If memory serves, the above, uttered breathlessly, is heard in some exemplar of the "B Movie" genre, just before some particularly brainless teenagers are cut down in their prime. No matter, there are plenty of teenagers in the world and anyway, the "it" to which I refer is the elections (though that should be "are", I suppose)

And it's not in the woods, it's in the offing.

Why do I say so, given that Premier Joe has already solemnly declared that the elections will be held in March, 2018? Well, in the first place, I believe him as much as I believe his equally solemn utterance that the country is in surplus for the first time in over 30 years, that is to say not much at all.

In the second place, the evidence is such as to put it virtually beyond reasonable doubt that the Labour Party, using its very considerable resources as the party in - and pillaging - Government is gearing up for the contest, big time.

"The power of incumbency" was Alfred Sant's favourite mantra, just before he was despatched by the voters first into political oblivion in 2008 and then, just to heap more indignity on him, off to Brussels, where he has to eat sprouts and spout lefty platitudes into ears of the very people he fought so much to keep us from being amongst.

What is this evidence, I hear you ask?

Apart from the pretty window-dressing about the country's economic position, for which Premier Joe should, but obviously won't, thank his predecessor for leaving in good nick, here are just a few pointers.

This bridge was an electoral promise, one of the many populist ones made in wannabe Premier Joe's bid for power.

Anyone who travels, often at snail's pace, along the Mriehel By Pass will have seen two tall structures, being built to handle the two or three pedestrians per fortnight who might want to cross and couldn't be fagged to walk a few hundred metres towards the Qormi roundabout. This bridge was an electoral promise, one of the many populist ones made in wannabe-(at the time)-Premier Joe's bid for power. It came (unashamedly) in the wake of a tragic accident, but it remains a gimmick, because it would have made way more sense to cater for the people who need to cross the road between the businesses a few hundred more metres away.

But this project is highly visible and will give the useless Joe Mizzi a photo-op that does not involve his being perceived as a totally inept wonk, so off we go, spend a few (!) thousands of the surplus.

And then we have Minister-not-Minister-but-Super-Minister Konrad Husband of Sai Mizzi, busily making sure that his Panamanian escapades are consigned to the recesses of his voters' memory banks, recruiting a couple of hundred or so warm bodies. More of those thousands down the drain, but hey, who cares, it's not his money.

No, it's ours.

On a larger scale, Premier Joe has persuaded the people who matter in the Civil Service that now, strangely, is the time to open up the Public Service to take on carpenters, messengers, drivers and all those other skilled jobs that add so much value to the service. More of those thousands, many more this time.

Truth be told, the Government, sorry, the Labour Party, I mean no, the Government, oh who cares, it's all the same thing, has been in election mode since Day One. The environment for instance, so beloved of all those who breathlessly panted for a change when Gonzi was the boss, has been torn asunder by the Planning Authority behaving like a lady of the night, pimped out by - well, I'll leave that to your imagination - and taken to bed by the people for whom the sun is shining, gloriously.

What we have now, though, is a more precise targeting of swathes of voters who might swing it for Premier Joe and his merry men. Gozo is being promised, or at least given the hint of a promise, at one and the same time, a tunnel and greater autonomy and more jobs and a state-of-the-art hospital and dancing water and anything else that can land the votes.

Forget that you don't need a tunnel (or that you can pay for it yourself if you want it) if you attain virtual nationhood, the important thing for Premier Joe is that he can dazzle with the glitter of promises made, even if he doesn't eventually need to follow through, as he hasn't on so many things.

Do you know what's making all this and more possible, folks?

Peanuts Scicluna hinted at it, if you were paying attention, when he made it clear, by what he failed to say, that all that lovely dosh raised from flogging citizenship (and multiple votes?) to dodgy geezers and their grannies from the less salubrious parts of the world is unaccounted for.

You've got to admire Premier Joe, someone's worked it out for him brilliantly.


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