Thugs and posses of criminals around a party leader are so last century

Published: August 30, 2017 at 2:34pm

It was because the Nationalist Party had the moral high ground this year that thousands of young people – who were nowhere to be seen anywhere near the Nationalist Party in 2013, treating it like the bubonic plague – were this year passionately mobilised to support the PN against Labour sleaze.

Young people, far less jaded and cynical than their parents’ generation, and far more clued up on ethical issues in the 21st century, want to vote for somebody they can respect for being clean and ethnical. The young people who go for the Scarface aesthetic, for the shows of physical rather than moral strength of having their leader surrounded by packs of thugs, are there too. But in attracting these, the Nationalist Party alienates the others.

The young people I know, and because of my circumstances I know many, are not interested in voting for Adrian Delia because he behaves like a bully going everywhere with a gang of thugs, or because he gives shifty answers in answers. They are better educated than their parents and their priorities are different.

The sight of Adrian Delia surrounded by thugs, clinging on to him and forming a tight circle around him while shouting his name, might resurrect memories of Eddie Fenech Adami in the 1980s, for the parents of those young people, and that is exactly why it is being done. Mr Delia’s campaign aides, some of whom are of my generation, are unable to get past their own personal memories and seek to recreate the success story of what is now 30 years ago. But all that younger educated people see is a man who can’t go anywhere unless he is tightly surrounded by criminals and thugs, and they’re damned if they want anything like that.

The other night at the Nationalist Party headquarters was the perfect illustration of this foolish situation. Simon Busuttil, who actually is the leader of the Nationalist Party and a seasoned politician, walked into and left the building as he always does, on his own as all normal people do when they enter and leave their office. But Adrian Delia, a man who is not even a politician and who is definitely not at risk of assassination or being mobbed by fans, entered and left in a tight pack of thugs circled defensively around him. Some of them have a criminal record.

That may have appealed to the less-bright members of my generation as they wax nostalgic over the 1980s (I am sorely tempted to believe, at times, that they actually liked the 1980s), but here I feel the need to remind my generation that now we are the older ones. In five years’ time, we’ll be collecting our bus-pass/Kartanzjan or be just a couple of years shy of it.

Even my sons and their contemporaries are no longer the young generation, because there are adults who are far younger. In their early 30s now, they will be in their late 30s by the time another general election rolls round. In five years’ time, there will be people voting who are 18 years younger than my sons, and therefore a whole generation younger than they are. What do those people care about Scarface scenes with criminals and thugs? Unless they themselves were raised in that milieu, they are more than likely to be completely turned off.