What are the PN’s prospects for the future? The sad reply is zilch

The MP's behaviour is nothing short of obnoxious and selfish. They just saw Delia as some red rag waving in front of their bullish instincts

The arguments against Delia are two-fold: he is not electable and he does not represent the values of the PN
The arguments against Delia are two-fold: he is not electable and he does not represent the values of the PN

The news coming from the PN headquarters in Pietà must sadden all genuine Nationalist supporters. Reports of Natio-nalist MPs screaming at each other’s throats tend to make the story apparently dramatic. For me it is just a sorry mess.

The efforts of those who ne-ver accepted the leader elected democratically by the majority of PN card-holding members (tesserati) seem to be coming to a head. The journalists of The Times who have ‘access’ to the anti-Delia faction and whose ‘reports’ have steadily undermined Delia’s leadership while covering up the names of their interested infor-mants, are probably rubbing their hands with glee for a job almost done.

The arguments against Delia are two-fold: he is not electable and he does not represent the values of the PN.

In truth, I do not think that any party, except the Labour Party, can win the next general election. Saying that Delia is not electable will make matters worse not better. Getting rid of Delia means replacing him with somebody else – someone who, in the current circumstances, will be as unelectable as Delia is.

This is obviously an excuse conjured by those who were opposed to a Delia leadership in the first place: those who made an unelectable Delia even more unelectable.

Then there is the argument about the ‘baggage’ attributed to Delia, ‘baggage’ that has supposedly shocked a lot of MPs who have never heard of the idiom about the pot calling the kettle black. This ‘baggage’ is described as making Delia at least once removed from the values that the PN stands for – as if these values do not include a sense of ethics and loyalty – two values that those who oppose Delia at all costs do not seem to bother about. Witness their unashamed hiding behind anonymity while texting messages about what was going on during the PN Parliamentary meetings.

A report in the GWU daily l-orizzont last Thursday claimed that the net result of the tragic farce going on at Pietà was that those opposing Delia were reduced from 13 to 11, as if this – if it were true – has any significant importance when compared to the methods that were used by those who opposed Delia from day one.

Pierre Portelli’s resignation from head of the PN media led to an open war of words between him and Karol Aquilina MP who was President of the PN Administrative Council during the Simon Busuttil era and who – according to Portelli – carries the ‘baggage’ resulting from that responsibility during the not so far away past.

These small sub-plots might be good fodder for some muck-raking journalist but they do not really impact the main narrative: the PN is split between the old guard who resent Delia and the grass roots that elected Delia because the old guard failed them.

I am shocked at the behaviour of some Nationalist MPs. They have pushed themselves in a position where they do not deserve either the respect or the trust of the electorate – even that part of the electorate that votes PN without any reservations whatsoever.

Their behaviour is nothing short of obnoxious and selfish. They just saw Delia as some red rag waving in front of their bullish instincts. They never gave him time to settle down and lead the party in the local political arena because they threw everything at him. Now the PN is in shambles, they have only themselves to blame.

What are the PN’s prospects for the future?

The sad reply is zilch. In their attempts of their hardly justified moves to unseat Delia that began even before he was elected PN leader, the anti-Delia faction have undermined themselves and the PN itself.

Their names are now well known. With them – whether leading the PN or opposing the PN leadership – the PN stands no chance of reinventing itself and become once again the strong political force that it once was.

Sadly, they are also responsible for the distressing prospect of our democracy being shorn of an effective Opposition that could be an alternative government.

They have missed the wood for the trees.

Malta Air, not Air Malta

The impact that the newly-formed Ryan Air owned airline, Malta Air, will have on Air Malta is still to be seen. Many observers feel that this will be a negative one. Writing in Illum last Sunday, Minister Konrad Mizzi insisted that the two airlines will complement each other, not compete against each other.

The choice of ‘Malta Air’ for the name of the new airline is, to say the least, confusing. Konrad Mizzi is no idiot and there must be some hitherto unknown reason why this name was chosen.

A few days ago, Aeronews was reported as having published photos of what probably is the first Ryanair aircraft at Stansted airport, operated by Malta Air. Saying that Malta Air will not compete with Air Malta because it will not fly to the same airports sounds hollow when Stansted is 42 miles northeast of central London. Air Malta flies to both Gatwick and Heathrow, of course!

A report in The Malta Business Weekly last Thursday claimed that the Irish exchequer is poised to lose tens of millions in tax revenues after the decision by Ryanair to shift control of aircraft for its operating bases in Italy, France and Germany from Ireland to Malta as the move to Malta would allow international crews to pay income tax in their home countries instead of Ireland.

So, taxation is another issue that seems to be a big factor in the move. I never thought that Ryanair is led by idiots, either. The newly-concocted airline must give some advantage to Ryanair. Otherwise they would not have entered into this uncanny venture.

I have no doubt, either, that Malta is to gain economically from the venture but it seems that the interests of Malta’s flag carrier airline, Air Malta, with its headquarters in Luqa and its hub at Malta International Airport were hardly given a thought. Was the move also a lesson for ALPA: the Maltese airline pilots association?

As is usual with all moves made by Konrad Mizzi, one stone hits many a bird.

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