There is a lot of talk about humility, extending hands of friendships and whatnot by Prime Minister Robert Abela and his acolytes. I’m not the kind of person who suffers from Stockholm Syndrome. Extending hands of friendship means that you genuinely intend to seek and understand the interests of the other party and at the very least, come to a compromise. Robert Abela didn’t compromise with his adversaries over rule of law, on the contrary, he compromised with the criminal cabal of Joseph Muscat, instead. Not only. When faced with a raft of legal reforms which would have restored the rule of law, Robert Abela went on an Orwellian spree accusing the Nationalist Party of threatening economic growth. Then there was the attempted clampdown on free speech with two legislative items. Robert Abela is presumptuous enough to be able to pretend to offer a hand of friendship when in reality, he is asking you to accept a corrupt system along with his corrupt and rent-seeking cronies. What friendship can he expect when for example he intends to pass down laws which clamp down free speech or when he refuses to acknowledge the problem in rule of law let alone address it?
The Prime Minister’s top priority according to the Labour Manifesto is to now “beautify Malta.” It is a world of fantasy beyond the reality of the challenges that we face today such as international affairs, energy security and supply chains. But it is also a fantasy that is intended to cloud the current wreckage that Labour is leaving behind: a system mired in corruption, cronyism, and ever-increasing public debt. And let’s also not forget – a murdered journalist. Most of it is smoke and mirrors such as the “greening of Malta” by Miriam Dalli. How much would you like to bet against me that agricultural land and natural land will keep decreasing in footprint rather than increasing in the coming five years?
Robert Abela is not the kind of person who can be humble. If there is anything that he doesn’t have is humility. Now, after the two-year train-wreck of his rule, we expect to forget everything and bury the recent past because Robert Abela says so. Here is a hand, take it, cos that is all you are going to get.
The reality is a bit different. The Labour Party has lost 8,200 votes in this election despite the electorate being significantly bigger with the entrance of sixteen-year-olds. Robert Abela himself gained fewer votes than Joseph Muscat compared to the previous election. And in contrast to Joseph Muscat, Robert Abela is leading a government with a relative majority of voters. There are in total around 50,000 voters who either didn’t vote or submitted an invalid vote. Ironically, this is a similar number to the Suldati tal-Azzar of 1962 who voted Labour despite the Church’s interdiction. Today, there are 50,000 voters who seem to be fed up with the charade and the idiotic theatre and won’t be bought with €100 cheques, but are at the same time not impressed with a conservative party that also has a shady past. Labour fear this force of voters more than they fear the Nationalist Party because they don’t understand this potential political adversary which can come from this political demographic. Labour has practically inside knowledge of the Nationalist Party thanks to its unwitting proxies like Adrian Delia. However, Labour will find it very difficult to combat a political adversary which does not have any history or connections to Malta’s rent-seeking regime.
Robert Abela is not humbled. He has become rather more aware that he is not invincible, and that he could be defeated, but more worryingly for him is that he could be defeated by an adversary that he doesn’t even understand or know yet.