Why has Malta become a boxing ring?

Every new day brings a new fight doing the WhatsApp rounds.
Still taken from videos showing teens in Valletta fighting.

It feels like pretty much everyday I receive a video of a fight either via one of my WhatsApp groups or straight up on mainstream media.

The latest one actually came courtesy of our law courts with the magistrate decrying the ‘cowboys and Indians’ situation. An interesting turn of phrase if there ever was one, but here we are.

The circumstances leading to these fights are always different. Most often it’s road rage that gets top billing. Closely (and worryingly) followed by teenage brawls and attacks on third country nationals. At the lower end of the ranking we find random acts of violence, between neighbours, family members and strangers too, because why not.

I know what you’re thinking. The Maltese have always been a hot headed bunch. We’ve always had a penchant for throwing the first insult and to follow it up with the first blow. There have always been news reports about street squabbles and such like.

To which I reply, rubbish. It has never been this bad. And I lived in Valletta through the 1980s, so that’s saying something.

So what is happening? The question is (somewhat) rhetorical. I mean, we have a whole bunch of dissatisfied people living in each other’s pockets while trying to keep up with an increasingly expensive and fast lifestyle. Hmm, let me think about it. Yup, that could be one reason all right.

Hour long traffic jams – because employers continue to dig in their heels about remote working and because the public transport system and the roads are a nightmare – could be another. The constant noise across Malta? A third one.

We already have the basic ingredients for a shit storm right there. Pile on an ever-increasing sense that we can get away with anything and it’s a wonder that we aren’t getting reports of a murder a week. Everyone has become so much more brazen. Fights used to be something that happened in questionable corners after dark. Now they take place on a main thoroughfare under the blazing sun.

Of course, it doesn’t help that passersby are more likely to be busy live streaming the entire thing from their phones rather than calling the police and helping out victims.

The cherry on this cake of crap? According to the latest drugs report, cocaine remains the most used drug in Malta. Not only are we failing to hit one of the biggest USPs of island life, but we are also actively going out of our way to destroy it. The average person living in Malta is about as chill as a cat that just figured out exactly where that thermometer goes.

I have always thought of Malta as enjoying a laidback lifestyle, but clearly this is far from being the case anymore. The light finally dawned when a friend told me she found life faster and more stressful here than she did in London. I found it mind boggling, but when you think about it….

Hence, my question. Why has Malta become like one big boxing ring? And more importantly what’s it going to take to stop this before things get any worse and everyone stops visiting and starts leaving instead?

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