[WATCH] New PN leader takes a leaf out of Joseph Muscat’s book in first mass meeting address

Whether by coincidence or not, the introduction to Adrian Delia’s speech yesterday echoed Joseph Muscat in his first mass rally address upon being elected Labour leader in 2008

Joseph Muscat from his 2008 mass rally and Adrian Delia (R) from last night's mass meeting
Joseph Muscat from his 2008 mass rally and Adrian Delia (R) from last night's mass meeting
Like Muscat’s, Delia’s maiden speech recalls own youth

Adrian Delia being elected leader of the Nationalist Party might not turn the party into Labour Mark 2, however, whether intentionally or by coincidence, his first address echoed that of a newly-elected Joseph Muscat back in 2008.

Taking to the stage yesterday at the Floriana Granaries, Delia recounted the story of a 17-year-old boy at a 1987 Nationalist Party mass meeting who was standing up to be counted as the nation fought for “work, justice and liberty”.

“That young man, like all those around him, had suffered. He was a boy that had seen his parents, like those of his parents, suffer and cry because of the partisan oppression during the Maltese politics’ ugliest and darkest times,” Delia told the crowd. “He was a boy that had found locks and chains keeping him from going to school, because education in our country was threatened and oppressed.”

Delia explained how his experience up until that point had caused him to dream to work to change the country’s destiny.

“That boy has now grown up and today is standing here in front of you, with the greatest humility. He is not looking upwards nor is he looking down. Politicians should not look down on those whose respect they hope to win,” he said.

Turn the clock back nine years, and there is a newly-elected PL leader Joseph Muscat addressing a mass rally and telling them the story “of a young boy”, albeit offering a different interpretation of Malta in the 1980s.

Muscat described the young boy, the son of a worker who came from a simple family but who had been given the possibility to realise his potential and go to university through the efforts of a “particular party”.

“That boy grew up got married, and together with his wife, went through nerve wrecking nine months where had it not been for the fact that there was a healthcare system, that everyone contributed to, but was ultimately started by one particular party, his children would not have been saved, they would have died,” Muscat said.

He went on to say that had he been born 50 years earlier, he would also have had to worry about his parents and grandparents, who would have ended up “starving” once they stopped working had there not been the same particular party to ensure their right to a pension.

“That person is me and that party is you,” concluded Muscat on that particular occasion.