The Malta Independent 22 February 2020, Saturday

Malta needs a new PN more than a new PM

Victor Calleja Sunday, 6 October 2019, 08:53 Last update: about 6 months ago

If a tsunami were to hit us and Malta would sink beneath the sea, few would remember us. They would recall that Malta once existed but few would find its disappearance too disconcerting.

The EU would deduct another flag from their headquarters. The apparatchiks in Brussels would hire a few less translators and interpreters. The world might say the dot that was, is no more.

We have little bearing in the big scheme of things. Even bigger countries with huge problems, like Hungary, are hardly causing too many sleepless nights for anyone in the EU.

Malta might loudly bark up trees and annoy a few EU member states. Our easy ways and our reputation as a repository for shady men, women and cash does jar. But beyond a few reprimands we – or rather Joseph Muscat and his band – will go on singing, and spiriting away god-knows-what, unperturbed.

We feel entitled and believe that we, an island somehow chosen by the gods, deserve a superior life come what may. We might talk derisively about whatever the EU throws at us but, deep down, we all know there is very little the EU or any other outside body can do to upset or thwart us.

Beyond the pond that is Malta no one cares much about us. To make ourselves even more of a useless nuisance we have perfected our role in roguery. But even that hardly registers on too many foreign radars.

In the pond itself, even with all its murkiness, we are of some consequence to each other. If Merkel or Macron hardly realise who Joseph Muscat is, we sure as hell do. Till that dreaded tsunami sweeps us away, we must face the torrid consequences of all national politics. The more the pond is sullied the more we ruin our present and imperil our future.

As things stand today we are faced with Joseph Muscat and Labour becoming more and more entrenched in power. The Labour lot are power grabbers and keep turning everything into advantages for their political takeover.

The Labour Party has perfected its machine so much that scandals, crises and anything negative are forgotten after a day or two. Eventually they are not just swept under the carpet but turned into positives.

The scenario, therefore, is set for a continuation of Labour and a seemingly reluctant Joseph Muscat to remain in power for a long time to come.

And the more this state of affairs remains, the more important it becomes to have an alternative. Not an alternative in the Labour ranks. But a new alternative to Labour in power.

With the PN, the main opposition party, in total disarray, and with Adrian Delia more and more out of his depth, the country is facing a national crisis. We might not realise this because the country, especially its economy, keeps tugging along successfully.

When the money flies in and the employment situation remains so buoyant nothing seems too troublesome. In fact, whenever a slight problem threatens to surface, all Joseph Muscat and his cabinet do is throw more money at it. We are aflush with money so, the reasoning seems to be, flush it to the country to keep it chugging along.

But what if we are faced with a crisis? An economic crisis that would act like a mini-tsunami and stops all the money flowing in? What if all the factors that have contributed to the new golden age of our country collapse?

What if – I know this is a totally nutty scenario – there is an election and the PN, led by an ever-more bemused Adrian Delia, wins?

The PN, as they are composed today, can hardly run a game of bingo in a small room without indulging in a bit of corrupt practices. Their functionaries resign all the time, are totally inept and have absolutely no policy even worth discussing.

Shake off the slavery of reality and consider this fantastical scenario: Adrian Delia, head of government; Clyde Puli, finance; Kirsty Debono, foreign affairs; Hermann Schiavone, good governance and David Agius trying to cope with all shades of ministers and party whips.

I know this sounds absurd but I think they will make an even mightier mess than the present lot.

Does this mean I want Joseph Muscat and his bunch of ministers to remain at the helm? Definitely and most emphatically not. If ever Labour is toppled I will be front of the masses celebrating, carousing, honking and singing halleluiah at the top of my voice.

However, I still do not want Adrian Delia and his ilk to take over. One curse on this country that has lasted for so long is more than enough. Getting rid of a curse by an even bigger one is no improvement.

I do dream of a new Malta, new politics which are truly a new deal, a new wave. A new Malta that cares about the environment, cares more about our well-being than grabbing power. A Malta that really cares about meritocracy and a good way of life. And is, in any Joker’s wild dreams, Adrian Delia the man for this?

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