Don't attack him; just pity him
Someone asked me whether or not I will be rebutting the gratuitous accusations the Hon Dr Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando once more made against me. However, this time the honourable gentleman upped the ante by attacking me in the august chamber of the House of Representatives. I thank him for the honour. He did not bother to bring forward any proof. The eminent politician probably believes that he is the truth personified and consequently producing proofs of what he alleged would be infra dig.
The Romans used to say that quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur. A free English translation would be: Don't waste time on bile spewed irresponsibly.
As a result I do not think there is any need for an answer. But I will give another reason for not answering, doing this in an attempt to persuade people not to attack Dr Pullicino Orlando for voting the way he voted in Parliament. People should refrain from attacking him even though they feel outraged at what he committed last Monday.
Dr Pullicino Orlando speech, to which I listened with the level of attention it deserved, reminded me of a verbal diatribe he indulged in some time ago in my regard. Let me share with you the incident.
During the divorce referendum campaign I accompanied Dr Arthur Galea Salamone, one of the leaders of the No campaign, to the Where's Everybody studios for a debate with Dr Deborah Schembri. Dr Pullicino Orlando was there. I tried to do the decent thing that is usually done in civilised environments among gentlemen. I approached him to shake his hands. As soon as he saw me approach he went into a fit. The man was beside himself. He started shouting and insulting me at the top of his voice. "Get out from here", he bellowed repeatedly.
I stayed calm. "I accept your insults since that would compensate for Lenten sacrifices", I said. "But can I ask with what authority you are ordering me out from a building you don't own?" Chucking people out of building you don't own is normally called arrogance. He did not answer except to screech more spicy insults. He made veiled but vile allegations about me. Once more he did not attempt to provide a shred of proof. He is The Truth, remember? As a courageous politician he refrained from saying specific things. I guess even in his fit of frenzy he was attentive not to open himself to a court case.
What struck me more than the content of his invective was his demeanour. He was hysterical. As one colloquially says, he had lost it completely.
Then I understood why a member of the Yes campaign had told me that they considered Dr Pullicino Orlando as a liability and many in the No campaign considered him to be their greatest asset.
At one point Dr Pullicino Orlando gave me the reason for his hissy fit. In 2008 I had the cheek to take the mickey out of him in a short piece in this blog. I must have been a miserable and awful creature to have the gall to poke fun at such a noble gentleman. He decreed that I had to do penance for my writing.
Last Monday I listened to the same JPO. He was not hysterical but he showed the same level of anger, bitterness and vindictiveness in his speech attacking Richard Cachia Caruana. Last Monday I pitied JPO just as much as I pitied him when he attacked me in the studios of WE. A man who carries inside him all this anger and bitterness must be a man who is suffering a lot. His pain must be excruciating.
Don't attack him, just pity him and move on.