And the mystery is solved!


Malta Today – Raphael Vassallo.

This is just an extract from an article where he covered a wider variety of topics.

There are indeed indications that the mood of rebellion may now have spread from Debono to some of his colleagues within the parliamentary group. And if the rumour is anything to go by, these would include a certain Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando and Jesmond Mugliett, both of whom have been singled out for particularly savage attacks by the madwoman of Bidnija this week, in spite of their apparent ‘support’ for the beleaguered Prime Minister.

Yes, indeed. As mastermind political strategies go, I must say this one takes the goddamn biscuit. Let’s try and work it out, shall we? So Gonzi’s government is now hanging by a thread – on this, at least, I think we can all agree – and the only thing keeping that thread from snapping is the continued collaboration of ALL his backbenchers… one of whom has already declared his loss of confidence in Gonzi, and another two (if not more) could very easily flip at any given moment. Why, what better way to handle such a delicate and precarious situation, than to turn your media pit-bull loose on the very same people you now depend on for your own survival? And without whose support you will have already lost the race before the starting pistol is even fired…?

Oh, I don’t know. Perhaps it’s my fault for always expecting things to make at least a tiny bit of sense. Perhaps I attribute too much intelligence and clear strategic thinking, to situations characterised by the conspicuous absence of both. But in the 15 years I’ve been closely following Maltese politics – during the course of which I have witnessed any amount of daft and stupid things – nothing quite competes with Daphne Caruana Galizia’s sustained attacks on Jeffrey and Jesmond this past week (not to mention their children/wives/mothers/mothers-in-law – delete where appropriate) for sheer, demented nonsensicality.

I mean, seriously. What on earth could she possibly have hoped to gain, by egging on two visibly irate backbenchers, and practically daring them to launch themselves headlong into the Franco revolution?

Hang on, wait: that was a silly question – it presumes that there is still a vestige of sanity left in that particular head, despite the staggering, overwhelming evidence to the contrary. No, the real question ought to be: what does Lawrence Gonzi and/or the Nationalist Party hope to gain, by permitting such attacks on the very people whose support is so desperately needed if they are to cling on to power? How can this strategy possibly translate into anything but defeat, for a man who has already lost his parliamentary majority… and therefore cannot realistically afford to piss off any more of his already exasperated colleagues…?

Honestly, I have looked at this question from every conceivable angle, and there is not a single one that makes even an iota of sense… unless, of course, it is all part of a sinister and bizarrely far-fetched plot, hatched by the madwoman herself to destroy Gonzi utterly (for reasons that require a dark and twisted mind to even begin to understand).

And then, out of nowhere, it suddenly hit me. There is an explanation for the otherwise nonsensical state of affairs; an explanation only makes sense when viewed in the context of LOSS (which, let’s face it, is exactly what the present political situation is all about).

OK, we are now leaving the realm of rumour and gossip, and entering instead the territory of conjecture and interpretation. According to my interpretation (this being my column, and all), Lawrence Gonzi has not only managed to lose his one-seat majority in the House of Representatives; he has now also lost what little control he might once have had over the monster he and his henchmen created in their secret core strategy laboratory.

I can see it all now: that classic ‘Houston we have a problem’ moment, when Gordon Pisani turns to the Prime Minister, and ashen-faced speaks unto him thus:

“Sir – Remember that top secret experiment we conducted some years ago? The one in which we created a hybrid media aberration that would instantly tear into all your political enemies – even friends, if they so much as dreamed of ever criticising you… and rip them limb to limb, before turning her attention to their mothers, their fathers, their children, their grand-children, and all their dead relatives, and so on ad infinitum? Well, she’s kind of lost the plot, I’m afraid. It seems she is no longer responding to our commands, and is now simply attacking everyone and everything, whether it’s in our interest or not. I fear it’s only a matter of time before she finally turns on us, too…”

To which Lawrence, equally ashen-faced, promptly replies:

“I see. Tell Richard to get the escape pod ready. We’ll start the evacuation procedure immediately…”

Ah yes. It’s all so… predictable, isn’t it? In a B-movie kind of way, I mean. But back to reality, and the Prime Minister’s now total loss of control – of parliament, of government, of his own media strategy: in short, of everything – is now becoming more painstakingly visible by the minute. Remember, for instance, how just last Sunday Lawrence Gonzi made a public appeal for ‘all personal attacks’ on Franco Debono to stop? Well… not only did the personal attacks spectacularly fail to stop as requested; but they actually intensified alarmingly over the next few days, reaching a rough tally of around 15 a day (and counting).

It’s almost as though there was a sort of warped reverse psychology at work behind the scenes: on the rare occasion that Gonzi actually makes his intentions rather clear… what happens, if not the very opposite of what he actually wants to happen?

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