They are fat, coarse, vile and brash. They line the pavements of our villages next to village bars and band clubs. They shout and scream, burn firecrackers, urinate on walls, scratch cars and blaspheme until the early hours of the morning.
In Maltese homes, families, the elderly and children are too intimidated to talk – they cannot trust the authorities for fear that their identity be uncovered.
Too terrorised to talk, a neighbourhood in Naxxar is hijacked week in week out as a posse of inebriated men and boys burn firecrackers in front of homes in the early hours of the morning. As I walked past the band of macho males, they blew raspberries, called out names and threw firecrackers into the narrow road.
It was quarter to one in the morning. Naxxar Mayor Maria Fatima Deguara must have been in her bed fast asleep. The residents here were not. They have been living in ‘fear’ for months on end. They are scared that they will suffer repercussions if they file a report.
It is a hard thing when you dread walking out of your front door because instead of smiles you are greeted with the sullen faces of troglodytes. This is not a story for Naxxar.
It is repeated in all Maltese and Gozitan villages. Most bars and band clubs attract unrefined youth and rough characters with no respect for the people who live in the surroundings.
This cannot go on. Just because Maltese and Gozitan society supports a large underclass of lobotomised men with no basic respect for other fellow human beings, it cannot be that we accept it.
In this respect home affairs minister Tonio Borg wins first prize for being a first class libertarian. Tolerating these excesses, despite his Padre Pio view of the world, says more of how he cannot control these routine social excesses in life, let alone face the gargantuan task of fighting illegal immigration.
John O’Dea, the man who was asked to stop writing for this newspaper because he plagiarised entire pieces off the internet, is now acting as a promoter of a golf course at Xaghra l-Hamra.
This former freemason, picked unilaterally by Joe Saliba, who served on the working group that looked into the Nationalist party’s worst electoral defeat, has described all those who oppose a golf course at Ghajn Tuffieha as tree huggers.
The man who was trusted with analysing the PN defeat has an impressive curriculum vitae.
O’Dea had been sentenced to two months imprisonment by Magistrate Carmel Agius on 11 January 1994, for not having paid tax due to the commissioner of inland revenue.
But enough of this, since if I speak the truth I will be accused of being nasty, so back to Nazzarenu Vassallo’s golf course.
Was it not Ronald Reagan who said trees pollute and then coined the word tree hugger? In Reagan’s time it was unfashionable to talk about the environment, today it is. To label Mr O’Dea as an outdated commentator would be unfair. Yet the fundamental point missed by the former freemason is that the method used in choosing a site for the golf course was unorthodox and incorrect.
Lawrence Gonzi and George Pullicino cannot make their own rules and decide for themselves to have a golf course. Mr O’Dea will not appreciate that the area in question qualifies as a Natura 2000 site. But to O’Dea, the furthest he can get when it comes to place names is the grand lodge.
Before O’Dea rushes off to print again, it would be best if he discloses his bias. He may not be a tree hugger but he definitely hits the jackpot for being a government apologist.
It was unknown to me but Gino Cauchi happens to be what we describe as a Michael Falzon acolyte. Nothing wrong with that, the world is full of devotees. By that I mean someone who tends to favour one person to another.
Gino –pronounced as GEE NO – has decided to take this newspaper to the courts over a report which demonstrated how God’s gift to world journalism, came to end his career as head of news at Super One.
I am going to love facing GEE NO in court. GEE NO probably believes that the first thing we do in the newsroom is look stupidly at each other and exclaim: “Okay, chums let us see what we have on GEE NO.”
Let’s face it. GEE NO is no Bernstein, Woodward or Morgan. He was a rather run-of-the-mill kind of guy, no special sparkle, with no unique intellectual trait to suggest that we were in the midst of the island’s greatest journalist.
Yet, what GEE NO – who is now hoping to be an MP in the next legislature – is essentially confirming, is the trend with all those who have libelled MaltaToday until now.
Let us take a look at some of them: Alfred Mifsud, Anglu Farrugia, Michael Falzon, Dom Mintoff, and last but not least GEE NO. All these folks have one thing in common: if they were forced to decide between a knickerbocker glory and Alfred Sant, they would probably go for the fruit cocktail at the bottom of the glass.
Now, there are many who would say that Alfred Sant is not fit to be Prime Minister, but in his two-year stint, the excesses of the Mintoff years were nowhere to be seen. Would those who think that Dr Sant is not as good as a knickerbocker glory think the same?
Considering the intolerant stance shown towards the press, would it be justified to say that we find it difficult to trust them? I will not answer that question.
The dissent in the Labour party is undoubtedly an opportunity for the Nationalist media to feast and take a break from the lethargy that has struck this government, like a chewing gum stuck to the sole of a tennis shoe.
But all this desire for Labour dissent does not change the mood in the country that things are not moving and cannot get off the ground.
There is also the bigger picture. The Labour party will one day be in government unless we expect the Nationalist to govern forever in the same way Kim Il-Sung governs eternally in North Korea.
Alex Manché I have never met. But from what I hear, he is a saviour for many patients who would not be in this world were it not for his intervention.
Enter the MAM who express the view that some animals are more equal than others. And we here we go through the same old story.
Instead of raising the issue of doctors being underpaid, we are asked to cut the wages of those who have better salaries. Manché is one of those consultants that would not normally return to Malta. To retain his services, it is normal that he should be remunerated accordingly.
People who suffer from heart disease do not give a toss about the MAM. I have every respect for the medical profession, and I also believe that everyone should pay their taxes and work diligently but I do not think that we are all equal.
If we want to maintain a health service to address the medical requirements of an ageing and modern society, the last thing we need is a medical union that acts like a miners’ union.
Instead of talking about salaries, the MAM would do all us all a service if it tackled the Mater Dei fiasco. Malta’s greatest monument to megalomania is Mater Dei, which is planned to be open on the 7 July 2007 – the anniversary of Lawrence Gonzi’s birth.
After this date the unfinished hospital will be called Lazarus.
Afterwards, someone needs to remind the Prime Minister that one does not offer a medical service by having a massive white building and a Richard England chimney. A medical service is best guaranteed by the dedication, the skill of its medical profession and the accessibility of modern equipment and medicines.
And the MAM is the best placed to say this.
So please leave our cardiologists alone and let us get back to the real world where people with ailing hearts only wish for one thing. To live on!