Mario Demarco says he doesn’t want to be a full-time politician

Published: March 16, 2017 at 10:01pm

It seems that every time I turn on the television to a Maltese station in the evening, I find a bunch of people discussing me. Are they sick, or what? I’ve been around in this job for almost three decades. And they’re still talking about me like obsessed people.

Anyway, I’ve just got in, switched to TVM, and sure enough, I hear Saviour Balzan trying to get a bitchfest about me out of Mario Demarco. I think Balzan’s even beginning to bore his own audience with his fixation.

It was the last few minutes of Demarco’s stint on the show. Balzan asked him whether he thinks MPs should be full-time MPs. “Yes, I think so,” Demarco said.

“If that happened, would you be a full-time MP?” Balzan asked him. I knew the answer before I heard it. And sure enough: “Ma nahsibx.”

“What do you mean?” Balzan asks, surprised because he doesn’t know his interviewee. “You mean you prefer your law practice to being a politician?”

Demarco suddenly realises what he said and tries to get out of it, unsuccessfully. But quite frankly, that tells us all we need to know. Given the choice between practising law and practising politics, he’ll go for law.

So he should go for law right now, and leave the deputy leadership position to somebody who actually is galvanised by politics and determined to fight Labour, which is the rival party. The golden lesson in life is that if your heart isn’t in it, whatever it is, just don’t do it – because you won’t do it well.

If you’re operating in a field where not doing it well means consequences for your organisation and for other people’s lives, and in this case, serious consequences for the country, then you have to put your self-interest aside and do what it is that you really enjoy and are good at.

Mario Demarco’s failure to perform as Opposition leader does not have consequences for him. It has consequences for Malta. That is my point – and any attempt by him, by the Labour Party or by individuals with a fixation against me to make out that this is somehow personal are devious.

They can see that Demarco is failing to perform. They can see that what he did with Silvio Debono and Konrad Mizzi was wrong. They can see that I am right in objecting from the point of view of somebody who knows that the Nationalist Party needs to be pulling out all the stops to overthrow the Muscat cabal. But they spin it otherwise.

“I’d rather be sitting round the negotiating table in Konrad Mizzi’s office, working on a contract for Silvio Debono who pays better than parliament does.”