The PN is missing out

Only a leader with a very strong personality can overcome this

The perception that Bernard Grech is just a stopgap leader, until a more sophisticated personality succeeds him, has not been shaken off
The perception that Bernard Grech is just a stopgap leader, until a more sophisticated personality succeeds him, has not been shaken off

At the moment, the popularity of the Robert Abela administration has taken a severe dip. Those who are dissatisfied include many who switched party allegiance and started voting labour when Joseph Muscat won so convincingly the 2013 election as well as others who have been disappointed with how Robert Abela is running the country.

Meeting people openly disgruntled with how the current administration has so many weights and measures is becoming more and more often.

Abela tries to satisfy everybody – an impossible task that leads to more disgruntlement.

How can people accept that there is no money for their pet projects while the government openly squanders so much money on particular individuals? In this sort of reasoning, party allegiance takes the back seat.

This is where an organised and focused political party in opposition should pounce. This is where the PN should be making inroads. Instead it is missing out.

The PN media does not push the ‘jealousy’ card in a clever way.

There is no strategy behind the PN’s criticism of the current administration. The PN’s newspapers do not seem to be led by anyone. The PN’s Sunday paper, il-Mument, has obviously become a one-man show. The PN has relegated the role of its own printed media to just satisfy PN diehards, anybody else be damned. There is no strategy in the way they give importance to stories or in how they report them. What a waste of money!

I personally think that there are two reasons for the current situation. There is no strategist behind the PN media and the perception of Bernard Grech as a sorry figure after he was ‘given’ the role of party leader – a role for which I do not think he is suited, despite all his good intentions.

The leader’s speeches – and the way they are reported – should strike the right note that disgruntled Labour voters would recognise as reflecting exactly what they think.   

Even so, the leader’s speeches do not seem to fit in some overall strategy. They might be considered good if seen on their own, but Bernard Grech will never inspire voters to join the PN bandwagon just by delivering good speeches.

The perception that Grech is just a stopgap leader, until a more sophisticated personality succeeds him, has not been shaken off. Nor is there any strategy for this to happen. In these circumstances, nobody believes he is prime ministerial material.

Hence he can hardly attract any ‘switchers’ to the PN. Poll after poll indicates that those who are disgruntled by the Robert Abela administration prefer to abstain from voting than to vote PN. The obvious reason for this situation is simply because the PN does not inspire ‘switching’ voters, who believe it is not capable of turning things around and push for a better alternative.

At the same time, the media is riddled with blogs and articles that are vehemently anti-government and that do not strike a good note with people who might be considering switching to the PN. It is hard for such people to start openly believing that they made a mistake when they switched to Joseph Muscat. But this is what certain bloggers and commentators seem to expect them to do. Worse than that, they are perceived as people behind the PN, when they are actually not.

In the past, the PN had problems when Daphne Caruana Galizia expressed opinions that did not reflect the party’s way of thinking and the voter was unable to discern between her opinions, for which she had every right, and what the PN thinks and stands for.

Daphne’s ghastly murder has given rise to several commentators and bloggers who pretend that they are continuing her legacy. I do not think this is possible as Daphne was a particular creature and in many aspects, she is irreplaceable. But as happened in the past, the PN is not able to detach itself from some particular commentators, who have a right for their opinion but do not do the common person’s perception of the PN any good.

Only a leader with a very strong personality can overcome this.

Meanwhile, the PN keeps missing out.

Filming in Malta

Last Tueday’s GWU daily l-orizzont reported with great aplomb, a story starting from the front page, that the influential US magazine ‘The Hollywood Reporter’ had published a glowing report on Malta’s film facilities.

The story in this influential US magazine heaped praise on Malta as a film location and referred to films that had used these facilities, among them Assassin’s Creed, Troy, Captain Philips, Last Voyage of the Demeter and Gladiator.

What is interesting is that the producers of at least four of the five films mentioned used Malta as a filming location during the bad old days before Muscat became Prime Minister in 2013 i.e. in the time of a PN administration.

I am not saying that during that time everything was perfect but this story gives the lie to Johann Grech’s claim that his out of budget extraordinary expenses are justified by the film productions that are being lured to Malta.

Yes, it can be done without squandering the people’s money on the scale that Johann Grech expects us to believe is justified.

Digging up the streets

A large number of streets are currently being dug up by Enamalta to strenghen its distribution system and avoid a repeat of last summer’s electricity breakdowns in many parts of Malta.

The works are being done with some urgency, to the extent that the Planning Authority and the Resources Authority had to exempt Enemalta from preparing a study justifying their need.

And we had thought that Konrad Mizzi had solved all of Malta’s energy problems! Obviously, the large increase in population with the influx of so many foreigners working in Malta did not help at all.

The current minister is, of course, not to blame. She was lumped with a big problem which her predecessors had not bothered to tackle.

Meanwhile, while driving, we are all doing our best to find alternative routes as this work involves the digging up of so many roads.

Better to swear about roadworks than to swear because the electricity supply has failed, I suppose.