What needs to be done

Adrian Delia writes: I feel it is my duty to answer any and all questions thrown at me, however malicious their intent and spurious their content. But I admit to being frustrated for not being allowed to speak about the real important stuff

29 August 2017, 7:30am
PN leadership hopeful Adrian Delia writes that his mission is to re-energise the PN
PN leadership hopeful Adrian Delia writes that his mission is to re-energise the PN
I was recently asked in a live TV debate why I decided to run for the PN leadership. Before I could say much, I was also asked many questions about innuendoes and falsehoods reported and repeated about me by people who for whatever reason do not want to see me challenge the Labour Party at the next election.

I feel it is my duty to answer any and all questions thrown at me, however malicious their intent and spurious their content. But I admit to being frustrated for not being allowed to speak about the real important stuff.

In some respects my party over time lost its way. Its methods became weak, its finances depleted, its activists demotivated, its core support alienated. But it never lost or compromised its core mission: of being of selfless service to our community, of being loyal to the truth, of fighting for justice and equality. But having your heart in the right place is not enough. A winning political party must be able to anticipate the country’s challenges and articulate a vision that can mobilise a nation and shape history.

My mission is to re-energise the PN: transform once again its core values from a dormant potential into a driving force of ideas and programmes. We must again become a magnet for the best minds in the country who give Malta their time and their life. We must again spell out a new vision and a new way of designing change, and implement it.

For I have great aspirations for this country. And there’s a lot we need to fix and a lot we need to build to realise those ambitions.

We need to re-invent our educational structures to raise generations of hard-working citizens for whom the mission to improve the lives of their community is as important as improving their own.

We need to close the re-emerging gaps of social injustice, eradicating the horrendous deprivations experienced by people who have to choose every day between having a roof over their heads or enough money to eat. We need to close the perennial gaps in our health service. We still have situations where people have to worry whether they can afford life-saving medical care instead of focusing on getting better. We have gaps in mental health care that are aggravated by a noisy environment and a social stigma that is itself a harmful affront to mental health.

We need to heal the painful divides emerging between members of our community because of their racial heritage. We need to stem ghettoization, address prejudices and grow out of fear and hatred.

We need to restore confidence in the institutions of justice, where law-abiding citizens are confident they are protected from criminals in balaclavas and in business suits while ensuring the security of our shores, and reinvigorate the fight against drugs not by abdicating our efforts and legalising and sanitising what we give up on defeating.

We need to clean up the administration of our country from the rot of corruption starting from the very top. We need to outgrow our colonial expectation of public administrators imperiously discharging favours to family, political friends and those willing to pay under the counter. Our public administration must instead be fair, honest, clement and helpful.

We need to reinvent our economic foundations, strengthening anew the ones we rely on and build new ones for a more prosperous and sustainable future. We need new sources of income that create jobs for our children and enhance the quality of life for our community.

We need to upgrade our neighbourhoods and transform the concrete jungle that years of haphazard development have bequeathed us into a garden city where people can walk in the shade and children can play in the sun. We need to find new ways of moving about to be able to work more and have more fun in our lives. We need to do so with less noise, less congestion, less frustration, less emissions poisoning our air.

We need to move from meekly protecting our countryside to actively make way for nature to reclaim our landscape through afforestation and conservation. We need to revitalise our role in our region, rebuild the respect we long enjoyed as honest brokers on the international scene and contribute in our small but disproportionate way to the safety of our corner of the world.

In order to achieve all this we need to renew a political party with fresh resources with the necessary enthusiasm, training, instinct and ability. We need to programme an apprenticeship for a fresh generation of political leaders whose credentials are initiative, compassion, competence and that special kind of altruism where the good of the many outweighs the good of the few, or the one.

We also need to transform a vision into a programme, a mission into a project, a dream into a realisable strategy that our people adopt as their own. I want to spend the next four years working with a rejuvenated team in the PN to draw up just that programme. Because less than five years from now we have the job of our lives to get busy with.

Adrian Delia is running for the PN leadership election