“Those who are not part of the Gomorra have to wait for months to get a hospital appointment and will have their projects stalled for years awaiting the Malta Environment and Planning Authority’s approval.” – Josie Muscat as reported by The Times of Malta
Josie’s Party is finally with us. It has a name and it has a face (or three). I was not physically present at the launching so I have to rely on hearsay – such as the Times’ reporting. Now I do not think that this new Azzjoni Nazzjonali (AN – sounds a bit like Fini’s party dunnit?) will be a very attractive party for the likes of liberals such as myself but I am still in the phase of reserved appreciation. That phase where, before even delving into the substance of the new party I pause for a moment to applaud the sheer guts it takes to take on the two behemoths of our political landscape. The party may be made up of a bunch of conservative aliens anxious to return Malta to the 50’s when we walked along a pristine Sliema front (what was left after the bombs and all), shagged our lovers in private, marriage and love were still the main aims of coupled life and we still did not have the MLPN fiasco every five years. It may be a sad attempt at extreme Republican conservatism that will try to stall any possible progress of Maltese society into a tolerant twenty-first century. It may be all those bad (from my perspective) things and more.
But. They are standing up for what they believe in. They are forming a party and charging head on into the fray “joining” Alternattiva Demokratika in the Quixotic exercise of diversifying the Maltese political landscape. And for that effort they are immediately gifted with the biased reporting only traditional papers like the Times can reserve. The journalist reporting the launching of a new party does not stop at “reporting”. No sirree. It is not the PN or MLP so we have the license to insinuate and jeer. Journalist turns opinion former- Ravel: Atheist Music; River Kwai: Ah the Military Music back from 1957. And anyways. River Kwai music is not triumphalist. At most it is the hollywoodian sound we can associate with prisoners of war resisting their oppressors until the moment of liberation.
Let’s face it AN will not have an easy time with the media. The shoes of the third party (or should we speak of the 2+1 party?) will always be hard to fill in a society that is heavily ingrained with the mindset of dualities. Furthermore its conservative programme plus the label of “the party of the disgruntled” places AN on a weird part of the electoral fishing net. In my not so humble opinion I feel that AN will be trying to do just what MLPN have sought to do every election year. Fish for the easy votes. And by easy I mean the votes of the ignorant. The ones who could be beguiled by a developer who is still fuming for the refusal of his Verdala Golf Course and promises to achieve what 18 years of MLPN have miraculously and thankfully stopped him from doing. That same party has a golf course developer on one hand and promises to preserve Malta for the Maltese on the other.
Then there is Mr Beattie. He’s back under a less aggressive mask tan the previous efforts which faltered helplessly after being labelled with the rest of the far-right extremist crowd. Quite how we are supposed to believe that this is a more moderate approach to the intolerant previous incarnations of Beattie is still to be seen. For now Beattie is the token representatives of all those who are ready to lay the blame of Malta’s problems squarely on the immigrants’ doorstep. Then there is Josie who is supposed to be the seasoned politician. The Times journalist was impressed by his oratory. I was more impressed (negatively) by the content of his oration. Josie’s exercise was simpy the usual fishing exercise… catch all the disgruntled. Nobody will have missed the jibe at the EU – you cannot ignore us on the immigration issue and then tell us what to do with our birds. Bingo! Killing two birds with one stone. And that’s just what lots and lots of hunters are waiting to do… though you could probably replace stone with sub-machine gun or something of the sort.
Finally. I am not sure whether to attribute the slip in the quote above to the Times reporter or to Josie. I assume that the “Gomorra” in the quote was actually meant to be the Camorra – the neapolitan version of the Mafia. Gomorrah on the other hand was one of the two evil cities condemned by the big man in the sky for being too too naughty. Together with its twin sister Sodom it was pulverised after many visitations of angels filled with ire. Sodom & Gomorrah, together with Babylon remain notorious cities in biblical history – often quoted by traditional conservatives when in full swing of a “fire and brimstone speech” (“that whore Babylon” remains one of my favs). To a trivia buff like me Sodom and Gomorrah are an enigma still waiting to be solved…
For we all know that Sodom was condemned for it’s inhabitants love of ‘changing at Baker Street’* and for the fact that most of it’s inhabitants were ‘on the other Bus’** and therefore that even most members of AN would have heartily applauded all the fire and brimstone business from a safe distance (just before turning into pillars of salt). But what we do NOT know is what the naughty naughty inhabitants of Gomorrah were up to. What punishable offence were they indulging in shortly before the big one in the sky decided to terminate proceedings abruptly? We will never know will we? The secret is dead and buried, and curiosity will only resurface the next time Josie brings up the Gomorra in his speech. There might be some illumination coming from the Independent:
“A new political party called Azzjoni Nazzjonali, which claims to have no political ideology but is against gays and migrants and in favour of hunting, was launched yesterday. Dr Josie Muscat, Anglu Xuereb and former Alleanza Nazzjonali Repubblikana member Philip Beatty are among its co-founders.”
If gays=sodom then perforce gomorra must be Migrants. Q.E.D?
Have a spliffing Sunday fellows.
*[From Roget’s Profanisaurus: to change at Baker Street: During intercourse to decide to play the B-side. From the only station on the London Underground where it is possible to change from the Pink Line (Hammersmith & City) to the Brown Line (Waterloo)]
** [Also from Roget: Homosexual, bowling from the Pavilion end]
Picture: Lot and Family fleeing from Sodom (refugee style)