Monday, 11 March 2013

Times: Change, But Why, Precisely?
Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 22:07 by Andrew Borg Cardona

It’s fascinating how Joseph Muscat has managed to beguile some people, albeit because many of them have critical faculties that have been dulled by their infatuation with him or by their over-arching self-absorbtion. Promise these types a roof over an open-air performance space, a shoulder to whinge on and make a regally condescending gesture their way and they’re yours, rolling onto their backs and wagging their tails.

He tells us he’s liberal and progressive and then hints at push-back, even while getting friendly with the Muslim community. I know that your common-or-garden Labour supporter tends towards the conservative, the insular and the intolerant, but combining all this in one breath is pretty good going.

He tells us he’s gung-ho for Europe and almost everyone forgets that only a few short years ago he was campaigning tooth and nail to keep us out, foretelling all manner of evil to befall us if we don’t listen to His Master’s Voice and vote no. When he becomes President of the EU, as he is gasping to, is he going to go “what the heck?” if someone reminds him of it?

He tells us he’s going to work without fail in the interests of the LGBT community (and so should all of us) but then manages to make everyone forget that he’s not up for gay marriage. That’s quite apart from his re-writing of history and his perpetuation of the myth that Labour had decriminalised homosexuality, which is patently not the case, and his party's ghettoisation of gays.

He tells us he’s going to cut our electricity bills but fails to tell us how, relying instead on the glitzy magic of a shiny new power station, given to us free, gratis and for nothing, by some munificent philanthropist who will expect nothing in return and who will, to boot, keep prices down for the foreseeable future and a day. Prices will come down, because of the Interconnector and this is through no merits of Muscat, though rest assured he will claim it is so.

And in so doing will make us forget the pledge he made that he will resign if the power station is not on stream by the end of twenty four months.

He tells us he’s going to protect the environment and then strikes a deal with the hunters that fails to address issues such as country-side access, respect for the law and so much else besides. And don't forget the story about Dr Faustus and his pact with the property developers and contractors, and the other filthy friends of friends from yesteryear.

He tells us he’s struck a deal with the hunters and manages to keep well shaded the fact that there’s not a heck of a lot that can be done within the law, so much so that he’s already hinted that some hunters aren’t actually going to be too pleased with the whole thing.

He tells us he’s going to be righteous and ensure respect for the rule of law and all that but forgets that we’ve seen the way Labour does that, by flushing away blocks of cocaine or prevailing on coppers to look the other way. Let’s not be naïve, criminality exists and is hardly likely to go away, but sweeping it under carpet is not what we need.

He tells us he’s going to be positive and forego mud-slinging, forgetting that we’ve just had five years of snide sniping, loaded PQs and vomiting bile from his side of the political spectrum. Don’t take my word for it, just look at the comments and the Facebook statuses and the anonymous letters.

He tells us his is a party that is progressive and forward looking and yet he relies on bitter and self-interested exponents from the other side. Yes, I’m talking about Pullicino Orlando, until recently derided by Labour as a greedy land-grabber, about Mugliett, talked about in the same breath by Labour as one of the corrupt (and to save him the bother, I’m not suggesting he is or was, but they used to do that) that Debono fellow, about whom enough said and, the cherry on the cake, John Dalli, who was so often on Super One that you’d think he owned it.

And what about Muscat’s hagiographer, Cyrus Engerer, who was one of the first to start the scuttling down the rope. The simple truth is, if Muscat is OK being seen with these people, then I’m afraid he has himself to blame if cracks about birds and feathers keep being made.

He tells us that his party is progressive and forward looking and when you look at them, you see relics from the dim and distant past, lining up to take their place in his Cabinet, inspired no doubt by Muscat’s own loyalty to the memory of Mintoff. Fresh young faces they sure ain’t.

He tells us that there’s place for everyone in his Movement, but when it becomes expedient out goes his Deputy Leader.

He tells us he’s going to run the economy with a sure touch, taking us out of the disaster that has made us, according to his Economics Guru, Prof Edward Scicluna, worse than Spain. The mere fact that he didn’t ask that old fossil to take a hike for saying it is sufficient proof that whatever the evidence of his theses (he wrote two, apparently) he’s not exactly an economist nonpareil, a theory given further strength by his advocacy of the Cyprus Model, Heaven help us.

We're being asked to vote for change by someone who has already said he will adopt the PN Budget, who has plagiarised chunks of their policies and projects and who is incapable - on the evidence - of answering the very pertinent question "how are you going to do everything you've promised to do?"

We're being asked to vote for change simply on the back of a perfectly understandable, though grossly unfair and unjustified, feeling that it's time for change, propagated by a master of sound-bite and slogan who knows how to play to the masses and feed off their less attractive traits.

Nothing I've seen or heard convinces me that Muscat's game is worth the candle. To put it differently, there's not an iota of reasonableness in what we're being asked to do.

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