Red hearts do bleed as well
I read the full-page article ‘(Dis)honourable politics’ by Tourism Minister Mario de Marco (The Sunday Times, July 22).
It is not my intention in any way to pass judgment on Dr de Marco’s strong effusion in honour of his late father. If he believes his father’s memory has been tarnished in a most vile manner in the past few weeks, he is, of course, free to vent his feelings in public and to show his distress at the way in which politicians and pseudo-politicians seem to feel at liberty to hurt each other.
I was, however, mostly struck by his reference to his mother’s attitude throughout all this unpleasant experience – and I must admit it struck a painful chord in my memory.
As the brother of former Labour leader Alfred Sant I too can distinctly recall my mother’s anguish at the base, vicious, callous and insensitive attacks on his personal integrity that have characterised his political career.
He was accused of drink driving; labelled as a perfect subject for a TV programme on politicians who dabble in drugs and drink; attacked for the way in which he took his oath of office in 1996; and falsely accused on the eve of an election by Eddie Fenech Adami of having stopped the latter’s son from studying at University.
His serious illness in 2008 was also given public exposure with full details that even his family was, at times, not aware of.
Although these vile attacks and innuendos came from Nationalists, there was never any attempt to stop them. What my mother used to tell me on each of these occasions will, of course, remain between us – but I can assure readers that she was as hurt as Dr de Marco’s mother. But then, not given to melodrama and histrionics, she chose to suffer her grief in silence.
Dr de Marco would do well to remember that, after all, red hearts can bleed as well.