The Malta Independent 22 September 2017, Friday

Notebook

Daphne Caruana Galizia Thursday, 13 July 2017, 10:12 Last update: about 3 months ago

So same-sex marriage is now possible in Malta – not that it wasn’t before, given that civil unions were marriage by another name. But now I suppose the government has plucked up the courage to call a spade a spade, incentivised by the opportunity it gave to tweak and change the Marriage Act even for people of different genders. What interests me, though, is why the government still seeks to claim the credit for same-sex marriage even though it was an electoral pledge of the Opposition too, and the Opposition – with the notable exception of Edwin Vassallo – voted in favour.

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But the press photographs showed only an assembly of Labour MPs wrapped round a rainbow flag along with the Prime Minister’s special envoy in Brussels, Cyrus Engerer. On what basis was he there? He is not a legislator. Perhaps the government wheeled him out as its token (openly) gay man, given that it has no (openly) gay MPs, despite its considerable bluff and bluster about the subject. On the Opposition benches, for purposes of comparison as to which party is actually the more liberal, there are two openly gay men.

Standing with that man Engerer and the Labours MPs there was also Gabi Calleja, who leads the gay lobby group and who is the only lesbian to feature anywhere near the Labour Party or the government, both of which appear to prefer their gays, like their straights, to be men. The Labour Party, you will not have failed to note, only parades women about if they are decorative, flirtatious (with men), bat their eyelashes (at men), and are suitably subservient (to men). It is therefore not at all interested in being associated with lesbians of any stripe. You would think the gay lobby would have taken note of that and protested accordingly, but no. It was one of the first things I noticed, that the only gay people Labour likes are attractive young chaps with tweezered brows and curated hair. But perhaps that is not so much a gay issue as a women’s issue: Labour simply does not like women except as decorative items with a public relations value, sort of like Silvio Berlusconi’s vallette. 

***

I’m beginning to think that Konrad Mizzi, now the Tourism Minister but still dealing with Electrogas Malta Ltd and that afflicted power station, isn’t quite all there. This newspaper carried a big photograph of him outside Parliament House yesterday, celebrating the same-sex marriage vote (please don’t tell me he’s planning on marrying some man and setting up a secret trust for him in New Zealand; at this stage, nothing will surprise me). He was grinning like a loon, while some Labour Party official stood near him carrying a terrier – with curated hair, of course – wearing a scarf in rainbow stripes. And this when I happen to know that there are massive problems at Electrogas Malta, to do with one of its equally massive bank loans, and that panicked efforts were in hand to find a solution with Konrad Mizzi even as he stood there grinning like crazy because two men (never mind two women) can now marry each other, giving them legal title to each other’s Panama companies.

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The Archbishop said mass for the police yesterday, to mark the 203rd anniversary of the police on these islands. He took the opportunity to put a polite sort of rocket beneath the Commissioner of Police, a man not known for pursuing justice in matters where justice would pursue his friends in government. The same rocket was aimed at that very government. “The police force has got to be free to perform its duty as best it can with full autonomy,” he said.

I don’t think the Commissioner, Lawrence Cutajar, was particularly impressed or bothered. The general impression I have of him is that he is only there for the beer (note to Laburisti: that’s an expression, like being taken out and shot). Give him a plate of fried rabbit, a box of football badges to play with, some ex police officers with a criminal record to reinstate into the police force, and he’s happy as…well, as Larry.

 

www.daphnecaruanagalizia.com

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