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MALTATODY 20 March 2022

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 20 MARCH 2022 COMMENT What are we skinning? Labour Party grandee and all-round truth-teller Joe Debono Grech extolling the virtues of corruption on our (thoroughly undefiled, of course) sister island of Gozo. Why are we skinning it? Because it makes for a deliciously tragic-comic expose of the way things are, with nobody bothering to lift a finger to contradict it because really, how can they? But wasn't Robert Abela asked about it by some prissy, party-pooping Times of Malta journalist? Yes, he responded with the usual tone of robotic weariness that's become his MO… by reminding us that that party has 'updated itself' since and moved away from that kind of 'language'. True, but there's also some- thing funny about that in and of itself. Yes, the scion of the Abela clan who be- came Prime Minister never considered that Minister for Gozo Clint Camilleri could slip Joe Debono Grech on a campaign rally programme just to mess with him. It's one hell of a hazing ritual for the new kid on the block. Abela's been PM for two long years now, and Camilleri is his junior but… yeah. The Labour Party bends time to its will. That's the kind of perk that a super-majority pumped into being by 'good thieves' will get you. But the polls indicate that the majority won't be all that 'super' this time around. Well, let's see whether or not Joe's truth bombs (more like carpet bombs, really) change that around. Some of that vintage alpha energy could be just the tonic for this tepid cam- paign, true. Hey, there's only a week left to go… But they say a week is a long time in politics. Coupled with the temporally discombobulating nature of the pandemic, we're in for the kind of chronological gymnastics that would make the dimension-bending Doctor Strange blush. What would you like to see, in this week, then? Honestly, I'd like Debono Grech to be given a regular slot in each district as the campaign tapers towards a greasy conclusion. That would be quite some- thing. Forget Danusan, Ron- nie or any other attempts to rev Maltese stand-up come- dy into gear. This would be the true ignition point for that particular movement. It's certainly a better post-retirement gig than most former politicians go for. Yeah, nobody wants your shittly-designed coffee table memoirs. Give us the farewell tour instead! Do say: "While there may be comedy value in what Joe Debono Grech said – and a trenchant sense of 'honesty' that runs through it - it is also a depressing indictment of a political system we've all been resigned to for sev- eral generations now." Don't say: "Why did nobody tell me there was actually a system in place that would allow me to benefit from corruption?! I'm writing to my local MP to complain about this injustice." The grim legacy of 90's Russia and Putin's rise PAGE 16 The Skinny Malta, shrunk down MICHAEL FALZON Debono Grech's Freudian slip PAGE 7 No 131 – Hangin' Out With the Good Thief JOSANNE CASSAR That is what happens when you take voters for granted PAGE 6 EDITORIAL Wages are paid in money, not words PAGE 2 BERNARD GRECH The Malta we want PAGE 13 Russia's path to autocracy cannot be reduced to the population's chilling memories of the 90s

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