You may not detect any humour at all in what follows. You may even disagree that I ridicule serious issues almost to a level of satire, an art which, clearly, is well beyond my ken. But let’s us hope otherwise. Even if it is in the wake of the John Dalli episode.
Just two examples should suffice. Both inspired by the PM’s eight years in office, during which a trickle of humour couldn’t help tickling my fancy, however dry and insipid,
It was five years ago that some shining star in the Nationalist Party firmament started preaching that only the Gonzi name could possibly reverse an almost-certain defeat evident during the electoral campaign to a possible end-triumph, after the PN’s decade in power chiefly under Fenech Adami. To recall that when defeated by Sant in 1996, EFA had opined that Maltese electors normally liked to change governments after two legislatures, as history indicated. So Labour should have won in 2008.
When GonziPN was launched with fanfare, someone remarked at a social event that she could notice a parallel with Hitler’s 1934 edict that forced every German to switch swearing loyalty from the state to the Fuhrer personally. I did see the humour, but practically nobody else around the table did, being mostly Nationalists.
“Has there ever in European history been a prime minister who did likewise? Not even Winston Churchill! ” Churchill had sensed the British public’s mood after the end of World War II for a change in administration, but declined having his name used so as to influence it. But Gonzi did and succeeded where Churchill did not.
My impish humour from this episode was lately revamped when Gonzi was likened to Hitler by one of his own disenchanted backbenchers who refuses to back the Budget which, against all logic, the PM is determined to present next month, provided of course he manages to have it blessed by the E U Commission shorn of Malta’s representative. This was a daring comparison because, throughout seven decades, one could be sued in court for libel and defamation of character on a similar joke.
According to a recent E U Commission report, Malta’s SME’s (Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises) are faring better than their European counterparts in the current harsh economic crisis: they were put at par with those of Germany and Austria, even if based only on scanty information provided by GonziPN. Still, quite an achievement.
But where is the humour? Quoting verbatim from the report: “In 2011 Malta had almost 30,000 SME’s employing 88,423 or 76.3% of all the gainfully occupied”. From 100% we are, therefore, left with 23.7% for those gainfully occupied with non-SME’s, i.e. 27466, a figure just about covering private sector employment with firms which are bigger than SME’s, e.g. manufacturing units, banks, insurance companies, etc. In the EU’s reckoning there is no place among the ‘gainfully occupied’ for those employed in the public sector!
Do you blame it?