The Prime Minister is ‘addressing the nation’ on TVM, after the Innu Malti, in his shirt-sleeves

Published: June 17, 2013 at 8:09pm

So very naff. He’s so damned lucky that more than two-thirds of the population are utter chavs who will think how casual, cool and progressive he looks.

In which case, why didn’t he dispense with the pomp and circumstance of having his ‘address to the nation’ opened by the national anthem?

Do go and watch.


I’m back. What an unbelievably poor piece of propaganda that was. It’s as though this government has done nothing in the first 100 days but amend the law to allow transgender people to contract marriage, and set up all manner of boards, committees and foundations to accomodate loyal servants and willing slaves.

An ‘address to the nation’ on the government’s first 100 days? Come off it. Addresses to the nation are for exceptional matters of state, and it is even more exceptional that the prime minister has his opened and closed by the national anthem, which is generally reserved for ‘addresses to the nation’ by the HEAD OF STATE – the president, and not the prime minister.

If you are going to ‘address the nation’ formally, complete with national-anthem-opening-and-closing-sequence-with-national-flag, then for God’s sake follow through. Sit in the appropriate manner, formally dressed, and not at your desk in your shirt-sleeves as though some office gofer is about to pop in at any minute with a mug of tea emblazoned with the legend ‘The Boss’.

Watching this farce, my husband and I both had exactly the same spontaneous reaction: “Madonna, ezatt bhal Mintoff.”

Mintoff’s years as prime minister, especially throughout the entire decade of the 1970s, were marked by his use of the ‘xandira lin-nazzjon’ liberally and frequently on Xandir Malta television. He was always in his shirt-sleeves – a casual shirt, minus the tie – and always sitting at some table or desk. And he would always use his ‘xandira lin-nazzjon’ for the wholly improper purpose of government propaganda.

Muscat’s ‘address to the nation’ was not ‘an address to the nation’ at all, but blatant political propaganda that sought to market his government’s busy first 100 days attending to the needs of transgender woman Joanne Cassar (valid as they are) and appointing people to boards.

According to the law of the land, this means that the Opposition party are entitled to the same amount of airtime in the same format. This is exactly why Joseph Muscat called his propaganda ‘an address to the nation’ and sandwiched it between two airings of the national flag and the national anthem: because addresses to the nation are exceptional items and not governed by the law in this regard.

But ‘addresses to the nation’ are defined, and they certainly do not include propaganda footage of Joanne Cassar blow-drying a client’s hair at her salon, or pre-wedding-video-type footage of two men gazing enraptured at each other while sitting on a coastal rock at sundown. Or Kim Il Sung footage of happy children skipping about, for that matter.

58 Comments Comment

  1. Tesla says:

    Why does the government need to advertise itself? On Facebook, I’ve seen a Joseph Muscat advert; who is paying for these advertisements?

    Did he need to use Mintoff’s tactics to win back the hardcore Labourites from their anger at his appointment of Lou Bondi?

    I’ve also noticed that he likes to mention the same-old, same-old ‘zieda ta’ 500 ewro’, which he himself had admitted, on TV, were all returned to the state coffers.

    It was all talk and no hard action.

    I don’t need a ‘listening government’. I want one that knows how to actually govern. Even I am able to listen. Everybody is.

    • Stephen Borg Fiteni says:

      Didn’t Labour say that they “found out” that the ‘zieda ta’ 500 ewro’ hadn’t been returned?

    • ciccio says:

      But do they really listen?

      Every time I see news footage of their stage managed Castille propaganda meetings, what I see is the Ministers talking.

  2. PWG says:

    No thanks.

  3. Gorg Borg says:

    Can’t be bothered, really … Gonna keep hearing the same bullshit over and over again…

  4. RosanneB says:

    Pity I missed it…LOL

    • observer says:

      I missed it – only got to know it just now from this blog. No pity at all that I did not see it.

    • Maria Xriha says:

      Oh I watched it. I prefer to see than not to see. I have the following comments:

      You can be sure that the public is not going to remain uninformed about anything this Govenment visibly puts on its popularity priority list.

      This makes me wonder what is scripted first: the announcements or the policy. I now think that the Parliament disastrous shoes photo-op needed JM to be making the announcement and the lectern to be there so as to fit into such propaganda clips.

      Muscat and the scriptwriters have learnt to focus on Maltese and leave English out of the sentence structure. Daphne’s blog is keeping them on their toes, with every disaster being corrected on the job, insofar as the comments are understood.

      Such filming is poor but one or two clips will suffice in enhancing presentations by financial services companies.

      The carefully-worded script aims to touch all the right buttons. The delivery is a glossy build-up but the content is a simple script for dummies. In fact, the whole unnecessary marketing effort is a dummy/pacifier that will work with PL but not with those who want real action not just words.

      Your average PL believer will be reaffirming his faith in Joseph after this.

      Your Nationalist-leaning businessman says follow-up action on words of your own Ministers is non-existent. Paroli si fatti no.

      The timing of everything that has happened since the elections, especially the culmination of appointments in the last week, has been made to optimise the tranquiliser effect of this propaganda treatment.

      Lastly, the cheek of using Twitter and Facebook with the Maltese flag to advertise this form of brainwashing, in addition to all the points highlighted by Daphne on the irregularity of such an “address to the nation,” is what finally curdles the whipped texture when assessing the whole tasteless effort.

  5. Alexander Ball says:

    I take it this has already been recorded.

  6. Matthew S says:

    Why is he addressing the nation?

    Has there been a major catastrophe?

    I hope he’s not addressing the nation on Lou Bondi or Jose Herrera’s two carnivals.

    • Josette says:

      Yes there was one (catastrophe) a hundred days ago — Labour got elected and promptly proceeded to undo all the good done by the previous governments.

      Mintoff was reincarnated in a twerp who seems bent on confirming that he hasn’t got a single original idea behid that snide smile.

      And comments by Labour supporters on the internet just confirm that the 80s are still with us and we’re in for a lot of same old, same old.

  7. ciccio says:

    Back to Mintoff’s “xandira lin-nazzjon.” There must be a crisis in the government, somewhere…maybe everywhere.

    [Daphne – ‘Xandira lin-nazzjon’: that’s it. That’s what Mintoff used to call them, not ‘indirizz lin-nazzjon’. You’re right. My God, what foul memories that phrase triggers off, of all the adults in the room tense with anxiety at the fresh hell that awaits. And then of course I became an adult myself and it was still going on.]

    • Josette says:

      I was pretty young when Mintoff was still a Prime Minister but I still remember my father muttering “issa naraw x’se faqqalna”. Wasn’t there always one around Christmas – Mintoff’s twisted idea of spreading the Chrismas spirit?

  8. Rosa says:

    The Great Leader has spoken.

  9. rjc says:

    Back to the Xandiriet Ministerjali of the ’70s and ’80s.

    Dritt gol-hajt.

  10. RosanneB says:

    It was just an alienation from what is really behind the curtain.

  11. RosanneB says:

    Would it be possible to have a video upload of this ‘address to the nation’? Or a link somewhere?

  12. Anna says:

    Sorry, Daphne, I purposely gave it a miss.

    I’m one year older than you and all this talk about xandiriet lin-nazzjon really does bring back awful memories.

    Just hearing the promos earlier on TVM gave me the shudders. What’s more, I really need a good night’s sleep.

  13. EVC says:

    Imnalla qrajt dan il-post ghax lanqas rajtu lil Joseph.

    Marelli xi tlift, tafu li qed ninkwieta! Grazzi Daphne, tali hadt l-inkarigu li tikteb.

    Mnalla tkun int biex inkunu nafu certi affarijiet. Vera niehu gost meta nara xi artiklu tieghek.

    Tghid kien hemm xi hadd li rah u ma kienx jaf diga dak kollu li qal Muscat? Nghid il-verita issa ma kontx interessata ghax naf li ma kien se jghid xejn ta’ barra min hawn.

    Allavolja meta tisma li se jkun hemm xandira lin-nazzjon mill-PM tahseb li gara xi haga interessanti jew ta’ inkwiet kbir.

    Imma ghadu kmieni wisq biex nisma’ dak li verament nixtieq li nista’ ghax ghadhom ma pappewiex kollha l-pappa.

  14. Makjavel says:

    Hsibtu se jxandar il-prezz il-gdid tat-tonn taz-zejt.

    Mort zmerc.

    • maryanne says:

      Jew kif ta direct order ghal EIA tal-power station il-gdida.

    • ciccio says:

      Hsibtu se jghid min tah il-parir biex jaghzel kumpanija Ciniza biex taghmel studju dwar bridge lejn Ghawdex meta din il-kumpanija hija black-listed mil-World Bank minhabba involviment fi frodi.

      Mort zmerc.

  15. just me says:

    For those who missed it, go to 13:23..

  16. Snoopy says:

    Since 9th March, I have taken the decision not to watch any Maltese TV – I have actually removed my Melita cable TV and redirected the free-to air antenna to the North.

    In addition, my TV is by default tuned to the Satellite receiver – I prefer seeing Americans fighting it out on Storage Wars rather then hear any Minister or the PM trying to push propaganda down my throat.

    I have found out that I can sleep better.

    • Catsrbest says:

      Hear Hear. I did almost the same thing. However, I keep insisting with TV service providers that they start offering the pay-per-view schemes, where one select the channels that one wants to view, but to no avail.

  17. jean says:

    Mhux jindiriza lin-nazzjon, imma beda jiftahar bli ghadu ma ghamilx. Jien hsibtu ha jghidilna fuq il-kumpanija Ciniza tal-bridge, li sibna li kienet blacklisted mill-World Bank.

  18. MusingInMalta says:

    If I heard correctly “….jiena u shabi…..”. Now would not “….jiena u il-gvern mmexxi……” have sounded better?

    And assuming that this was recorded and scrutinised and re-edited and re-recorded……

  19. Alexander Ball says:

    So Gonzi never made a party political broadcast on behalf of the PN under the guise of an ‘address to the nation’?

    Cue Simon to rip into Joey ‘il duce’.

    [Daphne – No, he didn’t. I remember very few addresses to nation by either Fenech Adami or Gonzi. Fenech Adami gave a memorable one in May 1987, when he was elected. I remember, too, his address to the nation telling us that the chief justice was about to be arraigned on charges of corruption, and I remember Gonzi speaking about Malta’s handling of the situation in the Libyan War. But I don’t recall the national anthem or flag being involved in the opening and closing sequences of these last two, the press were present, and the speech was delivered from a podium in the courtyard at the Auberge de Castille.]

    • Min Jaf says:

      There was a third address broadcast by Prime Minister Fenech Adami. That was some time after he was elected in 1987 when Piju Camilleri and other Lorry Sant cronies were taken to court.

      Labour supporters organized a riot outside the courthouse, then raided and ransacked the building. The rioters had inside information as to the whereabouts of key items of evidence in the Pawlu Busuttil police frame-up, and these, including the sten gun used by Labour supporters in the killing of Raymomd Caruana, were taken away in the fracas. The special police unit (SMU), still manned by Labour diehards, failed to intervene.

      The incident was not limited to that, police vehicles outside the law courts were set on fire, while all shops in the vicinity were broken into and looted. Many of those rioters are still around and are still members of the Partit Laburista, as are also their numerous sprogs to whom they have passed on their Luddite convictions.

      Stand up all those of you who voted PL because you believed in Joseph Muscat. Take credit for the curse that you have brought down upon upon yourselves and, unfortunately, upon the rest of the nation.

      [Daphne – ]

  20. xadina says:

    European version of Hugo Chavez in the making

  21. Mandy Mallia says:

    “Ezatt bhal Mintoff”. Be thankful for small mercies – he may have been in his shirt-sleeves, but the shirt wasn’t checked.

    • Min Jaf says:

      It has only been 100 days. Give the guy some time. He will get to that eventually. He is going through his Mintoff manual, page by page. I have been there with the genuine article since day one.

  22. observer says:

    Fejn hallihom l-akkolti? Il-perit dejjem kien jidher imdawwar bi tnejn.

  23. ciccio says:

    There he was, the Great Leader, sitting down, addressing the nation about the first 100 days of his government. In his long sleeved white shirt, with no jacket.

    My first reaction was, well, that’s a ‘positive’ difference – it’s better than wearing a jacket on a short-sleeved shirt, like some of his cutting edge ministers do.

    Until I realised that after 100 days, he had not yet rolled his sleeves up.

    • Jo says:

      Ha, ha ha. Ciccio I liked your ending. Since he has no ministry I suppose he doesn’t really need to roll up any.

  24. Dumbo says:

    I think the ‘xandira lin-nazzjon’ was thought necessary to counter the Chinese ‘free Gozo bridge study’ f*ckup.

    In this day and age of kyc, aml, and all the due diligence every simple practioner is obliged to carry out, the fact that our government entertains a blacklisted entity and blows trumpets about it is not a laughing matter at all.

    In a true liberal democracy, the government would have run a million miles and resigned in shame.

  25. Futur mill-aghar says:

    This is what warrants an address to the nation:

  26. taxxu says:

    Qabbizli demgha… sweet of him. I felt really touched.

  27. anthony says:

    Just returned home after my usual twelve-hour Monday.

    Speech to the nation?

    Can somebody tell me where to find out what’s happened?

    It is all perfectly quiet and normal where I live.

    Most people in my street seem to be asleep.

    So what’s happened exactly?

    Maybe Joey’s government has run out of iced buns or is otherwise in trouble.

    It’s probably just that. I hope.

    • Joseph Muscat's Tberbiq u Hela says:

      Yepp, there is serious trouble. The Honeymoon Is Over. And the government is still in opposition mode. And they have just realised that the whole 5 years is not going to be sufficient for them to make the transition to government.

  28. one of us says:

    Half a minute was enough for me. Just listening to that phoney voice made me switch off.

  29. Aunt Hetty says:

    If Joseph Muscat was actually listening to what people (Nationalists , Labourites, switchers etc) are saying, he would be sacking the incompetent nincompoops that he has passed off as his consultants and advisors, and scanning Yellow Pages for a fresh batch, right away.

    • Joseph Muscat's Tberbiq u Hela says:

      Maybe Carmen Camilleri Ciantar Pullicino Orlando Smith can procure a free copy of the Yellow Pages for the Prim?

  30. Natalie says:

    As I always tell my daughters – Labour = Mediocrity, and that’s an understatement.

  31. Gahan says:

    The prime minister for Public Perception addressed the nation to tell us that in the first hundred days Joanne Cassar got the right to get married.

    The rest were pre-electoral promises and what he wants us to think about his performance.

    On the streets and in the work places, people are fuming about the traffic jams, Arriva’s no change, vindictive transfers (like the hard worker who is now supervised by a cleaner), board memberships and chairmanships for the billboard people, amnesties for prisoners as promised before the elections, and the cherry on the cake is that the EU put Malta run by this showman on the Excessive Deficit Procedure.

    What a mess.

  32. Monka says:

    A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small parcel.

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