Our feathered friend gives a statesmanlike interview

Published: March 7, 2008 at 8:12pm

Alfred Sant deigned to give an interview to someone other than the lovely Simone Cini on Super One. The victim of this cruel act was Herman Grech of The Sunday Times, who sat and tried to wrest answers out of him. The video uploaded on www.timesofmalta.com showed clearly that it was like extracting classified information from a terrorist under torture.

Here are some choice excerpts.

Grech told Sant that he can’t go in and renegotiate with the EU. Sant’s answer: “That’s what you’re saying.”

Grech asked him why he wants to renegotiate now after he refused to take part in negotiations leading up to the referendum. Sant’s answer: “We’re talking about today. Let’s talk about solutions that relate to today’s context, not five years ago.”

Grech: “Do you now accept the fact that EU membership was a good thing for Malta?”

Sant: “It was a decision taken by the Maltese people.”

Grech: “Do you fear that your obstinate opposition to EU membership will forever haunt your party?”

Sant: “Nothing haunts the Labour Party. The party has quite a good record of achievements in the social, economic and cultural sphere.”

Sant on why, as prime minister, he raised electricity bills way beyond what they are today, surcharge and all, when oil cost $12 a barrel (it’s now $103): “We never talked about utilities before 1996. But we got into government and found a big mess. That was the situation then. It’s not the situation now. It’s a different ball game.”

Sant on why he famously has no regrets: “Regretting one thing or another is irrelevant to how political decisions are made.”

Sant on whether he considers his position on EU membership to have been a big mistake: “I don’t list that as one of the mistakes or successes. It’s something which the Opposition put forward and people decided. I have no regrets.”

Sant on why he won’t answer questions about the future: “I don’t reply to hypothetical questions” – three times, to three different questions.

Sant on why he won’t answer questions about the past: “The past is for the historians to decide. It’s all water under the bridge.”

Oh, if only it were.

Alfred Sant demonstrates Labour’s policy on education

Alfred Sant demonstrates Labour’s policy on education

Chicken Run Sant plays it cool and relaxed, Jason having searched the premises for signs of booing students or Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando

Chicken Run Sant plays it cool and relaxed, Jason having searched the premises for signs of booing students or Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando

“Jason, you smell divine. What scent are you wearing?”

“Jason, you smell divine. What scent are you wearing?”

Il-mexxej tal-Partit Laburista, Doctor Alfred Sant, jiehu kafe jew tnejn waqt li jitkellem dwar il-korruzzjoni lampanti.

Il-mexxej tal-Partit Laburista, Doctor Alfred Sant, jiehu kafe jew tnejn waqt li jitkellem dwar il-korruzzjoni lampanti.

Restrain yourselves, readers – please don’t post a lot of comments telling us which historical figure this brings to mind because we don’t need another libel suit on our hands.

Restrain yourselves, readers – please don’t post a lot of comments telling us which historical figure this brings to mind because we don’t need another libel suit on our hands.

Sigh…..yet another New Beginning. Rih ta’ bidla, ljun ta’ bidla, kowc ta’ bidla – the only thing that stays the same is our feathered friend.

Sigh…..yet another New Beginning. Rih ta’ bidla, ljun ta’ bidla, kowc ta’ bidla – the only thing that stays the same is our feathered friend.

All water under the bridge: if there are any historians out there reading this, Alfred Sant would like you to decide on this piece of recent history that he won’t talk about – what happened when he took on somebody even more hard-headed than he is.

Labour’s policy on higher education: nothing changes in 30 years. Check out George Vella.

49 Comments Comment

  1. Chris says:

    Great work on this blog Daphne, it has been a great read this past few weeks. Only wish I’d found it sooner!

    If, God forbid (to use Sant’s own words), MLP is elected this time round, I’ve a feeling we’ll be seeing more of this blog. Always a silver lining, eh?

  2. Geraldine says:

    Same here Chris. I’ve been following this blog every day as often as possible. Excellent work Daphne. Thanks. I never miss your Independent articles either. Fantastic.

  3. Jonathan says:

    Chris …If ‘Lejberr’ is elected I wouldn’t be surprised if they would attempt to censor or ‘Jam’ this BLOG !
    They were very good at silencing anyone who dared to mutter a word against their policies in the ’80s… !!
    On a positive note … our long struggle to get Malta into the E.U. was worth it! – At least If Fredu is elected he and his party will never (hopefully) EVER be allowed to persecute and stifle us as they did so brutally when Alfred Sant was party president.
    The main reason Lejberr HATES the idea of forming part of the European Union is that the E.U. has ZERO TOLERANCE for people like them !

  4. Vanessa says:

    Just add a tiny whisker… and you’ve got your famous historical figure! It passed my mind even before I read your caption…

  5. Sammy Rapa says:

    Daphne, You’re unique. I love your website.

  6. John Schembri says:

    People my age will remember when Dr Joe Brincat (the one who said SKUZI to Sant at the general conference) was writing many articles against Dr Sant ,I believe on the Sunday Times. In one of his articles, I recall Dr Brincat telling us readers that once when they were abroad ( Brussels?) Dr Sant confided to him that his main ambition was to be an EU Commissioner. Another comment by Brincat was that he admired a politician with a surname Sant but his name was Spiru (He always gave some colour to our elections as an independent candidate).So its not only the Nats who started ridiculing Dr Sant.

  7. John Schembri says:

    Patrick , jien ma’ naqbilx ma DCG li tirridikola bit-tigieg u l-poodle, nahseb mhix taghmel gid lin-nazzjonalisti,hi qlielet iktar meta ittargitjawlha t-tifel tas-Super One fl-universita .U jekk qed tahseb li hi gurnalista tal-PN SEJJER ZBALL , dik kieku kien haw partit tmur mal-Liberali. Bhalissa Daphne hija kif dejjem kienet u iktar (missewla l-binha) KONTRA FREDU , xejn iktar. Fid-daghdija ta’ kitbietha gieli tat pariri siewja lil-MLP ! Issa lit-tigra missewlha t-tfal, m’hix se titlaq lil Sant minn taht difrejha qabel ma’ tarah tellief.

    Mur ivvota u ahsibha sewwa!

    This is what I think is happening in real time , I have kids of the same age as DCG and know how she feels . Daphne , ALWAYS ask yourself the golden question.

  8. europarl says:

    Honest question:

    What are those scribblings in Elf section? Surely those are all made up.

    And what happens when you click on “Send to Times” and nothing happens?

  9. europarl says:

    heheh, all that time wasted for the elf section joke? :) You must have many elves working in your workshop.

    [Moderator – It’s just me, actually.]

  10. Malcolm says:

    Dear Daphne,

    I don’t think that it’s right that you kept on posting material about the election and what not on “reflection” day. As far as I know this is illegal. Please act responsibly just like everyone (at least to my knowledge) did. You should have known better.

  11. Mario Debono says:

    Schicklgruber…….thats who the man in the picture looks like

  12. me says:

    ‘The past is water under the bridge’. The future is a hypothesis and ‘I do not discuss hypotheses’. ‘I have no regrets’.

    Considering that with every breath we take it is already in the past by the time we take it and that with every glance we take we are looking into the future, it stands to reason that the present does not exist, if not in a continuous span of time. So by denouncing both and the other, one is living in a limbo where there is no sense of feeling.

    Following this line of thought and considering that the same old organisation that created limbo has decided that there can be no existence in a void, I ask where can a party that denounces the past and does not look into the future lead us?

    One can always argue that ‘the man’ has been here and there and done this and that. No one can disagree with that, the man is a man of the book. It is also a fact that is in the past the he always denounces.

    He must have a vast knowledge. But that is knowledge and not intelligence. Knowledge is the repository of thoughts and ideas. On the other hand intelligence is the application of those thoughts and ideas. It is no use having knowledge if it is applied badly. A good idea applied at the wrong time is as bad as a wrong idea applied at the wrong time.

    From the moment that humans stood up and looked around them there started the separation between knowledge, that in time turns into instinct as it does in other creations, and intelligence, under which guidance knowledge is applied for the benefit of the group.

    It is everybody’s knowledge that knives are good tools, but we take very good care not to leave them in the hands of small children. They do not have the intelligence to use them.
    The same when they start leaving home alone for the first time, we call after them ‘mind how you cross the road’, we know that they have knowledge of the roads and cars, but we are not sure if they have the intelligence to decide from where, when and how they cross the roads.

    Intelligence is tempered by experience. Recent political experience is looking us blankly in the face asking us, ‘Are you really going to risk it all?’ Can this group of gentleman led by a person with no past, future or regrets be trusted with all you have gained so far?

    One might say that here we are splitting hairs. Maybe we are, but imagine today’s world if after crossing the sea of reeds Moses made a right turn instead of a left. That nation would now be sitting on the vastest oil reserves ever, instead of on the bleakest, dry land in the region. In spite of all, that nation has made vast advances, which proves that it is not what you know and have that matters, but how it is applied. We can take a look around us and find many ‘uneducated’ businessman who have carved for themselves quite a prosperous living.

    ‘Water under the bridge’? Yes it is. But there was so much violent water going under the bridge during those event full months, that if the nation wasn’t fast enough to restore the pillars of the bridge we wouldn’t even have a bridge to talk about today.

    ‘The future is a hypothesis’. No sir. Our children are our future and they are not a hypothesis. They are a fact of our free choice. They deserve the best because we have lived through the worst.

    Having ‘no regrets’ is a cold statement. Who has no regrets? We are thought that even the Creator had His regrets after the deluge. It makes one shiver to think that far reaching decisions can be taken by someone who claims to have ‘no regrets’.

    The man lives in a ‘limbo’ of his own creation where decisions are taken without taking into account the feelings of those who had/have to live by them.

    The PAST is a good mirror of the FUTURE and we should INTELLIGENTLY APPLY this KNOWLEDGE for the benefit of our country and our children and try the best be can to minimise our REGRETS. They will bless us for this.

  13. Vanni says:

    @ Malcolm

    We discused this issue yesterday. :)

    If one really would want to have a day of reflection, he would need to stay in a darkened room in his house all the time. Let me explain, if he steps outside, for a walk he is walking on a pavement built probanly by the PN, if he gets in the car, he would probably think about the PN, as before under Old Labour he would have had a rusty unsafe banger (either through lack of choice – vide Deserta – or through lack of finances – no jobs unless for the boys).

    Subtle advertising exists everywhere. The things we take for granted, that PC you are looking at, the colour TV you may follow the results on, everything could influence a person.

  14. Adrian says:

    Dear Malcolm,If you don’t want to access this blog on “reflection” PLEASE DO NOT !

    I WILL ………… Cheers.

  15. Genome says:

    Malcolm …. this IS a “reflection” BLOG :) Enjoy !

  16. joe muscat says:

    Can anyone please tell me what this reflection day is all about? Do you really think that people will decide on the last day for whom they will vote? What is there to consider? Alfred or Lawrence. The chioce is quite clear and has been for the last few years. Vote for the future of our children, vote for stability, vote for Europe, the place where we all belong, vote for Malta.

  17. Maria Scerri says:

    Ahjar tiftakru fl – interdett!!! u meta tfindu in – nies fil mizbla…

  18. Corinne Vella says:


    You will have noticed that billboards put up by the political parties are still up today and will remain there for a lot longer than “reflection day”.

    Newspapers, websites, flyers, posters, videos,CDs and email and text messages are still in circulation.

    To try and stop people talking to each other is to try to turn back the tide. It was once possible to make sure everyone shut up when the Big Boss said so. Now it’s a trifle more difficult.

    And thank heavens for that. Imagine you wanted to send that message but couldn’t.

    See what I mean?

  19. Corinne Vella says:


    Here’s a comment I posted earlier that you might have missed.

    Our laws haven’t caught up with the media reality we live in. The ban on publication is out of date and thank heavens for that. You see, you’re part of that media reality too. You’re not just visiting this site, you’re also commenting on it.

    This is an excerpt from an online article about the YOUTUBE EFFECT that might interest you.

    “When it comes to having faith in what we see online, the good news is that the YouTube effect is already creating a strong demand for reliable guides—individuals, institutions, and technologies that we can trust to help us sort facts from lies. That is important, because the hope of countering the downsides of the YouTube effect will never come from government intervention. Markets and democracy do a much better job of filtering the bad from the good in the confusing tsunami of Web videos coming our way. The millions of bloggers who are constantly watching, fact-checking, and exposing mistakes are a powerful example of “the wisdom of crowds” at work. Sure, markets and democracies often fail or disappoint. But the openness these political and economic forces promote are now being assisted by a technology that is as omnipresent as we are.”

    You can read the full article here:

  20. Dear Daphne says:

    WELL DONE!!!!

    You make maltese women proud!!!

    Keep it up!

  21. Matthew Borg says:

    My God, do I have to write this on every blog?

    Daphne’s blog = Private media = NOT Mass Meeting = NOT illegal!!

  22. Corinne Vella says:

    It’s interesting to see that you preface your question with the words “honest question”. Is that because your questions are not usually genuine or because your motives are usually questionable?

  23. matthew says:

    Malcolm, if you or people known to you are unable to read this blog and reflect without contemplating acts of violence then I suggest you hand yourself in at your nearest police station.

  24. Malcolm says:

    Not wanting to read the blog on reflection day? What nonsense is this. I’m talking about the law that does not permit to PUBLISH on “reflection” day.

    Violence?!?! what are you talking about?

    And a blog is not private media. Private media would be sending an email to people you know that gave you their address. A blog is absolutely not private media as anyone can have access to it.

    Whether you agree with the ban or not I’m not going into. The thing is that the ban exists, it’s part of the law, both parties respect it. Therefore I believe that Daphne erred in not respecting it.

    [Moderator – I do not believe that Daphne is a political party.]

  25. Corinne Vella says:

    This site is accessible to everyone, but everyone need not access it.

    Let me point out what I said earlier once again. The political parties have not removed their billboards and all their campaign material is still in circulation. Now, unless you’re suggesting that il-paraventu should roll up his sleeves and get to work on clogging up the courts with the political party leaders, I see no point to your argument.

    The date of publication is a technicality. I see no ideas here on this site that were not in circulation before the gong of midnight on Thursday. Do you?

  26. Anna Galea says:

    HI Daphne

    Great Blog , good pictures too. Had a good laugh seeing Dr Sant having a nap near our future generation of kids. He naps, naps and naps
    through his life as leader.

  27. Corinne Vella says:

    Malcolm: I might add that a belief in gagging orders is a political position so, in effect, by sending in your comments you are campaigning in violation of a law you believe in.

  28. me says:

    Dear Malcom, a reflection is a reflection, an external manifestation of his state of spirit. One cannot reflect inwardly. You can only reflect externally. Like looking at a person and it is obvious that he reflects doom and gloom. You look at another and you immediately see that he reflects courage and determination. You cannot reflect inwardly, one reflects and writes his reflections. Then he transmits his reflections to his fellow man.

  29. K Zammit says:

    Keeping to what Dottor Sant says; the past is water under the bridge. Good thing its raining because there’s a lot of stagnant, smelly water under that bridge that needs to be refreshed.
    I can assure you Maria that if we were to look at both political parties’ past, the so called “Democratic Establishment” as described by one of MLP’s ginger MEP (Who?)has much less to blush about.
    What will make me blush tomorrow is the feeling that history repeats itself. I still cannot stomach the feeling of Dr. Sant in next week’s EU meeting and Dr. Fenech Adami swearing in Dr. Sant.
    Anyway only time will tell (hopefully less than 24 hours now).

  30. Malcolm says:

    Corinne, a newspaper is accessible to anyone but everyone need not access it. The same with TV. etc etc. And me commenting that it is illegal to publish material on the election campaign during reflection day is violating a law I “believe” in since I’m not commenting about the electoral campaign but about a Maltese law. And there is no law that prohibits anyone from commenting on a law and when it seems that someone is breaching it.

    [Moderator – Similarly, a blog is accessible to anyone but everyone need not access it.]

  31. Gordon says:

    Its a horrible horrible day so reading this blog helps alleviate the pain.

    …..not very bright this europarl dude/ette huh?

  32. europarl says:


    Excellent observation!

    Or perhaps knowing you are suspicious of trolls I chose to assure you that I had actually nipped at the bait…

    I take this opportunity to thank Sandro Vella for keeping me au courrant with this fast-paced web machine. Were it not for him I would miss these finest hours in Malta’s history.

  33. George says:

    People like you who want to stifle freedom of expression remind me of certain people from the not too distant past – AH in Germany 1930s-1940s, VL in USSR 1915-1930s, JS in USSR 1930s-1950s, etc. etc. Get the point? It is dictators who try to stifle freedom of expression because they fear the truth. Vox populi, vox Dei.

  34. Corinne Vella says:

    You seem to have missed my point since you repeat your defence of a law banning publication. Let me explain it again.

    When you say that a ban on publication should be upheld, you are taking and declaring a political position. If you believe that no political opinions should be aired today, you should wait until the ban is lifted before you say so. You haven’t done so, so you are in violation of the law you believe in.

    You would have me and all others here shut up. We, on the other hand, welcome you among us, even when you say that we’re acting against the law.

  35. Vince says:


    It seems that the elcoms of the MLP have taken your advice on the billboards. Just came in via the airport and the upstanding containers have been stripped already from their “looking backwards” slogan Choose Labour. Any idea why?

  36. George says:

    Hello again Malcolm,

    I’m afraid that I let my last posting go before I was finished. So here goes.

    If I were your party’s Secretary General, Victor Galea, I would revoke your membership in the AD party for your open support of the MLP and for urging people to support the MLP at the expense of AD’s candidates. Unless of course it is the AD party’s secret policy of actually working on behalf of the MLP, as many people seem to suspect.

    One other thing. Just in case you need clarification about the initials in my previous post – AH = Adolph Hitler, VL = Vladimir Lenin, JS = Josef Stalin. It appears that you and other like you, such as Alfred Sant, are admiring emulators of these dictators.

    BTW – this is being sent from Canada.

  37. Sandra says:

    Maltastar.com is breaking the law because it is not observing relection day.

  38. Vanni says:

    @ Malcolm
    When the paraventu round us up, I wonder if I could share the same cell with Victor Laiviera and Corinne Vella.

    PS Many happy ones Mod

  39. Paul Spiteri says:

    You forgot DM & KMB

  40. Corinne Vella says:

    It’ll have to be a pretty big cell to contain that ego and every single person who’s had the temerity to say what they think – even those who believe in that antiquated law of ‘sawm u astinenza ta’ opinjoni’.

  41. kevin says:

    hi folks, glad the site is back, thought it had exhausted its use once election is over. does anyone have any news re exit polls? personaly I did my bit for our pm, lets all hope for his re-election for abother five years of stability

  42. s1 says:

    … and looks like http://www.di-ve.com have a pretty good summary on what’s going on after keeping mum in the electoral campaign period

  43. Corinne Vella says:

    That’s just for formality’s sake because I have a sneaking suspicion that your name is Kevin Ellul Bonici.
    I have an even stronger suspicion that you suffer from the same illusion as your friend Victor Laiviera does,i.e. you imagine that I’m moderating the comments on this site and am lying in wait 24/7 waiting to pounce on anything you say so that I can censor it.

    Tell me, is the tin foil hat factory on strike?

  44. Malcolm says:

    George. From where did you get the idea that I’m an AD member? Just for the record, I am not. Am I missing something but I never supported labour. Nor in this blog and never anywhere, so if I’m misunderstanding something please enlighten me cause I’m practically lost. And if you think that this law goes against freedom of expression, than I’m afraid that nor the PN and neither the MLP did anything about it.

    Corinne, I am only discussing the fact that Daphne is not observing the law. Yes that is political, but as far as I know the law does not ban any political discussions, but just a ban on the electoral campaign. I’m sure that my point of discussion is not included in the ban. If I’m wrong I’d appreciate you (or anyone for that matter) correct me.

    Sandra, if maltastar.com went against it aswell I wouldn’t know as I’m no regular reader of maltastar.com

  45. Corinne Vella says:

    Why do you see this blog as part of an electoral campaign?
    If expressing ideas that chime with those of political parties is verboten then we may as well have no political debate at all.

  46. Malcolm says:

    Corinne, Ok it’s not part of the electoral campaign, but it’s the publishing of “articles” by a newspaper journalist that is commenting about the electoral campaign. THAT is what I think is banned by the law. Maybe we should change the law, but since the law is there we should act beforehand to change it not just disobey it.

  47. Corinne Vella says:

    If what you say is right, then I think il-paraventu is going to have his hands full for a while yet. If Daphne’s writing here constitutes publication, then so do everyone’s comments on the same site, including yours.

    Maybe we should stock up on champagne. Whatever the outcome, we can have a party in the police lock up – Victor Laiviera and all.

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