Now that the festive season is over, I think I should continue with my weekly analysis of the European Parliament election hopefuls, today I will be writing about a person who is both controversial and interesting in his own way. Dione Borg.
Let me be very frank. I have known Dione Borg since I was a kid, kicking footballs in the fields near my grandmother’s house. I, along with a few others was the one to urge him to contest the upcoming MEP elections as I am of the opinion that he badly needs a change of career having somewhat stagnated reporting the National Parliament sittings. I simply believe that he is just too good to do that.
Dione is certainly the most politically minded out of all the candidates that the PN has fielded so far. Having made his way up through the ranks, he is definitely a party boy. He knows how the Nationalist Party works like he knows the palm of his hand. He is outspoken, opinionated and does his research well. Besides being one of the most veteran journalists around, he is the author of several political books that describe in detail the political climate in Malta during the struggle of the 1980’s.
It will not be easy for him to get elected. Notwithstanding the good qualities he possesses, he might be seen as archaic by the liberal faction of the party and maybe a tad too obsessed with the past. Some might find him arrogant as his vigorous displays during television debates betray his passion and his obvious dislike of the labour party. His affiliation with Floriana.F.C. does no good to his cause to enamour himself with certain factions but then again Adrian Delia was B’Kara F.C. President and he managed to get elected as leader of the PN. Dione is considered by many as just another David Casa but without the experience, the team and definitely minus the veteran MEP’s Machiavellian way of thinking.
Yet, his appeal soars with the grassroots. Having been a fervent supporter of Adrian Delia’s candidacy for leadership through and through, he has made inroads in reaching the hearts of the maduma diehards who had previously supported Casa but now feel uncomfortable offering their support to the Gzira MEP since he aligned himself with the Holier than thou (borrowed from Musumeci) and hence lost all the pro Delia vote. But I will leave Casa for later and delve further on his Mount Carmel College school mate Dione.
From what I follow, I can see that even though his resources are limited, he has managed to build quite an effective team. He utilizes the party resources to the max and even though he may not be the number one choice of the leadership, he has managed to secure quite a good number of significant endorsements. He has, through experience and persuasion, keep a working relation with the rebel faction within the party active.
This per se will not garner him any significant number of votes but with some luck he might inherit some votes from the Metsola surplus and from the elimination of other candidates thus giving him a sporting chance against Casa, Psaila and Agius, who I consider the serious contenders for the EPP’s second seat. Should by miraculous intervention of Malta’s first bishop the PN enter the contention for the third seat, the inheritance game might prove vital in replacing Borg’s carbuncle office with one that has a view over Place Luxembourg.
Dione Borg must work incessantly in the five months to come, he cannot afford even a day off. He must meet as many constituents as possible, mainly to overcome the perception that he wears horses’ blinkers and also to raise the spirits of PN supporters who have had little or nothing to smile about for these last five years and are seriously considering whether it is worth the while going to vote come election day as nothing seems to bridge the gap between a broken PN and an ever youthful looking PL; which notwithstanding cries of foul play and corruption, seems to be going from strength to strength, all this mainly due to the fact that despite rumours and speculation Joseph Muscat will still hold on to the coveted seat for the foreseeable future. Should Labour widen the 40 thousand gap, the PN would seriously have to rethink itself again and the likes of Borg will not be given much space in this overhaul as its catalyst would definitely come from the rebel faction.
Borg faces a challenge, an uphill struggle, but he has never shied from challenges. It will be difficult for him. Definitely not impossible.