Politicians and Diapers

A new PN-led Cabinet would include people like Jason Azzopardi, Karol Aquilina, Beppe Fenech Adami, Karol Aquilina & Anthony Bezzina. Is this the best they have? MASSIMO J ELLUL WRITES.

José Maria de Eça de Queiroz was born on the 25 November 1845 and passed away on the 16 August 1900. He is generally considered to have been the greatest Portuguese writer in the realist style. Zola considered him to be far greater than Flaubert. In the London Observer, Jonathan Keates ranked him alongside Dickens, Balzac and Tolstoy. He stated that ‘politicians and diapers should be changed frequently and all for the same reason.’ Now why would such a quote be interloped with the gist of today’s article, one might surmise. Let us see.

Although the date of the general election has not yet to date been announced by the country’s Premier, Malta is on a nation-wide state of campaign-mode. Medium term planning is next to impossible in most sectors specifically because everyone is waiting for confirmation for an end of March date, or a May date, or a June date.

In the meantime, we had the normal output of national surveys, by Malta Today and by It-Torċa. Both gave Labour a stunning victory projection. Both implied yet again that the electorate is being robbed of a real choice for change simply because there is no real opposition force worthy to be considered as an alternative to a Labour government.

This is not a trend which has seen the light of day in these last months. It has been a constant trend underlined every single month by the perambulations of each survey for these last five years. With no exception. Even this feat alone is not a joke in itself.

It is next to impossible to find a government in any democracy which at some point of its five year legislature becomes a tad bit more unpopular than the country’s opposition.

There is no process of rejuvenation, no process of reinvigoration within the heavyweight PN names.

Simon Busuttil, Adrian Delia and Bernard Grech have ensured that their party in opposition be the first to NOT experience such a swing in this regard.

But let us, for the sake of argument, imagine that there might be a slight possibility of a Nationalist victory come the next general elections. Implausible as it may sound, let us make space for such an argument. All these surveys will inevitably show us who the potential names of Bernard Grech’s cabinet might be.

Who will form part of Bernard Grech’s cabinet?

Because, at the end of the day, this would mean that Bernard Grech would be in a position to choose his cabinet and name his ministers. These would definitely include the two nationalist deputy leaders; Robert Arrigo and David Agius. From the first district, Mario De Marco will also find himself in the PN cabinet, as will Stephen Spiteri from the second district. Jason Azzopardi will be representing the fourth electoral district whilst Anthony Bezzina will represent the 5thdistrict, if the Nationalists manage to keep their two seats there. The seventh and eighth districts will be represented by Beppe Fenech Adami, whilst Karol Aquilina will be representing the tenth district. Chris Said will naturally be representing the thirteenth district within the supposed PN cabinet.

The above list should not be seen to include all the potential cabinet members that Bernard would appoint. He will surely appoint more than the above. He would surely appoint a number of female members of parliament. Plus a number of new faces here and there.

But what is definitely and glaringly obvious for everyone to see is that the above list of ten cabinet names of ministerial potential would be the vast majority and the leading heavyweights of and within Bernard’s cabinet.

The cabinet which supposedly can offer a viable alternative to Labour’s ongoing momentum of change and implementation in virtually all the aspects which touch on the lives, mores and customs of each and every one of us. It will certainly be logical to point out that such a list projects how the nationalist party in opposition has not changed one iota.

There is no process of rejuvenation, no process of reinvigoration within these heavyweight PN names. These are names stuck to the PN past, all bringing about an immediate recollection of nostalgic ‘stories’ of arrogance, corruption and gross misdemeanour. They bring about an assertion of weathered politicians who have not undergone the necessary catharsis to be electable by an unpersuaded electorate.

If this is the best that they can give to the electorate in the forthcoming general elections, then it is no wonder that Labour is beating the Nationalist Party in every survey and has been doing so consistently for these last years.

I very much look forward to the post-2022 Nationalist Party; hopefully a political party which will have the will power to reconnect to its roots, apologise profusely to the electorate and immerse itself completely in a cathartic overhaul of the whole system.

NB – the word ‘hopefully’ was indeed the key word of the last sentence of this article.

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