What a bunch of animals

Published: March 7, 2008 at 12:36pm

Somebody called David Camilleri, who has an AD-Ghawdex Internet address, but who is emailing everyone to tell them to vote Labour to bring down the Nazi government, has a fresh bee buzzing in his bonnet. This is animal rights. Apparently, we should vote Labour because Alfred Sant loves animals and Lawrence Gonzi doesn’t.

I don’t know where he got this one. What’s the proof that Squawking Sant loves animals – the fact that he keeps a clutch of chickens in his backyard? Maybe he keeps them because there’s a fellow-feeling between them. I’d like to see him handle the curious advances of a sniffing dog: ‘Tmissnix, jekk joghgbok.’ Mr I’m-so-frozen-I-chilled-the-EU-application-by-slipping-it-into-my-underpants will probably run a mile at the first approach of somebody else’s drooling pet. I watched him on television trying to chat to a pig in a Gozitan sty, and I must say I wasn’t very impressed. The pig wasn’t impressed either: check out this link and see for yourself.

Gonzi famously works through his documents at home with his cat wrapped round his shoulders. (I’m not a big cat fan, but I find dogs incredibly amusing because they have distinct personalities.) I can’t imagine Sant allowing a cat – or any other living thing, for that matter – to take up a similar position: ‘Tmissnix, jekk joghgbok.’ There is all that cat-hair to consider, and the road-kill headgear might be dislodged.

Seriously, though – whether people love animals, dislike them or are indifferent to them doesn’t say much about their character or personality. Hitler was a great animal-lover. Too bad he hated human-beings. The only attitude towards animals that says a lot about a person is sadism or cruelty towards them. You can read a lot into that. People who are kind to animals are not necessarily kind to humans, but people who are sadistic to animals are invariably sadistic to humans too.

So let’s leave aside the issue of who loves animals more – Sant with his chicken-friends, or Gonzi with his Qattusa – and consider instead which one of them has given proper consideration to animals in his electoral programme.

Lawrence Gonzi (commitments taken from the Nationalist Party’s electoral programme)

176. Work will continue on the animal protection centre in Ta’ Qali, given that all the necessary permits and calls for tender submissions have been issued, and the plans completed.

177. There will be more measures for the protection of animals, with increased involvement of NGOs in, among other things, the development of a centre of for animal rehabilitation and care.

178. There will be a training programme for animal sanctuary staff, and the programme of voluntary secondment of government employees to animal sanctuaries will continue.

179. There will be a micro-chipping programme for dogs and other domestic animals.

180. A rehabilitation centre for wild animals, such as tortoises, birds and dolphins, will be set up at Xrobb l-Għaġin and Delimara with funds from Norway.

181. There will be a foundation to coordinate animal-related projects.

Alfred Sant (commitments fished out from amid the misprints and computer malfunctions in the Labour Party’s electoral programme)

15. A sanctuary for animal welfare will be established in six months.

16. Hunting and trapping will be regulated WITH THE AIM OF SUSTAINING THIS PRACTICE. This will have to be done in the light of the legal obligations of the EU as they are interpreted today, but also in the best interests of the protection of the natural environment of our country. THIS WILL BE DONE WITH RESPECT TO THE GEOGRAPHIC AND DEMOGRAPHIC ASPECTS OF OUR COUNTRY.

Well, the Lion of Change hunts in Romania

Only a political party with a deputy leader who goes hunting in Romania would make one of the only two commitments on animals in the electoral manifesto a pledge to sustain shooting and trapping birds. And only a party run by I-hate-Europe Alfred Sant would put in a Great Big Escape Clause like ‘this will be done with respect to the geographic and demographic aspects of our country’ when committing himself to respect the ruling from Europe.

As for Labour’s animal sanctuary – l-aqwa s-‘six months’. The surcharge will be halved in six days and the animal welfare sanctuary will be established in six months. What, complete with project over-runs of 250%? Or maybe he’s going to get I-switched-to-Labour-to-get-my-perit-warrant-without-sitting-my-exams Martin Debono to oversee this mammoth task, so that we might end up with something that took as long as the Bugibba promenade.

As my friends down at Malta’s already existing dog, horse and cat sanctuaries have pointed out, Malta doesn’t need more animal sanctuaries. What Malta needs is a programme to teach people responsible pet ownership and the importance of neutering. Opening up more animal sanctuaries without this public information campaign or neutering programme is like opening up more and more orphanages under Ceaucescu and his ban on birth control.

Have you ever seen Clucking Chicken Sant being pawed by a dog? That’s right – I can’t picture it either. He would probably pass out: ‘Tmissnix, jekk joghgbok.’ But if anyone has a link, please send it in.

“Ix-xemx hamra hanina Laburista titla fuq il-pajjiz”

– il-pojeta Michael Falzon, l-iljun tal-bidla

If you’re at work right now, gather your colleagues around you, click on this link, and turn up the volume. Yes, I know it will affect productivity, but what the hell. I don’t think many people are in work mode today – probably not even the boss (especially not the boss, as the spectre of Darth Vader the Chicken looms large).

28 Comments Comment

  1. raphael stafrace says:

    hi paul catania,i think you will be watching RED wildlife poeple from the streets not on super one.

    [Moderator – Raphael, that is why I did not publish your previous comments.]

  2. me says:

    Daphne….(excuse me being personal)…you ARE the best.

  3. Paul Caruana says:

    Speaking of animals, let’s hope we’ll be watching wildlife documentaries on Super One on Sunday afternoon.

  4. Dumbledore says:

    Daphne, may we have your comments on the following article please? http://patrickattard.blogspot.com/2008/03/why-gay-voters-cannot-vote-for-gonzipn.html

  5. me says:

    As a matter of fact early this morning SuperOne was already transmitting cartoons (Popeye), and if I remember correctly it was the same cartoon character the Sunday after last elections.

    [Moderator – I have a vivid memory of tennis on Super One the Sunday after last elections. I think the metaphor was the same as that used towards the end of Lolita, when Humbert and Quilty play ping-pong.]

  6. me says:

    Well Mod….Age doesn’t help much, but I do remember some cartoons. What I really cannot forget are the ’70s and the ’80s. They have burned images, situations and quotations deep down in my psyche. Memories of lost teens.

  7. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    Dumbledore – I’ve looked up the article you mention and my views will be posted soon.

  8. Dumbledore says:

    Daphne, thanks!! Looking forward to it. :)

  9. Gelasius says:

    The amount of uncollected votes exceeds the last national election by some 3,000 votes. Are these all PN voters?

  10. Victor Laiviera says:

    Yes Gelasius – they are (mostly).

    Sorry. :) :)

  11. Victor Laiviera says:

    Any whizz-kid here to comment about these figures – and their significance?

    Electoral Commission officials said this morning that a total of 5,266 voting documents remained uncollected …

    = 1.6% uncollected.

    in 2003 2.377 = 0.8% uncollected

    in 1998 1.852 = 0.65% uncollected.

    [Moderator – Victor, please check your comments before posting them. I have grown accustomed to your typos so I know what you’re trying to say, but not everyone else does.]

  12. me says:

    Please bear in mind that the average difference between REGISTERED to VALID votes in the last seven elections is 14000. It is not how many votes are left behind that counts. Perseverance and hope are the parents of all virtues.

  13. Tonio Mallia says:


    Please be quiet!

    You’re becoming worse than Eddie Privitera.

    Sweet dreams

    [Moderator – too right.]

  14. Gelasius says:

    Not exactly good news if you don’t want Sant as the new PM, is it? Unfortunately politics, and elections in particular, is not always about substance. The idea of the level-headed cool customer who will read the manifestos, analyse the policies and make a choice only after having gone through a thorough process is just that, an idea…

    This election will be decided on the basis of who got most mud to stick… And judging by the amount of uncollected votes (assuming that they were mostly PN votes in 2003), the MLP has a head start.

    It will all be revealed on Sunday, but it looks like the future is burgundy-tinted from where I stand. Any good (conspiracy) theories that can prove me wrong and lighten the mood?

  15. James De Giorgio says:

    I have the sorry feeling that Victor Laiviera is going to make life hell on this forum from sunday evening onwards…

    [Moderator – ‘Hell is Victor Laiviera.’ – Sartre, No Exit]

  16. Vanni says:

    @ Mr. Victor Laiviera

    I would like to know how you reached the conclusion that the uncollected votes are Nationalist.

    By a scientific process? Or by a gut feeling? What was that old hoary chestnut that AS loves? Ah yes, “konvinzjoni morali’?

  17. me says:

    Please Mod, allow me to jot some numbers:
    From the 1976 election up to 2003 that is including the referendum the average of valid votes against registered voters was 95.35%. Translated to this election with 300998 voters the figure should be of about 17000. That is against the average if 14000 up to the referendum.
    Analysis of these past elections shows that the MLP has increased its percentage in 1996 and funnily enough in 2003 elections by 4.23% and 0.84% respectively. The average gain of the MLP of these elections minus point five four percent (-0.54%).
    On the other hand the PN lost percentage points in 1996 and 2003 by 3.85% and 1.90% in 2003 elections. The average gain of PN in these elections is of plus point four two percent (+0.42%).
    Considering that in 2003 PN won by around 12500 votes, and the new voters this time are around 15000, the MLP need to win back 6250 votes from 2003 plus 7500 new votes. That is 13750 votes or 4.50%. All that the PN needs is to keep its past voters, as
    they usually do, and get 6250 of the new votes or 2.20%.
    Now that is some food for thought.

  18. Corinne Vella says:

    Victor Laiviera:
    “Any whizz-kid here to comment about these figures”

    Don’t ask your friend the Great Leader to lend you his calculator. It malfunctions and misprints.

  19. m farrugia says:

    Non taxable overtime and the Drydocks

    A lot of talk has been said about non taxable overtime and the rate at which overtime should be paid. Although the rate paid is an issue, what is more important is the fact that this measure will affect only a small part of the workforce, who still has the guaranteed privilege of working overtime.

    In such a competitive environment, where employers are doing their best to cut on costs and where emphasis is being laid on improving the quality of jobs on our island rather than incentivise overtime, is it wise to encourage employees to work overtime? If we are not careful, this measure may encourage our employees to work slow, in a bid to work overtime and may result in our organisations losing their competiveness and jobs being endangered.

    This measure will benefit only the few and tends to deprive those hardworking employees and self employed who constantly strive to improve the quality of their job, not by working overtime, but by giving their day’s work and working hard to meet the demands of today’s changing work environment. Working mothers will surely not benefit from non-taxable overtime, since they barely have time to work, let alone work overtime.

    On the other hand, a revision of tax bands, both for employees and companies, and a non taxable year for mothers who return to work after having a child ensures that hard working citizens are rewarded for their effort and all workers, whether working overtime or not, benefit from the measure. A working mother earning a gross income of Lm8000 yearly, could easily save at least Lm100 a month when returning to work after the birth of a child. Companies will be encouraged to expand their business and employ more people with money saved from tax.

    The Drydocks is another hot topic in this campaign. Again, the main issue is not whether our country can renegotiate this issue with the EU or not, but whether taxpayers will be ready to fork out more money to the Drydocks. Taxpayers have surely had enough of pouring hundreds of millions of Liri into a highly unionised institution which for some reason or another seems unable to get its act together.

    Non taxable overtime and Government subsidies could take the country back to the Mintoff era, which was characterised by unproductive jobs and unemployment.

    If we really wish our country to keep moving forward, the only choice next Saturday is to give a clear mandate to the present administration. Let’s not forget what happened in the EP elections, when voting for small parties or not voting, only meant a waste of votes and an MLP Victory.

  20. me says:

    Mod…..those last figures are just to break even.

  21. Matthew says:

    Wrong. The labour leadership do own pets, and here they are:

    Michael Falzon: ‘Lyin’ King

    Jason Micallef: ‘Silvio

    Alfred Sant: ‘Pussy‘ (although technically a dog)

  22. me says:

    Mod I have been meaning to post this for a couple of days. I think this is the right time…
    Socialism is dead. With great sacrifice and dedication the pal bearers have carried the remains to the rubbish dump of history, where with spades forged with freedom of thought, liberty and free will, buried it under mounds of freedom of speech and democracy.
    It is that moment in time, yet again, where we are called by history to erect a monument on that mound, large enough to stop any smells emanating.

  23. me says:

    Thanks Mod……yours is not a blog. It is freedom of speech.

  24. giggs11 says:

    I read the blog on the link provided. I am not gay but I am seperated and “living in sin” so technically I should also be one of the people who are witholding their vote because of the PN’s reluctance to tackle the issues of co-habitation and divorce. I’m certain that Ms. Caruana Galizia will be much more eloquent in her reply. However, I would like to say that although most seperated people who are living with new partners are in fact angry that the State is burying its head in the sand, they are sensible enough to realise that dealing with these issues in the past 12 to 18 months would have given AS a field day in the elections. In customary manner the MLP would have taken on the mantle of Defenders of the Faith and we would have had the Virgin & Martyr AS leading the cherubims and seraphims in a charge to defend the Sanctity of Roman Catholic Marriage from the PN’s attack on traditional family values. The same would have happened had the PN tried to push forward the issue of Gay Rights, although it must be said that much more was done by the State for Gay Rights than for the rights of seperated persons or people living together. Apart from this I think the PM had plenty on his plate trying to bring Malta in line with the demands of the Maastricht Treaty without taking these issues on as well. Having said that, I am convinced that these important social issues will be tackled should the PN win the elections. At least we now have a commitment from the PM himself. As far as I know, AS refused to comment on divorce as according to him, this is not being discussed any more.

  25. Michael C says:

    @ Mr. Laviera,

    As the 5000 uncollected votes are as you say (mostly) PN, can you kindly ask the feathered one to add them to Gonzi’s tally like he did without regrets in the EU referendum?

  26. Dear Daphne,

    here is the “somebody called David Camilleri”.

    Would you mind sticking to the truth? I have never ever written emails to people urging them “to vote Labour to bring down the Nazi government”. While I do tell people to vote Labor because it is high time for a change of the Maltese government, I would never ever compare the Nationalists with the Nazis.

    It would be nice, if you could apologize for that slander! But I guess you are so used to slandering people, for example Dr. Sant, that you do not mind badmouthing one more person. Your way of smearing Dr. Sant has reached levels that remind me of somebody who is foaming from his mouth like a rabid dog. Comparing Dr. Sant with Ceaucescu is so polemical, it simply defies description.

    In addition I do not have an “AD-Ghawdex Internet address”, but I am a proud member of AD, and I would be elated if Harry Vassallo would be elected, too – especially in regard of the campaign against him orchestrated by the Nationalist media only days before the election.


    David Camilleri

  27. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    Let me get this straight, David Camilleri – you are ‘a proud member of AD’ but you are campaigning for the Labour Party?

    And then AD takes offence when anyone says that the real coalition is MLPAD.

  28. amrio says:

    To Me:

    Congrats for what seems to be some good number-crunching.

    I didn’t check your figures, so in what I’m adding below, I am assuming they are correct.

    So even if we consider the difference from 2003 in voting documents not collected to be all PN votes, and even if we take into account a better AD showing in PN-led districts, it would take a mass exodus of PN voters to MLP to give MLP a victory.

    Additionally, you are also assuming MLP will take the majority of new votes for them to win the election; a possibility which, from what I have heard, is rather remote; on the other hand PN are expecting to get the absolute majority of these new votes.

    Keeping a level head therefore, only a disaster of epic proportions (bigger than the 1996 mass exodus) would put MLP in power.

Leave a Comment