Top (Election) Gear*

Posted on October 8, 2007 by

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Jeremy Clarkson will forgive J’accuse for this not so psychological plagiarism and adaptation of the title of his popular motor show. Unfortunately, come Monday morning, we run dry of appropriate (& witty) titles for a round-up of this weekends political events in the Island of Notte Bianca. In any case, following the cue from the editorial in today’s Times of Malta we dive straight into the fact of the matter – the electoral run-up and what every leader, party and citizen is up to.

On the many gathering at the Eden Arena

The PN General Congratulatory Meeting is underway in St. Julian’s and the traditional speeches and general blowing of one’s own trumpets that one can expect from meetings of this sort is in full swing. The General Interest in such meeting is obviously compounded by the vicinity of the next electoral battle even though the exact date of the such battle is still to be announced. Following the Fosos vs Birzebbugia debacle few would still question whether an electoral campaign is still on.

So back to the arena. From the little window on the going-on that is afforded to us peerers on the net it would seem that the overall PN message is clad in green. The visual imagery of it all is intended (if we have seen right that is) to pass on the message “We are green too”, “We care”. Having rid itself of the golf course and the uncomfortable Ramla bay construction plan the new face of the Electoral PN is one of Green Green and more Green. No prizes for guessing which potential voters are being fished for here.

Then there is Joe Saliba’s “dokument”. From what we read on di-ve Joe proudly announced that 36 pages of promises have now resulted in a 350+ page document showing how each promise was fulfilled. That’s ten pages a promise – the treelovers will be hoping that PN will make less promises next time round – just for the sake of the waste of paper.

The problem with such lists is that there is no ultimate arbiter but a beguiled public. It’s like a self-imposed test where you skip the difficult parts and then convince yourself that you did really well because all the answers that you attempted were right. Duh! The absence of an independent think-tank (Moody style) that can produce it’s assessment of such promises is a glaring vacuum in the Maltese political reality. Remember Sant and his percentage points of success in Local Councils? Both parties love playing Judge and Jury in their own affairs and we wonder how effective this really is beyond the grass roots.

Finally space for the leader, still glowing from his sound beating of Doktor Sant (as they love to call him) in both the rally to rally and the Bondiplus programme. Gonzi has told us that PN plans to make Malta a centre of excellence by 2015. By that time, barring the two-year hiccup of MLP administration, PN will have been in government since 1987 – that’s a full 26 years. I’d say it’s a long time to take before setting such standards. Why now? Why not set it ten years ago?

The Mosquito on the Cake

And finally three cheers to Michael Mifsud. He is our idol and will remain so. He deserved all the lauds and cheers he could get upon landing at the MIA. He then proceeded to the Eden Arena where he became the latest frontman to the PN’s theme called “Malta: the success story”. Now Michael has every right to support the PN cause – it’s a trend anyway affecting many “personalities” since that lovely EU referendum camapaign. PN too would be right to trumpet the achievements of individuals who have profited from the structures put in place or encouraged by our government. Alas that is where the irony of the presentation of this latest personality hit home.

For Michael Mifsud is no Nobel Prize winner who benefited from a start up push by the Maltese educational system. Nor is he a businessman who is making it big abroad after a great start in the fertile land of investment. Michael did not get to Coventry by working in some Smart Ciry linked project nor does working on monumental projects like Mater Dei appear in his curriculum vitae. In short Michael got to Coventry because he played his guts out in Malta, in Germany and in Norway. The guy had talent and made it. Parading him as a Maltese success story is a half truth. The half truth is that he IS a success story and he happens to be Maltese. What the Nationalist Government has done to ensure that he does become one is another thing… and barring a football tournament on Independence day I doubt we will be finding the reason for Michael Mifsud’s success in Joe Saliba’s tome of fulfilled promises.

Jacques René Zammit (liberal/christian-democrat)

*article first appeared on J’accuse

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