Simon, Odysseus and the wooden horse
The election of MEP Simon Busuttil a few weeks ago as GonziPN’s Deputy was shrouded by a mystic aura and projected as the man who possesses the magic touch. All problems for GonziPN have faded away and as from now on all should be well and good! All the gaffes, blunders and scandals that took place during the past legislature are only a thing of the past and wiped away from collective memory.
Main strategists at Dar Centrali are super inflating the image of Simon in a bid to screen the serious slips; the decision to opt for heavy fuel oil power station, the fiasco of the public transport reform, the scandalous Fairmount deal whereby Malta Shipyards ended up losing €37 million of taxpayers' money, the suspension of EU funds related to educational programs, the beefy honoraria, scandals in Transport Malta, the hefty increase in utility bills and on and on…
They also believe that Simon could also mask the sheer arrogance of particular prominent characters that have been roaming the corridors of power for the past quarter century and now believe that they have the divine right to run this country indisputably. No wonder the vociferous public declarations of dissent by ex-ministers, members of parliament and prominent party members.
Strategists at tal-Pieta’ war rooms deem that super Simon has all the credentials and attributes to wipe all these distasteful episodes from the collective memory and the Maltese electorate will trust that as from now on it is all plain sailing and the future is rosy. By simply hopping from the back to the front seat, Simon now became the ‘new’ trump card of GonziPN in an attempt to offset popular deficit.
In the wings
The Deputy contest has exposed the unequivocal disappointment by cabinet members that no one from their ranks was considered to be pope-able to the post. The utter backing from most cabinet ministers, who publicly supported the Finance Minister to post, was a clear message to this effect.
Popularity of Prime Minister’s is at its lowest ebb and evident that the line of attack is focused on boosting Simon to occupy centre-stage, present him as the new facet of GonziSimonPN and trusting that single-handedly will attempt to knock down the opposition. Fully exploiting Simon’s major attributes of; charisma, oratory, an image of a moderately well-articulated European politician should do the job. Then a concentrated effort and coordinated chorus of friendly media gurus and bloggers the job would not be as insurmountable as might look!
According to Harold Wilson ‘a week is a long time in politics’ and precisely when unexpectedly he was challenged to face his fellow party colleague Franco Debono, Simon was visibly thunderstruck. The following day, Simon besides being unaware, devalued an Appeal’s Court sentence related to corrupt practices during last general elections. When weeks ago Simon expressed reconciliatory tone in relation to Franco Debono, the reaction from his party echelons was unfavourable. Despite his charisma, reconciliatory tone and whatnot, Simon could not prevent the downfall of GonziPN in parliament! In any case, Simon is not invincible as the higher echelons of GonziPN are earnestly attempting to project.
One man band?
Running the country is surely not a one man band matter. Presently, the exigencies of GonziPN dictate to put out of sight particular characters that became a gross liability and instead promote their main ‘asset’, super Simon.
A reminder of Odysseus’s wily plan to present a wooden horse outside the Trojan city gates with some of the Greeks pretending to sail away but in actual fact sailed just out of sight, whilst others hid within the belly of the wooden beast waiting for the most opportune time to come out.
To the contrary, the Labour Party is well prepared with a list of competent candidates in all electoral districts and proud to pronounce itself as a united team that will ensure the stability the country requires to progress in all spheres. Behind Joseph Muscat there is a team of proficient candidates all prepared and ready to give their very best to our country. No one can eventually run the country all by himself, consequently having a compact proficient team is fundamental to the notion of modern distributive leadership.
Who are the people forming part of the team hiding behind Simon? Maybe during the electoral campaign he will give us a clue.
Roderick Galdes is a Labour Member of Parliament.