Why wasn’t I told I could benefit from corruption?!! I’m complaining to my MP

The Skinny | No 131 – Hangin’ Out With the Good Thief

Get with the good thief! Joseph Debono Grech with former prime minister Joseph Muscat
Get with the good thief! Joseph Debono Grech with former prime minister Joseph Muscat

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 something funny about that in and of itself. Yes, the scion of the Abela clan who became 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 campaign, 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 something. Forget Danusan, Ronnie or any other attempts to rev Maltese stand-up comedy 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 several 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.”