I wish I was a better man and could just ignore Edwin Vassallo, treating the miserable slug with the contempt that he deserves.

On Saturday, I wrote an article to comment on the election in the Nationalist Party and among other things I said that I have learnt with time to take a less adulatory and more cautious attitude to political leaders, judging them less by what they promise and more by what they deliver. Or don’t.

Edwin Vassallo, struggling to digest his morning banana, took a quote out of that article that was addressed to Bernard Grech:

OK sir, here’s your chance. You said you wanted to do good, now let’s see you do it. Don’t fuck it up or we’ll have to look for someone else. Actually, we’re keeping an eye out.

I can understand that the saintly Edwin Vassallo might be scandalised by the use of the word ‘fuck’. They don’t say ‘fuck’ in heaven. Though they will when Edwin Vassallo steps in.

In a Facebook post this morning Edwin Vassallo went all Tosca saying he will “defend his leader” from me. This is a translation of what he wrote:

I condemn what Manuel Delia of Arriva wrote and hope he is not writing this on behalf of anyone. If he is writing on anyone’s behalf he should tell us. The PN leader and more so the PN itself are not and ought not to be in anyone’s pocket. No one should be able to lead the PN leader and more so the PN itself by the nose.

The PN leader and more so the PN itself should be independent of any lobby group. I do not permit anyone to address the words Manuel Delia of Arriva wrote to my party leader. I ask the PN Leader Bernard Grech to have the courage not to feel intimidated or conditioned by anyone. What Manuel Delia of Arriva wrote is, like the Labour government, arrogant and shows it has some authority on the PN leader.

I protect the PN leader from all arrogance wherever it comes from.

I wish I was a better man and could ignore this. But I’m not.

Edwin Vassallo is “protecting” no one. This is a thinly veiled insult to Bernard Grech whom Edwin Vassallo campaigned to prevent from being elected party leader. The suggestion that Bernard Grech would allow himself to be “intimidated”, “led by the nose” and “conditioned” as a result of an article from me, however arrogant, amounts to a suggestion that Bernard Grech does not have a mind of his own and is therefore completely unsuitable in the office he now occupies.

If Edwin Vassallo wants to undermine his party leader, for spite or for whatever other reason he may have to do so, he can leave me out of it. He hauled me in front of his readers for the usual mass assault flanked naturally by One TV that always love this sort of thing.

Naturally anyone who reads the piece understands that all I was recommending was some healthy lack of deference. Politicians should not expect to be worshipped, especially before their first day on the job. In the employment of someone else we are all under permanent probation. We all know that if we were to fuck up, the boss would look for someone else.

Politicians have bosses, though Edwin Vassallo doesn’t seem to realise this: that’s voters, the people who hire a politician today but can just as glibly fire them tomorrow. Ask Adrian Delia.

Edwin Vassallo wants to sound mediaeval, “protecting his leader”, throwing himself in front of bullets conjured by his puerile brain. There’s something chilling about his “The King is Dead; Long Live the King” transition but it’s all a pretence.

Edwin, dude, you can condemn me until you’re blue in the face. I’m not going anywhere you know.