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.

47 Comments Comment

  1. Ian says:

    EU Foreign Affairs Ministers are currently in Brussels to discuss the escalating violence in Egypt. The Maltese Foreign Minister is missing. Again. This has now become embarrassing.

  2. LIXU says:

    It is precisely because you are fearless that the Labour Party has always been in a quandary as to how to deal with you.

    • Mr Meritocracy says:

      It shouldn’t even reach a point where the Labour Party have to ‘deal’ with Daphne. If they truly believe in freedom of expression, they would not even comment about what she writes, still less campaign against her as a ‘vile blogger’.

  3. K. says:

    “In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve” – Joseph de Maistre

    I never truly understood the real meaning of those words until I realised how much it applies to our country

  4. botom says:

    In just five months in government, Labour has managed to instill an atmosphere of fear.

    People are afraid to speak up and stand up for their rights because they fear that they themselves or members of their family will be targeted and victimized by the government. This is precisely why they’re getting away with murder.

  5. vic says:

     “What embitters the world is not excess of criticism, but an absence of self-criticism.” G.K.Chesterton – Sidelights on New London and Newer New York.

  6. Vagabond King says:

    Take care to remove the bile gland before barbecuing that whale.

  7. Rumplestiltskin says:

    They do not understand that they are in a position of power, which brings with it a high degree of responsibility. God save us all from these people.

  8. Chris Portelli says:

    Well said.

  9. bob-a-job says:

    Truly a bed fit for a (screaming) queen.

  10. Beauchamp says:

    “Baby, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”

    A fitting new anthem:

  11. Mrs M says:

    Moby Dick is resting.

  12. francesca says:

    No, Daphne, they haven’t learnt anything and they never will because they are so shortsighted, narrow-minded and often uneducated but having said that, this election has proved that the end sometimes justifies the means for educated people too.

    They have no idea what decent behaviour is. But as you said I never expected more from them, especially since they think Muscat is a capable leader. God help us, because we have another four and a half years left of this trailer-trash and our country will end up reflecting it.

  13. the hobbit says:

    I think that ought to be “Pour decourager…”

    [Daphne – Definitely not. It’s exactly as I wrote it – an ironic expression from Voltaire’s Candide, which has passed into British-English. I can’t be bothered explaining its contextual use here; there’s Google for those who don’t understand it.]

  14. Unfortunately that is what we have to contend with: a vast majority of inane, shallow, myopic dimwits have made this apology for a man acquire divine status.

    In a previous post I had remarked that all one has to do in order to understand humanity is to refer to Shakespeare where each and everyone of us is magnificently portrayed. The following needs no further explanation:

    “Why man, he doth bestride the narrow world
    Like a Colossus, and we petty men
    Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
    To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
    Men at sometimes, are Masters of their Fates.
    The fault (dear Brutus) is not in our Stars
    But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” – Julius Caesar

  15. Karl Abela says:

    Daphne, I can see why Labour hate you with a passion. They cannot silence you or buy you out like they did with countless other personalities/journalists.

    Even Saviour Balzan, who has recently been mounting pressure on the Labour government, has got his television show at last.

    You are currently doing what the opposition should be (and is not) doing.

  16. rjmagri says:

    Perfect analysis….but definitely lost on certain people.

  17. Caroline says:

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

    What is of more concern, in my view, is what the party thinks of being represented in this manner.

    Of course, we know exactly what the party thinks because as you rightly said, the same tactics used by Mintoff are being used again here. He says one word which is a vaguely threatening and the crowd runs away with it.

    It is exactly this culture that is being encouraged and fomented.

    Without actually saying so, the Labour Party is giving its blessing to this type of behaviour.

    On democracy, whilst we can understand the different position a journalist holds in comparison to a politician, well, the Labour Party has never been a champion of democracy. I doubt it will start now.

  18. C Mangion says:

    And this is where the use of the word ‘hamalli’ is appropriate, because it does not mean ‘working-class’ but something else entirely.

    Hamalli, hamalli, hamalli u injoranti pesta.

  19. ciccio says:

    Joseph Muscat had called on the switchers to vote for the MLP because the party had changed. “Inbdilna. Ejjew maghna.”

    Nothing has changed in the MLP. How sad.

    I was thinking about the following point just yesterday, after Labour unveiled their version of a Mintoff monument. The For many years, the Labour party has said that when Mintoff took power in 1971, there was a lot of ignorance in the country.
    Presumably they mean that in 1987, when the PN was elected, there was less ignorance.
    I thought, well, this shows that when there is a lot of ignorance around, the ‘people’ (I will use this word for want of a better one – I find it too socialist) elect a Labour government. Then, when there are less ignorant people, then they see clearly and they elect the PN. Makes sense to me.
    The same has happened in 2013. Labour rode to victory on widespread ignorance.
    For some reason, wealth and abundance create ignorance. People become less vigilant.
    Then, when austerity hits, everyone wakes up instantly and everyone becomes wise.

    Labour still thrives on ignorance.

  20. kjd says:

    More like a walrus than a whale. Perhaps his friend the Serkin dentist can come up with a couple of teeth.

  21. giraffa says:

    Timely of you to mention “the inappropriate behaviour of politicians and their appointees”. Mistaghgbin (for want of a better word) how Joseph Muscat and his entourage behaved in their recent stay at the Kempinski San Lawrenz, Gozo, creating such a ‘hammalagni’ in the main pool of the resort, playing with a large ball, shouting and screaming to each other, to the great annoyance of those who stay there for peace and quiet. My Maltese friends who were there cringed when they had to explain that these were the prime minister, his family and friends.

  22. Plutarch says:

    Zurrieq must be the only place to elect the village idiot as its mayor.

  23. CC says:

    He’s shaming the name of our beautiful village.

    Please don’t think that all Zurrieq citizens are like him.

    [Daphne – Of course I don’t. And perhaps next time, people will have better sense than to vote for somebody so maliciously infantile and intellectually/socially challenged.]

    Not all are, as you say ‘ people whose mind, spirit and cultural level have never left pre-Enlightenment days’. I for one disassociate myself from the stupid behaviour and childish ways of our mayor.

    He doesn’t know any better, unfortunately. He’s just an uneducated person who thinks he can climb his way up just by doing favours. Then as soon as you have the slightest rift with him, he will try to destroy you and bring you to shame.

    I wouldn’t give him any more importance if I were you; he totally loves being the centre of attention, and you’re giving it to him.

    [Daphne – That’s possibly because he is so low in intelligence and so badly unsocialised, and imagines this is the right kind of attention. And yes, my job IS to describe what he is up to. That’s not ‘giving him attention’.]

  24. Lady Oscar says:

    I hope you also do it for the throngs of people who turn to you, when all other journalists fail to do their job, and see you as the only one who will challenge the status quo

    • La Redoute says:

      Why don’t all those throngs of people challenge the status quo themselves? Why do people here believe that holding elected officials to account is always some else’s responsibility?

  25. Jozef says:

    Festa coming up first week September. He’ll be there, white suit, frock coat, tie worn like a cravat, white shoes.

    Fantasilandia. Pity no midgets. Yet.

    I bet he wished mayors wore a sash.

    • Eve says:

      Actually it’s not his feast – in Zurrieq parlance – he’s a tal-Karmnu fancier.

      At one time, on the feast of St. Catherine a group of Karmelitani, of which he was a member, used to hold a special lunch or dinner I forgot which and had great fun putting St. Catherine to ridicule. I don’t think they do it anymore.

      Once at a ceremony in church, when he was there as mayor, his mobile phone rang – and I thought, now he’ll leave the church and won’t return. And that’s exactly what happened.

      • CC says:

        Yes the special lunch still happens, usually Saturday while the ‘marc ta’ filghodu’ is going on.

        And if God forbid, it starts to rain, they do a ‘marc’ of their own to ‘celebrate’.

        Once during the feast ceremony, Ignatius Farrugia came to church late, failed to do a reverie in front of the statue, and when the St. Catherine Band Club Secretary told him he was disrespectful, he (Natius) told him where to stuff it. An argument ensued, and they were all escorted out of the Church by the Police. Unfortunately he’s a vulgar idiot who does not represent us well at all.

        [Daphne – I’m sorry to have to spell this out, but that’s exactly what he is: the people’s representative. The people of Zurrieq voted for him, and got him as mayor.]

  26. Charlo Galea says:

    Is he reaching for his toys from the black bag behind him?

  27. TinaB says:

    Il-kruha, l-istupidagni u is-salvagizmu kull ma jmur aktar jizdied fuq din l-imsejkna gzira – Natius u shabu huma l-aktar stampa cara ta’ dan.

    Izda l-aqwa li ghandom il ‘fejsbukk’. Min jaf kemm ihossuhom intelligenti u ‘prawt’.

    Kif qridnih pajjiz.

  28. Lawrence Attard says:

    He’s shaming the name of our beautiful body shape.

    Please don’t think that all plump citizens are like him.

  29. H.P. Baxxter says:

    I’m afraid it’s not just Labour. It’s a Maltese thing. We have an emperor’s-new-clothes code of behaviour which forbids any form of exclusion based on intelligence, behaviour and making sense.

    In Xarabank language, it’s called “kulhadd ghandu dritt isemma’ lehnu.”

    Look at this list of raging lunatics, insufferable louts and general all-round idiots, and then find the common element:

    Angelik Caruana
    Franco Debono
    Doctor John
    Grace Borg
    Ignatius Farrugia
    Emmy Bezzina
    Gorg tad-Doughnuts
    Anglu Farrugia
    Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando
    Anglu Psaila

    What’s the common element? They’re all household names, they are all institutions on various discussion programmes, and they are all treated as if they were perfectly normal, respectable people. Their opinion is eagerly sought. They are applauded.

    That, my friends, is the trouble with our country. Le, mhux kulhadd ghandu dritt isemma’ lehnu.

  30. You ask, “How does he think this reflects on the party he represents?”


    As long as there is no censure from his leader, this person’s behaviour accurately reflects the mentality that reigns in his political party.

  31. Frans Cassar says:

    I, like others, dissociate myself from the mayor of my beloved village. It really irritates me to know about his uneducated ways because this is being reflected on all Zurrieq residents.

    Unfortunately, the locals here never learned that their vote can make or break their own aspirations.

  32. Josette says:

    A beached whale, which apparently tries to disguise itself as a penguin for the village feast.

  33. Len says:

    I find your argument very odd, you say that freedom of free speech is at stake and at the same time you threaten others with police reports and civil suit for libel, this is self-contradictory.

    [Daphne – Freedom of speech ends where libel begins, Len. Lying about others is a crime. If I wrote here tomorrow that the prime minister was discovered in bed with Natius Farrugia, I would fully expect to be sued for it, and deservedly so. Also, to be protected at law under freedom of speech provisions, opinions must be based on facts and they must also be about public persons. Private persons are protected in all circumstances, even on the basis of fact.]

    Your chain of reasoning, were journalist can criticise politicians and even mock them, but if it is the other way round it’s an assault on democracy does not hold. Yes agreed, it is the duty of all journalists to investigate politicians even on a personal level but then again you can’t reject anyone who says something against you, even on a personal level. If you really believe in freedom of free speech and somebody criticise you, so be it.

    [Daphne – People have been saying appalling things about me since I started writing a newspaper column in 1990. I am impervious to it, and always was. If I were not, this job would have been impossible. Lies and slander are another matter. Yes, I have let many of those go, but there are limits. One of them is having the Law Commissioner at it too.]

    Hiding under the veil of journalism and arbitrarily discounting Dick, Tom and Harry and posting weird photos on your blog because it is legitimate to do, is morally wrong.

    [Daphne – You can hardly accuse me of hiding under anything, Len. I am extremely visible, everyone knows where to find what I write, and I use my own name and face. Also, how odd that you should consider my uploading of ‘weird photos’ to be unacceptable, rather than the weirdness itself and the weirdos involved. Truly, it takes all sorts. You see? I have allowed you to express your opinion here – and it’s criticism of ME – when you don’t even have the courage of your convictions and have failed to give me your real name/identity. That’s the difference between you and me, and it’s also the reason why we shall never understand each other.]

    • Len says:

      Thought that by now you know my name Daphne, in previous posts I used to write my whole name – Leonard Ellul Bonici.

      [Daphne – I am not a clairvoyant, Len, and I moderate thousands of comments every week. If you want me to know your real name, try typing it in one of the required fields.]

  34. Verita says:

    Miz-Zurrieq hargu nies kbar li ghamlu gieh lill Malta. Pero fl-ahhar ghamel zball u hareg persuna li jinqeda bi hwejjeg haddiehor.

    Juza lin-nies biex jaghmel il-flus ghalih in-nifsu, imbasta jghid illi paga li jdahhal minn sindku jaghtija lill-foqra. Vera wiccu ma jisthix.

  35. Rumplestiltskin says:

    Len, most of the ‘wierd’ photos that Daphne uploads here are generally those that the individuals in question post on public Facebook accounts for all to see. Apparently, they only realise their ‘weirdness’ only when they appear on this blog.

  36. Last Post says:

    Just a clip from this post to underline your earlier comment that the party in government is targeting you to warn us all that this is what happens to whoever dares to criticise them openly:

    “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.”

    Even though I don’t know you personally. I can’t agree more.

  37. il-hsieb tar-Ronnie says:

    Where is the PN? Jason azzopardi seems to be the only opposition MP who is reading correctly the dismal failures of this government and speaking out. Where are the rest? Why are they letting Malta down?

  38. blue says:

    It is why I don’t like going to office parties, as I am the odd one out. People end up behaving like imbeciles and idiots, whilst others take photos to ‘blackmail’ them with or upload on Facebook to embarrass them.

    So I am labelled Tal-Pepe and Miss Snooty – ghax mhux minn taghna, their words not mine.

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