Shock in the city

The history of the Labour Party when it comes to ex-leaders taking on newly elected leaders is very well known, and Muscat knows it. No one is bigger than the party and its elected leader 

There is a nostalgic song by Franco Battiato entitled - Shock In The City.  I play it in my car whenever I get stuck in traffic. 

It is understandable that all forms of roadworks come with abundant inconvenience, but the state of chaos that reigns all over the country is not only incredible but simply shocking.  

There is simply no organisation, no coordination, no forward thinking and no appreciation of the traffic load in any particular area. More still, there is no respect for the motorist. 

It is all about the general disregard for the amount of travelling time it is taking all commuters to cover small distances that normally would not take more than 10 minutes.   

The fact that no one has the IQ to even consider that out there motorists are being treated like morons is disgusting. 

It is obvious that no one is thinking or sitting down to captain the different contracted projects. No one is looking at the timing of closure of certain junctions and roads or the impact of diversions and the possibility of creating new grid locks. And in most locations, there is no one to direct traffic. 

There is no doubt that artificial intelligence would help alleviate this, but by the time the whole process sees its fruition, we would be much much older and less wiser.   

What we desperately need is some old fashioned war room organisation with capable people who can plan and time projects… on maps, and simple uncomplicated calendars. If this is already happening then the people doing this are not doing a good job.  

The feeling out there is that the opposite is happening… driving from A to B is like a game on Playstation created purposely to face all the unexpected hurdles and barriers before reaching the final destination.   

But that is only part of the problem. The other aspect is the duration of projects and project management when it comes to upgrading roads in urban areas. 

Short of sounding parochial, the works on Triq Leli Falzon in Naxxar by a private contractor represent how not to carry out a project. The works have paralysed a community for over a year and a half.  

Yet there are even worse situations such as the works in Mosta, which deprived retail outlets from serving clients over a period of months. 

There is simply no respect for what is happening on the ground. 

So, would one expect some form of negative reaction to this state of affairs. Perhaps we think that people are switched off from politics, but really and truly the problem is that they will vent their feelings sooner or later. Most, I believe, will find the first opportunity and send a message to the political class, and simply not vote in the European Parliament and local council elections. 




Labour MEP Alex Agius Saliba’s decision to offer a platform to Joseph Muscat was definitely a choice full of risks. He probably believed that Muscat was an asset for his campaign.   

He could be right and he could be very wrong. 

Muscat unabashedly used the occasion to make political statements that surely did not help the present PL leadership.  It was Muscat at his worst - cocky and narcisstic.  When Gonzi was Prime Minister we used to count the number of times he said ‘I’ and not ‘we’.  Listening to Muscat, was akin to listening to a boastful and angry man crying out that he was still relevant.   

What surprises me is that Muscat, who everyone credits with being very intelligent, could not have possibly foreseen that he was causing more harm than good to the Labour Party. 

Many of his former close confidantes tell me, they cannot understand the man anymore. 

The history of the Labour Party when it comes to ex-leaders taking on newly elected leaders is very well known, and Muscat knows it. No one is bigger than the party and its elected leader.   

Time has proven this to be true. 

Muscat, who probably will not contest the European election because he has more to lose than to gain, is aware that all his tantrums will not change the outcome of the magisterial inquiry.  

In fact, I believe that his theatrical stunts will have the contrary effect. 

At one point, I was sure there was little or superficial evidence for a magistrate to conclude that the police would be asked to criminally prosecute Muscat. But now with all this public pressure, the magistrate will go to great pains to ensure that her findings appear to have not been influenced by any external pressure. 

On this, Muscat has made some very serious miscalculations. 

As is the case with Agius Saliba, who also failed to appreciate that while many hard core Labourites still adore Muscat, a silent but colossal pale red cohort do not. They are angry with him. 

Neither are they interested in hearing what he has to say, or waiting to see what advice he wants to offer to the Labour government. 

The problem is that things are not that simple. 

They could be worse for the Labour Party if the Nationalist Party were prepared and organised and led by a charismatic figure. 

In normal circumstances, they would be lashing out at the Labour Party and fanning the flames. The general feeling among many Nationalist militants is that the PN is led by an incompetent and lazy bunch. 

In the meantime we will simply have to wait and see.