I.M. Jack

Saturday before the start of school season. School season? I hear you asking. Yep. The Italian Campionato kicks off tomorrow evening and for any kid worth his salt this meant the end of summer and that at any moment now you would be lining up outside the Chapel at Saint Aloysius with ‘Chokita’ (a.k.a. Mr Bartolo) yelling “First sign you line up, second sign you shut up!”. So yes. School season is with us, or as the French would have it “C’est l’heure de la rentree” (accents omitted). And with the rentree you get the right to the return of our famous, unoriginally titled round up of news called I.M. Jack that floats randomly between Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays depending on what the author’s whims and fancies are like that week. So let’s go:

1. Minister Minister Care for Your Children

(With apologies to Marillion). This story was the most commented upon this week on J’accuse – thanks to a particularly heated debate involving in particular jaccusers R Cefai and R Vassallo. We remain to be convinced about the correctness of the lynching that has ensued of poor (?) former ambassador Muscat. Of course we have never denied that such stories would be considered newsworthy by the earthly media. See the quasi- homonymous column (tut tut – wherever did he get that name from?) on the same subject today. Resignation over, it is left to meritocratic Labour to reap the fruit of the seeds sown by a combination of bumbling politicians and an all too eager press (local and international). Incidentally, the name of the accused son of the Minister turned up on only one paper that I know of (and I stand to be corrected).

2. Maltese Engineers of Perfunctory Annihilation (MEPA)

It does not only take MEPA to slowly destroy the cultural heritage that is the collectivity of historic sites on the island. This week we read that Pieta council is eager to transform the Customs Verandah into a restaurant. Today we read that vandals have attacked St Cecilia chapel in Ghajnsielem, the only medieval chapel on the little island. The fact that Victor J. Borg of Ta’ Cenc fame is a family friend does not stop me from yelling “WTF?” in his direction in case the reports carried in the media about his supposed naivete’ regarding future developmetns are right. It’s our land people, and it seems that those who govern us, and those who aspire to govern us, only seem willing to auction it off to the bidder who can best support their aspirations to power. And they can fool the people some time, and come next election we will know if the people like to be fooled all the time and thus belying the good old Marley. (On a better late then never note we read that MEPA has scheduled Palazzo Pescatore).

3 . Freak Weather

The waves of tanned Maltese returning to Luxembourg and the news of fires all over the south Med seem to confirm that this end of summer has been freak. What’s so freakish about heat in summer? Well. The fact that for allthis past week France was completely covered in storm clouds was a tad bit strange. Reading about flooding problems in France and UK while Sicily and Greece were drying up was sorta funny. Luxembourg is contributing its usual weird stuff – but thankfully in a more reasonable manner. After a week of rain, cold and more rain we are off to swim at the Piscine Comunale of Vianden today. Well. Mostly sunbathe. Which is just as good because what with my pre- and post- operative state I had not got enough store of the good old Apollo’s Chariot before winter settles in.

4. Football

Sports news. Juventus kick off tomorrow and for that we have all fingers crossed. We also read about all the hype being made for the Turkey – Malta match on the 8th September. Frankly we think that so long as it remains a bit of fun it’s ok. Dressing up as Knights to go watch Malta get Troundced by Sukur and co will fall short of full consolation. Without wanting to rain on the Supporter’s Club parade, J’accuse believes that Mr Spiteri Lucas and co. would do well to remember that although the battle happened around 450 years ago it still involved many, many casualties. Comments like “Even the English poke fun at the Germans” are not exactly warranted on such occasions. A quick pull of the leg, a little reference to the battle of 1565 won by the defensive formation long before Helenio Herrera dreamt of the catenaccio — that’s ok. Let’s just not go over the top… stick to singing Forza Malta and hope for the best.

PS. This post was drafted yesterday but thanks to WordPress Scheduled Maintenance (unbeknownst to myself) it is appearing today and in a shortened version – as in the rest of the post got lost somewhere in the process.

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