Each day, when the final campaign event for the day ends, the general conclusion is that the following day Bernard Grech cannot perform worse than he did that day.
And yet, he somehow manages.
He started the third day of the campaign in Gozo. Well, actually Claudio Grech started the day, as he presided over the launch of the Nationalist Party’s manifesto for Gozo. Then Claudio actually stood behind Bernard Grech, even correcting him when Grech said the wrong surname for one of the new candidates that he was lauding for her qualities. The sister of the Mosta priest famous for his illiberal views, no less.
Grech then made the usual mess when trying to answer journalists’ questions. In fact, conveniently PN strategists have started to stop their Facebook live broadcasts before he starts replying. For those lucky enough to watch him live on NET, they would have seen him fumble his answer to Colin Deguara’s question about whether he was aware that a tax deduction scheme he had heralded as innovation was actually something that has been in the tax code since 2008. Deguara suggested if that lack of knowledge was because Grech was failing to complete his tax returns during that period.
The cherry on the cake came in the closing event of the day in a meeting in Hamrun, where once again Claudio Grech sat behind Grech. After rambling without making much sense for a good twenty minutes, including a narrative about being afraid of shadows lurking outside one’s front door, Grech delivered the policy idea of the day, or maybe the century.
He said that it was one of his favourite measures from the forthcoming Nationalist manifesto. Dr Grech said that although breaking traffic regulations is bad, a better approach than imposing fines and chasing people to pay them, is to allow people off if they do not make another infraction within six months. Essentially, we will get one traffic infraction allowance every six months. He described it as a common-sense proposal that creates an incentive for all of us to show more civic responsibility.
Can’t find a parking spot? There, you go. Park in that reserved space.
Dr Grech seemed very pleased about this proposal, saying that he himself has broken the traffic regulations many times. But, come on, he said, everyone makes mistakes. We should give incentives and not punish. With this sort of logic stated without second thoughts, one starts to understand better his issues with the Tax Department. He seems quite committed to the idea of second, third, fourth, etc chances.
This is the man who claims he is the champion of the rule-of-law and governance party. Had it been a Labour politician who said this, all hell and brimstone would have been unleashed upon them.
We can rest assured that the usual suspects will line behind this common-sense proposal and argue it will actually increase civic responsibility like the Kap said.
The rest of Malta and Gozo will, on the other hand, see it for what it is. A pig-headed idea that makes absolutely no sense, turns upside down the very concept of civic responsibility and would justify egoistic behaviour which is already sadly quite prevalent among some.
Can’t find a parking spot? There, you go. Park in that reserved space. Surely people with disability can wait their turn to park there once you are done sipping your coffee.
Google maps was confusing, and you can’t reach your destination because the road ahead is one way. No problem. Just go wrong way. It has been six months since your last infraction.
Late for a meeting. Don’t be afraid to speed. Breaking your civic duty will just make it stronger.
This is the state of the party of Nerik Mizzi, Ugo Mifsud, and Gorg Borg Olivier. Guess they are turning in their graves in the metaverse.