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.