So what do Nisa Laburisti, Minister Dalli, One News and TVM have to say about the Prime Minister’s aide?

Published: May 16, 2016 at 10:29pm

I always say that you can’t trust people of a certain age around social media, and we had another example of that last Saturday when a Twitter exchange which Andrew Borg Cardona thought was private turned out not to be. Fortunately, the only matters that were revealed were the descriptive words used for the only Madonna tal-Kuncissjoni ever to wear a thigh high slit, skyscraper heels and sequinned scallops over her reconstructed secondary sexual characteristics, and for the Prime Minister of this country. With the word he used for the latter, many would agree, so not much fuss there, though plenty of mealy-mouthed horror at the sort of language that smart people use when they think nobody is listening (I told you so).

But every woman who knows him, me included, must have given him a bit of a ticking off about the use of the B-word for Miss Losco – not because she’s “Malta’s ambassador”, or because “she’s pregnant” (not unusual for a B-word), or because Malta has been hunting for goddesses all the way through from Astarte to Stella Maris to il-Madonna tal-Gilju, but because we don’t like the B-word to be used as a synonym for ‘woman’ as distinct from a description of personality and character type (the context in which I use it to describe the Prime Minister, for instance).

He gave a gracious apology – a proper one – which Miss Losco was too busy to acknowledge, and to which her boyfriend responded on Facebook with ill-advised and spectacular lack of grace (though perhaps he hadn’t seen it yet). Better get used to having an ‘other half’ in the public eye, Sean – this kind of thing goes with the territory and you can’t react like a savage every time somebody says something mean about your woman. For a start, that’s even more sexist than using the B-word, because it comes straight out of the “I’ll thump anyone who touches my woman” School of Cavemanology.

The reactions were ridiculous, this being Malta. Now bear in mind that what we are talking about here is a man who holds no public office whatsoever (and who never did), who works privately as a lawyer, and who used to write a newspaper column but no longer does so and instead writes an occasional blog-post for Times of Malta’s portal. He has what he thinks is a private exchange on Twitter and uses a word people don’t like to describe that night’s singer.

PBS issues a melodramatic press statement about the horrors of saying “the bitch” (failing to notice that it wasn’t a character description because they always miss the idiom) about a pregnant woman who is Malta’s ambassador and an example to Maltese women because she is “furthering her career” while expecting a baby. TVM – which is owned by PBS – goes wild with the headlines. The Labour Party’s television station blows it up bigtime. The Malta Independent and the Times of Malta then feel harried into carrying a story about it and do so. Malta Today picks it as an item for its Entertainment section, and the following day, inevitably, Saviour Balzan devotes half his one-page column to this very, very serious news, which is far more serious than anything Keith Schembri is up to.

Not to be outdone, Ghaqda Nisa Laburisti releases a press statement about the language used to refer to women, citing Borg Cardona as an example, and Helena Dalli, Minister for Civil Liberties and Equalities, pronounces herself too. The hypocrisy is unbelievable.

Saviour Balzan has been calling me a bitch in print for years, but that’s OK because I don’t “sing for Malta”. So apparently it’s not whether you are a woman or not, but whether you “sing for Malta” or not. And a newspaper owner and columnist for Malta Today can call women bitches in print, but an occasional blogger for the Times of Malta portal can’t tweet the word privately (as he believes).

Ghaqda Nisa Laburisti belong to the Labour Party which has its organised trolls out on the internet using language and terminology far, far worse than ‘bitch’ and littering cyberspace with deeply offensive sexual insults about women, me included. But that’s OK, too. We can use extremely disgusting pornographic language for women who criticise the Labour Party and the government, but we can’t say ‘bitch’ privately in reference to Ira Losco.

The most ridiculously hypocritical of all is Mrs Dalli, the cabinet minister. Her son Luke co-hosts a regular show on the Labour Party’s radio station with the repulsively misogynistic Glenn Bedingfield. If Minister Dalli wishes to check out the kind of vile language and misogynistic insults used in respect of women, I strongly suggest she takes a long, hard look at her son’s friend and the slum-dweller blog he writes. If she is honest in her statement, which she is not, her eyes will stand out on stalks.

And of course, what makes it so much worse is that Glenn Bedingfield is also a communications aide to the Prime Minister of this country and works off a desk in the Prime Minister’s Office.

This country is so completely abnormal – yes, abnormal – that when a well-known lawyer who holds no public office and is therefore NOT accountable to the public refers to a singer (yes, A SINGER) as ‘bitch’ in what he thinks is a private exchange, the fascist instruments of the Labour Party and its fellow travellers come out in force and being issuing statements and colonising the media. And the independent newspapers are silly enough to follow suit instead of keeping a sense of perspective.

But then, when the Prime Minister’s communications aide sits at a desk in the Prime Minister’s Office and produces a blog and a comments board full of slander of private citizens and repulsive, subliterate sexual commentary and insults about women, that is not news. Because it happens every day, all day, so it’s routine and they say nothing about it.

Helena Dalli should be the first one on his case, but says nothing. Saviour Balzan loves it, for reasons that will be obvious. Bedingfield, apparently, is not a “bile blogger who works for Muscat and the Labour Party”. PBS don’t give a damn because it’s not about Ira Losco and it is about the Prime Minister’s choices. And the independent newspapers behave as though it is completely normal to live in a country where the Prime Minister’s aide sits at his desk in the Prime Minister’s office and very publicly and prominently slanders citizens with sexual innuendo, forays into the private lives of private people, and pornographic insults all over his comments board, involving semen, anal sex, women masturbating with vegetables and similar things that would be awful even if they were not coming out of the Office of the Prime Minister.

This is not normal. Can I say it enough? It is NOT normal. You are being acclimatised into thinking that the abnormal is normal. The island is full of freaks, criminals, crooks, perverts, amoral people and those who are outrageously corrupt. But there has to be a standard of normality, and that standard of normality dictates that the Prime Minister should not have an aide who spends his days launching offensive assaults on critics of the government and uploading comments from anonymous people – who will be known to him – that are nothing but sickening slander and prurience into the lives of completely private individuals. As for the pornographic insults – it has to be Labour.

Malta was never normal. Maltese society is weird and many Maltese people are completely toxic. It’s largely a Mediterranean port culture of amoral savages. But for a couple of decades back there, we had a standard of civilisation slapped on us that kept the weirdness at bay, at least from public office and institutions. That standard has been deliberately stripped off by the worst of the amoral savages in power and the rest of us are now trying to cope with the mental stress – even if we don’t quite realise it – of seeing things that we know are not normal, things that are outrageous treated as normal, and we don’t quite know what to do about it.

Cling on to your sanity. One day, normality will return. And if you’re young enough to leave Malta, do so before you are corrupted by this toxicity and begin thinking that people who would be ghastly and criminal freaks anywhere else are just behaving normally. Those who have come in from the outside are properly aghast at what is going on, but our own sense of judgement has been poisoned by living here too long and by the coping mechanisms we adopt by default under Labour.

Tell us what you think about the toxic pornographic insulting of women on Glenn Bedingfield's 'blog', Minister Dalli. But you won't, will you, because he works for the Prime Minister and co-hosts a Labour Party radio show with your son.

Tell us what you think about the toxic pornographic insulting of women on Glenn Bedingfield’s ‘blog’, Minister Dalli. But you won’t, will you, because he works for the Prime Minister and co-hosts a Labour Party radio show with your son.