Blog post by Dr. Hermann Farrugia
Yesterday, we had the Leader of the Opposition’s reply to the budget or as it is called in French réplique. Tonight, there is going to be the Prime Minister’s counter reply or contre réplique! In Maltese, we translated these two terms as replika and kontro-replika. What follows is my short analysis of yesterday’s replika and tonight’s kontro-replika. I shall use physics to explain it. Strategic skill ought to have been guided by Newton’s 3rd Natural Law of Motion-Forces: “For every action, there is an equal and an opposite counter-reaction!” This is an electoral budget.
Both sides went OVERBOARD in vote-catching exercises. Both sides used the required techniques that automatically have triggered an OVERKILL of electoral-buying of votes. The problem here is that the response of the government will be aided by the extra-friendly wind force from the incumbent power. And some really uncalled-for ranting and superfluous below-belt tirades only help to make things worse for the underdog!
Bernard Grech’s reply had repeated direct references to ‘ingestion of steroids, a clear dig at the prime minister used to train like a bodybuilder. There was even a nastier comment as the term ‘impotence’ was used. Thus, those journalists who argue that last night’s reply was void of any under-belt tirades at Robert Abela were definitely off the mark of what is being said privately in the corridors of power of the Labour Party. Bernard Grech wanted to pass on the message that he informed even of all the gossip that circulates in Labour corridors.
Have such use of metaphors helped in the quality of delivery of the political discourse? It must have definitely managed to visibly irritate the Prime Minister. This will prod him to be fiercer in his contre réplique tonight.