I may have mentioned this before, but… quite clearly, I must have missed my true calling in life.

I should have been a dance teacher, damn it! I should have made good practical use of all those decades of (if I say it myself: BADASS) experience on the dance floor…

That way, I might have at least helped our latest “Strictly Ballroom” contenders – “Robert and Roberta, from Malta” (honestly though: you couldn’t make this shit up if you tried) – to get their basic tango movements: you know, before waltzing like that, on a red carpet in Strasbourg, to the sound of…

‘Rum… tum-tum-tum…. Tra-la-la-la-la!’

But wait… I’m running ahead of me, aren’t I? So – in the unlikely event that you haven’t already seen the photo for yourselves – well, here it is, in all its absurd (and, oh! so cheesy!) glory…

I imagine you can already see what I mean, too. Because let’s face it: as far as I know, there are only three realistic interpretations to explain how two prominent Maltese politicians – who were both constantly at each other’s throats, until see you almost literally yesterday – were suddenly able to take time out of their busy “mutual annihilation” schedules…

…for almost any photo opportunity: let alone, for something this “glitzy”…and “glamorous”…and “cute”…and “cuddly”…and “sugar coated”…and… (help (me, guys: I’m running out of adjectives)…’stick-your-fingers-down-your-throat-and-BARF!’…like…

….THIS! (And right before attending a funeral service, too. I mean, like I just said: you literally can’t make these things up…)

But in any case: as far as I know, the only realistic options are:

Robert and Roberta decided to participate in a frame-by-frame recreation of the ballroom scene from Walt Disney’s “Cinderella”… (in which case, they nailed almost every detail down to the camera angle, to cry out loud…)

Or maybe they – for some reason – thought they were standing on the red carpet outside Hollywood’s Dolby Theater on “Oscars Night” (with photographers, paparazzi, passed out celebrities… pieces) ;

Or, that’s what I personally hope for (and certainly what it looks like the most): a rehearsal for a good old ballroom dance spot… specifically, of the ‘Argentinian Tango’ genre.

If so… well, what can I say? They are lucky. Because ‘classic Argentine tango moves’ happen to be my personal specialty: and even by glancing at this photo, I can confirm that both dancers have, at least, mastered some of the fundamental techniques.

Consider, for example, the way Robert tightly clasps Roberta’s right hand with his left. Both arms are bent about 45%…well, well…and both are held at about shoulder level….

Hmm. Technically, that should be “slightly higher”… but hey, let’s not judge our ballroom dancers too strictly, shall we?

More or less everything else, however, is – how can I put it? – WRONG. Take the left arm of the male partner, to start. Sorry, Robert, but: this is the Tango we’re talking about here. We are not sitting around a campfire singing, “Kumbaya, my lord!

No: what we are trying to undertake is a visceral, powerful (and precisely choreographed) interpretation of the same basic ‘attraction-repulsion’ motif that underlies the most atavistic manifestations of human libido.

And at the risk of making Lydia just a little jealous: it also means that you – both of you, mind you – have to make at least a tiny, tiny, tiny effort, to make it look a tiny bit…. “MORE SEXUAL”.

What I’m trying to tell you, Robert, is…you have to ‘HOLD HER’, damn it! (And not just “High-Five her”: it’s not a Giovanotti video we’re doing here, you know). So your right hand goes around Roberta’s waist…there, like this. Much better already….

As for you, Roberta: YOUR left hand is planted firmly – but not too firmly – on Robert’s right shoulder. No, don’t “grab” it that way… just press down on the shoulder with your fingertips… with your wrist arched upwards, almost perpendicular… so that – when the time comes – you can “pull towards you”, as much as you can “push it back”…

And all of this not only because “it’s the right way to do things” (although I can assure you it is.) but also because it kinda helps too: when we get to the part where you (Robert) flips her (Roberta), head first backwards, so that her legs end up bobbing up in the air, and her head is practically touching the ground below…

Sorry, but… it’s going to have to happen, you know (specifically, on the penultimate beat of every fourth bar – depending, of course, on whether we’re in ‘marcato’, or ‘sincopa’, the time signatures Tangos …)

And I don’t want to dampen your enthusiasm, or anything, but… I saw a lot of nasty “accidents” in my ballroom days, you know…

But tell yourself: I may have been a bit harsh with them there. Truth be told, Robert and Roberta have long demonstrated a degree of mastery, all their own, in the art of “tango dancing for publicity-addicted politicians.”

For what I was saying earlier about “Tango”, as a reflection of the constant reversals in male/female relations – where the man first, then the women, “take over” in repetitive dance steps : each ‘frog walks’ the other, so to speak, up and down on the ballroom floor…

…it’s also true for political relationships, you know. This is why Robert Abela could first publicly “snub” Roberta Metsola’s earlier appointment as EP vice-president… not just by refusing to congratulate her; but also accusing him of “using his position [as MEP] damage the national interest”, and all the rest…

…only to (literally) do a whole ‘song and dance’ about the fact that the same Roberta Metsola has just won a much bigger political victory… only this time around he didn’t stop at just ‘ congratulate her; or just “show up for the ceremony”, or something like that.

Oh, no: He practically “swept her away” — just like Prince Charming in Cinderella, in fact — for a colossally staged, colossally fake, colossally Disney “last tango in Strasbourg”… and all against the backdrop fairy tale of smiling and cheering European politicians, everywhere you look…

As for Roberta Metsola: I’m probably not the only one who remembered a certain other (highly publicized) photo: in which her interactions with a certain other Maltese Prime Minister were… shall we say, somewhat ‘different’.

And yet: in the eyes of the Nationalist Party, at any rate… and certainly, in the rhetoric of its current leader, Bernard Grech – there has been no corresponding change, in the meantime, in Robert Abela’s status as “successor Spirituality of Joseph Muscat’.

In other words: the same Robert Abela, whom Roberta Metsola greets today with so many “smiles and bows”, is still considered by his party as a “continuation of the Joseph Muscat era” (which has d (Besides, was the thrust of all the PN’s latest offensive against Labour: to despise Abela’s recent attempts to “distance himself” from his predecessor….)

So… uh… what exactly are we going to do with this sudden contrast between these two (equally “classic”) photographs? Are we to understand that the same Roberta Metsola who had so abruptly cut short the conciliatory advances of Joseph Muscat, with a simple wave of her hand… is now using exactly the same body language, to tell us all this…

…ah, but Robert Abela is NOT such a “continuation of the administration of Joseph Muscat” after all, is he? Because let’s face it: how else are we supposed to interpret what was very clearly – and very embarrassingly – a “publicity stunt”, which these two politicians must have voluntarily participated in?

It had to have a purpose, you know…and if the purpose wasn’t to imitate a Disney movie, or engage in a random ballroom dance…what was it then?

In my opinion, that can only mean one thing, really. That it’s now in BOTH of their interests to play the same “sugar-coated”, “cute and cuddly”, “stick-your-fingers-down-your-throats” game: Roberta Metsola, for the (rather obvious ) which is why she actually found herself needing the support of European socialists, to change… and Robert Abela…

Well, probably because he knows full well that Metsola can now inflict MUCH more damage on her own government, in her new position, than she ever could as a backbencher.

And besides… it’s obviously going to be in his own interest, to play with a grotesque charade who also (in this case) portrays himself as “one of the good guys”, for a change.

Yes, indeed: no wonder that Robert Abela radiates positively, from ear to ear. Because he knows, as well as I – and as well as Bernard Grech, no doubt – that the public “endorsement” of Metsola last Tuesday, is also the direct equivalent of an “Ego Te Absolvo”… (and this time , coming from the new President of the EP, no less!)

But no matter WHY Robert and Roberta engaged in this sort of rhythmic “two steps forward, three steps back” dance; the fact remains that it is exactly the same ‘advance/retreat’ – or ‘attraction/repulsion’ – pattern that we have just seen in our little Tango lesson, above.

So tell you what: let’s start all over again, shall we? On the count of three, now: Ready? One. Two…

‘Rum… tum-tum-tum…. Tra-la-la-la-la!’ [Repeat to fade]…