Take this plane to Uganda

Take this plane to Uganda

The hijackers' arraignment was a circus, and it's not the cops who are to blame

This is not to be taken as any manner of negative criticism of the men and women on the ground who handled the "hijack" last week, or of the coppers who were charged with ensuring that the "hijackers" were safely arraigned in Court.

All these people did their job with the professionalism we've come to expect, from the MIA guys who had to keep the airport running and passengers and media informed right up to the AFM guys who had to make sure that things didn't go with a bang.

I had to make this point because there have been some stalwart defenders of the boys and girls in blue and brown who have gotten all prissy about how the rank and file have become the object of derision and how unfair this is.

WATCH: Hijackers taken to court under heavy escort

If anyone has been having some fun with the Keystone Kops antics that we were able to watch all over the news, the only people to blame are the bosses, political and operational, who chose to turn the "hijack" and the arraignment of the "hijackers" into something approaching a circus.

The immediate, and continuing, aftermath of the "hijack" (yes, the inverted commas are deliberate, imagine me making those irritating gestures with my fingers) had many eyebrows heading skywards.

With a vengeance.

To start with, the plane landed at - what was it? - 11.00am-ish, plenty of time for Premier Muscat to make sure someone brought him a jacket and tie to ensure that he looked Prime Ministerial when he took what he knows is his rightful place in front of the world's press.

Barack Obama can carry off the quasi-military windcheater macho look, but Premier Joe? I don't think so.

Moving along, why do I suspect that very early on it was pretty damn clear to everyone involved (at the top, I mean, for all the poor buggers on the ground knew, the thing was going to go up in flames at any time) that this was nothing more than an internal Libyan stunt that was going to be as peaceful as an outing to Gozo organised by the Friends of Silvio Parnis?

Which didn't stop them from hitching a ride on the bandwagon, though I don't really think that Premier Joe's minions organised the whole thing in order to make the dear man look all decisive and dashing.

After all, this time last year said minions weren't even able to put together a Year's end PR spot without making a dog's dinner about it, so can you imagine them organising a faux-hijack without being rumbled?

That said, I'd put nothing past this bunch of clowns and nor, it seems, do many of you out there, because the general consensus seems to be that Premier Joe's word can't be taken on anything and that since he's involved in this thing, it can't be kosher.

Which, if I were Premier Joe, would worry me a bit, because it means that people are starting to think I'm a congenital liar.

And then to top it off, we had that farce of an arraignment.

Anyone who knows anything about these things knows that if you want to get someone into Court safely and securely, you shut down Strait Steet from both ends and turn the prison van neatly into the basement of the Court, no bullet-proof vests or blaring sirens needed at all.

Instead we had a virtual carnival, looking like one of those "made for television" poor man's version of Die Hard II or something, presumably only necessary for Premier Joe's image as a man who does what a man's gotta do to be enhanced.

Just to end on a whimisical note, can you imagine the hijackers' and the cockpit crew's reaction when they were parked up next to a terminal building with "Uganda Welcomes You" on the facade? A remake of Dom Mintoff's favourite movie (Entebbe) was shot just where the place ended up. When you think about it, if this had been a real hijack, there might have been quite an explosive reaction.

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