The reports from Malta are beginning to make the island sound like Italy in the famous “anni di piombo” – only that stabbing, and not shooting, seems to be the preferred form of violence in 1/3 of the cases reported in the last three days. Sadly all the victims were of the gentler sex and ,coming as the they did after Josie Muscat’s unfortunate choice of words, the crimes have somehow been linked to some twisted train of thought that might exist in the mind of the aggressors. It goes something like “Hey, that nutcase Josie said that most times when a husband beats his wife this boils down to having been provoked. So let me get out my special Laguiole knife and find ma biatch and stab her to kingdom come”.
Tenuous? Very much if you ask me. I’m thinking that it does not really take a very wrong idea being expressed publicly for it to trigger off this kind of crime. In most cases these are crimes of passion – and the kind of passion we are talking about is far far beyond the realm of “first transport of sudden passion inspired by Josie Muscat’s non sequitur of a statement”. Besides, what about the Moroccan lady also found “in a pool of blood” but about whose death there is no suspicion of foul play? Respect for the deceased prevents me from passing observations that would be more appropriate in the case of Frankie Boyle but surely the asses out there braying about Josie’s Provocatory Inspiration should know better?
Then there’s the political side. This morning’s standard read through my FB wall led me to the tiny post by Labour’s president Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi. This other course colleague of mine (a vintage year that class of ’99) posted:
“Three grave crimes in three days – three women victims – action is required! Do you remember “at home and at work without fear?”"
The last reference is to an old PN electoral slogan. Stefan probably does not see the irony that the “fear” in question at the time managed to hit home to many people because it was the kind of fear instilled by the Mintoffian regime. Like it or not the culture of not being safe at work or at home (and I would add “at school”) was very much the result of thuggery and violence that was rampant in the late seventies and early eighties. So yes, Stefan, I do remember the slogan and it’s rather funny that you’re asking us to remember it seeing how your movement is so adamant about how useless these Mintoffian flashbacks are.
As for the link between the three crimes and some implied inactivity by government this is even more tenuous than the Josie Muscat link I mentioned earlier. It is stomach churning material how members of both parties find it so easy to throw illogical leaps and links at what they must assume is a very gullible electorate fully believing that anything goes. A Moroccan woman died in a fall – the cause of death is still uncertain – at home, a former policeman shot his wife and an MMDNA nurse was stabbed in Qormi – and whose fault is it according to Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi? Why obviously it’s the fault of the party that once had “at home and at work without fear” as its slogan.
To be fair to Stefan it’s not just him playing this game. PR man Varist has already regaled us with a couple of insinuations too while a couple of sanctimonious bloggers are “guilty” of playing both the “blame Josie” and “blame Gonzi” game.
It’s going to get hotter as the election date gets closer. Hold on tight and try very hard not to be provoked.