We may have more than one point of divergence with the Leader of the Opposition, and, like with every politician, it is always a question of a love-hate relationship.
We have taken him to task on several occasions since his anointment and we have also fought his corner and supported him on others. In this particular instance, it is a case of the latter.
When he meaningfully declares as he does in a column in today’s issue that the rot in the country must stop, and when he pledges to do something about it, we simply must concur.
Delia hits a number of nails squarely on the head. Taking an example from the much-quoted comments of former European Court of Human Rights Judge Giovanni Bonello published by this newspaper last Sunday, he cites the fact that the vast majority of judicial appointments since 2013 were related in some tangible way to the governing party as an enormous cause for concern. He also pinpoints the good judge’s comment that much of the judiciary acts merely as a second rubber stamp for the government.
Delia himself is not the one making these observations; he is echoing the astute and highly learned judge.
As such, whataboutisms will not work here. The government may argue until it is blue in the face that the Nationalist Party did or did not do this, that or the other, but the fact of the matter is that this ‘new’ Opposition Leader had absolutely nothing to do with any of the party’s past policies, actions or style of government.
And perhaps that is the beauty of having a complete newcomer to the political scene – they are blameless for the sins, transgressions and inactions of their predecessors. A new leaf is turned, and this is a fact that the governing Labour Party would soon have everyone forget.
When the Opposition Leader says we have to abide by what the Venice Commission says, he is quite right. Yes, it is true that these situations have persisted for decades now and when he says things have to change, the whataboutism that the government would typically throw at him simply does not apply.
He has not been tried and tested, and failed perhaps as others may have, and perhaps whataboutisms may have worked with others.
That the governing party attempts, with varying success depending on the audience in attendance, to apply these whataboutisms to Delia is simply nonsensical. So they throw more mud, but the truth is that no amount of mud that has been thrown his way could ever even hold a candle to the things that this administration has gotten away with in broad daylight, and seemingly with the electorate’s blessing.
The rot of which the Opposition leader speaks in his piece does not, unfortunately, stop at the judiciary. There is hardly a single corner that this government has not captured in the running of the state and, like a bird that has fallen victim to trappers, put into a little cage and made to chirp out the right tunes at the right time.
He has taken court action to reclaim the hospitals sold-off to the private sector under what was an extremely shady deal, and he has also started court proceedings to force the publication of the full Egrant inquiry, when he could very well have let that go and, in the process, allow his predecessor and perpetual thorn in the side to wallow in uninformed misery.
He did not do that and in fact, he has pledged to fight the government’s corruption at every fork in the road, and whenever it rears its ugly head.
And, honestly speaking, can anyone actually say he has done anything short of that during his tenure?
Delia, in many ways, is the only person at the moment standing between the citizen and this government having a complete free-for-all at the expense of citizens’ rights, and at the expense of the public coffers.
He may be dogged by stories about tax returns, marital strife and his former private practice derived from dubious sources, but can anyone say he has not fought the good fight for the country since taking the Opposition’s helm?
The dissenters of both the government and the Opposition leader out there really need to take a long, hard look at what they are dissenting against, and figure out whom the real enemy is and who is actually fighting their battles.
Original article found on The Malta Independent