CUDDLE HIM NOT
What a country this is: a politician makes an off-the-cuff remark and everyone and his brother has to jump in and read into it depths of meaning that are dependent only on the bits of the remark that they chose to hear.
Simon Busuttil said that the Nationalist Party is a party that does not eschew reconciliation, indeed it is one that embraces it. He said this when asked for his thoughts about Franco Debono. Busuttil also said, but this bit is conveniently ignored by certain types, that at the same time, everyone must take responsibility for his actions, obviously including said Franco Debono. Busuttil did not, and I'd have used capitals if this was not a lazy way to write, say that the ban on Debono contesting the election (or anyone else's ban, for that matter) should be reversed, revised or otherwise changed.
Quite apart from any other consideration, the appropriate PN organ imposed the ban, and not Busuttil, and therefore he can't overturn it, even if he intended to, which he quite plainly didn't.
Obviously, where there is discord, harmony should be sown, where there is disconciliation, there should be reconciliation (and yes, I invented that word) but this is a statement of the bleeding obvious which should have raised no eyebrows, especially when the rider about bearing responsibility for one's actions was added on.
Consequently, in my not so humble opinion, Franco Debono, unless he apologises cravenly for his vile insults of the Prime Minister, for his vulgar attacks on Austin Gatt, for his knifing of Carm Mifsud Bonnici and for the countless other infractions that led to his ban, is a candidate for reconciliation in a very limited fashion, that is to say that he is to be treated as person like any other but no more than that.
If, on the other hand, Debono takes the very large step that is required of him, if he recants completely and utterly and without reservation, then maybe, just maybe, the depth of reconciliation that he seems to think is available to him might become a possibility to be considered as a concept.
I will not be holding my breath waiting for Debono to take this step: in the first place, I care less than very little if he does, because as far as I am concerned, his chosen course of action to date has put him beyond the pale, and in the second place, people like this particular leopard don't change their spots.
As for what was reported on timesofmalta.com in connection with Pullicino Orlando's opinion on the story, all I can say is, see above and change slightly as necessary. Roll on election day, so he can be consigned to the place he deserves in our history books. And if anyone thinks I am demonstrating that the PN is not really interested in reconciliation and thus disagreeing with Simon Busuttil, well, you can think so or not, I am confident that differing views can be accommodated between friends.