Politics is for politicians: anything less is totally unprofessional and really bad strategy

Published: June 25, 2017 at 6:43pm

Read my column in The Malta Independent on Sunday and tell me what you think.

I never commented on any contender in either Nationalist Party leadership race (there have only been two in my working life), and that says a lot, given that John Dalli was a contender in one of them.

But this time, with Adrian Delia arrogantly throwing his hat into the ring when he has never, but never, played any role in politics in any shape or form, let alone in a political party, I felt obliged to state the obvious: that the leader of a political party has got to be a politician.

One of the reasons Muscat has been able to do what he has done is that he has been directly and deeply involved in the Labour Party since he was 18. He was not a rank outsider who, bored of working as a lawyer, looking for something new, and in the throes of the standard existential crisis that hits men in their 40s, decides it’s time for politics and glory.

The time-honoured way of dealing with a midlife crisis and midlife boredom is to buy a large boat or a fancy car and travel the world or ride a horse over the savannah or a camel across the desert – not to attempt to take control of a political party when you have never worked in politics in your life.

I popped into Dr Delia’s Facebook to see whether he at least uses it to comment about politics, about matters of policy, and if so, to see what his views are. Nothing. Not one political observation. Not one comment about national or international comments. Not even one serious comment about anything at all. It’s all wall to fall football and crass inanities to break the Birkirkara FC monotony.

That he has never worked in politics is bad enough. But that he isn’t interested in politics, beyond the chance it gives him to launch himself directly into the top post from the outside, is shocking. And please don’t tell me that he is interested in politics but doesn’t comment. What is he then – scared of his own opinions? Scared of whether his political opinions will damage his social life and his client list? Or just somebody with no political opinions at all beyond the standard dinner-party fare?

Chris Fearne has been quoted as saying, in a story published today on this newspaper portal, that Labour is going to be in power for another 20 years. I tend to agree with him, though I don’t by any means share his enthusiasm.

Because, of course, it makes perfect sense, doesn’t it, to pit somebody who knows nothing about politics against somebody who has been machinating in a political party since the day he left school. But Adrian Delia has a dream, so we have to fulfil it for him. What planet are we on.

A great start by Adrian Delia’s wife, who has begun taking decisions for the Nationalist Party already. Needless to say, this kind of talk is highly irresponsible.