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category: Gazette,Politics,Review

2013: A Year in Gaffes

Friday, September 26, 2014 by

2013 was a transitional year for Malta, and it felt like it. When it began, few people had smartphones; now, everybody does. Some people weren’t connected via social networking; now, Maltese people use LinkedIn. A few people didn’t even own any part of Malta; now, Malta tagħna lkoll. However, while a lot of things evolved throughout the year (like Labour’s facial hair), a lot of things, fortunately, stayed the same. From silliness surrounding the elections to a consistent arrogance from the law courts to a bumbling attempt at international lobbying, you can be sure that 2013 was not the year that Maltese people forgot how to troll. This selection of social error is an assortment of what happens in Malta anytime some big political or social event occurs and the pressure starts to show. In no particular order, here are some of the unconventional highlights of 2013.

Żaren ”Nitla għat-2 distrett, Malta, Għawdex, u Kemmuna ukoll” Bonnici

zaren

In what was probably the meanest story of 2013, a man with a vision and hope of a different tomorrow (namely, one where he was the boss of everything) was egged on by a bunch of fun loving rascals to compete against Malta’s top politicians and get elected into government. After a wave of patronising smiles and sarcastic hoisting on the shoulders of the leader of the Tal-Ajkla party in the weeks before the general election, Żaren was last seen looking morbid and bewildered in the counting hall, staring at his name emblazoned over a pigeon hole filled with 47 votes.

Lou “Tistgħu tgħiduli x’qed jiġri hawnhekk?” Bondi

The campaign of both parties in the run up to the 2013 election were full of theatrics, over the top allegations and pictures of ice blocks. But the highlight was a video, that quickly went viral right before the big day itself, of police interviewing infamous blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia, ostensibly for not respecting the purported media silence the day before elections (FYI, noone did). While Bondi’s chivalrous attempts of upholding free speech and democracy may have seemed well intended at the time, all it really did was give us a Maltese meme to repeat for months out of context, and a rare look of Caruana Galizia in the flesh, who turned out to be nothing more than a scared, stuttering real life woman.

Simon “Għandek wiċċ ta’ nazzjonalista” Busuttil

Simon could not have possibly believed he could jump from MEP of the Year to Prime Minister of Malta in just a few months. But that didn’t stop him from trying. From classic revolutionary phrases like “Tibqgħux b’ħalqkom magħluq għand tal-grocer” and “ehe, għandek wiċċ ta’ nazzjonalista”, the Peter Pan of Politics will surely be going viral in the run up to any and all upcoming elections, in every country, every time.

Toni “Il-banana tiegħi ikbar minn tiegħek“ Abela

And just for a moment, all of Malta was united in lolz.

Carol “Parasite of society” Peralta

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A magistrate held a Christmas party in a courtroom. To be honest, this would barely have made the news, if it weren’t for the sheer arrogance with which the magistrate conducted himself. Having been caught in the act of smoking, drinking (and probably some other minor crap that magistrates drunk on power do) in a courtroom by a Times of Malta journalist, he did the only thing he could have done.

And that was threaten the journalist, have him arrested, call him ‘scum’ and a ‘parasite of society’, and then hold a press conference in one’s own villa the next day, where cameras were not allowed. He held the conference from his sofa, smoking and philosophizing about how he was a victim and how what the PN and PL say are insignificant.

Freemasons man, you can never win.

Jason “U warajh se nibda Malala” Micallef 

As ex-head of ONE and former general secretary of Labour, Jason Micallef is the perfect candidate for the new role as chairman of V.18. In reaction to the abysmal ratings Maltese people got in a Eurobarometer survey related to arts and culture, Micallef reminded us what the director of the biggest cultural event to hit Malta in years is all about – he is currently reading Sir Alex Ferguson’s biography, and the last play he saw, while he doesn’t remember what it was, was definitely in the oratory in Mosta.

Nationalist party HQ employees

Imagine waking up one day to find that out the party you supported for years and worked for has lost the latest general election. Imagine waking up the next day to find out that your party has no money left, and cannot pay your salary. Imagine waking up a few months later to find out that there was a mass exodus of your fellow employees to other jobs and countries, and that your boss is asking you to ‘forfeit’ your salary, to help the party.

When it rains, it pours, don’t it son?

Tony “A stench of corruption and abuse” Zarb

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General Workers’s Union secretary-general Tony Zarb decided to get turnt and proceeded with not one, not three, but seven libel suits (including then Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi) in the space of a month in the wake of a leaked conversation he had with an employer over lunch. I am sure he enjoyed the lunch though ; )

This year’s election saw a mass amount of court cases between political adversaries due to defamation, libel and slander, with people like Austin Gatt, Tonio Fenech, other PN players and some PL representatives getting hit too. However, no one had close to as many court cases going at once as Tony Zarb. He really could have his cake and eat it too ; )

Angelo “We don’t need no education” Micallef

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Seeing Angelo, local council member for Marsaxlokk, stringent anti-divorce campaigner and all around wet towel, protesting in the streets wearing a makeshift V for Vendetta mask was like that one time God forgave us for all our sins – it involved a lot of staring and pointing, even more pain and confusion, and one man being very, very silly. Angelo Micallef was, is, and will always be that man.

Seeing Angelo in the streets, upholding, as the Americans would say, his rights to free speech and protest is a great thing; it means he is an active participant in the democracy of our fair nation. However, between his suit, his tie, his mask, the signs and the people around him, I get the feeling that if he is on one side of the fence on this issue, then I should definitely be on the other, regardless of the facts.

Alex “even Kim il-Sung got one” Vella Gera

After being told that his writing was uncouth, disgusting, lacking in taste, disgraceful, a shame on Malta, and should be banned, Alex Vella Gera was then awarded a Ġieħ ir-Reppublika, because, well, because. Luckily, he had the foresight to not accept it, understanding the implications of taking an award from the same institution that so readily condemned him. I guess living abroad helps put things into perspective sometimes. As such, Vella Gera very deftly avoided being used by the establishment, and left them, and some of the people accepting the awards, looking all the sillier for doing so.

Silvio “The animals are treated as pets” Zammit

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After being embroiled in a massive EU wide scandal that ended up with John Dalli, then a European Health Commissioner, having to lose his job, and Malta ending up on Euronews every 15 minutes alongside the words ‘scandal’, ‘bribery’, and ‘Dalligate’, Silvio Zammit is now trying to petition the government into allowing animals in circus’ again. As if ruining Malta’s reputation on a European level wasn’t good enough, he now wants to further ruin Malta’s reputation with all animal rights activists – all to line his pockets, as Zammit is the circus promoter.

Arriva

50 million euros debt, countless lectures and worktime lost, and no more of this –

Please tell me this means bus drivers can start wearing nothing but undervests again?

Edward “Short of people of calibre” Scicluna

Our bespectacled, beleaguered Finance Minister had a grilling in Brussels over the controversial ‘cash for passport’ scheme. As soon as the questioning turns to him, all the years of experience being an MEP and having to deal with exactly this kind of questioning before went out the window. As he jumped from idea to idea, beginning new sentences along new lines of thought midway through other sentences, Scicluna managed to perform a perfect rendition of a man coming down from a heavy night out, in parliament, in defense of his government’s policies. Only the highest calibre of eloquence with our representatives.

edward

Mgr Bishop Charles “The destruction of families” Scicluna & the Curia

Just to remind everyone how contemporary and loving the Catholic Church is, Christmas homilies this year recalled how a marriage can only be between a man and woman, and that marriage is not a human right, but this isn’t discriminatory since a same sex couple should know they can never truly love each other, and that all this is an ‘anthropological’ truth. Judging by the way these priests act, it is really like they read some crazy idea from thousands of years back and still believe it, even when common sense and human compassion would beg to differ. Oh, wait.

Charles Scicluna

From division over the elections, division over Mintoff, division over the pushback scheme, and division over the citizenship scheme, 2013 was a year where Malta remained divided. In a few months there will be an Italy vs England football match, and Malta will be divided over that, and we will continue to be divided for years to come.

Taken out of context these blunders may seem farcical, but it is all brought home when you realise that these are the people that shape our policies and fine tune our moral and social compass. The people talking about phallic bananas and trading in influence and drowning in slander cases are the ones that effect the various aspects of you and your loved ones’ social well being. Politics is a dirty business, but sometimes you gotta wonder if we would be better off goading two chipmunks into racing each other for pieces of smoked nut to determine our popular political life rather than leaving it up to some of these folk.

Category Gazette,Politics,Review

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