Il-Lallu (After the Lull – reprise)


The Crib (Idiot Outside) – Prespeju (bil-Ghageb Barra)

Most people have packed away their crib this season and along with it goes the infamous “ghageb tal-presepju” – the figure representing the man who was so flabbergasted at the star that shone in the sky the night the saviour was born that he did not proceed to the cave to worship and missed out on this pluri-millenial opportunity. The “ghageb” was one of my all time favourite figures, together with that woman with a lovely bust carrying the two pails of water. In my eyes he is the village idiot, the one who lives in his own little world, away from all the rat race, from the regalia of the three kings, from the pharisees and the zealots. I’d like to slip into his shoes today and tell you of j’accuse’s very own vision that will be his unfulfillable wish for 2008…

It all begins with a politician called Lino Spiteri who, while writing with his able pen today, noted the lull in politics that has been created by the unfortunate situation of Alfred Sant. Lino sincerely suggests that politicians take this period as an example and that this period of uncharacteristic decorum be used as an example of how politics be conducted – through a dignified whisper and out of mutual self-respect.

I suggest there is an opportunity for that to change, for politics to become more decent, beyond the periods of unfortunate illness. I suggest that politicians can seek to persuade voters with their beliefs and proposals in broadly the same softer voices heard in the current lull. There is no question that they should continue to engage in the clash and contrast of ideas. That is what politics is all about. Yet there can be no question, either, that such clash and contrast can be exercised through civil exchanges, rather than the language of the places far worse than the market square. I suggest that our politicians would serve themselves and us better if they concentrate on putting forward-looking proposals and explaining why they are better than those of their opponents, rather than continuously looking back to paint their opponents a darker personal shade than black.

Thus spake the Labourite columnist and we do have the incentive to lift our royal behind off our pundit’s pulpit and applaud his idea and suggestion – such applause coming without any soupcon of our usual sarcastic style, the ironic stick having been banned to the nether regions of the aforementioned pulpit. In short, we agree. But of course, us being j’accuse (all grammatical rules having been temporarily suspended) we beg to differ on the extent of what is needed to return our country to the track of the fullest potential.

For you see dear readers and surveyors of the wittiest that the blogging world has to offer, we do believe that whether our politicians are playing their game of “Sling the mud and insult the kettle” or whether they proceed to instantaneously learn how to whisper their contrasting ideas over a cuppa in plush surroundings the end result will be the same. Because what the “Circo di Gas di Valletta” (as opposed to the Acquatic Circus in the suburb) has to offer is a product of the saddest of equations:


1. Macchiavellian Formula for Winning Seats in Election under electoral rules styled for an eternal impasse is (PN)

2. Not so Macchiavellian Formula for Snatching said seats in Election coupled with inability to be a proper opposition is (MLP)

3. Useless parties allowed to wallow by the media circus as an amusement is (AN)

4. Interested third parties in joining the frayand widening scope of parliamentary discussion is represented by (AD)


PN + MLP – (AN + AD) = Parliament of Opportunist Politics

with the corollary that

Vision and Planning is a Dream.

What therefore does J’accuse suggest? In our idiot’s eyes and the walking shoes of the “ghageb” the solution is easy. The reason for this stagnation is the way the two behemoths of party politics are structured. They do not bring up politicians but robots fed on”Yessir” politics whose idea of earning votes from the electorate is literally to buy them. Ideas are not encouraged – they have been replaced by the single idea known as “Selling Your Soul to the Lobbying Devil”. Discordant notes within the parties are silenced. The thinly discordant notes are sidelined once every leadership struggle. Other more loud notes of the disagreeing kind are emarginated and ostracised. Any influx of new ideas is nipped at the bud. Hence all that there is left is the hodge podge of “visionary projects” that translate into short-term vote fishing without any real identifiable project of where we want Malta to be in 2020 (other than in the hands of MLPN of course).

So what do we do? We need to break their grasp. The Utopic “Il-Lallu” statement for 2008 is the one we have ranted on for almost three years. We need to get new blood into the political stream. New ways of thinking. Hijack the parties from within. Get many new parties from without. This country of 400,000 souls does not need our present political system. It needs a parliament of individuals elected on the basis of their expertise and planning the future in a coherent manner and not on the basis of trigger reactions. Gozo (and maybe Malta) is full of intelligent beings who could project their country much higher up the European scale of standard of living.

It’s time to kick the idiots out. Hmm. I guess the last statement means that I should shut up.

I would like to wish A Very Prosperous New Year to You All with my favourite Irish saying: May the worst day in your future be as bad as the best day in your past.


7 responses to “Il-Lallu (After the Lull – reprise)

  1. David Friggieri

    Can you imagine the sheer boredom of Maltese politics without the jibes, accusations, personal digs and over the top messianic statements? We’d be left with ‘l-gholi tal-hajja’, ‘tax cuts’, ‘productivity’, a vague ‘futur ahjar’ resembling the tower blocks of Smart City and a smattering of imposed traditional values (which we all share in a spirit of brotherly love). The next few months will prove more than ever that our politics is at a standstill, that most of it is based on hot air and larger than life egos, that the PN folks are simply better (and shrewder) managers than Labour, that Labour in 2007 means absolutely nothing, that removing the demonisation of Sant kills off any excitement in the political game. That the people’s futures will be more and more connected to their own individual endeavours and plans rather than dependant on the whims of the political class. That Europe makes this possible. And that we should give politics a break unless we decide to kick off a Liberal Party which actually MEANS something. A Liberal Party is the only ideological alternative to the present status quo. In the meantime, Life is Elsewhere.

  2. It’s time to kick the idiots out. Hmm. I guess the last statement means that I should shut up. –

    I beg to differ again. Idiots like me and you can make a big difference in this intellectual society. Only robots are 100% intellectual (not faked bugs included). But not all intellectuals are robots. They are partially idiots.

    In our case we can split. I will be the intellectual part of the idiot and you the other part.

    If the l-ghageb tal-presepju used to talk (not Forrest Gump style) he would be the nostradamus of the globalisation……he would have become the Messiah and eventually the God. He left all this shit to poor jeshua: a personality that every year we remember his tragedy and pray to (must be for?) him and think about our sins and talk splendid about each other showing solidarity……..and afterwards?

    Lino, the Maltese will never disappoint you. You should know this very well. The desperate housewives crying for the faked resign of Sant and never bothered of your real resignation. The democracy is the majority bought by the media and publicity.

    “Dr Sant has come up against the totally unexpected, plus a sincere wish to see him recuperate and return to his political work.” – The Sant story brainwashed even Lino Spiteri………what political work is talking about? Sant is no politician. Writing that Sant is a politician, I must express solidarity with Gandhi, Mother Theresa and JFK and not with Sant.

    Sant again has a big opportunity to win the election by leaving the party and he is going to ruin it again. For the third consecutive time. That is why I am not a strong Atheist Jacques. I believe in God when he send messages to Sant, but I have doubts of his existance when Sant do not perceive these messages…for the 3rd time. It is the last time as said Centurjun when jeshua fell down.

    Pero’ I must admit. La Mintoff, La t-telfa minn ma’ EFA, La George Abela, La Lino Spiteri u l-ebda intellectual u l-anqas it-tumour ma waqqghu lil Sant. Maybe the intellectual democracy will do so……maybe……I still have my doubts.

    I love you Jacques.

  3. Jacques, I am not convinced that being “l-ghageb” suits you…. 🙂 and thanks for acknowledging the possibility that there might even be intelligent people in Malta, it gives us courage and hope.

    David, Europe is not the answer, if we wait for Europe to change our society we end up with book-loads of laws and regulations and no implementation or half hearted efforts (apart from the fact that not everything in the eu is good – the case of soft drinks in plastic bottles replacing glass bottles is a case in point. If it had been a Maltese political decision we would call the government stupid, but since the EU told us to do so, we just shut up)

    Sandro, the problem is not Alfred Sant (or Gonzi for that matter). Most of the times we seem to forget that some 30 odd people on each side in parliament are in very powerful positions and some of them have their IQ a few points higher than a cactus. Let’s try and forget about Sant and Gonzi for a few weeks and start scrutinizing our members of parliament. How many of them deserve to be there?

    Sahhiet and Happy 2008

  4. It needs a parliament of individuals elected on the basis of their expertise and planning the future in a coherent manner and not on the basis of trigger reactions.

    This goes beyond encouraging the electorate to vote for people with expertise or any other desirable quality (and which is what Lawrence Gonzi is doing, albeit with different outcomes in mind). Should I take you, Jacques, to be for technocracy rather than democracy?

  5. The post above is an invitation for you to clarify not to “put words into your mouth”.

  6. In reply to Spiteri’s article: yes, there is a lull but he misinterprets it completely. The Nationalists always take a break from campaigning at Christmastime and over at the Labour side of the divide people are either clueless or sharpening their daggers.

  7. David Friggieri

    Rupert – ma fhimtnix.

    I’m not saying that we should ‘wait for Europe to change our society’. I’m saying that people will increasingly make use of the freedoms which Europe offers without having to show any deference to their immediate political masters. The writer of this blog and the writer of this comment are two examples of this. Considering that things are at a rather depressing standtill at local political level, the choices opened up by Europe are truly providential (in particular for the young generation).

    The EU won’t and can’t change everything. For example, Xarabank will continue to flourish and dominate the Maltese public’s intellect as long as the Maltese public shows that it appreciates it.

    Finally, decisions taken at EU level are open to debate and criticism just like any other decision taken at national level. The one you mention went through the entire system (all the way up to j’accuse’s present employer) before it was resolved.

    Incidentally and to be fair to the Nats, I still give the PN plenty of brownie points for getting us into the EU in the first place. They still deserve them.

    But my hunch is that we need new ideas now. Having said that I’m not sure the majority of my co-nationals agree with me. And I respect that.

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