MaltaToday, 12 March 2008 | How to elect a JPO but how not a Michael Falzon


NEWS | Wednesday, 12 March 2008

How to elect a JPO but how not a Michael Falzon

Saviour Balzan

Saviour Balzan is still house-bound but he has decided to return to his traditional no holds barred style. OK, here he goes...

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi has bravely and unexpectedly stated that he will not choose Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando as a minister on his Cabinet. Good one, Wenz. Hats off!
The next step is to ask JPO to resign as MP and party member for having lied in public. Yes, he lied when he - the Green Politician of the Year according to Vince Attard of Dwejra boathouses fame – said he did not know what was being planned in Mistra. More interestingly, it appears that what happened at MEPA is not as straightforward as we had imagined.
But where Gonzi is playing both saint and devil is that he, together with Mr Joe Saliba, pushed JPO to confront the allegations made by Alfred Sant; and what’s more, selected him to pose as a journalist in a Broadcasting Authority debate. Now JPO is a dentist first, businessman second and a ‘just ruined my political career’ careerist third. The confrontation with Dr Sant before the programme that was cancelled was relayed over and over again on NET TV to boost JPO and paint him as St Jeffrey the First.
Then we had JPO crying, which was really touching. Again this was relayed on NET TV over and over again, and of course by all the friendly press who thought that this was a guy who really needed help. We even had DCG – the snob from Bidnija who would have Alfred Sant garrotted publicly – publish a letter by JPO’s daughter on her blog. Gee, I was vomiting.
Then, suddenly, something happened. It became apparent that JPO was lying, and someone pushed the emergency button.
In politics, candidates are like condoms: disposable. If you do not believe in this statement, please phone Louis Galea – any time, any day.
Before Alfred Sant could thrust a spoke in the wheels of JPO’s credibility, JPO had been elevated to martyr's status and guess what? He was elected in two districts.
Well, anyone who was endorsed by GonziPN has been elected and rocketed into parliament. The former ministers who were described as a “team” by GonziPN, but were relegated to peripheral mentions in Enid Blyton’s book of secrets, were literally left to drown: Louis Galea, Censu Galea, Francis Zammit Dimech, Edwin Vassallo, Tony Abela, Lapsus and many others. Even Austin Gatt, GonziPN’s most effective minister, lost some 500 votes.
The ones to make it with a very good showing were either those who have done nothing controversial – e.g., Dolores Cristina – or else those who are literally posing with Lawrence Gonzi: for example Tonio Fenech, the junior minister for good causes who apart from sounding like an angel and acting like a little devil, likes to be hugged by “independent” journalists such as the one and only Lou Bondì.
When JPO entered the counting hall, NET journalists were warned not to interview him. This was of course after the election not before. Again, remember the condom metaphor.
In the meantime, the Nationalist party has lost some of its big guns.

Louis Galea is no longer an MP. Which is a pity, though I must say I think he should have been routed out in 1992 after the AWTS scandal. But still, Louis Galea is a pivotal politician and simply incomparable to Franco Debono who got all his votes. In the 1970s when Gonzi was heading Azzjoni Kattolika or playing billiards at Mizzi House, Galea was the Nationalist party’s most important man. But then what’s wrong with throwing your good people out of the window? Nothing, I guess.
GonziPN, concocted by Saliba Joe, was meant to give the impression that the old guard was out and the new young and virginal troops were moving in.
So all those who got endorsed end up getting all the votes and all the ministers and parliamentary secretaries get dumped. To tell you the truth, it shows to what extent everyone is willing to be become a masochist, or better still – how much they are ready to love the party more than themselves.
I just hope that when the time comes for Gonzi to part, it will be as a painful as the rejection pill offered by the electorate to Louis Galea. Now everyone will tell you that without Austin Gatt and Louis Galea, the Gonzi Cabinet will be very much like a restaurant without the chef and sous-chef. But of course Gonzi will continue believing that really and truly, everything rotates around him.
This choice of elected candidates goes to show how poor, or literally how supine our electorate has turned out to be. The parties are overwhelmingly the voice of truth and everything they say is Gospel. So, because Anthony Zammit is Alfred Sant’s surgeon he gets voted in and in the process, Gavin Gulia is left aground. Zammit may be an excellent surgeon and very skilful with knives and scalpels, but I cannot and have never appreciated his political depth, or better still got to his social democratic roots.
Our electoral system stinks, no matter what Gonzi or his counterparts state; when we should be talking of having party lists with names of people which the party believes in, the system here is built on what the party subliminally wants the electorate to do.
So GonziPN does not have the balls to kick Jesmond Mugliett out as minister, even though the cruel and spiteful writer from Bidnija suggested Mugliett should have gone. So to avoid the trouble of accepting his resignation, GonziPN erases him from the campaign completely and in the process Mugliett loses VOTES.
It is as if all the achievements in the last four years were accomplished by two men, perhaps three, ONLY: Lawrence Gonzi, Joe Saliba and Richard Cachia Caruana, the latter still managing to get himself potted in the Cabinet even though he has never offered up his good self for candidature.

But if GonziPN was careful not to mention the ministers such as Austin Gatt, it was extra careful not to fire potshots at Michael Falzon on the Labour side before the election. And expect this to go on for the next weeks. Because GonziPN hope for the love of God that Michael Falzon is elected leader of the Labour Party.
This they know is their chance for the ultimate dream: for the Nationalist party to rule for the next hundred years. Yes my friends, because with Falzon at the helm of the Labour party, the Labour party is doomed to failure. The man does not have it, he is intellectually not at par with other potential candidates and more importantly, he is representative of OLD LABOUR… which exactly what the PN want.
But GonziPN is not interested in living side by side with a strong alternative and a political party, contrary to the basic understanding of what is a democracy. GonziPN wants Falzon because they want Gonzi to be PM again in 2013 and perhaps again in 2018.
And all of a sudden we see on the blogs in the internet - indeed by someone who owns a restaurant in Valletta and is well known for his Nationalist sympathies - that he cannot understand why MaltaToday hits out at Michael Falzon.
If the Labour party does elect Michael Falzon, I will resign my editorship, become a delegate of the Labour party and attend every meeting to convince the party that they have done exactly what the Nationalists - pardon me, the GonziPN - want.

Which takes me to the never ending debate on the election campaign.
I have refrained in the past from discussing Xarabank in this column, but I cannot help commenting NOW. I see that Joe will be announcing the Xarabank survey that he alleges he was stopped from broadcasting.
Which, by the way, probably shows that the PN was ahead of Labour. In other words, a survey which vindicates our MT surveys – which incidentally was never referred to by name on PBS/TVM.
Joe alleges that he was stopped. The Joe we all know would normally be up in arms if something like this had happened. He would have asked all his employees to dress up as suicide mujahadeen from the Peppi Jihad and blow themselves up in protest.
He would have then gone on a hunger strike, castrated himself publicly, embedded acacia thorns into his forehead like in the talkies, and eat meat instead of tofu as penitence.
But instead of all this, Joe alias Peppi simply accepts the decree, does not broadcast the survey and gets on with his project of portraying GonziPN as the next best thing to Volga caviar.
Incidentally I should tell you at this point that Peppi alias Joe, or the other way round, had nothing whatsoever to do with the PN’s intention of stopping all surveys before election day. No, this is only my paranoia or better still my imagination.
You see, at least the Nationalists can be credited or should be considered a notch ahead when it comes to Machiavellian politics.
What I mean to say is that surveys which showed the PN was ahead were detrimental to the PN because it gave the impression that pale blue people need not vote. And as John Cleese succinctly reminded us in Tonio Borg’s favourite film: “Every sperm is sacred...”
Which brings me to my last paragraph for today.

It is about time that all together Joe Saliba, Jason Micallef and his best buddy Chris Cardona, Richard Cachia Caruana and perhaps even Michael Falzon raise one big middle finger to the hunting lobby and ask them to take their electoral threats and stuff them up their cloaca.
And if anyone does not know what a cloaca is, I suggest they ask Lino Farrugia!

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MaltaToday News
12 March 2008

PN knew of Jeffrey’s contract on Mistra

Michael Falzon indicates his intention to stand for leader

Jason Micallef vies to defend his post

PN losses greatest in blue districts

After Josie, Anglu Xuereb says AN is ‘here to stay’

It boils down to one man

Gonzi’s solipsism punishes the PN’s veterans

The changing of the guard

Gonzi promises immediate electoral reforms

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