The race, to the bottom, is on
The race is on for Jean Pierre Debono’s seat in parliament, but the person who wins it will not be keeping it.
He or she will be giving it up in an act of great sacrifice for the Nationalist Party, for which read its leader. For Adrian Delia and the Nationalist Party have now become synonymous: the leader is the party and the party is the leader. Or at least, that’s the way the assorted crooks, hangers-on, opportunists, perverts, sex maniacs and heavy-debtors who are busy hijacking a political party which was once supported by half the electorate would have us believe. Many of those key individuals are now manoeuvring themselves into position to fill the key roles in the party administration, with the intellectually-challenged Clyde Puli and David Agius gagging for the twin deputy leadership positions and Delia keen to slot them in. Because what does a cunning and avaricious, but ultimately, not very clever party leader like Delia need most if not two deputy leaders who are even less intelligent than he is? That means that whoever it is who is behind Delia – his Keith Schembri, so to speak, who might well be his law partner Georg Sapiano, who is considerably sharper and even less scrupulous than Delia but who failed at the polls in the general election, can have an easier time getting his way.
But not if other contenders can help it. So far, Robert Arrigo has thrown his name into the mix despite an express request from the party leader’s apparatchiks that he not do so. Reports in the media suggest that he sent them flying. I haven’t had kind things to write about him in the past – because, let’s face it, he didn’t exactly bust a gut trying to decimate Labour over the last two parliamentary terms, but I’m glad somebody is standing up to those really awful specimens, Puli and Agius. I truly believe there are few things worse in a political party than abjectly dull-witted individuals with the personality traits of cunning executors of Machiavellian machinations. The combination of stupidity and belief that they are brilliant plotters and exercisers of political strategy makes one weep. It is tragic.
Of course, it is difficult to know what to do if you are a Nationalist MP who can’t stand Delia and the opportunists and perverts around him. Do you stay and oppose from within? That sounds good at the outset, until you remember that there’s going to be a general election in five years’ time. What will these opposing MPs do then? Tell people not to vote Nation- alist? Not vote Nationalist themselves? Vote Nationalist, which means a vote to make Delia prime minister, while opposing him? These are decisions that have got to be made at the outset, bearing in mind that in 2022, which will come soon enough for those of us who are over 30 unless we pop our clogs first, we are going to have to vote. And that means voting to make Delia prime minister, or voting to make Muscat’s successor prime minister. I can’t think which is worse, and we don’t even know who Muscat’s successor will be.
Delia’s appeal, as far as I can gauge from conversation and observation, is mainly to bitter late-middle-aged men or those who have only recently got their bus pass. Women, bar random and mostly chicken-brained exceptions who left school at 15 and still speak, write and probably even think the same way they did then, generally can’t stand him. We think he is slimy. Maybe working-class women like him? Possibly. But the Nationalist Party can’t afford to lose the non-working-class.
Part of the damage of Delia’s election to a post for which he is manifestly unfit is the fact that there is so much discussion about him and his baggage, about the people tacked to his coat-tails, that the focus is completely off the government and the various crooks and nasty pieces of work of which it is composed. That was bound to happen. Delia is the news of the moment. Discussing him is far more pressing than discussing the Nationalist Party, and from a news point of view, people are currently far more interested in the mess into which the Nationalist Party has devolved than they are in the crookedness of the government. This, too, is a natural consequence of things: the Nationalist Party was a bulwark of hope against the seedy awfulness of the Labour Party and the government it forms. That has gone now, and many people are desperate because of it, with nowhere to turn. Because everywhere they look, there is a crook.