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MALTATODAY 19 September 2021

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 19 SEPTEMBER 2021 COMMENT What are we skinning? The art of getting things done. Why are we skinning it? Because 'Getting Things Done' is the staple catchphrase of Ian Borg, Baby Super-Minister and controversial swimming pool owner beloved by the development lobby, those who comment with 'prosit ministru', and presumably pushy, overachieving mums everywhere. Yeah but, why now? Well, because the Central Link works are supposedly coming to a close, which means that Borg's brand of 'getting things done' is out there in brazen full view for all to see and - crucially - experience. What will they be experiencing, exactly? Traffic gridlocks across pretty much the entire catchment area of central Malta, reverberating from Rabat outwards. But isn't it normal for works to result in closures and diversions? It would be nice to get advance notice about these things, though, especially when they're on such a massive scale. How were these recent closures communicated? Barely. What do you mean, barely? Some poor sod at Transport Malta was probably up till 3am on Thursday trying to come up with a labyrinthine map explaining how the diversions will be panning out - as applicable from RIGHT NOW. Actually, as applicable from YESTERDAY. I hope the map is as informative as it can be, though. The map is clear enough, I suppose. But plunging into the confused traffic that awaits you while trying to keep track of it won't be intuitive, to say the least. Okay, I've seen the map now, and I think I'm getting what you're trying to say. It's a bit like trying to interpret the latest Christopher Nolan time-travel puzzle box thriller while cars murderously honk at you in whichever direction. But we all accept it at the altar of 'getting things done'. The getting things done mantra is the fuel of this great nation, yes. Sprinkle if with a few dashes of prosit ministru and fejn kont, and you'll have a national dish that supercedes both the pastizz and ftira in socio-cultural resonance. Does Ian Borg REALLY 'get things done', though? Given the controversial nature of all of his projects, it does appear that the phrase is deployed as merely a wishful-thinking chant. Explain. It is a handy catchphrase to make it look as though he's always busy and results-producing when in fact, the (literal) realities on the ground prove otherwise. How so? Plenty of them are controversial capital projects from the start - bloated and rushed through for the sake of dazzle and pomp, and heedless of their impact on the urban landscape and the environment. But they do 'get done' eventually, right? Yes, they appear to be getting done - the question is HOW… and in some cases, actually WHY. People seem to want them. People don't appear to be consulted at any turn, at least not properly. So Borg and his colleagues have a tendency to literally steamroll over anyone? Yes, in a sense - and despite his young age - Borg is a throwback to the kind of macho bully politician mode we're culturally accustomed to seeing in the likes of Lorry Sant. If you can't put faith in the young ones, what hope do we have? Borg stands as the ultimate rebuttal to 'okay boomer'. We need more progressive boomers to come out of the woodwork - no pun intended. Yes - egalitarian oldies, now is your time to shine! Do say: "Just because you say you're getting things done, doesn't make it so. Politics by magic words needs to go the way of the Trump presidency." Don't say: "Blocking every single road and preventing cars from passing through could be Borg's plan for curbing car use in Malta altogether. Maybe he hates the private car after all! This is his redemption arc!" Combatting tax crime ANDY ELLUL PAGE 12 The Skinny Malta, shrunk down JOSANNE CASSAR Pricing themselves out of the market PAGE 6 MICHAEL FALZON A weird PN proposal PAGE 7 No 105 – Getting Things Done SAVIOUR BALZAN Tax-free State PAGE 5 EDITORIAL Anything but an overhaul of the 2006 local plan PAGE 2 A cash-intensive culture – such as that prevalent in Malta – is a legacy issue which is a bit challenging to overcome as it requires a culture shift which cannot occur overnight

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