Published on October 17th, 2011 | by Yasmine Aquilina3
If you mess with the bull, you get the horns
“The BNP leader Nick Griffin was forced to abandon a press conference outside parliament today after protesters pelted him with eggs.” – The Guardian (09/06/09)
Of course, this is neither ethical nor permissible in a civil society. Similar things have happened in Malta. As Newton himself aptly remarked, every action gets an equal and opposite reaction; Or not.
In Malta, a Crusade is immediately launched against the egg thrower. Biased “independent” newspapers immediately pounce on the perpetrator; to the extent that the reason why the eggs were thrown in the first place is lost. At the very least they are made to look trivial. The only journalists who try to shed light on the point of view of the Egg Thrower are immediately fired without a chance to explain themselves.
With all the political correctness around us, are we students losing what we have always been renowned for since time immemorial? At least since youngsters were really youngsters, politically incorrect and not mutton dressed as mature, compliant members of society? We have always and everywhere been famous for stirring society’s inner felt discomforts – always have been the voice. The VOICE could most of the time be rude, politically incorrect or downright immoral. Why? Because it’s not heard until it utters expletives. That is where Students’ Organisations come in. They have to be the ones to polish the language used but at the same time GET THE BLOOMIN’ MESSAGE THROUGH.
Attacks by professional journalists, definitely mute the message and do the trick; the politician remains full of himself and keeps thinking that it’s “no problem”. The silence of the Students’ Organisations, does a very very big favour to the politician, who is supposed to treat the message from society with sobriety, commitment and humility. But this only seems to happen when the politician is threatened with a hunger strike. In the latter case, the Egg Throwing Hunger Striker is given a Kiwi (the fruit, not sent down under), and his discomfort is thus forgotten after a couple of days. The politician has the cushy job he has because The Egg Throwing Hunger Striker put him on the gravy train. Or shall we say the “Gravy Bus”?
The Egg Throwers are promised the world and reassured around election time – they get everything that they can possibly want; The importance shifts from policies to political parties as a package. Diehard fans couldn’t care less about what their party has to offer, as long as the other party doesn’t go through. We are suddenly blindly following the herd, 20 year olds vote for parties that have been in power for 20 years, because they have so much to compare them to, – change is not embraced, family traditions are. As a result, millions of eggs are thrown around, and a civilized election debate becomes an omelet.
It is only when our stipends are mentioned that we seem to revolt and are backed up by student organizations. It is the one burning question on every student’s mind: “Will the next government touch our stipend?” How about, “Will there be a bus to take me to university?” or “Will there be jobs available at the end of my studies?” Stipend is the carrot that the Animal Farm holds over our head, as “You should be grateful for your stipend” means that because we get it we don’t have the right to criticize anything else.
Is it my bad memory or is such a hubbub only acceptable when it is in favour of the government? Is it only around election time that all rules and norms go out the window and the FW is readily acceptable? Let us not be bullied, let our voice not be silenced. Let us be heard, and let us always stick to our guns.