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It’s a number. That’s all it is. It could have been represented like this: CVII-CVI. It could have been the beginning of a countdown that lasts a full one minute fourty seven seconds. It could be another enigmatic code aspiring to be the new Da Vinci or the recycled Zodiac.

Instead the numbers – each and every unit making up the one hundred and seven and the one hundred and six – represent human lives. Human beings. They are destined, as numbers, to be another footnote in the news items of a possibly hot summer. Like the bomb or shooting victims in Ankara, Lebanon, Palestine, Afghanistan and elsewhere they are destined to become another item on the news summary. People and flies, flies and people. The insensitivity of it all will remain astounding to a few. Some will choose to fume over the supposed “invaders”. The farce of the ridiculous rightists threatens to join the pointless hunters as yet another tragicomical issue for our islands politics.

But the numbers will be destined to grow. It is not just Malta and its government that should be aware of this. It is the great continent to the north of the greatest island in the world that needs to sensitised to the forthcoming disasters that will once again pop up daily on the papers. The seas of the Med will be awash again with hundreds of witnesses to the failure of Europe’s neighbour policy. Who knows maybe Sarkozy will go on another yacht trip to Malta and on his way, while medidating about his grandiose schemes of a Mediterranean assembly he will come face to face with a boat packed with hungry, forlorn travellers of fate.

107. That’s how many have reached the (un)promised shores until now (this season). 106. That’s how many are lost. Vanished or disappeared are the new fad words being used by the press. Probably swallowed by this mother of all seas that carried them on its waves of hope for a while but then became just as bored with them as the rest of humanity. That’s when it threw them up in one big toss… just before swallowing them into the ironic calm of oblivion.

Welcome to Malta – Gateway to the European Union – Highway to Heaven


5 responses to “107/106

  1. Statistics don’t have faces, lives, families, brothers, sisters, mothers, friends…just numbers. Have you ever read any account of who these people are in our local news papers? why they left their countries or what their aspirations are? no. they are just numbers. and who cares about numbers? could you imagine if 100+ maltese disappeared what would happen on this island? but the important thing is that we are catholic!

  2. Of course i have. Apparently they are evil parasites who left their country to destroy ours, and who aspire to take ‘our’ jobs and fuck ‘our’ women. No?

  3. There are also far more pressing things for opinion columnists to write about. Like this bit of geopolitical nonsense from Roving Bon Viveur Norman Hamilton:

    “Malta should rally the majority of other western European countries around her and formally protest with the EBU about the state of affairs and demand an immediate change to the voting procedure. One suggestion would be to have two semi-finals: one for EU member countries and another for non-EU states, with the west European countries voting for the Eastern ones and vice-versa. This would certainly put an end, once and for all, to the Baltic bloc, the Russian bloc and the Balkan bloc.

    The pathetic votes being obtained by our singers are humiliating to them personally and professionally. They deserve much better.”

  4. Is Norman an opinion columnist? I still see him as the Times’ new bet to discover the next Lorna. The bet has obviously failed. They must begin to look elsewhere. There’s a limit to how much time we can spend without reading an article of the Dame of the Grammatically Incorrect!

  5. And then Norman need not worry. Some Maltese have already hooked on to the trick of charming those “Eastern Europeans”. Just read about Rosman Pace’s exploits in Dobrich (where?) and Varna (why?):


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