Sometimes the Malta Times' editorials are a wonderful exercise in schizophrenic writing. Just when you start thinking that the Editor has got his finger right on the issue you find that peculiar twist right at the end that seems to be an appendage written by a Mr. Hyde - a sort of malicious afterthought that undoes all that is constructive in the preceding parts of the editorial. Let's see what today's Editorial entitled "Why the crowd looks elsewhere" had to offer in this regard.
The basic theme running throughout the piece is that of the fundamental right to expression that would theoretically allow loonies to say their thing on whatever subject they like to rant about. The jab at "tolerating ANR" immediately shows from which side of the fence the editor is writing. It gets better. The Times asks the question many people have already been asking - do you really need to protest against something that is illegal? Is protesting really necessary? It's a bit like rallying against theft. Of course everybody is against theft.
The Editorial implies that you cannot be "against" illegal immigration. It suggests that more efforts should be spent in planning how to curb the current tide and to manage what already has come in. True. The next part is a defence of journalists against the headless attacks on the profession by ANR and its members. Again, full marks for being clear on this issue.
Then. Ah! Then the editor criticises ANR for being ever so contradictory in the messages they send out to the people. It almost sounds like a regret that a potential new movement is being so obstinately rightist in its approach. A regret that a possible niche in local politics is not being properly filled.
And here is my grudge. What niche? The niche of the disgruntled? The niche of the easily conned voters who will gladly find a victim for the expiatory role needed to relieve them of all their suffering? Apparently so:
"ANR and its exponents need to take stock of the situation and put their house in order. They must find out why the public, most of whom would be against illegal immigration, stayed away from their manifestation."
Oh no they don't Mr Editor. We do not need a sly, manipulative movement using the ghost of illegal immigration as motive for gaining a base of support. No matter how you paint the picture for this kind of movement it will essentially be based on one message: All your ills are due to the blacks (as their leaders would have it) who are coming to your island. Get rid of them and all will be solved.
I'm sorry but I do not particularly like the phrase "most of whom would be against illegal immigration". You might think I am nit-picking but it is the core element of what must be combatted. A new program must be based on tolerance and understanding. It is only in that way that we can then answer helping hands like that offered by Lithuania to take some of the burden of the immigrants. By ensuring a human manner of tackling the problem - one that is based on respect and tolerance.
Otherwise we can all be against illegal immigration. Or not??