Letters: 4th May 2014

An earthly honour

The canonization of two Popes is an occasion for the Catholic Church to flatter itself and its followers after a long series of shameful scandals and cover-ups.
On the cover of its 1 April, 2002 issue, Time magazine depicted an illustration of Pope John Paul with his back turned to the viewer as he hid his face with his hands, in shame, after the full scale of the sex abuse scandals in the Church came to light.
John Paul did not have the inner vision that saints and mystics allegedly have to be aware of the sexual abuse that was being perpetrated by Catholic priests during his pontificate. Or else he knew what was going on but chose to keep it secret in order to avoid scandal. In the meantime, abusive priests kept being transferred from one parish or diocese to another.
John Paul did not perform any miracles while he was alive, not even to heal himself of a debilitating illness. It was pathetic to watch him drooling at his Vatican window during his final illness.  It’s absurd to believe that he can heal the living now that he’s dead!
Neither did Pope John XIII perform any miracles. The Church, in fact, waived the requirement of a miracle for his canonization.
Canonization, with its dubious “miracles”, is nowadays bestowed so often that it is nothing more than an earthly honour.

John Guillaumier, St Julian’s

Perfect slander

Can Chris Packham – the BBC Springwatch presenter brought over by Birdlife Malta – explain how, with a voluntary crew of BBC freelancers, other than five illegally shot birds, he was not able to substantiate his “five days watching birds illegally shot down” by at least capturing one bird being shot down on film.
On 29 April edition of the BBC Breakfast Show, in reply to my statement, he referred to “many birds in ditches, swifts and swallows used for target practice”, and yet not one was documented.
He was reported by the London Times as coming to Malta to film “thousands of Maltese hunters shooting millions of migratory birds”. Yet after correcting this (blaming it upon a translation error) and after all the hype, not a single one was filmed being shot.
Packham is fooling the Maltese and British public and his allegations are totally slanderous and false.
Packham came in support of Birdlife Malta who for years have been lobbying to end spring hunting. He rendered an impeccable service in support of this cause apart from generating €50,000 for Birdlife Malta thanks to his sweet talk.
What he still needs to prove is the truth.

Mark Mifsud Bonnici, President, St Hubert Hunters

A letter to the Prime Minister

Hon. Prime Minister, whilst speaking at a Labour Party mass meeting in Cospicua on International Workers’ Day, you have been quoted by some news media as asking “the soldiers of steel” (a phrase which was coined by Dom Mintoff referring to those Labour Party supporters who had defied the Catholic Church’s interdiction against the Labour Party and voted for Mintoff and the MLP) to prove themselves.  
This, according to the same news media, was to vote for the Labour Party candidates contesting to become MEP’s in the fast approaching European Parliament elections, and to strive to convince others to do the same.
Lest you have forgotten, let me remind you that Mintoff was against Malta joining the EU stating that “this was not in our best interest”.  Moreover, Mintoff had referred to the countries of Western Europe as pertaining to “Cain”.  You were also opposed to Malta joining EU at that time and had written newspaper articles to this effect.  
The golden years of Malta, during the 70’s and early 80’s when Dom Mintoff was Prime Minister (God rest his soul), Malta become rich both in assets and social services.  From a state still subservient to the British crown, Malta become a Republic with its own head of state and prospered to such an extent that it even owned a profitable airline when many (including the Nationalist Party) contended that it would have “wings of lead”.
Telemalta, Sea Malta, Enemalta, Mid-Med Bank and Bank of Valletta were all parastatal/national companies and although some of them sometimes faced financial difficulties, nothing compared to the current disastrous situation whereby, under a Nationalist administration, these were either liquidated or sold at a pittance (under the pretext of privatization as instructed by EU).  
At that time, Malta had minimal foreign and local debt, and held one of the highest per capita foreign reserves in the world. Presently, as inherited from a devastating Nationalist Party administration in government for over two decades (whilst your party’s parliamentarians slumbered on the opposition seats), Malta’s local debt has reached over 73% of GDP, which amounts to the astronomical sum of over five billion Euros.
As my hair is fast turning white, and I am quickly approaching retiring age, I look back on the years with nostalgic fervour.  Although I have been a “Labourite” for most of my life, I do not consider myself as such any longer, but prefer to be considered as a “Mintoffian”. Dom Mintoff would never have resorted to sell the Maltese nationality to rich foreigners and if he had still been alive, I would have been willing to die for him.  
I would have been proud to be referred to as a “Soldier of Steel” and would have defied any religion that would have instructed me not to do his bidding. With regards to your instructions to those who are already set to vote for Labour candidates in the forthcoming MEP elections to convince others to do the same, I will be doing the opposite - encouraging them not to vote at all.  Hon. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, you are no Dom Mintoff.

Raymond Sammut, Mellieha