Saying this won’t make much difference, but that’s never been a reason for me not to say something. We need to stand by our public officials and elected representatives when they are assaulted, especially when they’re assaulted just for doing their job.

John Pillow, the Mayor of Sliema, was assaulted and injured by a bunch of thugs who not only thought they had a god given right to urinate on the shoreline where people go to sunbathe and enjoy the beach but also thought they had the right not to be told any differently.

Mayors, especially the ones who run the larger towns, are the best of our democracy and sense of community. They give up their time and their peace of mind for a payment that is so small that it’s not even funny, just so their neighbours can live in a better environment. Being Mayor of a Maltese town gives you no power, no prestige, and there’s nothing to feed your ego as a reward. It is the most selfless, thankless job you can go for.

The least you’re entitled to expect for your sacrifice is not to be beaten up in the street for it.

We should speak up when these incidents happen, across party and opinion. An assault on a Mayor is an assault on our democratic way of life.

Please find who did this and punish them.