Saturday, April 14

The Legacy of Mintoff

The Maltese people have a knack when it comes to turning everything political into a lowest-level-possible, gossipy debate. I gather this week it is the turn of the controversial documentary about Dom Mintoff. Let me chime in.

From 700BC up to 1974AD Malta was ruled by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Aragonese, Spanish, Knights of St John, French, and finally the British. We were slaves of one kind or another for centuries on end. Mintoff is the man who led Malta into becoming a republic. His is the name that went down in history for doing that. We did gain independence before that in 1964, but we still had a Governor General exercising executive authority for the Queen who was still our Head of State. As a geo-political achievement, becoming a republic after 27 centuries is way more important than Malta joining the European Union.

Regardless of how much of a bastard he became in his declining years, it will be Mintoff's name that will be remembered internationally. Was the legacy of George Washington tarnished because black slaves were being whipped into picking cotton during his era? The factual horror-stories of the 80s will become less and less relevant. It will not be a documentary or a book that changes this.

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