The PN’s metaphoric battering ram seems to be made of half-frozen Prinjolata leftovers from carnivals past

The Skinny | No 162 – Malta’s Bumbling Opposition Block

What are we skinning? The Nationalist Party’s apparently chronic inability to make inroads among voters and/or present a coherent united front against the ruling Labour Party on key issues of the day, as personified by the persistent and embarrassing infighting between current leader Bernard Grech and his former counterpart Adrian Delia… and an embarrassingly error-ridden pre-budget document.

Why are we skinning it? Because it’s a two-pronged display of concerning ineptitude, that’s also kind of sweet, as a chaser.

That’s a juicily loaded sentence, right there. Could you unpack it? On the one hand, what we have here is a leading Opposition party that’s in no shape to coherently ‘oppose’, because the metaphoric battering ram they’re expected to produce is currently being put together by spit, papier-mache and what seems to be the half-frozen Prinjolata leftovers from carnivals past.

Yes, that would be of some concern as it means that the Labour Party’s rock-solid mandate can keep on truckin’ on, with any number of questionable policy decisions swooshing by unchecked. Exactly. But on the other hand…

I shudder to think. You may shudder away. But the fact is, it’s also kind of funny.

My sides are rearing for a splitting. Go on… Well, it’s kind of amusing to see Malta’s former ramrod straight, Demo-Christian moral leader be reduced to the ambling and shambling, headless-chicken condition it is now.

Few things are more delicious than self-righteous over-earnestness being banana-peeled into humiliation, yes. It’s a cruel comeuppance that was, alas, somewhat inevitable.

You’d think that their repeated electoral drubbings of late would be punishment enough, though. There is an argument to be made about not being overly sadistic towards an already-embattled PN, yes.

But surely the party itself shouldn’t keel over and whine like that? Yes, adding self-pity to their crop of vulnerabilities will hardly drum up the confidence that they desperately need in this prolonged hour of need.

Are they actually making an active effort in contradicting the prevailing narrative, though? Persisting on making their infighting public and publishing an error-ridden pre-budget document is certainly not the way to go.

Do say: “Malta needs a stable opposition party, fast. Either that, or civil society needs to truly come together to create the necessary battering ram that can pave the way back to a truly democratic space for the country.”

Don’t say: “It was really crummy of MaltaToday to publish a whole article detailing the top-to-bottom errors in PN’s pre-budget document. When did we decide that the island’s independent media should be critical, rigorous AND gloriously bitchy?!”