I want an interactive, augmented-reality chart detailing how every single Maltese MP reacted to EuroPride on social media

No. 210 - Missing Metsola Pride

What are we skinning? The Labour Party CEO Randolph De Battista taking Roberta Metsola to task for neither attending nor posting about Malta's Europride events, in tandem with his partner and MEP Cyrus Engerer praising PN MPs who showed solidarity to the cause and event while also slamming Malta's partisan status quo.

Why are we skinning it? Because taken together, the two statements are a wonderful political hat-trick.

Let's unpack this first. Okay, sure. What are you stuck on.

So Metsola flat-out refused to attend Europride? As the current president of the European Parliament, Metsola has an understandably busy schedule at the best of times.

And at the worst of times? You'll have to ask her. Though from what we've been led to understand in her office's responses to De Battista's complaints in particular, it appears that she was busy with a G7 event in Kyoto and EU plenary sessions in Strasbourg and the UN General Assembly in New York pretty much all throughout September, so it may take a while for her to get back to you just now.

Here's hoping Brussels isn't besieged by the same murderous humidity we're all currently suffering from, in the country that used to be Metsola's main base of operations. One hopes so, for her sake at least.

Still, nothing's stopping her from posting about it. That's true, and this is arguably the only rational point we could latch onto from De Battista's complaints.

What is he inferring from Metsola's actions - or rather, inactions - in particular, though? Oh, he's plainly stated that this is all about her wanting to appeal to the conservative base of her native PN, so as to benefit her chances at the upcoming EU local elections in June.

How solid is that accusation? It has the baseline-logic of a plausible accusation, in many ways. But one still begs why such a strategic scrutiny of Metsola's social media use had to be applied.

Politics by social media has become the norm, though. Yes, and a politician with an otherwise slick and savvy campaigning style as Metsola can hardly claim ignorance of it.

Especially when the PN itself is softening its stance towards the LGBTIQ+ community. It's just about the only subject on which that party is willing to eat something that resembles humble pie.

And as you said, Cyrus Engerer himself openly praised Claudette Buttigieg and Graziella Attard Previ for being allies despite their - official or unofficial - historic party line. Though Engerer's emphatic and valuable slamming of partisanship is undermined somewhat by De Battista's zooming in on Metsola's behaviour with all of this.

How so? Well, the idea that Metsola still represents the PN in its 'gentrified' form, and is therefore worthy of nitpicky attacks, is a standard line employed by Labour hardliners.

So very much a partisan move. It would've been refreshing to see partisanship fade out of the political scenario during EuroPride. But alas.

Do say: "Roberta Metsola certainly shouldn't be spared valid critique when the occasion calls for it, but De Battista's missive feels a bit petty in the grand scheme of things."

Don't say: "I want an interactive, augmented-reality chart detailing how every single Maltese MP reacted to EuroPride on social media. THAT would be a distraction from pretty much everything else during this humid and hellish time."