Meanwhile, in a television studio in Uzbekistan…

Published: October 12, 2017 at 12:29am

Louise Tedesco, who has worked for the Nationalist Party’s television station since it began operations in the early 1990s, interviewed the new party leader earlier tonight. In a sign of what lies in store, the studio set looked just like something you’d expect to see on Uzbekistan state television, and so were the proceedings.

The Great Democratic Uzbekistani Leader ranted on and the television interviewer nodded and smiled and asked convenient leading questions.

Or maybe it wasn’t so much an Uzbekistani performance as your standard encounter between two Maltese 50-year-olds: the man ranting on about himself, oblivious to the woman’s glazed-eye boredom because he is convinced of his own power to enthral, and the woman privately thinking what a t**ser he is, and how very unattractive Maltese men become beyond a certain fairly early age, but how she’d better be nice to him because of her husband and because men don’t like women who talk back, so she had better keep nodding and smiling and occasionally opening her eyes wide (which helps with the struggle to stay awake and alert, but which the man helpfully mistakes for fascination).

Some people seem thrilled because the new Nationalist Party leader said during his election campaign – but then he would, wouldn’t he – that he wants to “listen to people”. How I laughed. The thought of that man listening to anyone at all is hilarious. My life experience tells me that he’s one of those who talks at people, totally oblivious to whether they are interested and without the slightest interest in hearing what they might have to say when they can get a word in edgeways.

Smashing Uzbekistan set – all we need are some lurid fake flowers in a gold enamelled urn with plenty of curlicues and fluting.