A few days ago I was on the phone with AT and he asked me whether or not I had heard about a former law school colleague of ours who was very outspoken with PM Gonzi on TV. Apparently she asked him"Kemm se ddum titnejjek bina?" (for how long will you be pulling our leg) when he tried to redesign the Qui-Si-Sana project in five minutes of prime time. Today that former colleague has an article on the Times. And I love it. Being a narcissist, one of the reasons I love it is that I could very well have written the same thing myself... and whenever you read something by someone of like mind it reads all the better.
Here are some lovely clips from Claire Bonello's article in the Times (yes, she also has a regular column on the Maltatoday):
Yet, Dr Gonzi blithely disregards the documents filed at Mepa, puts on that earnest "believe-me-because-I'm-the-Prime-Minister" look and tries to pull off the amazing trick of misinforming us while accusing us of being misinformed in the same breath.
During that post-election press conference where he understandably had to put on a brave face, he told Sliema residents they were misinformed about the Qui-Si-Sana project - that we had been led astray. The obvious implication is that we are brainless sheep trotting off trustingly whenever a political party which is not the PN waves propaganda carrots in front of our noses. Can't the Prime Minister see how badly that kind of attitude goes down with people who have actually seen the plans? Can he possibly be saying that the truth and the facts are the sole domain of the Nationalist Party?
The Prime Minister (and the ministers and party flunkeys who played a part in the misinformation game) should realise that the PN's terrible showing in the local council elections is totally its own fault. The Nationalists who stayed away from the polling booths, the ones who voted for Alternattiva Demokratika or the MLP, are not gormless, misinformed citizens. Most of them realise that the electricity surcharge has to be imposed because of circumstances beyond the government's control. The voters abandoned the PN in droves precisely because of the patronising and insulting attitude shown towards the electorate by the key figures of the party. The media attacks directed towards questioning residents did not help much either. The PN, which once prided itself on being the voice off the underdog, has turned into a rabid pit bull terrier which savages anyone who dares squeak in protest.
During a television programme, Dr (Austin) Sammut surmised that the low voter turnout was due to the fact that it was raining on election day or possibly because voters were so satisfied with the present state of affairs that they did not want to vote for a change. Viewers nearly died laughing at these suppositions.
We can assure him that Nationalist voters stayed away from the polling booth, or voted against the PN, because they do not want to be insulted by sarcastic exponents of the party in government. They don't want to be compared to violent thugs. They want to be listened to, not misinformed. And if the Prime Minister and Dr Sammut can't get their heads around that, then they had better commission another report about why the PN keeps on getting whipped in every election.