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Little Dom Mintoff 1916-2012

September 6, 2012

From AO Deadpool (click here and scroll down)

Dom Mintoff’s moment came in the early seventies. Labour prime minister, for the second time, of the diminutive island of Malta, he closed Britain’s naval bases, and nationalised airlines, shipping and banks. Outrageous! The British colony had fought so valiantly for the Allies in the Second World War that the island had been collectively awarded the George Cross for courage. The diminutive Mintoff (5 foot 5 inches) became a bogeyman to rival Castro.

It had not always been so. In the 1950s, during his first term as prime minister, Mintoff had tried the opposite tack, to fully incorporate Malta within the UK. Britain was happy to give them the vote, and their own MPs in London, but less keen on giving them the same social services. A compromise might have been found if Mintoff had not been such an uppity foreigner. Instead he discovered the considerable electoral benefits of squabbling with the colonial power.

Prime minister from 1955-1958 and 1971-1984, he was the biggest cheese on the tiny island for forty-odd years — most spent riling Britain. It was a family trait. In 1978 his daughter Yana hurled a bag of horse manure into the chamber of the House of Commons in protest against Britain’s policy in Northern Ireland, but generally Dom Mintoff did the trouble-making himself. He supported the Arabs in the Yom Kippur war, made friends with Gaddafi, and let the Russians build an embassy. But of course socialism soon led to poverty, and eventually he was forced to accept the wily Brits’ offer to pay to keep their ships in his harbour. His final election win in 1981 was widely regarded as fraudulent.

Brave little Malta
Italians they sent off.
Resisting starvation
Told Germans to fuck off.

Despite the George Cross,
To see them off
Soon the Maltesans
Elected Dom Mintoff

He wanted the vote
And thought he could play off
One Brit against other,
Till they told him to sod off.

“Don’t oppose me
When I’m trying to pull off
My plan to join Britain.”
Said angry Dom Mintoff.

So he kicked up a fuss
And pushed their ships off.
He befriended the Russians,
Did commie Dom Mintoff

But the Brits played for time,
And finally paid off,
That troublesome lefty,
Little Dom Mintoff.

— Jim Thornton

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