Sunday, 20 March 2011

MaltaToday: Nationalist organ Mument hits out at former 'Freedom Fighter'
20th March 2011 By Matthew Vella

Joe Fava, a former 'Front Freedom Fighter, gets Il-Mument's disapproval after 30 years...

1980s anti-Labour 'hardliner' who has switched allegiance, pens Orizzont editorials says PN newspaper.

A former member of the Front Freedom Fighters, a right-wing grouping at the margins of the Nationalist Party of the 1980s led by former MP Josie Muscat, has been 'targeted' by the PN organ Il-Mument for switching allegiance and his 'incapability to précis'.

This is the gist of a short piece on Joe Fava, the bearded columnist of the General Workers Union's daily l-orizzont, whose two-page features "are as long as novels" and who Il-Mument claims is also penning the union paper's editorials.

"There is an uncanny similarity between Fava's column and the orizzont leaders... The more attentive readers cannot help but notice the similarity between the editorials and Fava's writing, both in ferocity and in general content," Il-Mument's unsigned news item reads."

"Fava has been writing in the newspapers for 40 years... what he used to write was against the Labour party, now he is writing against the Nationalist party, but his harshness stayed unchanged."

Fava was one of a handful of supporters of Josie Muscat, the PN hardliner from the Labour-dominated southern districts, who formed the Front Freedom Fighters after the 1981 election when Labour was re-elected with a majority of seats but not a majority of votes. The grouping was a form of resistance action against Labour's authoritarian elements but its members were sympathisers of European fascism.

In an interview with MaltaToday's sister newspaper Illum, Fava's make-up was right out of the manual for right-wingers: an admirer of Reagan and Thatcherism, a supporter of US foreign policy and interventionism in Iraq, an Islamophobe and anti-immigration and sceptical of extending wider civil rights to homosexuals.

He did not follow Josie Muscat into his short-lived foray with the right-wing Azzjoni Nazzjonali after 18 years of friendship and instead turned to Labour. Before Alfred Sant's resignation in 2008, Fava described him as "sincere and an intellectual."

Miriam Dalli contributed to this report.

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