The Nationalist opposition continues to bleed from wounds of its own making.

Adrian Delia’s arguments in Parliament, defending a motion his party proposed to re-introduce dscimination in working conditions for people resorting to IVF treatments not permitted in Malta, were shallow and unconvincing.

He argued the motion was making a “legal” point, not a “moral” point. Scratch that. He said it was a “legalistic” argument. Not entirely sure what the distinction means but I know it makes me feel like ‘legalistic’ is inferior to ‘legal’ even in the speaker’s own ranking of what matters.

Parliament is not a debating society for legal beagles, to coin a phrase. The motion the PN proposed had a direct effect: a discriminatory effect that was not particularly desirable to anyone.

Norman Vella argued this clearly when he reminded that what mattered was not what was said about the motion but what the motion itself said. It is the words of the motion that the PN asked Parliament to vote on, not the words that were used to defend it.

It does not really matter what Adrian Delia said he intended by introducing it. What matters is that it would have caused discrimination where there was none.

Certainly there was no political advantage for the PN to stubbornly continue to reinforce its alienation from gay people, particularly lesbians in this case.

And the legalistic argument some sophists made that people should not be rewarded with extra days of leave for benefitting from treatments forbidden in Malta simply holds no water.

So a woman returns from a trip abroad having conceived after sperm donation, or after surragocy, which are not allowed here. And some would argue that since she did so, she should not benefit from the social assistance of an extra few days of paid leave because we should not support activities we consider illegal in Malta.

Can I stretch that argument? Shall we deny that mother maternity leave because she conceived a child after sperm donation? Shall we deny the child citizenship since they were conceived with the help of a procedure banned in Malta?

In attempting to focus on legalistic reasons to present the motion, the PN showed itself to have a very limited view of the very real social and emotional consequences of its actions and its fascination with legal niceties.

And this time I cannot argue, as I have done before, that Joseph Muscat lay a smart trap for the PN. This motion was an initiative of the PN all on its own. It was a trap it laid for itself which it proceeded to jump into with relish.

This is self-destructive. And what is even more self-destructive is that the people within the party with enough foresight and experience to predict this mess before the PN commits itself to it, are branded disloyal.

Franco Debono’s blog reported as yet undenied reports of an unhealthy quality of debate in the parliamentary group over this motion. The story confirms the general feeling one has that the outcome of a discussion in the group is consistently a challenge of compliance with loyalty to person rather than conviction of policy.

Norman Vella complains in his post on Facebook that with the other opponents to this motion he is being blamed for its failure to capture anyone’s imagination, let alone the unanimous support of the parliamentary group. The PN gained nothing from doing it and lost much instead.

Scapegoating others for one’s own errors makes walking out of the self-laid traps an even harder job.

  • Beingpressed

    Piece by piece. Next the hunters!

  • carl barthet

    PN is now a joke, run by a clown, crook, surrounded by bafoons.

    • Carlo mancini

      How quick you are to describe people with unpleasant labels. I wonder if others thought the same before, but were shunned to express how they feel because they were people from the common order. Maybe coming down from the Ivory Tower would be a positive thing.

    • J. Vella

      You are the type to support Delia notwithstanding your accusations. Afterall you are already used to it.

  • Beingpressed

    I can see one by one all the minority’s groups having no choice but to vote Labour.

    This is science.

  • Joachim

    Now there is the motion against extending hunting hours within the Majjistral national park, which PD tabled in parliament. It’s the kind of motion that I would want tabled and would gain my support. Now I read that the PN debated the same motion internally and decided against tabling it for fear of crossing the hunters.

    With this sort of behaviour, it has now become very clear that the PN do not want my vote any longer. They spit on it and trample on it. They prefer to pander to hunters instead. So be it then. I won’t give my vote to them any longer. PD it is.

  • Manuel Camilleri

    I have stated publicly, and informed the PN with an official email, that I will not vote for the PN as long as Delia is at the helm.

    Besides, how can one expect Delia to fight Muscat and his corruption when his own reputation was compromised?

    • carl barthet


  • Mark Sant (Misha)

    Delia has instilled a Mintoffian – whose not on our side is against us – mentality within the PN where having an opinion differing from his dim one is treated as treason.

  • Cyrill Sammut (Sliema)

    Zmien il-buzulotti rega beda.

  • thedirectone

    What can you expect from a man who knows what offside is in football and what brothels are in London, a motion about IVF treatment is way to complicated for him. When you discuss about issues you have knowledge of, than you bring yourself never in problems. He has a Trump syndrome and that’s what happens then.

  • callixtus

    Rape is a crime. Does that entitle anyone to discriminate against a woman who conceives after being raped? Or to discriminate against the child conceived as a result of that rape? I hope no one thinks so.
    I do not agree with gamete donation or surrogacy. It is an ethical minefield best left undisturbed. But if people want to go down that path, it is their business and the PN has no right to discriminate against them.
    The PN`s motion looked suspiciously like a deliberate strategy to give a boost Joseph Muscat`s flagging, fake liberal mask and deviate attention from the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia and its cover up, while at the same time outing the internal opponents of Adrian Delia and expose them to the opprobrium of Delia`s fascist followers.
    If PN MPs are ready to turn a blind eye to the laundering of proceeds of prostitution and the modern-day slavery that entails, they will have a hard time convincing me that they are scandalised by the commercialisation of the human reproductive system that comes with gamete donation and surrogacy.

  • Galeforce

    Wow. Quite nifty of you to make the connection. The Deliar-Eve Bajada (of TYOM site -fame) connection.
    I mean. And no wonder the undue haste of the newly elected PN leader to withdraw his libel suits within hours of poor Daphne’s assassination.
    And no wonder the Labour online trolls were rooting so enthusiastically for Delia during the leadership electoral campaign.
    Delia has no moral authority or credibility to lead the PN or attack the government on its shortcomings.

    • thedirectone

      Shortcomings, I start to think that he’s a relative to JM, both of them have the same sickness: hiding things, sheathing, lying and always saying there is no proof .

  • Galeforce

    High time the ”traitors” set up a new political party that we can vote for. They all have the right connections , knowhow and credibility anyway. No decent Nationalist I know has any faith in a party led by the likes of Delia, Xerox, Puli, Schiavone, or the Debonos. And I have sympathy for Arrigo who I believe will do his damn best to try setting the house to rights.

  • Cyrill Sammut (Sliema)

    No, actually, and it’s not funny really, it looks to me like this is going to be an entire political episode or better chapter characterised by surreal happenings from both main parties. A period of economic growth and optimism coupled with political madness of the most contradictory in terms bodes terribly for the foreseeable future.