Even (non)-revolutionaries wilt. Ok. It was an evening event – not much sun there – but Austin Sammut’s description of the media as “the fourth estate” merits a little post of its own. The unabashed apologist used the term to describe the media in his article “The Girgenti Get-Together” in the Times. We are treated with a homely homily about all that is good Chez Gonzi – including the nosh and the Morena parenthese – and Sammut also gives us a short postilla reminding us how dire the situation on the other side of the fence.
The man who sees the media as “the fourth estate” (we had no doubts about the value given to the media by the PN and its accolytes, and more importantly to the influence one must have within that estate) has these words of wisdom for whoever decided to publish the Labour report on defeat: “it was a gross mistake for the MLP executive committee to publish it”. Of course Austin S has every right to hold that kind of opinion – opinions, we know, are like balls. The problem is that this was the very report that should not have been kept within the party BECAUSE the dire situation of the party requires a complete change – one that hopefully turns the party inside out. Having the members of an executive ingrained on hold habits keep it for themselves would have been a political hara-kiri.
Do not blame Austin S for having this kind of “old-fashioned” idea. PN has just chosen new members for its executive committee. As expected no big hullaballoo or battle was to be had. The discussion at the General Council was drab – loads of rhetoric and no new infusion of ideas were discernible (at least from the outside). The PN is an in-house affair – hence the inability to conceive public scrutiny of certain processes and formation of ideas.
I am not one for name dropping but I have to mention Doctor Marthese Portelli. She is being touted as a possible replacement for Joe Saliba. It would seem that she joins David Agius and Pierre Portelli as the frontliners for this seat. My sources are directly to be found in the “fourth estate” and might be wrong. In any case I do hope that much has changed since Marthese ran for KSU on the SDM ticket in 1998 (yep, the same one that included me). I do not know what kind of testing ground KSU can count as but I can say that Ms Portelli’s contribution to the executive work (and there was loads of it) was peripheral to put it mildly (and for want of a better word). Now I know that as a Gozitan student she might have wanted to commute more often than others and that much water might have passed under the bridge since then but I sincerely hope that this is true.
Speaking of that particular KSU executive it is also interesting that the other person to persevere on political lines from that committee is Ian Castaldi Paris – one who resigned after one month (not elected on SDM ticket by the way) because he was not very apt at handling political issues and his role as Commissioner for Social Policy. The lady who took his place is now happily married and far from politics. Of the efficient members of that executive (and I am humbly excluding myself), only one is still active in party politics – and I am sure he has a long way to go notwithstanding the myriad differences of opinion we may have.
The rest? One is a successful London lawyer, one is a priest working hard with his community, one is a successful translator in Brussels, one (as I said) is a lawyer and mother of two, another is a hard working lawyer and prolific musician, and one – David Gonzi – is a very good lawyer and will surely not need any help from his dad to be successful or to become a good politician if he chooses to.
Fourth estate indeed.