Form Should Not Outweigh Substance

“Heqq that’s my opinion and you have no right to disrespect it”

It’s a common complaint, and one that was levelled at Daphne all the time. If she poo-pooed a stupid idea she was called a “snob” or “elitist” for not respecting a difference of opinion.

This is the response of a fragile ego, of course. Perhaps more commonly the male ego. It’s someone who has likely grown up being “mummied” and molly-coddled, and often isn’t used to being told they’re wrong. In fact, they’re probably used to dictating what’s what – and are stunned to be told otherwise.

But that’s the thing, at some point we all have to learn that sometimes your “opinion” is just plain wrong. And the bigger man or woman learns to accept when they’re wrong, and move on. Your right to an opinion does not make your opinion right. And not all opinions automatically deserve respect. The form should not outweigh the substance.

I’m not going to patronise you with an explanation of how we differentiate between valuable opinions and useless ones. Those of you who get it get it, and those of you who don’t likely never will.

What I will say is that an opinion lacking any of the objective logic that we look for in an adult discussion is about as valuable as a fart in the wind. It’s an empty – and often smelly – noise. Like a fart, it behoves you not to air your uninformed, ignorant opinions in public. 

It’s why someone who insists that the earth is flat is understandably and appropriately met with derision. It is not snobby of me to tell them that they’re being a complete idiot. It’s pure fact. Such stupidity needs to be met with firmness. Whatever form your argument takes is irrelevant to its substance.

Similarly, when I write a piece about how Moviment Graffitti’s decision not to join the protest against corruption tomorrow is stupid, I’m not being “snobby” or “Superjur”.

I’m stating that on no logical, moral, or ethical basis does it make sense for a group of activists – who have actively fought corruption in all administrations – to decide they will not attend a mass gathering of citizens organised by non-partisan civil society groups.

“Why aren’t they attending?” you might ask.

Well according to Andre Callus, the head of Moviment Graffitti, it was because they had a “feeling” that the protest was motivated more out of hate towards Labour than by a desire to combat corruption. They seem to have an issue with the form of the protest and not its substance.

Moviment Graffitti judged the organisation of such a protest to not be “pure” enough.

Repubblika and Occupy Justice are not “clean” enough for Moviment Graffitti.

Sure it’s populated by men and women from all walks of life tirelessly fighting court battles, maintaining the protest memorial in Valletta, organising marches and vigils, advocating on different levels, but Moviment Graffitti thinks the protest march tomorrow is too “partisan”.

Quite why Moviment Graffitti still feels so defensive of the Labour Party is inexplicable.

After all was it not the Labour party that has been in administration for the past 7 years? The corruption we are protesting has happened under the Labour party’s watch has it not? The assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the hounding of her family, the impunity for Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi and Joseph Muscat – all under the present party’s governance of the island n’est pas?

Or were they hoping that a single protest march would rid the island of corruption once and for all regardless of party?

As Ann De Marco put it: it’s a shame that Moviment Graffitti are complicit in attempting to paint this as a partisan protest (thereby aiding and abetting the Labour party narrative) by pointedly deciding not to attend. But, and make no mistake about this, that is indeed what they are doing.

The Labour Party doesn’t need to divide and conquer with useful fools like these kicking about. They submit themselves to The Labour Party’s straw man argument with glee.

They’re more concerned with the form than the substance – a damning indictment of a youthful activist group.

Meanwhile Castille laughs.

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