What a terrible thing it is to bear a grudge for 40 years and make a fool of yourself at the end of it

Published: September 21, 2017 at 2:50am

Alexander Borg Olivier, who hasn’t voted in Malta since he left for New York in the late 1960s for a position arranged by his father the Prime Minister (no strangers to nepotism there), and who returned to the electoral register in Malta only in April this year, presumably to vote Labour or not vote at all, was on stage in Floriana yesterday evening warming up for that crook Delia.

Borg Olivier, unlike his amenable and easy-going late brother Peter, has born a grudge against the Nationalist Party for four whole decades, since his father was defenestrated – not literally so – in a palace coup in 1977, after he lost a second general election and still refused to resign.

He was replaced by Eddie Fenech Adami, who won against Guido Demarco, as a result of which his son Alexander has resented Fenech Adami ever since, a resentment he continued to project onto Lawrence Gonzi and Simon Busuttil.

So when Adrian Delia crawled out of the woodwork and began shouting about clearing them all out and capturing the castle as an outsider, Borg Olivier must have thought all his Christmases had come at once. He crawled out of the woodwork too and began backing him vociferously. Because nothing is more wonderful than when two grudges coincide and become one.

The fascinating thing is that in his speech Borg Olivier talks about how Delia will make the party a winner again. Again? The last elections in which the Nationalist Party was victorious were won not by his father but by Eddie Fenech Adami (four, and five if you count 1981) and Lawrence Gonzi (one). In fact, the Nationalist Party began winning elections as soon as his father was deposed.

His father, George Borg Olivier, lost the 1971 and 1976 general elections and then had to be forcibly removed because he refused to step down with dignity. It was a terrible mess, and he died just three years later.

The blame for the nightmare 16 years which Dom Mintoff inflicted on these islands can be laid squarely at Alexander Borg Olivier’s father’s door. In 1970, Prime Minister Borg Olivier was too busy running around with a fifth-rate English actress called Dawn Adams to campaign against the rising tide of Mintoffianism, while Mrs Borg Olivier caused an even greater amount of distraction by having an affair with a Roman Catholic priest by whom she became pregnant, giving birth in a sea of scandal just months before her husband faced Mintoff at the polls.

The net result was that practically the whole of Sliema, where the scandalous two continued to live in the same house despite one of them running around with an actress and the other having a baby by a priest, went out and voted Labour or didn’t vote at all, having been completely exposed to every last aspect of the scandal despite its not being reported by the mealy-mouthed press of the time. At one point, Mrs Borg Olivier was actually knocking on the neighbours’ doors and asking them not to vote for her husband because he was cheating on her so openly.

And then their son comes on stage almost 50 years later and tells us that the scoundrel Delia is going to make the Nationalist Party as “great and victorious” as it was back then. I don’t wish to be rude or offensive, because some things are best left buried and not resurrected. But honestly, no wonder he thinks there’s nothing wrong with Adrian Delia.