Good morning. In case you were one of the few people who let the “event of the year” pass by without noticing let J’accuse do some thinking for you so that you can venture into the world better armed. Here’s the deal: Yesterday evening while you were having your little wind-down pint after a day at work this geezer in a black suit looking very much like Tommy Lee Jones (but a tad less slick) spent the best of two and a half ours telling your compatriots what a great country this is to live in. He was also busy telling us all what an even greater country it will become over the next few years – provided you will vote back the Tommy Lee Jones lookalike for another term that is.
While aforementioned geeyer waxed lyrical about the managerial competence of his entourage and on how Malta is being rocketed into the High Society of modern nations, geezer number two sat poker faced and toupeed across the chamber trying to convey a cocktail of looks that ranged from (a) the mildly uninterested to (b) the “Isn’t this all so yaeningly predictable?” to (c) Jeez this guy really does not know his shit and y’all need me and my toupee to get you out of this misery with some proper neo-socialist projects.
At approximately the same time another geezer sat expectantly (but not much) massaging his furrowed brow and smiling patronisingly at every budget measure that was announced. Dressed in his “I am Aun San Suu Kyi’s Doppelganger” t-shirt he sipped on his Martini Bianco quietly ticking off all the budget measures that woz being ripped off the grand plan that he could call his own.
Barely had geezer one finished his deliverance of the message sublime that the nation was struck with what we shall term THE REACTIONS. If ever there was an exercise in predictable claptrap this would be it. If you don’t believe the word of the preacher than just step outside and look at the giant MLP billboards proclaiming “Too Little Too Much”. Do you really really think that they waited for the whole shebang to be announced before working all night at the printers to deliver their REACTION?
The important thing here is to stay in focus. What you need is a menu – a guide to what to say in order to be perceived as one of the group. Which group is still your choice – at least until election day comes and you are told that voting for anything other than THEIR party will probably not even be pardoned by a hundred plenary indulgences signed by Pope Benedict himself (What have you got against Mr Benedict anyway?). So here goes:
Just wing it mate. Mention things like CHILDREN’S ALLOWANCE, INCOME TAX BRACKETS, SALARY CAPS, MATERNITY LEAVE and VAT on kulchah (but not cinemas) and you are almost doing a better home run than Babe Ruth. If that does not sound convincing mention the Environment (tree planting and all that), the Skools and the Information Technology. Above all do not commit yourself. Just show that you know WHAT THE GEEZER SAID. Do no, for any reason, show that you HAVE AN OPINION about it. That’s a safe ride home. No risk. No commitment. No blip on the pollmakers chart.
That’s an easy one. The clue is to grumble. There is no need to make any concrete sense. “Too little, too late” is the chosen slogan for the groupies. Try some variants to win Brownie Points. “Last minute panic move” might sound good.. “Headless planning” seems to be a happy corollary pushed by the hairless kapo. If you want to be intelligent and funny drag your words and slur them as though you are drunk but make sure that you make it clear that it is all a joke. One thing… DO NOT MENTION VAT ON EDUCATION. It’s worse than War and Ze Germans.
This is what is called the Kinnie Reaction. The Budget is a bitter sweet pill. Gets green and good but not enough is done on the housing problem. Whatever happened to the big drama called rent anyway? Not to sound too hippy but more of the engineer wankellectual type mutter something about how the surcharge does not really educate people on the importance of moderate consumption. It does not hurt to complain about electoral reform even if does not STRICTLY fall under budget measures. At some point mention MEPA – just to irk anybody around you. It has been proven that mentioning MEPA within a five metre range of another human being provokes severe ticks and pangs of guilt among nationalist voters.
Hey this budget is good. It get’s your rocks rocking baby and feels a hundred times better than that night out for the Notte Bianca.You could just feel the vibes of building a new nation oozing through the TV screen as Tommy Lee Gonzi spread the good word. Another fiveyears in government is what this party really needs to put the country in good shape. Mention LOW COST AIRLINES, mention SPORTS and MICHAEL MIFSUD in the same sentence, mention CULTURE and pan your imagination on Francis ZDs jovial face cutting some ribbon. Mention that 0.25% of every investment in structure being spent on artistic work – the church had the tithe we had the Richard England point twentyfivepercent or REP25 for short. Say that you believe in Gozo and how lucky the gozitans are to have this government. Say Low Cost Airlines again although you really have no idea what this government has really done to improve travelling abroad – remind your friends that this government DID lower the Travel Tax (and make sure that they do not remember who introduced it (ILLEGALLY) in the first place). Prepare the flag, rewind the tape with the hymn and program the GPS for Fossos…. we’re on our way man!!
The Desperate NGO
10 INPUT NGO
20 IF NGO = GWU THEN WORKERS UNSATISFIED AND UNPROTECTED
30 IF NGO = UHM THEN VERY NICE THANKYOUVERYMUCH
40 IF NGO = GRTU THEN IT DOES NOT MAKE US ENOUGH MONEY AND SMES ARE PENALISED GOTO 60
50 IF NGO = UNRECOGNISED THEN SEE BLUFF
60 ADDENDA GRTU SAYS TOUPEED LEADERS ROCK
That should do it for now. Remember., When in doubt keep mum. The NEWSPEAK is out and the papers are on the stands. The voices are on the radio and come this evening they’ll be on TV too. They will be doing what J’accuse is doing now. Telling you how you are to REACT to the budget of the century. They will tell us what the people are thinking because the truth is that we are very few steps away from dispensing of the inconvenient multitude anyway.
On the other hand there is still one important medium that has not been completely taken out of your hands. Come election day let’s hope that you will be needing no guide to use it right.
Have a nice post-budget day.
Jay: Why the big secret? People are smart, they can handle it.
Kay: A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Everything they’ve ever “known” has been proven to be wrong. A thousand years ago everybody knew as a fact, that the earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew that the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on it. Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow.
Edwards: So what’s the catch?
(Dialogue from Men In Black)