Under the Girgenti Sun

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.


9 responses to “Under the Girgenti Sun

  1. With thanks for using my blog for testing OpenID (hope it worked!). Been following your blog for quite a while – keep up the good work!

    (Will definitely be asking about for your cousin at the Green Man next time I’m in Lewes!)

  2. You really believe the publication of that report was an exercise in transparency? Considering that it harmed the chances of a contender of the second spot and that another contender for the said spot encouraged delegates to read it I’d say it was more strategic.

    No Borg-Olivier amongst your contenders?

  3. So, according to Fausto, the publication of the MLP report was really a thinly disguised hit job on certain contender/s? That would mean that the report is incorrect, biased and wrong on a number of counts – but funnily enough nearly everybody (both PN and MLP pundits)agrees that it’s generally a correct analysis of what went wrong within Labour ranks. But the MLP can do nothing right in Fausto’s eyes – the part is damned if it publishes and damned if it doesn’t. Why not admit that the publication was an exercise in transparency and leave it at that. We won’t even ask about the Rapport tar-rebha from Joe Saliba and RCC. It would probably exclude the pre-electoral promises to illegal squatters at Armier, waiving of tax, long-awaited promotions, deluge of MEPA permits, but then againwhy bring these up?

  4. @Claire

    I did not say anything about the report being “incorrect, biased and wrong on a number of counts”, I said that the timing could have only damaged the only one contender who could possible be perceived as being in the thick of things: Michael Falzon. And that damage would have come even if the timing was not deliberate.

    As to the claim that Labour can do nothing right in my eyes … well, first these days you can hardly generalise anything about Labour following which I also remind you that Michael Falzon is Deputy Leader of the Party. Finally, that’s a bit rich isn’t it coming from someone who’s not usually singing Government’s praises, isn’t it?

  5. Claire Bonello

    Fausto, the publication of the report is either necessary and an exercise in transparency or not. If something is wrong within the MLP ranks then delegates should know about it prior to their electing a leader. If it is damaging to a particular contender (always assuming that it is correct) then tough, but that’s the way it goes. What other “non-strategic” way of going about it, is there?

    As for singing the government’s praises, there are already quite a few of you singing from the same out-dated hymn book. It would make much more refreshing reading if you had to remove your blinkers and see the party which you have elected for what it is – one which panders to illegal squatters, hopes to make up for its lack of anything approaching an alternative energy plan with 5 light bulbs, allows the hospital waiting list to become what it is (as described by John Dalli) and tries to divert attention by whining about the MLP.

  6. fabrizioellul

    Yep. the Gonzi boys, can’t wait till they rule the island. Keep it in the family.

  7. I know you are being sarcastic Fabrizio but just in case it was not clear enough in the post let me reiterate that I sincerely believe that David Gonzi has what it takes to be successful in politics independently of his DNA etc. Mine was not meant to be a sarcastic comment.

  8. fabrizioellul

    Yes I know.

    I’m just troubled by political parties breeding politicians.

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