The Malta Independent 23 September 2019, Monday

Top of the flops

Victor Calleja Sunday, 9 June 2019, 09:04 Last update: about 5 months ago

Before the internet took over our lives many of us used to follow a programme called Top of the Pops to find out who was leading the pop charts. This gave us a peep into what the best, or most commercially successful, music was. Sounds antediluvian but we all loved it.

Like music, in politics who is in and who is out is not decided by the experts, the intelligentsia or by calculating talent. The majority of the Maltese have chosen Labour to lead us into the next few generations.

Labour is in, values are out. Politics has been debased into a sad travesty of democracy.

In all this electoral jubilation and despair, there is one man who definitely wins the prize for being the flop of flops, the flogger of inane mantras, an abject failure: Adrian Delia. Officially he is the Leader of the Opposition which sounds more and more like a disunited band of lost causes.

Rarely in the politics of this little dotty isle has such a failure been seen. The more Delia and his gang fail in all they do, the more they all flail to come up and incredibly survive.

What is most worrying is not the drubbing he got in the MEP race. It is the way. Not the numbers but the truth behind those numbers. The most glaring factor that emerged was not just the monumental loss. That was bad enough to make any leader of a major party not just resign but preferably disappear.

Roberta Metsola and David Casa, hardly acknowledged by their party or its media, were swept into their seats. They only had their own personal achievements to win by and the two of them, alone, garnered 60% of the PN vote.

They did this when they were faced with a certain candidate, Frank Psaila, who was openly Delia’s blue-eyed, well-trained and groomed, poodle.

That Psaila did not get elected was because he was too closely allied to the leader of the opposition.

It was not just an electoral loss for Psaila. It was a damning one for him and his shady bosses in Pieta.

The whole party machine was in full swing to get Psaila and anyone other than Metsola and Casa elected on the PN ticket. They failed. This means they flopped magnificently. The PN has had the mother of all flops.

There were even messages sent before and during the campaign that Metsola and Casa—those bloody Maltese traitors—were part of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s faction. Because to Delia and Co, being in favour of justice, against curtailment of free speech and having the proper respect for the rule of law, is wrong.

All these manoeuvrings backfired. All they cemented was that the party, the leader, his silly cronies, his old stand against Daphne Caruana Galizia, were so disastrous that they cost him and the party any chance of victory. Or getting close to victory or reducing the ever-growing gap between Labour and the PN.

If you can’t even get your own candidate to Brussels, God (if at all!) knows what you can do against Joseph Muscat, the Labour Party and the invincible machine behind the prime minister and his empire.

When Delia was flung into the position—with the battle-cry of being new and fresh and untainted by political baggage—he was cocky enough to say he would win.

He knew what the odds were and knew that the Labour Party and Joseph Muscat were on a wining streak yet he left his legal practice and told us all he was the man of the moment, the man who could break barriers, the man with the new way. His way—the new way.

Delia claimed he was going to turn politics around. He mesmerised the PN electoral base and they chose him. Or at least that is what the official results showed. We mustn’t forget that Jean Pierre Debono was already behind the scenes. Jean Pierre Debono was already there making sure his man—Delia—would wear the crown.

Delia told us his that his non-political past was going to be his glory. His past should have damned him out of participation but that’s another story of flops and shadiness.

Questions about his dodgy past, his acquaintances, his tax position, his strange outbursts and total meltdown with Daphne, all pointed to a failure in the making.

His choice of advisers, slogans and issues were, and still are, totally cut off from reality. His complete disregard of why there are people who usually gravitate to the PN and are now far away from the party is another proof of his poor aptitude at passing judgements.

The party is in such a terrible state that even the ones who should be showing Delia the door are reluctant to do so. The men and women who should have some sense seem to be increasingly inactive the more Delia flounders and the electoral numbers turn abysmal. 

With such a loss, with such failings, all would have imagined that instead of commissioning reports the leader would have bowed out.

It should have been Adrian Delia’s swansong to pave the way for more experienced, untainted politicians to take over the PN, the once glorious party now gloriously flopping into historical insignificance.

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