Adrian Delia delivered his first mass meeting last night, giving the Maltese public a taste of what to expect from him as the Nationalist Party’s new leader.
Although he began his speech visibly biting his lip with nerves, Delia later spared no punches in his criticism of the Labour government – challenging its calls for unity, its economic performance and its turning Malta into a “soulless state”
Delia’s fiery maiden mass meeting will be remembered for this emphasis on morality issues, or giving conservative voices in the PN a loud voice after years in the wilderness under Simon Busuttil.
For those of you who had better things to do on the eve of a public holiday, here’s a summary of Delia’s speech in 13 key quotes.
1. This part where he rewinds the clock
“The PN has always been on the right side of history. We are the party of the Patria, of Catholics and Latin people.”
2. The part where he speaks of liberal ideas as non-Maltese values
“Labour no longer wants to attack the Curia and the Archbishop but is now targeting our very values. It wants to introduce laws on prostitution, drugs, surrogacy and abortion that strike at the values which make us Maltese”
3. Linking the fight for independence to today’s fight against corruption
“Our fight is no longer against foreign enemies and colonial powers but a fight for righteousness – a fight against corruption which will continue with renewed vigour. Yet our fight will also be one against hatred. Malta is too small for us to fight against each other. We must use all the resources at our disposal and not divide ourselves for the sake of political convenience.”
4. The strike at Labour’s liberal policies
“Joseph Muscat said the government has a roadmap, and yet Malta is only heading into one direction – Muscat wants to render our country a soulless state”.
5. The parallels between Joseph Muscat and Dom Mintoff
“Thirty years ago, we used to fight for freedom because we used to get beaten up in the streets and because we weren’t allowed to read our newspapers or express our political opinions. Don’t believe for one second the same thing isn’t happening right now- thousands of people are being vindictively transferred simply because of their political beliefs.”
6. The claim that the government doesn’t care about education
“The PN government under Lawrence Gonzi used to build a school every year. Where are the new schools Muscat has built? How is our education system improving…we were told 11% of people weren’t even able to vote by themselves.The government doesn’t care about giving people a better education or improving their financial situation because it is easier to buy the votes and manipulate the minds of non-educated people and cheaper to buy the votes of people with less money.”
7. The real problem with Malta’s roads
“The government wants you believe there isn’t a traffic problem, that it is just a perception. Yet people are spending hours in traffic everyday and are getting angry about it…this anger at traffic is slowly affecting the way we think… The government now plans to repave every single road, but this won’t solve the traffic problem and it’s not as though we have a pothole problem as used to have in the 70s and 80s. We need to think out of the box and be revolutionary, but the government only cares about letting Konrad Mizzi negotiate multimillion contracts by himself.”
8. The quick lesson on regulating prostitution
“Prostitution is already legal in Malta but the government now wants to commercialise the human body, to put a price on people as though they were products”
9. The quick lesson on surrogacy
“For those who don’t understand, surrogacy means renting out a womb”
10. The challenge to Joseph Muscat
“Joseph Muscat invited me to a meeting and Labour’s media already assumed I had turned his invitation down. What, do they think I’m scared of Joseph Muscat? I am here at his disposal whenever he wants to meet. In fact, I challenge him to declare whether the PL has any values, whether he is ready to give a free vote to his MPs on matters of morality”.
11. ‘I won’t play your games’
“Muscat has invited the PN to nominate a person to sit on a technical committee on an upcoming waste management schemes. Who is he trying to fool? After four years of ruining the environment, the government has now realised it has its back to the wall on the waste problem and wants to justify the government’s position by placing a PN MP on this committee.”
12. The part which is right out of Simon Busuttil’s playbook
“The government thinks the construction industry can drive the economy by itself, but it isn’t thinking ahead or creating new economic sectors. All this country’s economic sectors were brought here by PN governments, and Labour is just reaping the fruit and getting fat off it all by itself.”
13. The new line of attack against Konrad Mizzi
“The government wants to steamroll over Air Malta’s workers and has now made a complete U-turn. After pledging Air Malta won’t close, Mizzi threatened to close it and reopen it with new workers if its unions order a strike. This is a sign we’re not living in a normal country.”