An agent of unchange?
Dr Simon Busuttil, the only person who so far put forward his name for the post of deputy leader of the ailing Nationalist Party, is running on the ticket of change.
He is not only pledging to change the Nationalist Party but also to make the Nationalist Party a catalyst for change in our country.
A tall order indeed for a man who belongs to a party which on a lot of issues has proven itself to be the agent blocking change in our country: Take a look at PN's position on divorce and gay rights for instance.
However will Dr Busuttil, when elected, be able to make those changes?
Recently Dr Busuttil on the home radio (radio 101) was taking some call ins and a listener called and asked about Simon's position on some members of the Nationalist Party Parliamentary Group who seemingly have cut their ties with the Party.
Dr Busuttil, replying to that question, said that everyone must carry the responsibility and consequences for his actions but spoke in conciliatory terms and offered the hand of friendship to all those, within the PN Parliamentary Group, who are no longer comfortable in their own party.
He portrayed himself in this manner as a force of unification of the party if elected.
That is, admittedly, a marked intention to change the party by trying to bring back the lost sheep.
Only a few hours passed when the Nationalist Party, answering a question fielded by the Times of Malta on Dr Busuttil's reconciliatory comments, shred to pieces this position and rubbished it completely. The Nationalist Party, they said, is not for turning and effectively torpedoed Dr Busuttil's efforts.
Apart from the fact that I was honestly surprised that the Times of Malta has the personnel and resources to cover even phone-in programs on party radios, I said to myself: how can Dr Busuttil bring about all this change he is claiming that he wants to do when at the very first opportunity the Nationalist Party over-ruled him, devaluating his word in the process?
Is it an instance of "the more things change, the more they stay the same?"
Interesting times indeed!
Owen Bonnici, a Labour MP, is the Opposition Spokesperson for Higher Education, University, Research and Culture. To contact him, email email@example.com.