The Malta Independent 21 October 2021, Thursday

TMID Editorial: He’s not one of us

Thursday, 7 October 2021, 09:13 Last update: about 14 days ago

It happened twice in a matter of a few days.

First it was the Malta Developers Association, and then it was the turn of the Hunters and Trappers Federation.

A migrant was reported to have been dumped on the side of the road in Selmun after falling two storeys on a construction site nearby. The vile act was condemned by one and all, from the President downwards. A contractor has now been accused in connection with the incident.

But what was important for the MDA is that “he (the contractor) is not one of our members”. It took them 24 hours to come up with this statement. Maybe their list of members is very long and they needed time to go through it.

What the MDA was saying, or trying to make us believe, is that none of its members would have acted in the same way as this particular contractor allegedly did. It was tantamount to saying that all members of the MDA never set a foot wrong and always obey the rules.

We all know otherwise.

A few days later, four flamingos were shot down at Qawra. Again, the vile act drew criticism from all quarters. The hunter was caught and taken to court, charged with the slaughter of the protected birds.

But what was important for the FKNK was to say that it has no connection with the hunter involved. “He (the hunter) is not one of our members,” the federation said. We will never permit an FKNK member to damage the reputation of the federation with such despicable acts, it added.

What the FKNK was saying, or trying to make us believe, is that none of its members have ever shot a protected bird and that all of them obey the law.

We all know otherwise.

In both these instances, the MDA and the FKNK missed the wood for the trees.

The dumping of a worker who was injured after a fall on a construction site and the shooting down of four flamingos are both appalling incidents irrespective of whether whoever committed them is a member of an association or otherwise.

It does not change anything in the collective sense of indignity against the perpetrators – let’s add “alleged”, because they have both pleaded not guilty and are still to face court proceedings against them.

By trying to distance themselves from the incidents, organisations such as the MDA and FKNK want to imply that they are sure that, had the persons involved been their members, such incidents would not have taken place.

It sounds, and it is, ridiculous.

Both the MDA and the FKNK would have come across as being more credible organisations if they had simply condemned the incidents – harshly and unreservedly – without the non-membership comment.

Such “holier than thou” attitude will only serve to make things worse.

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