Saviour Balzan | Sunday, 02 August 2009
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The curious story of...

No it is not Benjamin Button. And it is summer, and the silly season.
Nonetheless, this is the bizarre story of how our Prime Minister is none other than a disappointing clone of Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici: believe it or not, a former prime minister too.
I have to say it is a shocking discovery. And I have to say that in many ways Gonzi is a slightly more acceptable clone. You have to give it to him, you know.
Yes, I know that what I am about to write will be contested and ridiculed, but really and truly it has always been a closely guarded secret. As covert as the fact that Astrid Vella (see letters pages) has finally discovered that I am in cahoots with that… please do not mention the woman… from… my God... that locality that starts with a B. The proof is there for all to see. We have working so closely together that I now even look like a horse and have a backside the size of a king-sized Shanghai Wok.
The great and important news is that Gonzi is a clone of KMB, who was anointed and created by Dom Mintoff - another much loved man who outlives all those he has tormented. Gonzi, as we all know, was handpicked by that great guy Eddie Fenech Adami, a truly lovable man remembered for the importance he gave to values, in a land of unbridled consumerism and promiscuity. His 17 odd years of governance convinced everybody to join the Benedictine order.
To kick off, Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici was a very much-loved man. No one believed that KMB was corrupt. Yet his decisions translated into a massive abuse of power. Direct orders, nepotism and appointments for the yes men... these were the order of the day under KMB. And Dr G knows all about this – he did very much the same before the last election.
And KMB was also very incompetent. He failed to take important decisions, and allowed his ministers to act independently of each other. He was, in very simple terms, not in control of the situation.
We are getting there. Had mobiles been around in 1986, KMB would have had a Blackberry to inform his ministers that they would not be reappointed by sending them an SMS. Just like Gonzi did from his own Blackberry.
There was, of course, the violence of the 1980s. But that was 1986, when there were no mobile phones or the internet, when policemen were not yet police officers (or handymen “handypersons”) and secretaries’ butts were pinched freely and birds gunned down galore during Spring, and so on… oh, and we had no seat-belts in the car, danced till 6am in a club, and 85% of us even heard mass on Sunday.
But I digress. The absolute confirmation that Gonzi is a KMB clone is the fact that instead of placing a horse in front of a cart, Dr G does the complete opposite. He plonks the silly cart before the horse. Just like the one and only KMB.
Our front-page story, which illustrates how the local plan for Valletta will be changed to accommodate the Piano plans, is a case in point. Now many people may not know it – and this is the only serious sentence in my column today – but Piano was brought over to Malta by Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici. It seems both KMB and Dr G have the same architectural quirkiness about them.
Once again you have to appreciate Dr G and KMB’s thinking process. In neuroscience this kind of approach is called ‘Idholmittieqa’ syndrome. It means if you cannot get in through the friggin’ door, get in through the bloody window.
So if Joe Citizen needs to extend his washroom on the roof, one must know that one can only have a 35 square-metre footprint on a roof. That is the rule, so please no discussions with MEPA... and no, not even Robert Musumeci can help you on this one.
But if you want to rip the soul of Valletta apart and turn the entrance of this grand city into one big monument for Piano, all you really need to do is phone the PM.
Which is why I am delighted to be in a position to reproduce the exclusive private telephone conversation between the two men... I mean to say, a man and a clone.

Conversation taped by the security service and leaked to MaltaToday:

Friday 31 July. 15:34hrs
MEPA chairman Austin Walker, a personal friend of the PM, is at his desk. He dials extension number #007.
“Hello, is that you Lor?”
At his desk and playing solitaire on his Blackberry, the Prime Minister hides behind a mountain of files.
“Hawn, hello, Austin? Ha, ha… Woz upppp!”
“Ejja Lor, I have something important to tell you.”
“U iva, loosen up Aust, we still have four years before the next election!”
“Lor, you know that Valletta has a local plan.”
“I mean you cannot just take the Piano plan and present it to MEPA”
“Lor, we will have to change the local plan for Valletta!”
“U Iva, Aust, I am MEPA, u naghmel li rrid.”
“Ha, ha, be careful Lor, just imagine that p***a Saviour Balzan hears you say that.”
“Don’t worry about him, I am sure the blogger will put him in his place!”
“I tell you Lor, sometimes I think she is a little bit too personal.”
“U le, let her be, without her we would be far worse off.”
At this point, there is a knock on the door.
“Zomm, Aust.”
Charmaine Gerada walks in, her cleavage more prominent then ever before. The PM tries not to stare at… you know… them.
“Sorry Prim, I didn’t hear you. I got you the list of the people from Mellieha who did not vote, prepared for you by Robert Cutajar.”
“Thanks Charm, just leave them there on those files, grazzi. And by the way can you tell Gordon Pisani to come in? I am putting you on speaker Aust.”
Gordon Pisani, a spitting image of Captain Scarlet of Thunderbirds, walks in. “Called me, Prim?”
“Yes, Gordon, we have a problem. Austin Walker is telling me we have to change the local plan to accommodate Piano. We need to think about the media.”
“No problem Prim, I will inform Frank Psaila, the blogger, and have a word with Ivan Camilleri and of course Natalino.”
“Thanks Gor, you are so good, and please do not forget to tell Edgar. He is getting really touchy every time you forget to inform him what is going on.”
“No problems, Prim.”
“Have a nice day Aust! Remember those days playing ‘pula’ at Mizzi house?”
“Mhux int? We should have stayed there and left all the politics to others. Ciao!”
The Prime Minister looks at his Blackberry, seeing he has received an SMS from Kate – I didnt like my pix in today’s Times, tell Edgar to tell Ray Bugeja to change it :(
He looks up at the ceiling in disbelief and bites his lips and nods his head – Ok:)

Il-Profs Joe Pirotta is not a hypocrite, but a ‘family first’ man

I was thrilled to read how L-Orrizont revealed that Joe Pirotta, the politically appointee on the PBS editorial board and a commentator on Campus FM failed to reveal his conflict of interest.
Profs Pirotta – a good personal friend of Fr Joe Borg (better known as Fr Beirut) –found it unnecessary to regale his listeners with the important fact that his brother-in-law is Joe Mizzi: the person who is currently in the media spotlight for his involvement in the controversial Enemalta tender, mainly by acting as a middleman for BWSC, which won a €200 million tender which has raised more questions than answers.
None of the Campus FM listeners would have known why Joe Pirotta was so virulent in his attacks on l-Orrizont for its coverage of the tender award. It is now clear that it was not the news story that irked Pirotta, but rather the fact that his brother-in-law was being queried over his contacts in the pre-tendering process.
Pirotta is perfectly entitled to stick up for his family and party, but it is shockingly hypocritical that Pirotta is acting in this way. More so when you remember that Pirotta has made it his mission in life to pontificate to others how the real news and comment should be relayed on the audiovisual media.
Pirotta was chairman of the Broadcasting Authority and it was he who transformed the BA into a political control machine and a dinosaur for the MLP and the PN. And he is now the Chairman of the PBS editorial board, the organ that controls what goes out and gets done at PBS.
To suggest that Pirotta should do what he does best – write books on Malta’s political history – would not be a very nice thing to say.
But having said this I must say that I have full confidence in Joe Pirotta, as I have in Natalino Fenech. Together the two gentlemen are doing a damn good job at keeping PBS out of reach of the control freaks at Castille.
Sorry! I nearly had spasms in my fingers and I feel that I’m choking! Bye, and have a nice Sunday!


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