Appreciators of that fine vein of British humour that is the Monty Python collection will surely be familiar with the persona of the Black Knight that makes a fleeting (and diminishing) appearance in the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail“. For the unfortunate few who are sadly unaware of the existence of such sublime sketches let me just say that the ridiculous Black Knight appears in a short sketch (see video below) in which he duels with other knights in order to fulfil his destiny ensuring that “None shall pass”. While battling the hero of this epic (Arthur) he ends up losing limb after limb but insists on continuing to fight (“’tis but a scratch). Hopping on one leg, armless he still manages to yell “I’m invincible” – a state of absolute comic denial as to the reality of his hopeless situation.
I was reminded of this sketch this weekend when I heard the PM insist that there was no problem of governability in one of his meetings with the people. Crisis? What crisis? The government has survived all assaults on its position (read: votes of confidence in parliament) and therefore after 4 and a half years it will not accept any talk of crisis. The government, you see, is invincible. Now a great philosopher had once mentioned something about not being able to fool all of the people all of the time and this quote has been doing the rounds in some Labour quarters for quite some time.
PM Gonzi need not bother with the weekly maquillage any longer. If anything, last nights summary termination of all things Franco within the PN should have (as if it was necessary) given the game away to any doubters. The government lost its position of being able to horsetrade away any possibility of surviving votes of confidence towards the end of the last parliamentary session. At that point, Dr Gonzi and his staff knew full well that the business of government was to be punched in on borrowed time. Come October (if we are to wait till then) there will not be much stretching and pulling left – and no amount of distractions such as half-baked civil union bills, sudden illuminations on the censorship issue that never was or even IVF roundabouts will be able to pull off any reprieve of governance.
The difference between the situation today and the situation, say, in May, is that while it is true that for a long time the main trouble with the system of government was that “provoked” by backbenchers, the government had found a way of compromising with the troublemakers : right up to the entente pas trop cordiale reached in the Cohabitation Pact with JPO. Such compromises allowed Gonzi’s government to try to promote a business as usual attitude against all odds. That possibility has now all but waned away.
The inclement weather of the past few days allowed for more of the gemgem and placing of blame at the government’s doorstep. We even had the Msida mayor calling for more funds from government to maintain two resrvoirs at the end of valley road and to clear the tappieri. We wonder why the country gets flooded every year around the same time with uncanny regularity that Arriva can only dream of when the real culprit is the national mentality of “I’m alright so f-you Jack” that leads to clogged arteries and escape routes for the water that will still come down from the sky no matter who is in government.
Here is your check list before the election becomes the here and now: 8th September festivities with accompanying press releases and exchanges of witticisms. 21st September celebrations with similar exchanges followed by 22nd September mass meeting by Labour on Il-Fosos. A short session of “my mass meeting was bigger than yours” chivalric beatings followed by the results of (a) Labour’s Congress about the Future and (b) PN’s budget projections/electoral document.
Then Bob’s your uncle. We’ve gone on record stating that “In this country we don’t solve problems, we nurture them”.
Either that… or we deny they exist.
I had only just posted this on J’accuse when I checked the latest news on the papers. Here is the Times reporting that “PN sources” seem to believe that Gonzi is still eyeing an early 2013 election (do note that it is not an official position – just “sources” – another way of putting out feelers?). Meanwhile MaltaToday tells us that Debono is toying with the idea of a motion of no confidence against health minister Joe Cassar. As we could put it so succinctly in the vernacular: aħdimha! (Work it out!).