Thursdays used to be Lorna days – at least fortnightly. I have a nagging doubt that Lorna’s days on the Times are counted and that the editor has found a replacement from the Labour fold: Exit the Dame (stage left), Enter Stormin’ Norman, our hero from those halcyon days of Sibtijiet Flimkien…
Yep. Norman has a spanking new fortnightly column entitled “My Agenda” following a suggestion by the Times Editor.
I must admit that I myself was indeed very surprised when the editor emailed me a few weeks ago, inviting me to contribute a fortnightly article. “Since people know you as the presenter of your talk show Bla Agenda,” he said, “I think it would be appropriate for yur column to be titled My Agenda”.
Lovely. Any doubts that Norman would not be a good enough replacement for the Dame of the Gramatically Incorrect are immediately assuaged by his use of the trademark “I myself” in the second sentence of his debut. Lovely indeed. The headhunting Times editor has definitely hit on another gold vein in the shape of the former Saturday morning TV regular. Bla Agenda will not be the last plug in what will probably be a series of self-congratulating articles by Mr. Hamilton Tours (himself).
We only get enough time to recieve Happy, Peaceful, Healthy and Belated New Year wishes before Hamilton dives into the crunch of what we shall unquestioningly expect to be his style. J’accuse will have much to crunch on for Thursday’s to come. Norman will forgive us if we remember him as the Alfred Zammit of the eighties… a man whose eyes could only glitter at the mention of the man at the helm of the Maltese boat. Mintoff has long faded into the past but Norman’s love for autocratic leaders has led him to pastures new and we are left in no doubt as to the identity of his newfound replacements.
Pride of place is reserved for Shaikh Mohammeed Rashid Al Maktoum. El Sheikh is the charismatic man of the people (Qawwu Qalbkom). He is a visionary leader who has his own website and even takes into consideration the suggestions of his people. Grrrreat. This royal CEO seems to have struck a nostalgic nerve within Hamilton’s emotional makeup and deserved three paragraphs of adulation all of which were prompted by Hamilton’s visit to Dubai over the New Year. Good for him.
From Shaikh to Rais. Norman moves on to describe the atrocious hanging of a former leader. Saddam’s execution has not gone down well with Norman. Hamilton does not go so far as to criticise the condemnation itself but rather limits his anger to the circumstances of the hanging. One cannot but suspect a hint of regret that the Rais was actually hanged. This has to be coupled with Hamilton’s use of “brave and dignified” description of the swinging tyrant. Hamilton’s hint at the “several atrocities” committed by Saddam becomes a little afterthought inserted in what would otherwise be a posthumous apology for another potential charismatic leader who knew what was good for the people… Kurds and all!
What can I say? Farewell Lorna. You might still surprise us with an appearance. We had joy, we had fun and we will miss you. Somehow we knew that you double checked every J’Accuse crit whenever your articles appeared… and for that we are grateful. We wish you yourself a great future in the world of Maltese politics and hope to see your columns somewhere else soon. In the meantime we welcome Stormin’ Norman with open arms. We look forward to learning about more great charismatic leaders and lovers of the people as well as learning about great travel destinations. Do not take us too seriously… we are after all just a little blog in the great ocean of blogging…
P.S. Why do I never get an email in my inbox from the Times Editor asking me to contribute a fortnightly article? Something like. “Since people have no idea who you are but it seems that you might be a whippersnapping blogger who posts on what is probably the most popular blog in Malta it would be appropriate for your column to be called J’Accuse in the Times. We have also started a libel fund in Saviour Balzan style since it will probably come in handy once you start your contributions!” In case the Editor does read this blog, my inbox may be found at jacques dot zammit at gmail dot com.
* Picture: Dominic Mintoff – A Charismatic Leader of the People