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Sunday 24 May 2009

If the Clown Fits

Fast becoming his own comedy genre, Silvio “Duce” Berlusconi is back in the news again. This may be because the media outlet making the running is not one of those under the Italian Prime Minister’s control: La Repubblica, the title suggesting that it may not be part of any right wing glee club, has had the temerity to question “Duce” over his conduct. Worse for Berlusconi, there is not one question being asked, but ten, as the Guardian has reported.

The object of the questioning, as I previously posted, is an eighteen year old aspiring actress called Noemi Letizia, who calls her Prime Minister “Daddy”. “Duce” doesn’t like the probing, but if there is no dishonesty or other impropriety in his conduct, he should not have a problem with it. Instead, he tells the hack from La Repubblica that he’s a “disgrace”, and falls back on his opinion poll ratings.

So far, so comical: Berlusconi’s relationship with Ms Letizia and her family, and his interventions on her behalf, will continue to attract scrutiny, and any evasiveness will merely make things worse for him. But the Guardian article also has a disquieting and revealing nugget of information deep within it.

In a speech to employers last week, “Duce” told that the Italian Parliament was a “useless” institution that was stopping him running the country. That’s a place where no country in the EU ought to even consider going.

I was right to call him “Duce”. And he’s still a clown.

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