Alfred Sant has just made a deceiving statement against what he called the “censorship” of Mario Philip Azzopardi’s play. As I wrote already there was no censorship or banning, and instead, what happened was that the government has pulled out its support for the play. Mario Philip Azzopardi, the self-declared internationally renowned director is finding it extremely difficult to host the play without state backing. The play is a libellous and hateful attack on Malta’s victim of the mafia, Daphne Caruana Galizia and is riddled with lies with the sole and exclusive intention to destroy the image and legacy of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Labour and its intellectual rent-seeking elite are claiming censorship and are riling the masses against the artists and writers who spoke out against the play. We are indeed at a very serious Orwellian inflection point where fascist discourse that riles the masses against authors and journalists is proclaimed to be by academics and Laboru stalwarts as “free speech”. Sant and the rent-seeking intellectual elite are also deceiving the public by claiming censorship when the situation is rather different. Mario Philip Azzopardi has the right to host the play on his own without state backing – no one is stopping him from hosting his play.
Alfred Sant is adding to the deception of this issue by invoking the 1960s and he thinks he can do this without being challenged because he feels secure in the thought that most of you don’t remember what happened in the 1960s. Luckily, I am a historian and I know exactly what happened in the 1960s and I can tell you that Alfred Sant is lying and deceiving you. Alfred Sant is giving you the impression that he and Mario Philip Azzopardi suffered a lot of censorship in the 1960s over their artistic work and that we are now replicating this censorship. Indirectly and implicitly Alfrted Sant is giving the impression that he and Mario Philip Azzopardi have a history of writing and publishing censorable and offensive material and/or high powered political stuff.
The reality can’t be even further than the truth. This is what happened in the 1960s. The Maltese writers and artists in the 1960s were conformist and accepting of the political situation of that time and none of them ever wrote material that was worthy of censorship. O the contrary, most of the stuff that was written in the 1960s and the early 1970s was dull, boring and empty literature that had no political aspect whatsoever. Even Frans Sammut’s “Il-Gaġġa” was incredibly conformist – it didn’t espouse any rebellious spirit – it only spoke of a man who was conflicted with his choices in a conservative society. There is literally nothing controversial in the works written by Maltese authors like Alfred Sant in the 1960s. Sant is indirectly giving the impression that he and the Labour clique of the rent-seeking intellectual elite has a history of controversial productions which challenge mentalities or the status quo: he is wrong. There exists no literary and artistic history of rebellion in the Maltese arts of the 1960s, especially by the pro-Labour camp of authors. In fact, Mario Philip Azzopardi’s play is not something radically rebellious – it is a play that denigrates a victim of the mafia and propagates a bias in favor of the criminal organisation which executed the victim. So, the reality is actually the opposite of what Alfred Sant is implying: Labour intellectuals are right now doing the bidding of fascism and autocracy and not free speech.
The 1960s was overshadowed by the Church’s war on Labour and mortal sin. The young intellectuals of that time like Alfred Sant were completely removed and uninvolved in the most important political struggle of that time – they all looked out for themselves by going outside Malta and keeping silent on the gross abuses taking place by the Church. They are not 1960s heroes, they are conformists. And Mintoff was extremely frustrated with the lack of enthusiasm and support by the intellectuals and writers in the 1960s. The radical youth of the 1960s were not artists or writers but actually Dockyard workers who used to be organised by Lorry Sant and who many of them then went on to form the Labour Youth section which eventually became the most radical section of the Labopur Party. The veterans of this working-class youth section, such as the indefatigable Joseph Bartolo (l-iSloopy) clashed with Alfred Sant in 1998 over his fight with Mintoff.
This is the real story. Don’t let Alfred Sant deceive you with his bullshit.