Published: March 15, 2008 at 12:10pm

Watching Xarabank last night, one question kept coming to my mind. How did Jason Micallef get to be secretary-general of the Labour Party – the casting-couch? If he were a woman, we’d have suspected him of having slept his way to the top. I’m sure that wasn’t the case with him, but the man doesn’t have two brain-cells to rattle together. And he has absolutely no idea how to behave, what attitude to take with people, or even how to reply to questions and get Labour’s message across – if Labour actually has a message, that is. I don’t know what Sant saw in him, other than that he is an adoring and vacuous acolyte, a sort of pet peacock to go with the chickens in his gallinar at home.

Jason even mimics Alfred Sant, though he doesn’t quite pull it off. Somebody says something he doesn’t like, and he squawks: ‘Bir-rispett kollu! Bir-rispett kollu!’

When a woman in the audience took the microphone to ask why Labour doesn’t ‘explain how it spends its money and where it gets it from, and prefers to pay the fines instead’, it was quite obvious what she was speaking about: the Labour Party’s steadfast refusal, like Harry Vassallo’s, to publish its company accounts or fill in its returns. This has been in the news recently, and much has been made of it – along the lines of, if the Labour Party can’t even manage its own financial affairs, how can it be trusted to manage those of Malta?

Yet Jason il-pruzuntuz pretended not to know what she was talking about, even though everyone else did. ‘Bir-rispett kollu, I didn’t understand what you mean. Can you speak more clearly?’ And his interlocutor said, provoking bursts of laughter on my sofa: ‘Jien mhux bil-Malti qed nitkellem?’

What a prat – worse than a prat, a prat with a peacock-brain. And even now, under siege and in his hour of defeat, he still thinks that an empty smile which doesn’t reach his eyes is the appropriate response to a comment he doesn’t know how to deal with.

He almost asked Anna Mallia about boob jobs

And then there’s the weird corner-shop response to arguments made against him and his party’s policies. Anna Mallia, a staunch Labour supporter and a niece of Alfred Mifsud, spoke very, very well (a round of applause from my sofa), pointing out that what she called ‘product Sant’ could never hope to compete with ‘product Gonzi’ and this was obvious from the start. She said that if Labour is to win again, whoever they choose as leader has to be better than, not as good as, Lawrence Gonzi. She said that the Labour Party needs a major clean-out and that it is in this great mess because so far, decisions have been taken to suit the interests of certain individuals who want to keep their position, or their job, and not in the interests of the party itself.

I agree with her diagnosis. A political party is like a business, and has to be run on similar lines. Even though it is not there to make money, it is still there to sell something – its message, its people, as a future government – and just as businesses have to be put before the interests of those who run them, so it is with political parties. The trouble is that those who run the Labour Party don’t have a private sector mentality like those who run the Nationalist Party. They have a public sector mentality, and it shows in the way they run things. The organisation itself comes before what the organisation is trying to sell or do.

That squawking peacock pounced on her, and insulted her with her fleeting hopes of setting up another political party, instead of considering what she said and replying to it. ‘How long did that last?’ he sneered. ‘Twenty-four hours?’ I’m surprised he didn’t ask her about the plastic surgery she didn’t have. ‘How can I take you seriously, Anna, when everyone knows you had a boob-job?’ ‘But I didn’t have a boob-job, Jason.’ ‘That’s what you’re saying, but everyone knows – it’s like corruption. It’s everywhere. Everyone’s talking about it.’

Another woman who doesn’t like Jason

Sharon Ellul Bonici – she who made a career out of trying to keep Malta out of the EU, and who promptly rushed off to Brussels when Malta joined, to make her life there – laid into Jason for the fact that she was chucked out of the Labour Party for taking part in a march in favour of referendums on the Lisbon Treaty, in Strasbourg. She had received a letter from Labour’s Board of Vigilance and Discipline. What a party, eh – one that doesn’t even allow its members to espouse their right to freedom of assembly.

Maybe the Labour Party should start by asking itself why the Nationalist Party doesn’t have a Board of Vigilance and Discipline. It’s not because its members can be relied on to behave themselves. They don’t behave themselves. It’s because a board like that is Stalinist in essence. It doesn’t have a part to play in the modern world.

Jason is threatened by the idea of George Abela

Then a clip interview with George Abela was shown. He said that he is prepared to be at the service of the Labour Party. Because this is just what many people are hoping will happen, Jason was not amused. Well, nobody ever claimed that peacocks have a sense of humour. A sense of humour is dependent on intelligence.

He laid into Abela, squawking that Labour delegates will never forgive him for abandoning the party in the middle of the 1998 electoral campaign. Then Pierre Portelli tal-PN laid into Jason, telling him that he should resign immediately for taking a public stand on a leadership contender, when he is secretary-general and is in duty bound to be impartial. Jason’s response? Stretching his lips to reveal his teeth.

George Abela, like several others have done already, said that the Labour Party’s leadership election rules have to change. This is now an open society, and leaders can’t be elected directly by the delegates. It doesn’t make sense to put all that responsibility on their shoulders. ‘This is a choice that affects not just the future of the party, but also the future of the country,’ he said. Bully to that.

Charlon is still in campaign mode

Joe Saliba put in to remark that the Nationalist Party, far from scraping a ‘narrow victory’, had actually pulled off a tremendous feat. Tell me about it: at the start of the campaign, the Labour Party was leading by around 15,000 votes. No wonder they got stuck at that stage mentally, and went around telling their supporters that it would be a landslide victory. It would have, yes, hadn’t it been for the phenomenal success of the Nationalist Party’s multi-pronged campaign, which pulled in thousands of votes every week. ‘We ran after every vote,’ Saliba said. Yes, they did. Even Lawrence Gonzi was knocking on doors at the end – and now here are the Labour ‘liderxipp’, rejecting people and telling them that they’re not wanted if they criticise.

Charlon Gouder (ghaliex ma jmurx jinheba) took the microphone into his hands and immediately began to behave like he did in the campaign, firing off accusations. I almost expected him to ask Joe Saliba whether he is saying that Sant is a corrupt liar. Saliba merely told him that some humility would be in order, now that the Labour Party is well and truly routed, and faces such deep problems.

Anna Mallia reminds them about the computer malfunctions

Anna Mallia put in again, to ask what on earth the Labour Party might have been doing in these past five years, when it couldn’t even put an electoral programme together without noticing that several things in it had already been done by the Nationalist Party, some of them years ago. Jason’s reaction? Oh, you’ve guessed it – straight out of the Cheshire cat’s book of etiquette. ‘It’s embarrassing,’ Mallia said. ‘No wonder there are first-time voters who have grown up in Labour families, but who are too ashamed to be associated with the Labour Party, or even to vote for it.’

Jason decided it was time to speak instead of smile. He said that one of the Labour Party’s stances ‘giet vindicted.’ In one of his chicken experiments, he must have mated ‘vindictive’ with ‘vindicated’ and come up with a mutant word that means a bit of both.

Oh, and he was wearing those brown casual shoes again with his dark suit – only this time they weren’t even matched to his tie. Will somebody please buy the man a pair of formal black leather lace-ups, please? Looking at those ill-shod feet just sets my teeth on edge.

Ajma, hej – ara min se jiddeffess issa

Then we had a clip with Anglu Farrugia, the former police inspector in Lorry Pullicino’s force who thinks he will make a good prime minister, the kind who can mingle with heads of state and make a great impression. So help us God.

Just as he thought that the Freeport engages people by getting its human resources department to take bribes through a thug intermediary (legacy from his party’s past), so he believes that the Nationalist Party won the election by buying votes. ‘Money was used to persuade people to vote PN,’ said this brilliant bulb in Labour’s chandelier. U mur saqqi l-hass.

And Alfred Mifsud is back in the game

In a newspaper article a few days ago, Alfred Mifsud – who also wants to be a contender (why does that bring Marlon Brando to mind? ‘I couldah bin ah contendah.’) – remarked quite pointedly that the people didn’t trust the Labour Party for a variety of reasons. One of these is that sensible people were nervous about having the government’s dealings with the EU in the hands of those who, before the referendum just five years ago, were saying ‘Alla hares Malta tissieheb mal-Unjoni Ewropeja.’ Too right – and there’s more.

Call in Comtec and gas the roaches

The Labour Party cannot pick as a leader anyone who is tainted with its past. That’s the foremost problem it has to deal with right now. It has to run through Mile End with the fumigators and get rid of everything and everyone associated with the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and even with the Santian years of 2000-2008. This means that there will be hardly anyone left, because Sant systematically erased anyone who opposed him.

Yet the Malta Labour Party has to do what the British Labour Party did, after it was routed and in opposition for almost two decades. It has to get rid of the past if it is to have a future. The British Labour Party got itself a leader and frontrunners modelled on the Conservative Party, and ended up beating the Conservatives at their own game. The days of ‘worker politics’ are over, because everyone is aspirational now.

And here is some free advice to Lejber – not that they’ll take it, even though they’re aware that I know exactly what I’m talking about. They won’t get anywhere, and they won’t be able to move on, unless they make a full and formal apology for what they did in the 1970s and 1980s, for ruining people’s lives, for putting the country into crisis, and for leaving whole generations of young people without hope or prospects.

We want to see them grovel and scrape. We want to hear them say that they’re sorry they caused us so much suffering. We want to know that they understand that the reason we hate them now is because they hated us then and treated human-beings like worthless dirt. And we can’t and won’t forgive them until they say it. When Sant said ‘no regrets’ this time, he hammered another 10 nails into Labour’s coffin. How dare the Labour Party insult us by saying something like that? No regrets for what they did to us? No regrets for trying so hard to lock us out of the EU? I have to conclude that they are all raging, raving lunatics who can’t pick up the public mood or even the seriousness of the disaster they brought on the country in the 1970s and the 1980s, and the even greater disaster they tried so hard to wreak by keeping Malta out of Europe.

Alla hares jitla l-Lejber

Labour might have failed to pick up the mood and the messages from voters in the last two weeks of the campaign, but I didn’t. The atmosphere was one of absolute terror that Labour might be elected – Alla hares jitla l-Lejber. The correspondence pages of The Times, the postings on this blog, the conversations of people – all were dominated by tales of past experiences under Labour in the 1970s and 1980s.

Labour supporters dismiss this as an obsession (well, they would, wouldn’t they?), and say that we should get over it because it’s the past. How easy it is to be so cavalier about other people’s pain and suffering. Apologising for causing it is a whole lot more difficult. The wound is still open, still bleeding, even after all this time, and it won’t heal without reconciliation – and reconciliation is dependent on sorrow for the pain caused. Every time there is an election, the wound begins to ache and fester again.

Labour cannot lay the pain to rest by giving us a couple of tablets and telling us to forget it.

Last Saturday’s general election was lost in 1984.

216 Comments Comment

  1. kenneth Spiteri says:

    Daphne agree with u perfeclty……

    If MLP want to be elected again they need George Abela as leader no one else….

    The undersigned is PN supporter I will become floater voter if GA will be MLP Leader…and like me there are thousands out there…..

    cheers ….

  2. Matthew Borg says:

    Having gone the programme to view it live in person, I can honestly confirm what you’ve expressed, Daphne. Jason the peacock was literally tal-qtil. I could have stood up from my seat around 5 times and killed him. Easily.

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention the little segment where he accused Peppi of being unfair as he’s pro-Nationalist! The reason why I’m pointing it out to you is because when Peppi promptly asked Jason to invite him to a debate on One TV (because “We are One”, after all – one in their overtime agreements, that’s for sure!), seeing that he didn’t want to discuss certain issues on Xarabank, Jason once again refused and chickened out – disgusting.

    Also, maybe something worth noting (seeing that I was at the studio) may be that:

    1) Jason always arranged his lovely locks, to make sure they’re all in place, before we went on air once again;
    2) After we went off air for a commerical break, he would always be surrounded by Charlon Gouder and another (unidentified, by me) person. Probably, in the case of the former, he was either asking him where he gets his hair products from; or asking him how he should arrogantly debate with Joe Saliba once on air again.

    On a final note, Anna Mallia – despite her being a staunch Labourite – was commendable last night. She spoke brilliantly. If only all Labourites saw sense like her, and spoke in that manner all the time! Of course, it’s unfortunate that the truth hurts – yes, Gonzi’s product was better, by a Mile End (no pun intended), than Sant’s – but seeing that the peacock is the cowardly custard’s lapdog (or poodle?), he’s obviously totally ignorant to this truth. A word of advice here and there wouldn’t go astray for perfect Jason.

  3. Eddy says:

    Very true, Daphne.

    The wounds will never ever heal. Those who lived those terrible years of the 70’s and 80’s are scarred for life.

    It will take sincere reconciliation through the moderate elements within the MLP bona fide echelons to make us finally forgive.

    The likes of Jason Micallef, Anglu Farrugia and Charlon Gouder on Bondiplus yesterday do just the opposite.

  4. Meerkat :) says:

    wiiiiiiiiiiiiiii PN gained ground in Local Council election too…

    How’s that for a double whammy Jaysin PRancing Peacock, Charlatan Gouder, Anglu Bellu?

  5. N.Lapira says:

    Dazgur li ma ninsewx

    Kif jista jkun ninsew il-perjodu ta 70 u 80.

    X` tipretendi Ms.Ellul Bonnici, li il-Labour ikun aktar avvanzat mill-PN fl-uzu ta teknologija tal-kompjuters. Meta il-PN ilu jaghmel uzu min din it-teknologija sa min qabel l-elezzjoni 1981 u l-MLP li kien fil gvern (ghax kien moqdi b`dardir Malta) flok ha l-ezempju ra kif aghmel u xejjen dak li kien qed jaghmel il-PN mill-kazin Nazzjonalista tal belt meta kien jitrasmetti l-ahbarijiet min fuq il bejt bl-uzu ta kompjuter u sign.

  6. Abigail says:

    What amused me last night was how the Labour Party refuses to listen to anyone, not even fellow labour supporters. This is as opposed to Gonzi’s philosophy stating that he is willing to listen to everyone’s opinion, even that coming from members of the opposition!

    Following Anglu Farrugia’s remarks, I’m convinced that if he is elected as the party leader he’d be the next Sant, with all his extremities amplified. Since most of the labour party suffers from “Santitis” (Sant disease), I’m quite sure that Anglu stands a good chance, and George Abela’s chances are close to nil.

  7. lino says:

    I non’t think it is good reasoning to say that if labour found a decent leader, you will become a floater. For the sake of the argument if labour marches upon sound policies that make sense and PN start playing havoc with their policies and principles (extrapolatingl very unlikely) than I would simply support labour.
    I can’t follow your argument of changing sides when your party is still performing impeccably.

  8. Robert A says:

    The On Demand clip of Xarabank on di-ve is incomplete and I feel I have missed out on part of the jaysin and charlon show – anyone got any contacts to ask them to rectify the problem and put on the whole show?

    Jaysin showed exactly why the MLP do not deserve to be in Government – God help us if that arrogance was governing this country this week!

  9. Dorrie Galea says:

    Let them keep on floundering in the morass of delusion they themselves have created.
    Let them keep on mixing lettuce with the by-products of the digestion.
    Let Mr Jason Micallef keep flashing his tombstone teeth at the camera.
    Let them carry on with the business of the elecion of ‘um big chief’
    In the final analysis we Maltese are in for a great and wonderful time building on solid ground with no megrims about renegotiating the ‘pacquis'(sp.?)

  10. Sarah says:

    @ Matthew
    watched the programme from home and noticed what u were saying… noticed as well that peppi claimed that the party secretaries were invited prior to the election result and that the discussion would have been the other way round had labour won the election… adding “if Xarabank would still be on air!” (my translation)… that’s the fear i think daphne is talking about… the fear of once again not having freedom of speech…
    three other small notes…
    1) loved listening to anna mallia… maybe she can get some sense in their heads
    2) anglu farrugia gave me the creeps… excellent reply by joe saliba though :)
    3) jason micallef… no comment… as we say in Maltese… igibli demmi ilma!!!

  11. David Buttigieg says:

    My choice would probably be George Abela but I somehow doubt he will be elected. Pity because I yearn for a good opposition.

    Am not sure about ML Coleiro Preca, I was young but still remember her as general secretary during those terrible eighties.

    As for their MEP – please, maybe it’s me but eeeuugh!! No thanks.

    Anglu Farrugia – ha!, almost prefer Sant.

    Michael Falzon? Well he earned my respect but I just don’t think he is PM material (neither was sant and nor is Farrugia)

    Evarist Bartolo – again, I almost prefer Sant.

    Not much to pick from is there?

    To continue on your article the only way I can consider voting labour (ever) is

    1. Labour must disown Sant and his cronies. Apologize for their behavior and kick them out – the further the better.

    2. Like Daphne said apologize on hands and knees for the eighties.

    3. Acknowledge the referendum result once and for all and apologize for Sant’s behaviour.

    4. Stop the mud slinging. STOP IT!!!

    5. Be a strong and true opposition, don’t oppose for the sake of opposing.

    6. Once again get rid of that pet peacock.

  12. Julian says:

    I am still not convinced that the MLP and the other minor parties will be a credible force that provides a sensible and reliable opposition or alternative to the party in government…… there is too much negativity and certainly too many extreme strategies or policies…. we need more synergy if the alternative is to be credible…. until that time, I firmly believe that the PN will continue to offer these islands a brighter future!

  13. Rebecca says:

    I had the great fortune of watching Xarabank yesterday to watch the Jason circus perform to script once again. Doesnt that man (or should I say the contender for Bozo the clowns place!) ever learn anything. He should be walking with his head in his hands instead of acting like the offended prat who had his ice cream taken out of his hands. I remember an advert of a low-sodium make of water that showed one single molecule of sodium searching for a partner and this really reminded me of the single (if any!!) brain cell in the otherwise vacuum that stands in his head and the brain cell keeps asking ‘Can anyone tell me if we won???’

    For heavens sake Jason take the over-sized ego that you carry on your shoulders, walk out of that horrible red biulding and get yourself a good conscience examination. Oh and please dont forget to throw your shoes out with your pride!

  14. Mark says:

    Well, we should expect Jason to fight for his life now, don’t we? There’s no Uncle Freddie now ready to issue the recommendation for a comfy job at Xandir Malta. What would he be doing had he to resign? Isaqqi l-hass? That’s been given to ELC. And what would Manwel be capable of? I’m afraid such people are unemployable. So, unfortunately, it will be long before we see them going over the horizon.

  15. Meerkat :) says:

    @ mark

    Le ruhi, Jaysin isaqqi l-qsari jaf…forsi l-Manwel jghinu jaghzaq…mhijiex difficli ghax ilhom jaghzqu

  16. Clint Zammit says:

    U int tahseb li ghax jghamlu lil Geaorge Abela ha jzolvu il problemi? Il problema issa dahlet wisq fil fond u il partit ghandu marda kbira tal klikek. George abela nemmen li kapaci iva , huwa hafna ahjar min Fredu Sant , imma ibqaw certi li waqt li jkun fi triqtu biex johrog lil partit mil isqaq li dahal fih ha jsib hafna min jghamillu gambetti mil partit stess. Ga rajna kif jahsbuwa tal klikka fuq Abela , rajtuh lil Jason kemm deher li huwa kontrih u dan meta lanqas biss ghadu tefa nomina. Jekk George issir mexxej ghandi hafna kurzita dwar kif se jkun ir rapport bejn l MLP u il GWU , ftakru bil hafna kawzi li George Abela jirraprezenta kontra il GWU fosthom fil kazijiet tas segretarji imkeccija mil union. Ghallura biex ikun jista jahdem tajjeb , George Abela li huwa lahjar bniedem li jista jkollu bhala mexxej l MLP apparti it tindifa li jrid jghamel fl MLP , trid issir tindifa ohra fil GWU. Il bicca xghol mux facli , u l MLP ghandom problema kbira hafna

  17. europarl says:

    The “march in favour of referendums on the Lisbon Treaty, in Strasbourg” is in fact a protest by MEPs in the European Parliament.

    It’s here on Youtube:


    And these are the reactions of the pure euro-democrats who favour totalitarianism (of which few here have an inkling):


  18. europarl says:

    “Sharon Ellul Bonici – she who made a career out of trying to keep Malta out of the EU, and who promptly rushed off to Brussels when Malta joined, to make her life there” – Daphne the Oracle

    I guess, unlike Sant and his bella compania, Sharon cannot be accused of any political inconsistency. Once Malta joined the EU there was no turning back. But it does not mean we should become blind to the establishment of a NEW European Union – one which is different from the one we voted for in the referendum.

    There is no better place to fight EU totalitarianism than in the European Parliament – the only directly elected EU institution.

    Protests like these would become fewer and indeed illegal if totalitarianism takes over. There’ll then be no Sharons in the EP, just bandwagon apparatchiks who’ll assure you all is fine…

    [Moderator – By that argument, do you think it follows that the Labour Party’s Board of Vigilance is a mechanism that facilitates totalitarian control?]

  19. Simon says:

    Re: Jason mimicking Alfred Sant -> He also learnt to mimick that annoying ‘i’m-superior-you’re-so-lame-and-simple-minded’ half smile, half stare, which Chicken-Fred gave each time he thought he had a smart answer to a question (which wasn’t happening all that often as we all know!)

    Keep it coming Daphne! I would suggest you get your weekly slot in l-Orrizont jew it-Torca. Maybe you manage to enlighten some people. I hope that the MLP reforms itself and sheds its old skin completely (Fejnu s-serp by the way?) for the benefit of all citizens of this island nation.

  20. Sisi says:

    I think one of the biggest problems facing Labour is that there are fewer and fewer ‘working class’ people to represent. Most working class families I know enjoy a middle class lifestyle, or aspire to one (as Daff said), don’t you think? Same problem with the Conservatives in the UK, unless I’ve got it wrong.

    [Moderator – They enjoy a middle class lifestyle because they are precisely that. The UK is a bad comparison because their working class was strengthened by important heavy industries like coal mining and iron smelting, which are unknown in Malta. For this reason, Malta’s population of unskilled workers was always quite small, and the professional and merchant classes were always very large. When Iceland discovered smelting, it needed 14 per cent of its population in immigrants to operate the plants. The same thing will have to happen in Malta when Joe Mizzi strikes oil.]

  21. Clint Zammit says:

    Kif tahsbuha dwar il fatt li bniedem li jista jkun kanditat u ghallura jekk jirbah jista jsir xi darba priministru , qed nirreferi ghal Anglu Farrugia , imur jiddefendi il qorti bniedem li f garaxx tijaw ftit metri il bghod min fejn sehhet it tragedja dil gimgha kellu in nar illegalment? Dan bhal kaz ta Mangion ( tad DNA it tajjeb) li beda jikritika penderplace biex imbghad hareg fil berah li dahal l eluf billi kien in nutar tal progett.

  22. Corinne Vella says:

    Hadn’t Jason Micallef been caught on camera saying “ser ikollna gvern ghall-Laburisti biss”? He should have been more specific and added “basta jkunu dawk li jaqblu maghna”.

    If, on prime time TV, he couldn’t be bothered to listen to Sharon Ellul Bonici or Anna Mallia, let alone respond to them politely and courteously, what’s he like when there are no cameras and microphones around?

    If Jason’s former boss and current hero is a chicken, there’s another farmyard metaphor that applies in his own case – a crowing rooster, king of the dung heap.

  23. kenneth Spiteri says:


    when i mentioned that i will be a floater if GA will be the next MLP leader, means that PN needs to keep their momentum, if else there will be definelty another valid alternative..

    i truly beleive and support Gonzi and his administration…but we need to keep our eyes open all the time with GA as MLP leader….

    that’s all…..

  24. Corinne Vella says:

    Europarl: Thanks for the link. It’s reassuring to see that booing and protest is possible in the European Parliament, quite unlike what would happen at the university here if the MLP had its way.

  25. Corinne Vella says:

    Kevin Ellul Bonici: It seems to me that that is your real name, europarl. Tell me something, why do you persist in using a pseudonym? Your agenda is self-evident so why hide your identity?

  26. Corinne Vella says:

    I’m wondering about the source of Jason Micallef’s puffed up sense of self-importance. It can’t be his position in the MLP, seeing as he talks down to anyone who claims to be a disillusioned Labourite. If they’re nobody, then he’s not in charge of anybody so he can’t be that important.

    Any explanation?

  27. D. Muscat says:

    What about Joseph Muscat for MLP leader? I wonder what Nationalists really think about him.

    [Moderator – That will make for extremely weak leadership. A leader who is elected ‘by dynasty’ rather than by suffrage will have his legitimacy constantly brought into question.]

  28. Ray says:

    Daphne, I agree absolutely with what you wrote in your last paragraph under ‘ Call in Comtec and gas the Roaches’. What you said is exactly what I feel when I remember the pain which the Socialists caused in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s. I cannot forget how they suspended 1000 bank employees in 1977 just for being members of MUBE and obeying directives. The injustices suffered at work, the intimidation, the threats, the street terror, the edge of the precipice reached in the ‘80’s, when people were being shot at and beaten by those who should have protected them. Then the deceit of New Lejber came along and tried to put our country back 50 years, because that is where AS imagined we fitted. The Maltese Nation was set to become the laughing stock of Europe. And Lejber’s lackeys clapped and cheered, insulting and hating us all the way….They still do, because so many of them refuse to change.

    Why do some people expect that pain should be ignored, especially since Lejber and Sant insist on having ‘no regrets’? We are not being vindictive, too hard, or hateful; we are just feeling pain and scars that need to heal. We realise the seriousness of past and present events and feel that these can never be simply ignored if we are to have some kind of self-respect. Lejber were (and still are) hard on us. Why should we be soft and forget?

  29. lino says:

    I definitely agree that a valid opposition party serves to stirrup the government to keep its eyes open, or otherwise face defeat at the next elections, but your stated unconditional move to floater status just because labour would elect GA as their leader was misleading, it being only on the grounds of a valid opposition irrespective of the good performance of your party in government. One belongs to a party because he believes in the statute principles of that party, and unless these are outright violated through bad governance by his party in government, there’s no point in one’s moving to the other side or to the middle of the road. If one belongs to a party whose opposing party is deemed to be offering better policies, one should contribute internally to his party to generate fresh ideas

  30. David Buttigieg says:

    Daphne, what is the history of George Abela?

    I first got to hear about him in 1996 but don’t know anything about him beforehand.

    Was he in the party during the Mintoff/KMB nightmare years?

  31. D. Muscat says:

    Hmmm … good reflection about Joseph Muscat. Thanks for this insight.

  32. europarl says:

    Moderator, you ask: “By that argument, do you think it follows that the Labour Party’s Board of Vigilance is a mechanism that facilitates totalitarian control?”

    I have little respect for that circus, or any other that plays Inquisition, for that matter. But when it comes to totalitarianism their brand fades in obscurity when compared to that of our new European overlords, of which, I say again, few here have an inkling.

    [Moderator – I can understand how far removed it is. I have an image in my mind, from TVM, of three haggard old men in shorts and sandals, walking towards Mile End for a meeting. The subtitle said ‘bord ta’ vigilanza’.]

  33. Albert Farrugia says:

    I can assure you that we who love the MLP are all taking the advice of those who write in these columns. The MLP has nothing to be ashamed of for the 70s and 80s, when it set out to break the feudal system which existed in these islands, and when it set about to wrest power out of a handful of families who thought, and still do, that they are God’s favourites. Now the Nationalists in Malta have managed to neutralise each and every group, organisation and Union in Malta, even the GWU (with the help of Dr George Abela whom the Nationsalists now want as MLP leader, no doubt so as to finish off their job by neutralising the MLP itself). No, Labour will not put on Nationalist clothes. If anything we need a party of the true left, having a modern European leftist agenda, and expose the Nationalists for what they really are.

  34. Toni says:

    heyyy whatever happened to that famous kitchen cabinet!!?Are they still trying to come up with some magic brew!!?

  35. europarl says:

    Corinne, I guess had I wanted to remain anonymous I would have given a false email address.

    There are things you wouldn’t understand… and I really don’t wish to sound demeaning… in fact, best wishes to you for that…

  36. lino says:

    I don,t know how old you are, what news you follow and for how long you have been following these; even so, how many times you have been bombarded by 5inch diameter tappieri thrown from the roof of the now BOV premises in Republic Street just because you wanted to celebrate Jum il-Helsien. You know Albert, it happened to me when I wanted to celebrate my country’s Independence Day where I had to eyewitness serious casualties amongst whom ther was Dr. Guido Demarco. Is it this you are not ashamed of? This incident is just a drop in the ocean of the hardships us Nationalists had to go through during the 70’s and 80’s MLP governments. If such incidents do not make you ashamed then I am at a loss to know what will.

  37. Albert Farrugia says:

    I appreciate the sincerity of your post. Malta’s political history has been tough. Especially since most of it happened in the context of British Colonial politics. Labourites are still hurt that in the 50s and 60s they were considered outcasts by the Church, and so outcasts in society. Being banned from Church was no joke back then. No laughing matter! There have been actions and reactions throughout Malta’s recent political history. I am amazed how much these past incidents have featured in these elections. I think that not only the MLP, but ALL of Maltese society must come to terms with the past.

  38. Corinne Vella says:

    Europarl: It’s funny you should say that. I don’t know what email address you use because I don’t see any message until it’s published on this site, so I’ve no way of knowing whether the address you use is real or fake.

    As for there being things that I wouldn’t understand, how could you know what I am capable of understanding seeing as you do not know me from Adam?

    Please do not trouble yourself about demeaning me. It is not possible for you to do so. However, you do come across as patronising. You also come across as rather lily-livered too by constantly ‘hiding’ behind a pseudonym. If what you say here is in conflict with what you stand for in real life, then, as someone who claims the moral high ground where European values are concerned, you’re in the wrong job.

  39. lino says:

    RE: “Labourites are still hurt that in the 50s and 60s they were considered outcasts by the Church, and so outcasts in society.”
    Regarding the above mentioned issues, I can tell you that I was still young to understand at that time but when I grew up to know, I had never agreed about such decrees issued by the Church. If I can recall correctly the Church has asked for pardon for these shortcomings; why is it that you find it that difficult to accept the apology from the source that has caused your ailments? The Church has admitted that she had done wrong to the labourites and asked for forgiveness: some labourites have accepted that as a sign of goodwill. What is holding you back?
    On the same token, what is holding the MLP back to ask forgiveness for the hardships caused to NP supporters? Is the MLP afraid that nationalistists would not comply to accept such an apology?
    If they would not accept, then they would not be showing a sign of goodwill and I can assure you it will then be to their own detriment.
    Admitting a wrong when there is one is the biggest sign of gentlemanship.

  40. CeCe Camenzuli says:

    Hear ye !

    PN won the San Giljan local elections by a fantastic 5 – 2 seats.
    Considering that for the last 3 elections in St.Julian’s it was always 4 – 3, today’s result is a fantastic feat…..well done all !

    C C

  41. David Buttigieg says:

    Albert Farrugia,

    You certainly have gall, I’ll hand you that! Nothing to be ashamed of for the 70’s and 80’s you say?

    How about keeping Malta a 3rd world country where my father had to smuggle me in a remote controlled car?

    My school closed down and me forced to attend lessons underground?

    Women being set upon by labour thugs because they protested about lack of water.

    People murdered by the police in the depot.

    Government sanctioned violence the order of the day.

    One couldn’t even buy a chocolate in Malta – instead we had these vile imitations like desserta.

    Still it says a lot that labour isn’t ashamed of such a past – and it expects us to entrust it with our future!!!

  42. lino says:

    And to add; accepting an apology is the biggest sign of embracing reconciliation.

  43. Aidan Zammit Lupi says:

    “The MLP has nothing to be ashamed of for the 70s and 80s”

    Mr Farrugia, you have to be kidding….

    I grew up in those times and MLP made a lot of lives miserable. Freedom of speech was only a dream. Any one who disagreed with the government lived in fear. The party used thugs and their specially North-Korean-trained police to terrorize anyone who stepped out of line. Need I remind you about Black Monday and the Curia attack, to mention a couple of events that went down in history? What about the nationalization of the banks and how hundreds of families suddenly lost their life savings? What about the Blue Sisters? What about all the doctors who were forced to leave the country? What about the shameful attempts to close the private schools and the 20 point system that forced students like myself to leave the country so that they could attend a university? How about “no computers because they take away jobs”? What about allowing only state (=MLP) TV and radio broadcasting? How about no chocolates except for the disgusting Chinese-made Deserta bars? How about not allowing colour TVs just to protect the b&w Xandir Malta? I could go on and on.

    I am sure you are right about people having been hurt by the church in the 50s and 60s. But this is not the point. There is a fundamental difference when we mention the 70s and 80s. Some of the 2008 MLP candidates, including your ex-leader Alfred Sant, were part of the MLP at that time. They share the responsibility for many of those shameful things I mentioned.

  44. Julian says:

    The Labour Party has become too closed in on itself……which is fine as long as they implode rather than EXplode!!!!!!

  45. G. Grima says:

    Just heard passages from some lawyer( don’t know his name)on Bla Agenda. Was playing FIFA with my son on his PC and I actually scored! I took unfair advantage as my 15 year old son was doubled up with laughter hearing this lejber genius analyzing last week’s election and offering some kind of weak apology for not doing enough to obtain a lejber victory. Even youngsters who did not live through the evil 70s and 80s can read the situation, so our future is secure,

  46. Vanni says:

    @ europarl
    This is the second time you wrote along the lines of “There are things you wouldn’t understand”. I know, because the first time, you when you were answering a contribution I had submitted. And frankly, I find it very annoying.
    In other words, get off your high horse. If you know something we don’t, either speak up, or shut it. You may write slowly, so we lesser mortals may understand.

    Trying to sound superior is not very effective.

    BTW, are you a Maltese parliamentarian? Or is the use of your nick an attempt to pass yourself as one?

  47. CATherine says:

    I’d like to comment on the statement made in ‘Xarabank’ that the Party Leader election should be opened not just to delegates but also to those holding membership of the Party in question and possibly also to the general public. I, as a PN delegate, do not agree at all with this statement. If ever a vote on this matter is taken in the PN to change the Party Statute, I will certainly vote against it. Because I know a number of opportunists/hypocrites, that are not Nationalists in principles, that also hold a membership-card in both parties. I firmly believe this could be a dangerous situation, where, say if one’s principles are socialists, not Nationalist – one could then be tempted to vote for the lesser suitable person in the Party one does not believe in, so that the Party that one really believes in will be in advantage. I’m sure this is just what will happen – because this is Malta not Utopia – where in Malta most people are neither fair nor just. The PN delegates have always given Malta the best Leaders of all times. They have given Malta “Leaders for all Seasons”. And the PN has transformed itself in the “Party for all Seasons” too. History surely beckons this.

  48. David Thake says:


    The Church was indeed wrong in the 60s. The Church apologised for their mistakes.

    Whether that apology did enough to sooth the wounds that their mistake caused is another matter.

    People, like myself, who were tear gassed for daring to protest, shot at in Rabat, etc etc etc are also anxious to hear those beautiful words “we’re sorry”.

    Until then… all we remember is “No regrets”.

  49. Wixu says:


    Int bis-serjeta qieghed tghid “The MLP has nothing to be ashamed of for the 70s and 80s,”?. Ghidli li qieghed ticcajta!!! Din L-istess bhal tal ex leader AS meta hareg jghid “No regrets”. U ejja, qumu min hemm!!! Kif tista tghid “nothing to be ashamed” meta kissirtu l-kurja, kissirtu d-dar ta EFA, sparajtu gass ta dmugh u rubber bullets fuq nies waqt meeting ir-Rabat, qabbadtu c-cinisi jew koreani libsin ta Pulizija biex isawtu z-zaghzagh waqt meeting fuq il-Fosos, il-qtil ta Ray Caruana, tal-barrani, nista nkompli sejjer jekk trid. Ahna hfirnihom, pero qatt ma nistghu ninsuhom, dawn l-affarijiet.

    Ammettu li zbaljajtu, w ifthu kapitlu gdid ghal gid tal-MLP u ghal pajjizna. Ehilsu mil-Kankru li ghandkhom fi hdan l-MLP, biex vera l-lejber ikollu bidu gdid. Iva, hemm bzonn ta partit iehor serju. Iva hemm bzonn ta partit fl-oppozizjoni li lest jghin ghal gid tal pajjiz.


  50. M Debono says:

    some reflections on what is said in this bloggie today. First of all Sur Farrugia, what do we need a leftist party for? Do we need a resurgence of some kind of Loony Left? All the supposedly socialist parties have moved away from that half baked idea. The leftists have really become loony and marginalised because no one has time for their policies anymore except people with a huge chip on their shoulders, the supposed workers , the ones who comfort themselves with the “us ” and “them” mentality, the ones who envy the “haves” but are too dependent on their social security cheques and their hunting to actually go out and work. Most lover level Govt employees are amongst the laziest exponents of this pseudo-socialist dictum, thats why they vote labour in the hope that they may go to rest whilst supposedly working. I have in mind the cleaner who I, coming from the private sevtor, asked her to clean up a room in the old St Lukes that we were taking over to store medicines. “jien ma nahsilx art jew nerfa” she told me. “jien infarfar biss”. Around her neck was a locket with of all people a picture of Alfred Sant. Needless to say, i exploded and told her exactly, in clear Maltese, up what orifices she shoud shove her duster. These are the people who have been drummed with the mentality of the shirker, and thats why Labour is so successful in attracting the uneducated vote. Thats real socialism for you. The reality is that the PN has successfully taken the middle ground of politics in Malta because it has leaders who encourage people to believe in themselves, that they can better themselves and their people. Thats why, GA or not, if Gonzi plays his cards right, the PN will be ruling Malta for at least 15 years. LAbour may as well mothball itself. Its split into four factions as we speak, I hope it implodes. After the lack of regrets for the 80’s its the only thing it can do. If it was elected this time round, there would be 80’s mayhem on the streets, that neither AS or the paraventu would be able to control. Il Gawwi, as tghey say in Maltese, kien bil guh !

  51. freethinker says:

    Commentators should not rejoice that the MLP is now utterly squashed (deservedly so) in spite of the narrow victory by the gonzipn. I have seen few intelligent contributions on this blog (not to mention the atrocious use of both English and Maltese). Having won their third consecutive victory, the Nationalists may feel they now have a licence to ride roughshod over all Maltese and may not stop short of continuing to deny them certain rights enjoyed by all Europeans, such as divorce and truly free communications media. Under our system, a one-party government is practically a five-year dictatorship. The electors no longer have a voice till the next elections are due. We may be ecstatic to be in the EU but we do not enjoy the same civil rights enjoyed by all our fellow Europeans but this fact is gladly accepted without question by the docile voters. We are still hostages to the kind of religious obscurantism which disappeared from Europe decades or centuries ago and this victory by the PN may only serve to perpetuate the status quo. Some commentators may feel they are very smart but they are only meek lambs led by their noses for the benefit of the few big guns.

    [Moderator – I agree completely. With a coalition government, and with Alternattiva’s single seat in Parliament, divorce would have been made legal and the island’s 390,000 Catholics would go out and buy The God Delusion. And buffaloes go jogging on the moon. Who are you to say that a democratically elected government is a five-year dictatorship? Who are you to say that a party which received fewer votes than the capacity of MV Gaudos will be my ‘voice’?]

  52. Amanda Mallia says:

    Albert Farrugia – And what have you to say about a group of Labourites led by an infamous Labour thug rioting in then Brittannia Street, Valletta, directly behind Castille?

    What have you got to say about the thug himself throwing a large, full, glass bottle up at a closed balcony window at a group of young children who rushed to see what the commotion was?

    Do not deny that it happened, Albert Farrugia! I was one of those children, and was only aged around 8 at the time. Fortunately, only Daphne and I were injured by the broken glass, as was our grandmother. The consequences could have been far more serious, but luckily they were not.

    The fact still remains that these callous people simply threw a glass bottle directly at young children through a closed glass window. It happened so quickly, that we had no time to dodge it – It certainly was not something anyone would have expected to happen.

    The sound of the “exploding” glass is a memory that will not be easily erased by those who experienced it.

    Other people, like yourself, Victor Laiviera and several other Labour lackeys prefer, on the other hand, to rubbish such “claims”.

    Several hundreds of people witnessed Labour atrocities during the 70s and 80s, and yet the MLP has never found it necessary to apologise for any such happenings.

    It could never move forward unless it apologises for its past.

    I, for one, would never ever in my life trust a Labour government.

  53. kenneth Spiteri says:


    I beleive in PN values for that i always voted PN since 1996, but that doesn’t mean that if PN itself change their values i can’t change my vote,

    But yes in principal i tend to agree with you, you are perfectly right….

    i am not saying that woth GA as MLP leader i will vote MLP, far from it…but it will be definetly a valid alterantive….

  54. Silvan Mifsud says:

    Albert, if you keep reasoning that way, Labour will elect a leader which is only liked by a few people like you….and labour will remain in opposition for eternity.

    The Nationalist party will continue to praise George Abela, because they know that by doing so, people like you will take him for a Nationalist, when in reality they are doing so because they are ‘scared’ that he could somehow become Labour leader, and finally have someone who gives them a damn good run for their money.

    After 3 electoral defeats it is high time to use our brain….for once!

  55. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    Albert Farrugia, if you keep insisting that Labour has nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to regret, then you are just part of Labour’s problem.

  56. Amanda Mallia says:

    Silvan Mifsud – Though it is pretty obvious that you are canvassing for your dad, Alfred Mifsud, as Labour leader, I would like to add another comment:

    Many people are also “scared” of Anglu Farrugia becoming Labour leader (and thus, possibly eventually prime minister). I am one of them.

  57. Marie says:

    Well said, I couldn’t have put it in better words!
    Apologies from MLP.

  58. Albert Farrugia says:

    I simply think that Dr Abela, valid though he MIGHT HAVE BEEN, has distanced himself too much from the Labour core. Although a party needs to attract the middle ground, it cannot afford to lose its traditonal support. Before the electoral campaign a Labour victory looked likely because there were indications that the PN was losing its traditional voters. That is why in the last months so much effort was made to win these back.
    I do not think that Dr Abela can keep the Labour core in the party. He left the party, as Deputy Leader no less, during a very, very delicate moment thus rendering it very vulnerable. He was instrumental in making the GWU lose a lot of its core support – the port workers. The GWU is now a spent force. The MLP is also close to becoming a spent force now. The Nationalists are lords of this country. I am simply not convinced that Dr Abela, who contributed to this, can be the right man to fight the Nats. Because a fight it is. We are talking raw power here.
    And no, the MLP does not need a so-called “moderate” to lead it. When people write about this in this blog, all they mean is someone who seems weak and compromising. In that case, the MLP might just as well disband.
    Maybe, after all, one might also question what is the point of having party politics in Malta at all.
    Now where did I hear the name “Putin” last?

    [Moderator – Probably during a conversation with the Bord ta’ Vigilanza u Dixxiplina.]

  59. Amanda Mallia says:

    G Grima – I can understand what you mean about your son.

    As I said on another blog, even my 5-year-old daughter could suss out the difference between Gonzi and Sant, and we’re only talking about body language here!

    Considering that she only learnt of their existence at the start of the election campaign in February, that was a pretty accurate assessment.

  60. observer says:

    Lets all put leave party politics behind for a second and discuss the thing we all have in common – Malta.

    From a very young age most of us were probably bombarded with red or blue ideologies and no matter what individual is leader of a party we will vote for him even if he proposes chopping our heads off. That unfortunately is the sorry situation of this country. Consider football – its the same. England or Italy – but this is no game my friends, this is our country and not a game of 90 minutes but an ongoing journey of developement, adaptation and political maturation.

    As a nationalist of course im happy we re in government but as a maltese citizen I ask myself…Doesnt the country deserve a worthy opposition? Isn’t it necessary for the government to have a constant wave of intelligent and constructive critisism coming its way?

    The goverment must be kept on its toes in order to keep delivering the goods – not for the party but for the country. In the last 20 years (except for the 22 month menstruation) the country has come forward but we could be better. Its no secret that the nationalists have made mistakes (everybody does) but with a competent opposition they might have been avoided.

    To top this all off the opposition shows no signs of change. Charity begins at home – before mpl try to change the country they should change themselves. In the past they sought short term solutions which might have brought them to power but the party is now suffering the long term consequences and that is a process that must take place and cannot be rushed. Time will heal but only if the root of the problem is removed (and there are many roots still present in the mlp).

    The mlp asks…nei…TELLS! people to forget the 70 s and 80 s. They should try asking it might help. But even if they do ask…the wounds are still gaping. I would bet bottom dollar that no apology will make people forget.

    Perdnare da cristiano….Dimenticare da asino.

    Try convincing the families of Ray Caruana, Pietru Pawl Busuttil and thousands of others who we probably dont know about that these people have changed!

    The people will not forget but what labour must do is look inside, get cleaned up, change their attitude and stop trying to attract the ‘uneducated person’ to obtain the bulk of their vote. Then they might be ready for the next generation of voters and finally OUR Malta will have a Worthy government (whatever the party) and even better opposition that both have the best interests of the country at heart.

  61. freethinker says:

    Dear Moderator, a one-party government that obtained only a relative majority of votes but enjoys an absolute majority of seats (all quite constitutional, of course), will enact only the laws it deems advantageous to perpetuate its power and has no interest in listening to the voice of the oppressed who will continue to be denied rights such as divorce and free media (not self-censoring ones) enjoyed by the rest of Europe. The government may be right on many things but it is wrong on this one and is most unlikely to change its stance. Those who claim certain rights enjoyed by all other Europeans are shouted down and ignored by government which, yes, is close to a five-year autocracy under our system. As Voltaire said “it is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong”. It is amazing that so many young bloggers justly proud of our EU aquis are not really interested in living like Europeans and enthusiastically militate so that the Maltese theocracy continues to flourish. Civil rights have nothing to do with hair-breadth electoral victories but everything to do with true democracy which, in turn, should not be confused with the oppression of the minority by the majority (even if relative). The point is that a one-party, relative-majority, Catholic-dominated government has an unbridled power to continue to deny universal civil liberties to those who have a right to them. As in 1565, Malta is the last bastion of Catholicism and will yet save the world. Perhaps it is a mistake on my part to expect sanity to prevail in the present state of psychedelic euphoria and it would be better to give up in resignation. Some seem happy to continue to live subjugated in a bygone age while the world moves on regardless. Or has partisan political passion obscured liberal views to oblivion? A pity indeed! Now we know that all hope is lost.

    [Moderator – I agree with you that the religious beliefs of the members of the executive do have an influence on public policy. But the situation is such that 99 per cent of Maltese people believe that a priest’s shoelaces can cure cancer, and that is something that is not going to change overnight. Even Harry Vassallo, the self-declared leader of Maltese liberals, thought it fit to support that Gift of Life farce. I don’t think that I will ever be wholly represented in Parliament, but I accept that it is because I am largely alone in my perceptions, and it is not up to me to force the majority of the population to subscribe to my way of thinking. I am no lover of religion, but I’ve got to face the fact the ‘freethinkers’ are on the fringes of society, together with Imperium Europa and Emmy Bezzina. And if a minority as small as that of Maltese freethinkers were to make it to Parliamentary representation, it would also mean that a foaming-mad racist like Normal Lowell would too.]

  62. Ray says:

    Albert Farrugia, what you say goes shows how much so many people in your party have not changed one iota over the years. You bunch are still the same arrogant, insolent, ruthless and insensitive mob you were in the 70’s and ’80’s, of which you seem to be so proud of. Given the chance your party and its lapdogs are likely to give this country more of the same. This is what these islands would have got had your party won the election last week.

    You show that indeed you have no regrets and this only goes to harden the deep feelings of disgust and revulsion of any decent person with a sense of fairness and reason. You should be ashamed to support the horrendous things that your party has wreaked on our nation over so many years.

  63. CeCe C says:

    Hi all,
    good afternoon. Just went through the Sunday papers. Oh dear ….thats a lot of sour grapes in most of the usual Il-Kulhadd, Torca or Illum columns. However beleive it or not in IL-KULHADD a full page advert YES a full page advert with the words on 5 columns
    G R A Z Z I
    That’s great. Thank’s for the defeat.
    Another insult for those who have MLP at heart….and food for thought for others…

    Will be back in minutes…..

  64. Silvan Mifsud says:

    Dear Albert,

    Ok, now that you have put your cards on the table I can see that it is useless debating with you. You see politics as a fight for raw power. I see it as a way to persuade people, and people can only be persuaded by strong arguments which are not based on ultra-biased sentiments, but on pure logic that stems from moderate thinking and from faith in people.

    You have every right to think that labour needs to attract just its core…but believe me by doing so it will be getting smaller and smaller and remain in opposition forever. I had said these words 5 years ago and was proved right last weekend…

    P.S. Amanda , although I know my dad would be a valid person for the Labour Party, I personally feel that George Abela is the man that the Labour Party really needs at the moment. However, beyong anything, my message is not about canvassing for anybody. My message is that Labour needs to think out of the box for once, and get its house in order, so that it can really start appealing to all levels of the Maltese Society. No patch up solution will do!

  65. Dave says:

    Daphne, quoting your article:

    “People fall into the trap of mentioning such contenders for the leadership, but they really are non-starters. Joseph Muscat? Evarist Bartolo? Marie Louise Coleiro? Anglu Farrugia?”

    I agree 100% with you on Evarist and Anglu … for me Anglu is actually a step backwards from Sant, back to the bad old Mintoff days.

    What is the reason why do you consider Joseph Muscat as non-starter? The general feeling I get from most people is that they would consider voting MLP with Muscat at the helm. Do you consider him to be the “poodle with Sant at the leash”?

  66. Jason Spiteri says:

    Anna Mallia made a very good point on that programme, but please everyone stop making out as if she was a credible intellectual in the Labour Camp. This woman is on record in our newspapers as saying that Malta doesn’t need a diplomatic corps any longer ‘because nowadays you can communicate with emails and faxes’!!!

  67. Brian Hansford says:

    Amanda /Daphne you wrote
    “Do not deny that it happened, Albert Farrugia! I was one of those children, and was only aged around 8 at the time. Fortunately, only Daphne and I were injured by the broken glass, as was our grandmother. The consequences could have been far more serious, but luckily they were not.

    i cant but offer you my sympathy, i have been through something very similar but this time it wasn’t the labour ppl it was a nationalist crowd i has about 7 or 8 and a mass meeting was held in Lija by the pn after it finished they went to the apartments in lija and started swearing at the residents after a few minutes they where throwing stones when they nobody responded to there cowardly acts they lite bottles filled with petrol and threw them, i still remenber my mum trying to put the flames out it was shocking to say the least .
    in the apartments lived both labourites and nationalist although the majority were labour, this does not justify any kind of voilance. this is not a tic for tac it happened both ways and allot have suffered in the past.
    lets start a new page and forget the past and try and put our arguements forward why should poeple support one party and not the other instead of trying to build a smear campaign!

    again i show my sympathy to all that have suffered whatever political party you support .

  68. M Debono says:

    How the MLP Brutalised me – Sur Bert, my first memory of politics was in 1976 when after the election of that year, Labour Party thugs burnt down the PN club three doors down from my house.I was ten at the time. My mother and father were terrified. My mum was a PN activits, still is in fact. I remember my father calmly loading a shotgun behind our front door, which looked flimsy at that time, with my grandfather while outside it was mayhem. We knew we were next . Zurrieq in 1976 was not a pretty place. There was nowhere to go. My dad and my grandpa would have died trying to save us. The police outside were just indifferent and some helped the mob in their burning. They would not have defended us. It was only our level headed maid, herself a member of the MLP committee, who prevailed and told everyone that my families, who had in the past employed three quarters of the village people, did not deserve to be harmed. Still, someone tried to break down the roof door of our house, Sur Bert. Can you imagine us kids ? I was 10, my sister 9, and my brother 5 and my little sister 4 , hearing that awful noise, smelling the flames, the mayhem, knowing that even at a young age, you are a goner? Those flames imprinted themselves in my psyche, and in my mind and in my soul. It will take more than Jaysinn’s rictus of a smile to erase them. I have many more stories to tell. Like when in 1982, i was at Hal Far at 16 years of age, at the Perspex, with police ramming the tips of their rifles up our backsides, expertly finding the target. I suffer still from piles from that time. And it was only through the kind heart of some labourites that we got out alove after Lorry Sant turned up with his shouting and bullyboys …..What about 1986, when i was hit by lead in Rabat in my back from the SMU and seeing Pavia fall in a pool of blood not far away ? And having the lead pellets reoved from back and arse without anaestethic by Frank portelli at the stamperija? There are many more stories to tell, but i wont bore you. All i can tell you is that the MLP cannot hope, ever, to make us 80’s kids switch sides to the MLP. Apologists may tell us that the MLP has changed. I will tell you that will happen when the Pope becomes a lesbian hippie ( Ahfirli Mulej). Not even if you grovel in the dust, in abject shame, kiss my feet and show Job’s remorse will I vote MLP. I forgive, yet, i cannot forget. Remember the TVM card with Run Rabbit Run playing in the background in 1981? Its Burnt in my retina, Sur Bert. And it will not go away untill I am 6 Feet under. Allahares jitla l-Lejber was a shout echoed by a lot last Saturday, and its a reality. The MLP rank and file, disenfranchised for so long, is hungry, and would have turned vindictive in no time after a victory last Saturday and Sunday. That vision scares us 80’s kids more than anything else. I feel a visceral revulsion at the thought. And you want us to vote MLP. Never. Its not going to happen. WE WILL NOT SWITCH. NADA. QATT U QATT. So stop trying to convince us and understand my message.its one….Messkom tisthu ! This message we will pass on to our kids and our kids of kids. You have no idea how hurt we are. You ruined our adolscence and mine in particular with your 20 points, your violence…..and all the time, Smug Fred was presiding over the MLP. No Regrets he said. I have no regrets in saying that we may criticise the PN, nay, even offend certain elements, like I have done. But its a party that listens and tries in a fashion. The MLP does not even begin to understand……..so no, Sur Bert, I will never vote MLP, nor will the Vella girls, nor will any us of the 80’s who went to private schools at that time. You have brutalised us and our offspring for ever. Now begone. Crawl into your holes. And dont come out unless you are clean enough and the stink of the past does not emanate from your beings. You will lose, again and again, if you do not come to terms with us. Go quitely into the night. You are yesterday. We are today and tomorrow. (ahfruli l-ispelling mistakes please)

  69. Mireille Spiteri says:

    We cannot take anything forgranted. MLP do has some very valid material as in Chris Cardona and Gavin Gulia the latter not having been elected to parliament. Both are young, moderates and very much liked by our own supporters let alone by Labour supporters. It seems they are contesting together. (or with G Abela)

    Question is : will they be able to make it in a hostile election decided by MLP delegates?

  70. Gianluca Farrugia says:

    Hi Daphne,

    Your blog on Xarabank is fantastic! It had me hooked and crying with laughter! Very entertaining indeed! Keep it up!


  71. lino says:

    If the MLP elect Ga as their leader it does not follow that the PN would have changed their ‘values’ or would be performing badly. AS to whether with GA as MLP leader we would have a better alternative party I would say that most likely we would have a better opposition but I would not dare say definitely.

  72. JC Sullivan says:

    Alfred Mifsud wants to become leader!!! Well, hell, I wouldn’t vote (not even if I could) for him if you paid me.

    His quick cut-and-paste report on the then MSU (Management Systems Unit) as presented to the staff on November 14th, 1996 at the Med. Conference Centre tried to publicly humiliate people and ruin careers. He did succeed in promoting individuals back-end-kissing individuals who worked ever so hard against hard-working colleagues.

    Alfred Mifsud? NEVER!!!!!!

  73. Jenny says:

    In a nutshell, the Labour party do NOT want to change.It’s written in black and white. How can we trust them. Yes I lived the 70’s and the 80’s too and those memories will never leave me. Remember the Mnarja holiday and the bank employees protest. Well my father owned a small shop at that time, however he could not go against the grain as he had a family to support so it was business as usual for him. Sure enough a couple of days after this day the police went over and ordered him to close his shop (since they knew he was a PN supporter) His permit had been taken away for him. It wasn’t before he signed a false declaration that he was in fact closed on this famous day that his permit was given back. No need to say, he suffered in every aspect and not in least healthwise. No I can never forget!

  74. László Bercsényi says:

    Seeing as we’re getting all anecdotal here, here’s mine:

    I’ve just come back from the polling booth, where I voted in the local council elections of a European city, which shall remain unnamed. Of course I could do so by virtue of my EU citizenship. The chaps at the ballot-ox, seeing my passport, said “Ah, Malta! Europeans!”.

    And that’s all there is to it, in a nutshell. Had the MLP had its way, it would be: “Malta? Oh, Libyans!”

    IT’S NOT ABOUT THE LEADERSHIP; It’s about a choice between two models of civilisation: Normal European country VS Chip-on-Shoulder Ex-Colony.

  75. Corinne Vella says:

    As long as the MLP operates a Bord ta’ Vigilanza u Dixxiplina that routs out anyone who has an opposing opinion or does not agree 100% with il-lider’s official position, then it cannot be trusted in government. A party that does not accept criticism from within its own ranks can never be a government that welcomes – rather than just tolerates – opinons that are different to its own.

    When people celebrated on the streets in 1987 it wasn’t because of the return of consumer choice in confectionery. It was because people could finally gather and speak freely without the fear of being denied access to basic services, black balled professionally or personally, choked by tear gas, shot at, arrested arbitrarily and held without charge, beaten up or threatened.

    Anyone who read the Times in the 1980s would remember its infamous page 13, cataloguing the horror of human rights violation that was the norm, rather than the exception. Anyone who doesn’t remember those pages can make use of the Times extensive archive.

    All the economic woes of the 1980s are as nothing when compared to the lack of freedom of expression, association and assembly and the fear that blanketed our every move. A change in the MLP leadership would be truly promising only if it meant a shift in its attitude to criticism, an openess to differing opinions and a sense of accountability to the people it is supposed to serve. Anything less than that won’t do.

  76. Robert A says:

    If the MLP want to win an election they need a leader that will appeal to Nationalists. That is the reason why Nationalists put forward the moderate George Abela as their preferred MLP leader – because they can see themselves voting for George Abela. Any of the other names like Anglu Farrugia, Marie Louise Coleiro, Joe Muscat, Alfred Mifsud, Michael Falzon etc is likely to be associated with all that is wrong within the MLP (from a Nationalist point of view).

    As a Nationalist I hope they don’t pick George Abela; as a Maltese citizen I hope they do!

  77. All these ideas and wishful thinking are all very well and good; but some important facts are always overlooked.
    The MLP has always appealed to man’s less commendible traits, envy of others, the ‘I’m alright – bugger you’ attitude, the inferiority complex, and the ‘Big Brother-is-watching-you’ syndrome. It prefers to see the people in ignorance so that they can be brainwashed into thinking anything of anybody and everything. It takes first prize for spreading subtle (and not so subtle) venom. They ride on the coat-tails of the people on the pretext that they are the ‘Partit tal-Haddiema’ – as if not everyone is a ‘haddiem’. Most harmful of all is that they have given their own members a persecution complex.
    The sorry thing is that the Labourites forget and accept everything they say as the Gospel truth.
    I will never forget Mintoff’s famous dictum -‘Il-poplu jinsa’.

  78. Chris says:

    Freethinker – Whilst I might agree with you re divorce – thoug a lot needs tobe done to educate people befoe you give them a double edged sword such as divorce – I cannot agree with you re free media and press – Even if one does not compare it to the 70’s and 80’s (in this case one can speak of a Utopia), I think that today people are quite free to express their opinions and read all types of news in all types of news paper. Do you know when people, including myself, had to change their personal details even on this bog, when someone tried (and succeeded) in hacking the server and thus presumably obtaining our private details – and this someone was for sure someone that was irritated by this blog – I just leave you to guess who.

  79. Chris says:

    M Debono, being an 80’s youth, having lived thourgh the numerous independence assaults and then the Zejtun – Rabat attacks, I cannot but agree with you – same here, whatever happens, I can never forget those scenes and they still haunt me till today so much so that I can never imagine myself, my wife or even my kids, putting a mark on the Red- Torca side.

  80. joe says:

    emm … what about all the Catholics out there? aren’t they responsible of thousands of deaths? so, whould we do away with the Church?

    oh, wait… what about the Germans, Italians, Russians, Cubans, em… Americans? too …

  81. Corinne Vella says:

    Vanni: Kevin Ellul Bonici is not a Maltese parliamentarian. He’s not even a Brussels parliamentarian. Why do I use that name? Because that’s who I think europarl is. He’s left enough fingerprints on various fora. If he’s not, then the real Kevin Ellul Bonici could post a message here and say so himself – not that I’d believe him, of course, unless his name is Sharon.

  82. ATM says:

    MLP has not won an election without the intervention of Dom Mintoff since 1971.

    Don’t you dare say that the MLP won 1996! We all know how the Perit was deceived by the Master of Deception to give a helping hand in the 1996 election. And we all know what happened afterwards…

    The crisis of MLP has been going on since 1984 when Mintoff chose the one and only KMB. For twenty four long years, MLP have failed to choose a leader who was half as good as Mintoff. And you know what? I still bump into people calling themselves Mintoffjani!

    For those who say that MLP are in a big mess. You are right. But the point is that the mess has been there for 24 years. It is high time that some serious thinking is put into reconstructing MLP. Some serious soul searching where the raison d’être of MLP is found is required.

    MLP have tried their best to attract new young voters but the “Mintoff” soul in the labour party still finds a way to mess it up. Yeah keep lashing at the University students and the older of us will remember how Mintoff used to scare us that computers will make people redundant.

    The only fix that MLP need is a total dismemberment. MLP is like an old house that needs to be rebuilt. Alfred Sant almost managed but fell short. He failed because as we say in Maltese he tried to “jraqqa’ pannu bil-qargha ahmar”. He tried to retain the old labour with archaic thinking and integrate it with the new labour.

    I wish MLP all the luck in the world to find a fix, but mark my words, if they just change the leader they will remain in opposition for many years to come.

  83. Amanda Mallia says:

    M Debono – Thanks for putting into words (several, may I add – but they were necessary)my thoughts exactly. Mandy (Vella)

  84. Tifel tal-C&W says:

    When reminiscing about the wonderful 70’s & 80’s I would like you all to also remember the Cable & Wireless employees – who’s fate does not appear to have been properly chronicled in our history (maybe one of the victims can detail the events for posterity here on the net!).

    My understanding is that after many months during which Mintoff had reduced their working conditions they decided “Issa daqshekk” and went to work but refused to use the imposed punch clock as a form of industrial action. Many of them ended up suspended with no pay for 7 months – for going to work but refusing to use the punch clock! I stand to be corrected of course.

    As one of the children who’s father had to seek alternate sources of income and did everything within his capabilities not to deprive me, the scars run deep – and no apology has ever been forthcoming.

    Viva l-MLP – it targa tal haddiema!!! No regrets Alfred tells us!

  85. Amanda Mallia says:

    Silvan Mifsud – You said “… Labour needs to think out of the box for once, and get its house in order …”.

    I agree with you that it does, not for the sake of MLP, but for the country as a whole – A good opposition is a healthy one. Let’s hope that it won’t be composed of the undesirables, though! (And no, lest anyone dare think otherise, I am definitely not pro-MLP!)

    Best regards, Silvan.

  86. MARY ANN says:

    Did I read that Joseph Muscat is a good contender for the MLP leadership? Does anybody remember how, back then when he was a labour journalist, he used to put questions to the then Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami? He used to be so insulting and “skifus”, a mirror image of charlatan gouder in these paste few weeks.

    I agree 100% with Daphne, thanks but no thanks!

    [Moderator – Rude or not, Joseph Muscat has no clout – he never submitted himself to a state parliamentary election, and the MLP is not going to remain leaderless until he gets to.]

  87. europarl says:

    What’s this blabbering Corinne? Is this the girl guides or what?

    Let me put your preoccupation to rest:

    We live in two very separate worlds – call them Wonderland and Lilyland. People who live in Lilyland know what’s in Wonderland cos they had lived there, but not the other way around.

    Since you are not well acquainted with my world – and I can see your frame through your comments – it would take volumes to describe it. I’m not saying you’re world is unhealthy, but it’s different.

    So let’s spare you and the Daphne blog readers lots of extra words.

    Where I “left fingerprints on various flora” I don’t know, because as far as blogs are concerned, the only local ones I visited (and only recently) where J’accuse’s and this here ornament.

    By the way, other than being Kevin Ellul Bonici and europarl (here and for a week on j’accuse), I’m also “Pietru Krapatkun” and “Il-Bidwi Malti” of Maltafly.com fame.

    Hope that would quench your thirst for now, seeing that you have opened your life history to us by divulging (behold) your first name, Corinne… how gracious of you, I bow my head to your transparency.

    The above would go for “Vanni” too. As for his preoccupation with my nick “europarl”, it’s just a nick, vanni, a nick… for the sake of not having my non-mainstream, dissident comments all over the friggin the cyberglobe with my friggin name on it.

    The literary world is full of anonymous authors and the numbers rise in times of… hmmm, for want of a mainstream word… alas how blissful it must be to be naive!

    And forget not, of course, that although I place no smiley, I do smile while writing this nonsense.

  88. Vanni says:

    The point I was trying to put across, is that I find your choice of nick interesting.

    Let me spell it out. You rattle on about Europe and how you are defending our interests from Brussels. You have mentioned quite a few times of how you are working ‘from the inside’ to change what is happening in Europe. At one point I was quite sure that I was reading Ian Fleming.

    It doesn’t take the intellectual prowess of a criminologist to deduct that the use of Europarl (never forgetting what you repeatedly wrote-working from the inside) makes you:
    a) Either a parliamentarian yourself
    b) A wannabe parliamentarian

    My natural curiosity was aroused at this point, and hence decided to ask you for an explanation. I hope I didn’t break your cover, Mr. Bond.

    Only when you wrote ‘while writing this nonsense’, do we finally find ourselves in complete agreement.

  89. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    europarl – you are rendering yourself ridiculous. Like a typical Maltese li qatt ma aghmel xejn jew mar imkien, you think that by living and working in Brussels (having piggy-backed there on your allahares-Malta-tissieheb-mal-EU wife Sharon Ellul Bonici’s shoulders), you have become the sine qua non of sophistication, knowing mysterious things that ‘the others’ do not. Meanwhile, your manner of communication (“there are things you wouldn’t understand”) and your obvious delight at living in what must surely be one of the most boring cites on the planet and working in a near-exclusive bureaucratic environment indicates just the opposite – a complete lack of experience and sophistication. Now if you were in Manhattan, I might understand.

  90. Matthew Borg says:

    Some people really are crazy. Honestly.

    After reading the above, I think I’m going to have to add ‘europarl’ to a list that includes Jo Said, Jason Micallef, Dom Mintoff and Alfred Sant.


  91. Phaedra Giuliani says:

    What a condescending, supercilious prat ‘europarl’ seems to be! Probably that rarified atmosphere has gone to his head and he’s seeing the rest of us mere mortals as worms.

  92. Jack says:


    I am amused at the way Europarl – blissfully asserts that:

    “I guess, unlike Sant and his bella compania, Sharon cannot be accused of any political inconsistency.”

    Pardon me?! – I distincly remember Ms. Ellul Bonici spewing venom on EU Membership as if there was no tomorrow, forecasting post-apocalyptical scenarios and faithfully espousing the mystical “partnership” concept (which gladfully has been silently shelved in the MLP limbo).

    I had wondered what had become of Ms. Ellul Bonici. I had assumed that after that resounding debacle, Ms. Ellul Bonici would have retreated graciously to oblivion.

    Imagine my utter disbelief on learning that Ms. Ellul Bonici had zealously embarked on the EU bandwagon, she had so relentlessly tried to demonise!

    There would be a number of interpretations to this change of heart (possibly a severe case of auto- masochism). However, it now appears Ms. Ellul Bonici, who has defacted from the “fiercely oppressive” MLP European Policies, by bravely parading in the Streets of Strasbourg (no, not Tibet), is using her “considerable” clout and experience to spur positive reform in the EU mechanism and help securing Malta’s EU interests.

    It is yet unclear how Ms. Ellul Bonici intends to achieve this, however, her “heroic” rebellion against MLP’s oppressive Euro-policies has suddenly projected her to a low-scale, self-made Joan of Arc figure…. and just as ambitious.

    This mutiny wins Ms. Ellul Bonici no plaudits from either camp though – how can she reasonably expect to be taken seriously?

    I am also perplexed by europarl’s assertion that this insubordinance is not tantamount to “joining the bandwagon”. If this is not an inconsistancy, that I do not know what would be in europarl’s books – pardon me, but it seems more like yet another case of jumping ship.

  93. Juseph Camilleri says:

    I cannot agree more with Daphne, especially the last two paragraphs. Labour still have too many skeletons in their cupboard, and not to make us forget,their ex leader said he had no regrets. How can they ever become electable before they make a public national apology for all the atrocities committed in the 70s and 80s? Some of them are still around aspiring to have power again. The new voters’ parents, like myself, have a right to it and no amount of suggested amnesia on their part, will ever attract our trust with the government. Yes, people are still afraid of Labour. The Party has to be born again, possibly with a new name. The word Labour still carries the albatross around its neck.Shame on your past! Shame. Peppu

  94. Corinne Vella says:

    Kevin Ellul Bonici: Seeing as the blabbering is your doing, you’ll have to answer your own question yourself. The only thing that makes sense in your writing is your own reference to it as nonsense. I’m not too sure what world it is you live in, but it doesn’t sound very welcoming, what will all these cloak and dagger tactics you indulge in simply to make some inane pronouncement from the Olympian heights of Brussels.

    Please don’t flatter yourself that I’m preoccupied about your going undercover or have any craving to know about your various electronic beards and fake noses. I commented on your using a nick name simply because it seems fatuous that you do so when you are apparently fighting the battle to end all battles on behalf of the inhabitants of Wonderland. Why hide your face, so to speak, when you deserve Wonderland’s honour and acclamation for your heroism? You would surely be welcomed back with a shower of roses.

    You take yourself a mite too seriously. If you want to underscore what you say, then say who you are. If that weakens what you say, then what you say does not make sense. If it weakens your personal position, then you are in the wrong place. If having blown your own cover means you now have to take flight, take heart. There’s a place for you back in Wonderland. AN is looking for a new leader. It sounds like you have the right personal qualities for the job.

    BTW Vanni is a real name and he sure as hell knows what he’s talking about.

  95. CATherine says:

    I come from a village/town that also has its own highly nasty/terrifying stories to tell during the 70’s & 80’s – Zejtun. I lived there for 21 years. Its infamous stories are very well known by all. So, I’m not going to bore you with the “narrative” – “that’s water under the bridge” now. However, I will never ever vote MLP – no matter who wins the leadership and no matter how many apologies they make. Although the entire sleaze taking place during the MLP years of governing surely disgusted me and will forever remain fresh in my memory, my biggest hurt is the fact that the MLP ruined my past, my present and my future. I had no chance for a real, free and proper tertiary education just as nowadays students have. And I’m sorry to say that I will carry this grudge to my grave.
    And finally, my very personal opinion of GA is that he does not strike me at all as a charismatic leader, despite all the hype written and said. And as a matter of fact no one mentioned in the contest-list has any charisma or appeal for me.

  96. Alex says:

    Daphne I beg to differ. Brussels is not a boring city at all. True, it has its corporate, diplomatic, glass and steel side to it, and the weather is abysmal. But there is more to the city than that, for anyone who cares to look deeper. I merely wanted to clarify this most unimportant of points.

  97. nadine says:

    I wish to point out something…while the prancing peacock (or rather blubbering fool) was giving off his closing comments at the end of Xarabank on Friday, there was a phrase he uttered three times in succession and which really gave me the creeps…”lil dawk l-eluf li wrewna fiducja bil-vot taghhom”…am I right in thinking that if Labour stays like it is now and God forbid gets elected to government the next time round, they will be a Gvern tal-Laburisti biss?? So much for their pontifications about gonzipn being a government of “hbieb tal-hbieb”!!

    By the way…I am one of the new voters…although still young, my generation has its eyes wide open :)

  98. Meerkat :) says:

    @ Alex

    Since you have made such an enticing advert for Brussels I am packing my bag as I speak…

  99. Corinne Vella says:

    M Debono: I sympathise with what you say but I disagree that the MLP has been disenfranchised. Even though the discourse suggests that is the way people feel, to my knowledge no one has been deprived of the rights of citizenship, particularly not the right to vote.

  100. Chris says:

    Well if anyone things that Brussels is exciting, he really does not know what exists out there – and I am saying this from experience.

  101. Corinne Vella says:

    Nadine: here it is, straight from the horse’s mouth (at around 2:17 into the video)

  102. Alex says:

    To Chris, well, I’ve been around too. I never said Brussels is exciting. I said it is an interesting city, that offers a lot if you look around. I’m not referring to night life here, although that too if you’re into the arts for instance. But I’m referring here to quality of life. A city of one million people which is easy to live in (unlike London for instance), still one of the cheaper cities of western Europe, has excellent food markets, is extremely cosmopolitan (with all the advantages that offers), and is surrounded by forest.

    Why the hell am I telling you all this?

    [Moderator – I think it’s good conversation.]

  103. Silverbug says:

    Gas the roaches and how! What hurts most about these people is that they do not want government to lead the country to a better future. They just want to get the power to carry out petty vengeances. Where I work they had drawn up a list of Nazzjonalisti, all of whom were destined for coventry. How one can conceive floating near such scum is beyond me.

  104. Randolph B says:

    If ever there was any doubt that Labour of old and new Labour are no different the display of Jason Micallef on Xarabank put paid to that!

    A wolf in sheep’s clothing with perfect teeth!

    Jason Micallef typifies everything that is wrong about Labour. Chips on shoulders, arrogance, lack of respect, intolerance… the list goes on.

    God help us if they had won this election!

  105. Meerkat :) says:

    @ Alex

    Tkomplix tghaxxaqha fuq ir riklam ghal Brussel! Food markets? Plenty of them here… Ha nerga nispakkja l-bagalja! :)

  106. Alex says:

    Meerkat, inti ibqa’ fejn qieghed, u jiena fejn qieghed :) u kulhadd kuntent. Tajjeb?

    Imma ha niccara xi haga: Jekk qed tahseb li qed nipprova nirreklama l-UE meta nitkellem b’mod pozittiv dwar Brussell, u li b’hekk (ghax mohh il-Malti hekk jahseb) qed infahhar il-PN ghax dahlitna fl-Ewropa, sejjer zball :)

    Jiena dwar Brussell il-belt qed nitkellem, u mhux dwar Brussell il-kuncett. Forsi ghal min ma jafx Brussell hija l-belt kapitali tal-Belgju, bi storja twila li tmur lura sar-Rumani, u ghandha popolazzjoni li hafna minnha tigi taqa’ u tqum mill-UE, hlief meta jgergru dwar kemm gholiet il-kera minhabba l-impjegati ta’ l-istituzzjonijiet ta’ l-UE (bhali per ezempju) li jifilhu jhallsu iktar min-nies tal-lokal.

  107. nadine says:

    Corinne, thanks for the video. What really irks me is that those comments in the video were made before the election, when they thought a landslide victory was theirs for the taking. But although the electorate repelled them a week ago, I thought they would have learned the meaning of inclusion, and at least start showing that they have started walking the path leading to change. I believe the only phrase they have learned from their defeat till now is ‘power of incumbency’ and ‘xiri tal-voti’. So much for ‘New Labour’.

  108. Gerald Fenech says:

    I have been following this site ever since it went daily in the middle of the election campaign. What I fail to understand is this constant crowing over a victory achieved with all the social forces, the so called ‘independent’ media and every single other weapon which equates to power and money in favour of the PN. Reading the posts and comments, one could almost imagine that the victory was by some 20,000 or even more when in effect it was by 1580 votes, not even half a quota on the 2nd district! With all its disorganization, pathetic campaign and complete dearth of proposals, the wounded Labour Party actually almost won the election in the end.
    So instead of bashing a wounded animal to death, why doesn’t the ‘independent’ media start scrutinizing how it can get its message across to achieve a more comfortable working majority next time?

  109. Twanny says:

    It appears clear that “Freethinker” sees himself/herself as some sort of superior form of “enlightened person” who can scarcely conceal his/her contempt for his/her “less enlightened” fellow Maltese.

    The generally accepted meaning of the word theocracy is that of a state governed by clergy members who claim to rule with divine authority – such as the government of Iran. Freethinker, the form of government that Malta has chosen for itself through its constitution hardly seems to fit the definition of a theocracy.

    Freethinker bemoans that the “docile voters” of Malta have elected a government that “may not stop short of continuing to deny them certain rights enjoyed by all Europeans, such as divorce and truly free communications media.”

    It is unclear what Freethinker considers “truly free communications media.” The very fact that Freethinker is able to express his/her opinions in a public forum such as this – openly and unhindered – provides ample proof that Malta enjoys the “truly free communications media” that he/she so dearly craves.

    It is generally accepted that the traditional family (father, mother, and children) is the fundamental core unit that underpins every society and nation. This leads us to the subject of divorce that Freethinker so clearly espouses as being a “civil right” that, unlike their fellow Europeans, the “unenlightened” Maltese people do not enjoy. Perhaps Freethinker ought to look at some studies that have examined the subject of divorce. Studies have shown that, at least here in North America, divorce undermines the nuclear family and consequently destabilised the nation. They have shown that there is a direct correlation between families with single parents (often as a result of divorce) and youth crime and teenage pregnancy. It comes as no surprise that, because of easy access to divorce, people often choose to cut and run rather than face their matrimonial and familial commitments, often to the detriment of the children. It is clear that many often use divorce as the easy way out of problems that married couples universally experience. Sad to say, there are men who use divorce to escape their financial obligations to their children thereby condemning their abandoned children to poverty and worse. Studies have also shown that divorced people often engage in serial divorces – divorcing and remarrying several times over – in several failed, deluded, and vain attempts to find the “right partner” as if they are trying on shoes in a store – “let’s see if this one fits.”

    Freethinker is clearly eager for an “enlightened” party that, in government, would bestow on the “relative minority” of Maltese people “universal civil liberties to those who have a right to them”; “civil liberties” that are being denied to the Maltese people by “a one-party, relative-majority, Catholic-dominated government with unbridled power.” Would Freethinker’s “enlightened” vision of an “enlightened” Malta include other “civil rights” such as legalised prostitution, legalised abortion, and legalised euthanasia? After all, these “civil rights” already exist in several “enlightened” member states of the European Union.

    Allow me to suggest some courses of action to Freethinker in his/her “enlightened” quest to free “unenlightened” Maltese from their burden of unrealized “civil liberties.”

    Freethinker might consider standing for elected office at the next election to discover the level of electoral support that his/her “enlightened” views enjoy with the Maltese electorate. Should he/she be elected, then Freethinker will be in a position to sponsor legislation that would bestow the “civil rights” he/she holds so dear on Malta.

    Alternatively, since he/she has unimpeded freedom of movement within the EU, Freethinker might consider moving to any member state where there is no “Catholic-dominated government with unbridled power” and where the “civil rights” that he/she clearly desires already exist. Freethinker however would need to be careful of where he/she goes and of the potential future ramifications. In the Netherlands, Freethinker might, at some point in the future find him or her self on the receiving end of the legally available “civil right” of euthanasia, which although he/she might consider “enlightened”, is equally terminal as natural death, although more premature.

    BTW, where are the responses from contributors to this blog who, in the words of Freethinker, have made only a “few intelligent contributions on this blog (not to mention the atrocious use of both English and Maltese)”? Freethinker, your condescending and patronising attitude is an insult to the intelligence of the contributors to this blog and to the Maltese people in general.

    [Moderator – Maltese media is not ‘truly free’ because the broadcast spectrum is controlled by the state. I remember being totally amazed, after watching Wayne’s World at age 10, that any US citizen could broadcast live television from his basement. Free media is all about empowering people to broadcast their message. Once you’ve done that, censorship laws become irrelevant – the Danish media are so free that the government wouldn’t dare enforce it’s century old law that prohibits the criticism of religious institutions. In your last few statements you ask a dissatisfied individual to consider emigration. I’m no fan of the ‘if you don’t like it, leave’ argument. Humans are tool-using animals: if they don’t like something, they’ll use their tools to change it. Neither should you imply that insulting Maltese people and criticising religion are equated, because they aren’t.]

  110. Corinne Vella says:

    Gerald Fenech: Independence in the media means that a medium’s opinion is not bought or prescribed. That is why the category excludes those media that are owned or financed by political parties. The difference between political and independent media is that the latter usually welcome dissenting voices. If they did not, you would not be able to post such a message here.

  111. CATherine says:

    Now what’s all this babble about ‘floating’? I know another thing that floats – and surely I don’t want to be associated with it!
    Politics is mainly about policies. A party changing a leader or leadership does not necessarily mean it will be changing its policies, views and mentality!

  112. Bercsényi says:

    We’re not crowing, Gerald. We’re relieved that the anti-Europeans didn’t win, and dismayed at this country which has failed to produce a decent Social-democrat party.

  113. Vanni says:

    Hi Gerald Fenech
    I can call this blog a lot of things, but never in a million years would I dream of calling it independent. And I think that few others would either.

    When you wrote re the ‘bashing of a wounded animal to death’, may I remind you that the wounded animal in question is not a sweet cuddly animal, but more of the rabid foaming at the mouth type. Don’t believe me? Have a look at the vitriolic uttered by Anglu Farrugia, and others of his ilk.

    [Moderator – A very important environmentalist once wrote, ‘When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.’ Independence is a fallacy. We are free to associate with whoever and whatever we want, and it is impossible for us not to do so. Jesus ate meat; Hitler might have been a vegetarian; Tony Zarb is a Labourite; Guido De Marco controls The Times; Roger De Giorgio owns a disco in the middle of a field and a newspaper that criticises a proposed disco in the middle of field.]

  114. Gerald Fenech says:

    I’m glad my post has stimulated some discussion. I believe this is one of the first elections where The Times and The Malta Independent blatantly favoured the Nationalist Party. And Corinne, you and I all know who are the owners of these respective newspapers so enough said. Regarding anti-Europeans, I do tend to agree but all this Europeanism is also pretty much exagerrated with the EU currently in a crisis of identity. A final parting shot: Corinne, do we still have to remain in fear of posting comments which do not agree with the status quo or what the ‘goodies’ think? I really believe that the Labour Party should issue a public apology for all the 70’s and 80’s incidents to pull this rug from under the PN’s feet with regards to constant propaganda on violence. Violence is not only physical mind you.

    [Moderator – And if The Times were owned by a chicken and The Malta Independent by a stone, you would criticise them for favouring the political party that is led by a quarry-hating vegetarian. There is no such thing as independence. Know this and you will adjust your perceptions accordingly.]

  115. Gerald Fenech says:

    Corinne: I have wrote and broadcasted quite a bit in the independent media and I always attempt to be completely free of any bias.

    [Moderator – Claiming to be free of bias is in itself a bias. There is no such thing as neutrality or independence. There is only ‘free’ – as in being free to maintain your bias against another’s bias.]

  116. Gerald Fenech says:

    Vanni, I do believe that the bashing Labour will not come to any good. After all GonziPN has called for a collective effort. Maybe we should listen to him this time round and avoid our partisan instincts. Moderator has hit the nail right on the head though and that’s commendable. And by ‘independent’ media, I was not referring to this blog which although a bit too extreme in some situations has offered a very interesting forum for discussion.

  117. Vanni says:

    Touché re the blog, Gerald Fenech. :)

    However there is still the unresolved issue of the dog. The MLP has not shown itself ready to shed itself of what makes it unpalatable to most people who are firmly camped across the great divide.
    I wrote once before something along these lines:
    The strength of a football team is measured by the quality of its opponents. If Man Utd play only against teams coming from the lowest division, than their victories are meaningless.
    The same holds true of the PN. If they are not being offered a credible opposition, than they stagnate. People should vote for a particular party because they identify with that party’s aims views etc. It is a terrible state of affairs that one votes for a particular party just because the opposition is not to be trusted. Our party, and more importantly, our country, requires a strong opposition.

    Unfortunately the worst elements of the MLP are now crawling out of the woodwork, as they sense that this is their chance to gain power.

  118. D. Muscat says:

    Dear freethinker, don’t worry too much if praticising catholics are leading Malta. Dr Gonzi’s uncle is the late Archbishop Michael Gonzi … the arch-enemy of that man called Mintoff who wrecked Malta. After all, Malta’s post-independence history (not the narrative of Dr. Gimmicks wants it) has shown that the best prime ministers of visionary were always the best believers …starting from the late Gorg Borg-Olivier, Edward Fenech Adami and now Lawrence Gonzi. These men where persons of moral integrity, they believe in Indpendence (not Integration to a dying Empire), they believed in the European Union (and not a partnership with nothing), they believed in the Maltese. The others Dominic Mintoff, KMB and Alfred Sant wrecked the country. Mintoff was a vicious anti-clerical and Dr Sant is a pragmatis agnostic. The only exception is KMB. Mintoff is still mad and Dr Sant still has NO REGRETS for all his mistakes. And poor Karmenu (the only praticising catholic in this infernal trio) ironically agreed to constitutional amendments that paved the way for the overturning of perverse electoral results (like that in 1981). Therefore, DON’T WORRY DEAR freethinker … sometimes you are safe when your leader is a devout catholic.

    [Moderator – I don’t think all those people who were buried in the mizbla felt very safe with a leader like Archbishop Gonzi. And the Catholic Church has produced its fair share of war criminals, including those bishops who ran the Nazi ratlines from Rome to Argentina. So, no, you are not always safe when your leader is a devout catholic.]

  119. Athina says:

    Reading about the violence in the eighties reminded me of when I took my two toddler sons to visit their grandma in Vittoriosa just after the 1982 elections. Hung up in the main square were dead rabbits to celebrate the defeat of Fenech Adami. I still remember my sons crying at the sight and my explanation that the residents had just washed their soft toys and put them out to dry.

    [Moderator – It would have had a deeper meaning too: the rabbit hanging in a street is a symbol of Maltese peasant rebellion, dating back to when hunting was the preserve of the Knights.]

  120. Twanny says:

    Dear Moderator:

    The broadcast spectrum in most countries is regulated by necessity to avoid broadcast anarchy. Contrary to what you saw on Wayne’s World – poor choice of corroborating evidence if you ask me – the broadcast spectrum in the US and in Canada are regulated by the appropriate governmental bodies – the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)in Canada. Don’t forget that Wayne’s World was an inane comedy movie based on sketches from Saturday Night Live, and bears no resemblance to the real world. Anyone attempting to emulate Wayne’s World in the US would find the FCC breathine heavily down their necks.

    It seems that you overlooked that I presented the option to Freethinker to bring his/her thoughts to the Maltese as a political candidate at the next election and to have them decide whether they agree with him/her or not. Going elsewhere was simply another option, should the first one be unpalatable.

    Also, I should like to point out that at no time did I equate criticizing religion with insulting the Maltese people. That is conclusion that you misconstrued. What I found offensive were Freethinker’s disparaging and arrogant remarks about the “few intelligent contributions on this blog (not to mention the atrocious use of both English and Maltese).” Freethinker also managed to offend the religious beliefs of others when he/she wrote that “Some seem happy to continue to live subjugated in a bygone age while the world moves on regardless”, and that “We are still hostages to the kind of religious obscurantism which disappeared from Europe decades or centuries ago.” In other words, Freethinker thinks very little of the religious beliefs of others. Freethinker asserts that his/her set of beliefs are superior because they, of course, are “enlightened” unlike the beliefs of the “unenlightened” religious beliefs of others. Not much of a freethinker if you ask me.

    [Moderator – No, it is not poor evidence because the ability to broadcast your message is always important, whether you are Wayne or William Wallace. YouTube is multicast anarchy, yet without it no one would have ever found out about the Chinese border guards systematically murdering Tibetan pilgrims, or George Vella calling students hamalli. Marginalising a citizen’s message into Public Access Television and having the state control licensing for the rest of the spectrum is not ideal. But in Malta we haven’t even got the margins, let alone the page.]

  121. D. Muscat says:

    Neither did those believers buried ALIVE in the Gulags of our Soviet friends of Mintoff feel so safe having atheist leaders.

    [Moderator – Reducto ad Stalinum is not an argument. You are missing the point. Being human is what makes you a good human – not simply being a lover or a hater of religion. Mintoff and Stalin were not good humans. Archbishop Gonzi was neither a good human nor a good Christian, because he failed to communicate its most central message: compassion.]

  122. Albert Farrugia says:

    To Gerald. Thanks for your balanced views. Its encouraging to see that not everyone seems to be part of the orgy of venom occurring on this site. I myself am amazed at the level of hate lying in people’s hearts for one man in particular, and for those who choose to agree with his ideas. After Malta’s entry in the EU and after Dr Gonzi’s promise of “a different type of politics”, I was literally shocked, during this election, at the way the popolin still looks at politics. Certainly, the Maltese Conservatives know that it is in their interest to create an atmosphere in the country which would be consistently hostile not only to the Labour Party, but also to any other person or group of persons – however small – who would even attempt at wrestling away power from their hands. The way Alternattiva is being treated, is a case in point. And Alternattiva surely harbours no anti-EU sentiment! Yet have they been spared the venom? Just read around this site.
    And make no mistake, Gerald. This is exactly what will happen as the new labour leader takes over. Do not forget that the hate against Dr Sant reached obsessive heights in 1996, when he showed that the Conservatives can, after all, be beaten. Only God knows the research being done right now about all the possible MLP leaders. The sifting of documents and papers to uncover some dirt. Maybe even annullment cases? Wink, wink.
    So take heart Gerald. Min joghla hafna, jiehu sabta kbira.

    [Moderator – Would those be the Conservatives who wanted to keep Malta out of the EU?]

  123. Meerkat :) says:

    @ Alex

    Hey! Sorry for replying late…but I was shopping in one of our food markets :-) buying Brussels Sprouts :-) ;-)

    Marelli, why this priedka about Brussels? In your previous posts you gave a description of the ‘abysmal’ weather, food markets, art scene which you have mixed up with night life u x’naf jien…Ma jidhrilix illi this was a discussion about Brussels il-kuncett unless you are not mixing up the concept with the sprouts!!!

    U btw, I enjoy living in Malta I don’t need to hanker after living in ‘Brussel’ as a concept of otherwise (Both are not very enticing) But if it is your thing, good for you. No irony intended and no double entendre!

  124. freethinker says:

    D. Muscat’s comment is a prime example of the kind of non-sequiturs one is now used to expect from some fanatical Maltese members of his faith. As if all colonies that obtained independence did so because their political leaders were Catholic! It’s amazing what shallow thinking some are capable of. If D. Muscat were a good example of the intellectual level of his co-religionists, we would indeed be in hot waters. I prefer to think that he is not — for Malta’s sake. Perhaps D. Muscat should write less and think more.

  125. Albert Farrugia says:

    And to D Muscat. I am sorry to see that you are one of those Catholics who were duped into believing that the Maltese Conservatives are “closer” to the Christian religion. They have only used religion for their power games. I feel heartbroken at how successful they have been in using the sense of decency and uprightness of people like you. (And me too, though with me they managed only for a while).

  126. freethinker says:

    Dear Moderator, thank you for your comments on my two-cent piece which, on the whole, I find quite balanced. I do not agree, though, that Norman Lowell is a free-thinker. Those of the far right are usually indoctrinated by totalitarian regimes. Freethinkers reject any kind of indoctrination, whether of the political or the religious kind, while they remain always open to persuasion by cogent arguments. It would be possible for people of a different or no faith to be given their rights even in a predominantly Catholic country were the majority willing not to ram its beliefs and values down the throats of the others. Unfortunately, certain Catholic principles like the indissolubility of marriage are imposed on all in Malta. I live in the fear that our country will not change in my lifetime in this respect.

    [Moderator – Agreed. But what I meant was that if it is easy for very small groups (and Maltese freethinkers are a small group) to receive disproportionate Parliament, then it is just as easy for those of similarly small groups, like Imperium Europa.]

  127. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    Albert Farrugia – it’s no different anywhere else that there is free speech, though you might be happy with the lack of political ‘venom’ in China or Russia. Have you read any good Clinton or Blair jokes recently?

  128. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    That would be Hilary Clinton, not Bill – though he provided the world, and not just the US, with a ready supply of venomous laughs some years ago. And as for the anti-George Bush international tirades…..and the Silvio Berlusconi hair transplant jokes…oh well. China it is, then.

  129. freethinker says:

    Dear Moderator, Twanny has not read my piece properly and fails to note that most of what I wrote refers clearly to “some”. I am careful never to be too categorical. As regards his arguments concerning the social effects of divorce, this is really old hat. There is not one single negative social effect of divorce which is not also brought about by separation as we have it in Malta. Does Twanny advocate the abolition of separation from the Civil Code too? It is time that Maltese anti-divorcists muster enough courage to admit that their real motives are religious and not social, albeit hidden behind a mask of social concern to avoid accusations of religious imposition.

  130. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    Just to make things clear: this blog is all for greater secularism in Malta, and supports the introduction of divorce. This is not because we seek the destruction of Maltese families, which are already doing a pretty good job of it themselves without divorce, but because it strikes us as very peculiar and certainly untenable that only Malta and the Philippines are left without divorce legislation – particularly when Maltese law recognises divorces obtained elsewhere.

  131. Meerkat :) says:

    @ Gerald

    to carry on with your football analogy – whether winning a hotly contested final 1-0 or 5-0 especially when all the conditions are against your team it’s still a win…(and may a say in a loud stage whisper…a bloody great victory too).

    These election results are not about crunching numbers but about winning against all odds.

  132. Vanni says:

    “Only God knows the research being done right now about all the possible MLP leaders. The sifting of documents and papers to uncover some dirt.”

    Don’t forget letters being written by MC etc!!

    Anyway, what is wrong if research is carried out? It is a fact that all parties, to some degree or another, do so. It would almost be unprofessional if it would not be done. And I kid you not, the party machines, especially of the big two, are supremely oiled and efficient.

  133. Corinne Vella says:

    I like this moderator.

  134. Albert Farrugia says:

    Its’s official: Gross irregularity at Mistra! As Fenech Adami used to say: Is-sewwa jirbah zgur! Tfiegh ta tajn….really now? What a country!


  135. Amanda Mallia says:

    Gerald Fenech – Maybe you should go back to being a music critic in the weeklies. That would ensure that your writings in the papers are free from political bias :)

  136. David Friggieri says:

    To all you lovers of devout Catholic politicians and to all you Brussels bashers, here’s the kind of staple entertainmemt one can enjoy in this quirky, insolent, tolerant town:


  137. europarl says:

    @ Jack

    Try again, Jack. I’ll give you some time and a reply when you do your homework. But what you wrote is too far from reality. You must still be inhabiting the mushroom you emerged from.

    For the record, Sharon Ellul Bonici did not “parade in the streets of Strasbourg”, but organised over 80 MEPs from 4 different groups in the EP Hemicycle in Strasbourg to protest against a despotic Treaty about which you know nothing, apart from what your mediocre mainstream sources have informed you.

    Meanwhile try going through your convulated thoughts to understand that Sharon has been consistent within democratic legitimacy.

  138. D. Muscat says:

    boo hoo, take your pick Daphne, Borg-Olivier, Fench Adami and Gonzi or Mintoff, Karmenu and Sant.

  139. Amanda Mallia says:

    Twanny – Can you try keeping them short, please? :)

  140. europarl says:

    @ Vanni

    What a waste of time you are, Vanni.

    I work in the European Parliament not as a Parliamentarian, nor as a “wannabe parliamentarian”.

    Don’t shape my career on your perceptions, Vanni.

    Have a good one ;)

  141. Amanda Mallia says:

    Albert Farrugia – You said “And Alternattiva surely harbours no anti-EU sentiment!”

    Well, you might find it interesting to know that the family of one particular AD candidate – and, presumably, the AD candidate himself, were all for voting NO in the referendum, but, on seeing the outcome, thought it fit to “celebrate” along with the crowds … Never take anything at face value!

    As for your other comment – “Min joghla hafna, jiehu sabta kbira”, well, what can one say? Maybe you should try saying that to Jason & Co! Wink, wink!

  142. freethinker says:

    Dear Moderator, thanks for your declaration that this blog supports secularism. I do hope that, in spite of its title that it is an election note-book, the blog will not shut down when the election aftermath peters out (will it?). There are several topics which could be discussed on this blog apart from divorce. Please consider this blog as your service to the community in favour of secularism as against confessionalism.

  143. Amanda Mallia says:

    Albert Farrugia – “Christian religion” has less to do with it than morals and values.

    Please appreciate that not all Church-going individuals are morally upright, just as not all morally upright people with sound values are not Church-goers.

    (And – lest you decide to misquote me on this one – I am certainly not referring to a particular someone with a kartanzjan.)

  144. Amanda Mallia says:

    Has anyone else come to the conclusion that “Albert Farrugia” might be a Mr Laiviera, who has been conspicuous by his absence, lately?

  145. I dont agree that the odds were stacked against the PN, rather the opposite. All the money, media and public opinion was in favour of PN. It was like Milan against Sheffield United and Sheffield United almost won it in extra time anyway!

  146. europarl says:

    @ Daphne

    What you wrote is your percetion of what I think and what I do. And it’s a stereotypical description to some extents.

    What I find ridiculous is this obsession, by some, on my nick “europarl” and my “anonimity” (as if giving the name ‘Jack Sparrow’ or ‘John’ is a form of transparency). But it’s just my youtube nick – no statement of status or non-status: just a link to my account – an advert of some sort.

    I do admit to teasing some characters here, however. In my world some of them are really funny :)

    Accept my apologies there.

  147. D. Muscat says:

    Oh I thought that this site is a running commentary to the general elections …now it has been redefined “blog for greater secularism”. Sounds like Jason Micallef to me.

    Anyway Daphne, the leaders you trust the most are those who are photographed kissing the hands of prelates. Those you hate most are atheists and anti-clericals like you. Seems to me that your hatred of Sant and co is the rage of Caliban seeing his image in a mirror.

    Thanks anyway for your most splendid entertaining site during election tide. Now I’ll go back to x.com.mt ….there is more fun there.
    PS I don’t think compassion is your forte (you said that about Laurence Gonzi’s late uncle) … ask the chickens and the peacoks.

  148. Corinne Vella says:

    Gerald Fenech: In response to your final parting shot, I can’t see why you address your question to me seeing as I don’t own or operate any medium which scares the hell out of anyone who does not agree with what I think.

  149. Twanny says:

    Dear Moderator and Freethinker:

    Once again about free access to the broadcast spectrum. Governments regulate broadcasts on radio frequencies out of necessity. The radio frequency spectrum is regulated through worldwide mutual cooperation among nations to ensure that broadcasts originating in one country do not overlap broadcasts originating in another country. Imagine a free-for-all where anyone can broadcast on any frequency that they wished. Radio signals on the same frequencies emanating from different sources would create havoc and cancel each other out. Imagine someone broadcasting at will on the frequencies used by air traffic control, the military and police services, and emergency services like fire fighters and ambulance. The ensuing chaos would endanger the lives of many. One can only imagine the public clamour for control of the airwaves when the inevitable tragedy unfolds in an environment of unrestricted access to the airwaves. Surely, anyone can see that in the absence of regulation of the radio frequency spectrum, the airwaves would be paralysed and of no use to anyone. While the broadcasting of one’s message is important, as you put it, it does not supersede the general good. By the same argument, anyone could decide to get his/her message out by standing up in the middle of a crowded movie theatre and yelling “Fire” regardless of the potential dire consequences.

    It is interesting that you mention YouTube. Indeed, YouTube and other Internet broadcast media (such as this blog) are a form of multicast anarchy. But, while these forms of broadcasting allow for the free exchange of ideas worldwide – unless of course you are in China or North Korea – they pose no danger to public safety because they do not encroach on the orderly use of the airwaves.

    One final word about freethinkers. I believe myself to be a “free thinker” (notice the difference in spelling). That is, I refuse to belong to a political party because I jealously guard my ability to form political opinions unhindered by strictures placed upon me at the whim of prevailing political thought. At the same time, I choose to form my opinions in the context of the religion that I freely choose to practice because I choose to believe. In matters of the material world, I think freely. In matters of the spiritual world, I submit my will to One mightier than me.

    It appears that this blog has a preference for the other form of “freethinker” that is defined as “A person who forms opinions about religion on the basis of reason, independently of tradition, authority, or established belief. Freethinkers include atheists, agnostics and rationalists. No one can be a freethinker who demands conformity to a bible, creed, or messiah. To the freethinker, revelation and faith are invalid, and orthodoxy is no guarantee of truth.”

    I’m afraid that this type of “freethinker” will be in for an unpleasant surprise when his/her brief stay on this planet comes to an end. Allow me this final piece of humour to illustrate my point.

    An atheist was walking through the woods.

    “What majestic trees! What powerful rivers! What beautiful animals!” he said to himself.

    As he walked alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to look and saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charging towards him. He ran as fast as he could up the path. As he ran, he looked over his shoulder and he could see that the bear was closing in on him. He tripped and fell on the ground. Rolling over to pick himself up, he saw that the bear was right on top of him raising his paw to strike him. At that instant, the atheist cried out, “Oh my God!”

    Time Stopped.
    The bear froze.
    The forest stood still. Not a sound.

    Suddenly a bright light shone upon the man, and a voice came out of the sky. “You deny my existence for all these years. You teach others I don’t exist, and even credit creation to cosmic accident. Do you now expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer?”

    The atheist looked directly into the light, “It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask You to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps You could make the bear a Christian. Surely, a Christian bear would have pity on me and leave me alone.”

    “Very Well,” said the Voice.

    The bright light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed. The bear dropped to his knees, brought both paws together, bowed his head and spoke, “Lord bless this food, which I am about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

    [Moderator – The military does not use a television channel to communicate with fighter pilots. And if they did, the signal would be as scrambled as a 12-egg omelette, and the transmitters too powerful to be interfered with. Governments should not have the power to license and ration communication – it only ends up producing situations like that in Venezuela. This is why EU legislation declares that license fees on satellite transmitters/receivers are illegal, and the Malta Communications Authority must refund them.

    The screaming-blue-murder-in-the-movie-theatre argument is used to explain the importance of self-regulation and not governmental regulation: it is not illegal to shout anything in a movie theatre, but it definitely is irresponsible. Do you think that, if broadcast media were to be deregulated, all the teenagers of this world will rush out, buy a television studio each and spend the rest of their days prancing about in front of their respective cameras? No, because there is already enough competition between the rubbish being broadcast today. The free-market economy has been regulating itself since the primordial soup swapped dust for life without the interference of the Republic of Malta.

    Now it’s time for my bear joke. A bear and a rabbit bump into each other in the woods. The bear asks the rabbit, ‘Do you have a problem with excrement sticking to your fur?’ The rabbit replies, ‘No, I don’t’. So the bear picks up the rabbit and gives it a good wipe.]

  150. Vanni says:

    @ europarl
    I do own up in trying to mentally fit people into groups. That was why I was slightly puzzled about your good self.

    You see you write how you are fighting in some crappy land, wonderland or whatever. Leaving aside the reason for your fight, I guess it is pertinent to ask who appointed you to fight for him. I didn’t, and it seems no one else did. That makes you a self appointed Che Guevara, looking for a suitable cause to justify your existence. In fact if it hadn’t been for your wife, you would be a nonetity. I guess that is why you pimp her cause repeatedly with the anti Jason video (trying to curry favor with the Jason bashers). Whilst being in complete agreement with “the friend of my friend is my friend” mentality, I have no time for the “enemy of my enemy is my friend mentality”. Even more so when the Jason bashing started, officially at least, after the MLP lost the election. Shades of cockroaches coming out of the woodwork indeed.

    Come to think of it, I tend to prefer air head Jason, and even more the likes of hard head Victor Laiviera, to you, as at least they are steadfast in their beliefs.

    But than again maybe I am being harsh on your good self. It must be hard trying to make a mark in life when you will be more likely remembered as being an appendage to a politico. But never fear, maybe you will follow Hilary Clinton’s footsteps, and become as famous as her husband. Good luck on that.

  151. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    D. Muscat – do I take it that the only reason you support the Nationalist Party against the Labour Party is because its two most recent leaders are devout Catholics? That’s not very bright, is it?

    As for the devout Catholicism of George Borg Olivier, out of respect for his living descendants I’ll say nothing about this one – just point out to you that had the Maltese equivalent of the News of the World existed then (it doesn’t even exist today), Dr and Mrs Borg Olivier would have between them kept the pages filled on a regular basis. That was entirely their business and they were free to do whatever they pleased, given that the controls of a free press did not exist in the 1960s. However, you are not free to re-interpet history.

  152. David Buttigieg says:

    Personally I see the fact that the our PM is a devout Catholic as an added bonus for me because I identify more with him but I would not take it into consideration when deciding who to vote for.

  153. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    Freethinker – it wasn’t the moderator who said that this blog favours greater secularism in Malta. It was me. We are two different people. I am not technical at all, and so I don’t upload the posts or moderate the comments on this blog; I just do the writing.

    Yes, we’re going to change the ‘election notebook’ name (just by dropping the ‘election’) and keep it going. It started out as a last-minute thing in the final week of the campaign, but turned out to be rather more fun than expected, and a meeting-point for like and unlike minds. Right now, we’re busy poking fun at politicians, but there are going to be lots of other things to talk about.

  154. Meerkat :) says:

    @ Gerald

    ‘almost’ is the operative word, Gerald.

  155. Amanda Mallia says:

    Europarl – Maybe it’s time you got off your high horse and stopped trying to do Malta favours with your man/wife mission in Brussels. Your condescending tone is doing you no favours here either, nor is it impressing anyone – except perhaps, those who subscribe to the “ara kemm lahqilha, l-mama'” mentality.

  156. Dear Amanda, just to keep you up to date, I still do some music criticism (or reviewing) but for international clients and not the close minded local English language press which is only accessible to those with the right contacts. Corinne, I wasen’t referring to you, just to your comment and I didn’t mean any harm so apologies if I was misunderstood.

  157. europarl says:


    Qed tara f’hix taqghu? And what does all this say about YOUR mentality?

    And Daphne,

    I was going to ignore your “piggy back” jibe because unlike you I have my limits at getting personal. If you don’t know the facts, and especially so, do not assume, falsify and publish the assumptions concocted in your mind.

    And that’s one main problem with you Daphne, isn’t it? You tend to assume and generalize, and then attack people personally with your own imaginations. Because, of course, you know it all even when you don’t.

    Then you get attacked personally and shriek out in contempt. But the seeds you’ve sown, your now reap, and the chickens have long been coming home to roost.

    What’s more you have successfully enshrined the term “Tal-Pepé” into its exact meaning, while you bathe in it with contemptuous pride. But are these not all signs of the inferiority complex that scourges the Tal-Pepé clan?

    There are many Maltese tribes, but two stick out: Tal-Laqx and Tal-Pepé. The Tal-Laqx clan, which you have so generously analysed much to our amusement, may even feel slightly less inferior than the Tal-Pepé clan, since the latter are educated to a degree that gives them enough breath to perceive Malta’s place on the world stage – but not enough to give them a truly global insight. They remain, sadly, Tal-Pepe, who can speak no language correctly, but who are generaly able to write good English. These are the types who would try to keep up with the Joneses even more than the Tal-Laqx clan. (This is clear in such statements as:
    “…your obvious delight at living in what must surely be one of the most boring cites on the planet and working in a near-exclusive bureaucratic environment indicates just the opposite – a complete lack of experience and sophistication. Now if you were in Manhattan, I might understand.” – As if I give a damn about Brussels. I prefer Malta anytime. But Manhattan!!! Oh what tastes! No wonder you feel inferior to be Maltese. Well, I would prefer Malta to anywhere.)

    That’s why Daphne speaks of sophisticatation, believing that disparaging the less-educated working class population is a sign of sophistication.

    I’ll stop here. I usually come here for a break, which explains why I do not go into political diatribes over what I believe in. Wouldn’t that be a waste of time?

    But do carry on doing what you do best: disparaging the “other” tribe. We onlookers should stand idly by and just be amused.

    Do NOT feed the animals, the sign should say…

  158. Corinne Vella says:

    Europarl: You’re speaking about the sign hanging on your cage, right?

  159. Gerald Fenech says:

    Europarl has analyzed the situation succinctly and very accurately. The ‘Tal Pepe’ clan have this misguided belief that Malta is at the centre of the world (rather like the Church in the 1500’s) when most (if not all) countries barely know we exist. Get real guys.

    [Moderator – In that case, choose L’Ombelico del Mondo as the subject of your next musical write-up in the international press, with its tal-pepe readership.]

  160. Jack says:

    @ europarl

    In similar condescending fashion to your post, I do not expect you to understand the blatant inconsistancies of Ms. Ellul Bonici. Clearly your personal involvements have clouded your already limited thoughts.

    Clearly for all your attempts of self-proclaimed grandeur and revolutionism you so strongly trying to portray, both Ms. Ellul Bonici and yourself are merely minnows in the enormous European Machinery – anonymous civil servants / out of several thousands.

    Putting Ms. Ellul Bonici’s perplexing transition from hardcore anti-EU Campaigner to “Eurosceptic” aside for a moment, I ask – what exactly is Ms. Ellul Bonici’s track-record in Brussels? Being chucked out as MEP John A. Montaldo’s assistant and donning a black t-shirt with “referendum” written on it, monkeying around a chamber? Is that the way, Ms. Ellul Bonici aims to get Malta the best possible deal?

    No wonder Dr. Gonzi brushed her off easily with a veily-concealed smirk and a shrug at Xarabank – how do you expect us to take Ms. Ellul Bonici seriously? By analogy, since you are fully espousing (pardon, the pun) this line ofbehaviour, how can you expect us to take you seriously?

    I shall dismiss you and Ms. Ellul Bonici as over-grown, nostalgiac, disorientated, dreamers. However, rest assured that should you feel the urge, I can recommend you to the senior ranks of “Moviment graffiti” – they too love waving placards and shouting catch slogans! – You would fit in perfectly!

  161. Jack says:

    Just for those who are wondering who europarl allegedly is, click this url (makes some interesting reading…)


    [Moderator – Scratch the ‘alleged’.]

  162. europarl says:

    Again, Jack, thanks for giving me an insight to your convulated thought process. Alas, again, you hardly deserve a reply. I see that your political outlook stopped in 2003. And you’re wrong about Montalto, as you’re wrong on many other issues. This is definitely the place for you to be.

    So yes, we are whatever your mind concocts us to be. And, no, I never expected you to take us seriously, hence my short dismissals of what you say.

  163. europarl says:

    You have divulged nothing, Jack – I have pointed that out in one of my previous comments.

  164. Corinne Vella says:

    Gerald Fenech: Europarl/Kevin Ellul Bonici “analysed the situation succintly and very accurately”? I’m not too sure his diatribe qualifies as “succinct”, which means “marked by compact precise expression without wasted words”.

    Which situation has he analysed, exactly? The division between Wonderland and Mount Olympus in Brussels? You must have noticed that Europarl/Kevin Ellul Bonici counts himself among the “bemused bystanders” rather than among the “tribes”. One wonders where that would put him were he to return to the place he’d rather be in but abandoned when he became a self-appointed revolutionary. Probably among the tal-Laqx subset who aspire to be tal-Pepe. (It’s p.b., incidentally.)

    As a matter of interest, where do *you* place yourself – among the tal-laqx or tal-pepe?

  165. Jack says:

    @ Moderator – I am just forwarding what has already been published. Since I cannot corroborate the information myself, and Maltatoday is not exactly “The Economist” I used the conditional (hence “allegedly”).

    @ europarl – thanks for the two you-don’t-deserve-any-more-replies-stop-wasting-my-precious-time comments.

    Knowing the brilliant criminologist-specialist / civil libertarianist / journalist (on maltafly?!)mind behind it – I’m truly flattered!

  166. Corinne Vella says:

    Europarl/Kevin Ellul Bonici: This site is the place for people who are wrong, eh? That must be why you are here. Either that, or you’ve been short circuited by your own convulated thought process (sic).

  167. Vanni says:

    I do wonder what tal-pepe and tal-laks have got to do with things?
    Anyway, as a fervent revolutionary (I guess we have established that), out to save us all (without a mandate to do so, BTW) from things we wouldn’t understand (or so you imagine) aren’t you supposed to save all? Or will you pick and choose which ‘tribe’ is to benefit from your saving?
    Let me put it another way. Which tribe in particular has Sharon identified as the tribe more susceptible to conversion to her way of thinking? The tal-pepe? Or the tal-Laks? I really hope that you were not planning to convert tal-pepe, because you may have set out on the wrong foot. Insulting a group will not help. I know it may sound elementary to quite a few, but our Che may need some reminding of that detail.
    I do suspect that the Boss has targeted the tal-Laks. In fact it may well be so, as the tribe you would call tal-Pepe set short shrift to high flown utterances by a politician’s luggage porter.
    There is however a slight problem as a know it all attitude may impress those who Daphne called “qatt ma hargu mid-dar” but not the mainstream popolin, who have removed their blinkers, and view people who strut around filled with their own importance as idiots, irrespective of their tribe.
    I do suspect that neither tribe will be impressed.
    So what will happen then? Will it be the end of the revolution? Back to Malta from your ‘hole’ in Brussels? Back to police work? An honest job. I wish you well.

  168. Vanni says:

    @ Gerald Fenech

    Keep in mind that the enemy of my enemy may, instead of automatically becoming my friend, end up being a more terrible enemy.

  169. europarl says:

    Words of wisdom, Vanni, prosit. You never fail to impress.

    And Jack, or whatever your name is: nothing to be flattered about; I wish I could reciprocate.

    Corinne Vella,

    I think you’d better see to changing that load in your washing machine… and haven’t you got some ironing to do? U forsi ssib cans taqbez qabza s’ghand il-grocer biex iqartaslek nifs-nifs kwart kunserva…

  170. Vanni says:

    What can I say, europarl?

    I try my best. Thanks for the approval, and don’t worry, I’ll keep up the good work :)

  171. Corinne: Somewhere in between

  172. freethinker says:

    Dear Moderator, I find it incredible that in 2008 there are still people like Twanny still stuck in a time-warp in the middle ages. Perhaps he would like a re-run of the 1492 edict by Ferdinand and Isabella of castille that gave the option to all Muslims and Jews of their realm (including Malta)to either convert to Catholicism or face exile. He suggests to me to lump it or leave Malta and this because I advocate the introduction of divorce and the support of a lay or secular state with truly free media. I should like to think he is in an inconsequential minority if we are truly European. Where in Europe do you find people with this mentality? This blog serves, it seems, to bring out some of these dinosaurs from the dark shadows where they have been lurking for some time. Perhaps Twanny would qualify for a latter-day Tomas Torquemada if given half a chance to impose orthodoxy. Typically, he mixes up secularism with euthanasia. This is an old trick used by those who would say that introducing divorce would open the door to euthanasia, abortion and other suchlike concepts.

    I am a free thinker because I have a wide culture based on over a decade of tertiary academic education and a life-long career in reading on many subjects including history, literature, philosophy, science, geography and all areas of human knowledge unrestricted by any beliefs or creeds. Twanny, apparently, is hemmed in by self-censorship or a refusal to consider anything outside the confines of his beliefs. I suspect he will always be unredeemed. Consequently he may post any reply and I shall probably not find time to reply again to his intolerant arguments.

    This blog is liberal enough to allow free speech, hopefully without resorting to personal insults and sticking only to facts as they are known. No, Maltese media is truly free and all are either censored or resort to self-censorship. Would any station screen “The Temptation of Christ”, for instance? No, because it might “offend the sentiments” of somebody as if there are those who enjoy a monopoly on sentiments. This is just as bad as the Labour government banning “Raid on Entebbe” in the 1970’s because it was politically unsuited to their policies as it might have offended some foreign power.

    A secular state gives rights to all citizens, irrespective of their religion, political alighnment or sexual orientation. We are far from achieving this goal yet. The anti-divorcists will not accept divorce even if a divorce law will only be used by those who want to.

    Another word about being European. We are not Europeans because we are (thankfully) in the EU but we are in the EU because we are Europeans. I am a European because my culture and education have always been European. Being a European is not a matter of place of birth or of genetics but a matter of mentality. I am afraid that some are not truly European yet and it might take a generation for a truly European frame of mind to set in. I hope we are on the way. If we continue to deny any sector of our population rights enjoyed by all their fellow Europeans, we are going to be the odd-man out in Europe. Is this what we want?

  173. europarl says:

    Let me just close this with you Vanni, since your radar failed to detect this nuance. You and Jack here have chosen to discuss my private life, so you must appreciate that I won’t discuss this with a “Jack” and a “Vanni” over this blog.

  174. Corinne Vella says:

    Europarl/Kevin Ellul Bonici: Aha, so you are a macho macho man who doesn’t iron his own shirts, or do his own laundry, eh? So who keeps your Che Guevara outfits in revolutionary condition? Never mind, I’m not as hot on your domestic details as you are on mine.

    I see that you’ve marked me down as a ‘mohh ta’ pizella’ no doubt because you fail to impress me with your talk of ‘things you don’t understand’.

    Oh my, how wrong you are.

    Let’s leave aside the minor detail of having worked in a demanding multi lingual media environment on four continents (me, not you) and focus on the nitty gritty. You see, unlike you, I don’t think it’s beneath me to do my own laundry or grocery shopping just because I’ve got letters behind my name and have lived and worked in that singular place called ‘abroad’. In fact, all the professional women I know here and elsewhere do pretty well on the domestic front too.

    That’s not a unique phenomenon but don’t just take my word for it. Ask your wife. She must know plenty of women like herself.

  175. europarl says:

    hehehe, Corinne, I see you hate the taste of your own medicine, aye? :)

    And it IS your own medicine. All I did was change the flavouring and colouring.

    But, Ouch!

    So without going into complimenting myself to hitting exactly where Corinne says “Ouch!” loudest, let me please assure you that my wife would NEVER marry a male chauvinist pig…

    Now I know that you didn’t say that, but that’s the role I got into.

    So, Corinne, you don’t know me really. And neither do I (although I do know enough to make you shriek :) ) Let’s remove stereotypes from our heads, cos we all are not what we appear to be in this cyberworld.

    And Jack, let me know whenever you hop over to Amsterdam, I’m a big fan of the place. Not Manhattan, though – god forbid JulieAnnie Land!

  176. europarl says:

    By the way, Corinne, you’re right on one thing: I DON’T iron my shirts, and nobody does it for me either. There are many tricks to avoid ironing.

    Besides, I wouldn’t have time for ironing, what with this blog, and taking care of the dog, cat and chincilla I never wanted…

  177. Corinne Vella says:

    Europarl/Kevin Ellul Bonici: You’re right. You don’t know yourself at all. Never mind. Keep looking and you’ll find yourself one day. You might even understand how pompous and silly you sound: “my wife would NEVER marry a male chauvinist pig”. Ajma jahasra!

  178. Vanni says:

    @ europarl
    You mean you were being ironic when you wrote “Words of wisdom, Vanni, prosit. You never fail to impress.”?

    And there I was thinking that you were meaning everything you wrote, you know coming from a political skirt (oops trousers, damn computers, always mistyping).

    How could I have missed your wit? I am sure that it most be because it is coming from somebody who inhabits a different plane of existence.

    Nay, your place is definitely in Lilyland, carting Sharon’s bags. We dim witted mortals don’t deserve you here. Stay there, OH Enlightened One.

    In fact I can see that you are a true alien, not only to us, your fellow Maltese, but to the entire EU. We are proud to have spawned somebody of your intelligence. It does Malta proud.

    And if you believe all I just wrote, you really have lost the plot!!!!

  179. Vanni says:

    “taking care of the dog, cat and chincilla I never wanted…”

    So that is how you are conducting your undercover guerilla warfare? No Arnold Schwarzeneger entrances, guns blazing, knife throwing?

    What kind of revolutionary are you, Europarl? The talking type? Not very interesting I’m afraid.

    Ah well, at least it gives you a purpose in life. Keep it up!!!

  180. europarl says:

    Thank you for your kind words, Corinne and Vanni.

  181. Amanda Mallia says:

    Twanny – I am not the moderator, but can you PLEEEEEASE keep them short? Thanks!

  182. Amanda Mallia says:

    Europarl – Since I don’t know you from Adam (u qadd ma’ kilt il-kirxa mieghek), kindly refrain from addressing me by my first name :)

  183. europarl says:

    I do apologize, Mrs Mallia.

  184. Amanda Mallia says:

    By the way, Europarl, your terrible outpouring of feelings just goes to show one thing: that no matter how high you have reached (in your own mind, that is), you still feel that it is not enough and need to aim higher still.

    Your roots are, and will always be, essentially Labour, togther with all the trappings that brings – the most notable of which is deep-rooted class-hatred.

  185. Amanda Mallia says:

    Corinne – Europarl probably wears crimplene shirts :)

  186. Meerkat :) says:

    @ Corinne Vella/Amanda Mallia

    Maybe europarl wears the chincilla ;-P

  187. Dear Mrs Mallia,

    It is you who have placed me on so high a pedestal, which came about as a result of my not wishing to discuss my politics on this blog.

    True, I was dismissive, which sounded arrogant; as well as the fact that I perhaps failed to treat this blog with the respect it expected – that is, soundly discuss the Chicken Run saga with a degree of contempt.(and it all started when Daphne, on J’Accuse some time ago, dismissed EU-critical politics as the imagination of “conspiracy theorists”)

    But then, see for yourself who attacked whom, who was personal and who said what.

    And how do you expect me to treat you when I read such comments as “I hope you don’t embarrass us”? Every political voice is legitimate within the rule of law

    And what about this prejudice – indeed utter contempt – towards our Maltese brothers and sisters? …the personal jibes by Daphne… and this whole self-righteous attitude towards anyone who does not subscribe to your cultish frenzy.

    You know, that’s where I stop, because I can say a lot that would hurt your feelings (you, plural). I’m not out for the kill here. And your sister, er, Mrs Vella can rest assured that I won’t play any more jokes like the nifs-nifs kwart kunserva thingie – I guess I was tooo right about her character, she didn’t even have to go out of her way to sound it out with trumpets n all :)

    So, no hard feeling ye all – I take this blog to be a club of sorts and I’m intruding. Thanks for sharing your space.

    Strawberry fields forever…

  188. Ms Vella, that is :)

    and excuse the other typos (marelli, ghax jghajjruni stjupidd)

  189. Meerkat :) says:

    AfghanField…hmmm…poppies? :-)

  190. Amanda Mallia says:

    Meerkat :) – Maybe he simply wears a wig. It seems to be the trend with talk-down-to others pompous asses nowadays :)

  191. Amanda Mallia says:

    Europarl – Kontra dak li tahseb, jekk nghirek bil-Malti, nghajrek “injurant”, u mhux “stjupid”. Jiena wahda minn dawk li ma’ nistax ghan-nies li jghidu, per ezemju “kemm ghandhek zarbun nice”, jew “fejn tmur school”, jew “ghamilla bye il-girl”.

  192. Amanda Mallia says:

    Meerkat :) Pansies?

  193. I should hope you’re not one of those, Mrs Mallia, otherwise you would have been a fake tal-pepe :)

  194. Meerkat :) says:

    Amanda, and Wallflowers? ;-)

  195. Meerkat :) says:

    Amanda, wigs are so passe’… ;-)

    You need some chincilla to ward off the cold when one is just wearing tshirts in wintry Strasbourg…hey Alex, I need you to describe that neck of the woods for me …u ija Brussel u Strasbourg xorta ‘kuncetti’ mhux hekk?

  196. Meerkat :) says:

    AfghanField, isa oqghod clever…

  197. Corinne Vella says:

    Afghanfield / ex-Europarl / Kevin Ellul Bonici: How do you keep up with your multiple identities? You’re starting to sound like some comic book antihero trying to save the world by operating from the Control Centre of his Top Secret Underground Headquarters. Tell me, do you go to work wearing a nylon cape and tights? No wonder you don’t need to do any ironing.

  198. Vanni says:

    “It is you who have placed me on so high a pedestal”

    Err, I missed that part. Who here put Europarl on a pedestal???

  199. Mrs Mallia, I don’t wear a wig and in fact I shave my head [that should start off another one of those smart(ish) comments by anyone wishing to make a point of being very smart].

    But for a final say, for surely I should leave you all in peace and not fall to such puerile remarks by people who take life waaaay to seriously (“Afghanfield / ex-Europarl / Kevin Ellul Bonici: How do you keep up with your multiple identities?”).

    If you were hurt when you felt I spoke condescendingly towards you, think of how the people under Daphne’s scrutiny feel.

    And please, forget about the illusion that Tal-Laqx want to become Tal-Pepe. Sadly, this is one illusion that Daphne has imprinted on your minds. You are two different tribes, both sufficiently proud of their (sub)culture not to want to be different. The “wannabes” on the other side don’t want to become Tal-Pepe. That’s a ridiculous assumption! They mostly would settle for just being rich.

    But let me say this to Daphne the communicator and propagator of the keep-PN-in-Govt cause. An overkill is sometimes as good as a loss. I’m one of those who did not vote this election. And yet, after reading Daphne for some time prior to the election I had this urge to use the plane ticket that was purchased on my behalf and vote Labour. I had even enquired about dog care centres to leave the dog there for the weekend. It was only the sight of the PES secretary general pulling legs while addressing the MLP meeting on the Thursday before election day that reminded me why I was not going to vote Labour.

    So Daphne’s contempt nearly saved a vote for Labour, it was only the PES-SecGen who balanced the scales in my case.

    all the best to you all – u kkalmaw ftit.

  200. Corinne Vella says:

    Vanni, please, it’s AfghanField (ex-europarl). I guess it’s something to do with capes. I don’t blame him. I rather fancied helping myself to Karzai’s when I saw it hanging on a coat rack.

  201. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    Hi Gerald – on the contrary, it’s not the tal-pepe who think of Malta as the centre of the world, but those like Europarl. He said so himself: Malta is better than anywhere; better even than Manhattan.

  202. Corinne Vella says:

    Afghanfield / ex-europarl / Kevin Ellul Bonici: That’s a pretty long final say. Now you’ve made me curious. To which ‘tribe’ do you belong? Please don’t tell me it’s the Pantheon, because I won’t believe you.

  203. Vanni says:

    @ Corinne

    It took me a long time to get used to europarl (without accepting it). Now he wants a change? Tough.
    I’ll settle for Che though. It’s shorter.
    What do you say, Europarl? Go on, be a sport :)

  204. Corinne Vella says:

    Vanni: I still can’t understand why he doesn’t just use his real name. He seems overly fond of melodramatic alter egos. That’s why I suspect he spends his days in a cape and tights. That must get him a fair bit of attention in the city of stuffed shirts.

  205. Amanda Mallia says:

    Corinne – Now you’ve inspired me as to why Europarl doesn’t need to iron shirts: he goes around in a lycra super-hero outfit

  206. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    Oh dear, in the sad absence of Victor Laiviera, I see that Europarl/AfghanField is fulfilling his role of popular coconut shy.

    Kev, am I wrong or right in saying that Bonici is an extremely tal-pepe surname? Somewhere along the line, you must have had tal-pepe antenati.

    What kind of dog do you own?

  207. Amanda Mallia says:

    Europarl – “If you were hurt when you felt I spoke condescendingly towards you …”

    Hurt? Hurt? Surely you aren’t serious? When you speak condescendingly, it just proves my point further that no matter how high you THINK you have reached (ghax qed jghix barra, kemm lahaqlek, prosit!), you still feel that it’s not good enough in your own little world. Do you know what, Europarl? Some things simply cannot be bought. Breeding is one of them.

  208. Bonici is NOT a tal-pepe surname (mela kollox tal-pepe, int? :))

    If you mean that we’re the black sheep of the pro-PN Ellul-Bonici family, yes, maybe. Although my grandfather was for Strickland (Sir Gerald’s mum was Louisa Bonici) and only a very few of this Ellul-Bonici family have voted Labour this time.

    The dog has no breed. One of eight puppies my wife felt sorry for. I, btw, am the dog’s enemy because I was “adamant” we should have no dog. Sadly, the dog treats me as his master, for obvious reasons.

  209. Vanni says:

    @ Corinne
    The rarified air in Lilyland (or whatever he called that most dreary of places) seems to have effected that most priceless of assets, without which no politician or bureaucrat can survive. I am rattling on about the ability to laugh at one self, to take all things with a pinch of salt.

  210. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    Europarl – as the ‘mind’ behind Maltafly.com, you are unusually sensitive to the feelings of those who are mocked, I must say.

  211. Corinne Vella says:

    Vanni: Please don’t scare him away – not until Victor Laiviera comes back, at least.

  212. Meerkat :) says:

    Daph,to your question to europarl
    ‘What kind of dog do you own?’

    He owns an Afghan in a field…

    Afghans are very tal-pepe’ doggies.

  213. Jack says:

    @ Europarl

    A freely-accessible judgment delivered by Magistrate Consuelo-Pilar Scerri Herrera makes for some interesting reading indeed… Also, I see that you and Harry have a lot in common when it comes to paying bills!

    Surely, these past experiences have helped forge your elitist nature. Alas, I have yet to experiences such true tests of character, and hence I am doomed to living in the “mushroom”.

    Btw – Jack is a wonderful name, as I’m sure you’ll agree.

  214. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    Kev, Bonici is definitely a tal-pepe surname – no need to be ashamed.

    As for the dog, if you don’t want it to consider you as its master, get someone else to feed it. To dogs, the boss is the person who feeds them – hence, despite the presence of four men in our house, I am the Master of the Hounds and everyone else is there to have his orders ignored.

  215. Bercsényi says:

    Imissu jisthi jsejjah lilu nnifsu Afghan Field, meta jaghmel parti mill-fanatici tan-newtralità à la Maltija…

  216. Tony Pace says:

    You deserved the break. I’ts been a pleasure following the various comments posted. well, did i say pleasure ? perhaps “amusing” is more apt :):)
    BTW we can all sleep well tonight. The news is out. Joseph Cuschieri could be on the way to being elected on the 10th district.
    As might be Rita Law ! !
    But, and a big but it is, A.S. remains lurking in the background. Will he never learn?

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