Did Muscat just troll Malta by including Eddy Grant (geddit?) in his birthday set-list?

Labour Party radio One plays Joseph Muscat’s 10 songs of choice for his 45th birthday – leaving Eddy Grant’s ‘Gimme Hope Jo’anna’ for the last song


One for the haters...?
One for the haters...?

On Sunday, Malta’s prime minister Joseph Muscat once again displayed his rhetoric mastery by invoking Facebook’s 10-year challenge to describe the sea change under Labour from the Gonzi administration in 2009.

It was yet again, a deft touch by the 45-year-old Labour leader who does not shy away from embracing fads or choices that enhance his ‘everyman’ outlook: in a Q&A with Simon Busuttil, he chose 'McDonalds' over sushi. Of course.

Today, on his birthday, the Labour Party’s radio station One saluted Muscat by asking him for 10 of his favourite songs. It was, as expected, a mix of AOR hits and radio-friendly tunes, naturally including his favourite Marillion (Lavender), and two Maltese acts, The Tramps (Xemx) and middle-of-the-road rock-balladeer Labour darlings Winter Moods (Marigold).

The rest of the songs, with One Radio playing one of its own to cheer his favourite Italian side – the football chant Milan Solo Con Te – were: David Soul (Silver Lady), Gino Paoli (Quattro Amici), Gordon Lightfoot (If You Could Read My Mind), George Ezra (Budapest), Pink Floyd (Mother), and Jovanotti (Per Te).

But one artist, left right to the end, had an eerie reminder of the bête noire that haunted Muscat in 2017 – Eddy Grant, whose name is too close to ‘Egrant’ for comfort. What better artist to top off such a birthday set-list with a two-finger salute to the allegations that claimed he owned a secret Panama company, later found to be unproven and far from credible at law.

Undoubtedly Muscat really believes in the altruism of Grant’s anti-apartheid hit Gimme Hope Jo’anna (the One Radio presenter actually made it a point to reference the political lyrics of the song) – but some hint of mischief lurks in the choice of the British artist.

And here's deputy prime minister, and untiring aspirant for the top job himself, Chris Fearne, tweeting a photo of the Cabinet meeting on Muscat's big day.