The PN, and its supporters, are in the depths of depression. They cannot believe what has happened to them and their once-glorious party. They have been knocked out senseless and senselessly the party is going through one of the worst post-electoral bloodbaths. Two defeats, two bludgeonings, two mortal blows.
Not since 1976 has this party diffused such a funereal feeling. Then too the party was in stasis and meltdown: two electoral defeats, two victories in succession by the then dominant figure on the Malta scene, Dom Mintoff.
Joseph Muscat is often compared to old Dom. They both swept aside the PN.
The 1976 formidable victory gave the Labour Party much to celebrate. But that victory was pyrrhic. It gave Malta and the PN Eddie Fenech Adami. This man would take on the formidable Dom and beat him at everything from vision, to oratory, to leadership. He would also beat subsequent Labour leaders and would steer Malta out of the backwaters to enter the fabled EU.
So, is history being re-written and is a new man with a mighty mission about to be born in the labour ward of the PN headquarters? Are we, as a country, in expectant mode, awaiting the new PN leader to take his party to heights unseen, to visions undreamt of, to statesmanship unimagined?
Loss and failure, they say, can forge a new resolve, and out of old ashes come forth new valiant people. This sounds like Homeric tales, with the PN truly treading new ground left hollow after Fenech Adami departed the political field.
Here in brief are a few words about the potential phoenix arising:
Adrian Delia. A lawyer, a football genius, a man of unknown abilities. His new anthem suits the man about to make an attempt at taking on Eddie Fenech Adami’s mantle. The latter too had an inane song which reached the stratospheric heights of world charts: We’re ready for Eddie.
The rumour mill says that some shady Labour stalwart is behind Delia’s fight for leadership, which would make parties tied to one cause, one vision, one business model as processed by Cardinal Richelieu of Kasco fame.
Unfortunately, Adrian Delia’s initials (AD) mirror the Alternattiva Demokratika initials. Mirror not in parlance or thought and hopefully for the PN not in the number of votes that would be garnered if the former B’Kara president takes over the party.
Chris Said. Lawyer, Gozitan big party man. Was one of the chosen few of both Lawrence Gonzi and Simon Busuttil, so closer to defeated leaders than any of the other contestants. Was also Secretary General of PN but strangely, and abruptly, resigned way before the May election to ensure Gozo was kept in the PN fold. As a result of his hard work, for the first time in decades Gozo turned labour red. Said, poor man, should just run to the hills.
Alex Perici Calascione. Another lawyer, which I would love to say should disqualify him from the race: three out of four is definitely too many. This man is my kind of politician: completely transparent and closer to the invisible man than I ever thought possible. Everyone says he is a lovely man and very hardworking but nobody ever says he exudes charisma or is a strategy man.
Frank Portelli. Last but not least my kind of man: older than me. A non-lawyer, a medical man who used to be a surgeon, so surely the right man to ultimately dish out the right medicine, the right incisions.
This man is so full of baggage, so full of bigotry, he even got rebuked by the PN itself. His baggage is perfect to get the whole PN into trouble and make it the most formidable opponent to Joseph Muscat and his fellows. As witnessed in the last election, few care about good governance. So Frank Portelli could be the old way out of a problem—if you can’t beat them (and Simon Busuttil simply didn’t) join them.
After the 1976 electoral fiasco, the PN gave Malta Eddie Fenech Adami who, from a village lawyer, moved on to become an amazing politician. This time round the magicians at the PN seem to be concocting another amazing feat: a truly successful comedy of errors.