The First Hundred Days of Bernard Grech: no political advancement was made to date
A leader cannot wait for the political situation to become clear before acting. Immediately on taking office, it is crucial for any new leader to take the first urgent steps to improve the current situation within his or her own political organization.
Communication and leadership are sine qua non in this strategy. Any new leader should evaluate all his actions and possibilities before starting implementing them. Without these two qualities of communication and leadership being in place, nothing can follow.
An action plan, at this early stage, should be formulated. In his plan, the new leader needs to underline the changes that he intends introducing. More importantly, this action plan needs to be a manifestation of strength and energy that the new leader wishes to instil in running the party. All this definitely requires an enormous capability.
A grasp of the bigger picture is also important at this stage. It will help the new leader establish where he is heading. The chosen direction needs to underpin a set of action plans that will stimulate and at the same time enhance the teamwork of all involved. This is what creates political dynamism in the first 100 days.
Beyond these points, a new leader should consider it critical to make judicious choices since the first actions taken in the first 100 days have a symbolic meaning. They signal the changes that a new leader wants to impose and trigger the break with the past. Therefore, it is within these first 100 days that a short-term action plan is finalised.
It was imperative for Dr Grech to give signals of political comfort. On the contrary, his actions in these last days, in particular, those regarding the way how he handled the re-shuffle of his shadow cabinet confirmed that he has no clue how politics works. Unfortunately, after this debacle, one cannot hide behind the political excuse that the new leadership team is still in a “work in progress” mode. The truth is that nothing has been activated in his first 100 days. What has been achieved, did more damage than good to the Nationalist Party. What has become manifest to all is that there is a lack of professionality in the new leadership team. This does not augur well for the future.
What is certain is that statements made by Bernard Grech lack political vision. It should be pointed out that, till now, he made very few, and far between, political statements and appearances. Dr. Grech has not given his party any clear indication of what his long-term vision is. Perhaps this too is, as in many other things, relegated to his work in progress mode.
The electorate needs to hear statements about political vision for the country. Unfortunately, even here, Dr Grech is proving to be a failure. Is it possible that there is a nothing to report? Why has he failed to be in court with Dr. Delia in the Vitals case? Why is Dr. Grech still attached to Daphne Caruana Galizia’s case, when it is now becoming clear that this has become a mill stone that is going to bring the party down? Is it not clear now that this case will come back to haunt the Nationalist Party? Is it possible that there was nothing positive to mention about Robert Abela’s first year as PM?
The electorate is fed up of the usual mantra and divisive discourse that it has been hearing for the past seven years. The usual Sunday sermons are becoming even more tedious because nothing particularly interesting is being stated. Quite honestly, the Nationalist electorate is now starting to feel that even its Party media is having problems reporting what the leader has to say. The electorate hasn’t heard any news about the political victories that Dr Grech has achieved to date, not even minor ones. Even the Malta Today survey, which was taken as a clear indication of some sort of political advancement for Bernard Grech, has ended up being questioned, at least, by one of the major pro-PN commentators.