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evarist_bartolo
Evarist Bartolo

Dangerous, ‘Terinu’ politics

This is a choice between a party which has strong proposals in place and someone who has no idea on how to govern

evarist_bartolo
Evarist Bartolo
10 May 2017, 9:18am
On the eve of an election in the 1930’s, a waiter by the name of Ettore Bono, nicknamed Terinu, was persuaded to sign a false affidavit swearing that he had seen the National Party’s greatest political opponent at the time, Gerald Strickland, in full Masonic regalia
On the eve of an election in the 1930’s, a waiter by the name of Ettore Bono, nicknamed Terinu, was persuaded to sign a false affidavit swearing that he had seen the National Party’s greatest political opponent at the time, Gerald Strickland, in full Masonic regalia
The opposition leader does not refer to Egrant anymore. On the contrary, he says it is not his story. The distancing started during the Xarabank debate with the Prime Minister. After two full days of non-stop coverage on the PN media trying to turn an allegation into fact, Simon Busuttil turned up on prime time television and did not have the gall to back the allegation put forward so aggressively by him and his collaborators without any shred of evidence.

The Prime Minister has been uncompromising in his words – the evidence does not exist because it is all a fabrication. I, for one, believe him and so do the majority of people out there. Spin is one thing, but Simon Busuttil has crossed the red line and is desperately trying to turn a fabricated allegation into fact. We live in the post-truth world but attacking the wife of the Prime Minister, someone who has worked so hard over the years for charitable causes, just to score political points is a disgrace to dignified politics and to decency.  

Simon Busuttil is shying from saying what the contest here really is. On June 4, do we want Simon Busuttil or Joseph Muscat as Prime Minister? Do we want someone who is co-leading his party, with no policies and who has been proven wrong on energy, electricity bills, the economy, employment and so many other things? Or do we want Joseph Muscat, who has delivered on all those sectors and who has shown that he is a man of his word?

These doubtful mudslinging attempts seem to be ingrained in the Nationalist Party, with a track record going back some 80 years. On the eve of an election in the 1930’s, a waiter by the name of Ettore Bono, nicknamed Terinu, was persuaded to sign a false affidavit swearing that he had seen the National Party’s greatest political opponent at the time, Gerald Strickland, in full Masonic regalia. In another election eve TV debate, the then leader of the PN, Eddie Fenech Adami accused Alfred Sant, Prime Minister at the time, of falsely having kept his son out of University. The Courts decided in Sant’s favour and Dr Fenech Adami was fined some €4,600 (Lm2,000). Before the last general election, the Nationalist Party embarked on a scaremongering campaign, continuously warning the Maltese people that Joseph Muscat would drive the Maltese economy ‘into a brick wall’. We all know the results; especially that Malta has recorded the first economic surplus in the last 25 years. Unfortunately, history is repeating itself and this time round, the Nationalist Party has started even earlier. 

Simon Busuttil is a dangerous person. In his efforts to unseat Joseph Muscat, he has harmed the image of our country and he has put our livelihood at risk. He unscrupulously made the Egrant story his own for the time that it suited him, spread the lie and then disowned it. He has attacked institutions which are widely respected. His love of the country is a tag-line, because he has shown he will stop at nothing, including giving a platform to absolute fabrications, in order to win power. Due process and the rule of law? That’s for other people to follow. He has threatened that after becoming Prime Minister, he will arrest people on a whim. No due process or anything, just on impulse. This is scary stuff. We’ve never had anything of the sort in this country.

This is a choice between a party which has strong proposals in place and someone who has no idea on how to govern. Between someone who has delivered and someone who can’t even lead his party on his own. The people do not believe Simon Busuttil because he can’t offer them an alternative. Mudslinging is his narrative. 

On June 3, it’s about showing that the truth still reigns supreme in the post-truth world.

Evarist Bartolo is minister for education and employment

DealToday
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