These last four years everyone must agree that the GonziPN message has seriously misfired. After winning an election by a few hundred votes, Gonzi’s first mass-meeting preached a reconciliatory message that promised a new way of politics. Authorities had to be strengthened and scrubbed clean of corruption, meritocracy was supposed to start reigning supreme and everybody was promised a government for all the people.
Instead, we got an oligarchy of a few chosen ones that tried to destroy criticism by spewing bile and belittling anyone who dares criticize GonziPN by means of Daphne’s and ll-Bocca’s so-called “poison pens”.
What surprised everybody was that even PN stalwarts that had helped GonziPN win the last elections such as JPO, Franco Debono, Jesmond Mugliett, Jean-Pierre Farrugia, Robert Arrigo and others who were not elected to the cabinet got caught in a web of hatred spun by a few people who were very close to Gonzi and whose names were uncovered by Nationalist back-benchers themselves. People who have had their snouts in the trough for nearly 25 years and were terrified of letting other pigs try to get some scraps.
Gonzi’s inability to control the party’s inner echelons which was ready to shoot down anyone who disagreed with them can be clearly seen in Austin Gatt’s mindset. Franco Debono was right; Gatt belongs to the politics of yesteryear dominated by dinosaurs who believe they are bigger than the party and that they can shout down any argument.
Gatt’s inane and infantile declaration that he will only resign if JPO and Franco Debono will resign is fatuous because the issue at stake is not loyalty but accountability. Austin Gatt as a minister should be loyal to the parliament as both JPO and Franco Debono were; a loyalty towards the electorate. Austin Gatt embodies the mentality that he should only be loyal to the Nationalists who elected him and everything else is simply dross, to quote DCG.
The fact is that Nationalist voters surely did not elect Austin Gatt to construct an expensive polluting power-plant that burns heavy fuel oil or a public transport system that seems incapable of solving the simplest problems that have plagued it since its inception. It was Gatt’s expansive arrogance promising Arriva was going to solve all public transport problems that destroyed his credibility by elevating the public’s expectations so much and finally showing that he’s basically full of hot air and shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Franco Debono remained loyal to his voters because he was protecting those who were going to be hit hardest by the BWSC’s plant’s pollution and those commuters who were spending two hours a day trying to get to work and failing!
Austin Gatt’s reaction to all this was an ironic smile clearly telling everybody that he couldn’t careless whether people were affected by pollution or an inefficient transport system. The continuous objections he made to prevent Joe Mizzi from testifying at the Public Accounts Committee after it was revealed that he was getting four million euros for brokering the deal with BWSC continued denting Gatt’s credibility clearly showing that he was actively trying to suppress the truth about the whole issue.
Whatever the reasons for JPO and Franco Debono’s disagreement with Lawrence Gonzi and Austin Gatt, they were morally right to question them. Gonzi’s blind faith in all his ministers did not help either. His ministers have lost considerable funds for educational mobility; have failed to solve Mater Dei’s considerable problems, have endorsed an environmentally damaging power-plant, and have been unable to improve the dire situation of the law-courts … the list is endless. So the backbenchers were correct to criticize them and the massive defense of Carm Mifsud Bonnici continued to enforce Gonzi’s message that none of his people were accountable.
Gonzi himself voted “No” in parliament against the wishes of the Maltese people who had voted in favour of the introduction of divorce and as Franco Debono alleged is not bothered by having a minister bringing his lady friend with him to cabinet meetings even though he was married, during the height of the divorce issue—another hypocritical move in a series of hypocritical decisions taken by Gonzi who tries to project himself as being holier than thou—and yet, is ready to use any type of political weapon to cling to power in a way that is anything but Christian.
No wonder a year ago the Nationalist Strategy Group had to abandon the GonziPN concept. They finally realized that if during last elections, Lawrence Gonzi helped them win the elections, now he has to shoulder all the problems he created and these will actually contribute to him losing the next elections.
The Gonzi Doctrine is Darwinian in the worst way espousing survival at all costs. It is very similar to the way monarchs saw themselves 200 years ago as being indispensable to the country’s well-being even if the entire kingdom was crumbling around them and most of the people lived in abject poverty.
Few people realize how radically GonziPN changed these last four years. Since then, new hopeful MPs who were smiling behind Gonzi suddenly changed into sullen rebels ready to blockade his attempts to steamroll over everybody. This forced Gonzi and his oligarchy to embark on a strategy to eliminate all forms of opposition by a particularly virulent form of destructive marketing that has spun out of control. This even worried Simon Busuttil who recently commented that the Nationalist Party marketing was too negative.
The recent wage freeze saga is a case in point.
During the last 25 years, the Nationalist Party only increased the minimum wage by the Cost Of Living Allowances given during successive budgets, while between 1971 and 1987 Mintoff’s “infamous” Labour Party increased the minimum wage twice. Currently both PN’s and LP’s politics on the minimum wage are very similar, and yet PN accuses LP of wanting to institute a wage freeze!
Another example is the recent ruling by the Broadcasting Authority against PBS who wanted to choose which people the LP sends to programmes such as Bondi+, Xarabank, TVAM and other discussion shows knowing that Lou Bondi and Pierre Portelli are openly hostile and biased against everything Labour; while Peppi Azzopardi is an expert in manipulating his programme to always favour the Nationalist Party.
The Nationalist Party and people such as Kenneth Wain and Ranier Fsadni who both owe a lot to the party have criticized the BA strongly, conveniently forgetting that PBS is inherently a politically biased institution full of card-carrying Nationalists and journalists who worked with NET TV and have a long history of antagonism against the LP when they worked with the Times of Malta and the Malta Independent. PBS is full of Nationalist apologists and cronies, and its’ attempt to introduce an imbalance in guests of politically charged programmes was shot down by the Broadcasting Authority because it was recognised for what it was.
In a way, the Nationalist Party has become quite rudderless. Years ago, it was grudgingly admired for its subtle political manipulation that ran rings around that of the Labour Party, but today it falls prey to senseless actions such as the introduction of a bill to privatize car parks as soon as parliament opens and loses important political points.
Who came up with that bit of strategy either wanted to force Franco Debono to call a vote of no confidence so that Gonzi has a scapegoat when he calls the election, or wanted to make some people very rich before GonziPN collapses?
The worst part of this Gonzi Doctrine is the innate message that GONZI alone knows what’s right for us and how to lead this country. He thinks he has a divine right to resist a parliamentary majority in a real travesty of democracy that has even led him to re-appoint Richard Cachia Caruana as an ambassador to nowhere.
Gonzi continues to resist calling an election simply because he wants to cling to power till the very end notwithstanding the loss of his a majority in parliament. He is placing his personal and his party’s needs before the needs of the country and this is morally wrong.
Remember Gonzi’s recent speech on values in front of his Conservative European friends?
I’m sure they’ve realized that he is a true hypocrite who does not practice what he preaches. The recent objectionable occurrences in parliament clearly show that the only value Gonzi respects is an insatiable lust for power that is subverting our democratic ways, and safeguarding the rights of the oligarchy to hold on to power until the very end that led Richard Cachia Caruana to be reinstated as ambassador to the EU after he was booted out by a parliamentary majority.
Gonzi’s True Doctrine is to retain power at all costs and it’s going to be his downfall.