Nationalist MP’s Tennyson verses mocked on Stagno Navarra’s Pjazza for James Bond reference

It’s the Maltese chicken-and-egg! Did Jason Azzopardi first read Ulysses or did he watch James Bond: Skyfall?

The name is Alfred. Lord Alfred Tennyson...
The name is Alfred. Lord Alfred Tennyson...

Admittedly it takes a good deal of self-assuredness to recite Tennyson to your average Nationalist diehard at Sunday’s sermon-at-the-kazin.

Well, Jason Azzopardi has done just that, edging yet one inch closer to becoming the Maltese Rees-Mogg, with his raised finger and Received Pronunciation earnestly reciting verses from Lord Tennyson’s Ulysses, in which the poet famously claimed described his own “need of going forward and braving the struggle of life” after his friend Hallam’s death.

You could argue in defence of the learned Azzopardi that quoting Queen Victoria’s Poet Laureate can be the tonic to inspire the party loyalists.

But in the unsophisticated world of Maltese politics, any highfalutin poetry that goes beyond the stadium chant is pretty much bunkum. How can anyone else, apart from the very unique and grandiloquent orator that Azzopardi is, get away with firing poetry at a crowd whose last attempt at blank verse was a Hail Mary and Our Father at confession an hour earlier?

Karl Stagno Navarra, presenter of Labour’s propaganda-lite afternoon show Pjazza, thinks otherwise. Keen on exploiting the bitter divide inside the PN, Stagno Navarra lampooned Azzopardi’s unctuous praise of Adrian Delia for having “persevered” in a court case to release the Egrant report, given that there is no love lost between the two MPs.

“He wanted to show us how intelligent he is,” Stagno Navarra then said, cueing Azzopardi’s speech in which the MP discloses that he is about to read lines from “an English poet”.

As the Azzopardi clip is shown, with Stagno Navarra doing his customary side-by-side jibes, a crawler is running with the words ‘Jason Azzopardi dreams up Tennyson’s poetry’ (Jason Azzopardi johlom bil-poeziji ta’ Tennyson).

“Is he that brilliant to remember these lines?” Stagno Navarra then says, as he plays the Bond movie clip in Skyfall, where at one point M quotes Tennyson. You can watch the clip on Youtube here.

“Jason… I do watch movies in the weekend, but I don’t expect you to serve them up to me on a silver tray… he really thinks he is a gift to politics. Jason Azzopardi: 000, soon in a cinema near you.”

So: Shall I compare thee to a prize windbag? Or shall we tear the MP for his bad verses? Politics in Malta can be so riveting.