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Editor's Blog: News from… somewhere

Cartoon by Seb Tanti Burlo'.

Cartoon by Seb Tanti Burlo'.

You’ve got to feel for l-orizzont. It must be terrible for them to have Labour in government. No more political investigations, no more scandals, no more wrongdoing… apart from a vindictive story here and there, aimed at people as far removed from the government as possible, Malta through their horizon has become some William Morris-styled socialist utopia.

But on Thursday they came up with something even Morris’s vivid vision of science fiction failed to conjure: seven UFOs over Bormla. Never mind poor Isla, or picturesque Birgu, or the heavily underrated Kalkara… no, these unidentified aerial objects limited themselves to the least attractive (arguably, of course, lest a nasty parcel arrive in the post) of the Three Cities.

So, we know these flying objects have questionable taste. But it must have taken something more than the prospect of uncultured aliens entering the city’s hallowed airspace to prompt l-orizzont to pose the very big question – ‘UFOs above Bormla?’ – in huge black letters against an interesting shade of yellow.

Some evidence, perhaps? Not a shrek. But why get bogged down with detail when you can have a readable story. And just to show their journalistic nous hadn’t all been beamed up, the newspaper added (in that yellow again): “In the absence of a clear answer we ask one simple question: what are these things”?

Well, the mind does indeed boggle. I don’t have God’s direct line either, so I can only speculate – like poor, old l-orizzont.

I’m aware I’m probably wading into a frontier where man has ventured before, but I have a theory of my own. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have anything to do with Morris’s fantastic book. Or Star Trek. In fact, the closest thing it comes to is trusty old David Attenborough, and thankfully he’s still very much on this planet: perhaps, just perhaps… they were birds?

I know, I know, I’m sticking my neck perilously far here especially as I can’t tell the difference between an eagle and a sparrow. And I must admit there were no reports of gunfire. But these objects certainly weren’t travelling at the speed of light because otherwise they would have made it to Smart City by the time the cameraman hit the shutter; though, on the other hand, maybe they liked Bormla so much that they decided to stick around.

The only thing I know for sure is that it’s tough being a journalist in the silly season. We’ve certainly had a few flying saucer stories in our time (not front page perhaps, and without the yellow background). But allow me to advance another outlandish theory before I wind up this drivel: after campaigning for 25 years to get the Nationalists out of government, l-orizzont must be secretly hoping it won’t be long before they’re back in – if for no other reason than not to have to contact God every time they’re looking to confirm a potentially good story. Heaven knows, it’s difficult enough trying to get someone to answer the phone at Castille.

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