Enough with the hypocrisy and the truth-twisting, Mr Prime Minister

Published: June 16, 2013 at 5:40pm

Joe Cilia Joseph Muscat

The prime minister said in an interview with The Sunday Times today that he understands the “pain” of “genuine Labourites” who are “hurt” because he appointed Lou Bondi to a government foundation after all Bondi’s criticism of the Labour Party.

Much of that criticism, the prime minister said, trying hard to strike a pose as some kind of Mahatma Gandhi, was directed at him. The words ‘and yet I forgive’ were implied but not spoken.

This is just such unbelievably blatant hypocrisy and truth-twisting. Bondi never criticised the Labour Party in the media, and I certainly don’t remember him ever criticising, in particular, the Labour leader. He was not in a position to do so, because he had an interview show on the state television station, and not an opinion column in a newspaper.

He did interviews, not ran a monologue of his own opinion.

This is a really graphic illustration of how confused people’s thinking is, and how they don’t realise they’ve been brainwashed into thinking the way they do.

The real reason “genuine Labourities” (and others) hold Lou Bondi in contempt is PRECISELY BECAUSE THE LABOUR PARTY AND ITS MEDIA HAVE TRAINED THEM TO DO SO.

If the Labour Party and its media had left Bondi alone to do his interview show in peace, Labour supporters and others would not have known to hate him, ridicule him or vilify him. They were taught to do that by Labour itself, which led the way and repeated its message relentlessly.

The situation is much worse with me, because you have thousands of Laburisti who can’t even read basic English, let alone understand anything I write (even if they had the inclination to read it, which they don’t) who know that they should hate me and regard with me utter contempt. Is it on the basis of things I have written which they have read and don’t like or fail to agree with (not that this is a justifiable basis for hating someone, of course)?

No, it is not. It is just that they have been exposed to a ceaseless barrage over a lifetime (yes, literally a quarter of a century, the lifetime of many first- and second-time voters) of lies, venom, malice and ridicule in my regard, by the absolutely huge and powerful Labour media machine.

Not one of those will have read a single thing I’ve written. We can assume that for a fact, because they don’t read English, and if they do, like all non-native speakers they struggle with nuances of the real language and either take things literally or misunderstand them grossly.

Yet they know that they should hate me, that I am foul. Because Joseph Muscat’s Labour Party, and before that Alfred Sant’s, and before that Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici’s (that’s how long it’s been going on) has told them.

Labour Party supporters hate Lou Bondi or despise him because the Labour Party has told them they should. Yes, Muscat’s Labour Party, the very same Muscat who has now appointed Bondi to a government foundation.

And that is precisely why, in Bondi’s position, I would have told the prime minister to – in plain language – f**k off and die when he came smarming up with his job offer. Different folks, different strokes, but he knows that because I told him so myself.

You don’t spend years tearing a man (or woman) to shreds, and more pertinently using your giant media machine to get as much of the country as possible to do the same, and then when you’ve achieved your objective in beating the living daylights out of that person’s life, work and reputation (that objective being power), casually ring him/her up and say ‘Do you want a job?’

I think that perhaps that some people take the attitude that all is fair in love and war, that the “criticism” they received at the hands of the Labour Party was just part of the game and not ‘real’ and that now it’s time to move beyond that.

But it is real, very real. And it isn’t/wasn’t criticism. It is/was malice. Malice of such enormous extent, conveyed via an entire political party and its media machine, has huge and permanent consequences. The many tens of thousands of people who have been taught to despise Lou Bondi and hold him in utter contempt will not change their minds because they have been exposed to a malicious message, repeated for years. It has sunk in and they have come to believe that it is their own considered opinion, based on facts they have rooted out themselves. This is a permanent consequence of the Labour Party’s absolutely appalling and irresponsible behaviour which Bondi now has to live with for years if not for the rest of his life.

I know because I have my own experience of that, and it is probably much worse, because women in southern Mediterranean societies are vilified and portrayed (very primitively) as witches in a manner that no man ever is.

Malice of that great extent can’t be forgiven, or forgotten, and the persons using it to obtain power can’t be trusted or respected.

I’ll leave Lou out of it and use myself as an example. If the Labour government were to ring me up and offer me some kind of appointment, it’s just another way of saying “Look, I know we had to chew you over with our media machine, make your life hell and train 160,000 of our supporters to hate your guts to the extent that they would happily set fire to you given half a chance, but that was just something we had to do to counter your criticism and the fact that you have a big audience; just something we had to do to get into power. Surely you understand that? Now that we’re in power, let’s let bygones be bygones and you can come and work for us. That way we’ll get your scalp and stop your criticism, but you’ll also get our media off your back, an interesting position, contacts in the government, and a fee.”

My response would be beyond unprintable.

102 Comments Comment

  1. Bubu says:

    Which is precisely why Lou’s acceptance of this post might very well mark the beginning of the end for his reputation as a credible journalist.

    Let’s face it. As you say, Lou’s image is at this point irredeemable with half the population (unless he does a Dalli for the next decade or so). By accepting this post he has basically tarnished his reputation with the other half. How can he not come across as a hypocrite and an opportunist?

  2. Giovanni says:

    This piece makes me understand better why I was disappointed that Lou Bondi accepted Joseph Muscat’s offer.

    My opinion was, how can a person accept such an offer from the very man who had his party media machine demonise him, leading to him being hated by those who vote Labour?

    What Joseph Muscat has done is regularise Lou Bondi when he is interviewing Labour politicians. Way to go, Lou.

  3. jojo says:

    In my opinion Lou has fallen into the vanity trap. If he works for Joseph how can he be against him?

  4. Adrian says:

    Prosit Daphne! Same thoughts.

  5. Allo Allo says:

    Eddy Privitera miskin kellu battikata jipprova jikkalma l-Laburisti fuq it-timesofmalta.com.

    Fi ftit kliem kien qed jipprova jikkonvincihom li din token appointment minghajr hlas. Joseph jaf qed jghamel. Afdaw f’idejh, b’ghajnejkom maghluqin. Daqsxejn fidi kull ma hemm bzonn.

    • kev says:

      Ha nghidlek, u jnaddaf sew. Anki wara l-kantunieri jidhol, u xej taht it-tapit, hlief xi fadlijiet minsija tal-ewroxetticizmu…

  6. TinaB says:

    My thoughts exactly. Lou Bondi should not have accepted the post.

    As for Joseph Muscat, as if he gives a rat’s ass about the so called “genuine Labourites” – he simply took advantage of their lack of intelligence, to gain their votes, so that he could fulfill his dream and become Prime Minister.

    He knew very well that they will never disappoint him.

  7. Maria Xriha says:

    Thank you Daphne for putting into print the frustration I have felt since reading about this, thinking is everybody going to fall for it?

    Do they need a job so badly that there is no other option?

    Is five years away from the limelight, for one reason or another, the worst option?

    Doesn’t this serve to suppress free speech/ discussion? The press build up to the announcement was uncomfortably similar to the Dalli one.

    And thank you also for mentioning the hypocrisy as you did. He might have tried his utmost, or been trained accordingly, but he still let slip out the phrase: “get rid of” which more than reflects the true nature beneath the fake ‘smiles and perfection’ aura.

    The-truth twisting alone is enough to encourage one not to think too deeply into things. Otherwise it’s a resounding headache.

  8. mikiel says:

    What is it with these prominent Maltese men? First they get a beating from the big one media engine, their egos belittled all over, hated by half a population and then instead of standing up honourably against those who bully and vilify them, they opt to join them and become one of the pact. Power or money?

  9. matt says:

    Jum IL-Helsien was the result of Mintoff’s ultimate failure as a negotiator. The island paid a huge price for his lack of foresight, scars and debts that that many generations have to carry with them to their graves.

    It is going to be interesting to see how this commission is going to justify Jum il-Helsien as a national holiday. Is Lou Bondi there to rubber stamp this day as a national holiday?

  10. manum says:

    Where are our principles?

  11. Basla says:

    Well said. If I were Lou I would have never accepted the job. I remember during the election campaign Muscat was on Bondi+ and he told Lou, one day you will change your mind and I will even manage to get you to vote Labour.

    Lou smiled as if no chance.

    Muscat – that’s how he starts coming in your life till he wins you to his side like he did to others.

  12. Jo says:

    And the PL malice machine is such that I was told by an acquaintance, “My sister suffers from dementia, but every time she sees Gonzi’s face on TV, she starts shouting expletives at him.”

    To her Gonzi was turned into evil personified.

  13. Paul Bonnici says:

    Excellent article, Daphne. The LP wants to shut up its critics the polite way.

    I am sure Lou Bondi is astute enough not to let the LP compromise his position as a balanced journalist.

  14. Paul Bonnici says:

    I bet you, Daphne, Joseph Muscat would do his utmost to buy your silence, as you would be their biggest trophy.

  15. PWG says:

    It all boils down to self respect. Lou had better watch his step as Joseph Muscat may well be using him as a pawn.

    His retort to criticism ‘that I know what I am doing’ speaks volumes.

    Let’s face it: the position Lou has been given is of no great importance. Tokenism at its best.

    • SA says:

      Exactly this is how I see it. This is a trivial position and will not change Lou’s attitude as a journalist. We are giving this move so much importance.

  16. Francesca says:

    I agree totally – how can Lou work for/with this government? I think they should be left to muddle things up as they always do.

  17. TinaB says:

    A comment by a James Debono, on Joseph Cuschieri’s timeline on Facebook:

    “serhu raskom ax dalghodu tkelimt ma persuna gholja tahdem kastilja u qalli li tohduix bi kbira ghax issa itajrullu il program u tah membru fil board cucciata ha jkollu kull laqgha kif jejdilhom ax nehlu il program mela malta mux taghna ilkoll jaqbez joseph u jajdlu ma tajtikx membru fil board ?ma ghandu sei ta xejn serhu raskom u toqodux tpaxxu lil nazzjonalisti issa !


  18. John Higgins says:

    The only reason Muscat appointed Bondi’ was to shut him up. But Bondi showed weakness and opportunism like all the others before him.

  19. blue says:

    Well written and I fully agree with you. I am very disappointed in all those who accepted the posts, it just shows what a malIeable spine they possess.

    I know of many others who were asked to sit on boards and who politely turned down the requests. These are the people who are true to their beliefs and I subscribe fully with them.

  20. Last Post says:

    I also had the same feeling about Bondi but I attributed it all to Muscat’s and Labour’s hypocrisy.

    Now that Labour’s grassroots have come out against his appointment, your logical analysis and comments based on facts expose the true nature of the event/s.

    Hopefully, the switchers (rather than the grassroots) will also realise, sooner rather than later, Labour’s hypocrisy in most other areas – be it irregular immigration, the health service, the cost of energy, transport, corruption and nepotism (as against meritocracy), etc.

    I overheard a Labour sympatiser saying that while the PN hid behind studies to postpone (major) projects, PL is hiding behind these “government that listens’ sessions instead of tackling everyday problems.

    They’re enjoying it so much (besides the moaning about the disasters they found) that the ‘listening’ will now move from Castille and go out to the local councils.

    It’s too early to start accusing them of holding on to power irrespective of their incompetence but as it continues to unfold in all its crassness we can at least … ‘enjoy’ the show.

  21. edgar says:

    Sorry to disagree with you on this. I believe that Lou won’t easily shut up and his appointment certainly caused a lot of problems for Muscat with PL voters.

    As the Maltese saying goes, il-vera mahruqin.

  22. La Redoute says:

    Neutering your opposition by recruiting its members to your cause is the equivalent of having them taken out and shot.


  23. botom says:

    The appointment of Lou Bondi and a few others continues to show how sly Joseph Muscat is.

    He has appointed all his cronies in top positions. All those who featured in the Labour election billboards found themselves on government boards.

    Ministers have employed relatives and canvassers in their ministries with a clear violation of the Ministerial Code of Ethics. Indeed they found the gravy train and they are having a wild party.

    The appointment of Lou Bondi is an attempt by the Prime Minister to try to disguise this blatant abuse of power.

    There is no comparison between the number of Labour appointees and the one-offs like Bondi. People like Bondi are carefully appointed in positions where they are harmless because they are outnumbered and cannot influence decisions.

    Yet Muscat uses these nominees as a smoke screen for his excesses elsewhere.

    I hope and trust that the Maltese people and the media are intelligent enough to see the ruthlessness of our Machiavellian Prime Minister.

  24. Matthew S says:

    The interview with The Sunday Times is incredibly evasive, even by Joseph Muscat’s own standards. His brow must have furrowed all the way through it.

    Asked about satisfying moments, he replied with a vague answer about taking decisions which affect individuals’ lives.

    Asked to compare Franco Debono to Dom Mintoff, who both brought down their own government, he started talking about George Abela.

    Asked why David Felice was removed and replaced by Jason Micallef, he replied that David Felice wasn’t removed as if it wasn’t clear what the journalist was asking.

    Asked whether anyone from the Labour Party had spoken to prisoners about the amnesty before the election he replied in a way as to avoid admitting or denying anything:

    “This is what the Opposition claims. If they are alleging something they should say it clearly. I am saying a promise was never made.”

    Regarding the amnesty, he said that the government should have spoken to the victims more. That, first of all, implies that the government actually talked to the victims, which it patently did not judging by the reaction.

    Secondly, I wonder how that conversation would have gone.

    Muscat: “So what do you think about giving a 100-day amnesty to the man who tied you up and stole all your belongings?”

    Victim: “I think 100 days are too much but 85 are just fine.”

    Asked about the Franco Mercieca issue, Muscat picked on the only mistake The Times had made in its reporting, which the newspaper itself had already corrected.

    I think the nature of the interview really comes out in the journalist’s comments.

    He had to ask Muscat to focus. He had to remind him who was doing the questioning. At one point, he even had to tell him outright, “That was not the question.”

    Joseph Muscat, like a true Super One hack, had obviously planned evasive ways on how to answer regarding thorny topics. He was obviously trying to throw the journalist off balance.

    One other point about the interview: very much like I suspected before the election, Joseph Muscat comes across as an incredibly nonchalant (some would say lazy) prime minister.

    He adapted to being prime minister quickly because it was no different to what he expected. He never misses going to the gym (it really doesn’t show) and his biggest worry is that he doesn’t always get to reply to all the emails he receives.

    I don’t know, but to me there’s something off about all that.

    • Harry Purdie says:

      Mathew S, in a more shortened description of the interview, a living, breathing bag of shit.

    • La Redoute says:

      Joseph Muscat doesn’t plan his evasive replies. Manipulation and evasiveness are instinctive to him.

    • Bubu says:

      I couldn’t help but compare Muscat’s interview to the type of interview Dr. Gonzi would have given.

      Only one word came to my mind when reading it: Douchebag.

  25. Vanni says:

    Whilst Lou has every right to accept any position offered to him by Joseph Muscat, he must realize that henceforth every opinion he expresses, however fairly and balanced, will be viewed with suspicion by his audience.

    The Nationalists will wonder to what extent his future opinions are independent, or if these opinions are somewhat tainted by his new position. Your typical Labourite wouldn’t believe him anyway, even if he tells them that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West.

    Yep, move over Marisa Micallef Leyson. You have company in your kingdom.

  26. Gahan says:

    Lou can be an asset for these celebrations, because he’s got a lot of experience to offer, so he fits very well with Chairman Oliver Friggieri.

    Don’t forget that Lou was instrumental with WE’s TV programmes in favour of divorce.

    I think he will see how it will develop, sort of a wait and see attitude.

  27. H.P. Baxxter says:

    I don’t know why everyone is acting surprised. Labour and PN voters alike will have watched Lou Bondì, five years ago – seems like a lifetime now – interviewing Joseph Muscat.

    Perhaps they have forgotten.

    Perhaps I have a longer memory than most, because I distinctly remember both chumming it up on first name terms, “Lou” joking “u ejja!” at every narcissistic idiocy uttered by “Joseph”, who kept reminding “Lou” of the lunches they had together. “Lou” finished it off nicely by inviting “Joseph” to join his Xirka Rock. “Joseph”, being the consummate sucker-up that he is, accepted with a smile and a friendly lean across the table.

    Lou Bondì’s reputation will remain as solid as ever, because this is Malta, and the Maltese believe that somehow you can make the distinction between the private person and the public persona. Not with Joseph Muscat you can’t. His public persona IS his private life. The one is the other.

    Those of us who go through life without sucking up have very few friends. Or perhaps that should be “friends”. If I were to have lunch with Joseph Muscat it’d probably end up in fisticuffs, so it’s probably for the better.

  28. Kevin Farrugia says:

    Daphne, I must praise you for this straight talk regarding Lou Bondi’s position and his acceptance to form part of these never-ending ” bullshit” committees. All I had in mind you have now answered. Well done, there is no more to say about this.

  29. Gahan says:

    Truth twisting? Here’s another one from our Prime Minister who obviously holds the unofficial portfolio of public perception.

    We were told that Mr Franco Mercieca had to quit his part-time job and consequently there was one of his clients who went to the UK for his eye operation.

    What eye operations can be done in a private hospital and can’t be done at Mater Dei, or by any other eye specialist in Malta?

    The Prime Minister seems to be implying that Franco Mercieca’s patient had no other option but to go abroad for his operation, because there’s no other ophthalmologist/specialist/surgeon who can do this work other than Mr Mercieca.

    Why couldn’t the operation be carried out at the general hospital?

    When the details are missing, I just recall that the Prime Minister is the Super One reporter he always was.

    • Tabatha White says:

      Just after the Nationalist Party report came out, Joseph Muscat attacked the use of the word ‘perception’. It seemed highly ironic to me and extremely crafty.

      You have worded it nicely, Gahan, because it is precisely that: “the unofficial portfolio of public perception.”

      His attack last week was tantamount to saying: God forbid the Nationalist Party ever mention the word or address that element. It’s what he wants to be exclusively his.

      • Gahan says:

        No sooner had I spoken than the prime minister (Minister for Public Perception) made an address to the nation telling us from his desk without a laptop that everything is under control, showing us aerial views of PN projects.

        He wants us to detach ourselves from the harsh reality we face daily.

        Does he pass through Marsa in the morning?He should thank his lucky stars that he doesn’t have a Franco Debono holding him by his private parts day and night like Gonzi did.

  30. principles says:

    The Dalli and Bondi appointments bring to mind a post of yours where you rightly pointed out that the Maltese mind-set glorifies opportunism, lack of principles, greed and corruption.

    Instead of admiring honesty and standing up for one’s beliefs, the Maltese subscribe to the “min he***, mexa” motto which speaks volumes.

    I have had ample occasion to observe this kind of spinelessness in Maltese offices. The average Maltese office worker will tirelessly complain about the boss and injustice in the work place yet asked to stand up and be counted, after egging on colleagues and all and sundry to take a stand, will back down saying they have a family to take care of.

    What is even more disturbing is that the average Maltese will resort to opportunism even when the stakes are low. Most Maltese cannot be trusted with power because of their absolute lack of integrity. It is no wonder Malta ranks amongst the corrupt countries in the world on the Transparency Index.

    Our legal system does nothing but help embed opportunism and helplessness. Court judgements are not founded on principles underpinning our laws/the spirit of the law but often a literal interpretation of the law.

    In any other country where a paedophile priest is let off the hook because of a mistake in the charge sheet, there would be a public outcry but here it is taken as given that court cases are won on form and not substance and the lawyers we hold in high regard are those we consider shrewd.

    Case in point, the electorate voted in a former trial lawyer who is now a minister and who is widely regarded as one of Malta’s most effective trial lawyers, and the lawyer of choice of murderers, drug dealers and Maltese low life. Yet another case in point, a law commissioner who defends the unjustifiable in court but harps on lack of transparency in politics.

    Everybody has a price, but the question to ask is if principles are sold for Euro 24 k a year, what would the average Maltese sell for in the big stakes financial services industry where senior management rake in millions for protecting the bottom line at the expense of honesty?

  31. il-Ginger says:

    I would like to hear Bondi’s response to this article.

  32. just me says:

    Lou Bondi should have refused this post. He has allowed Muscat to silence him as a journalist, very cheaply.

    This is a very cunning way used by Joseph Muscat to control freedom of speech.

    If Bondi’s programme is stopped on TVM, he could always go on Net TV. I am sure that he would be welcomed with open arms.

  33. Joe says:

    Unless something of catastrophic proportions happens to Malta, Labour may well be in power for the next 25 years or more.

    Whether one supports Labour or not, one must agree that Joseph Muscat’s (The Master Tactician) ultimate plan is to annihilate the Nationalist Party – period, and the man is succeeding.

    Bringing people like Lou Bondi over to the government (Labour) fold is a master stroke to neutralise them. Had Lou Bondi moved on to Net TV, untold damage would have resulted towards Labour and Joseph Muscat, Lou Bondi being one of the finest TV presenters in Malta, with a large audience behind him.

    I am sure Bondi weighed all options, but I am hardly surprised he choose this one, knowing in what bad financial mess the Nationalist Party is in.

    After all, for most people, after the dust settles, it’s all about pounds, shillings & pence in the end.

    What Joseph Muscat is doing here is breaking up the Nationalist Party, piece by piece. Now in a democracy this may seem a natural course when you have the government against opposition and vice versa, but Joseph Muscat literally speaking wants to destroy the opposition, so there is no opposition left.

    Simply by offering incentives to any Nationalist of high standing, he is slowly but surely succeeding on his mission. Daphne, I will not be the least surprised if you are also approached with an offer to cross over, although I suspect that you will be one of the few to turn it down.

    [Daphne – You don’t need to ‘suspect’, because I have said as much already. And it’s not because I ‘won’t work with Labour’ (though that too, because I don’t share their political views or their outlook) but because I won’t work with, or leave myself exposed to, people who have made it clear they think nothing of harming me and those around me as badly as they possibly can. Childhood fairy tales are actually early cautionary lessons and very useful indeed. This is pure Little Red Riding Hood territory, and they can’t be trusted.]

  34. anthony says:

    It was unfortunate that Dalli and Bondi got their iced bun concurrently.

    Joey is astute.

    As we say in Maltese ; “poggihom f’keffa wahda”.

    To Lou Bondi’s detriment.

    Who on earth wants to be in the same keffa with Dalli ?

    Bondi has been manoeuvered into it by Muscat.

    As a result he will be associated with Dalli and his ilk for evermore.

    Poor thing.

    What a pity.

    • mattie says:

      Dalli is not Bondi and Bondi is not Dalli – two different people. One is a politician, the other – a journalist.

      Excuse my different opinion here but I trust Lou Bondi knows what he is doing.

  35. Catsrbest says:

    However, I think Lou’s acceptance shall ultimately cause irreparable damage to both Joseph and the PL especially with the diehards and the ultra fanatics in the PL.

    • Calculator says:

      Now that would be poetic justice, wouldn’t it?

      Joseph and the PL facing internal revolt becuse they underestimated just how permanently the venom they’ve been pushing down their fanatics’ throats has sunk in.

  36. ciccio says:

    I concur with Daphne’s views and position on this matter.

    But what worries me most here is that we have more evidence of the rise of a dictator. Incidentally, a matter spelled out by Adrian Vassallo to Lou Bondi on Bondi+.

    • Calculator says:

      The fact that Joseph Muscat’s rise to power used the tactics, strategy and methods that proved invaluable to dictators has lost some shock value to me personally (he worshipped Mintoff for goodness’s sake).

      What really worries me is how certain people – apparently including Bondi now – who could oppose this instead take it as a ‘fait accompli’ and one which they would be better off working with. They seem to take on the mantra ‘If you can’t beat them, join them’.

      That’s how a real dictatorship starts and goes on.

  37. Dissident says:

    Lou’s offer was just a move to shut the mouth of journalists like Christian Peregin and others who lambast Muscat (when and if they are are given the chance) with annoying questions about billboard appointments. Shame that Lou Bondi accepted.

  38. Aunt Hetty says:

    Not only is Joseph Muscat Macchiavellian , but he is also an astute chess player methinks.

  39. kev says:

    This was foretold last year, 12.12.2012, in the Protocols of the Fly. Truly, all foretold:


    [Daphne – Still at it, are you, Kevin. Your kind of satire is so…Maltese. You need to shape up. School report: Can do better.]

  40. chully says:

    Joseph adheres to the maxim” divide and rule”. He did it in this case, with the appointment of Franco Debono and the others. He is doing it too often for us not to see through his intentions.

    • etil says:

      Too true. However the Maltese seem to be too stunned to react or worse still, they do not seem to care as it is not yet affecting their pockets.

    • etil says:

      With the excuse that he wants to change the way of doing politics in Malta, he is slowly trying to annhiliate the PN and some so-called PN supporters believe him because it pays them to do so.

      I cannot believe people can be that stupid and not see things for what they are.

  41. Ghar u Kasa says:

    Did anyone notice? The Prime Minister LIED to the people….TWICE on the same matter. He said Franco Mercieca’s eye operations were medical related (not cosmetic) then he said that it regarded backlog bookings. The secretly filmed The Times ‘booking’ showed the opposite.

    • Jozef says:

      Well spotted. Pity this has become then norm.

      Imagine Lawrence Gonzi, we’d have had him plastered all over Labour billboards.

      Slowly, very slowly, a sense of resignation is setting in.

      As for Lou Bondi, I think he’s smart enough to see where his language is abused. If he doesn’t, he’ll just go Grima’s way.

      Muscat just has to appropriate himself of influence, if it means renting platforms, it’s not a given he can outdo himself and make opinion.

      To date, all he’s done is scramble for acceptance, it’s as if he doesn’t really trust the 36,000. Eerily improvised, unconvinced and wary of everything.

      Must be the job.

  42. Joe Micallef says:

    Muscat first set himself to neutralise the PN mavericks – being the but lickers they are, that was pretty easy

    Muscat then tried to neutralise the PN – unexpected catastrophic failure which generated the ‘incitement’ attack on Tonio Fenech.

    Currently Muscat is trying to neutralise what’s left of the free media – seems to be on track courtesy of Lou.

  43. Francis says:

    How the mighty have fallen….!

  44. mattie says:

    Lou is a journalist, not a politician.

    He has a right to work with whom he likes, in my opinion.

    His career with PL (sounds uncomfortable, but anyway), does not affect the country in the least bit. His new appointment should not be considered as ‘a threat’ – therefore I couldn’t fathom what the comments on timesofmalta.com were all about.

  45. Kevin says:

    The past week of Maltese political history has left me gaping incredulously.

  46. Cikku l-Poplu says:

    Astute move by Joey. Not because it will shut Bondi’ up (I doubt it will), but because it has already sown the seeds of division in the PN camp as witnessed by this post and the comments below it.

    • So Obvious says:

      If you had any knowledge at all of how these things are, you would have worked out that Lou Bondi did this because he no longer feels part of the PN ‘camp’. In other words, he was ripe for the picking, and Muscat noticed.

      Any good tactician would have worked out by now that the Labour Party’s unofficial propaganda campaign to blame the PN electoral defeat partly on Bondi was designed to alienate him from the PN and make him feel that he is no longer wanted.

  47. ciccio says:

    Me asks, if they are going to start off with John Dalli’s plan and see what is left good in it since Dalli was away, and will use it as a starting point, why did they tell the switchers and a total of 160,000 voters that they had a roadmap and that it was all costed, and that they had solutions for the health sector?

    At this point, a pertinent question should be asked. Who exactly is the Prime Minister: is it Joseph Muscat, or is it John Dalli?


    Did Joe Grima say “masochism”?

  48. davidus says:

    Comment from timesofmalta.com article: “Keep your friends close, but your enemies CLOSER. Well done Joseph, mossa makakka ta veru! That way Lou Bondi will keep quiet for the rest of the legislature! Next now how to get hold of DCG!”

    [Daphne – I’m afraid that will be very difficult, as kidnapping is a serious crime.]

  49. Carthago delenda est! says:

    A very good post. Well done. I can attest to your claim that most, if not all, of those who hate your guts, and would relish the moment (for all their modern and liberal posing) they could see you gagged, do not even follow your blog or newspaper column, let alone try to understand your logic and motives.

    Lou Bondi’ he was a senior executive and employee of the Nationalist Party until 1996, when Alfred Sant won the election.

    Frank Portelli was the Nationalist Party’s president.

    We all know where Portelli stands now, in spite of his vociferous hard-line stance against the Mintoff-KMB premiership in the 80s. We also know he has a hospital building to sell after his business failed, leaving him with millions in debts.

    Bondi’ has a business to rekindle after giving all his employees notice of termination some weeks ago.

    Joseph Muscat’s choice of Bondi’ must be heavily loaded with significance in the context of his “Taghna Lkoll” movement. And it’s the same significance of his sham cries of appeal for ‘meritocracy’.

    As for this Foundation for National Festivities, it’s such a large and diverse group (who is Mario Farrugia Borg representing there: the Prime Minister or his religious group, or both?) that it’s definitely ridiculous.

    On the scale of that, just imagine now who and how many Jason Micallef will rope in for his V-18 all-year festivities and celebrations.

    Well, Oliver Friggieri, an intellectual and a poet, fits in nicely in Muscat’s “Taghna Lkoll” mindset. Although we can suspect where Friggieri’s political leanings tend to (‘Fil-Parlament Ma Jikbrux Fjuri’ and ‘Pawlu ta’ Malta’) he has for a very long time advocated the ‘taghna lkoll’ cause – from the Lenten ‘Duluri’ procession, to the National Day and ‘our’ Karin and Raymond.

    Will Friggieri’s poetic idealism find expression in Muscat’s political-maneuvering movement? Although I plainly doubt it, only time will tell – at least from my standpoint. Meanwhile, I will grudgingly enjoy the sad show as it unfolds.

    Then wait for Muscat’s next stroke: the nomination for the Presidency of State, due within a year.

  50. aidan says:

    I don’t actually understand whichever reason Lou accepted the appointment.

    It is supporters of the Nationalist Party who need an explanation, from Bondi himself, and not these Labour supporters from their master.

  51. Lomax says:

    Very well said. My thoughts exactly (kif ma jisthux?)

  52. Makjavel says:

    Jiena nemmen b’fidi ferma f’Joseph Wiehed li li halaq moviment wiehed, etc etc.

    Minn moviment issa jaqaw sirna religjon?

    Emmnu fijja, naf x’qed naghmel.

    Id-don tal-infallibilta’.

  53. I will never believe that any politician will be totally truthful and loyal because there are too many stakeholders involved to be perfectly rational and socially just, although I have always hoped for someone with such idealistic values to be able to realize them by implementing specific actions that allow us to live within a fairer society that works towards a common good, as opposed to capitalism which works to increase its profits.

    Don’t politicians always lie a bit? I am not quite surprised considering the promises that have been broken. Yet, Dr. Muscat still needs to prove himself to the general public that he keeps his promises.

  54. balky says:

    One thing that will surely gives you lot a smile is the fact that he will be working UNDER Jason Micallef.

    The iron of life even you punts get to have something to smile about.

    [Daphne – Under Jason, eh? Quite frankly, I didn’t have him down as the sort of man who likes to be on top.]

    • TinaB says:

      Balky calls Daphne all names under the sun on some virtual Labour Party club but still cannot resist the urge to comment on her blog every now and then.

  55. Andre Vella says:

    “Bondi never criticised the Labour Party in the media, and I certainly don’t remember him ever criticising, in particular, the Labour leader.”

    Not a labourist myself but please refrain from writing statements with such a high level of bull crap! Bondi never criticised labour….right, and you never wrote on San’t hairdo!

    [Daphne – No, in fact he did not. That’s the propaganda you swallowed, like ‘Daphne is a witch’. Bondi’s sole presence in the media is via his Bondi+ interview show, where he is not permitted to ‘criticise’ but only to interview his guests. In fact, he was actually barred from expressing his opinion in other media as it was not thought appropriate for interviewers on state television to give their political views elsewhere (I disagree, but that was the rule, apparently), which is why his short-lived blog died an early death. If Bondi had subjected the Labour Party, and especially Joseph Muscat, to outright public criticism, Muscat would not have been on such friendly terms with him – all those smiles and jokes and so on – and he would certainly never have appointed him to anything. You see, what happened was this: Muscat orchestrated the anti-Bondi propaganda and you believed it. Meanwhile, Muscat built a chummy (non-antagonistic) relationship with Bondi precisely BECAUSE the propaganda was untrue.

    You also appear to read more Labour propaganda about me than you read stuff I have written. Of the many thousands of articles which I have written on a multitude of subjects over a quarter of a century, you have fixated on ‘kitbet fuq il-parokka ta’ Sant’. And you are so sadly and inappropriately fastidious that you cannot even bring yourself to say the word ‘wig’. Sant’s hairdo? Sant doesn’t have a hairdo; he wears a wig. If you think that leaders of the Opposition and heads of government should wear wigs and, more crucially, that journalists should be prevented from writing about the fact that they wear them (or exercise ‘self-restraint’), then you are living in the wrong part of the world. This is a liberal democracy, Andre, and as I like to remind people – it’s no thanks to Labour.]

  56. maryanne says:

    It seems that Joseph Muscat has lost that part of the roadmepp where it concerns Mater Dei hospital.

    John Dalli will be using a report prepared by the previous administration.

    Where is Chris Fearne?

  57. Frans Cassar says:

    Lou Bondi, Dalli, Franco, JPO, Mugliett, Bencini and other opportunists can switch and float.

    One thing is sure, Nationalist supporters have lived through much harder times and we’ll live through this shit too.

    At some point the tide will start turning on Muscat and no amount of twisting facts will be enough. Let’s wait and see.

  58. Anna says:

    When Lou Bondi accepted this post, I was not really surprised as I remember something similar that he did some years ago.

    He had spent years and years ridiculing the Malta Song for Europe, and all the fuss that comes with it, but the minute he was asked to present the show some years ago, he accepted immediately.

    If I remember correctly, he had even played a number on his guitar during the show. Go figure.

  59. et tu Luige says:

    Looks like total Damascene conversion. Welcome on board, chum. W.E.’s future on PBS is assured.

  60. Matthew S says:

    Joseph Muscat is truly unbelievable.

    At the same time that he offered Lou Bondi a job because of Labour’s new-found penchant for meritocracy, Muscat called Bondi an incompetent interviewer.

    As reported in The Times of Malta this morning:

    “If there is anyone who would be justified in being pigheaded about his (Bondi’s) appointment it would be me because I was the subject of personal attacks,” Dr Muscat argued.

    Why on earth are you offering him a post then?

    And why on earth is Lou Bondi submitting to this humiliation?

    Bondi is starting to look like Joseph Muscat’s bitch. Very sad considering that he is well respected amongst the ‘other Malta’ which has not been brainwashed by Super One.

    The ‘other Malta’ expected Lou Bondi to just continue with his programmes on TVM. If TVM chucked him out, he could have gone to Net (or some other private station) boosting Net’s ratings in the process.

    Yes, Net is a partisan station but the other Malta would have understood. After all, Lou Bondi started his career at Radio 101.

  61. kris says:

    This is a mind game – Muscat has offered Lou Bondi a position so he can claim that he really is running the country on a Malta Taghna Lkoll basis.

    If Lou had refused, then he would have been called ‘negative’ and ‘arrogant’ and we would all have been told how he ‘didn’t learn the lesson of the 36,000’.

    But now that Lou has accepted, Muscat thinks he has succumbed to greed, self-preservation and lack of principles, and that he has the sum of him.

    But I honestly think that Lou is above those things, way above.

    So if I were him, I would call Muscat’s bluff and work in the committee, and at the same time move my show to Net TV and remain free to conduct it as I please instead of in permanent fear of being sacked by TVM if Muscat isn’t happy.

  62. canon says:

    In the first 100 days as Prime Ministe, Joseph Muscat was surrounded by problems of his own making.

    The excessive budget deficit procedure.

    The extra large Cabinet.

    Appointing incompetent Ministers and PSs.

    Giving a waiver to Franco Mercieca.

  63. Prue Freeder says:

    Being an independent journalist, shouldn’t the obvious thing have been for Mr Bondi to decline an appointment to a government board?

    I expected better from him.

    Having said that, has Mr Bondi actually accepted as he is being rather silent on the matter – unless I missed something.

    [Daphne – Yes, of course he accepted. It was an appointment. You don’t announce the offer of an appointment. And he was photographed at the Office of the Prime Minister, accepting the appointment, along with the other members of the foundation.]

  64. Bubu says:

    Muscat’s 100-day speech on the box. He must have spent the last 100 days practising it. It is so wooden that it’s not even funny.

    He appears to be absolutely incapable of giving a spontaneous speech that doesn’t devolve into snide remarks and spiteful jibes. Such a difference from Dr. Gonzi.

  65. WhoamI? says:

    I think that whatever anyone says, and however much one tries to justify or explain the situation, the fact of the matter is that Bondi has allowed Joseph Muscat to buy his soul and his silence.

    Bondi is pushing 60 (well, he’ll be 57 next month) and by the time this government is out, he’ll be 62. Out on pension, rebuild self, move on.

    Bondi should never, ever have accepted this position. It has angered Laburisti and most Nazzjonalisti feel betrayed (by him). The rational ones that is. The ones who can call a spade a spade. And there’s no hiding from this fact.

    It has caught a lot of people by surprise, and it shows.

  66. M.Azzopardi says:

    The only people who feel betrayed in all of this are the Nationalists who expected Bondi to decline.

  67. Chris Ripard says:

    Ex-Marxist, Gozitan, Juventus and Italy supporter . . . the DNA always manifests itself eventually, folks.

  68. George says:

    Daphne I love you more than I love my own mother!

    • H.P. Baxxter says:

      Me too. My mother doesn’t understand me. She belongs to a harmless benevolent version of the Other Malta.

  69. Warren Azzopardi says:

    It is not about principles anymore. It’s about money and power.

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