I had forgotten that in Paceville you wake up to the sounds of jackhammers and workers risking their life on precarious scaffoldings. Quite a contrast to the birds of Parc de Merl or the ultra-safe workers who refitted the toiture at Rue de Bragance a couple of weeks ago.
Been doing the rounds and generally stuffing the good old stomach. Family first of course – time to meet the bloggers later (remember Thursday at San Remo Restaurant, Mosta – yes the menu is described in Sandro fashion but I am told that it is one of the best restaurants serving up fenek and whatnot).
Anyways. Just read the candid article written by Joseph Muscat as he waited for the results of the second count. The guy is quite a character and some of his ideas on paper are much much more refreshing than what Sant’s droll articles (amounting to a general disinterest in anything remotely engaging for the reader) had to offer. We have had little time to see him in action. I opted to switch channel during his speech to the flag-waving enthusiasts at Hamrun – but then you know how I feel about this kind of occasion. To say the truth I tried to watch the repeat but there is something about watching “the leader” mime the words to the labour anthem that does not do much to prevent me from zapping. Cue in the ‘kerchief wavers and a couple of MP’s dancing around in the crowd and my general dislike for MLPN style meetings pushes the thumb down on the zapper to switch to the next available source of public entertainment.
When it comes to first actions I must say I like the words. Let’s see what fault will be found with the newly elect’s promise to discuss and support the PM’s bid to retain ST Microelectronics. Tough one that eh? It’s a good move if handled well – PN will have to learn to deal with a supportive partner – the magic of erasing negativity with one swipe of a leader’s hand. Full marks are available from J’accuse pending the actual outcome of the talks.
Muscat on the PN government’s handling on the impact of price rises is interesting too. The man formerly referred to as poodle has issued his first growl. True, we are aware of the rise in prices but please don’t forget that your pre-electoral promises (PN’s – in case my morning English is not helping) were not exactly on the same tune. Labour will be performing its duty as an opposition and reminding the government of these promises as we go along. This seems to imply that Labour is aware that promises notwithstanding decisions need to be taken to face the oncoming price hikes – which does not detract from Labour’s right to remind the electorate that electoral votes had been won by lulling the electorate into believing that such price rises would not be too much of a problem.
Words come too easy. Sometimes. Muscat’s choice of vocabulary still includes some unfortunate leftovers of the previous “era”. The word “deliverables” is an MLPN concoction of the Sant-Gonzi battles of the past. It cheapens national politics to a series of ribbon-cutting stunts and percentages of achievements by local councils with this or that party majority. A word of advice from J’accuse – do not go there. In today’s article Muscat stresses an awareness that people have had enough of hearing Labour complain about problems and would love to hear solutions – pronto. The megalomaniac writers at J’accuse are extremely pleased with these echoes of recent articles by the undersigned. Translate words into action and you will fast see detractors slip on the wayside. There is only so much you can get from criticising a goatee, ginger hair and ambition.
A parting shot. We did not have a “long winter of discontent” Joseph. Labour supporters might have had one – a discontent stemming from this mentality where an electoral loss is comparable to “id-duluri” and brings about words of “niket”. The intelligent voters have had a long winter of having no choice, of worrying that Sant’s patchwork of a party gets to government without a clue about how to govern, of starting their calculations of how to vote by saying “Definitely not Labour”, of an electoral system that disenfranchises them from the word go… in the meantime there has been a government by default that knows how to get many things right but then slips on the obvious and irritates with the arrogance caused by complacency. What we ache for is new politics and new options – and tangible proof that this is not another pie in the sky.
I’m off to buy a wi-fi system for the house and a new kettle – Maltese water is seriously damaging to these damn things – that’s the third kettle I go through in this flat (while good old faithful Luxembourg kettle still soldiers on after four years).
Quote/expression of the day: A watched pot never boils.
Post Scrotum: Speaking of pots and kettles, here is an interesting quote from David Agius’ article, also in today’s Times:
“It’s amazing that while the Nationalist Party is always thinking of ways to strengthen democracy, the MLP is constantly in a destructive mood. Their revenge urge easily takes over and they constantly think of ways to restrict democracy. They crave government control – big government and individual restrictions.”