A siege mentality, a divide-and-rule approach, attacks against independent media and a sense of denial within the PN following two historic defeats are to blame for the current state of the Nationalist Party, according to an analysis by the party’s youth section, the Moviment Żgħażagħ Partit Nazzjonalista.

The document was presented to PN secretary general Clyde Puli last Saturday

In its introduction it acknowledges that lack of unity existed even before Adrian Delia was elected leader, but the handling of the situation in recent months  “left much to be desired”. 

To this day people are being marginalised or attacked simply for refusing to fall in line, the report states. Moreover, it warns that such approach has managed to turn not only the people against the current leadership, but the traditional and non-traditional party voters against each other.

In its analysis the MŻPN blames the leadership for failing to take into consideration any ideas contrary to the ones it clings to. “Any criticism is repelled with internal or even very public attacks that leave it red-faced at the end of it all” the report remarks. 

The MŻPN said Delia's leadership did not take criticism on board.The MŻPN said Delia's leadership did not take criticism on board.

Another, concern raised in the report deals with the so-called “us vs them” mentality which it is being claimed was installed from day one of the Delia leadership. One such example was the U-turn on the decision to suspend former leader Simon Busuttil from the parliamentary group following the publication of a summary of the Egrant inquiry findings.

“This case was intended to be dealt with in one way, but persons close to PN leader Adrian Delia sought to take advantage of the situation and suggested other methods, which ended up taking place. The results are well known and advertised now, and the handling of this case was nothing short of a disaster,” the report states.

Fingers were are also being pointed to those, who “labelled” certain factions within the party such as the “Daphne Crowd” - those who sought to remember and respect the legacy of slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Rather than building bridges with this group, the party dismissed such idea, the report noted.

In its analysis, the MŻPN also takes issue with the manner in which the party media is being run.

Decisions to attack Times of Malta, The Malta Independent, The Shift News and civil society groups such as Occupy Justice were cited as examples of a wrong approach.

The report also delves into the crisis triggered by last month’s landslide defeats, saying that a strong sense of denial characterised the manner in which the leadership reacted. Remarks that only “fine tuning” was required and that “it could have been worse” were described as being atrocious and testament to the complete disaster in the handling of the outcome.

Moreover, the leadership made the situation “infinitely worse” through what it describes as “the staged and irregular vote” on the co-option of the candidate to replace David Stellini who resigned from parliament. 

The report also questions the siege mentality and the strategy, if any, being adopted by the party, saying decisions were taken by a few in complete isolation. This brought about an unprecedented level of distrust which was perfectly exemplified when “a gypsum wall was set up on the second floor to close off the office of the secretary general and the office of the Political Coordinator [Jean Pierre Debono] from the rest of the floor, with fingerprint access to ensure a very explicit and vivid concern of ‘no-entry’,” the MŻPN pointed out.

Such approach was the complete opposite of the open-door policy which the leadership had pledged.

In its conclusion, the document calls on those who failed, to shoulder responsibility and for the party to identify key people who unite and inspire, not shackle it to the ground. The MŻPN said it was important for the party to regain credibility and move away from the politics of yesteryear.


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