When we were students at Tal-Qroqq, we used to pull our friends in the Architecture & Civil Engineering Faculty’s legs that they thought they knew it all.

This was because they studied not only architecture AND civil engineering (usually two different disciplines) they also did a dollop of law, a chunk of economics and bits and bobs of other stuff. On leaving Tal-Qroqq, we found out that this wasn’t such a joke, because the Courts also seemed, more a few decades ago than now, to rely on A&CEs (that’s the degree they get, and they’re also decorated with the moniker “Perit”) for anything with even a slight technical bent.

To make matters worse, given the nature of their profession, A&CEs tend to mix quite a bit with rude mechanicals on building sites and these latter, perhaps sometimes with their tongues in their cheeks, rather tend to put the academically loaded up on pedestal, just a bit.

All in all, your common or garden Perit, a bit less today but certainly in the old days, does tend to have something of a high regard for his or her own opinion.

You might, if you had just landed from a long flight (a very long flight) and missed the news for a couple of days, be wondering what I’m on about, given that I am one of a body of men and women that tend to think we’re always right about anything (we are, but that’s not the point) so who am I to talk?

If it wasn’t so tragic that we’re fed this sort of guff by people who should have a greater respect for our intelligence, it would be comical.

Well, take into account, if you would be so kind, the recent, ever so slightly, controversial approval given by the Planning Authority for the erection of two rather big ones. High-rise projects, I mean, what did you think I was talking about?

Flying in the face of the howls, screeches and non-megaphoned protests of assorted protectors of the environment, some of whom might be regretting getting what they wished for back in those halcyon pre-March 2013 days (what price being Green and voting Labour now, hey?) the PA, no longer burdened by having to consider the environment, approved one for Sliema and the other for Mriehel, right in the line of sight between our old and current capitals.

The architect for the Sliema erection-to-come told us that the approval meant that a project fit for Sliema was now on the road to fruition. I’m not entirely sure that Martin Xuereb, a contemporary of mine at Tal-Qroqq meant it that way, but for all the world it did sound as if he was saying that this construct of a finger heading straight up into the air was what Sliema deserved.

Surely not?

Even more (or less) amusing were Ray Demicoli’s comments about the Mriehel Project. According to him, also a contemporary at the University, the Mriehel Project would not be adding to the traffic problems with which we’re blessed on this 7 mile by 14 mile island, because, you see, there are going to be bicycle stands and showers available, so everyone will going to Malta’s “Financial District” (forgive me while I choke with mirth at this crack: a “Financial District” Heaven help us) on a push-bike, leaving the car at home.

If it wasn’t so tragic that we’re fed this sort of guff by people who should have a greater respect for our intelligence, it would be comical.

Almost as funny as Premier Joe telling us that the Mriehel Project is needed to create jobs in the area, while on other pages of the same paper that carried this bon mot, he was boasting that we have virtually full employment, thanks to his Government’s masterful management of the economy.


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