The Malta Independent 4 December 2020, Friday

TMID Editorial: PN MPs – From indifference to overkill

Friday, 23 October 2020, 09:09 Last update: about 2 months ago

It seems that Nationalist Members of Parliament have found their voice again after the change in leadership.

Since Bernard Grech took over from Adrian Delia as party leader, we have started to receive a series of press releases – up to six or seven almost every day – from the PN. Some involve Grech, who has been busy meeting constituted bodies and others to introduce himself in his new role.

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The rest are from party spokesmen and deal with their respective portfolio. Needless to say, some are worth reporting; others are not.

But we could not help but notice the change. It is clear that, when Delia was leading the party, some MPs wanted to distance themselves as much as possible and were reluctant to even sign their name on official press releases. There were times when days passed between one PN press release and another – unless it involved then leader Delia – and very often PN spokesmen missed great opportunities to make their voice heard on matters of national interest.

Since 3 October, the day when Grech took over the PN leadership, these releases are coming in droves although, as we have already said, some do not make it to news portals or newspapers because they carry no value.

This change in attitude is yet further proof – if further proof was needed – that many spokes were put in Delia’s wheels during the course of his three-year tenure as leader. In many instances, he was left on his own to fight his own battles.

Since Grech took over, PN MPs – some of whom were part of the rebel group which led to Delia’s ouster – seem to want to make up for the lost ground. Or else they are now comfortable to have their name associated with the PN. Or else they are trying to impress their new leader before he announces his own list of spokespersons (why is he taking so long?). Or else they have realised that the election is not too far away and want to remind the PN supporters that they exist.

Or a bit of everything.

What has not changed is their negativity. It has been since the Simon Busuttil years that the PN has been labelled as being too negative and, frankly, the description is not wrong. We understand that the role of the Opposition is to criticise and scrutinise, but to do so just for the sake of it many times backfires.

And Grech has taken the same path, as his reaction to the budget for 2021 attests. The budget may have its flaws but one cannot say that it does not address the current problems that the country is facing because of the pandemic. Just the fact that, in spite of the difficulties, no taxes were introduced or amended while, at the same time, the government will continue to sustain the private sector at least until March does deserve some recognition, even from the Opposition.

Once again, the PN stood out as the single organisation that found nothing positive in the budget presented last Monday. Grech will give his official reply to it next Monday, and he is still in time to make up for this.  

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