Guest Post sent in by someone I know who calls himself ‘Lake’.


I sometimes wonder what happened to the Nationalist Party. I remember a time not so long ago when I used to follow Eddie Fenech Adami. I was fifteen when he regained a parliamentary majority with a mandate to re-initiate EU membership negotiations. I always looked up to him as the grandfather I never had. The elder securing for my generation a better future than that bestowed onto his. One were we are finally recognised as equals with the same opportunities as our European counterparts.

It was a proud time to be a Nationalist. Knowing that you are on the right side of history is something that I can’t really express in writing. We knew our goal, what needed to be done, and we all carried our weight to get there.

Yet as youngsters knowing our goal was only half as important as fully understanding the shambles from which Eddie Fenech Adami had picked this country up just a decade before. That knowledge fuelled our belief, our enthusiasm, our determination that failure was not an option. That we should never again see our country’s institutions hijacked by a socialist government that violently suffocated our daily freedom, our freedom of expression and the freedom of the free press.

Fast forward to 2 years ago. There I am, marching in a peaceful protest against a socialist government whose Minister, Chris Cardona, opened a criminal libel in an attempt to silence Malta’s only true investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. The clock seemed to have sprung back 35 odd years. Yet in the crowd, I was comforted by the faces of old. One crowd, one voice, one principle, one goal.

A year later everything seemed to change at the stroke of a second electoral defeat. All of a sudden the Nationalist party abandoned its principles of old “Xogħol, Ġustizzja u Liberta’” in favour of unprincipled populism. Adrian Delia, notwithstanding the serious allegations revealed by no other than Daphne herself, was the newly elected party leader. This was a radical change for a Nationalist Party accustomed to untarnished leaders holding the moral high ground as opposed to their socialist counterparts.

“Dik il-biċċa blogger,” Adrian Delia yelled in the run-up to his election. The party faithful trained their canons on the very person they not long before marched to protect. 

In their own verbal attacks, the Nationalists became no different from their socialist counterparts. The two became indistinguishable in their hateful actions towards a journalist. The two became one.

Those fateful words — “dik il-biċċa blogger” — would leave Daphne isolated right until that murderous morning of the 16th of October 2017. Without even a single vote to his name, Adrian Delia had already committed his gravest political act.

I always felt that Adrian Delia tactfully orchestrated his election by taking political advantage of  the 5 stages of grief that the nationalist supporters where going through after their second electoral defeat in less than 4 years. 

Stage 1 Denial: The stage in which life makes no sense. ‘How did we lose?’ ‘All those people in the last mass meeting, how can it be so?’ ‘They must have rigged the election.’ ‘They must have tampered the ballot boxes.’

We heard all of the above, didn’t we? That’s Denial.

Stage 2  Anger: It has no limits and you need someone to blame. This is the point when Adrian Delia tactfully entered the scene. 

“Biċċa blogger,” followed by the hysterical shout against the so-called establishment “il-Partit Nazzjonalista mhux tagħkom. Il-Partit Nazzjonalista tal-kunsilliera, tat-tesserati, tan-Nazzjonalisti, u rriduh lura!” 

Adrian Delia gave you someone to blame, someone to direct your anger at. He gave you Daphne Caruana Galizia and the outgoing leader Simon Busuttil on a silver platter.

That’s how he manipulated you. Since in between the stages of anger and denial you couldn’t reason out that it is a perfectly normal political cycle for the socialist government who endured 25 years of opposition to be re-elected for a second term. A political cycle happens in every democratic country. 

Stage 3 Bargaining: We all heard it many a time, didn’t we? ‘Give the man a chance to prove himself.’

Stage 4 Depression: The point when reality finally hit most of you, undoubtedly best manifested by one of his closest allies Herman Schiavone in his message to Adrian’s wife.

“Nickie….Adrian is like a piece of shit today. This cannot go on. If need be he will quit but i want to make sure he will do it in a dignified way.”

Stage 5 Acceptance: The stage generally confused with the notion of being “all right” or “OK” with what has happened. The Nationalists in this stage will somehow accept him being the wrong choice yet come up with ‘but there wasn’t a better choice to choose from.’ 

How many times have you heard that reasoning?

With every passing day, I imagine myself on a battlefield. The air thick and dense, smoke everywhere. The frontlines are hazy, I’m stuck in no man’s land. I can’t recognise foe from friend. Every now and again I stumble onto someone, and we cautiously converse until we realise that we are on the same side. Then another and another followed by another. Someday in the middle of that minefield, I will stumble across a person of stature and integrity, one who speaks common sense, who I can call my leader. 

We shall be Nationalists yet again: proud in our principles of Xogħol, Ġustizzja u Liberta’.