CULT VIDEO: “Chiltren start comink elonk end den dey venish in tin air.”

Published: March 8, 2014 at 6:57pm

This has got to be the cult video of the month: a lecture by Mrs Muscat, the prime minister’s wife, about how “eh very Ketlik” society conditions women to stay at home with their children and give up their careers.

What careers? Most Maltese women until only very recently had no careers, only minor jobs in offices, shops and factories. Most of them were glad to give up those jobs, which is the main reason why they did so, and ‘Ketlik’ society had nothing to do with it.

Women with an actual career almost never give it up when they have children. But that’s by the by.

Apart from the absolutely TERRIBLE accent, intonation, delivery and content, which have had people emailing the video link to each other over the last couple of days, the first thing that strikes one is this: madam, you’re a fine one to talk.

Despite her retinue of personal assistants, drivers, maids and babysitters, Mrs Muscat gave up her own work to be a campaign bridesmaid to her husband and take her children to ballet lessons and football.

In a recent interview, she said that she doesn’t even sell her friend Michelle Buttigieg’s (ta’ New York) jewellery anymore, something she used to do on a professional basis, which might be why she had her husband make Ms Buttigieg Malta’s tourism representative in New York, on a salary of around 60,000 euros a year + perks.

And quite frankly, I’m sick of hearing Maltese people in public life speak like this. How hard is it to speak properly, if you’re going to be exposing yourself on a stage? With all that money sloshing around, surely some can be found for lessons. After all, if Ramona Frendo – raised in a monolingual working-class Mintoffian family in Zejtun – can do it, anyone can do the same with a bit of training and commitment.

But first they have to know how badly they speak.

82 Comments Comment

  1. edgar says:

    Mrs. Muscat, can you kindly repeat your speech in English

  2. Antoine Vella says:

    The only point in her favour is that she’s not reading from a teleprompter, like her bumbling husband.

  3. Jozef says:

    What utter rubbish, Mrs. Muscat.

    If you can’t make your life work, don’t blame others. My mother was absolutely disgusted at your statements – she had a career, raised us and found absolutely no contradiction with her Catholic faith. And that’s in the 1970s.

    Why do you people lack the mental capacity to understand an underlying message, preferring to digitise everything instead?

    The problem you seem to have is more about the challenge derived from mothering children with a father who’s absolutely absent, even if he does spend the time for the cameras.

    Honestly, these people just can’t live with ideas beyond their primitive logic. I see Joseph Muscat’s down in the polls, so let’s go for the tried and tested church-state controversy.


    • albona says:

      Lots of Catholic women are in top jobs, and not thanks to some degrading quota system but through their own effort, while others have chosen to be stay-at-home mothers. I respect both.

      Mrs Muscat, on the other hand, has not made a choice. She has just tagged along for a ride on her husband’s back. Very progressive, liberal, feminist and enlightened.

    • watchful eye says:

      Another subtle attack on the Catholic Church in Malta?

      • Calculator says:

        Wouldn’t be surprised if it were.

      • Jozef says:

        No, they don’t have the balls, just your typical Labour indolence.

        What I can’t stand is how being incapable of assuming responsibility for any decision, mindset and identity is translated into an ideology.

  4. Wiki-Joe says:

    Looks like Josef shall be taking over the health portfolio from Godfrey Farrugia. Do you think John Dalli shall be the one managing the health sector albeit not being elected to parliament?

    • Gahan says:

      It’s becoming clear that Marie Louise Coleiro Preca was removed so that someone can grab the leadership of the party in government without being contested.
      Everything has a price, even the Labour Party leadership. Mark my words.

  5. KevinZammit says:

    She is definitely worried about her personal situation. She will have no professional job when her children grow up and she just can’t stand to be a “mara tad-dar”.

    Nowadays she can say that she is the PM’s wife but when that title is gone what will she say?

    That is very disturbing; it shows how our “Michi” is a power hungry pompous women who just loves to stand out. Maltese sayings are excellent- “Ma min rajtek xebbahtek”.

    • La Redoute says:

      If she identifies and presents herself as the prime minister’s wife, then she’s the wrong person to hector others about their situation.

      There’s absolutely nothing wrong about being a stay-at-home parent.

      And, please – enough with this shifting blame on others. If you don’t like the church’s rules, why bother?

  6. TinaB says:

    My stomach is too weak, I had to stop watching after only 30 seconds.

    As they say in Maltese “Alla jxebbah qabel ma jlaqqa.”

  7. Mark busuttil says:

    Kenneth Zammit Tabona, Ivan Camilleri (who didn’t vote so that the PN would lose), Kevin Drake and all the other switchers must be so proud.

  8. Clueless says:

    How cavalier of her to give us an ad lib speech. That was one of her most atrocious public appearances so far.

  9. Victor says:

    What a pompous and ignorant woman!

    She has made a total fool of herself. That speech is rubbish, and the way she speaks is rubbish too.

  10. P Shaw says:

    “Children start coming along” – yes, as and when the stork pleases.

    “Divergent” – does she even know what it means?

    This speech is so fake and void of meaning, and is also quite obvious that it was memorized, which is why she keeps pausing at the oddest points as she struggles to remember what comes next.

  11. zunzana says:

    I could sense that she was trying hard to translate every phrase from Maltese to English. Why was she so big-headed that she did not write her speech beforehand? She would have made a far better impression.

  12. Maria says:

    Maaaaaaaaa what terrible, terrible public speaking skills.

  13. Antoine Vella says:

    Michelle Muscat does have a job. She has been employed by her husband, to do nothing, while being paid out of our taxes.

    She is even costing us a personal assistant, various offices and other perks, constituting a making-the-most-of-it (aka sponging) lifestyle.

  14. Adrian says:

    What utter crap and confusion not to mention the primitive mentality! Silence is golden please note Mrs. Muscat for more reasons than one.

  15. bob-a-job says:

    ‘when they reach the age of 27, 30, 35 they vanish in tin er.’

    27? wow that’s only 4 years after childhood. (according to Kulajru)

  16. Edward says:

    Why didn’t she just speak in Maltese? Wouldn’t that have been better?

  17. AE says:

    Indeed she is fine one to talk. She receives a salary which she doesn’t work for, paid for out of our taxes.

    As for her ability or otherwise to speak English, I am speechless. How can anyone who so incoherent have the gall to stand before any audience and lecture them.

    She completely lacks self awareness. Surely her husband must know that she is incapable. Does he detest her so much to let her do that to herself?

    And off subject I know, but do these pseudo socialists have to keep chucking their wealth in our faces, be it Mrs Muscat and her chauffeurs and handbags or billboard Ramona Frendo boasting about the pleasures of underfloor heating? Some decorum, people. Subtlety is key.

  18. Anthony says:

    Although, admittedly, she outshines her husband in whatever she does my honest advice to her would still be “Mur inheba”.

  19. Mimmici says:

    And what about ‘climbing the letter’? It must be a new initiative by Maltapost.

  20. ciccio says:

    If you give them Eur 400 per child per year for the first three chiltren and Eur 200 for the fourth and other chiltren, then of course they “venish in tin air.”

    And instead of lifting them out of poverty, you push them deeper.

  21. Gahan says:

    First of all let me state how disgusted I am with this kind of rhetoric.

    In whose name is this woman speaking? We voted for her husband, not for her. This is not the United States of America. This is Europe.

    Why is she trying to rope in the blessed catechists who are volunteers? If people don’t like going to endless religious discussions, they are free not to attend. Isn’t this a free country?

    This argument of women not going to work because of some religious misconception was killed by Fenech Adami when Guzeppi Mercieca was archbishop of Malta. She’s flogging a dead horse.

    The main reason for this ‘contradictory’ speech is to divert attention from the main issues which are worrying this administration.

    Simply ignore this non-entity.

    Where were we? Ah! The anonymous open letter to our beloved Joseph and his energy minister Mr Conman Mizzi from some Marsaxlokk individuals.

  22. Tabatha White says:

    It’s about the basics, not the layer upon layer of maquillage, or photo shop, or inappropriate jewellery advertising or current convenient twist.

    That’s another thing they’d first need to understand.

    Labour don’t get it.

    How distasteful to bring Catholics into it, when Labour is living a lie and her husband is the manifestation of that lie.

    Do we really need to see, and hear, more of this nonsense?

  23. Neil says:

    She is absolutely, completely, totally out of it. Out of touch with basically everything. Disgraceful English, grammar and pronunciation apart (serious for series? Really?)

    The women here should be seriously offended by this, surely. I would be.

    Scenario: you’re a working mother. So to help out, your mother/mother-in-law takes your child to ‘catechism’, and collects him too. Common enough? Is your main worry here what the ‘catechism’ teacher thinks of your scandalous ‘mummy has a job’ situation? I tend to think not.

    What the hell is she on?

  24. Stop bullying says:

    Mrs Muscat please stop bullying those who on voluntary basis are giving their time in educating children. I am proud to say that I am a catechist and I never asked any child what their mother is doing. .. Basta titla’ kollok qdusija vojta quddiem il-papa Benedittu b’xeba’ kuruni mdendlin … Tkomplux tghaddu n-nies biz-zmien.

  25. combinaguai }:-( says:

    Well, Ma’am, if you are “frenkly en edalt and passt det fejz” in your life, I wonder how you used to think before reaching “det fejz”, when you yourself were a ketekist at your hometown, Nigret.

    I guess you used to gloat when you organised some meeting for parents and the parents did not turn up. I’m sure you encouraged the children (or their grandmas) to support the mothers who chose to pursue their career (probably as cleaners or factory girls) rather their doing their damn duty and raise the kids they brought in this world.

    And also, since you encourage mothers to be so uninterested in their own children and in their spiritual formation (being edalts, you know, and passt dis fejz), can you explain the rumours doing the rounds at the moment that your little darlings’ first holy communion will be televised this June? Another ‘use the children’ propaganda moment.

  26. R Brincat says:

    Her intonation is also a dead giveaway to her true views on what she is reciting.

    She seems totally devoid of any real emotion for most of the speech, then you hear a change when she is speaking about a hypothetical catechist questioning a child about their mother’s absence – hitting nerve maybe? An axe to grind?

    Her husband does the same, though he also has that furrow betraying him.

  27. Harry worth says:

    … And what about ‘chance’ or is it cens, temporanju jew perpetwu ?

  28. vanni says:

    I hate to say it Daphne, but most Maltese speak English with a similar accent, so she isn’t really the odd one out.

    [Daphne – For pity’s sake, that is not the point. What ‘most Maltese’ do and say and how they behave or speak is irrelevant. The point here is that Mrs Muscat is NOT ‘most people’, and so she should not speak like they do but BETTER than they do because she is OBLIGED to make an effort, and not with her hair. A prime minister’s wife with an uneducated voice and accent is an embarrassment to the country in question, if she must insist on taking up a public role. If she did not insist on foisting herself on the public in this manner, then her accent, voice and all round general education would not be an issue. THAT, whether you like it or not, is an uneducated voice and an uneducated accent, and it is instantly identifiable as such to those who are not ‘most people’ (which would mean that particular audience) and even to those who are. Why bother making an effort with your clothes and hair (just as naff, incidentally, but at least she tried) when you’re not going to bother with something that is a whole lot more important?]

    Gives the lie to the claims of us being a bilingual nation. The most that the majority can claim, hand on heart, is fluency in Maltese and Manglish.
    Elocution lessons should be made compulsory.

  29. H.P. Baxxter says:

    She had me at “most of you in this room”.

    Lesson zero of public speaking: never project onto your audience.

    Otherwise, what a godawful parvenue.

    What a great tandem they’ll make, this one and that Coleiro Preca. Il-veru xempju ta’ nisa Maltin.

  30. H.P. Baxxter says:

    Oh and another thing.

    In her case the children didn’t exactly “kamm elonk”.


    I no longer care. Someone has to speak out in this ruddy country.

    • P Shaw says:

      Those children are being used for the couple’s image, as much as anything else that the Muscats did and do.

  31. Lorraine Farrugia says:

    So, according to Madam, stay at home women are useless? After all jien niwworkja d-dar. Get off your high horse, ma’am, and at least get some lessons in proper English and please, think about all the ‘wommin’ you could be insulting with your words.

  32. andrei vella laurenti says:

    oh come on writing an article about this is absurd so what her English isn’t received pronunciation but her point comes across. Mur gib lilek tindirizza folla nies titkellem bil-Malti!

    [Daphne – I hate to disappoint you, but my Maltese, while far from perfect, is a lot better than Mrs Muscat’s English, and that’s quite apart from the content of the speech itself. No, her point does not come across. What is it? That children ‘come along’ (like in the Edwardian age)? That women don’t work because they’re scared of ‘ketekists’? Preci that speech for me, please, because I can’t.]

    • one of us says:

      As Daphne says, what point, Andrei Vella Laurenti? One has to make a huge effort to work out what our First Lady is saying and then thinks ‘what the hell IS she saying!

    • Cee says:

      What point? I must have missed it?

      If she could not address speak correctly in English, she should have spoken in Maltese.

      To top it off, she really had no need to insult parents who choose to bring up their children especially when they might have given up a career to do so.

      It all felt like a poorly thought out political agenda.

      If I were her husband, I would be sorely embarrassed – mind you I suppose he has enough embarrassment of his own to deal with!

      As for you Andrei, a couple of grammar lessons will not go amiss either.

  33. Kif inhi din? says:

    It’s a very Catholic Third World mentality to define having children in terms of ‘coming along’ (like some involuntary sneeze); as if both parents (not just women) had no say in the matter.

    • Tabatha White says:

      Children “coming along” would be just the sort of prompt a fifty- something year old single male stuck in the Victorian age would have contributed.

  34. robert says:

    Seriously, the way the PM allows his wife to become defacto as the first lady of the country and how he uses entourages to speed through traffic and make a show, how he undermines the opposition at every opportunity and goes on his football trips abroad only to speak arrogantly to the press as if to say “you cant touch me” is similar to how leaders became dictators and abusive of their powers. With some luck he will get tired of this fame and move on when he loses one of the next 2 elections. However he is showing every sign of manipulation and strategy to stay in power at all costs (save using violence or military, let’s hope)

  35. Rumplestiltskin says:

    Surely she should be able to distinguish the difference in sound between a “G” and a “K” so why doesn’t she pronounce things properly?

    And why is she trying to pick a fight with the ‘catechists’? Why not the schoolmaster? The ballet teacher? The football coach?

    [Daphne – People whose only native tongue is Maltese find it next to impossible to pronounce the final G sound in English because it does not exist in Maltese, which favours a final K sound. That’s why ‘mug’ becomes ‘makk’ and ‘tag’ becomes ‘tekk’. And it’s not a new problem, either. It’s also the reason ‘grog’ became ‘grokk’.]

  36. seksieka says:

    Dil-mara vera kiesħa. Qed twaħħal fir-reliġjon Kattolika għan-nuqqasijiet li qed toħlom bihom hi. Jiena katekista u qatt qatt qatt ma smajt lil ebda katekist jistaqsi lit-tfal fejn hi ommhom. Jaqaw rieġa’ ġejja xi gwerra mal-knisja?

  37. Joanne says:

    I am disgusted by Mrs Muscat’s comments. No disrespect but who is she to talk? She is the prime minster’s wife! She is up there because of him not because she worked hard to get there.

    It is so annoying all these ‘politicians’ and politicians wives telling us (women) what we should do and what we shouldn’t do. It’s our life so let us decide what is best not you.

  38. il-Ginger says:

    I never realized she had such a raspy hoarse voice – is she sick or something?

    My mother was not a stay at home and I don’t believe she faced the problems Michelle Muscat did.

  39. M. Cassar says:

    This is super cringe manterial. Seeing it however clarifies why Joseph Muscat equates ‘talent’ with money and when confronted with the fact he would probably answer ‘What else?’

    Blessed are the ignorant…because ‘The more ignorant a man is the more he thinks he ought to govern someone else.’

    L. F. KORNS

  40. Dana says:

    I want to know what the people who were sitting down listening to her were thinking, because if I was In that room I would need to bow my head to stop me from laughing out loud.

    And why in English? She has no idea. It’s not only the way she pronounces her words, it’s the pauses mid sentence which doesn’t make sense. How embarrassing.

    • P Shaw says:

      A state paid communication consultant must have instructed her to pause once in a while and count 1,2,3…silently before she continues after each pause.

      However, the communication consultant should have also been informed beforehand that Michelle Muscat is a bit thick in order for him/her to tailor the advice given to Michelle Muscat. He/she should have explained to the dumb lady that the pauses should not occur before a verb and half-way through a sentence.

      • mattie says:

        To be fair, public speaking is a skill that can only be mastered with a lot of practice that comes with patience, perseverence and time but mainly after one qualifies with confidence in the subject he/she is prepared to talk about.

        In this case, I would think there was some lack of preparation about the subject and that doesn’t help with public speaking at all.

  41. M.borg says:

    So much for trying to imitate Michelle Obama . No amount of money , makeup and designer clothes will ever result in her becoming a Mrs. Obama clone.

    Our reputation has already gone to the dogs with the IIP farce. All we need is this to ensure we are seen as a nation of hillbillies.

    Oh and BTW, that reference to a Catholic mentality was totally out of order. Basta staqsiet lil Papa ghall-barka ghall-parrocca ta’ Burmarrad. What a hypocrite .

  42. S. Meli says:

    “Certain die virgins”… What does it mean? Or is it diversions?

  43. Marianne Saliba says:

    So according to this woman being Catholic is a “phase in our life”? Don’t send your kids to Cathacisim classes if this is your mentality!

    You either want to raise your children to be devout Catholic or you don’t. Nobody is forcing you. Also if this government wants women to work we should join the rest of Europe and NOT close schools at 2pm but at 3.30. Then the children won’t have to be swamped with so much homework.

  44. xmun says:

    “Children start coming along and they vanish in thin air” – explain please.

  45. Denise says:

    This is rubbish – I know only a handful of Maltese people who sound 100% British (as I am assuming this is the ‘proper way’ of speaking you are referring to – but then, which of the many British accents, if I may ask?).

    The rest speak with either this heavy ‘Maltese accent’, or a forced, mock British accent which is equally annoying.

    • one of us says:

      Denise – One doesn’t have to have a British accent to speak excellent English, so it’s you who is talking rubbish when you say that the choice is between heavy Maltese or fake British!

    • La Redoute says:

      Clarity and correct pronunciation would be a start. This is the prime minister’s wife you’re talking about, not Marie tal- bajd.

  46. Sparky says:

    Mrs Muscat should seriously consider taking up elocution lessons. I would encourage her to watch the intro to the episode ‘Australia House’ from ‘Some mothers do ‘ave em’.

  47. Zorro says:

    Interesting to note that even though she seems to insinuate that the Catholic church is against mothers having a career few people realize that nearly all church schools have been employing mothers to teach in their schools.

    There was a time when if your were a teacher in a Government school you had to give up your job on marriage. However church schools accepted these qualified and trained teachers and most staff in Church schools was made up of married mothers.

    I think this is all history now and Mrs Muscat can only see the tiny world around her a world of ambition and self advancement and has no notion of what happened before she was born and now we are waiting in earnest to be enlightened by her great wisdom.

  48. L.Gatt says:

    Why didn’t she “venish in tin er” when her “chiltren came alonk”? She would have spared Maltese women this embarassing representation of them,

  49. katrin says:

    Ma nafx x’ghandu x’jaqsam dan id-diskors ma Jum il-Mara! Allura l-problema li tbahhat wicca maghhom mara/omm li tahdem hija l-Muzew?!?! Daqstant problemi li tista ssemmi fil-Muzew biss ftakret?

    Binti baqala xi sena nahseb biex tibda tattendi ghat-taghlim tal-Muzew u biex inkun onesta ‘looking forward’ biex nibda nakkompanja ghal kwalunkwe appuntament li se jibda jkolla ghax inkun ifisser li jiena presenti f’hajjita!

    Ghal-grazzja t’Alla jiena nahdem u nrabbi lit-tifla u l-sighat li nkun xoghol insib l-ghajnuna ta’ ommi u omm ir-ragel u s’issa lanqas qatt ma hassejtni ‘guilty’ Mrs Muscat

  50. mattie says:

    Personally, I did not understand that speech at all. I mean, the English language and pronunciation aside, we know all about that, what was it that she was trying to deliver?

    Women? – OK but which category of women? the retired women who are women with an abundant life as well.

    Women at work, women at the place of work, women vs family, women vs family vs religion?

    What was it about the catechism bit? All religions practice their faith and those who don’t aren’t practicing believers. As far as I am concerned, I find nothing wrong with that and if the children of believers aren’t practicing believers, then it’s up to them and to whoever brings them up.

    Catholics, as far as I am aware, send their children to catechism lessons – so? Muslims pray every Friday afternoon and Friday is a day of prayer – and bless them as they take their religion very seriously, much more than the Catholics do.

    Regarding women: its 2014 not 1950. Women have come a long way and it is understandable that women have a career, a family, including children and a husband, and that they manage to juggle everything together. What is wrong with that?

    With progress and the advances in technology it is understandable that women are involving themselves in the career world because progress has taken over and this itself brings about higher standards, a better quality of life and the freedom for women to use their resources = their brain and to not stay at hope expecting the husband to bring with him the housekeeping money as things were in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s.

    So what was the point? I didn’t understand.

  51. mattie says:

    And you want to know something about success? Success is when you are able to do everything on their own, without expecting anything from anyone and going solo, meaning: not expecting anything from your husband = money and status.

    Success is when you can do all the above and still have a husband and kids who support your line of thinking and who support what you believe is right and who do not feel neglected or abandoned in some way or other, just because you want to make use of your own resources = your brain.

    If you can manage that, you can manage anything and that is called being a woman: Happy belated Women’s Day, including you, Daphne.

  52. mattie says:

    And ultimately, life is what you make it, not what others make it for you/what you expect others to make it for you.

    We live in a world of billions, however we are each a unique person. So if people want to run a family and follow their career paths whilst sending their children to catechism, let them be what they like to be – as long as husband and wife are OK and the children are happy, no one should question, lecture or tell us what to do as if it were the 50s.

    The ageist mentality has passed its sell-by date.

  53. Calculator says:

    Both the accent the message was delivered in and the message are an embarrassment. The former doesn’t really need any elaboration. On the latter, though the hypocrisy and lack of understanding Ms Muscat shows are unbelievable. A woman who gave up her work for her husband’s political career blaming Catholic faith (just a ‘phase’ apparently) and catechists for lack of female employment while going with rosary beads to see the Pope and having her husband kissing his ring a few months ago.

    And some Labour-leaning acquaintances of mine try to downplay the criticism and the video doing the rounds on Facebook as typical Maltese picking on people and that leaders cannot seriously be judged by their accents. It’s amazing how they can’t appreciate the fact that Ms Muscat is over-stretching her role as a public figure and the PM’s wife as it is, such that her role is to do nothing but speak and make media appearances, apparently. And when she can’t do that properly (some practice is all it could take), it just means she’s not fit for purpose and deserves to be mocked.

  54. KanadizaMaltija says:

    I must say thanks to all you posters for the entertainment…. this blog was the highlight of my day. I struggled to figure out what the hell she was talking about. In any event, I doubt she would have even made sense in Maltese.

  55. Joanna says:

    Seriously, as a 36 year old mum of three, business owner and practising Catholic, I think this woman is an embarrassment to today’s modern woman.

  56. La Redoute says:

    This speech was inappropriate for many reasons, not least because Muscat’s immediate audience was an entirely different demographic to the subject of her speech.

  57. Mariella says:

    Both she and her husband need some training in public speaking and accents.

    I may not have the perfect English/accent but still, I cringed listening to this.

  58. Simon says:

    This is AFTER the speech coaching.

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