It is a platitude to write that the events in Libya are serious and having effects worldwide. The unfolding drama, being seen live on televisions the world over and followed on Twitter in the other world, is of such immense human impact it is difficult to believe it is taking place just a few miles to our south.

Before any other comment, I think it’s about time this country made itself clear: Malta stands four-square against Muammar Gaddafi and repudiates his methods and his legacy.

That being said, as in every human event, many reactions have been provoked and in the information age (another platitude) the reactions are not confined to the bar or the workbench but are broadcast to all and sundry by means of the comments section online. Not many years ago, vapid remarks would be confined to the one or two citizens caught in a vox pop by one or the other of the TV stations who would run them as an adjunct to a news story. Now, anyone and his sister with access to a keyboard or smartphone can upload evidence of his stratospheric IQ for the delectation of all.

If you want proof positive of this, take the trouble to browse the comments that appeared below the story, on Wednesday, about the brief stopover of some Libyan (pro-Gaddafi) bods and their meeting with the Prime Minister.

The commentariat started hopping about like a scalded bunny. One example, lifted directly, will suffice to show what I mean: “Claire Busuttil wrote: This is not fair on Maltese people. The government should inform step by step what is he deciding on this matter!! ...u mhux just biex jider sabiħ mal ewropa jamel bina li irid!!!”

Note, if you will, the lousy application of capital letters, the liberal peppering of exclamation marks, the awful spelling and the excruciating use of Manglish, but also note the blithe assumption, by “Claire Busuttil” (no idea if that is his or her real name, of course) that s/he has some sort of right to be informed by the Prime Minister, step by step (Lord love us) what he is doing.

That was only one example, there were plenty more. Happily, there were also a number of level-headed individuals who suggested that people should cool it but I doubt that these words of wisdom had any effect on the screeching classes. One went so far as to point out, on the basis of the news item, that Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici was right, which brings me rather neatly to the central plank of this week’s little effort.

I don’t know if you caught Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici’s interview, as screened by Al Jazeera a few days ago. There are a number of links to it, which you can find by Googling, and if there was ever any better evidence that this particular politician should be consigned to the rubbish bin of political history, I can’t think of it. He stopped short of saying that Col Gaddafi should be allowed to make his own mind up about what should be done with the Libyan population but the way he smirked about the dastardly intentions of the West left little doubt where his real sympathies lie.

Just so you remember, Dr Mifsud Bonnici sat (sits?) on the panel which adjudicates on who should receive the Gaddafi Prize for Defence of Human Rights (or some such Orwellian masterpiece) and a few months ago travelled to Libya to hoover up the dosh in the name of Dom Mintoff, the award to him of the prize being another Orwellian gem.

But it’s not only Dr Mifsud Bonnici who fell short of the standards expected by us of senior politicians. To be honest, Dr Mifsud Bonnici didn’t fall short of my expectations of him as a politician, he’d disappointed me in this regard many years ago, after having promised so much (law students know him outside politics, you see). Along with Dr Mifsud Bonnici in the foot-in-mouth stakes there was John Dalli, a European commissioner, no less, who gave the impression, if you’ll allow me to be charitable and not pile opprobrium on hilarity at his describing his sojourn in Brussels as a prison sentence, that he was saying that the horrific scenes the world was witnessing were staged for the benefit of CNN and Sky News.

He’s since clarified that: a) he was not speaking as a European commissioner because he was in Malta at the time and b) it was regrettable he was interpreted this way. Be that as it may be, but even this clarification, however it was motivated, doesn’t exactly inspire one with unbounded confidence in the perspicaciousness of the gentleman concerned.

And now it’s time for Spurs v Milan, hoping we don’t get another episode of ludicrous refereeing. Before I go, I’ll impart the happy news that over the weekend, I had two of the better pizzas I’ve had for some time, one at Sizzlers in Rabat (see previous editions for address) and the other at Kaputa in Qala, to the right of the parish church, next door to Żeppi’s Pub, a fine venue where good music can be heard and a warm welcome is guaranteed.

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