Will somebody please remove John Dalli's batteries?

Published: January 24, 2011 at 1:03am

So today John Dalli announced that he will contest the general elections in 2013.

Really – with which party?

I ask because I’m a little confused. You can’t just decide you’re going to stand for election on this or that party’s ticket. You have to be invited to stand. You have to be selected – by the party leader.

Let me just see whether I’ve understood this correctly. John Dalli attacks and denigrates the Nationalist Party leader at every twist and turn, and demands his resignation as party leader and prime minister.

And then he expects Lawrence Gonzi to select him as a party candidate in 2013. Or what…..he’ll stage a coup? Thkweam and thkweam and thkweam until he’s sick? Get his soap-smuggling jailbird brother to hear more ghostly voices in his prison cell?

La tlaqna, tlaqna.

The man really believes he has a big chance of becoming party leader – God knows why, because if he didn’t have a big chance in 2004, then commonsense tells us he has an even smaller chance now.

Ah, but he’s going to hedge his bets and, like Joseph Muscat who contested the Labour leadership election while still an MEP, he’s going to go gunning for it while still in office as European Commissioner. That way, it’s a no-risk strategy. If he wins, he wins, and if he loses, he also wins, because he can sit out his term as commissioner.

Now the big question is – will he take unpaid leave of absence to come to Malta to campaign, or will the European Commission continue to pay him while he concentrates on pitchforking Lawrence Gonzi?

What an unpleasant piece of work. I really think he greatly overestimats his popularity.

“I remind everyone that it was John Dalli himself who expressed interest in the position of EU Commissioner. I took it upon myself to put forward his name to the EU President. I backed him throughout.” – Lawrence Gonzi, interviewed by The Sunday Times, today

More’s the pity. But then I imagine that the prime minister thought he had better seize the day and pack him off, rather than have him trying to lead a backbench revolution in parliament. And now Dalli has probably realised too late that, in terms of his own little power game, he would have been better off staying on that backbench and using the one-seat majority to chuck his weight about.

That’s why he keeps flying back to Malta to whisper in cabals with all his little backbiting friends who – I have to tell them, because nobody else will – are increasingly being seen not as the heroes and martyrs of the Real Nationalist Party but as its lunatic fringe.

And before they rush to deliberately misunderstand, I’ll just point out that you don’t have to be mentally ill to be on the lunatic fringe. It’s an expression.

62 Comments Comment

  1. P Shaw says:

    You forgot to mention his age. He will be in his late sixties by then. At that point the PN should be planning a new generational change and not going back to 1987 MPs.

  2. Matt says:

    Why is Dalli giving Gonzi a hard time? Why is Dalli not a team player? Why is Dalli undermining the prime minister?

    Why can’t he be happy with 250,000 euro annual salary plus super-generous benefits?

    He is a big problem because he is allowed to be a problem for the Nationalists. Who is behind the scenes encouraging him?

    • ciccio2011 says:

      My question is: why would John Dalli want to be Leader of the Opposition?

      I say so not because I have resigned myself to an electoral defeat of the PN in 2013, but because for him to be elected leader, the current leader must be defeated at those elections.

  3. K Farrugia says:

    Do you really think Gonzi would refuse John Dalli’s candidature? Not if Gonzi has wise persons (such as Joe Saliba) giving him advice. Even though Dalli might have his own plans, the PN would accept him immediately thus benefitting from a wider catchment of party votes.

    [Daphne – With John Dalli, what you gain on the swings, you lose on the roundabouts. I know people (personally) for whom he was a major deterrent to voting PN.]

  4. Gahan says:

    Dan qed jghid li Gonzi tefghu fl-ixkora? Jekk John Dalli huwa kollox, haga wahda mhux: team player.

    Milli qed nara u nisma’, John Dalli kien responsabbli ghad-djarju ta’ l-Unjoni Ewropea li ma fiehx il-festi Nsara fuqu. Hemm ta’ kollox – Misilmin, Buddisti, Indu = imma L-Ghid il-Kbir u l-Milied m’hemmx.

    Flok ma qabad u talab li jittajjar minn nofs lil min ghamlu u stampa w qassam iehor gdid wahhal f’ta’ qabblu u qal li se jara li tas-sena d-diehla se jkun kif suppost.Dik decizjoni.

    Ghal min tefhu fil-backbench ried itajjru u ‘heads should roll’ u ghal bicca xoghol li taqa’ tahtu ‘errata corrige’. Nahseb kien aktar mehdi fuq kif se jaghmel il-bsaten fir-roti biex ipattieha ‘l Gonzi milli x’hinu jigri taht imniehru!

    John Dalli jrid ikun jaf il-ghala tnehha minn Ministru ta’ l-Affarijiet Barranin; il-Prim Ministru jista’ jdahhal u jkecci lil ministri tieghu meta’ u x’hin irid minghajr ebda spjegazzjoni.

    John Dalli mhux l-eccezzjoni.

    Niftakru lil Mugliett u Agius kif haduha meta’ m’ghajtilhomx ghal kabinett, Johnnie mhux l-eccezzjoni.

    Nghid ghalija kieku jkolli nivvota ma nivvotax lil xi hadd li involva ruhu fil-kaz ta’ huh, anke jekk ma jinstabx hati.

    Ghandna minn fejn naghzlu nies lejali. Mhux se nemmen li xi hadd qaghad jiehu dik il-battikata kollha biex idahhal kocc sapun tac-cavetta bil-kuntrabandu f’dghajsa f’nofs ta’ lejl fil-qieragh tax-xitwa. Ma twelidniex il-bierah.

    Mhux se nghid li Dalli hu hati ta’ xi haga imma nippreferi naghti cans lil haddiehor.

  5. Village says:

    John Dalli has had his time in office and indeed he was responsible for implementing successfully part of the liberalisation process of the Maltese economy and ridding us of much of the centralised one.

    It is now time to move on.

    Lawrence Gonzi, albeit still somewhat socialist in certain methodology, is building so well after the Fenech Adami era. He is likewise very strong and determined. The country’s success in the employment and cost of living sectors should give him another win in the forthcoming election.

    • willywonka says:

      Aw Rahal!

    • willywonka says:

      John Dalli did move on, Rahal: to serve time, apparently, in the European Commission.

      I will agree with you that Lawrence Gonzi is strong and determined, but I am not of the opinion that he is registering success in the cost of living sector.

      Daphne wrote, a while back, that one should not legislate according to the whims of the electorate. More faithfully, she said that one should not necessarily move according to the people’s mood. That is true.

      It is essential that the people’s mood be noted and heeded when complaints are justified. And I do not say this merely for the merits of political or electoral expediancy. Ultimately, a democracy is meant to be a government by the people and for the people.

      Insofar as determining the future electoral victors, I think we had better all leave our crystall balls in the pantry drawer for the time being.

  6. cat says:

    Maybe a Labour Party candidate?

  7. mark v says:

    I respect John Dalli for his major role in the transformation of the Maltese economy. He did a decent job. But now for heaven’s sake, he cannot expect to continue popping out every now and then with criticism aimed at the prime minister and expecting to run on the PN ticket.

    It is time for him to realise that he is not as popular as he might think, not even amongst his constituents.

  8. sandy:P says:

    Robert Musumeci, on timsofmalta.com’s comments-board:

    Annabelle – ezempju ta’ kif f’din il-hajja qatta ma ghandek tesprimi sinjali ta’ mibeghda fil-konfront ta’ terzi. GRAZZI


    • aps says:

      “Mibeghda” ghax xi hadd jikxiflek l-injuranza li tkun qieghed/qieghda fih? Dan Musumeci jaf ukoll li Annabelle probabli hija ezempju ta’ “tiggudikax”.

    • maryanne says:

      That comment was so out of place. It wasn’t appreciated by many. See Ciarlo Bonnici’s comment and note the difference.

  9. Anthony Farrugia says:

    Maybe Bastjan and Dun Gorg will do the canvassing for yesterday’s man.

  10. sixfooter says:

    La verita offende. You’re in pain, and i love it. Long live Comm. John Dalli.

    [Daphne – Unlike you, ‘dear’, I don’t depend on a political party or a government for my livelihood, so I suffer no pain either way (but that’s what gets you, isn’t it?). As for John Dalli, he must be thrilled to know how enthusiastically he is supported by the Labour Party. I suppose in his current state of mind he imagines you will alll switch allegiance and vote for him in 2013.]

    • sixfooter says:

      For you information ‘dear’ i don’t depend on anyone whatsoever for my livelihood either. I’m well off and can go for walks, coffee shops and abroad every now and then. Yes i’m retired and well off. Comm. John Dalli does’nt need you advice for what he imagines. Are you suggesting that Prime Minister Law. Gonzi appointed a commissioner in a bad state of mind? Surprise, surprise.

      [Daphne – For a retired person, your writing and reasoning are astonishngly puerile and read surprisingly like that of one of the many Maltese in their 20s or 30s who suffer from retarded development and spend their waking hours ax-ing and tejd-ing each other on Facebook. Or maybe you’re just Kurt Farrugia.]

      • TROY says:

        My, my, sixfooter – well off, going out for coffee and to the shops, going abroad often and enjoying life. Surely you weren’t one of those (ma jistghux ilahqu mal-hajja) at the Valletta passigata.

  11. Silvio Farrugia says:

    so many are on the lunatic fringe then , those backbenchers are saying what the majority ( and a big majority for that) are saying…..it could also be that there are many embarrassed to stick up for a government of so much gaffes,arrogance and corruption, as one hears hardly anybody defending it.Whoever is not noticing this must be living in cookoo’s land

    • ASP says:

      And ‘cookoo’s land’ is what the majority (and a big majority at that) would want AGAIN when they find out what Joseph Muscat and his PL are all about.

    • Angus Black says:

      The only people who make no gaffes are the people who never do anything but criticise from their comfortable armchair.

      Worse are those who have no vision, much less ideas of how to propel the nation forward and when they had been given a chance, screwed up royally.

      Those living in ‘cookoo’s land’ tend to jump to conclusions such as in 2013 it will be a Labour victory – guaranteed.

      But have we not heard similar pronouncements before? Have we not heard Labour claiming victory and sending their hysterical supporters to parade along the streets when in actual fact they had lost?

      We have been hearing Labour rallying their supporters, taking them to the streets, promising Utopia while panicing behind the scenes not knowing how to present just ONE solution to today’s global recession.

      Labour’s leaders have always been weak. Weak men end up being the most dangerous and often morph into cheap dictators.

      • chavsRus says:

        We have never had a weaker PM/party leader than Lawrence Gonzi.

      • Antoine Vella says:

        Chavs, I’ve already responded to this statement when you made it previously but, since you persist in your error, I’ll repeat my retort (ripetuta juvat).

        The weakest PM we ever had was Mintoff. He was loud, rude, violent and a prime bully, all signs of a weak man who tries to hide his fears behind a mask of bluster.

  12. Pip says:

    I implore Simon Busuttil to do likewise and contest the next general election. The Nationalist Party has a legacy of honourable leaders and it is imperative to keep it that way.

  13. Erasmus says:

    There can be no comparison between the circumstances prevailing in 2004 and the situation the PN is likely to be in 2013 if it loses the election.

    Six years ago Gonzi was the anointed one, all but officially endorsed by Fenech Adami himself. He was seen as a clone of the outgoing leader,and likely to preside over a continuation of the previous, relatively prosperous decade and a half.

    Now, a recession later, and with the voter fatigue in relation to the PN accumulated over 23 years, Gonzi’s standing has diminished. If (when?) the PN loses the election, it will seem inevitable that someone else should take over.

    Dalli will be 65 then, and unlikely to appear an attractive prospect to lead the party into elections 1n 2018 – when he will be 70. The most he can hope for is to groom someone else for the post, still enjoy the satisfaction of having masterminded the toppling of his arch-enemy, and being installed and regarded as the eminence grise behind the throne.

    • willywonka says:

      If (when?) the PN loses the election, it will seem inevitable that someone else should take over

      Why would it only seem inevitable? To me its pretty obvious!

  14. TROY says:

    Dalli, just get this through your thick head: YOU ARE A HASBEEN. I’ve talked to people who used to work for you, about your ‘comeback’, and 90% think you’re crazy and the other 10% just can’t believe that you’re so stubborn.

    • maryanne says:

      And of course, Malta Today is always ready to help.

      Gonzi warns MP of meeting John Dalli

  15. VR says:

    How wrong would I be to vote PN if the party accepts John Dalli, and others like him?

  16. Chris Borg says:

    I guess John Dalli will contest the next election with the same party chosen by Robert Musumeci… the Labour Party.

  17. Hot Mama says:

    Alla jilliberana!

  18. chavsRus says:

    Do you have to make it so obvious that Dalli is spoiling your beauty sleep?

    [Daphne – He doesn’t, at all. That’s the Labour spin. The reality is that nobody worries about the sight of a man hanging himself when he’s been given enough rope to do it. There is a tipping-point in public opinion. The trick is to know where it is, so as not to go beyond it. The Labour Party is not John Dalli’s market. It’s irrelevant whether people like you approve of him. The question is: will you vote for him? The answer to that is no, because he won’t be standing on the Labour ticket. It’s the opinion of people like me that he’s got to focus on, not the opinion of people like you. But sadly, he’s too far gone to see that.]

    • chavsRus says:

      No, I will not vote for Dalli. Possibly neither will the Nationalists. But that is not the point. The point is that the ever growing sector of “floaters” will see the internal squabbling in the PN ranks and will be that much less inclined to vote for it again.

      And that is what is really worrying you.

      [Daphne – No, because you’ve left out the all-important factor of credibility/intregity. When you have squabbling between those of equal credibility/intregity – like Tony Blair and Gordon Brown – you have problems as there is a perceived rift in the party. When you have squabbling between those of different degrees of credibility/intregrity, leading to the resignation of those the public perceives to be more credible – as when Lino Spiteri and George Abela parted company with Alfred Sant – you have very serious problems. But when you have a few backbenchers of dubious credibility and motives jumping around on the fringes and screaming for attention, ringled by somebody who isn’t even supposed to be in the country and isn’t even in parliament, then those are perceived as a tiresome distraction and, if they persist for a couple more years, they will be marked down indelibly as the lunatic fringe and voted out. The only people they are burying is themselves, though they might end up having a great deal of success out of poliltics, as did Josie Muscat.]

      • chavsRus says:

        The average voter is not capable of such fine disinctions (even if they existed). He sees the broad picture. And the picture he is seeing is that of a heavily fragmented PN and a PM who spends most of his time plugging holes in the dam – untill he runs out of fingers.

        [Daphne – They are not fine distinctions, and it is not average voters who make the difference. Average voters tend to stick to the time-worn path come what may. You are making the mistake your party has made repeatedly over the years: that of believing its own propaganda. Comments on the internet and gossip at receptions are not by any means a good guage of public opinion. To go by what is said, you’d think people are overwhelmingly in favour of divorce and that gONziPn will lose the election if he doesn’t introduce it. Muscat, too, misread the situation and has now backtracked. But that is not the case at all, and you are about to find out how far off the mark this assessment is when the Anti-Divorce Movement continues to strike chords with the popular mood as Andre Camilleri did on Bondiplus last night.]

      • chavsRus says:

        I hope I’m wrong, but I get the feeling that some people like you and Bondi are going to renege on your professed liberal leanings and go against divorce simply to save Gonzi’s face vis-a-vis JPO and Muscat.

        [Daphne – Oh, so now I’m liberal, am I? I thought I was the qahba hamalla sahhara paid whore tal-partit tal-isqof gONziPn. You’re right, though, about the word ‘profession’. Though it’s not the world’s oldest, the ability to gauge these things is a professional skill, and part of it is knowing how to distinguish between one’s personal opinion and public opinion. Another mistake I never make, but which the Labour Party makes constantly, is to confuse the vociferous minority with the silent majority.]

      • John (not Dalli) says:

        This is how I see it:

        John Dalli asked for the post of European Commissioner and Gonzi gave it to him, maybe to bury the hatchet. John said on TV that he asked for the post and we all recall how elated he was when he was nominated and accepted as commissioner instead of Louis Galea, may I add.

        Now, the green monster has taken over, and he’s trying to show us that he’s some kind of victim, and hinting that his brother is in jail (like him) because of John’s involvement in the leadership race.

        I saw Loius Galea grab the bull by the horns when he showed Josie Muscat and his Front Freedom Fighters to be a ‘party within a party’. Josie was kicked out of the party.

        For the electorate, the party comes first not the candidate. We all vote for the party first and foremost and then pick the candidates, not the other way round, and that’s whatever party we’re voting for.

        Look at Josie Muscat, who is a very good (though extremist) politician and better than many we have in parliament. The most he can hope for now in politics is a seat on a local council.

        The same thing happened when Cettina Darmenia Brincat said in parliament that she would vote against a divorce bill. She was not toeing the party line and Charles Mangion got her votes.

        Paul Carachi wanted to have a seat in the middle of the house, but when the election came, he was kicked out by the MLP voters unceremoniously.

        Didn’t we have valid candidates in the run-up for the EU? But we still had Joseph Cuschieri ‘elected’ because he sacrificed his seat for Joseph (the new unelected party Leader) and nothing else.

        We still waste our votes to elect David Casa and John Attard Montalto because they are perceived as good candidates who don’t rock the boat.

        Alfred Sant and Eddie Fenech Adami got their first seats through a casual election. And yet both went on to lead their parties.

        John Dalli’s criticism that “this is not the PN we (Nerik Mizzi, hej!) built”, shows that his ambition is to become prime minister of Malta. He wants to make the PN his, because he thinks he’s some founding member and he’s trying to tell us that he was kicked upstairs when we all know that it was expressly his wish.

        The PN will let him and the other candidates contest the next general election. They will give him enough rope to hang himself. Or maybe do like Louis did to Josie Muscat, and fall on him like a tonne of bricks.

      • chavsRus says:

        So I was right……

        By the way, most of the people I spoke to (many strongly against divorce) felt that Camilleri was a big disappointment – evasive and short of logical arguments.

        [Daphne – No, you were not right. I repeat: I do not confuse my opinion with public opinion. I distinguish between the two. You don’t. Andre Camilleri was not a disappointment. He was excellent. I say that not as somebody who agrees with him, but as a professional assessment. More of my professional opinion (worth more, I’ll have you know, than talking to your friends): the Cordinas are excellent ambassadors for their cause: young, fresh, obviously in love, good, nice people (that’s how they came across). But the other couple – my God. If two people could stand for everything that the pro-divorce movement is up against, it was them. They stood for everything people despise and fear about divorce. Very bad PR for the divorce lobby. I trust you noticed the SMS vote.]

  19. carlos says:

    Wise men do as Guido De Marco did when he lost the leadership contest to Eddie Fenech Adami in the 1970s.

    Instead of rebelling and obstructing the new leader he simply co-operated with him in running the party and the country.

    The dog-in-the-manger policy adopted by John Dalli belies his reputation as an all-round player. It has caused him to lose all the credibility he once enjoyed in the past.

  20. kev says:

    Johannes Dalí. Creative accounts clerk. Former hawwadni-ha-nifhmek mini-star for financial health and maladies. Laughing stock Komissar of the Arjupeein’ Onion. Wannabe PM of the EU Protectorate of Mowqa. Xej sew.

  21. Catsrbest says:

    I was a party delegate when the PN leader was elected. It was difficult to choose between Dr. Gonzi and Dr. Galea.

    I never considered Mr Dalli. I am proud that I voted for Dr. Gonzi and I have no regrets whatsoever.

    I am surprised at just what a despicable character Mr. Dalli has turned out to be, unlike Dr. Galea.

    Mr. Dalli must be reminded that no one is bigger than the party and that the leader is there to lead.

    You are right to state that those few buffoons of backbenchers are no heroes at all – they are just downright self-centred troublemakers.

    I live in Mosta and if one of these unruly backbenchers who was on the party list in the last general election is still retained, and I hope he isn’t, I will not even give him the last number, so that both he and the party will know that troublesome nuisances are unwanted.

  22. Village says:

    I agree with catsrbest.

    The Nationalist Party boasts of a long trail of gentlemen in its political history whose legacy is at the core of the party’s beliefs.

    This legacy transcends the consumer mentality of some politicians of today. We have inheritied this legacy from our forefathers and no temporary distraction should be allowed to hijack the party’s beliefs. Let’s treasure this heritage.

    The party should enhance the screening of its prospective election candidates to ensure they are well educated and prepared in politics.

    • willywonka says:

      Sbejha patria uliedek ahna, village.

      Candidate screening should have happened a long time ago. They should have never allowed people like Rita Law, Joseph Cuschieri, Marie Louise Coleiro, Joe Debono Grech and so many others to represent the party.,…ooops….sorry…wrong party there.

  23. Anthony Farrugia says:

    I thought he came ‘batteries not included’.

  24. sixfooter says:

    Hi Troy, by all means i was in Valletta supporting ma dawk il vera fil-bzonn. So, yes i’m well off. Does that deprive me from protesting against the extreme arrogance, that, i believe you approve? Come join me for a coffee il-Ferries, i’m paying.

    • TROY says:

      I don’t think you were at the ‘passigata gol-Belt’ cause if you were, you would have stood out in the crowd, being six foot.

      • sixfooter says:

        To be honest i don’t give a hoot what you think, but i certainly went to protest against your approved arrogance. By the way, invitation still open.

    • Fairy Liquid says:

      ‘Coffee il-ferries’? So that’s what THEY call it. And by THEY, I mean the legions of arrivistes, chavs, nouveaux riches, peasants with expensive cars and ugly clothes, and screamingly obvious Labour voters who now clutter up every coffee shop from Giorgio to La Rive. I spent the first 30 years of my life in Sliema, but when I go to ‘coffee il-ferries’ it’s like I’ve landed in Marsascala. No offence meant, of course, to the people who live in that other seaside town.

      • sixfooter says:

        I realy pity you insulting people in sauch bad taste, adding no offence. Yes, i believe you lived in Sliema, your attitude speaks volumes.

  25. TROY says:

    Would I be going out for coffee with a six foot man or woman?

  26. sixfooter says:

    I’m a six foot man and proud of it.

    • TROY says:

      Would anyone on this blog like to go out for a coffee l-ferries, with a six-foot-tall proud man? Because Troy has better things to do.

      • sixfooter says:

        All is welcome , providing the y’re not as pathetic as Troy. See you guys at the Ferries

        [Daphne – No wonder Sliema is full of racanc nowadays. When the chavs move in, everyone else moves out.]

  27. TROY says:

    Don’t be so offended sixfooter, you’re just not my type – no offence meant.

  28. sixfooter says:

    I knew i was’nt your type and i’m so glad about it- no offence meant.

    [Daphne – A word of advice, as you seem to be a bit dull. If you’re going to use different nicks in an attempt at persuading me that you’re two different people (sixfooter. Swieqiman), use a different computer/network and change your style.]

  29. John(not Dalli) says:

    @ Sixfooter:”Hi Troy, by all means i was in Valletta supporting ma dawk il vera fil-bzonn.”

    Qed nisthajlek xi Marie Antoinette titkellem mar-ragel meta qalilha li l-protesti kienu ghax ma kellhomx hobz u wegbitu “Jieklu l-pasti!”

    Int jekk trid turi is-solidarjeta ma’ min hu fil-bzonn u trid tassew tghinu, trid taghmel zewg affarijiet: tghid lil min per ezempju hi kuntenta tgerger ghax hi single mother u ghandha tifel ghandu ezamijiet u jmur l-iskola, biex tmur l-Awtorita tat-Trasport biex tapplika ghal ghajnuna u tmur id-dipartiment ta’ l-edukazzjoni biex tapplika ghat-tnaqqis tal-hlas ghal-ezamijiet.

    U flok tmur il-ferries tixrob il-kafe mur aghti daqqa t’id lis-sorijiet ta’ Mother Theresa jew ta’ l-Ursolini.

    Sthajjiltek ukoll dak is-sinjur li thassar lil-bidwi jghid “Ajma” ma kull daqqa ta’ maghzqa u offrielu biex ikompli jaghzaq u l-“Ajma” jaghjathielu hu.

    Champagne Socialist per eccellenza – jitla’ l-Labour u l-ghajta ta’ dawk il vera fil-bzonn:”MIN M”GHANDUX, JGHIX MA’ MIN GHANDU” terga tibda tidwi f’widnejn il-Maltin.

  30. TROY says:

    None taken, sixfooter or shall I say swieqiman! (you’re probably another 4′ 10″ Kurt).

  31. sixfooter says:

    For your info Iim not Swieqiman and yes i’m a sixfooter although nothing wrong with being 4′ 10″. You are all a bunch of pappagalli ta Daphne.She says Swieqiman…. and so say all of us. Pathetic. A waste of time.

    [Daphne – You and Swieqiman are using the same computer or network. So you’re either sharing an office and have remarkably similar use of language and communication style, or you’ve got a doppelganger (look it up) hiding under your bed where all those reds should be.]

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