowledges the different national identities that form part of the whole. This vote is no threat to Scottish identity and national pride. Rather, it is a decision to continue to grow and function within a wider Union.

One last thing. The irony for the very pro-EU Scots is that the Union will be soon facing an in or out referendum of its own and they might be forced to follow a majority decision to get out of the EU much to their chagrin. What they can hope is that the UK electorate is made to understand the benefit of working in Union much the same way as the Scottish electorate understood this time round.

 

This State of Independence

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

independence_akkuzaThe festivities have begun in full earnest and Malta is soon to be proclaimed a 50 year old independent state. With the 50th anniversary we also get the reopening of the silly season. There’s a “let’s all love each other” approach by the two main parties – each proclaiming some kind of goodwill about what had hitherto been considered “the other’s” feast day. Yes, we have heard it all – over and over – Independence vs Republic vs Freedom day. Sometimes they throw in the 7th June 1919 for good measure but the heated debate had focused mainly on what are now being dubbed as the “three steps” that were necessary for Malta to become what it is.

To me someone like Muscat finally growing up and clamoring that “Independence day is a feast for all Maltese” is nothing that warms the cockles of the heart. Just because the red tribe of the Maltese jungle suddenly sees the light and begins to faintly understand the meaning behind an achievement as important as independence in the birth of a nation does not mean that we have to stand up and applaud. At most we could sigh in relief as one does when a toddler finally grasps the idea that one plus one does equal two and gives up on the horrible insistence that one plus one can equal carrot. We would sigh in relief were we not also convinced that this sudden show of magnanimous understanding and one-ness is not another show of the Taghna Lkoll style: tanto fumo niente arrosto.

How they applauded Muscat at the unveiling of the Guido De Marco memorial. “Did you hear him? He actually praised Guido. Oh Such a great Prime Minister have we.” Really? What was the alternative? Are we to clap because Muscat had the temerity to call a spade a spade? What kind of rubbish is that?

Now we have the clips being propagated by the National Festivities Commission. Independence is described and couched within terms of a series of steps that unite us. Insultingly it is put on the same pedestal as that humungous farce that is Freedom Day or Jum il-Helsien. This insistence on celebrating that non-event is incredibly naive and ridiculous. It is as though a future government were to begin to celebrate the end of the Beach Concession that the Powers of Brangelina have over Mgarr ix-Xini. Freedom from Brangelina Day could have its own kitsch monument on the beach complete with mini-Hollywood memorial.

In the legal and political growth of a nation there is no greater achievement than the assertion of self-government and sovereignty. That is what the 21st of September 1964 is all about. If you still harbour any doubts about how important a step this is then ask a Scot who will be voting tomorrow on the very issue of independence. Nobody is asking the Scots who they want as formal head of state (it will probably be Bess as Queen of Scots), nobody is getting het up about whether it will be a Scottish Republic. It will be an independent Scotland that can negotiate (or maintain) its status as a member state of the EU – the independence step is more than enough for that.

In all probability an independent Scotland will have to negotiate the rental of one of its estuaries to the English army for the latter to keep its nuclear submarines in. Eventually, at a later date that rental agreement might end but I am sure no Scot will go clowning about yelling “Freedom” like some latter day cross between William Wallace and Dom Mintoff.

No. What around 50% of the Scots are aspiring for is Independence. There is a reason for that. Independence defines the birth of a nation. It puts it on the map as a nation among nations. Inter pares – among equals.

Sure, you can feel proud that at a later stage in the growth of the nation you felt it necessary to remove the house of the Windsors from the position of head of state of the nation and opted for a president that would represent the people instead. Constitutionally though, the big change had long happened. Ridding ourselves of Bess Queen of Malta and opting for Marie Louise President of the People is a cosmetic change that alters little on the world stage. It’s not about party pique but about education and historical relevance. let’s face it, the switch from Constitutional Monarchy to Republic in 1974 was not exactly your storming of the Bastille business in 1789… to deny that would be to ignore historic truths: and that only serves ha’penny historians and the sweet sweet luvvy duvvy propaganda of this current lot.

Education, not fables and fantasies is what would make this nation stronger. Otherwise its all a load of balderdash.

 

Le Roi est mort! Vive le Roi!

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