This is not my comment, but I wish it were

Published: June 30, 2017 at 3:35pm

A reader (quite a prominent one right now) has just sent me this message after reading a few of my posts about Adrian Delia.

You’ll probably find that Adrian is only an extreme example of the prevailing attitude right now. All potential Nationalist Party leaders seem to have this conciliatory spirit about them – it’s the crushing power of Muscat’s fascism that has carried with it the minds of too many people whose business it is supposed to be to know better.

It’s a collective embarrassment these people seem to be suffering from for not being Muscat.

I agree. Imagine if Eddie Fenech Adami had tried to defeat Mintoff by being as much like him as possible, or wavering in confidence because Dom Mintoff had 150,000 howling Laburisti lighting candles to him in between wrecking shops, homes, Opposition Party clubs, newspaper buildings and the Courts of Justice.

Why was Dr Fenech Adami the perfect counterfoil for Mr Mintoff? Because he was his precise equal and opposite. They were as tough and calculating as each other and – here’s the killer point – Fenech Adami made it OBVIOUS TO ALL, ALL THE TIME, EVERY STEP OF THE WAY that he held Mintoff in complete and utter contempt and would have happily thrown him under a bus were it not for his religious convictions.

The perfect counterfoil for Joseph Muscat is also his precise equal and opposite and somebody who makes it clear and obvious to all that he holds him in utter contempt. The medium is the message: if the Opposition leader does not make it obvious that he holds the Prime Minister in contempt then people will ignore all messages as to why they should do so themselves.

Look at Joseph Muscat: he made it obvious that he despises Simon Busuttil (“Imur jiehdu f’sormu”, “Chicken”, “Your hands are sweating”) and his audience absorbed that contempt and ran with it.

If the leader of the Nationalist Party will insist on being polite and civilised to his opposite number, then his audience will follow suit, and will treat him with respect. This is terrible strategy.