Oh dear, what a surprise

Published: June 8, 2008 at 9:00am

Malta is agog with the surprise news of Joseph Muscat’s election victory……well, hardly. Writing this in a hotel room somewhere in Scotland, the morning after the formal announcement, and having followed this last week’s proceedings at a significant distance, the sensation is heightened of having watched a scripted drama take place. It is as though the Labour Party put on a play and the rest of the country had no choice but to watch right through to the end in full knowledge, as with Julius Caesar learned by rote at school, of what that end would be. We watched for the entertainment and because we were forced into the theatre stalls. It’s just a shame the acting was so terrible.

Most commentators would be in a bit of a fix this Sunday, or at least those who are worth their salt and took the election for granted as a piece of theatre with a scripted ending, and Muscat’s election as the inevitable conclusion. I look back and wonder what it was all for – going through the motions for the sheer hell of it. All the things we should be writing now that Labour has a new leader we have written already, several times over, since Alfred Sant announced his irrevocable resignation only to pop up again like the presumably slain (but not) ghoul in a video nasty. Because we have taken it for granted that Joseph Muscat would be the new leader, there is no sense of something new now. The Labour Party’s spontaneous mass rally, Jason Micallef’s wild grin and all the rest seem false. They knew victory was theirs from day one.

The only surprise in this theatrical script is that George Abela gave the little toe-curler a bit of a run for his money. The man who started off as a no-hoper, exiled from the party for a decade, ended up with the second largest number of votes, beating three others by far who had had a considerable advantage over him in party terms. Joseph Muscat got the support of 574 party delegates, while Abela polled 291 votes, or roughly half as many. The interesting thing is that in the first round of voting, on Thursday evening, Abela got half as many votes as Muscat too, but then during the Friday round of voting, not enough of those who had voted for Coleiro, Falzon and Bartolo transferred their votes to him, opting for Muscat instead.

I was and still am, fortuitously, far removed from the spectacle of the teacher’s pet giving new meaning to the word cringe-making on television, but I have been reliably informed that he was shown beaming with delight and that Jason has been doing a fair bit of strutting and fanning his tail. I predict that Muscat’s ‘smile’ – I really have to put it in inverted commas – will come to be his undoing. It is a fairly recent development in terms of his public appearances, and a very self-conscious one. In his television appearances of just a few years ago, he glowered at government politicians or was deadpan. Having become aware of the embedded failure in Sant’s inability to smile convincingly, and having realised how successful Gonzi’s real smile was while campaigning, Muscat has clearly decided to do a lot of smiling of his own. The trouble is that it is as unconvincing as Sant’s rare fleeting facial cracks. Not only does it not reach his eyes – something that the emotionally intelligent are able to pick up instantly if only subconsciously – but when it does reach his eyes (a true smile) it is one of self-satisfaction and as such, it is repellent rather than attractive. There are a lot of people already who are overcome by the urge to slap that self-satisfied face they see on the television. Just imagine what it is going to be like a couple of years down the line if he carries on in this way, especially with Jason on his arm like a bride.

The ability of the Labour Party to choose inappropriate leaders has by now become a given. Just look at its track record of Dom Mintoff, Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici, Alfred Sant and Joseph Muscat. Muscat is in the same mould insofar as that he provokes polarised reactions in people: party die-hards think that the sun shines out of the seat of his trousers, while everyone else is hugely put off. The difference between Muscat and the other three is that the other three – well, not quite KMB who was slotted in to fill the gap – were brought to power initially on a wave of high hopes and great enthusiasm. Muscat, on the other hand, has been met with heightened cynicism and dislike even before his election. He is Alfred Sant’s anointed one and the main protagonist of Sant’s latest piece of theatre, and so this was inevitable. Muscat is going to find it difficult, if not impossible, to persuade us away from the conviction that the main reason he is leader of the party today is because he stapled himself to Sant’s trouser-hem.

I think you will find, and this is just a gut reaction and not the result of any intricate survey, that support for Joseph Muscat is to be found only among those who look up to him. You might say that this is obvious, but it is not. We don’t necessarily look up to the politicians we support. We might admire them, yes, but not look up to them. With Joseph Muscat, there’s something else at work, which would account for the manner in which he is a party favourite while at the same time repelling great swathes of people. An analysis of his support base would probably indicate that it comes from people who see him as superior in some way, and themselves as lesser beings than he is. They are impressed – as with Alfred Sant before him – by the dog-that-walks-on-its-hind-legs factor. Here is the Labour boy who actually became a ‘doctor’ (and not one of medicine, which is even more impressive, apparently), who sallied forth from our shores and made good on foreign soil, taking on the foreigners on their own ground – one of several hundred MEPs but a hero to those who don’t know what the European Parliament is like, and that in the main it is stuffed full of political nonentities. The interesting thing is that there is a flipside to this business of being looked up to, and it is being looked down upon by those who aren’t impressed by something they consider ordinary rather than extraordinary, and who are looking for other qualities in a leader, qualities that they can’t see in Joseph Muscat. Strangely, I have heard several people comment that he strikes them as immature. I see him that way too, but I can’t quite put my finger on why, given that he is a married man with children, in his mid-30s, with an academic and political track record. Yet he comes across as childish and shallow, like a cocky and inept teenager inside a man’s body.

The years ahead will be amusing ones, at any rate, even if they will be disturbing at times. I am curious to see how the Gonzi/Muscat dynamic develops. I am struck – negatively, it goes without saying – by Muscat’s statement a few days ago that he will finish writing a report for the European Commission, which should take until September, before he takes on his duties as leader of the party, which demonstrates his order of priorities. We shall see how he develops as party leader, and whether he achieves the required stature and maturity, or remains a poodle promoted beyond his ability. I can tell you this at the outset: I am going to find it impossible to take him seriously. Five years ago he was doing Charlon Gouder’s job in Charlon Gouder’s style, and now I am expected not to greet with great hilarity and raised eyebrows the fact that he is party leader and might very well be prime minister. Oh well, that’s Malta for you – a bit of a joke.

97 Comments Comment

  1. maryanne says:

    my feelings re joseph muscat’s election to party leader can be summed up in just two words – irridu nissaportuh – and that is not a good omen for somebody who wants to extend party support beyond grassroots.

    more impoortant – yesterday i watched part of a repeat interview with a certain clyde joe cassar. never heard of or saw the guy. he is contesting for mlp deputy leader. wonder of wonders – the setting up of a commercial bank features prominently in his plans if elected. want to bet who will trust the mlp with their hard-earned cash?

  2. Caphenni says:

    Lol Clyde Joe Cassar is a joke. I heard him speak on one of the Tmexxija shows and the things he said were just ridiculous. Alla hares he gets elected.

    As for, Joseph Muscat. I like him. I think he can use the admiration that the party has for him, to bring about real change in the country. I agree with Daph that many do look up to him in that sense. Hence he should be able to convince them on issues like Gay rights and Divorce.

    I would give him a chance. I think he has what it takes to develop into a good leader and a potential prime minister. 5 years isn’t a long time, but I think it’s enough.

  3. Caphenni says:

    Oh and Daphne, please don’t make the mistake of hating Joseph Muscat before he even does anything, or of never agreeing with him even if he does something everyone knows you should agree with him for. We accepted your personal vendetta against Alfred Sant, because we all had it. Now you gotta be a bit more careful I think. Let’s choose our battles with JM so that we look more credible, shall we?

  4. Amanda Mallia says:

    maryanne – About the bank, look on the bright side. At least MLP are not in power and able to forcibly take over a privately-owned bank (without any compensation whatsoever to the individuals / private companies involved), as Mintoff had done in the early 1970s, causing undue stress and hardship in the process.

  5. Gattaldo says:

    The Malta Independent on Sunday has chosen not to print my letter today as regards Daphne’s article last week on the case of the Public Registry Director. Perhaps it was a question of space. I’d like to give the editor the benefit of the doubt.

    I know it is cheeky of me to print it here but I trust you will understand. The letter went as follows:

    Dear Sir,

    Mr Anthony Geraldi’s personal moral crusade against the transsexual’s right to happiness is in conflict with his civil role as Director of Public Registry. The seminary schooled Geraldi wishes to impose on the islands his blinkered view of what makes one a woman. The alarming thing is that his position empowers him to do so. I wish to personally show my support to the couple in question. Their courage to selflessly challenge the authorities on this matter, when they could get married anywhere in the rest of the world, is to be lauded.

  6. kagemusha says:

    ……….What a weird world. One plastic smile after the other…..there is absolutely no harmony between heart and mind, anymore.
    The smiling mania is sweeping across our Island as well. We are forced to grin…stretching the corners of our mouth towards the ears, to manifest our indebt ness for the happiness & wisdom, people in politics & clergy shower upon us. This is an area where Labor Party can outdo the Nationalists…giving more direct say to the people… Curtailing ‘the middle man’ in a Democracy …pays, I believe.
    Yes smile we are on candid camera.

  7. Wistin Schembri says:

    @ Caphenni

    I think that you should be more creative in your attempts to fool us….the fingerprints are very clear.

  8. Malcolm Buttigieg says:

    Enjoy your stay abroad.

    When are you coming back?

    …we miss you!

    I found a comment in this contribution rather striking.

    It is stated that JM was in Gouder’s role some five years ago and for this, he cannot be taken seriously.

    From journalist to EuroMP to Doctor of Philosophy to a family man and fatherhood to leader of the opposition. Anyone who does not have a bigoted view would have the decency (or intelligence) to admit that the chap knows what he is doing and is an achiever in life. He most certainly has a knack for progressing, one step at a time.

    The same cannot be stated for some of the opinionated contributors in local journals and blogs who for the past 15 years or more, have been churning out the same gibberish.

    Can they be taken seriously?

    Frankly, I think not, but I do hope they persist in their endeavours.

    Keep entertaining me please!

  9. m says:

    Joseph is the right one

    What a surprise…Joe Grima is back :)

    I guess the honey moon is over for gonzi

  10. Caphenni says:

    Wistin, it will be a sad day when anyone who is critical of Daphne or PN, and welcoming of anything Labour-related is called an elf. If you see my other posts on Daphne’s blog and timesofmalta.com you will realise that I am not an elf. Rather, I am just an independent liberal voter – hoping that Joseph Muscat turns MLP into a party I can vote for. Till now, although he seems too young and too pleased with himself, at least he has expressly said that he is in favour of the introduction of divorce, among other things. I have lost faith in Dr. Gonzi ever saying something on the same lines, so my hope lies only with Joseph Muscat. I just don’t want Daphne to shit all over the poor lad before he can raise a decent discussion of civil liberties in Malta.

  11. Poodle says:

    I watched Joseph Muscat’s first address to his party faithful this morning on Super One. Very disappointed to see among his audience certain faces who have long been buried and now seem to have resurrected again. What a pity!! Those faces ran shivers in me as they soon reminded me of the days when we Maltese were treated as numbers and not as humans!! And one other thing!! All those words of praise for Dom MIntoff….yes the man who up to yesterday was considered as ‘traitor’ by many and lastly but not least, the words of praise for Dr. Sant – the man who brought such a misfortuneon on the party!!
    Hawwadni halli nifhem!!!!

  12. Stephen says:

    I’m glad that a young and motivated leader was elected for the MLP!

  13. Louise Vella says:

    Another surprise – Debono Grech leaves MLP.

  14. SB says:


    I am not sure if the MLP should mourn the loss of Joe Debono Grech from the party. Is it the ‘earthquake of change’? Any ideas?

  15. europarl says:

    When the “village lawyer” took over from George Borg Olivier the PN media went into a frenzy pumping him up as a worthy national leader, a role which eventually detoured into that of a revolutionary freedom-fighter, before getting back on track to lead us into the promised land.

    As we know, the most mediocre people can have their stature built through title and role. It happens at every level – every time an idiot gets promoted in the Civil Servant’s world, in fact. The brain may remain the same, but power and role become its teachers, causing it to act differently – which also works wonders as far as the ego is concerned.

    In our Dear Leader’s case we find an ego as large as Napoleon’s, but an image as small as Dick Whittington’s cat.

    Will that image eventually capture the imagination of the majority?

    Other than the fact that he’ll soon change his name to ‘Jesus’, what with all the ‘Love’ sprouting from within him, there is one thing that favours this new mexxej – the times are changing and so is the prime minister’s role. You see, ultimately it is our constitution that defines this role and that will most probably NOT be the Maltese constitution.

    Some would say I’m again deviating to the European level – but not at all: if the Lisbon Treaty enters into force on 1 January 2009, with the further implementation of the 2014 political structure envisaged within it, then Joseph Muscat would be the obvious choice for Malta in 2013 – and I’m not being sarcastic.

    When I write about the need to recognise what goes on at a European level, I do so because it is the level that influences much of what happens locally – and it will trickle down even more in the future. If you miss that, you’d be missing the wood for the trees.

    The irony is this: you wanted EU membership, yet fail to realise what “becoming European” really means. Amazing!

  16. M Cutajar says:

    Congratulations to Dr Joseph Muscat. I hope that he will not be judged before he even starts implementing his plans he has for the party and for our country. I consider myself as ’emotionally intelligent’ as Daphne wrote in her article, and I am positively sure that his smile is GENUINE. This could be seen during this morning’s mass rally where he was warmly welcomed by all.

  17. Curious says:

    Please tell me when we maltese will learn to judge a person by what he does not by his political inclinations. If Gonzi decides to lead the MLP he will become a monster (according to Daphne and her like) and a hero (according to her opponents). Remember what NP supporters used to say about – Chiara, Eileen Montesin, Mr and Mrs Bonaci. Now that they have gone on their side they have become heroes.

  18. Tim Ripard says:

    Daphne, I don’t know why you dislike Joe Muscat so much. Yes, he’s an opportunist – but which politician isn’t? He seems to have taken his opportunities and made the best of them, even if somewhat cynically (for example by being anti-EU then becoming an MEP).

    Whatever he does he’ll be an improvement on previous Labour prime ministers (and be certain he’ll be PM in 2013), though that’s hardly difficult to achieve. Now, however he has to prove his real capabilities – there is no one to hitch his star to. He’s on his own and his achievements and failures will be his and his alone. The buck stops with him.

    He may be able to make the Labour party palatable to reasonable people like me, who have always voted Nationalist out of fear of a Labour party which crushed our rights and tried to crush our spirits in the 70s and 80s. His very first move should be a very public and sincere apology for the excesses of the MLP in those days and a personal commitment that they never return.

    His second move must be to make Malta a secular and not a religious state, with true religious freedom, including the freedom to abandon or adopt any religion one wants – WITHOUT LEGAL CONSTRAINTS, i.e. make divorce available to all, and not just the elite.

    Thirdly, he must commit to stability and the maintenance of systems that work – e.g. the current fiscal and financial regulations, whilst also committing to change the ones that don’t – e.g. the rent laws, public transport and large public-sector contracts.

    Finally, he must move away from all the confrontation and mud-slinging that have bedevilled Maltese politics for far too long now and a) learn and b) teach his followers that all Maltese should truly respect each other.

    I for one ask all followers of this blog to give the guy a chance. Be critical by all means, but be objective and fair too. We can criticize the man’s actions, indeed we should do so, for the benefit of all, but let us at all times show him respect, at least until such time as he clearly shows he doesn’t deserve it, something which I sincerely hope does NOT happen, for Malta’s sake.

  19. David Buttigieg says:


    You write as though Joseph Muscat is a newcomer to the political scene! He isn’t. We ARE judging him by his actions!

  20. Pinkerton says:

    Now that ex Mintoffian minister Joe Grima is back in the socialist fold, who is next in line to peck at the poodle ears? Run-Rabbit-Run Montesin?

  21. curious says:

    “Muscat is in the same mould insofar as that he provokes polarised reactions in people: party die-hards think that the sun shines out of the seat of his trousers, while everyone else is hugely put off”

    according to surveys FLOATERS, NON-VOTERS and YOUNG PERSONS are attracted by Muscat. While die-hards preffered Abela
    so your statement is wrong imho

    [Moderator – Which surveys were those?]

  22. Tony Pace says:

    I wonder what Dr JM has to say about the Irregular immigration issue. I know that privately he has expressed very radical views. Has anyone noticed that the subject was never raised during the campaign. mmmm?!?!?!?

    [Moderator – What were the views that he expressed?]

  23. europarl says:

    Tony Pace, what JM thinks about irregular immigration is irrelevant since that area would soon be fully harmonised across the EU through QMV.

  24. Pinkerton says:

    He has gone down on record in Brussels as voting in favour of giving immigrants the right to vote in general and local elections,I believe.

  25. Corinne Vella says:

    europarl / Kevin Ellul Bonici: What’s your take on what will happen if the Lisbon Treaty and its political structures do not enter into force? This is a genuine question.

  26. Corinne Vella says:

    Europarl / Kevin Ellul Bonici: I’m interested to know how you look at the alternative scenario and whether that is desirable.

  27. Caphenni says:


    There’s something about immigration there.

  28. Colin Vassallo says:

    What I liked most this morning was his pose during the singing of the National Anthem. It was so fake that even the Super One director changed to another shot immediately to avoid all those following the proceedings on TV from throwing up.

    Another excruciating moment was the parable about his life. I couldn’t believe my ears that he was actually speaking about himself.

    I wish all labour supporters all the luck in this world with their new leader. As for me, I just cannot stand the sight of him.

    “Inhobbkom, inhobbkom” (sob, sob)

    “Lil din (referring to his wife) hobbuha kemm tifilhu ghax hi thobbkom hafna kollha kemm intom” (more sobbing, more tears flowing)

    Doctor Joseph Muscat the faith-healer for PM.

  29. Maria says:

    This morning we met as is usual in our family for a dri nk before lunch, and as usual words fell on the political situation of our country. We are a family who are pro nationalists. I am a 48 year old spinster, who have always voted PN. My first election was that of 1981. And i together with my family were spat upon, bullied and verabally attacked when we went to our local school to cast our vote. We never put up the PN flag on our door, we never went for meetings but people at Birgu, knew that our family was pro PN. Yet our front door and facade were election, after election doused with blue paint, we had coffins hanged to our balcony, rabbit skins attached to them, and lemons, dozens of lemons. Immaginaw, my mum used to bake scrumptious lemon meringues with all the lemons that we used to have.

    When AlfreD Sant becme leader in 1992, the country thought that a new breeze had started to breeze over the island. But when DrElfridSant, became PM, he showed what a weak, unimaginative man he was, and still is.

    Only 18 months after he came to power, he had to disssolve government and the PN were elected once again. then the EU referendum was won, after that the 2003 elections, and now once more the PN are at the helm of our country, with not a vast majority, but with a majority just the same.

    With all these ramblings that followed our long martini drinks, before going for lunch we deduced that the MLP are afraid of being called to govern thsi island. They are such a party without vision, without substance that they are pleased to once every 5 years try to amke an effort to show their supporters that they are willing, but they are so willing to let someone else govern instead of them.

    In the getsemane garden the good lord had told the apostles that the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak……….the MLP on the contrary……their flesh is willing, ohhhhhhhhhhhthey would like to one day govern the island, burden us with their idea of reception class, and their out of date promises, but their spirit is so weak, they are so vulnerable. It seems taht they feel like Goliath next to david, Gonzi nd his team are a giant of a party with a strong image of where they believe taht our country should move to. The strides that we citizens can do, the PN believes so much in us, and they are so afraid of change, of competition.

    They are so afraid to be called to govern that once again they willingly elected a weak man against a great man George Abela

  30. Caphenni says:

    Pinkerton, who is this “record” he has gone down on in Brussels?

  31. Meerkat :) says:

    The Labour Party’s new mascot


    (grinning like a cheshire cat is our dear Gowzef)

  32. Francis says:

    I also think that now that he is the leader JM should be given the chance to prove whether he means what he says. The tidings do not bode well at all with Jason and Joe Cushcieri behind him. I can’t see GA and MF working in the same team as Jason, so something has to happen there. Let’s wait and see if he can really deliver the change he promised or if it is just a lot of hot air.

    As for Joe Debono Grech’s resignation, it is a really mystery, why now? Is he really angry at the fact that JM got elected leader? What does he want to achieve? He is next in line for JM’s MEP’s seat it appears, so eventually he might have to give up his parliamentary seat anyway. Any thoughts?

  33. Pinkerton says:

    the Times of Malta on Wednesday January 18TH 2006 reported in an article that two labour MEPs Joseph Muscat and Louis Grech voted in favour of giving voting rights at general and local elections and improved residence rights to migrants living in EU countries for five years. JAM did not vote as he was absent whilst David Casa and Simon Busuttil voted against. The report was rejected by the EU.
    I am sorry that I cant provide a link for you but I hope the info is sufficient for you to get by.

  34. m says:

    dear maria i don t really what the point of your story telling is – to sympathise with the situation or what…and get over it all of you

    Joseph Muscat was elected – if it was a mistake we’d see for ourselves – but pleasee don’t go thinking you’re going to win the next election coz it wasn’t george abela who’s elected – gimme a break

  35. europarl says:


    They say that after enlargement the Union needs Lisbon in order to proceed efficiently and effectively. This is all soviet-talk. If Lisbon fails the only catastrophe would be to their own project.

    The beauty of the EU is the dismantling of internal borders to create a single market. Yet a single market does not have to be homogeniously grey throughout – not even the US today, after so many decades of consolidation, has such levels of harmonisation as the EU is aiming for.

    With or without supranational governance (governance by unelected civil servants so high up you don’t even know their names) the people will continue to self-organise, travel, trade and set up shop across internal borders. That is how the Union organically unites, without losing parliamentary democracy as we know it.

    The bull about “the impossibility” to “move forward” without the EU constitution (for that is what the Lisbon Treaty is, only in an amending format) is all a mise en scene to dupe the people into accepting their elitist vision.

    Without Lisbon life goes on, potentially freer, definitely less bureaucratic.

    Then we’ll wait for their next move – and by them I mean all EU leaders, the majority of MEPs and of course the top civil servants at the Commission, which has the sole monopoly of setting off legislation within its sphere of competence (which is now close to everything, except in aspects of criminal justice, defence and taxation… and of course rubbish collection).

    Their next move could be to say that they will scrap Lisbon, or re-write it, perhaps give some opt-outs to Ireland for a second referendum run as they did with Nice. But the Brits would then want one too, and there is no way that this totalitarian treaty would be accepted by them.

    They can take the longer way, of course, introducing the amendments piecemeal, with regular but mute ratifications in 27 states…

    But let’s not forget the European Court of Justice, which is another behemoth legislating by way of ECJ Case Law… at a ceratin level it all becomes surreal, kafkesque even, yet you call this the stuff of conspiracy theorists as if throughout the ages democracy has been the rule not the exception.

  36. Pinkerton says:

    @C Vassallo;
    “Doctor Joseph Muscat the faith-healer for PM.”
    He did look like he was imitating some cuckoo tele-evangelist on American tv with his pacing forth up and down the dais. Hallelluljahhhh praise da Lord.

  37. Was going to write a comment of my own but Tim Ripard has said it all. Cheers Tim – needless to say, I am in full agreement.

  38. P.S. Not so much about the certainty of his being PM in 2013 though.

  39. bob says:

    name calling , prejudice and mud slinging should be a part of the past
    can’t we mature a bit. We call ourselves european yet we judge the person for simply being leader of the malta labour party.

    Judgement day is in 5 years, enough time to see what joseph can present to the nation and for Gonzi to improve our quality of life.

    really wish we start tackling real issues like price of living and working conditions today rather than name calling. name calling is cheap.

  40. MPG says:

    I have to admit, I like Joseph Muscat and ever since he was elected, he spoke flawlessly and seems to really want the change that the Labour part desperately needs. I like George Abela too but I’m happy both ways since I’m positive that George will work with Joseph.
    Seeing people go back to d labour party like joe grima, maria camilleri etc.. makes me believe in this guy. Let’s all give him a chance before we start firing our brimmed canons.

  41. Pinkerton says:

    “Seeing people go back to d labour party like joe grima, maria camilleri etc.. makes me believe in this guy. Let’s all give him a chance before we start firing our brimmed canons”

    Joe Grima is the ex MLP minister whose advice re the constitutional changes to stop another perverse electoral result similar to that of 1981 from happening were “over my dead body”. If it was up to Joe Grima, thsos changes would not have taken place and by now we would all be re-living the aftermath of 1981. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

  42. Xaghra says:

    Before the MLP leader election Nationalist supporters were accused of promoting George Abela because we wanted the weaker of the two (GA) to be elected.

    Now that the election is over we are hoping that JM will at least jetison Jason so far we never ever see him again – for the good of the country – but alas this will now be interpreted as a ploy to keep him there right?

    As for J Debono Grech – big deal…

    …and to my friend Tim Ripard – more objective than usual!!

  43. Xaghra says:

    I have just seen a Net TV selected excerpt of JM’s first address to the faithful. Sure it was selective but God it made my stomach turn. Attributing the birth of his children to the MLP is as low as its going to get! Or is it?

  44. confused says:

    “Muscat is in the same mould insofar as that he provokes polarised reactions in people: party die-hards think that the sun shines out of the seat of his trousers, while everyone else is hugely put off”

    according to surveys FLOATERS, NON-VOTERS and YOUNG PERSONS are attracted by Muscat. While die-hards preffered Abela
    so your statement is wrong imho

    [Moderator – Which surveys were those?]

    [Moderator – According to that survey, Joseph Muscat Muscat’s advantage over George Abela is of less than 4% of floating voters. But George Abela is preferred by 20% more PN voters than Joseph Muscat, and 6% more voters claiming to have ‘no political affiliation’. The survey also showed that Joseph Muscat is preferred by voters from the lowest socio-economic classes (C2 and DE), while George Abela is overwhelmingly preferred by those from the higher socio-economic classes (A1 to C1). Which class do you think the Mintoffjani fit into?]

  45. confused says:

    is survey ta xarabank wera li z zaghzagh jippreferu l muscat, filwaqt illi il “hardcore” labourites (jinkludu l mintoffjani) follow George Abela.

    minbarra li trid tqis illi hafna min dawk li hadu s survye u qalu li jahsbu illi abela se jirbah huma nazzjonalisti partiggjani, ie mhux se jivvutawlu; jigifieri qed nara l muscat bhala aktar favorit jien

    dejjem kif nahsiba jien :)

  46. Albert Farrugia says:

    Well, your stomach is going to have a lot of turning to do in the coming months and years. Seems that your honeymoon too is over! No more Maduma flag waving now, it seems!
    And please call me an elve.

  47. Albert Farrugia says:

    Oh dear! You see it was such a big surprise when Gonzi was elected leader of the Nats! Up till the very last second there was not a hint as to where the incumbent’s preferences lay. Not one word was ever said in the corridors of Pieta which could have given the slightest hint that the chances of Gonzi, Dalli and Louis Galea could not have been equal. And now there is not even one word being said that the new annointed one has already been chosen and that he (but more so his wife ) is being “worked” on by the priest-politician Peter Serracino Inglott (the one and only person in the world who interviews himself every week).

  48. confused says:

    Mena JM ghandu xorta aktar floaters warajh minn GA, 4% u mhux
    Imma kemm minn dawk it 20% nazzjonalisti favur GA se jivvutawlu ?? u kemm just biex ikollom “opposizjoni li timxi id f’id mal gvern” jew “gvern illi k jitla ma tiggenninx bhalma k allahares jitla sant”

    Fis survey wahda mill features li spikka GA hi illi il hardcore labourites iridu lilu

    Fuq is social class tal mintoffjani, jien nemmen illi kullhadd ghandu say daqs haddiehor, ghalhekk kulhadd vot wiehed ghandu, allura is social class m ghandiex x taqsam jekk huwx tajjeb jew le imma min minnhom ghandu l aktar twemmin socjalist. Ghalhekk GA huwa l ahjar ghazla ghal PN, filwaqt illi JM ghal labour (u ghaz zaghzagh u floaters)

    dawk ghalija huma r ragunijiet illi inghazel JM, u li ghalkemm m ghazlux il GA xorta hemm leader kredibbli ghalija

  49. Amanda Mallia says:

    Europarl – A comparison to a grinning Cheshire cat would have been a better comparison than one to Dick Wittington’s cat.

  50. Amanda Mallia says:

    Tim Ripard – You said “He may be able to make the Labour party palatable to reasonable people like me, who have always voted Nationalist out of fear of a Labour party which crushed our rights and tried to crush our spirits in the 70s and 80s. His very first move should be a very public and sincere apology for the excesses of the MLP in those days and a personal commitment that they never return”

    Whatever sort of apology he makes for Labour “excesses”, as you chose to put it (atrocities being a more fitting word, in my opinion), it will simply be as artificial as his permanent grin.

    How can one ever accept an apology from somebody whose first words on being elected MLP leader were words of praise for the person who was responsible for such atrocities – Mintoff himself? You know, as I do, what Mintoff put Malta through (whether directly or not) during that period, causing untold harm, misery, tension, violence … the list goes on. Muscat himself wasn’t even yet born until 1974, so he could never understand what we went through, especially with his roots. The fact that he praised Mintoff, calling him the “father of the MLP” just goes to show what I mean.

  51. europarl says:

    @ Mrs Mallia – True. And I’ll keep the Cheshire cat in mind in our future pics…

    Meanwhile, Nizel fostna il-Messija:


  52. Malta says:

    Oh Daphne .. puuullllliiijjzz … zip the lip and enjoy your stay in Scotland or wherever you are … you just sit there behind your laptop spitting envy and hatred without even bothering to take the time to actually know what a person is all about.

    Can’t you possibly delineate some positive qualities in Joseph Muscat? Is that too hard for you?

    Personally I think that using particular terms such as “poodle” will only discredit you as a writer, can’t you possibly be more creative without using futile insults that are not even constructive as a criticism per se?

  53. trever says:

    Well, the ‘Made in Brussels’ boy did mention earthquakes, didn’t he? And he promptly landed himself in one – J Debono Grech’s resignation! What better way to start a new job? And with Joe Grima trying so hard to rejoin Labour’s wagon, I wonder what the late Lorry Sant would have done at this moment in time.
    People here have asked to give the boy time but with Jason’s pepsodent smile everpresent wherever the boy has been so far and with the evident pleasure of George Vella at Muscat’s, no sorry, he asked us to call him Joseph (why not Joe?) it seems he himself is not giving himself time. Have you ever heard of a ‘controlled earthquake’? I haven’t and if he wants to start an earthquake I wonder how he will then be able to control it. But we have to give him time don’t we? He has plenty of it, at least 5 years.

    On another note, has anyone heard him talking of ‘some people will be hurt’ during his leadership campaign? He’s already repeated this phrase twice in public so far – who’s heads will roll? Exciting times.

  54. Xaghra says:

    @Albert Farrugia

    I really don’t get it….maybe I’m plain thick but what does the Maduma flag waving have to do with the price of tea?

    As for the honeymoon, do you think the Gonzi Government was taking it easy waiting for the MLP to elect a Lijder? The Government has been working away whilst the MLP has been busy ploughing daggers into each others’ backs – and it seems they have only just started.

    Now hang on to Jason and what you term a honeymoon will last until the next election! Judgement day is in 5 years …. not next week!

    PS the singular of elves is elf … Sigh!

  55. eve says:

    Watching Doktor Joseph Muscat delivering his faith-healer type speech this morning my family concluded that he must have watched a lot of programmes on Smash lately & got carried away by those born-again christians or whatever they are.

    The part of his speech that takes the cake is when he attributed the opportunity he had to enter University to a ‘particular party’, obviously referring to his party. What cheek! Kemm kien bravu hux l-iskola….very kaz li
    s-serduk jifthar b’rixu.

    @ Maria. Prosit for your very valid contribution.

  56. Albert Farrugia says:

    @Amanda Mallia
    Well Dr Fenech Adami (to whom I wish a speedy recovery) had given 30 mins of his time in parliament to the person responsible for many “atrocities”, the devil-incarnate Mintoff himself. And what for? To give him the opportunity to cause maximum harm to Alfred Sant and his government. Seems like at that time Dr Fenech Adami was not much bothered with the “atrocities” this Mintoff has commited, and gladly cooperated with his work to undermine the government.
    Thanks for telling me how to spell “elf”. May I tell you, on my part, that “jetison” is spelt with “double T”. Yawn.

  57. Mark says:

    Those of you who think there’s nothing wrong with Joseph ‘call me joseph’ (what else?) Muscat might want to watch the speech he gave today. If you still think he’s good, or even just about acceptable, you have a SERIOUS problem. Sorry, there’s no way round this.

    Now I know why Sant chose him and only him – incredibly, Joseph makes Fred look good.

    OH DEAR.

  58. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @ all those who say that I should give Joseph Muscat a chance: please remember that I have been doing this job for a long time. When I made my observations about Alfred Sant way back in his honeymoon period, when everyone wanted a piece of him and he was really fashionable, invited to all the right parties and sucked up to by all the right business people (a routine process that will begin as from next week with Joseph Muscat), I received exactly the same reactions as these ones up above. It didn’t bother me; I was quite certain about how things would pan out. The man just wasn’t up to it, had serious personality flaws, and it was only a matter of time before it showed.

    So now I’m experiencing a strange sense of deja-vu – been here, done that, heard it all before: give the man a chance, he might be good, etc etc. Sorry, but I’m not buying it. I don’t think he has what it takes to be good. Look at it this way: for all his working life before becoming an MEP, he had one employer – Alfred Mifsud, first at Super One and then at MIfsud’s private company, an investment and financial services firm. And this man who employed Muscat for all his working life until 2004 thinks he is unfit to be leader. In other words, if the post of party leader required a letter of recommendation from a previous employer, the letter of recommendation would have read ‘unfit for the post’. I trust Mifsud’s judgement; after all, he’s the one who paid Muscat his salary for years and knows him better than the rest of us.

    Give him a chance? He might be good? Take note of the fact that when it comes to Labour Party leaders, we go into default coping mode (hope for the best, he might be good, give him a chance). But we never do that with Nationalist Party leaders. We trust that party to select a solid, reliable, astute person. We don’t trust the Labour Party to do the same, and that says a lot. We have a higher tolerance threshold for Labour’s excesses. Imagine if the Nationalist Party had elected Joseph Muscat its leader. But then the Nationalist Party wouldn’t. The very thought is incredible, and that says a lot, too.

    There is no call for ‘giving a chance’ to party leaders. They can make or break the country. They can ruin lives and businesses. We should have the assurance that they are fit for the job before they take it on. There is no room for chances. This is life we are talking about, not a game. But politics has always been a game for Alfred Sant, and now it is a game for his pet.

    Is Joseph Muscat out there on his own, now? I seriously doubt it.

  59. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @ Malta – I don’t type with my lips.

  60. amrio says:

    Joe Debono Grech resigned from MLP but not from Parliament.

    While this is undoubtedly good news for a new MLP, I wonder what will now happen in Parliament – it seems that PN’s majority is now not of one, but let’s say 1 1.2…. What do you think?

  61. amrio says:


    You’ve finished your exams? How did it go? Shall we see you more often here? You’ve been missed…

  62. Caphenni says:

    Daph, let’s say that you are right and that Joseph Muscat is not fit to be Prime Minister. Still, you must be at least a little bit hopeful that he is going to provide an almost decent opposition to the Government. At least it seems like he is going to start some important debates in our country, and push the envelope with what the PN is pushing under the carpet.

  63. Meerkat :) says:

    @ amrio ruhi,

    I finish my exams on the 21st June…they’re my finals. Tomorrow I’ve got Paper 2 so keep anything that you can cross, crossed :-)

    How sweet of you to miss me…ha nibghatlek ritratt ha toqghod tibkini minn fuqu

  64. Albert Farrugia says:

    You are most probably young. You have not yet understood what politics is about. DCG does her job, and she does it well. We know were she stands. We know her place in the machinery of PN strategy. And she has a following, maybe not so large, but quite significant. And we have to live with that. You seem to have seen in JM some form of hope. That is the whole point of the change that is going on. The PN have tried, but failed, to have at the helm of the MLP a person who, though undoubtedly very able, was a person whom they knew well. And whose relations with the MLP and those who are near it, like for example the GWU, had cooled down significantly. This is not because he abandoned their principles, but as we in Maltese say, boghod mill-ghajn, boghod mill-qalb. It would have been so comfortable for the PN with GA at the helm of the MLP. Today, on NET TV, they did not even have the decency to protect GA’s daughter who was at a PN meeting, on the palk, in 2003 and whose picture there was apparently circulated in an email to MLP delegates. The PN media today showed these pictures so that everyone gets a chance to look at them. One can only imagine what the PN media would have been up to, had GA been elected as they wished. And, I insist, the PN wanted GA. There was no reverse psychology working here.
    ON the contrary, with JM, the PN have to re-invent their strategy which for the past 16 years was Alfred Sant Alfred Sant Alfred Sant. Now, with one stroke, Gonzi is 20 years older than the MLP Leader! WHen one considers the importance the PN gives to first time voters, the consequence of this should be obvious.

  65. david s says:

    @Albert Farrugia By your admission PN gives much importance to first time voters, by giving so much importance to education which opens up all doors, and not simply because the party leader is 20 years younger

  66. Albert Farrugia says:

    @david s
    Yes the PN always aims to attract first time voters, and mostly successfully. The young new MLP leader knows this, and will make sure that the PN’s walkover here comes to an end. As for opening doors to education, while recognising the wealth of opportunity available today, the MLP had introduced compulsory schooling, built primary schools all over Malta, and ended the monopoly of a certain class of people at university.

  67. Xaghra says:

    Hear ye all ye who were denied tertiary education by the MLP at the same time as they sacked all the doctors and dismantled the Health and Education system. Hear ye all those who’s parents had to exile themselves overseas to put food on your table. Hear ye all those who mortgaged their homes to give their children an education overseas because it could not be had here in Malta.

    You must have all been living on a different planet to Albert Farrugia – it was the MLP that opened the doors to the university and gave you a health system second to none – why on earth did you all go through all that pain!?!?! Such fools we and our parents!

  68. Sunshine says:

    Poodle when you wrote “Very disappointed to see among his audience certain faces who have long been buried and now seem to have resurrected again. What a pity!!” were you referring to one of the guys who used to air a programme with much prominance on NET TV some months ago before he was kicked out???

  69. Albert Farrugia says:

    Well, I guess we DO come from different planets. These planets were very distant 40 years ago, but now have come closer due to the MLP’s work. Just because you and people like you try to rub away history with your simplicist views, does not mean that history will go away. Those who went away to put food on their table went away because they so chose. If you want to call them fools, as you did, its your choice not mine. Maybe they disliked being made to share their cake with others. Too bad, my friend, but old privileges were destroyed, though much more still needs to be done.
    Well for one Peppi Azzopardi was clearly rather shocked when Joe Grima, on Xarabank, actually admitted that JM is a good choice after all. Peppi obviously invited Joe Grima hoping that this would be yet another “dissident” MLP personality rubbishing all that the MLP is today. But Joe Grima “bezaqlu fis-sunnara” as we say. And who else does Peppo invite for Xarabank? Paul Muscat, who “miskin” is suspended from the MLP. This same Muscat who with his irresponsible, incomprehensible declarations gave the Nats so much ammunition.

    [Moderator – Albert, how can you call the destruction of the Faculty of Arts ‘the destruction of old privilege’? The Labour government back then must have been behaving like a spoilt brat who destroys his friends’ toys because he can’t have them himself.]

  70. confused says:

    “Look at it this way: for all his working life before becoming an MEP, he had one employer – Alfred Mifsud, first at Super One and then at MIfsud’s private company, an investment and financial services firm. And this man who employed Muscat for all his working life until 2004 thinks he is unfit to be leader”

    imma hemm schultz illi jahlef bih, lol

  71. trever says:

    @sunshine – even if it rained today!
    Yes, pretty sure he/she was referring to JG. But what’s new? The man has always said he was a Labourtite but definitely anti-Sant. Now, how he has become an affacionado of Sant’s ‘preferred choice’ is not my guess, you need to ask the man himself. I have my opinion but won’t share it with you.
    The division in Labour is so deep that the ‘Made in Brussels’ boy will gain some and lose many more. And that’s because PN are on the right side of things (is-sewwa jirbah zgur, and you better believe it) whilst Labour still labours to align itself with what is good. That’s why Labour keeps making U-Turns of huge radii, including the man who from a journalist producing ‘Made in Brussels’ ended up pushed to become leader of the Malta socialists, with all the left-leaning diehards pushing him on. Labour is now thinking that with a new leader they will win, but isn’t that what they thought a few weeks ago? Didn’t they think that after two successive legislations Labour was bound to win? And what happened? Now they reckon that if even if Sant made it in 1996 as new leader, the new boy on the block will surely make it. Dream on.

  72. Malcolm Buttigieg says:

    Oh what a surprise!

    Dear Daphne,

    If your contribution had been anything different, I would have been truly surprised.

    You are so predictable!

    Cheers and keep it up dear. Malta needs you.


  73. Sybil says:

    This link does not say that MEPs Gowzef and his buddy Grech voted in favour of giving voting rights to migrants as way back as 2006. Is he losing his memory as fast as he is losing his head hair?

  74. Corinne Vella says:

    @ europarl / Kevin Ellul Bonici: Thank you for your reply. You say Joseph Muscat “would be the obvious choice for Malta in 2013.” Why?

  75. europarl says:

    @Corinne – OK, I’ll try to be brief.

    With Lisbon, the Council officially becomes another EU institution. The prime ministers’ role, especially in smaller member states, would become more and more characterised by purely administrative functions, such as overseeing that EU legislation is implemented and executed, while also administering the finances of the country.

    This is a slow process, but the direction is clear. It’s only a step above a Kunsill Lokali – far removed from the PM role we are accustomed to. So the legislative role is limited to irrelevant issues, since the Union acquires more areas under its competence, and the foreign office role is further diminished once the CFSP and the CSDP areas (foreign, security and defence policies) fall under direct Union competence.

    So a prime minister becomes part of a Union institution – the Council – where decisions on the Commission’s proposals are mainly taken by qualified majority voting (where Malta’s voting power is next to zilch) and where the remnants of the veto would eventually be removed through what is called a “passerelle” – which means prime minsiters can unanimously agree to remove unanimity voting and replace it by QMV (forever) as in the case of establishing an EU Public Prosecutor’s Office (which is a new legal base), or in the area of a common defence policy. (Here neutral countries, by implication, are allowed to opt-out – for now; I say “by implication” because the word neutrality or its derivative is nowhere in the treaty. But for whoever wants the EU to replace the US in bombing “anti-democrats”, “terr’rst” and pagans into oblivion, then that would be a good thing).

    So in the end of the day, this is not the PM role we are accustomed to. This will translate into gradual, perhaps even unnoticeable, changes in that role. No ‘national leader’ is required, just a lacky factotum who always says Yes to the Union. JM is the man for that – which is why totalitarian die-hards like Schulz would be very happy to have him ‘lead’ our nation.

    Everything I wrote is backed by treaty articles – but I tried to be brief. After the Irish referendum I might dedicate more time to the Malta scene – perhaps a Lisbon Treaty for Dummies? Don’t know yet. If the irish say Yes, it would be a sad day for the EU-critical field – it is already difficult as it is: we face totalitarianism on a regular basis – it’s something those on the mainstream bandwagon can never understand cos they don’t experience it (just yesterday we had a horrendous Big-Brother slap in the face – one which I hope to write about in the near future.)

    What can JM do as PM? The only thing I can imagine is for him to start the ball rolling for divorce to be introduced, together with other liberal legislation, such as gay mariage, etc… He could also streamline behemoths such as MEPA, etc., or reduce civil service spending… There is nothing else of substance, really. He would not be able to decriminalise certain draconian laws, or introduce legislation that falls under Union competence.

    In the end of the day, there is no national legislation that the Lisbon Treaty cannot directly or indirectly affect – and this is an established fact.

  76. Corinne Vella says:

    Europarl / Kevin Ellul Bonici: If Malta’s decision-taking power were not subject to the Lisbon treaty, might it not be constrained by market forces, whether political or economic, to move in opposition to its preferred direction?
    I notice you do not mention that the European Charter of Human Rights would become binding. Do you see that as a good or a bad thing?

  77. europarl says:

    The Charter of Fundamental Rights is just a copy of the ECHR. The reason why it was ‘re-written’ is to bring all EU citizens under the safe jurisdiction of the ECJ, which, through Case Law, is yet added ‘legislator’ (of the judicious type, I presume). A detailed answer is found here (which was prepared by myself and a colleague): http://www.euinfo.ie/index.php?page=faq&op=read&id=42

    As to your first question, concerning decision making (that’s the EU jargon) and market forces (which have always existed), I don’t see how creating a politically more centralised EU can help us combat the market forces that specifically affect us… perhaps by creating a “Fortress Europe” with Mintoff-style tariffs and levies where citizens pay higher prices, sometimes for lower quality? Or perhaps through more Brussels bureaucracy, or global economic warfare? If government intervention in economic and trade matters do nothing to reduce prices, supranational organisations (or wannabe states) are far worse, since they readily fall prey to the requirements of global corporatism. In other words, Free Trade is not “free” at all, but ‘managed trade’ that benefits only large multi-national corporations.

  78. Tim Ripard says:

    @ amanda
    I live in Vienna (a sin in the eyes of Laburisti – something else that has got to change) so I haven’t had the dubious pleasure of seeing JM’s antics on TV.
    If, contrary to my freely given (and described by other contributors as objective) advice, JM failed to apologise for those atrocities and indeed praised Mintoff then he’s off to a pretty bad start. I said he may be able to make the MLP palatable and suggested how he should go about it. Whether he believes it or not, he really should act on the suggestions of a rather lukewarm Nationalist if he wants to make the MLP electable.
    At the moment there is no comparison between the MLP and the PN. The MLP are totally incompetent. But it does not make for good government when we have a Hobson’s choice, i.e. only one civilized, intelligent and electable party in the eyes of balanced people of normal intelligence. The fact that the PN only squeezed in by 1,588 votes speaks volumes about the quality of voters’ judgement, but that’s another story.
    In an ideal world, a government that commits to treat sewage by a certain date and a few months before that hasn’t even started building the necessary treatment plants; that has thrown a billion Euros down the Drydocks black hole; that goes over budget and past the deadline of every big project (airport, hospital bridge and every road); that perpetrates religious judicial hegemony and that sacrifices the environment on the altar of big business would be given short shrift by the electorate but choosing between the PN and the MLP is like choosing between Cristiano Ronaldo and Phil Neville. Even in their mediocrity, the PN is light years ahead of the MLP, but the PN government is mediocre. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a good government for a change?
    To have that we need a competent MLP. If it can’t provide a real alternative then we’re doomed to choose between mediocre and atrocious.

  79. Amanda Mallia says:

    Albert Farrugia – U sewwa ghamel Fenech Adami! Much as I detest the sight, smell and otherwise of your hero (M.), he did provide us with entertainment and more in 1998!

  80. Amanda Mallia says:

    Meerkat – Maybe Jowzef can cross all those little gelled spikes on his head. X’tahseb?

  81. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @Curious – you’re wrong. All the surveys show clearly that floaters and those who didn’t vote preferred Abela to Muscat. But perhaps the surveys to which you refer are something Jason Micallef showed you?

  82. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @Caphenni – at least it was just a record that Joseph Muscat went down on in Brussels. He might have been in the News of the World otherwise (not that we have the Maltese equivalent).

  83. Joe M says:

    @DCG: “one of several hundred MEPs but a hero to those who don’t know what the European Parliament is like, and that in the main it is stuffed full of political nonentities.”

    Is this the opinion you have of David Casa and Simon Busuttil? Why should Busuttil be lumped in with the nonentities, when he and his family seem to be enjoying it so much that he categorically refused the PN General Secretary job?

  84. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @Joe M – what really interests me here is finding out how much of a pay-cut Joseph Muscat will be taking. Money hasn’t been mentioned anywhere, but when people switch from one job to another, it’s a major factor (even when the job is the party leadership). This is especially the case when you have expensive children to raise and a wife who doesn’t work because she’s too busy at home. Is the Labour Party going to fix his salary? Is he going to live off what he earns as opposition leader, given that he is not anywhere near as frugal and thrifty as the bachelor Sant? How will be survive without his hefty expense account? I’m sure that income and lifestyle were major factors in the Busuttil family’s decision, and I can’t blame them. If you have the chance of giving your children a good life, that is much more important than any personal political ambition you may have, especially when the country isn’t in crisis and doesn’t need salvation from a tyrant.

  85. Joe M says:

    Daph: apart from the “what’s in it for me” side of the coin that irked me, it’s how you descibed MEPs as “political nonentities” that I consider demeaning and unfair. Do you really believe that Simon Busuttil prefers to be a nonentity in exchange of “a hefty expense account”? So much for his European vision! And how sure do you think he is of being re-elected, come EP elections in a year’s time?

  86. Xaghra says:

    @Albert Farrugia

    Explain precisely what privileges the Cable & Wireless employees were denied other than an honest day’s pay for an honest day#s pay exactly Mr Farrugia?

    Oh I forgot! The MLP was there with its ‘targa tal-haddiema’ to protect ‘il haddiema tal-Cable and Wireless’. Perhaps it is easier to forget about that particular episode – one of hundreds you should be apologizing for not protecting! You are so myopic its not funny. Nothing simplistic about stark facts…

  87. Joe Grima says:

    Pinkerton wrote: Joe Grima is the ex MLP minister whose advice re the constitutional changes to stop another perverse electoral result similar to that of 1981 from happening were “over my dead body”. If it was up to Joe Grima, thsos changes would not have taken place and by now we would all be re-living the aftermath of 1981″.

    You are one more victim of MLP venom under Sant. To whom, according to you, did I give the so-called advice ” over my dead body”? Give the readers of this blog chapter and verse where I have been quoted.

    This alleged comment was invented by a former enemy within teh MLP ( I choose my words quite carefully) after I had left the Party under Sant and, more so, after I sarted my twelve years of confronting Sant and his wierd policies from the columns of the Independent on Sunday. That same former enemy, who was also at the Rally on Sunday, now emails me to tell me how moved he was to see me there and to see Joseph and I embracing. I believe him . People change. I have my own pain that has to be addressed and probably so has he. When the healing begins, as it must, we will address each other like brothers from the same family. But it will no be for the peleasure of people of your ilk.

  88. eve says:

    Reading Joe Grima’s last paragraph I can safely conclude that the instruction handed by The Master to “love one another” has already started being effected. Wow! Impressive!

  89. Joe Grima says:

    Trever wrote: What better way to start a new job? And with Joe Grima trying so hard to rejoin Labour’s wagon, I wonder what the late Lorry Sant would have done at this moment in time.

    Me , trying hard to get back? Why would you think I would do that? Am I waiting for some Gobvernment job? Do you think I am waiting for Joseph to be Prime Minsiter , when I will be 77, so that I will be appointed Chairman of something? Why dont you get a life and face the facts.

    Joseph is one of the few honest politicians I know who follows through on what he says with impunity. He said that he wants back all those who had strayed from the Party and I am one of them. He said that he will personally go for anyone who has been out of circulation in MLP circles and he did. He came for me when he did not have to. I wanted to have his assuance that he was not what I suspected- Alfred Sanr’s long arm into the future. He said enough to convince that he is nothing of the sort. Since our meeting he has said much more that strengthens my conviction of his independence from anone else. On Sunday I went to the Rally because he invuted me to be there. That event will remain etched into my memory forever.

    Does it look to you that I was chomping at the bit in order to be taken back in the Party? Accept that Joseph Muscat is different. He is a breath of fresh air after the stench left behind by Alfred Sant. He is Malta’s new style of making politics.

    [Moderator – Interesting. When people say that they have ‘strayed’ from something they usually mean that they have deviated from the norm. So I suppose that all along the Labour Party has been a beacon of normality, while you have become a recluse. Is that it?]

  90. eve says:

    Joe Grima. Heqq it’s always convenient to have the right friends in the right circles, if not for your personal gain maybe for the good of the family in general. U ejja does it take just a little coaxing to move you? I thought you were more solid.

  91. Joe Grima says:

    Sunshine and Poodle wrote: Poodle when you wrote “Very disappointed to see among his audience certain faces who have long been buried and now seem to have resurrected again. What a pity!!” were you referring to one of the guys who used to air a programme with much prominance on NET TV some months ago before he was kicked out???

    To Poodle: Me buried? Your next appointment should be with a reputable optician because I can detect an acute case of Myopia setting in. To start off, how could someone my size be buried without actually being put under the ground? How can you bury someone with my keen sense of protagonism? For seven consecutive years I conducted popular programmes on Net TV ( in the top ten for the last year that I was on Net TV) . I spent at least eleven years writing for the Independnet on Sunday wacking Sant week after week. I have been writing for di-ve.com ever since the internet portal opened. In what sense have I been buried Mr knowall?

    Sunshine: you seem to be well into what goes pon at PN HQ and at Net TV. So I was kicked out, was I? Where did you get hold of this highly sensitive, top secret information I say? Since you know so much about my , so-far undisclosed , ignominious exit, I will quote a few names of some of the people I know could have done it. Put your finger on the one who you know was responsible for my ouster from Net TV: Lawrence Gonzi, Joe Saliba, Angelito Sciberras, Gordon Pisani, Louiselle Vassallo (Chief of all media) , Pierre Portelli, The Cabinet, The Nationalist Executive, The Nationalist Consellors, The Nationalist Mayors and Local council members, In nisa Nazzjonalisti, Kate Gonzi, L-MZPN, Li studenti Demokristjani, Il Konferenza Generali tal PN, Have I missed someone?

    Jealousy will get you nowhere, baby!

  92. Joe Grima says:

    Moderator wrote: Interesting. When people say that they have ‘strayed’ from something they usually mean that they have deviated from the norm. So I suppose that all along the Labour Party has been a beacon of normality, while you have become a recluse. Is that it?

    Not quite: Strayed as in “moved away from” as in” distanced oneself from”. I know you are an able provocateur but nit picking is below you. You know very well what I meant.

    Eve wrote: Joe Grima. Heqq it’s always convenient to have the right friends in the right circles, if not for your personal gain maybe for the good of the family in general. U ejja does it take just a little coaxing to move you? I thought you were more solid.

    Personalising issues only demonstrates the baseness of people who do. You must be a Nationalist but in bringing in my family into the argument you are only parroting the worst of Alfred Sant and his hate mailers.

    My problem was with Alfred Sant and his wierdo policies and utterances. Now he is gone without the slightest shadow of a doubt. A good promising leader for the MLP after Sant, with the right qualities , was all I needed. I supported both Joseph Muscat and George Abela, each one for a different set of reasons as I said on The last Xarabank I took part in. I would have returned to the party under either of them. No question of coaxing. The raison d’etre for my distance from the MLP ended with the poltiical end of Alfred Sant and the birth of who I think will make a new, effective Leader, all the more so if George Abela takes up Joseph’s offer and joins in to make the Labour Party electable again.

    Got that? Do I need to repeat slowly so that will take it in? Tell me if you you have a problem with simple English and I will traslate into Maltese for you.

    Just pulling your leg assuming that you have two. I am sure that after your reply I will need to pull your other one. What a way to spend an evening!

  93. Amanda Mallia. says:

    No, Mod – Maybe he’s just a born-again Labourite.

    With the poodle trying to emulate those corny American-style “Jesus loves you” rallies, the only thing left for him (JM)to do was get all his proverbial “lost sheep” “back home” in a trance, if not a hysterical state.

    Incidentally – Will JM be drawing “Mintoff, the father of MLP” back into the fold, I wonder? Imbaghad inkunu veru laqqattna l-borma!

  94. Amanda Mallia. says:

    “When the healing begins, as it must, we will address each other like brothers from the same family.”

    “Healing?” “Brothers?” All these underlying pseudo-religious tones simply make me want to wretch. Whatever next? St Joseph Muscat Salvatur ta’ Malta?

  95. amrio says:

    @Joe Grima

    Interesting to learn that you too follow this blog, and have now also contributed – very good!

    I must say that I was wondering what has become of you; last time I saw you was on Net TV about a year ago(is that correct?)

    I truly hope you are in good health. I was wondering – now you seem to have come back to the Labour fold thanks to JM, do you plan a sort of comeback in politics? Do you plan, through your decades of experience, to give a valuable contribution to the Labour party?

  96. eve says:

    @ Joe Grima. Watching Xarabank last Friday you really came out as a faccol, supporting both GA and JM…..keeping your options open so to speak. As regards the flicker of hope that GA joins JM’s team….did you watch Bondiplus by any chance. I don’t think there’s even the remotest possibility
    for this to ever materialise. What are your comments re GA’s and MF’s allegations about the lack of fair play in the election campaign, etc.?

  97. Meerkat :) says:

    No, Amanda, those gelled spikes are his signature look just like Berlusca’s transplanted hair and stretched face

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