No wonder she hasn’t a clue – she left Malta as a child

Published: April 12, 2012 at 10:02am

Dom Mintoff with Joseph's new friends

It turns out that Mrs Bland never actually lived in Malta, except between birth and the end of her primary school years. We were given to understand that she’d left at 17 for some protest in Greece and never returned to live here.

But now she’s let slip that she was sent away to school and that was that.

From her interview in The Sunday Times last Sunday:

You spend most of your life out of the country. What made you leave?

Work opportunities and education. When I first left I was very young and there was the interdiction of the Labour leaders. I couldn’t go to secondary school here without going to a church school and since our family was being persecuted, my parents thought it best for me to go abroad.


There’s such a lot to talk about here, isn’t there?

1. It was all right for some.

2. While Mintoff played the man of the people, he sent his daughters to school in England, because the options available in Malta were not up to scratch.

3. Persecuted? Hardly. That’s the myth Mrs Bland has grown up with. She wasn’t around when the real persecution began happening and continued for 16 years.

4. Why couldn’t she go to secondary school without it being a church school? Surely she’s not saying here that the Man of the People and Mrs Mintoff thought the state schools which were good enough for everyone else were not good enough for their precious darling.

5. Mrs Bland was 19 when her father became prime minister in 1971. So why did she have to stay away from Malta for her education and work opportunities? Surely this isn’t because her father wrecked the University of Malta and under his administration there were no work opportunities.


Here’s another strange answer.

What was life like as Dom Mintoff’s daughter? Did you feel privileged or victimised?

I was like any other girl, really. In my current house visits, my constituents say they remember me running around the bastions barefoot. (…)

What a very odd way to frame it. If somebody were to ask me about my childhood, I would say:

I used to run around barefoot down on the rocks.

And not ‘The neighbours remember me running around barefoot down on the rocks.’

Does Mrs Bland have no memory of this herself? Is it only because others say they remember her that way that she knows about it? How peculiar.

She’s not a member of parliament yet, but she has constituents already, Alla jbierek. And she’s given away which district she’s been selected to stand for: her father’s old stomping-ground, the Bormla area, which means SHE’LL BE RUNNING AGAINST JOSEPH MUSCAT.

No. 1 Joseph
No. 2 it-tifla ta’ Dumink

How sweet.

16 Comments Comment

  1. tinnat says:

    Brilliant piece. Yana v Joseph – my day has just been brightened. Tra due litiganti …

  2. Rita Camilleri says:

    re No 4 – that is what I thought when I read the article. Why didn’t she go to a state secondary like we did? I thought there was something funny.

  3. Stephen Forster says:

    Bland by name, even blander by nature

  4. Anthony Briffa says:

    If I remember correctly, the only schooling both Mintoff’s daughters received in Malta was at the services school at Tal-Handaq. They never mixed with Maltese children.

  5. Jozef says:

    Is she legally entitled to be elected to parliament?

  6. Neil Dent says:

    Yes – this was another surreal part in the interview. What constituents Dr. Bland? When were you elected, as I must have missed that?

    Surreal. A surreal and freakish interview indeed.

  7. tinnat says:

    If they really must show some preference, then they can go with 1a and 1b.

  8. NotMintoff. says:

    What persecution is Yana referring to?

    I know of several people who attended church schools in the sixties during the interdiction period and who were sons and daughters of Labour party MPs and of others spear-heading the then interdicted Labour media. Evelyn Bonaci’s daughter and Anton Cassar’s son and daughters come in mind.

    • Nadya cassar Bonaci says:

      Hi Daphne,

      Can you tell me why you mentioned me in your blog?

      Yes I did go to a church school St. Monica’s College B’kara..So what my own children went to Stella Maris College..Is there anything else you want to know about me.

      My mother is Evelyn of the most loved woman
      in Bkara and who chose Dom Mintoff’s her ideal one.
      My mother strived all her life to help underpriviledged people..whether they were with Mintoff or with any other Party.

      I think it is very low of you to write such cruelty about any person who just passed away.

      Think twice as you have children of your own and hatred breeds hatred.

      May you Rest in Peace Dear Dom


  9. Gahan says:

    Nismgha lil min jghid li omm Yana kienet riedet tiddivorzja lil Mintoff fis-snin sittin u li dak iz-zmien kienet qed titlob NOFS MILJUN LIRA STERLINA biex jaqsmu il-beni matrimonjali!

    Hawn xi ricerkatur?

    [Daphne – I don’t know about the money, but I do know that she fled back to England and insisted on divorcing him, yes – but was persuaded not to do so.]

Leave a Comment