What a twosome they made. Love them or hate them they came across as the perfect pair. They complemented each other like few other partners in history. A real hand and glove relationship, or that of a lock and a key. Bonnie and Clyde, Burke and Hare, Frank and Jesse James would all come second when compared to our twosome in Malta.
It is true that they had known each other since childhood and each one knew the other’s talents, but one has to hand it to them, each one played his part without encroaching on that of the other. Their plan had long been in the making and they were clever enough to be patient and wait for the right moment.
They did not waste their time in the meantime. Each one worked on what was needed for the plan. One accumulated riches, as money was to be the kingpin in the whole operation, while the other worked on his network of acquaintances as people were to provide the road to their goal.
They laboured in synergy, one providing what the other one lacked. One delivered the schemes, the other the charisma. One acted in the shadows, the other was the people’s darling.
When the time had come they hit the ground running. Everything was mapped out to the last detail.
One has to give credit where credit is due. They were clever. They were diligent. They were strategic. They had a Plan B when things would go wrong. A careful study of society showed them what the people longed for and they marketed their vision for the country accordingly.
Money was no problem. Whether they would live up to what was being promised was of no importance as they knew that, one way or other, they would tackle that issue at the opportune moment.
As was expected, our twosome won the day. Everything pointed to it. Now was when the real work would begin. The first days were spent in showering everyone with gifts. There was something for everybody. It was important that people were compromised.
They had to have the backing of as many people that mattered as possible. And what better way to get a man’s backing than to make him aware of what he was set to lose if the backing fell short.
It was now the time to launder the people’s loyalties to euros. The initial prize, that of acquiring the people’s loyalties was in the bag. Our fair haired darling of the masses had done his job well. His determination, his well-chosen oratory, his ‘commitment to his country’, his promises of delivering the undeliverable, all hit the right notes.
Our twosome’s strategy of putting the schemes of one to the more agreeable face of the other had worked well. There was no reason that this would not carry on doing so. One’s expertise and business acumen balanced the other’s charisma and popularity. One benefitted from the talents of the other. It was a win-win arrangement.
The only losers were the people.
On the strength of the people’s loyalties and that of their colleagues in the whole set up, the twosome could push forward projects that had never been discussed before. However, with the help of the exchange of niceties and making the projects worthwhile to whom it mattered, these projects went through.
Whenever something illicit was painstakingly obvious for what it was, the fair haired darling of the people would confess that he could have done things better. The party faithful were proud of his humility and his endeavour to learn from his mistakes.
How were they to know that doing better meant that he would do things in a way that he would not be caught out? If it were not so unashamedly bold one could say it was clever.
True to their promise of doing things better, for their major project our twosome took on board some of the more – one would not say dignified, but – well-known business people on the island as a front. They did not fail to include too their accountants of trust to survey matters.
They left dealings with shareholders of ill-repute to a colleague who rushed in where angels feared to tread. As was putting his name on the dotted line.
Yet something must have gone wrong somewhere. Some people still do not know what. The country was a much better place thanks to the twosome. How could things change so suddenly in a matter of a few days?
The truth of the matter nonetheless is that when they seemed to have reached their peak they walked into oblivion.