The Malta Independent 5 August 2020, Wednesday

Can any god or saint save the PN?

Victor Calleja Sunday, 16 February 2020, 09:01 Last update: about 7 months ago

Six days ago Malta was en fête, celebrating the shipwreck of its patron saint. We always seem to celebrate strange, sad events. A ship sank, its passengers and crew were cast ashore and, bingo, we locals jig up a huge party.

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In the past six days or so we have witnessed another near shipwreck: the old Partit Nazzjonalista (PN) hit one of the lowest ebbs in its history. Imploded, or nearly did. It also has enough debts to sink it deeper than its abject survey results have plunged it.

The captain of the ship, Adrian Delia, is trying hard to stay at the helm. Or, rather, he is doing all he can to sink the ship and its dwindling followers to the bottom of the sea.

Adrian Delia, under investigation himself for nefarious stuff, is adamant that he will lead the party to the next election. By the time that comes along he could be fighting not for his political life, or that of his party, but to surpass Alternattiva Demokratika.  

The party – the PN – is totally bankrupt; not just in thought and vision but also in resources and, sadly for this country, even in monetary terms. To what degree no one seems certain but it’s many millions of euros owed to creditors and seemingly nobody too concerned about where they are going to come from. Too many millions for it to even stand a chance of fighting a good fight.

The eventual fight in the electoral arena against the Labour Party promises to be worse than David and the giant. Goliath was slow and dim-witted and an easy target.

Labour, even in what should be their worst hour, are a party revived, a party full of energy, a party reborn. Nothing really changed for Labour although, in theory, they should be on their knees, bleeding politically with so many scandals and horrors tied to them that they should be the ones imploding and on terminal alert.

If we were not living in the worst of surreal worlds, the Labour Party would be so weak that the PN would only need a weak reaction to be victorious against them. Instead Labour is on the up and Robert Abela seen as one of its resplendent pop stars.

The PN, in its present format, has provided the country with another formidable obstacle to true democracy. A party sounding more and more like a dinosaur from some strange past up against a mega party awash in cash and support. There is no counterbalance to the Labour Party.

A country that lacks any checks and balances is now also deprived of a functioning opposition.

Piled against the PN is not just a Labour Party that is strong and liquid. It also has itself to blame for choosing Adrian Delia and a band of stooges around him who would find it hard to organise a few children in a game of old-fashioned hide and seek.  

Beyond its own mistakes and abject decisions by its leaders past and present, the PN also has to fight against a party in government that has abused and continues to abuse its stranglehold on the state media.

The PN has its own TV, radio and newspapers which are read, seen and heard by such a few it would make more sense to scrap the media house and start issuing bulletins and displaying them in village squares. Or have a few PN stalwarts, like the new secretary-general, go round villages with a megaphone spouting out how modern and up to date the party is.

Whatever the party will do it is in a desperate state. It cannot solve its problems. Who is going to donate to the party? The few people it still attracts? Is there any mega-businessman who wants to be connected to the party and its vision of doom?

Even if it does attract sponsors, how can the PN, in today’s world where politics has been so poisoned by infiltration and dominance by big business, accept any huge donation?

There are so many problems tied to Malta at the moment it sounds desperate. Everywhere you look there is a problem. No amount of whitewashing and patching up by Robert Abela and his administration will solve the problems which are legion and still being unearthed.

When Robert Abela says that the opposition needs to be strong while feeling smug about the size of his support is understandable. This is, however, another of our national problems that needs to be addressed immediately. The PN as a political force cannot go bankrupt or close down.  

With the PN decimated, the national crisis is escalating. No leader of the PN can work miracles. But if they do change course and find a leader, a vision and a purpose, they will still have to solve their monetary problems before they can start functioning.

Unless political parties are given proper funding on an equal level, the imbalance of the two parties will grow to an extent that only one party will remain.

If this happens, we will face the total failure of the PN and democracy. And Malta as a whole will sink into horrors we have never seen.

 

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