Bitchin’ Time

It’s early days for Joseph. There’s no Technicolour Dreamcoat (there’s a tie though) but we are getting to hear many, many words. I’ve written time and again that judging the man from now is an exercise for spurious insinuations and the columnist equivalent of horoscopes and stargazers. He’s already been classified by someone as appealing to a very particular crowd of non-labourites. It’s the same tune of singles/unmarried/idealists etc … you’ve got it… the very same “objects of hate” that were lumped together last time round.

Of course according to the very same classifiers being realist might boil down to assessing the length of a candidate’s suit trousers and schoolboy attitude. Much could be written about many politicians in our parliament and their sense of style. Thank god that Politics and Sex and the City do not fall under the same heading. What we have seen till now is an irritatingly ambitious smart alec who has slipped not so comfortably into leadership shoes. Whether you can judge the man on that is questionable. Opinions on taste will vary – I do not find much that is appealing insofar as aesthetics and style are concerned and I think we are a very very long way from seeing eye to eye on the matter.

It seems that Joseph Muscat is not exactly what women (non-labourite of course) want and quite frankly I wouldn’t give a Sarah Jessica Parker’s ass. Insofar as who or what I will vote for in 2013… I have absolutely no idea. There is no handkerchief stashed in my drawer waiting for a carcade and I have no vested interest in this or the other party getting seats in parliament let alone in its governing the country.

What I am concerned with is the way we do politics in Malta. I have written that both parties are far from running at otimum performance. What I am interested in right now is whether Joseph’s biblical (ouch) words translate into any form of change in the Labour mentality. Because a change in Labour mentality will shift the standard that little bit higher. It might get the nationalist party to try a change of its own. It might even get our politics to a different level. That the nationalist apologists are busy harrying down Joseph even before he has had time to roll up his sleeves and work is interesting and amusing. That they will try to bully people into thinking that they are objects of hate if they toy with the idea of giving him a chance is sad.

Joseph has a long long road ahead. Image concerns are not top of the bill of priorities. His speeches to the Labour crowd will best be forgotten – hopefully by improved, less corny deliveries. When it comes down to substance J’accuse will be here too to lend a hand to constructive critics. In the meantime it is good to see that there is another political factor that gets nationalist tits in a twist to the extent that they have begun to compile the Character Assassination and Voter Bullying dossiers long before the next electoral test. Keep them on tenterhooks I say,all the rest is a load of bull… and Sex and the City.

Sex and the City: On Priorities

“Charlotte: Imagine, being blind and not being able to see a beautiful day like today. Can you think of anything worse?
Anthony: Stonewashed jeans and a matching jacket.”


56 responses to “Bitchin’ Time

  1. Dear Jacques,

    I’d like to remind you that at 8:00 pm this Friday the 13th of June 2008 at San Remo’s the meal organized for bloggers, their families and friends shall be held.

    Details about the menu, location and a lot of other details can be found on my web-site: .

    Please check your booking and your order. If you want to change your order, please contact me.

    Feel free to bring any family or friends but please let me know about it beforehand. You can call me on 79460527 or send me an e-mail at

    Thank you for booking. I am sure that we will have a great time and am looking forward to seeing you there.

    Kind regards,

    Sandro Vella

  2. Thank you for being a balanced voice of reason. Well said. And just as entertaining 🙂

  3. Jacques, at which point exactly did Joseph Muscat become so brand-new that we should ‘give him a chance’. For heaven’s sake, man – Joseph Muscat has been in the public eye since the early 1990s, one of the most prominent people in the Labour Party thanks to his relentless presence on Super One, in the Labour-leaning newspapers, and on Oh, and as a Labour MEP for the last four years. There’s a public track record of at least 13 years on which to judge him. The man is a shallow and self-serving opportunist, plain and simple, and if you think that becoming party leader is going to change this, ask yourself how many people you know who had their personality and character miraculously and spontaneusly transformed in their mid-30s. That’s right, it’s probably none.

  4. Gwakkin,

    While I’d desperately like to agree with you on this one and second Caphenni’s comment, I can’t actually agree that “judging the man from now is an exercise for spurious insinuations and the columnist equivalent of horoscopes and stargazers”. Joseph Muscat is where he is today because he climbed up the greasy pole in a greasy manner using greasy means. The bloke has a history and we shouldn’t ignore that history just because he’s started writing a new chapter. Besides, he appears to be backed by the same guys who were there before and made such a hash of things.

    Furthermore, the guy has publicly said that he wants to bring about a style change in the way his party does politics. His style is therefore very much up for dissection.

    To put it bluntly there is something fake about Mr. New and I really don’t like it. At all. All this talk of love and brotherhood after the shafting of MF and GA is a tad too repellant.

  5. fabrizioellul

    ‘He’s already been classified by someone as appealing to a very particular crowd of non-labourites. It’s the same tune of singles/unmarried/idealists etc …’

    Depends on how you see it i guess. Most Europeans are very comfortable being single and unmarried and if you are young you are meant to be ‘idealistic’, why not?

    It is not the aspiration of many to get married at a young age. The chances are that you will end up a middle-aged person with a lot of ‘what if’ on your mind.

  6. fabrizioellul


    ‘Joseph Muscat is where he is today because he climbed up the greasy pole in a greasy manner using greasy means. ‘

    Do not blame the man; blame the system. If we have corporate like structured parties then you need to be a little bit greasy. Gonzi was too, he still is.

  7. Fabrizio, in the world of politics a bit of leeway for opportunism and ‘greasiness’ is par for the course. It would be naive to think otherwise.

    But like most things in life, it’s a question of extent. And that depends on individual choice, yes. If we don’t keep these things in check at all, it’s a slippery path to a cynical society. Just imagine if everyone behaved like certain politicians – warning us that pears are toxic today, only to become smiling pear merchants tomorrow (just because apples have gone out of fashion).

    Personally, I’d by my pears elsewhere.

  8. When you’re in your early thirties and thinking of the things you would have liked to be by then, and seeing a 34 year-old being elected leader of a socialist party (and, thus, having a good chance of being, in five years, prime minister of a country; addressing the UN assembly in NY; meeting world leaders etc), I think some grudges are to be expected.

  9. fabrizioellul


    Agreed. Yet, it seems the people who are always checked and ridiculed are those who oppose the ruling party. For some this suits just as fine; for others a little bit less.

  10. Valdezara – can you imagine being in your early thirties and having Daphne Caruana Galizia on your back every single day from now till eternity? It’s a hefty price to pay. Unless you’re actually flattered by the attention, which may well be the case with JM. Lesser mortals have been known to crack under that sort of relentless media scrutiny – just look at Britney.

  11. dispassionate

    So JM has an image problem. Granted. His studied moderate approach and careful words are however hitting all the right notes. He also has an anti-EU past that he cannot eradicate. He has however adequately compensated for this with his track record at the EP – a track record which even Simon Busuttil today has grudgingly acknowleged as having much more strenghts than weaknesses. Speaking of Simon Busttil, kindly contrast his measured reactions to the JM phenomenon with DCG’s hysterics. Simon clearly recognises that JM’s approach can make subtantial inroads in the moderate pale blue sector , and he realises that the only intelligent reaction to this development is to welcome it as an encouragement for PN to also improve their act. Kudos to Simon for this mature apprach. This is precisely what the Maltese need – a race to the top in the intellectual arena betwen two parties intent on impressing us with positive achievements rather than a mud-slinging slide to the bottom. Let us hope that the moderate approach prevails over DCG/ABC’s petty and insulting soundbites. JM’s ascendancy appears to present a brief window of opportunity for a new way of doing politics in Malta – a mature issue-oriented style which challenges PN to pull up their socks for the next five years and live up to their promises. ..and perhaps in five years time there would be real choice in front of the electorate. For some reason, this is precisely what scares columnists like DCG so much.

  12. fabrizioellul

    ‘…Lesser mortals have been known to crack under that sort of relentless media scrutiny’.

    I think you meant ‘e-stalking’.

  13. Hitler was released from prison and reformed the Nazi party when he was in his mid-thirties. Though I don’t suppose that sort of observation is likely to temper Daphne’s increasingly shrill disposition.
    Perhaps in her bottomless piety, she would be more impressed by the fact that Emperor Constantine was into his forties by the time he announced he had converted to Christianity.
    Of course, this is pure flim-flam for as devout a PN supporter as Daphne. As any Nationalist knows, the only way to tell if a Labour politician is not brimming with evil is to saw them in half across the waistline.

  14. Whoa, Vlad! Where have you been? Reading the Times is never the same with your blog gone.

  15. I second Fausto here. Vlad, you are sorely missed.

  16. Malcolm Buttigieg

    It appears that Duffy Duck is on a personal mission of revenge to discredit a poodle following the publication of a book which includes Duffy Duck’s name and picture.

    Any idea who is Duffy Duck?

  17. Actually, the length of Václav Havel`s trousers has also been a talking point, though it has hardly hampered his political career. In Havel`s case though, his trousers are a few inches too short, rather than too long.

    So there could be something `trouser length as inversely proportional to political credibility` equation after all. Then again, I have seen Dom Mintoff wearing shorts many a time.

  18. Oh and Erika, if my blog makes you nauseous, there’s a simple solution: don’t log on and read it. I never watch your father’s party’s Super One for that reason, though I admit I did watch the YouTube clip of your fabulous new leader miming to the Labour anthem like an Alison White dancer. It must have made you proud.

  19. Cheap. Cheap indeed. Apart from this ludicrous argument that only nationalist married women with kids have a right to an opinion, this particular voter basher goes far off the mark. I’ll leave Erika to answer in detail but the time I knew her in the law course gave me a very different opinion of the person than the one you portray. How sad, sorry and base can some arguments get?

    Aren’t the 43 year olds of today able to accept that sons and daughters of personalities are capable of forming opinions of their own? I have a number of friends who have “suffered” from being labelled because of their dad’s or mum’s position. I witnessed them being careful from expressing their opinion because the media would pounce on it and attribute it to that of their father or mother. Media bullying is ridiculous. This crusade of – don’t even dare consider Joseph – will no doubt backfire on its own. What I cannot accept is this mudslinging match that reserves no modicum of respect for a person’s interlocutor.

    Far more life experience? Stop and think for a moment. Even a non-believer would be baffled by the absolute crassness of such a remark.

    Unbiased judgement? Give e a break.

    Red card this time Daphne. An absolute blooper.

    PS: Is it just me or are the best looking women to be found in the Labour fold? Hmm time to consult the Aesthetic Theorists of Political Consultation… there must be a hidden reason. Miriam Dallis and Erika Brincats of the world unite…

  20. Jacques, you are utterly ridiculous. My comment is ‘cheap’, but Erika’s is….what? Sophisticated?

    Would Erika have been a Labour supporter if she weren’t Leo’s daughter? I seriously doubt it. She’s much too intelligent. But when you’ve been brainwashed from birth, it’s a little hard to get away.

    And no, the best-looking women are not to be found in the Labour fold, which is why a Labour mass meeting always looks like a scene from the French Revolution. Labour fronts its hideous televisual excesses with handpicked pretty women, in the hope that it will make those excesses more palatable. Sadly for them, it has been proven time and time again that this doesn’t work.

    I mention my age and my marital status, Jacques, and the fact that I have raised – as opposing to am raising – a family not because I think it makes me superior (it doesn’t), but because it has obviously left me with a great deal of life experience that I would not otherwise have had. So I am less susceptible to the charms of people like Joseph Muscat……and Erika Brincat.

    Now I am off to my blog, where traffic is climbing to pre-election levels, indicating that my views strike a far deeper chord than yours (but then, I have more experience….) – unless, of course, they are all Erika Brincats, Marie Benoits and Claire Bonellos, visiting only for the perverse thrill of engendering nausea. Goodnight.

  21. Funny, I missed the bit where Erika mentioned a member of your family to spice up the argument.

    “Now I am off to my blog, where traffic is climbing to pre-election levels, indicating that my views strike a far deeper chord than yours (but then, I have more experience….)”

    Sure… no doubt about it. Xarabank has more viewers than Dissett. Grande Fratello more viewers than Porta a Porta and Super One Radio more listeners than Campus FM. It’s a reality I am more than happy to live with.

    Coming to the bloggers meeting?

  22. “Grande Fratello more viewers than Porta a Porta” = bad comparison my good friend.

    “Grande Fratello more viewers than Report (Rai Tre)” = what do you think?

  23. de gustibus non est disputandum

  24. Gakki, de gustibus non est disputandum tfisser li id-drajver tal-bus ma jhobbx jiggieled?

    Daphne, ikkalma ftit, ghall-elezzjoni ghad fadal 5 snin…..jew le?

  25. Erika, taghtix kaz. Toqghodx tahli z-zmien ma dik il-kwalita baxxa ta’ nies. Hemm hafna xi ssemmi kieku: kuntratti ta’ PR minghand il-gvern, laqghat ma’ RCC u Pisani ecc. ecc. ecc. u jekk irridu naqghu aktar fil-baxx (bhalma taghmel hi) hemm hafna aktar xi tghid… Imma ghalfejn? Taghtix kaz.

  26. RC – hemm hafna x’issemmi kieku… forsi hemm imma jekk taghzel li ma ssemmix biex tkun differenti (u moralment ahjar) ma nahsibx li qed tkun konsistenti billi taghti il-lista ta ezempji kull kif. Cheap ukoll?

  27. “RC – hemm hafna x’issemmi kieku… forsi hemm imma jekk taghzel li ma ssemmix biex tkun differenti (u moralment ahjar) ma nahsibx li qed tkun konsistenti billi taghti il-lista ta ezempji kull kif. Cheap ukoll?” = irnexxieli nifhem il-Latin imma din ma fhimtiex. Sorry l-injoranza.

  28. Erika!

    Howdee long lost friend and colleague? Damn! You actually made me envious of Guzeppi by saying that you find him handsome. And I’m NOT being ironic.

    Now he’s really got it all. Like those bloody footballers: money, fame, popularity and cute chicks who find him good looking. (Couldn’t resist a bit of irony after all!)



  29. Oh Erika, why bother?Anybody who does not agree with Daphne is brainwashed, grudge-bearing, spiteful, envious, childless, stupid, slobby, lacking in experience or all of the above. Why try to argue with someone who thinks gelled pube hair jokes are funny? You will be told that you are not mature enough to see how perceptive she is and then told off for not being able to appreciate peacock pics and jokes (A bit rich coming from someone who has written of herself “I am very easy on the eye”). It will never get you anywhere.

  30. Erika Brincat – Would you consider yourself “uppercrust” (your mother’s background – political and otherwise – being similar to Daphne’s) or do you veer more closely to the natural inborn “hdura” that is a common trait in diehard Labourites, as are chips on their shoulders? (In case you hadn’t noticed, that was a rhetorical question.)

  31. Double miaow!

    Erika Brincat – I should have emphasised “your MOTHER’S background”.

  32. Erika….you go girl!!

    and let small minds wallow in even smaller thoughts…

    India (and anywhere else actually) is starting to look pretty good right now.

  33. Dear (two) fans,

    I would come back for a one-off special, if only I knew the address to Daphne’s blog. She’s so maddeningly sanctimonious, I might even consider boycotting her if I only knew how to.
    To think that I actually used to think she was the one decent columnist around, though I didn’t always agree with her. Now, she’s the verbal equivalent of teenagers who leave burning paper bags with turds inside on people’s doorsteps.
    You didn’t ask for her to crop up, it’s annoying when it happens, and she’s leaves a wretched stink afterwards.

  34. Is this the sort of India you mean?

  35. Matthew – Have you ever seen Mintoff in a rubber bathing cap? Now THAT’S a sight not to be missed! (A funnier one would be Mintoff swimming with Alfred Sant – though the latter would not need to wear a condom on his head …)

  36. Josanne – What an apt name for a newspaper insert – “Gallarija”! You should be in there too, instead of in the main rag. The name brings to mind women well past their sell-by date peeping out “minn wara l-purtelli” to see what they can find out about the objects of their jealousy, purely to bitch about them to make themselves feel (though not look) better. Guffaw! No – TRIPLE GUFFAW!

  37. I am fascinated by the fact that the Erikas, Claires, Maries and Josannes, who lurk about in the far corners of my life, scrutinise every word I write – only for the thrill of feeling sick and then migrating to Jacques blog, where they feel more comfortable, to bitch among like minds. And Erika, your friends are mainly Nationalist and AD supporters for social reasons, not political ones. You don’t exactly have a great range of like minds (and like backgrounds) to choose from among tal-Labour – ask Marie, who must really have a wild time dining out with Robert Francalanza just to prove the point that she has loads in common with him because they both love Sant.

    And incidentally, Erika, I’ve worked out that it was you who gave your new boss Marie Benoit a blow-by-blow description of the interior of my home, complete with spiteful (and untrue) observations, which she then wrote about in her inane Gallarija column. I couldn’t imagine who it might have been, until I remembered – on reading your nasty comment here – that you had stopped by for tea one day with an article that I had commissioned from you for one of my magazines. Talk about allowing a viper through my door – more so a viper who first takes the cheque and then sticks the knife in. Never trust a najxa.

  38. Vlad, you have more fans than you think. I know scores of people who used to read your hilarious Times blogs with delight. We miss them – please come back with more.

    Daphne – please continue in this vein – you are as entertaining as Manwel Cuschieri and as predictable. And no – we don’t hate you – we’d miss your bi- weekly predictable columns about Alfred Sant’s/Joseph Muscat’s watch/shoes/underpants/pubes. But I suppose this is what comes after years of being an experienced political journalist with more maturity than the rest of us.

  39. Daphne – In your case especially, never trust one with a “Lejber bekkgrawnd”

    Oh, and Claire – Peroxided yours, lately?

  40. More maturity from Miaow. I guess you’ll have to log on to Daphne’s blog to have a constant update on Enemy Pubes (it’s the sort of subject which seems to interest you and Daphne to the point of obsession). Enjoy your edifying read by the best (self-professed) political analyst around

  41. Nies, is-7.30p.m.

    Hallikom mill-glied u ejjew il-Bloggers’ Night. Ejja Josanne u Claire u Erica ha toqoghdu tghiduli x’tip ta’ argenterija tuza Daphne ghal waqt il-hin tat-te`.

    Narakom fit-8.00p.m. nies, Sanremo Restaurant fil-Mosta. Il-mappa fuq .

    Take good care u fl-okkazjoni tal-Blogger’s Night almenu titrasformawx l-aqwa blog minn Malti f’vaz.

    Marija madonna.


  42. Claire – Who said I was talking about pubes? I don’t see any reference to them in my comment. God, blondes ARE dumb! (Even fake ones) ….

    Oh, and aren’t YOU the best political analyst around? ~After all, you managed to secure your party’s non-success, knowing that you’d get the “analytical report” pay afterwards. Maybe not that dumb, after all, peroxide and whatnot!

  43. Sandro Vella – Hemm post ghalija wkoll? U ejja, u ejja!

  44. Sandro, I would have loved to be there tonight but I have to be somewhere else, by prior engagement. And be sure that I won’t be describing the contents of the house to somebody who hates the owner. But then, I don’t vote Labour.

    That’s right, Claire – so sorry you didn’t make it to the hot-spot. Tough, but it takes brains and personality, not language badly copied from The Spectator. And it might have helped you not to have an obsession with a political party nobody cared about, except for the damage it stood to cause the country.

  45. And, Claire, I see you’re back in circulation after writing your report on what AD did wrong… having Claire write one column after another about coalitions that nobody wanted.

  46. Why are my worst enemies always women? That was a rhetorical question.

  47. That’s okay Daphne – the top-spot is all yours – it does take brains and personality to write endless variations of I-hate-X’s (insert current hate) pubes/looks/shorts/shirt/hair.
    Anyway – why so peeved off at a few nonentities who don’t agree with you? Isn’t the PN in power? And don’t you have Joseph Muscat to stick little voodoo pins into. If I were the top political analyst who has been proved right on every single topic and issue (down to the number of voters who had not voted before the votes were counted) I would be dancing a happy tango with a groupie like Miaow instead of whining about perceived enemies. Get this straight Daphne – you’re not an enemy – you’re just hilarious. Carry on carping – we love it.

  48. Daphne – It’s called jealousy.

    They’re probably not happy with themselves, or not happy with what they’ve got. And who can blame them? (Not about being jealous, I mean, mind you, because that’s another Labour trait I cannot stomach, like I detest the expression “nghir ghailh”, or “nghir ghaliha”. I prefer to say “Niehu gost ghalih/ghaliha”, but then, bitterness and bitchiness know no grounds in some people, do they?

  49. Claire – I’m not a groupie, but now I see that you’re trying to emulate Bouncy Benoit’s lingo too! Guffaw! Do you have a house full of “black servants”, just as she boasted about having when married to a Mauritian? Talk about racism!

    Why don’t you try dying your hair black, too? At least the love handles are already there …

  50. Erika’s disappeared – Maybe she thinks that Bouncy B’s actually TOLD Daphne who supplied her with certain bits of into. I’d love to see the catfight! Maiow!

  51. fabrizioellul

    Good call on the title Jacques

  52. Ghadni gej mill-Blogger’s night. Ghajjien hafna u mkisser. Wisq xoghol u l-organizazzjoni wkoll haditili ftit hin li jiena rajtu hafna.

    Pero’ kienet worth it. Grazzi Jacques li attendejt u grazzi lil kulhadd li attenda. Konna 22 ruh. Konna nkunu izjed kieku ma kellnix wiehed kellu jiddahhal l-isptar, kieku ma kinux l-ezamijiet u kieku l-grupp tal-Labour in Labour ma kellhomx x’jaghmlu u li kieku whud ma nqabdux xoghol u kieku li ohrajn ma kellhomx prior engagements u kieku ohrajn ma nhlewx jiggieldu hawnhekk.

    Hadna gost vera. Bis-sahha taghkom dejjem.

    Good night to all.


  53. Matthew Aquilina

    Take it easy Erika and give Daphne a break. She’s got her hands full at the moment with Joseph 😛

  54. DCG, I simply pity you!