Mickey Malta

Notes from the zone where 'normal' things don't happen very often

The value of foresight

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The car has nothing to do with the mob, but the caption is extremely apt for Bencini & Co

On the 17 April 2009, I posted an article on this blog called Parrots on a string where I explained how in my opinion, our self-claimed high standard of education is nothing but a myth.

When I wrote that piece, I only focused on academic grounds. I will now take it one step further to include civic education. The good news is that there are no self delusions here. It seems to me that it is generally accepted by the Rockers that the vast majority of them lack a basic sense of civic education. The bad news is that while many people seem to be aware of this, very few – if any – seem to be willing to do something about it. I think that many people have accepted the fact that there’s a huge lack of civic education, and that this is now our way of life: take it or leave it.

I’m truly baffled by the way these same people don’t realise that in order for a person to be considered “educated” he or she needs to have – at least- a basic awareness of civic education. One only has to spend 15 minutes in a crowded place to understand how deep the abysmal level of roughness and redneck attitude is.

To many, courtesy is nothing but a corrupted version of the surname a 1950s American actor named Tony. Manners and etiquette seem to be two abstract concepts that very few learned people are able to decipher. They’re possibly at par with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.  Respect (for diversity) is only a UEFA slogan printed on players’ shirts and like many other things, it has no place here as “haw’ mhux bhal barra . . . . .”

It is precisely respect that I would like to comment on. The Times Online carries a story that “The Ghaqda Trade Unions Maltin this morning condemned the insults hurled at the Prime Minister and Nationalist MPs yesterday during the tariffs protests…….Late yesterday, MUT President John Bencini also condemned the insults……”

How could a teacher and other trade union leaders, out of all people, be such a poor judges of character?  What were they expecting? At the end of the day, they organised an event knowing full well that it will definitely attract the same (kind of) people who adulated Mintoff (or people who were brought up in a home where Mintoff’s photo was adorned with flowers and candles). Now Mintoff is that same guy who amongst other things, is known for his crassness, sheer and utter  rudeness and complete disregard for respect towards everyone but himself. This tin-pot dictator is that same person who gave the Chief of Protocol an unforgettable introductory lesson in Aristotelian logic by arguing that “Protocol hu nejk, mela inti Chief tan-Nejk“. The mob that attended the so-called national protest was mainly made of people who used to be entertained by Mintoff’s sexual innuendos when addressing them during mass meetings.

They were probably the very same individuals who wanted to vote KMB back to Castille in 1987 and 1992, and who cheered at Alfred Sant’s  unforgettable “Gooooooooooooonzi”. Most probably, these are the very same people who partied in front of the Super One studios in Marsa when Sant claimed that “il-Partnership rebah ir-referendum”. Undoubtedly, the crowd included some – if not most – of those individuals who chose Joe Muscat over George Abela.

All the protest organisers needed to do was watch Xarajunk to see how these troglodytes address public officials, including the Prime Minister when they strive to ask a question or try to make a point. They shout and point fingers at the person they’re addressing showing total disrespect towards the position occupied by these public officials.

I’m anything but Gonzi’s biggest fan, but if I had to address him (both publicly and privately), the least I would do is show respect towards the position he holds – no matter how much I would want to argue with him, and to explain my opposition to (some of) his beliefs.

Who are they trying to fool? Didn’t they know that this was a perfect opportunity for hardcore labourites to denigrate the government? Wasn’t it obvious that this was a good opportunity to let off all the accumulated steam following 20 years in opposition and an unforgettable electoral fiasco in 2008?  It’s a simple equation:

  • Rockers are people who generally show no signs of civic respect
  • A protest organised by the GWU will certainly attract people who abhor the government
  • The vast majority of these people adored Mintoff precisely for his lack of respect towards people who stood in his way
  • In true macho fashion, they thought he “had eggs” . .. errm balls
  • They followed Sant in the same way that Branch Davidians followed Koresh (and if they would have had it their way, we would all have had the same ending:  self-destruction)
  • These are the same people who think that their Party Leader is hip because of his total disregard towards Protocol (Mintoff revisited)
  • Therefore this protest will definitely degenerate into a big hamallata where respect and decency are complete anathema

You don’t need to be a first class Anthropologist to realise that these kind of manifestations (in contrast with the Front Kontra c-Censura protest) attract people from the same Lidl stampede demographic. It’s not rocket science. If these people lack the common sense and  foresight to predict something so obvious, then they’re not fit to be union leaders?


Written by mickeymalta

02/03/2010 at 14:59

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