I wasn’t far wrong when I wrote on 17th September that the 36,000-vote gap had shot up to 60,000

Published: October 10, 2017 at 1:15pm

On 17th September, I wrote that the 36,000-vote gap between the Labour Party and the Nationalist Party had shot to at least 60,000, overnight. Adrian Delia had just been elected leader of the Nationalist Party.

I had no surveys to work off but only years of experience in writing about Maltese political behaviour and an obvious understanding of how a big chunk of the Nationalist Party’s core support thinks. My own views are not at all unusual, as those who would undermine me seek to make out. They are actually pretty typical of a great, big, key category of electors and that’s exactly why I have the readership I do: I understand my audience and the fact that I am one of them.

I had spent the past few weeks writing about how the Nationalist Party would be scripting its suicide note by making Delia its leader, not only because he himself is a knave but, crucially, because when the party allows itself to be hijacked by anybody walking in from the outside, it looks weak, vulnerable and structurally disorganised. And that means people won’t feel safe trusting it to run the country.

Also, the very fact that people as sub-standard as Delia and Frank Portelli were allowed to stand for the leadership election at all has decimated people’s trust in the Nationalist Party’s ability to maintain standards, let alone set them.

It talks about safeguarding standards in public life and protecting important state and government roles from poisoning by terrible appointees, and then it can’t even safeguard itself from leadership candidates who include a bankrupt to the tune of many millions and a sleazy lawyer who is as slippery and evasive as a skink.

I put my point of view across in person, too, to people in the Nationalist Party, or connected with it, who support Delia and actively worked for his election as party leader.

“I’m damned if I’m ever going to vote to make that man prime minister,” I said, “or even feel any kind of support for the Nationalist Party as long as he and his chimps and assorted root vegetables lead it. And that means that thousands of other people are going to be doing and feeling the same because my thinking may not be typical on a nationwide scale, but when it comes down to a crucial category of people who vote Nationalist, it most definitely is. The way I’m feeling, they’re feeling that way too.”

If I had Mrs Delia’s strange and frivolous mind-set, I would now say that I feel vindicated. Instead I feel angry at the mindless stupidity and rabid personal ambition – a combination of factors that is a predictor for catastrophe – that have caused this.

Two days ago, Malta Today published a survey that shows how the vote-gap between the two political parties has actually doubled, from 36,000 to 73,000.

My instinctive understanding on the day of Delia’s election that the gap had shot to 60,000 had been correct – probably because it was not ‘instinct’ at all but a real understanding of how the people for whom I write actually think, for no other reason than that I am like they are.

I have no idea whether the survey results caused a panic in Delia’s hen-house, or whether it has begun to dawn on the more sensible people around him, who may perhaps have been blinded originally by other factors, that the only thing to do now with what they thought was their prize cock is to wring his neck and broil him for supper.

Some people have begun to acknowledge in private that they were wrong – it takes a big person to do this, and far too many protect their ego by sticking to their guns instead of using those guns to shoot their cock Delia. One or two people who supported Delia, and who probably still like him at a personal level, now see in the face of those survey results that the fact that they like him doesn’t mean Nationalist Party voters do. To understand how a Nationalist Party voter thinks, ideally, you have to be one. Otherwise, you are more likely to understand how a particular segment of Labour voters think, and that is not what is useful here.

Whichever way I look at it, it’s a disaster. Some people who are active within the Nationalist Party have defended their choice to stay on by saying that they can’t leave the party to be taken over entirely by the invading parasites, that they have to fight from within.

Fine, I say, as long as this ‘fight from within’ has one sole aim, which is to defenestrate Delia and his collaborators immediately the Nationalist Party is wiped out in the European Parliament elections in 2019. Because if that doesn’t happen, what are they going to do in the three years which follow – campaign for the Nationalist Party to win the 2022 general election with Delia as leader, and vote in that election to make him prime minister? How do you ‘fight against’ somebody and then at the end of it all vote for him and the party he leads? It makes no sense.

And that is exactly why I and a big chunk of those who voted Nationalist in the last general election now say that we won’t be voting at all: because we don’t want Delia to become prime minister and we no longer trust the political party which was crazy and disorganised enough to allow him and Frank Portelli to be contenders in its leadership election, and a party which was so lacking in political insight and so unable to read the runes that its people actually chose Delia. People with such poor judgement can’t be trusted to take their aged mother or grandmother out for a walk in the park.

My post on 17th September