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MALTATODAY 31 July 2022

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 31 JULY 2022 COMMENT What are we skinning? President George Abela con- veniently booking a trip up to Birmingham, UK coinciden- tally (conveniently?) timed to coincide with the deadline for signing the IVF bill... which task was then promptly executed by his stand-in. Why are we skinning it? Be- cause it is a beautiful demon- stration of the diversity of the human experience. How do you mean? In this case, it's mainly about priorities. You have different priorities to me, and that's okay. It should be, anyway. That's right. So maybe someone other than myself – someone occupying a high-profile but largely ceremonial role within the country's political appara- tus, say – would find the hassle of taking a trip to Birmingham (of ALL places...) the more de- sirable course of action when compared to scribbling one's signature on a piece of paper. But that's just me. Though to be fair, I wouldn't mind skiving work to visit Birmingham. I don't know man, I would probably pick some- where else. Lovely as they are, historic industrial cities aren't exactly my jam. You're forgetting that they're hosting the Commonwealth Games at the moment. I didn't forget. I just didn't know. Maybe the President is just an unabashed sports fan with a penchant for the imperial- ly-created Commonwealth? His 'ethical principles' certainly seem to draw from the same nostalgic wellspring, yes. Shame said principles have led him to make a bit of a mockery of the Constitution as he goes bunburying up to Birmingham. What's that? One of the lead characters in Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest would get out of socially unde- sirable situations by claiming he needs to travel to see his terminally ill friend Bunbury… of course, a fictional creation. That's quite the masterstroke. Rock-solid ethics AND canny intelligence. What more do you want out of a president? Well, the desire to preside over his actual duties with transparency, clarity and efficiency would also be nice. Now you're just being selfish. Let a man live! Do say: "While the President has every right to express his moral and ethical dilemmas on any ongoing political and legal developments in the country, the very nature of his role is to perform duties entrenched in the Constitution, as guided by the country's democratic parliamentary process. So that while sticking to one's princi- ples may seem noble on the face of it, a President's position requires taking the long view." Don't say: "If there's no ethical consumption (or labour) under capitalism, that means we can all pretty much head up to 'Birmingham' and let our morally lax understudies pick up the slack. The only problem is that very few jobs come with 'understudies'..." Rationing and equity in education DR LARA SAID PGS 12 & 13 The Skinny Malta, shrunk down MICHAEL FALZON One gridlock too many PAGE 7 No 150 – Bunburying in Birmingham JOSANNE CASSAR Was this about insubordination… or a clash over liberal policies? PAGE 6 EDITORIAL George Vella's Constitutional holiday PAGE 2 SAVIOUR BALZAN What the sacking of Mario Mallia tells us about the Church PAGE 5 Is it fair to hold headteachers in schools and teachers in classrooms accountable for the attainment of pupils in time rather than for the gains in outcome achieved by pupils over time?

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