Clint Camilleri defends controversial van – Strange that this van created more outrage than a teenager that escaped the hospital and committed suicide.

Gozitan parliamentary secretary has sprung to the defence of those who decided to come up with a cheap carnival stunt at the expense of people with mental problems. Clint Camilleri, the Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture and Animal Rights said the joke should be seen in the context of the traditional Nadur carnival. The battered white van, which was used by individuals at the Nadur Carnival, had words like ‘Mount Carmel Clinic’, ‘Beware Mental Driver’, ‘Dimensja (sic)’ and ‘Crazy’, sprayed on.

In a Facebook post, Mr Camilleri said he was convinced that the people behind the joke had no intention of hurting anybody and there was no need to stir controversy over a spontaneous carnival float.

In contrast, junior Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli condemned this van and encouraged more solidarity and awareness.

As I’ve yesterday, I’m not surprised about this van. In my opinion this comes on the back of not having enough education about mental health issues and a sheer lack of education. As Julia Farrugia Porteli said as well, we need to raise more awareness and ultimately we need to educate ourselves.

A comment which made me think thoroughly about this saga came from Lovin Malta’s political editor Tim Diacono.

Tim Diacono hit the nail right on its head with this. It’s strange, and most definitely sad, that this controversial van created more outrage than when a teenager escaped Mount Carmel Hospital and committed suicide just last week.

Excellent observation Tim!