The relationship between hunting and Maltese politics has for many years been symbiotic – one cannot survive in society without the other. As with any such relationship in nature, it is not very clearly understood given its complex dynamics. While many individuals in Maltese society choose to speculate on the existence of such an interaction, there have been very few instances that solidify its thriving presence. Without any doubt, Labour MEP candidate Cyrus Engerer’s actions in abetting the hunters federation’s petition to ban a lawful spring hunting referendum provides unequivocal proof.
- Photo credit: TimesofMalta
As reported on the Times of Malta: “Labour MEP candidate and gay rights activist Cyrus Engerer has justified his decision to gather more than 1,600 signatures in support of the petition launched by the hunters federation, saying that he is all out in favour of safeguarding minority rights”.
While Cyrus Engerer is a gay rights activist and supports minority rights, he should know that such rights are not carried by organisations such as the FKNK and groups such as the hunting community.
Minority rights are described as rights belonging to members of a certain class, ethnicity, religion, language and sexual orientation. There are also collective minority rights that are attributed to certain minority groups to safeguard their personal interests such as trade unions and trade associations.
- The Russian speaking community in Ukraine has minority rights
- The Muslim community living in Manchester has minority rights
- The LGBT community in Italy has minority rights
- The Hispanic community in California has minority rights
- Workers of the London Underground as a group have minority rights
- The hunting community in Malta DOES NOT HAVE ANY minority rights. It is a group of individuals practicing a so called hobby “delizzju” in a democratic society that recognizes their actions as either legal or not.
Under the current EU derogation, hunters can hunt in spring. However, since the public has the LEGAL right to petition for a referendum to abolish this, there is no infringement carried to ban people from practicing their hobby. The petition signed in droves by the members of the public is a unique case of an unpolitical action occurring in the Maltese democratic sphere. However, the symbiotic relationship between hunting and politics was bound to rear its ugly head at some point – in this case in the form of Cyrus Engerer’s politicized intrusion to abet the hunters’ ridiculous attempt at disrupting a completely legal and non-infringing referendum.
Dear Mr Engerer, it makes absolutely no sense that you would support this petition if you admit that you are not in favour of hunting. It is clear that the reason behind this publicity stunt is a frivolous attempt at garnering votes for the upcoming MEP elections. If you cannot even clearly distinguish between the rights of LGBT people and those of hunters (which are completely different), then you should not be even running for the European Parliament claiming to be an advocate of minority rights in Malta.