WATCH: Maltese Fifth Form Student’s Impassioned PN Speech: ‘Patriotism Does Not Mean Never Criticising Your Country’

"No one ever changed the world by staying silent, not asking questions and not seeking the truth"

Fifth form student Eve Borg Bonello delivered a rousing defence of the free press at the PN’s annual general council this afternoon, warning politicians of the dangers of delegitimising critical journalists.

“When I imagine a country that’s living the best of times, I imagine a country that respects journalists,” Eve, 15, said, in an obvious dig at Labour’s electoral slogan. “We shouldn’t describe journalists as the enemy of the people and call them fake news when we disagree with what they write about.”

“Some claim it is unpatriotic to criticise your own country and that patriotism means acting like those three monkeys who see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. I disagree with that argument; no one ever changed the world by staying silent, not asking questions and not seeking the truth.”

The teenager is among the first cohort of youths participating in the PN’s ‘Future Leaders’ programme, launched recently to attract more youths to the party.

Thomas De Martino

Thomas de Martino

Another of those participants, 18-year-old Thomas de Martino, also addressed the PN general council this morning, warning that a culture of fear has set in among several youths.

“I meet youths on a daily basis who are scared to criticise the government or even share posts on Facebook because their parents might get transferred or lose out on a promotion,” he said. “Yet not all youths are afraid of this corrupt government and not all of us have swallowed the bait that we’re living the best of times.”

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Tim Diacono

Tim Diacono tends to clam up when asked to describe himself. You can contact him on [email protected]