Adrian Delia admits that the last time he did anything for the Nationalist Party, he was 17. He is now 47.

Published: June 29, 2017 at 12:22pm

I watched Rachel Attard’s interview with Adrian Delia – who is aiming to become Leader of the Opposition.

Rachel Attard pointed out that even though Adrian Delia is a paid-up member of the Nationalist Party, which qualifies him to contest the leadership election, he has not ‘darkened’ the doorstep of the PN headquarters for the last 30 years.

Delia himself said in some other context that the last time he ‘militated’ (what an unfortunate word) in the Nationalist Party was in the 1980s, when Eddie Fenech Adami was in Opposition. Given that he is 47 now, he was 17 when the Nationalists were finally elected to government in 1987, so exactly what sort of work could he have done for the Nationalist Party at 16 and 17? This is the kind of intellectual dishonesty that should set alarm bells ringing.

So he stuffed a few envelopes at PN HQ at the age of 16 and then next popped back at the age of 47 with a view to becoming Opposition leader. God help the Nationalist Party, because at this point nothing but a deus ex macchina will save it – and that deus ex macchina is not Adrian Delia.

Ms Attard asked him, pointedly, whether he doesn’t see this as arch opportunism. No, Dr Delia said, it is not opportunism but a “calling”. He said the same thing last night on Reno Bugeja’s show, so the effect was diluted on me this morning. I’m afraid that yesterday I burst out laughing when I heard it. Egomaniacs are so predictable. They never just want to do something. It has to be a “calling”, like Saul on the road to Damascus, Mother Theresa or Moses on the Mount.

Dr Delia probably sees himself as leading the Nationalist people through the desert and parting the waters with his stick so that they can go safely through to the land of milk and honey, where he and his inner clique can satiate themselves. But not if it’s 40 years – no, of course not.

If he wanted to waste his time he would have thrown his hat into the leadership ring in 2013 after years of working in the party and maybe even standing for election to parliament. He wants to cool his heels for just five years before the ultimate prize of becoming prime minister after doing nothing in politics in his life. That’s the way I read the situation, and I wasn’t born yesterday.

Rachel Attard then asked Adrian Delia why he refused to stand for election on the Nationalist Party ticket even though he was asked to do so twice. Let’s see what excuse he’s going to come up with, I said to myself. The reason he gave was that in 2013 “I was too young”. Too young? He was 43. There are people standing for election who are 23. “My children were too young,” he said next. But if all politicians waited until their children were adults before they started out in politics, the world would be in an even bigger mess than it is now.

The reason he gave for refusing the invitation to stand for election on the Nationalist Party ticket on 3rd June is even more intellectually dishonest. He actually presented it as an act of heroism: that he turned down the invitation even though he would probably have had a clear run on the Birkirkara district because he runs Birkirkara FC and Tonio Fenech had pulled out of politics. But then, amazingly, a couple of days after the general election he suddenly had a “calling”.

Adrian Delia (centre, in grey suit) with Birkirkara Football Club