Had Joe Debono Grech said what he said in a comedy show it would have been hilariously funny.

However, he said it during a political rally and Labour supporters applauded him.

That is tragically sad or sadly tragic.

The former member of parliament lauded corruption because, according to him, the people are benefitting from it.

I waited for the Labour Party to distance itself from what Debono Grech said. They did not.

How can they? Over the past nine years now the Labour government has institutionalised corruption. From mega contracts to public sector recruitment, everything can be obtained at a price.

This Labour government will give you anything you want so long as you pay cash or vote Labour. Ironic when one thinks that, way back in 2013, Labour promised to fight corruption.

Their abject failure to deliver on this promise, as evidenced by countless national and international reports, resulted in the country having to fork out billions of euros on corrupt deals.

And, yet, the people who gathered to hear Debono Grech on a Saturday evening clapped to their heart’s content.

Perhaps they clapped because they think that those billions are coming from space. Or perhaps they think that we are still a colony and that stealing from the queen is not really stealing.

Joe Debono Grech celebrates corruption, as his audience -including a minister- applauds.

While they were enthusiastically clapping for Debono Grech, the Labour Party was publishing its electoral manifesto in which, once again, they pledge to fight corruption.

I remember a time when politics was a force for good. I remember a time when politics meant building a new school every year to provide better education for our children.

I remember a time when politics was about enhancing Malta’s reputation as a centre of excellence in various fields and a reliable international partner.

I remember a time when being in politics meant striving to attract new business sectors that provide better jobs for the Maltese workers.

I remember a time when being in politics meant creating a social network system that protected the most vulnerable members of society.

After nine years of Labour, politics has become the dirtiest of words. In Debono Grech’s own words, “all politicians are thieves but Labour politicians are the good thieves”.

Anyone who thinks that corruption is in the national interest should vote Labour- Mario de Marco

These ‘good’ thieves stole hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ money and gave it to Vitals.

The taxpayer got nothing in return.

Nine years of Labour government saw the public debt shoot up to €9 billion.

The government would quickly point out that this is due to COVID-19 and its economic impact.

Economic experts beg to differ. Only part of this debt is due to the pandemic. Most of it is a result of reckless spending.

Those people who clapped to Debono Grech’s pearls of wisdom do not realise that politicians like him retire. They go away, returning to make cameo appearances during elections. But the debt is going nowhere. It is staying put until we pay it.

Robert Abela and his ministers racked up debts at an average rate of €3.7 million a day. These debts have to be paid by all of us, including those clapping for the former minister.

If not by us, then by our children.

On March 26, we have a choice to make. We know what Labour is capable of. Anyone who thinks that corruption, mushrooming public debt, the destruction of green spaces and a vision-less economy is in the national

interest should vote Labour.

On the other hand, anyone who thinks that this country needs now more than ever a change of direction should vote Nationalist.

A PN victory would ensure that Malta regains its international reputation. It would provide a quick exit from greylisting. It would ensure stricter environmental controls and better management of public finances.

More than anything else, a vote for the Nationalist Party would bring normality to Malta. We would once again become a nation that understands the difference between right and wrong.

We would once again become a nation that, given a choice, would choose right over wrong. And, in so doing, we would once again regain our national pride.

A vote for a Nationalist government would see new economic sectors developing in Malta, creating countless opportunities for our youth. We would deliver on this just like we have delivered in the past when we introduced and nurtured the financial services sector in Malta, which today has become the mainstay of our economy.

Ask yourself, what new economic sectors has this government created in the past nine years. Zilch, nada, zero.

Labour ministers have, time and again, admitted their mistakes; mistakes that eroded Malta’s reputation and are edging us closer to financial hardship, if not ruin.

It is up to the electorate now to decide whether they want to trust Labour to do more of the same or change the course of history.

The choice is yours.

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