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HOW DISAPPOINTING

It was always my impression that Dr Michael Falzon (the Labour MP, not the lukewarm ostensible but really erstwhile Nationalist ex-MP) was a generally reasonable type, not prone to falling for the temptation to pander to the masses in search of a vote or six.

He has, on occasion, barked a bit louder than he probably should have, but such excesses can be forgiven in some people. It seems, from the tenor of his latest public statement, that I am justified in feeling disappointed, however.

There has recently been an increase in the number of rescued Third-Country Nationals, economic refugees, seekers after a better life, non-Europeans, call them what you like, we're talking about probably Muslim, certainly dark, foreigners who raise the ire of the racists and bigots who inhabit this Catholic land.

This led Falzon, on behalf of the Labour Party, to issue a dictum riding on this, effectively playing to the r&b (and I don't mean rhythm and blues) gallery, letting the "let them drown" brigade know they have a friend in Labour and that it's all the Government's fault that our way of life is being threatened and hinting broadly that Labour will stand with them foursquare in protecting our national socialist heritage.

Now, I'm pretty sure that Falzon hasn't a racist bone in his body. In addition, he's right about our dear, liberal, humanist, friends in the North. They're the ones who, as at the time of writing this, are poised to give Dr Tonio Borg a going-over because he has personal values of which they don't approve, believers in freedom as long as it's their version and their version alone that is on the table.

These paragons have demonstrated a shameful reluctance to put meat to their liberal humanism bones by helping us, in our turn, cope with this inflow of human beings in need of help. But that is not what people like us - the liberal pigs targeted by his colleague yesterday - feel when we read Falzon's statement.

His final sally brings out the real purpose of it, that is to say to attack the Government on a subject that stirs deep feelings with a certain type, irrespective of the fact that the Government is simply doing our duty and extending help to human beings in need of it.

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