I have already remarked that the inequality is meshed into the fibre of the PN. It was born of privilege and goes down into history as being the Party which opposed education for the masses, voting rights for women, the decriminalisation of homosexuality, all social services. It goes down into history as being the Party which flaunts its democracy but served nine years in Government after, and while, its allies dished out emotionally and psychologically harrowing experiences to any opposition. It is today the Party has lost vote after vote in Parliament and which is governing while its own backbenchers are putting their dissent and lack of support in writing.
And yet, these are the people who adopt the “holier than thou” attitude when addressing both Labour and their own supporters. The spin about freezing the minimum wage was only one incident ... and the PN seem to think that the people do not learn and do not remember. Well, let’s remind them.
You have to be the incarnated epitome of hypocrisy to say that Joseph Muscat “implied” (because he didn’t “say”) that he was going to freeze the Minimum Wage, when the Minimum Wage has been FROZEN (except for COLA increases) for the whole of PN’s tenure these past 25 years. You really have to be brazen-faced to speak in such shocked tones, punctuated with ominous silences, about what Joseph Muscat’s words mean, when this is exactly what you are doing yourself, what your own Minister of Finance justified not two years ago, and what you today are not committed not to continue doing yourself.
It’s not the hottest of news I’m going to talk about: I was watching Simone Cini’s excellent new production and, to be honest, I liked the serious preparation which had obviously gone into this programme on the part of both Simone and Robert Musumeci. Of course, Robert’s questions to Professor Edward Scicluna were so predictable that the situation was pathetic: Scicluna practically had his supporting documents stacked in front of him in the order that the questions came, and he tore Robert Musumeci to shreds. But it was very irritating to see the latter repeat the same question when the answer had been given. This is meant to serve a purpose: the viewer will start to doubt if such a sincere-looking journalist, devoid of sarcasm or interruptions, had missed the answer … or if in fact it was Scicluna who had not answered. Why else would Robert repeat the question?
This was rather a long introduction to my point: Musumeci kept asking Scicluna about whether Labour will freeze wages, whether Labour will attack stipends … this is important for PN tacticians because, remember, they have been saying all along that Labour has no plans and now, with the Congress blowing this notion to the four winds, it seems they had decided to change tack. They are now asking Labour to reveal its sinister plans to reduce the Maltese population to near starvation. Dear PN: does the Labour have plans or doesn’t it? In contrast, their latest billboard is “Muscat ma jgħid xejn” (Playing on the two meanings of the expression: Muscat isn’t worth anything and Muscat has nothing to say). Does Labour have plans or doesn’t it?
But then again, why not use the same sauce for the Gonzi crowd? Why do journalists ask Labour how it is going to finance the housing scheme for the persons with disability, its proposal to strengthen stipends, its promise to reduce energy bills … but then did not harass the Prime Minister about financing the new Parliament? Why should Labour be asked to produce its ideas and its plans, but not the PN? What exactly do we know about a future (God forbid!) PN Government’s plans? No, sorry, that may not be exactly correct, we do know some things.
We know that GonziPN will not promise not to give himself another raise with or without the people’s knowledge. We know that GonziPN will not commit to raising the minimum wage (not adding the COLA). We know that GonziPN will not consider any “concession” to the rights of the gay community (I would have expected a serious journalist like xxx to protest at the public’s indecent reaction to his question).
If history is anything to go by as a prediction of the future, we can assume that upon re-election, the PN will raise tariffs, bills, and licences. With the newly elected majority, GonziPN will again bring forward the proposal for the Co-Cathedral (with pesky JPO and FD out of the way), as well as the legislation for the privatisation of car parks.
Can you imagine what would happen if a Labour MP said that Our Lady was not happy with Gonzi’s wish to privatise car parks? And yet, Tonio Fenech did just this, and the fact went by without a single winge from the pundits of the Sunday Press. Do you remember the PN campaign about Labour Ministers and their “villas” … and yet, whatever happened to the fact that this same Minister’s Private Secretary has been convicted of corrupt practices? HeLLLo!! Journalists, Press, Media, bright investigative people … HeLLLo!!! HeLLLo!!! HeLLLo!!! Is there anybody out there? (With apologies to Pink Floyd).
Why is a Minister of Finance allowed to quote imaginary figures and get caught doing so (see l-orizzont, 3rd October “Tonio l-inkoreġġibbli”)? Why have none of our heavyweight journalists questioned the repeated breach of ethical behaviour from the part of the PN bench? So it was wrong of Joe Grima to use certain language, but the obscene lie about Justine Caruana has been pasted over, as has Stephen Spiteri’s record of attendance and omission to declare his assets. And it’s “business as usual”.
Dear readers, the fullstop is nigh. Like a candidate writing his examination composition, warned not to exceed a certain limits of length, I must now stop. The argument is not over…