Labour – represented by trash who don’t know the meaning of ‘appropriate behaviour’

Published: August 21, 2013 at 9:28am

The Labour mayor of Zurrieq

The Labour mayor of Zurrieq

That’s the bottom line, isn’t it? Look at the vast majority of the political news stories since March 11. They’re all different, but they all have a common theme: the inappropriate behaviour of politicians and their appointees.

This inappropriate behaviour ranges from the savagely uncivilised to the ceaseless drip-drip-drip of petty misdemeanours, of boundaries crossed or simply not acknowledged and of wrong-doing justified by reference to other wrong-doing.

And as with the deluge of appalling insults that flooded EU Commissioner Malmstrom’s official Facebook page, people tend to take their lead from the top: in that case, the prime minister telling Mrs Malmstrom: “Take them to Sweden” (her native country).

From there, it was a quick descent to “take them and keep them between you legs”. What people picked up is that the prime minister insulted Mrs Malmstrom and this gave them permission to insult her too.

Further down the political hierarchy, it’s happening repeatedly. The Labour Party, for example, allows itself to be represented by a mayor (in Zurrieq) who thinks it is perfectly fine for a politician, even a local politician, who represents a political party – in this case, the party in government – to mock one of that party’s critics (me) with the most infantile and subliterate insults. This was after a major incident where he harassed me in the street and, as a consequence of the scene he made, I had to be given shelter by two priests, who saw what was going on, in their convent.

Despite undergoing police proceedings, currently, for this behaviour, and despite still being an elected representative of the Labour Party and a mayor, he thinks it is an extremely good idea to post infantile insults on practically a daily basis on his Facebook page.

How does he think this reflects on the party he represents?

Like many others, he fails to understand that he and I are in different positions, and that democracy considers us differently. He is an elected politician. I am a journalist, with a tendency towards satire.

When journalists criticise politicians, and even when they mock them (that is the role of satire), they are doing their democratic duty. When politicians, particularly those of major political parties and especially those of the party in government, mock, deride and insult the journalists who criticise them and their colleagues, it is an assault on democracy.

Those with a modicum of intelligence will see that this is not being done only to undermine me, incite hatred against me and eventually, silence me. The scope of their motivation is much wider: pour encourager les autres. By making an example of me in this way, what they are deliberately sending out a message to others: “See, this is what happens to those who criticise us, point up our shortcomings, and have the temerity to mock us in public under their own name. If you do the same as this woman, we will target you too.”

And they are right. It is effective. Look at the general silence, the largely dead press. And you know what? I don’t blame them. I blame the Labour Party which, since right back in living memory, has made it its business to lay siege to and erode, by whatever means it can, whether it is silence or outright purchase, freedom of expression, which leads to criticism. Few people have my stamina. Even I wonder, sometimes, where I get it from. Maybe it’s my passionate dislike of bullies, cowards, abusers of power and ridiculous people in general.

This morning, the Labour mayor of Zurrieq told his Facebook friends that he is organising a witch-hunt to Bidnija – entirely appropriate, for people whose mind, spirit and cultural level have never left pre-Enlightenment days.

Perhaps I should organise, for my readers, a whale-hunt to Zurrieq. There’s clearly enough blubber there to feed a family of Inuit for a whole winter.

And you see, it is entirely appropriate, in a democracy, for me to say that, but it is not appropriate for him to say what he does.

Those who fail to understand this haven’t learned anything in the last 25 years, except how to acquire and spend money.