Sent in by a regular contributor.
The Nationalist Party is living out Mary Shelley’s horror story. Like Victor Frankenstein, they have created their own monster despite having had the benefit of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s foresight. Now, this monster haunts the party and ravages all that the Nationalist Party stands for. How will they deal with it?
The Nationalists can never get anywhere dealing with Adrian Delia head on. He’s deft at dodging the main issue a la Muscat. There is only one thing he fears and to which he is vulnerable: the threat of a party split. He knows he does not have the strength in numbers and hence he behaves in an ever more bizarre manner when embattled this way. In Labour’s style, he constantly harps about unity on his terms as a way of discouraging alternative views.
In historical political party splits, both sides take a knock, one more than the other. Invariably, one faction fizzles out and merges with the winning faction. Usually, after the initial knock, the winning faction emerges invigorated, vibrant and more powerful.
What decides which faction wins?
- The strength of numbers and
- The nature of the cause of the split: whether it’s a core or a fringe issue, whether it’s a contest between form or substance.
In the contemporary Nationalist situation, I don’t doubt the outcome. This is not just a core issue, it goes beyond that. It’s about the survival of a major political party. It’s about the future of democracy. Not only that. Left to their own devices, the Adrian Delia clan does not have the ability or savoir-faire to survive, judging from their amateurish performance so far at the helm of the Nationalist Party.
You would expect Labour to gleefully welcome a Nationalist Party split. Far from it!
All that interests Labour in the short term, is that they do not have a vociferous opposition exposing their misdeeds and inadequacies. In the long term, what interests them is the elimination of the Nationalist Party as an effective opposition. Both aims can be achieved with Adrian Delia at the helm. At the end of the day, Adrian Delia takes his cue from Labour and he’d do anything to align his future with that of Labour.
A Nationalist Party split is certainly not on Labour’s agenda as it would thwart both of their aims. In the future, they may even ditch Adrian Delia as a liability once he outlives his usefulness to their cause
Ideally, Adrian Delia or his clan give in to the threat of the Sword of Damocles suspended over them. That would avoid the trauma, risks and hazards of a party split. But it still will not solve the problem of a dispirited, rudderless, tired party burdened with a small but significant disgruntled Delian faction.
Ironically, a clean surgical split would do the party well. It’s a sort of bottoms–up build-up from scratch, a kind of re-baptism of fire.
It’s the type of comprehensively refreshing house cleaning the party really needs. It will entail a massive team effort drawing the best of present and past best minds into the process. The Party has nothing to lose and they know they’re in for the long haul.
They know they cannot win the next election anyway. They need time to reposition and reinvent themselves. The internal environment would be conducive for free discussion by like-minded people putting the common good of the party before personal interest. This is a far cry from the current stifling of free internal discussion that is leading the repressed individuals to express themselves on social media.
Somehow a party split presents a stimulus for the party members to rise above the new challenges, thereby getting themselves out of the pessimistic rut they’re stuck in. An ideal forum for rediscovering their self-belief and confidence and to attract the new young talent they desperately need.
Labour needed at least 20 years to rehabilitate itself. Once the Sword of Damocles falls, the Nationalist Party will have at least 8 years to work on itself in a congenial environment. These two years have been a chronicle of wasted time starting with the quick fix solution of electing AdrianDelia. Further procrastination is pointless.
Once Adrian Delia’s clan is out, it is less important who the new leader is. What is more important is the collective will or collective leadership of the Nationalist politicians. With time, a suitable leader will emerge. Splitting the Party is a gamble and the stakes are high.
But what is the alternative? The monster wanted Frankenstein to create a feminine clone of itself for propagation. Frankenstein stood by his principles and refused to compromise with his creature which in turn refused to release its asphyxiating grip on Frankenstein’s life until its wishes were acceded to.
Frankenstein unsuccessfully tried to free himself from the monster repeatedly. He died a broken, embittered man in a state of bondage after having lost all that was dear to him.