I really wouldn’t want to be in Lino Farrugia’s (FKNK) shoes, not only now, but never. And not only because his job is to defend the indefensible or because he’s on the wrong side of history, or because his clan’s time is up, but more importantly, because the poor man has also lost his sense of humour, and that, at least to me, is the greatest tragedy of all.

Granted, I don’t know the guy, so perhaps he’s never had an iota of ‘funny’ to start off with, but to decide to sue a newspaper for a satirical cartoon that you took umbrage to is just sad, sad, sad, sad.

It’s exactly what you shouldn’t do if you don’t want more attention drawn to the offending culprit, it’s exactly what you shouldn't do if you hope that your ‘bigger’ cause attracts a drop of sympathy, and it’s exactly what you shouldn't do when you and the group you represent are under the scrutiny and pressure that the FKNK is currently under.

First of all the cartoon was first published back in April, and yet Farrugia only sues now; five months later, so if you’re wondering whether this has anything to do with the independent papers’ editorial stand in favour of a referendum on spring hunting, I suggest that you watch the first 10 minutes of last week’s Times Talk.  

The man could hardly contain himself with anger, practically attacking the presenters of the show, (this paper’s Herman Grech and Mark Micallef). As soon as he was put on air, he went off on a tangent even comparing those who are against hunting to racists. Eventually he had to be verbally wrestled to the ground in order to shut up and let the discussion move on.

So in between trying to control his own members, fighting an administration that has bent  backwards for his cause, and lobbying against a justified referendum, Farrugia finds the time to file for libel because of a cartoon that depicts him relieving himself against a rubble wall, while being watched by a drone flying overhead.

He’s demanding €11,646 in damages plus legal expenses, because you see, it’s not his continuous attempts to justify shooting birds out of the sky that damages his reputation, and it’s not the case against Birdlife volunteers who were photographed in possession of injured protected birds that damages his honour, but this one satirical cartoon!

Go figure!


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