Published: September 11, 2012 at 1:11pm

My father was a carpenter who worked mas-Servizzi, and when the British left, his pay was reduced by half.

He used to rent the house we lived in, and with four children, the thought of not having a roof over his head which he could call his own was always at the back of his mind. When in the 80s he got to know that Government was giving plots of land in Mosta, where we lived, he enquired about it but was told “jekk ma tmurx il-kazin, ghal xejn.”

So the working family which Mintoff prized so much was not entitled to a plot of land like others who today own land worth thousands of euros and which they got for peanuts (or nothing?) for just being Labour.

My father did not go to kazini, be they PN, MLP or tal-banda. In spite of his background, he was not servile. What he did was work hard enough and save so that when his mother’s small house was up for sale, he was able to buy it, as a safety net.

Eventually the rented house was also up for sale and many years later, he bought it too.

So in the end, he ended up with two houses which he actually worked for, and not a plot of land gained through political laghqizmu. Do not get me wrong. My father was not an avid PN supporter. My mother says that he had actually convinced her to vote for Mintoff (in 1971?) as he was hoping for a better future. My mother made sure that he never forgot about this and then tells him, “Never again.”

My mother was a teacher who loved her job but when she got married in 1967, she had to ‘resign’ because she got married. The system carried on right through the Mintoff years. Perhaps Yana Mintoff Bland is aware of her father’s ideals behind this.

Was it so that my mother could devote her undivided attention to us, which I’m sure she would still have done, or was it because there weren’t enough jobs in Malta?

Neither my mother nor my father packed up their bags and went elsewhere in search of a better life (if life was so good, why did many leave, including Labourites?). No, they stuck it out until finally, in 1987, they breathed a much deserved sigh of relief.

In spite of everything, and against all odds, we all went on to obtain a degree and make something of ourselves, so that when Tony Agius Decelis went knocking on my mother’s door telling her li hu ‘gradwat’ as if to impress her in her old age, my mother was able to say, “Iva? Mela bhat-tfal kollha tieghi.”

Apparently my mother had not paid enough social security contributions to be entitled to a pension, but some time in the 80s she came to know – way too late and through word of mouth, not because she was officially informed – that she could have paid the missing contributions and she would have been able to receive her pension.

One of my earliest memories is in primary school being asked by a fellow pupil, “Are you coming to school tomorrow?” And I said, “Yes, of course I’m coming to school, why?” “Ghax qed jghidu li se jisparaw.”

As a little girl, I remember asking my mum, what’s the difference between Mintoffjani, Laburisti and Socjalisti? And what on earth does KMB mean?

And how about Budget day – (who cares about Budget day today except to pass stupid remarks on Facebook about the price of cigarettes which, somehow, the ‘working class’ still affords?) spent listening intently to the radio (we did not know anyone who could provide us with a TV, or a telephone for that matter, that only came late in 1986 – and now that I’ve mentioned the telephone, wasn’t it fun listening to other people’s conversations on Christmas Day about how the turkey turned out so good?) – and God forbid if we made any noise and my father was not able to hear by how much the kunserva or the bulu bif were about to increase.

This was the 80s not the 50s and of course we have complete disregard for Mintoff, and of course we are thankful for 1987, and always will be. Even as an eight year old, I really did feel the winds of change, more than Joseph Muscat and his ilk will ever know.

58 Comments Comment

  1. anthony says:

    I would like to confirm what this lady is saying.

    In the huge housing estate near to where I live the better properties, i.e. the houses, are practically all occupied (now owned) by staunch PL supporters.

    May I also point out that most of these units were built in the late sixties during the PN administration.

    They were allocated, however, after the dawn of the new era in 1971.

    Recently a few of these houses have changed hands for a quarter of a million euros.

    No wonder the faithfulness of PL supporters is unwavering.

  2. Paul Bonnici says:

    I lived in Zabbar near Hompesh Gate, the houses and flats in the housing estate which was built during the Mintoff regime was given to Mintoffjan only.

    The seventies were nasty dark times. If you were not Mintoffjan you would get nothing, you were treated like a piece of sh*t.

    Mintoff was evil, he would destroy you if you did not support him.

  3. Md says:

    Jien id-dar li ghandi ghax hadt bicca art tal gvern ghax dak iz-zmien ma kontx niflah inhallas ghaliha bil paga ta waiter u jien qatt u qatt ma dhalt go kazini la tal politka u l-anqas tal baned apparti li fil housing estate fejn noqghod hawn xi 40% li hadu plot bhali nazzjonalisti horox,ahna ilkoll tlajna bix-xorti fl 1980

  4. The Scot says:

    unfortunately today not even if you are willing to go to the `kazin` will you not get a plot for free….you have to stamp close ,if not more then 100k euros….not much working class…

  5. Fucking Bitch says:

    Deff, please, fuck you and all the sadness you have in your life. And please, fuck you all you ass kissing Nationalist supporters, I would rather live in the 80s when at least my wage could cover well living costs, unlike today. Jaqq, you people are sickening and a waste of space, you should get sterilised so no more dickheads like you. The page is finally turning, and your Nazi party will be in opposition for the next 15 years at least, unless you twats go around with borom on your Fascist heads.

    Nationalist Hater mis South, and proud.

    • zebra says:

      Ghalhekk qatt ma ghandkom tkunufil- gvern tal-pl.mhux bilfors kienet iserviek il- paga jekk ma kelliekx fiehx tonfoqha.

    • maltawarrior says:

      @ Fucking Bitch

      quite an apt name… as from your warped thinking, fucking could be the only thing you’re good at… and btw – considering your IQ I need to clarify that this is not a compliment – thank nature you’re able to do that

    • anthony says:

      Your wage “could cover well living costs”.

      That was just an illusion. You were not living.

      You were vegetating, just like a cactus plant.

      You had no telephone, no colour TV, no electricity, no water, no computer, no mobile phone, no cordless phone, no radio station, no television station, no tea, no chocolate, no MSC Splendida, no freedom of speech, no democracy, NO NOTHING.

      You only THINK that you were living.

      If you have any neurons, if only just a few, think again and grow up.

      [Daphne – This guy wasn’t even around then, Anthony. Can’t you tell by the way he writes? He’s reporting what he’s heard.]

      • NOTMLPandproudofit. says:

        There wasnt even anything like corn oil or other food stuff that was suitable for people with heart or cholesterol problems.


        NOW, who was the wise Labour star candydejt who spoke out in favour of Mintoffeconomics (or whatever) ?

    • Danton says:

      You are the sort of sick, no-good, free-loading whining Mintoffian scum who invariably gets treated like royalty, no matter which party is in government.

      Pandering shamelessly for the endless whining demands of the likes of you is what is rendering the traditionally quiet, hard-working and uncomplaining Nationalist so bloody cheesed off.

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you serious? Quiet, hard working, uncomplaining Nationalist??? haha, you actually made me laugh, especially with the ‘hard working’!! So, I suppose Gonzi hasn’t given you a free plot of land or a car yet? Oh, I’m so sorry… Meanwhile, I personally remember Nationalists protesting while banging ‘borom’ on their heads, don’t you? Or the nice game of ‘Hit the Labourite with the Pallavostra’ in Zebbug? Yeah right, uncomplaining my foot.

        [Daphne – God, what an idiot. Suffer the little children etc etc.]

  6. The chemist says:

    Socialism at its worst. Moviment gdid will most probably mean more of the same.

  7. Reporter says:

    Can we please be careful.

    These paragraphs refer to the PN administration of the 60s:

    My mother was a teacher who loved her job but when she got married in 1967, she had to ‘resign’ because she got married. The system carried on right through the Mintoff years. Perhaps Yana Mintoff Bland is aware of her father’s ideals behind this.

    Was it so that my mother could devote her undivided attention to us, which I’m sure she would still have done, or was it because there weren’t enough jobs in Malta?

    Neither my mother nor my father packed up their bags and went elsewhere in search of a better life (if life was so good, why did many leave, including Labourites?). No, they stuck it out until finally, in 1987, they breathed a much deserved sigh of relief

    The person’s mother got married in 1967, when Mintoff was in opposition.

    Mass emigration was a government policy of the 60s.

    Let’s not publish inaccurate posts.

    [Daphne – It’s not inaccurate. It’s completely factual.]

  8. the happy one says:

    Dear Daphne,

    I empathise entirely with the lady writing the guest post.

    My mum was a secretary with the civil service who was forced to retire when she got married.

    My dad was an acting headmaster, but they refused to give him what he deserved because he was a Nationalist supporter and outspokenly so.

    Teachers and the civil servants were also on a wage freeze, so much so that when my dad was on strike for two whole months and they did not get paid. Dad went to sell paints for a family friend on commission basis. We lived in Lorry Sant`s area, where people who supported him got plots of lands, flats and you name it.

    Il-Gahbu and Toto were regulars and went to different restaurants and bars, eating, drinking and swearing, and presenting them with a bill would result in a shot=gun pointed at you.

    My dad refused point blank to get a TV because not only did you have to bribe someone, there was also no option but had to take the brand on offer.

    But getting a TV was not our priority as our life was a constant protest. Every weekend we were protesting because our schools were closed, teachers were on strike and you could not even freely buy and read your preferred newspaper. Such was life with Is-Salvatur ta’ Malta.

  9. bobby says:

    This post reminded me of the “pensjonijiet tas-servizzi” which the dockyard worker would have been entitled to, which Mintoff fucked up.

    Tqazzist nisma l-kelma children allowances. X’kienu ser jaghmlu dawn in-nies kieku Mintoff ma ghamijomx bic-children allowance, kienu ser joqtlu l-uliedhom bil-guh?

  10. Matt says:

    The thought that MLP is overwhelmingly leading in the public opinion polls is causing me a severe acid reflux and agitation.

  11. Qeghdin Sew says:

    “He used to rent the house we lived in, and with four children, the thought of not having a roof over his head which he could call his own was always at the back of his mind. When in the 80s he got to know that Government was giving plots of land in Mosta, where we lived, he enquired about it but was told ‘jekk ma tmurx il-kazin, ghal xejn.'”

    Funny that you should mention this. My parents bought the plot of land where they live (not in Mosta) from the Government before 1987. A good 70% of the neighbours are staunch Nationalists and were also allocated plots in that street pre-1987. The mere suggestion that they walked into a każin tal-Labour to get their plot is risible. Not on their dead body.

    • Anonymous says:

      I totally agree with you, another example is Santa Lucija, where although a Labour-leaning town, there is a substantial number of Nationalist voters, and who acquired land there for only a mere LM2000 in the 70s.

      • Qeghdin Sew says:

        Likewise in what is now considered a ‘trendy’ locality for the nouveau riche (thanks to whom I’ll never be able to afford my own shoebox tsk tsk)

  12. Joseph A Borg says:


  13. gaddaffi says:

    Jidhirli li l-qorti ta’ Strasbourg recentement iddecidiet dwar kaz fil-Polonja fejn is-sidien ta’ l-artijiet ilmentaw li art esproprijata minghandhom mill-istat komunista biex tintuza ghal skopijiet socjali inbieghet biex isir qliegh minnha. L-istat Pollakk tilef il-kawza.

    Nistaqsi jien, jekk l-artijiet tieghi hadomli Mintoff fis-sebghinijiet u tmeninijiet biex inbieghu plots kwazi b’xejn lill-laburisti bl-iskuza ta’ social housing u dawn issa qed ibieghuhom bi prezzijiet astronomici (zgur mhux social housing) tista din is-sentenza isservi favur tieghi ghax holqot precedent? Mintoff ha mijiet ta tomniet raba liberi u franki mill-privat u tawhom lil bazuzli li issa qed ibieghhom. Kos ..

    • ciccio says:

      Forsi tista’ targumenta li dawk l-artijiet ma ntuzawx ghal skop socjali, izda ghal spekulazzjoni. Social housing mhux suppost li ghandu jinbiegh bi prezzijiet kummercjali. Anzi, ghandu jinzamm mil-gvern ghal-familji ohra.

  14. Guzi Abela says:

    Grazzi ghal Mintoff, missierek dam ipappiha ghal 4 snin ohra minn fuq dahar ir-regina. Kien jaqlaghha tajjeb missierek f’dak l-ghaks kollhu la irnexxielu jixtri zewg djar.

  15. Lola says:

    I know many nationalists who got a lot of land from the government.I never applied because I thought thatI would not qualify.I had to buy a piece of land myself .how about that?

  16. Trololol says:

    Have you ever read ‘It-Tmien kontinent’ by Trevor Zahra?

    There is a chapter in it that speaks about this situation in the 70s. A family living in a cheap rent ended up homeless because the father refused to become a party member. The party is not specified in this short story, but it being the 70s, it’s kinda obvious.

    Then again, my parents married in the mid 80s. My parents were true haddiema. Yet we only had a rented flat. Why? Because they weren’t Mintoffjani haddiema.

    I remember later on in the 90s, wondering how friends of mine whose parents were bank managers had a small flat, whereas others who had a much rougher income than my father, had a two story enormous house.

    Of course, nowadays I realise the truth. The bank managers weren’t Mintoffjani in the 80s.

    I meet people who earn a minimum wage and have a huge house from that Mintoff category, and they complain they can’t cope with life. I’m like, what are you complaining about, you had minimum wage but you did not have to pay loans for your entire lifetime?

    Incredibly disgusting.

    • Joseph A Borg says:

      are you implying that patronage has stopped in its tracks after 1987?

      [Daphne – Things do not stop in their tracks. They are stopped in their tracks. If you are going to insist on using standard turns of phrase, at least bother to do so properly. Also, you’ve used the wrong tense.]

      • Joseph A Borg says:

        Don’t get over excited over a paltry comment sweetie. “has” was not necessary and I don’t bother with standard turns of phrase. I’ll leave those to you.

        You’re the wordsmith-cum-sub-editor after all…

        [Daphne – It takes a lot more than a comment from a barely literate Labour Party supporter to excite me, Mr Borg, still less over-excite me.]

      • Trololol says:

        To be honest I did not understand what you are trying to imply. Daphne must have corrected you for a reason.

  17. ciccio says:

    I am sure that today many readers would think that your guest is someone from their family, because this story is so familiar with anyone who experienced the Golden Years under Mintoff and KMB, who inspired Joseph Muscat’s type of politics. After 2013, it’s going to be the same story all over again: tal-qalba, laghqizmu, bazuzli, pjaciri mhux drittijiet, Gvern ghal-Laburisti biss, socjalizmu. Gvern li jaqq-adna.

    • Aunt Hetty says:

      Either way , it is always the average hard-working, honest, Nationalist who gets kicked around irrespective of who rules the roost at Castille, whether it is for jobs, plots , promotions, permits, social services etc.

      That has been my and plenty of other people’s perception as far back as the early sixties.

    • H.P. Baxxter says:

      The same story, that is, as today. The country is controlled by tal-qalba. Laghqizmu is in our genes. Bazuzli have flourished. Pjaciri are the order of the day, and drittijiet are limited to what some corrupt magistrate says the rule book states.

      Socjalizmu sfrenat has become the Nationalist Party’s hallmark. The only things that’s missing right now is Gvern ghal-Laburisti biss. It’s actually a Gvern ghal min hu zatat. Nazzjonalisti, Laburisti, ma jimourtax. L-aqwa li ghandek 1) il-flus, 2) il-connections, jew 3) istint ta’ sangisuga socjali.

      Changing the party in government will solve nothing. Those of us who hoped for a new Malta with EU membership are the ones who were hit hardest. And they’re probably the ones who will cost PN the election.

      • C A Camilleri says:

        Excellent comment H.P Baxxter. Will frame it in my office, with your permission.

      • Paul Bonnici says:

        H.P. Baxxter – we need YOU as our prime minister, but the stupid electorate will never vote for you.

      • H.P. Baxxter says:

        Thank you. That’s quite gratifying. It warms my heart to know I’m not alone.

        But I don’t think I would be popular or even likeable.

        I have now realised that what the Maltese like in a man are all the qualities which lead to bad governance: familiarity, contempt for rules, low culture, blind patriotism, an unhealthy interest in money, a bit of skirt-chasing and that profoundly Maltese dictum to guide his life: Min hexa mexa, min ma hexiex inhexa.

        In my own small way, I tried to stand up for what is right, but there is only so much that a man can do.

        I could circulate a Manifesto for a Normal European Country, published as a one-page open letter and signed by like-minded citizens.

        Perhaps it would jolt into action our few remaining political brains. But ad space in the papers is terribly expensive. And I doubt whether the top echelon would understand.

        As far as they’re concerned, they’ve given us free schooling, free healthcare, and social benefits, and kept off the worst of the financial crisis, so why should they change the script?

  18. Edward Caruana Galizia says:

    Guys, it’s pointless. No matter how many times you try and remind people of exactly what Mintoff was like, they will not believe you because Mintoff’s rule did not last long enough to come crashing down on them as well.

    • Qeghdin Sew says:

      “No matter how many times you try and remind people of exactly what Mintoff […]”

      Edward, you are 25 or 26. You don’t remember Mintoff in power. You are no different to Mr. “Fucking Bitch” above in that you are basing your argument on hearsay. It’s just that your argument happens to be on what’s considered to be the correct side of history around these parts.

      [Daphne – Hardly, my dear Qeghdin Sew. Edward’s father was one of the many Maltese medical specialists exiled during Mintoff’s tenure as prime minister, and so lost to Malta for many years when his skills were much needed.

      There is hearsay, but there are also facts. I am old enough to remember Mintoff’s assault on the National Bank of Malta, and its consequences for my family. My youngest sister is not – she was three at the time. But that does not mean that when she talks about what happened as fact, she is in fact discussing ‘hearsay’. You don’t need to have direct experience of a situation to know and discuss that situation as fact. If that were the case, there would be no historians, and you could sit at the back of Niall Ferguson’s audience and throw bottles, telling him that he’s discussing ‘hearsay’.]

      • H.P. Baxxter says:

        The Great Siege is just hearsay because no one is old enough to remember it.

      • Fido says:

        Or rather, that what he was told that his father that begot him is only hearsay as “Qeghdin Sew” was definitely not around!

      • Edward Caruana Galizia says:

        Qeghdin Sew: The things that Mintoff did happened before I was born, or immediately afterwards, but the effects of those actions lasted for much longer, and I have been perfectly aware of them all my life.

        I know what my parents went through. I know what sort of hardship they had to endure and what their recovery from it was like.

        And let’s not also forget that I am smart enough to understand that they weren’t the only ones, and that the sort of politics that Mintoff subscribed to only brings hardship and pain for a country.

        Not being there and therefore not caring is selfish.

        The right side of history? That is the only reason why the PL supporters and in fact the party itself don’t want to face their past. Doing so would mean they were wrong, and they just cannot handle it.

        It means that they have to face their own actions, which they are appalled by.

        Communism is not a form of compassion towards the poor. It is an ideology that is born out of resentment and revenge, and any country that has had to deal with such regimes have all shown this to be true.

    • Trololol says:

      It doesn’t take someone to have lived it to know what went on, and I am Edward’s age.

      What happened to our parents in early life still echoes on the lifestyle we had growing up.

      I know that my mother was denied access to higher education, my father was fired from his job in the drydocks, a job he had trained for and in which he was skilled, fior political reasons.

      It took my father ages to recuperate from this, and this happened when I was 1 or 2 years old.

      The effects of all this are still felt in my family, in ways so horrible I don’t want to mention them here because they are so personal, but I wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy.

      Just a tiny detail: my father worked in a parastatal agency in 2004. There was a clique of Labour supporters working there (see, they were not fired from their jobs), who told my father that should the MLP win, he’d be fired.

      I remember I had a Labour best friend back then, who voted PN just because of this whole thing with my father, even though he was against EU membership.

      Yes, thanks Mintoff for screwing up my parents’ life.

    • Qeghdin Sew says:

      I’m not a believer in the you-weren’t-around-so-you-cannot-comment argument and neither do you, from your comments. Yet this doesn’t stop you from using the same argument against the pro-Mintoffians whose parents had it good under 80’s Labour (and therefore have nothing to complain about, unlike you), as was the case with whomever sign his post as “Fucking Bitch”. That’s all.

      [Daphne – Your premiss is wrong, that’s the problem. You make the fundamental and common error of equating all parties involved (this is like when people start off from the point that the Nationalist Party and Labour Party are equal and build their argument from there). Edward Caruana Galizia’s parents can be credited with giving their children a more accurate, educated and credible account of what occurred than the parents of some of the unfortunates shouting ‘bott l*ba’ at me on this website. Also, Edward himself is, for a variety of reasons, better able to collect, assess, analyse, digest and form an independent opinion on the facts than are those same unfortunates. I trust you now understand the difference.]

      • Edward Caruana Galizia says:

        Qeghdin Sew: There are those who suffered. You don’t dispute that. And you also seem to understand that, naturally, those who suffered are going to be against Mintoff. So far so good.

        But then you say that those who had it good under Mintoff obviously aren’t going to hate the man and have nothing to be ashamed of. That is where you are wrong.

        Those people who had it good under Mintoff knew very well that it came at the expense of others, and that immoral decisions were sometimes a factor. They knew that people were suffering but they did nothing.

        The Labour Party is built on crowd hysteria – that’s where all the intimidation and bullying comes from. It is that sort of environment which leads to ordinary individuals carrying out horrific acts and then being utterly ashamed of themselves afterwards, while using self-protective mechanisms not to admit to that shame, sometimes even to themselves.

        That is why they cannot face their past. They are as appalled by it as I am.

        It would also mean having to say goodbye to those days when they were “on top”, so to speak. Because those days were bought with the lives of others and were not rightly theirs.

  19. NotMintoffian says:

    Why is it that Mintoffians always seem to have it good, both under Labour and MORE SO under successive PN governments>

    The above ‘guest post’ and others appearing recently here and elsewhere are more proof , (if any was needed) of how well-connected and not-so- well connected Mintoffians are being accomodated and treated with kid gloves by authorities acknowleged to be the biggest vote-losers for the PN at election-time.

    Now is the time for the PN to stop being perceived as bending double to accomodate Mintoffian supporters in the vain hope of getting their votes ,whilst neglecting their own Nationalist constituents.and their justifiable complaints.

    Charity begins at home.

    • Qeghdin Sew says:

      “Now is the time” you say? Are you quite serious, after 25 years?

    • H.P. Baxxter says:

      Time to take the “Christian” out of “Democrat”.

    • Qeghdin Sew says:

      It’s also ironic that the SMU thugs were rewarded (in various ways) by the subsequent PN administration that used to demonise them so much in public.

      This while the PN goes on about the violent Labour thugs of the 80’s until this very day. Qualcosa non c’entra.

      [Daphne – Yes, well, it never did as long as a certain minister was around, did it.]

  20. ConDom says:

    The Mintoff sisters acquire a worthless plot of land for peanuts. They sell it for millions after the authorities accomodate them with building permits. Villas built without permits get sanctioned to enable their owner/ developer to receive huge compensation paid for by tax payers.

    The average Mr and Mrs Borg sink their life time savings in the regular and legal acquisition of a small residence.

    Decades later in their old age, they receive an enforcement notice rendering their original investment worthless because newly set up regulations render irregular most of the neighbourhood which is noted, decades after it was built, to have an internal structure with some differences from the original plans.

    It sure pays to be MINTOFFian in Malta.

  21. elephant says:

    I am 86 years old and if I had to tell of those “golden years” it certainly would not be hearsay. The best description of those days would be “hnizrijja” –

  22. Jozef says:

    This thread should lead to that which I consider the greatest taboo on these islands, restoration of the material, to return to sustainable normality.

    Normality which by definition includes class distinction in the spiritual sense. When Joseph attempts to merge the blue and red he mistakes materialism for totality, which, it sorely isn’t. Someone said it’s always the decent Nationalists who get shortchanged, in this case being a Nationalist happens to be an attitude.

    How then, can Joseph ever aspire to include them in his equation, if all he’s doing is to reinforce the indolence?

    Any dinner will unearth what it is his followers want, the good life without any consequences.

    We’ve seen his reluctant attitude to decisions, these will always cost votes, and what’s even worse, his message, fuzzy and prone to interpretation has been hijacked by those who won’t subscribe to rigorous thinking, because it doesn’t suit them.

    Someone beneath the post about Yana Mintoff and Charles Polidano nitpicked the meaning of ‘patrician’ and its relevance. I couldn’t care less if it’s considered offensive; the word carries connotations which will always trouble Labour.

    That is, ultimately, the name of the game, trying to dictate whether the lowest common denominator carries any weight.

    It’s why we have to listen to pseudo intellectuals, improvised art critics and anyone with an internet connection, spout their veniality.

    It could be why the Faculty of Architecture has been renamed ‘of the built environment’, an admission of utter failure.

    It is why everyone seems allergic to the magic of geometry and its harmony, clustering terraces with a view along the coastline, their back to the rest.

    Why, as soon as I leave the house to do a couple of errands, I’m promptly reminded why being a recluse is better.

    To think that most of these will gladly make their appearance at some art exhibition, with their ooh’s and aah’s at the latest iteration of ‘veduti ta’ Malta’, which ironically, I say significantly, ignores Mintoff’s legacy, concentrating on village cores, designed by those he battled incessantly.

    I watch them and can’t stop thinking how hypocrisy and shallow thinking remains their hallmark. Ever the followers, reactive, dull, complacent, unwilling to stick to any value lest it leaves them ostracised by their own crowd.

    They are prisoners of their own design, content to stick to the familiar and the conventional, which in 2012 Malta happens to be the view, even if partial.

    I come from a family of piccoli borghesi, whose ancestors had been entrepreneurs, and if there was one thing Mintoff never managed to take, it was the books, the refreshing conversations and the civility and spirit manners create, which no money-laden new rich can ever have.

    That they expect to impress me with their environmental, social and spiritual designs is where they fail. Arrogance as measure, in my case, is a duty, given that it’s the only yardstick I’m used to.

    We will understand, one day, that removing the squatters from pride of place will be necessary, if the corruption has to be eradicated from the criteria of design.

    I think it’s time our dues were paid.

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