The buzzword in Pieta’ late on Saturday night was ‘reconciliation’.
Many rushed prematurely to congratulate Adrian Delia for the apparent conciliatory undertones he delivered in his farewell message.
The real repercussions of Delia’s defenestration will be better measured when the dust has settled. My bet is safely on the unfolding of the narrative where all the talk of conciliation, commitment and loyalty to the Party goes up in smoke. And so it should.
Back in August, I had written about how blood needs to be shed (metaphorically, of course) in order for progress to be had. The struggle for a new opposition cannot afford the kind of pussyfooting and all the talk about unity ‘for the good of the Party’ that seems to be par for the course under Bernard Grech.
The first step towards leadership should in fact be an assertion of standards – the standards that have been lacking for a long time.
In the days before the advent of Muscat’s Labour, I would often criticise Lawrence Gonzi’s PN of having become an open vessel prone to lowering any standard of values so long as it allowed all forms of new candidates in order to seem to listen to the people.
The PN of the Pick’n’Mix variety chose to relinquish any form of leadership of ideas and vision simply to become a hodgepodge mix of misfits, a motley crew, that would signal the beginning of the end.
When Bernard Grech took to the podium late on Saturday to deliver his first speech as Leader, his Greek gaffe had suddenly become the least of his problems. I waited with bated breath to hear whether the proverbial bull would be grasped by the horns. Instead, in a drawling delivery punctuated by regular mentions of ‘il-partit’ Grech confirmed the worst of my fears.
Unity was going to top the man’s agenda. Read that we are about to have another couple (were it only a couple!) of months of our main opposition party busy navel-gazing and ‘restructuring’ and ‘reconciling’.
The real world needed an opposition ready to fight a corrupt government and rebuild a broken system. It needed this yesterday.
Instead, we have reconciliation. We have to ‘get close to the people’ (again). We have to ‘listen to their pain’ (again). We have a nostalgic call to help bring the maduma and its people to the centre of the known universe. In other words, this whole campaign to change leader risks becoming a huge waste of our time.
Bernard. This is no time for reconciliation. This is time for leadership.
Just look at the Labour Party’s statement upon your appointment. They have already painted you into the immigration battlefield. While you are busy shaking hands with the lost sheep of the Party trying to pander to their spoilt demands for attention, Robert Abela is sharpening the hypocritical daggers playing the populist tune to which your predecessor so loved to dance.
They want the distraction. They need a distraction. It keeps our eyes away from the headlines that should be winning our attention: “Government buys COVID-19 ventilators from ‘Tiger King’ and an arms dealer”. Read that again.
This is not the worst news that we could follow this week. The Daphne Caruana Galizia inquiry continues to unravel the intricate network of corruption that has taken over our society.
The Paul Apap Bologna testimony has shown the deep the involvement of even our business community in the shambles of non-governance.
Who are you planning to set up your Financial, Economic and Business forum with Bernard? Do you not realise that what is needed is a root treatment of the system?
Everybody is tainted, Bernard. Everybody. That includes the Party structures that you seem intent to revive. It will not work.
Change needs leadership. A leadership that does not ask for loyalty, but rather it establishes the integrity needed to bring about the real revolution.
Do not waste time in reconciling where there is no reconciliation to be had. Instead, lead and those who share your values and integrity should, and will, follow.
Grech’s maiden speech as leader emphasised the Party all too often. It does not bode well. I hope to be proven wrong.
We do not need more of the same that has led us into this mess of a nation. We, the people of Malta, need a leader for a peaceful constitutional revolution that rids us of the corrupt mess once and for all.
This is not the time for reconciliation. This is the time for leadership.