mercredi, janvier 11, 2006
Maltatoday has finally posted last Sunday's edition. I do not know why I keep hoping for this paper to do it's bit. In a way the rag run by Grumpy Balzan was a ray of light for those who awaited the politics of difference and change. Unfortunately it has not lived up to our expectations. It turns out to be more of an English version of a Labourite rant and groan with a lunge at Where's Everybody thrown in every now and then. Now of course the expectations were mine and it could very well be that Hogan had this kind of paper in mind all along.
What is missing from Maltatoday? Real opinion articles. The ones with constructive assessment and ideas. In their place we are regaled with Malta's version of pink journalism. Having no David Beckham's to haunt we stick to politicians (again). Maltatoday specialises in Minister's aides, Minister's cousins, friends of friends, speculations and conspiracies. A Labour mind for sure! It is more like Malta's Private Eye than anything else. Obviously my rant about their ranting is only just that ... a question of taste. Anybody would be justified to tell me to stop reading it if I do not like it. And I would agree. But it is such a pity. So much potential - so much space and so much GIGO.
This week we are regaled with the headliner about Notary Mangion. The poor man is guilty of having been the notary in the transaction that saw Pender Place being sold off. The very transaction that his own party criticised. Now everybody who reads this blog would know that I am not exactly a Labourite but I still find this criticism excessive. Notary Mangion has to be differentiated from Labour MP Mangion. A notary is a public officer and in the case of a sale performs his duty as such. He is supra partes and, unlike a lawyer, does not take a side in the transaction. He is the officer of government who records the transaction - representing the general public in the process. Forgive me but I do not see how Charles Mangion performing his duty (if not obligation) as a Notary could conflict with his political opinion about the sale. It is not a subtlety ... it is clear. But Maltatoday plays on the issue taking advantage of general misconceptions instead of helping to clear them. (Balzan actually misguides readers by claiming that Mangion served as notary for the buyers in the sale)
And then there is the Bondi chip. That Hogan Balzan does not like my compatriot (yep, another Gozitan) is not an unknown fact. That he takes any opportunity to hound Lou is also obvious. Now he berates Lou for accepting to host the Eurovision after spending years criticising it. For heaven's sake! I do not think that there could be anyone better than Lou (or anyone with a sense of humour and the right perspective on the competition) to host the damn show. By Hogan's reasoning Terry Wogan should have stopped commenting ages ago. But then it is not about the Eurovision is it? Surely it is another rant about Where's Everybody and the money that keeps rolling in.
Then there are his wonderful asides in editorials... look at this one about Magistrate Peralta...
"And in 1992, a protest at Ta’ Cenc hotel blocked His Excellency Richard Cachia Caruana from entering Ta’ Cenc and this led Magistrate Peralta, then just revealed in the press to be a freemason and now serving as a judge in Kosovo, to kick me off together with many others to Kordin for 24 hours."
Someone please tell me what the fact that Peralta was a freemason or that he serves as a judge in Kosovo have to do with his decision to jail protesters in 1992? Non sequitur? Or simply chips chips and more chips? Still having doubts that these are chips on the Hogan Shoulder? Read this comment about Joanna Drake...
"This time with Dr Joanna Drake who extols her dedication to the European Union cause and her consistency on Europe, as if the European Union were the equivalent of God and all the rest Beelzebub.What she does not say is that really and truly her decision to try her luck first as a member of parliament in Brussels on a Nationalist ticket, and later as the head of the European Commission’s delegation to Malta was first catalysed by the salary, then the salary and the lastly the salary."
So effing what Saviour? Where does that bring us? To understand that someone's motivation for getting a job is the salary it entails? Again, I am the last person to defend Nationalist MEPs (even potential ones) but a line has to be drawn. This kind of statement is the kind that makes me wonder where all the happy Maltese people are. This is more like it... "ara x'paga ghandu hey"... "ara kemm qed jaqla flus dak"... "dazgur u jien inhallas it-taxxi"... "ara x'ipappiha"..... Happy indeed.
Allow me to paraphrase Hogan himself to conclude:
"Dear Saviour, all the arguments that come to your mind are uttered under the false premise that the people listening to what you have to say are cretins. Welcome to the New Year folks! And guess what? This is just the beginning. "