Now we know why Muscat didn’t deliver his speech – and it was NOT nationalism

Published: March 5, 2013 at 11:41am


There was a notorious scene in the European Parliament some years ago when Joseph Muscat refused to deliver his speech, which had been prepared in Maltese, because there were no interpreters there.

He refused to deliver it in English, making a fuss while others around him, who knew perfectly well that he can speak English and that English is an official language of Malta, smirked and laughed at the drama.

This was reported in the Labour-leaning newspapers as patriotism. What they meant, of course, was nationalism, which is different and certainly not a virtue.

But in the course of this long campaign we have discovered what the real problem was, and you can see it quite clearly, with the benefit of this knowledge and hindsight, in the video below. It wasn’t patriotism. It wasn’t even nationalism.

Muscat began speaking in Maltese and then panicked when he was told that no interpreters were present and he realised he would have to ad lib (in English) when he was prepared to read something in Maltese.

He has read every speech in this campaign off teleprompters and other devices, including the nine brief minutes he spoke to young people at that rally in Corradino. He dragged them there, built up all that anticipation, and then read out a stiff, lifeless text for nine minutes.

Here in this video you can see his panic at the thought of ad libbing.

But more than that – you can see how false he is, making a drama out of speaking Maltese when throughout this campaign he has spoken in a horrible mish-mash of bad Maltese and English expressions, demonstrating his inability to speak either language elegantly, and when he and his pushy wife make a point of being filmed for publicity purposes speaking to their children in what they believe is English.

111 Comments Comment

  1. Antoine Vella says:

    The problem is, of course, that 99% of switchers will be voting for josephmuscatdotcom for their own selfish reasons and not because they truly believe he will make a good Prime Minister.

    • Kurt Mifsud Bonnici says:

      Indeed .. from what I’m hearing most of the selfish reasons have to do with MEPA permits.

      As if that has anything to do with government but it’s no use reasoning with such people.

    • ajs says:

      It’s essentially vindictiveness. No wonder people clapped when Sant said ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’

  2. AE says:

    I guess they forgot to tell him that he was there representing Malta and not himself or his cheap party, and in behaving that way in front of everyone there he was embarrassing us.

    Patriotic, my foot. I guess it won’t be the first time we are going to be humiliated now. The man simply cannot rise to the occasion (and I don’t mean to be rude).

  3. S. Cuschieri says:

    Is this the way he’s going to represent Malta when he’s (God forbid) our prime minister?

    Is this the way that he’s going to speak in front of others? OPEN YOUR EYES BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.

  4. Ivan says:

    In the EU parliament he insists on speaking in Maltese and having translators, yet at his own mass meeting he brings in a foreign politician speaking in English. That’s consistency for you.

  5. Neil Dent says:

    Ooooohh! Loved how he tried (poorly) to get a strop on at the end with his “What the hell!” He needs to watch a few clips of Nigel Farage’s EU performances to polish that a bit.

    • Min Jaf says:

      “What the hell (or heck)!” was wrongly used by Joseph Muscat. That expression denotes that one is going on ahead with whatever one is doing despite the negative circumstances, not that one is going to stop.

      A more apt expression would have been “To hell with it! (I am out of here).”

      Joseph Muscat always manages to get it all wrong.

      The man is completely clueless. He is a disaster to himself, to the Labour Party and now, it would appear, possibly to the nation.

    • L.Gatt says:

      “what the heck..” speaking of arrogance…

  6. canon says:

    Once a fake always a fake.

  7. francesca says:

    What a prick. Who does he think he is?

    So what does he tell his children who obviously only speak English – no way no, hee? Nothing will save our country if we have him as PM.

  8. Peter Frendo says:

    OMG… I’m shocked.

    The guy is a total joke. The sad thing is that come the 9th March the joke will be on us.

    Please please please, people, have some sense.

    A total embarrassment to us all. Imagine him negotiating a Eur1.2 billion package with this kind of attitude. Mhux hekk? They’ll laugh him all the way back to Malta.

  9. Carmel Said says:

    What a baby.

  10. vanni says:

    I never saw this. Is the original video available?

    Now some questions that all switchers should be asking themselves.

    Did he say “What the hell”?

    Was Joseph aware that this is the EU and not some Burmarrad bar?

    Did he know that he was representing every Maltese person, even those who did not vote for him?

    And what is he going to do when he is President of the EU?

    Turn up (late of course) in a track-suit?

    And as an encore, will he burp in public?

    This hick is going to make a great poster-boy for Malta.

    Some time ago, most Maltese were ashamed to show the old green passport at foreign passport control, because Malta was known by its leaders, Mintoff and KMB. Why do I get the feeling that we will soon be having something, or rather someone, else to be ashamed of?

  11. lino says:

    What a boy! “Do it again Mr. President and I’ll dismantle the EU”.

  12. Jozef says:

    Looks like he couldn’t see the funny side either.

    Sab skuza biex jiehu ghalih il-fessudu tan-nanna.

  13. bystander says:

    In all the time I have been involved with Malta, I have had to have two ideas in the brain concurrently.

    Namely the way things ought to be done properly; and the way things are done here.

    If Muscat wanted to get his ideas communicated, he should have switched to English as soon as it was pointed out to him there were no translators available.

    If his point was to highlight the lack of translators then any sane mature adult person would find a suitable way of communicating that fact.

    What I find appalling is his attitude, which is further tarnished by his whingeing in English.

    When he waffles in Maltese I don’t understand a word of it. And if he goes on like this all the time then I am glad I don’t.

    I don’t know what is worse, the fact that someone like this should be chosen as a party leader or the fact that thousands will vote for him as the country’s leader.

    Why doesn’t someone clip him round the ear saying it’s not big and it’s not clever.

  14. M. Cassar says:

    What a cringe moment! Could we make sure that we send ADULTS who have mastered the arts of diplomacy, negotiation and basic manners to represent us, in the future, please? One had hoped that the tendency towards histrionics was not at the top of the required attributes list, but voters get the representative they deserve don’t they.

    The disgust and hatred in that tone of voice and facial expression speaks volumes.

  15. Mark says:

    Trema la terra.

  16. Stephen Borg Fiteni says:

    Can anyone link me to the unedited version of this video?

    [Daphne – I want it myself.]

  17. Birzebbugia says:

    I think he has a poor command of English.

    • Mandy Mallia says:

      I think that not only has he got no basic manners, but that he’s an arrogant twat to boot.

      He’ll be a hell of a liability to Malta come next week.

  18. rc says:

    Can’t believe how arrogant he is.

  19. AllIWantIsToLiveInPeace says:

    X’misthija. X’inhu pastaz!

    So what we have to look forward to is this kind of arrogance in the face of Europe.

    What a childish and embarrassing man.

    • Mandy Mallia says:

      He is a childish man. The look on his face said it all – it was like he was performing in “arani, Ma!” mode.

  20. Linda Kveen says:

    What an arrogant ass!

  21. Jar Jar says:

    Tajba din, qed jitkellem (u kwazi joffendihom) bl-Ingliz imbaghad ma jridx jaghmel l-ispeech bl-istess lingwa. U le.

  22. Brian*14 says:

    A statesman in the making?

    Imbasta bil-PhD, u waqa ghan-nejk wahda sew.

  23. Brian Ellul says:

    Purcinell u ma hemx kelma ohra.

  24. FP says:

    Muscat: “What the heck? No, no, I’m not delivering my speech, Mr President. No way. Definitely, no way.”

    Mr President: “Uffff! U ejja! …”

    Mr President must have many a sleepless night after that memorable event, having missed the one single speech he had been looking forward to listen to all his political life.

  25. sv says:

    Typical Super One arrogance, like the Super One journalist interviewing Simon Busuttil yesterday. Pezza wahda.

  26. TROY says:


  27. TROY says:

    Now that’s Joseph unmasked.

  28. TROY says:

    Off to Gozo now. Who knows? I might meet the sauce man.

  29. edgar says:

    “What the hell? Mr. President, I am not delivering my speech. No way!”

    Zommomli, Joseph. He must have thought he was at the Half Way bar in Burmarrad. Give me Dom Mintoff any day.

    • Futur Imcajpar says:

      Give me none of them EVER!

      Muviment tal-psataz u criecer.

      Ma nafx liema razza t’imbarazz trid tkun biex igerraghhom u ttiehom ir-riedni biex jirraprezentawk.

  30. Rumplestiltskin says:

    Is it possible that after seeing this, people who actually use their brain cells to think can still vote ‘lejber?’

    If indeed there are as many switchers as the Muscat machine wants us all to believe then we’re in for a rough time.

    The writing is on the wall – and typically ‘lejber,’ it’s obscene.

    • Min Jaf says:

      The Labour writing is literally on the wall, “Gonzi Liba” writ large in red paint on the Mdina city walls.

  31. malti says:

    There should be a clip of Dr Fenech Adami warning the Maltese people that a time will come when we start taking everything for granted. The PN should find it and show it.

  32. Nimrod says:

    And during his famous grilling, Dr Tonio Borg switched comfortably from English to Italian when was asked a question by an Italian MEP. Flexibility is the key to make an impression, not the stamping of feet.

  33. Neil Dent says:

    A different story, but the day’s Elve Central mission is apparently to give credit to Labour (Joseph) for any recent/impeding commercial investment in Malta.

    Check the Betsson story on In elve-speak, they are to increase their current workforce further by no less than 200 people, and it’s obviously because they ‘sense a change in direction’ and are looking forward to working ‘under a Labour administration’ as they will be ‘better off’.

    • Neil Dent says:


    • vanni says:

      Using the same coinage, than it could be claimed that the worldwide economic downturn can be attributed to the MLP regaining power.

      • Angus Black says:

        “Who cares about a worlwide down-turn, anyway? People are only interested in what’s happening in Malta” – the other turnip Jason Micallef!
        Kieku ghandhom wiehed jew wahda sura ta nies! Partit tal-loqom, pastard u gdur. Skuzi, mhux pastard, – ahjar kabocci ghas-soppa ta l-armla ta Me Shall.

      • vanni says:

        Aye, you’re right there Angus. Shame on me for forgetting that as far as Labour’s own smiling Cheshire cat is concerned, if something isn’t happening in Malta, it just isn’t happening.

  34. just me says:

    Pure arrogance. And what an embarrasment. Look at the way they were laughing at him.

    This will happen again and again if he is Prime Minister.

    God save us from this incompetent person. He will bring our country to ridicule. The respect that Dr. Gonzi has won for our country would be lost if he is elected.

    • Kurt Mifsud Bonnici says:

      I don’t believe a god would be interested in this speck of an island’s political antics. I’ve also been hearing a lot of rumours that the PL is expected to win by about 15,000 votes.

      Obviously. one cannot be sure about the veracity of such rumours but it could explain why the PM ventured to ask everyone to convince two undecided to vote PN during a mass meeting.

      So it seems that an incompetent babyish man will be taking over our country next week.

  35. Not Sandy :P says:

    I’ve always thought he was a c&nt. He even looks like one.

  36. Duncan Scerri says:

    Non-event. Again.

    Go back to complaining at his wardrobe.

    • Futur Imcajpar says:

      It probably wouldn’t have bothered you if he had mooned his audience. Bla standards ta’ xejn. But then you wouldn’t be voting Labour if you had any.

      • Duncan Scerri says:

        “It probably wouldn’t have bothered you if he had mooned his audience.”

        Like your statement, that would have been unbecoming.

        “Bla standards ta’ xejn. But then you wouldn’t be voting Labour if you had any.”

        Who says I’m giving any of my voting preferences to Labour? Perhaps your crystal ball needs a polish.

  37. Bonello P says:

    Nahseb li it-translators kienu busy jiktbu kontra Muscat fil-blog tieghek dan in-nhar sinjura Galizia!

    • La Redoute says:

      Kemm tiehdu ghalikom meta jikkritikawlkom lil Muscat, jahasra. Dan suppost ragel matur li kapaci jmexxielek pajjizek.

      • Tabatha White says:

        Cult mentality. Besides the stock phrases of mantra their only defence is attack. They have no clue what else the man they worship blindly has said last, silently acknowledging that the lies are hard to keep up with.

    • H.P. Baxxter says:

      Hej, jien xoghli naghmlu, OK?

    • Angus Black says:

      Le, forsi kienu qed jittraducu xi kuntratti ma xi kumpanniji li jibnu power stations, bil-mohbi, bil-gass, iffinanzjati minn ‘investituri misterjuzi’ w b’kuntratti ghal importazzjoni ta gass likwidu ghal ghaxar snin, b’vapuri li ma jezistux.

      Fejn hu dak il-qara Konrad?

  38. Common sense says:

    Jekk il-poplu jiggennen u jeleggi lil DOTTOR MUSCAT bhala PRIM MINISTRU, il-poplu ikun haqqu xkora tiben u qatta silla.

  39. Fran says:

    Ardiet u pastas!

  40. fear & hope says:

    We will be witnessing more of this kind of antics on the 10th, heaven forbid a Socialist victory.

    Speeding, gas down (thanks Simon for cliché) into disaster: they will start blaming it on any living thing, Just like papa Dom.

  41. Anon says:

    If Muscat wanted to complain, fine but he could have done it with Dignity. His apologists have a poor mentality like him. They think being assertive is being rude and arrogant.

  42. PWG says:

    Will our future prime minister throw a tantrum every time things don’t go his way. I hate to think what’s in store for us If the man can lose his cool over such a non issue.

  43. D Gatt says:

    Thanks for this Daphne. I’ve been trying to find it for years. So proud to see Joseph holding his ground.

  44. Joe says:

    By any stretch of the imagination can anyone picture him when Malta would have the presidency?

  45. Giovanni says:

    It seems that Joseph Muscat is not taking any questions from journalists but only from his own when playing home.

  46. aldo says:

    In EU terminology, translators work with written documents, interpreters are those who translate the spoken langage into other languages.

    After so many years “working” at the EU Parliament, Muscat doesn’t even know the difference. If this is as far as his English goes, than I am not surprised that he did not deliver his speech in English.

  47. Jozef says:

    Some more hindsight.

    The agreement states any derogation will be revised to the FKNK’s satisfaction.

  48. H.P. Baxxter says:

    Ejja naghmlu l-costings ta’ 50 sena indipendenza:


    Prim ministri: 7

    Li minnhom imnejkin: 4

  49. M.. says:

    From Prima Donna to Prime Minister!

    It’s usually Maltese that lacks the vocabulary to express precisely what you mean and not the other way round.

    I get the impression that Joseph is in the same linguistic league as Saviour Balzan with neither a command of English nor Maltese.

    Hence the unidiomatic book title “Saying it as it is”.

  50. bob-a-job says:

    Here’s another video and I really don’t know what to make of it.

    Either Renato has flipped his lid or he’s taking the piss out of Joseph Muscat.

    Are these people IN-sane or what?

    I shudder to think that they will be governing Malta in a few days.

  51. jack says:

    Could have been done more tactfully and slickly, with aplomb and style… but Joseph Muscat was right to take such a stand.

    [Daphne – Bollocks. The only stylish thing to do in a situation like that is switch smoothly to another language. And ideally, if you could offer them a choice of speaking in Hungarian, Polish, German, Italian or perfect English, that would be even better. What he did there is 100% Hicksville, Mintoff style.]

    • H.P. Baxxter says:

      Anyone who’s ever been to a European Parliament session will laugh at your comment, jack.

      ALL MEPs, yes, including the French sometimes, speak English. Because it’s so much better to say your words yourself than have someone translate them, and dilute or modify the meaning.

      Not only is English THE working language of the EU-27 parliament, it is also – crucial point this – Malta’s second official language. Oh, and our selling point with foreign investors too.

      So let’s not have any more of this silliness, shall we?

    • Selit says:

      Oh come on, jack. Maltese is our language. However, in such a situation there sure is no other way but to switch calmly and with dignity to English rather than make a fool of oneself in front of everyone.

      We should be proud as a nation to be able to switch to English with ease whenever we wish.

      And let’s face it: even Muscat himself has realized the importance of English by having his own kids speak in that language.

      After shoving them continuously into our faces during the ‘day in the life of Joseph’ on Xarabank, the least he could do is take them with him on one of his many outings, especially the one where a woman was drooling over him ‘kemm int sabih Josephhhhhh’!

      Who knows, they might have asked their father to translate from Maltese into English.

      • jack says:

        To each his own… a broken watch is right twice a day and Joseph Muscat was right just this once. President Napoletano is a fluent French speaker yet when he meets his counterpart in official visits he speaks through a translator. Need I explain why?

    • vanni says:

      Pride in a language spoken by what amounts to the inhabitants of a smallish sized town by world standards is seriously misplaced.

      I’ll grant you that it’s damn useful when you need to converse with another fellow speaker to the exclusion of the casual eavesdropper, but that is far as it goes. And even that is dicey, as I realized when I was in a taxi in the UK, and the driver was Afghan.

  52. MCT says:

    With this guy in power, Malta’s economy will fail miserably he has no experience. All what he knows how to do is criticise. Unfortunately, most of the population are too close minded and fall into Labour’s Propaganda Techniques!

  53. SC says:

    It looks like Labour voters are already throwing their weight around sniffing a win at the weekend. For ‘No show’ Muscat to talk like this he must have heard about a large number of cases.

    If people are acting this way now, how will they be after the result?

    This is all becoming VERY real. I hope people will begin to see come clarity and make the correct decision.

    Malta under a Labour government is looking very, very bleak.

    For an island that has seen some dark days, this weekend will be one of the darkest, leading to five very dark years.

    • M. Cassar says:

      Sorry but the transcript misses the part where he says ‘What the h***’

      What bravado, what class! Please excuse me while I throw up. I am sure that the amount of goodwill he expressed in his words and facial expression impressed everyone.

      Someone please get a brush to remove the chip on his shoulder.

  54. Matthew says:


    Apart from his inability to speak English and deliver speeches on the spot, the video also shows that he is incapable of thinking ahead.

    The thought that translation would not be available or that the technology necessary would malfunction had never even crossed his mind.


    Now think back to Tonio Borg delivering in English, Maltese and Italian under pressure and to questions which he had no previous access to.

    The PN is infinitely more capable, progressive and liberal.

  55. katuba says:

    Least he should know that they’re interpreters not translators.

  56. Joe Borg says:

    This clip is obviously edited to make him look bad. No wonder the original is ‘unavailable’. If one reads the transcript it is clear that his reaction was endorsed and not laughed at. Maltese is an official language of the EU so it should be used and not just be an official language ‘on paper’ as Muscat points out.

    • M. Cassar says:

      So are you suggesting that that is not his voice and his mouth is saying different things? Were his limbs substituted with other to mimic a defiant pose he did not actually make and an expression of disgust put on his face which he did not make either?

      Or are you suggesting that we have all been hypnotized to see him losing control in public rather than speaking in English, our other national language or alternatively make a point diplomatically and postpone gracefully?

      Enlighten us please, pray do.

      • Joe Borg says:

        English is an official language of Malta, not a national one. Maltese is the only national language of Malta and therefore he had the right to insist on speaking it just like an MEP from any other country would have most likely done.

        [Daphne – Not an MEP from any other country, Joe, but an MEP from his social and political background. Chippy chippy.]

    • vanni says:

      Well, the fella with the lady-garden superglued to his kisser deserves an Oscar for looking like a prat.

  57. zunzana says:

    Ghandu temper il-boy. Kif werwer lill-dawk ta’ madwaru.

  58. Mesmes says:

    Muscat has still not realised that the real work starts (and NOT ends) on 9 March 2013. With his chickening out of the TVHemm programme, he’s signalling that he’s completely drained out and exhausted. Alla maghna wara nhar il-Hadd li gej.

  59. Edward says:

    That was such an emotional response. Looked very similar to a Mintoff tantrum.

  60. il-korla says:

    Waqqa’ l-Maltin kollha ghan-nejk.

  61. Viva lejber says:

    Has he forgotten that English too is one of our official languages?

  62. Natalie Mallett says:

    Tal-misthija. Timmaginawh president tal-EU?

  63. francesco says:

    Temper, temper, temper.

  64. pm says:

    Michelle Muscat told an interviewer recently that she and Joseph decided to speak to their children in English because they go to lots of embassy parties and meet important people.

  65. Iced says:

    Shame on him! Who does he think he is?

  66. ken il malti says:

    What a zipper head !

    And half the population wants this child to run the nation ?

  67. Andrea Pace says:

    If this is his reasoning surely he would have fathered ‘Xemx’ u ‘Stilla’ not Soleil and Etoile.

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