MaltaToday: Sleepless in smart island
MT ELECTORAL WATCH | Sunday, 20 January 2008

Sleepless in smart island


Hans-Gert Pöttering, the president of the European People’s Party, subjected a host of European Commissioners and ministers to some severe somnolence during a speech, picked up by a Slovenian news agency which went on to give us some pure TV gold – precious close-ups of commissioners Danuta Hubner, Joaquin Almunia and Laszlo Kovacs nodding away; and of course, tourism minister Francis Zammit Dimech looking bleary-eyed, fighting hard to fend off the utter boredom of Pöttering’s speech and finally succumbing to a well deserved snooze.
The film is scored by Brahms’ Lullaby, as the cameras pan from one official to the other, twice on Zammit Dimech with his beady chameleon eyes shutting and opening in yet another of his trying political moments. Then again, if he hasn’t been getting any action lately, at least he got to sleep with the entire audience. Now that’s what I call a political animal. Ro-o-o-oar! Easy, tiger.

I’m trying to get round Pippo Psaila’s techie-futuristic political slogan: “Future-driven & Sports-centred”, which appears on his informative leaflet if any of you happened not to throw it out with the rest of the toxic waste.
The image is of robotic legs connected at the midriff, traipsing up and down a football field, kicking a metal ball with shiny lights, as a crowd of supporters dressed in silver sunlight-repelling suits and encapsulated in a transparent fibre-reinforced glass pod, cheer ecstatically at the Lawrence Gonzi national stadium, in a match between biodiesel-fuelled bionic nobodies Sliema Hitchhikers and the mercurial Floriana Galaxy.
The Age of Pippo has finally blossomed into his 21st century “knowledge-based, healthy society’, in which the ignorant and the fat, the crisps-guzzling and junk-food worshipping slobs, the enemies of progress who watch Deal Or No Deal... All are hunted down by Pippo’s Imperial Stormtroopers and zapped with their blaster rifles into yet more biodiesel.
Ok, so this is just my typical crud. Pippo has done a good job of promoting himself. What really caught my attention among the self-glorifying annals of his smug achievements was his former headmaster’s school-leaving report. I won’t bore you with the details, but it seems that Pippo was top-notch leadership stuff, head boy and darling of the illustrious, independent private school, St Edwards. A Grade-A, no-shit, top achiever. If you get my drift, he was the kind of kid you would have pummelled day in, day out, just for being such a smart ass. Well done, Pippo. Grade A again? Here, have a nosebleed for being so damn clever.
So why, amid the vainglorious alter-egos of Pippo “the family man”, Pippo “the businessman”, “the environmentalist”, “the educationalist”, “the sportsman” and “the leader”, was there no mention of “Pippo the plagiarist” in his pamphlet? That’s right: Pippo’s three-part article “Sports and education: The Value of Winning”, published in The Malta Independent last December, was allegedly lifted word for word from the work of American academic Prof. Heather Reid which she published for a philosophy symposium 10 years ago.
When contacted by Labour newspaper KullHadd, she said she didn’t know who Pippo Psaila was. What? The man with the power to transform himself into six distinct supernatural qualities? Which planet are you living on? Krypton?? This guy’s the future. He’s way, way ahead of you, bitch.

Re: Smartness. Full marks for Noel Grima, the editor of The Malta Independent on Sunday, who is now officially a poster boy for the government, and which means he effectively has flushed his newspaper’s independence down the toilet.
Switching allegiance from God the Almighty to his Minister for IT and Investments, Austin Gatt, Noel Grima put his silvery mane, served up with hair pomade since disrobing himself of the cloth, to the service of the ‘Smart Island’ promotional campaign: a government campaign promoting the island’s transformation into a futuristic IT complex.
And that means that he is (a) either being paid by the government to look like one of those clueless dads in those 1980s ZX Spectrum adverts with their nephews, looking like clots as they aimlessly tussle with the joysticks; or (b) actually doing it voluntarily for the government, which is worse than getting paid for it.
Either way, I don’t know what’s worse.

Saviour Balzan will not be writing this week


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MaltaToday News
20 January 2008

Three wanted by Italy over human trafficking

BirdLife urges PM to withdraw plans for spring hunting

EU still investigating alleged misuse of public service funds at PBS

PBS ends up without news editor on election eve

Court told how VOM did fall under public procurement rules

‘Smart Island’ ads blocked after BA waves the red card

Oh myGov!

Absolutely Ratzinger

Leo Brincat in ‘political panic’ – Austin Gatt

Food and health prices twice those of Europe

AN promise tough law and order regime

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