That Governmental Schizophrenia

or god of two-faced cock-ups

or god of two-faced cock-ups

When a party has been in government for two long it runs the risk of developing a multiple personality or schizophrenia. None of the two conditions are ideal for the general well being of the party.

Whether it is suffering hallucinations of being “holier than the pope” or “more liberal than a brothelkeeper in Soho” the Nationalist party’s multiple facet often boils down to trying to please all of the people all of the time.  I do recall an old hand at the PN works in my time who listed Bob Marley as one of his firm favourites. Sadly the person in question passed away so I am not sure whether there is anyone left in Pietà who can sing: “You can fool some of the people some of the time but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time”.

Unless of course the “you” in question has sufficient masks to make us believe that  “you” and “you” are not the same person. Take Mater Dei for instance. It was inaugurated in all pomp and circumstance last year (that’s less than 12 months ago) by the Nationalist Party in Government (N-PiG for short). A few months down the line Social Policy Minister brought back from the dead in one of those N-PiG transformation moments is announcing “a revolution” at Mater Dei. The N-PiG will tackle the problem of long waiting lists for operations.

It takes a big big party to be able to be the problem and solution in one. It takes a huge huge party to not notice it. In a way it’s a bit like the fat fat man who cannot see his own private parts whenever he goes to take a leak – most times he might end up making a mess.

Then there is the Edward Demicoli (MEP hopeful) business. Sure the hunters are generally pains in the arse and sure, J’accuse cannot wait to see their sport banned because like bull-fighting and fox-hunting it is as anachronistic as someone riding a penny-farthing. Sure all of that and more. Yet they are not the only ones in this business to fall short of making sense to the reasonable voter.

The pre-EU referendum descriptions given by MIC in order to please the hunting community are documented. There might have been a legitimate expectation that the EU might give in to the whole Spring Hunting thingy but then again any mind worth its salt might have foreseen the difficulty of gettng away with it – you just had to read the law innit? Let’s just say that a more cautious explation would have been more appropriate.

So what happened? I do not blame Ed Demicoli who is quite a hard-working individual. An employee of MIC he was and there is no doubt at whose bidding he was working. The plan was one – please everybody now… talk later. A bit like putting your weight behind a tearful JPO … at least until the elections. It all boils down to one thing I’m afraid.. you cannot trust anything the Nationalists promise you before an election. Their credibility is fast whithering away with the JPOs, the false assessments on electoral weights and voting, and environmental promises in public while promising away pieces of seashore to the biggest lobby group….

We might have been out on a news-commenting slowdown… but we have noticed this and more. Remember… you can fool some of the people some of the time…. but j’accuse ain’t some of the people is he?


3 responses to “That Governmental Schizophrenia

  1. Claire Bonello

    Finally someone realises that all this PN anti-hunting talk is hypocritical – or at least a bit too late. When Simon Busuttil; was head of MIC – he said hunting in spring would continue (see article below from Kenneth Cassar’s blog). Edward Demicoli was his deputy for 10 years. Now they’re rushing out to grab the environmental plaudits and they expect to be considered as credible and consistent?

    This Blog Links The Web
    This Blog


    The Web

    Friday, May 25, 2007
    On Simon Busuttil’s defence of spring hunting, and more amusement from Alfred E. Zammit

    Simon Busuttil once again defends spring hunting

    As reported in, Nationalist MEP Simon Busuttil has declared on live radio that the Government will allow spring hunting next year. reports that “The euphoria of environmental organisations for the government’s decision to abruptly stop spring hunting was shattered by Simon Busuttil’s, PN member of European Parliament, statement when on radio he declared that government will be keeping its electoral promise and open the spring hunting season in 2008”.

    This will obviously not go without comment. First of all, there was no euphoria from environmental organisations on the abrupt stopping (only 10 days early) of this year’s spring hunting season. This is evidenced by an anti-spring hunting coalition of 15 organisations’ presentation of an anti-spring hunting declaration to parliament last Monday. The declaration’s formulation and submission to members of parliament was precisely due to the uncertainty on whether the government will allow spring hunting next year.

    During a radio programme on RTK, when asked by a journalist whether the government will be giving a guarantee that spring hunting will open in 2008, Simon Busuttil said: “I am not the environment minister…But Government has kept its promise and opened the spring hunting season for five years in a row and I have no doubt that for the sixth year in a row, government will keep its promise again”.

    When pressed by the Maltastar journalist to state in unequivocal terms whether his statement means that next year government will open the spring hunting season, Simon Busuttil said “obviously”. also states that “Environmentalists were quick to praise the government’s decision and EU spokespersons also conditionally applauded the halting of the hunting season. The Times had quoted a European Commission spokesperson saying that the Commission hopes spring hunting will no longer be allowed”.

    It must also be stressed that the environmentalists (and animal rights activists) “praise” was only for the decision to stop spring hunting immediately following the wholesale slaughter of several birds from “protected” species. These organisations, as last Monday’s declaration clearly attests, were not so naive as to believe that this was the end of spring hunting in Malta, and it is for this reason that the declaration demands that the government clearly states once and for all whether it intends to permanently abolish spring hunting in Malta, in line with EU regulations.

    It must also be noted that even the EU “praise” was limited to the government decision to prematurely end this year’s spring hunting season. In fact, itself reports that “In the same report, Euro MP Martin Libicki, chairman of the petitions committee and author of a report condemning spring hunting welcomed government’s decision but said: ‘It remains, however, essential that the Maltese authorities follow through this decision with a clear commitment that there will be no more spring hunting next year, not the year after, nor ever'”.

    But Simon Busuttil has now categorically claimed on live radio that “he was elected on the PN’s ballot with a clear promise to retain spring hunting”. The issue was raised by a journalist during RTK’s radio show, anchored by journalist Fiorella Pace, Ewropa ta’ Strasburg.

    Paul Cachia news editor of, Simon Cassar coordinator of PN’s and Kurt Farrugia editor of were invited to grill Dr Busuttil on a number of EU related issues.

    The journalist also read to Simon Busuttil a number of propaganda literature issued by the government and the independent office held by Dr Busuttil himself, the Malta-EU Information Centre (MIC). The Nationalist Party had said that it managed to obtain an historic deal to keep spring hunting in Malta. This statement has already been rubbished by the Environment Commission Stavros Dimas in the European Parliament.

    But Dr Busuttil said that the government has fulfilled its electoral pledge every year by opening the spring hunting season in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

    He also said he supported government’s stand to open the hunting season every year since being elected. At the same time Dr Busuttil agrees with the government’s decision to abruptly close the hunting season in 2007 after what he claimed to be a massacre of “protected” birds by hunters.

    It remains unclear whether the government will act according to Dr Busuttil’s words and allow the murder of birds in spring in the coming years, or if the government will see some sense, and abide by EU rules in the interests of the birds themselves and the Maltese population. It also still remains unclear whether, as I suspect, the government will avoid the political voter backlash by calling a general election prior to next year’s spring hunting season, and take advantage of the uncertainty on the spring hunting issue which is of the Nationalist government’s own making.

    It is to be hoped that all environmentalists and animal rights supporters will not be fooled by both major political parties in Malta (who both are in favour of spring hunting, despite their shameless play on words) and will support the only political party in Malta that is unequivocally opposed to spring hunting – Alternattiva Demokratika (the Green Party).

    Listen to Dr Busuttil on RTK (in Maltese).

  2. Next time a link will do no? Finally? What do you mean by finally?

  3. Claire Bonello

    @Jacques – sorry – not techno-ssavvy at all.

    “Finally” someone (you) has stated the obvious – that you can’t have it both ways. That the PN can’t please everybody at one point (hunters and bird-lovers, last year) and talk later – in a way that suits them.

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