One wonders when Labour’s soul-searching on the Yorgen bromance will begin

No 99 – Ġaħan Laburist: Billboard Wars Edition

What are we skinning? The PNPL billboard war that’s erupted in the wake of the revealed WhatsApp chats between current Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis and former scion to the Tumas Fenech fortune Yorgen Fenech, currently undergoing trial proceedings after being identified as the alleged mastermind behind the murder of Daphne Caruna Galizia in 2017.

Why are we skinning it? Because it has resulted in a tit-for-tat billboard war which is equal parts amusing and depressing.

How did it all begin? Well, a quick recap is in order just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past week or so, which has obliterated your short-term memory.

That is precisely what happened. You’re forgiven, given our scorching heat levels.

Yep, thank you. Anyway, so the juiciest take-away from the chats was that Edward Zammit Lewis referred to a certain segment of Labour voters as ‘Ġaħan’ – country-bumpkin style simpletons.

They must have taken it pretty well. Well, some of them seem to be taking it in stride, which either confirms Zammit Lewis’s assertion or reveals an interesting streak of sadomasochistic fetishism within the Labour-leaning electorate.

Any self-respecting ex-voter would have gone into pitchfork mode asap, I would think. Yes, hence why the silent and supportive ones would make for a great exhibit as a curious strand of the national pathology.

But didn’t a fresh batch of transcripts reveal a similar streak in Zammit Lewis himself? Yes, you could say that: Zammit Lewis sending a string of concerned messages, seemingly worried about being ghosted by his boo.

Wait, weren’t we supposed to be talking about billboards? I know, but this is so much more fun, isn’t it?

Not really, I just feel kinda dirty. Well okay: the PL clapped back with a billboard depicting PN MP Jason Azzopardi leaving a Hilton Hotel while intoning ‘Grazzi Yorgen’ - a reference to apparent freebies siphoned off the now-toxic local businessman.

So now the PL are open about Yorgen being a persona non-grata? Yes, but one wonders where their own soul-searching on the Yorgen bromance will begin.

There doesn’t seem to be much of a call for it. The ‘Ġaħans’ aren’t putting the requisite pressure on the wound, it seems.

Do say: “Political parties have every right to use billboards to convey their message, but if they’re using precious public space over a petty tit-for-tat, we’re also within our rights to call them out on it.”

Don’t say: “Yorgen Fenech should continue to dictate the national conversation in perpetuity. Stuff hasn’t been this fun since Franco Debono’s backbencher meltdown.”