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SAVIOUR BALZAN | Wednesday, 06 August 2008

Re-electing a loser!

It has got to be the worst year for the Labour party. It reconfirms my own suspicion that God is definitely a Nationalist member.
The day started off with the terrible news that Labour MP Karl Chircop was seriously ill. Then later on Friday morning the news that Jason Micallef will be secretary-general after all.
And this after Alfred Grixti and Joe Vella Bonnici contested and divided the majority vote against Jason Micallef and allowed him to win.
Jason’s victory led Paul Borg Olivier, the PN counterpart, into a frenzy and a run for the champagne glasses. The PN were in a jubilant mood yesterday. They prayed all day for Jason to be re-elected to his post after his spending spree with the 800-plus delegates.
Micallef has been re-elected and so has Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, two of the five individuals responsible for the campaign that mastered Labour’s defeat at the polls in the last election. Now they have been crowned.
Former deputy leader Michael Falzon has contended that he will not work with Jason, reconfirming that Labour is as cohesive as a shifting sand dune.
If anyone needed any further confirmation that the MLP delegates in the Labour party conference need their heads checked, then the election of the eurosceptic and pompous former foreign minister Alex Sceberras Trigona is the proof.
And the mere fact that certain old faces did not get contested at all, and I refer here to Ray Azzopardi, goes to prove that Labour never really learns.
Let us face it, if anything and anyone needed to take a long walk it had to be Ray Azzopardi, him with his Oxo advert voice, who represents the very essence of old and naff Labour.
Micallef and Zrinzo Azzopardi have given the Nationalists that most desired elixir to administer this country for an infinite number of years. It is a tragedy for our country that we are going to be governed by the same government for another decade, and that the much needed shift of power will not take place.
Democratic deficit indeed!

The election of Jason Micallef is an indictment of Joseph Muscat. It says a lot about the 34-year-old leader, who has much to offer when it comes to communication but little to give when it has to do in taking tough decisions.
It proves that he was incapable of stating that the administration needed a new face and that Micallef was not the man. He stupidly was scared to say this, and now he will have to suffer the consequences.

Joseph Muscat hasn’t got the nerve
It also shows that Muscat lacked the nerve to say this even though it was clear that he preferred Joe Vella Bonnici as a potential secretary-general.
And it is no secret that both deputy leaders do not see eye to eye with Jason.
Now, he has Jason Micallef. And Jason’s presence will reopen a wound within the party and give more fuel to the Nationalist fire.
Before the election for the party leader, many MPs showed their preference for one candidate. George Vella said in very unclear terms that Muscat was the better candidate for Labour leader.
But this time round Vella had nothing to say about Micallef. The only MPs who openly expressed dissent included Evarist Bartolo, Leo Brincat and Michael Falzon. The latter remains vehemently opposed to Jason Micallef for reasons known to everyone.
During the campaign Jason Micallef was supported by a coterie of acolytes, namely Glenn Bedingfield, the former Super One journalist who has now become a wine bar entrepreneur, and a former spokesman for the GWU.
Jason Micallef will not learn from his mistakes, but return to his old ways. And he will surround himself with the same old sycophants, namely individuals such as the Lorry Sant aficionado Ronnie Pellegrini.
Micallef’s strength lay in his ability to repackage Alfred Sant but his biggest drawback was that once he became secretary-general he became cocksure, conceited, arrogant and big-headed.

No chance to win
Will Jason’s election leave a dent on Labour’s chances for the next election? It will definitely. What has happened is that there are too many people within the party against Jason Micallef and this will lead to the proverbial leaks and spin from within to undermine Micallef’s position.
In the process, there is little doubt in my mind that the Nationalists will retain their position and regroup their disgruntled supporters when the time comes.
The droves of pale blue readers that love to read MaltaToday and those columnists who hit out at their party will not mean that the PN will lose.
Labour will do well in the local councils and European elections but fail miserably at the national elections. Throughout this period they will cry victory. But as we all know it, is not the local councils that really count but the national elections.
But alas, we must respect the will of electorate. I respect their vote, but don’t blame me if next time round I will do what I have always preached I would do: “Stay at home and throw my voting document into the trashcan.”

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MaltaToday News
06 August 2008

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