Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Silvio Berlusconi

(Comedically corrupt EU president and media mogul)

JAMES says:

There’s something humorous about the Italian Prime Minister and now leader of the European Union for the next 6 months. He has the air of someone who’s not taking the whole thing too seriously, as shown in his promise to bring proof that Communists eat babies and especially in his comment on the first day of his leadership of the EU comparing a German Socialist MEP with a ‘Nazi Concentration Camp Commander.’ However, this also betrays his lack of respect, his arrogance, that comes from unquestioned power. He owns the two largest TV stations in Italy, and his control over the state service is such that they did not even report his ‘ironic comment’ as it was making headlines all over Europe. Berlusconi had come to power on an anti-corruption ticket, but just this month has passed a law making the president immune from standing trial while in office, thus forcing judges to dismiss his own bribery trial. This is pure, unrestrained power, and it shows how easily and blatantly self interest can be served in a supposedly democratic system. It would be nice to think that this could never happen in Britain, but I think few really believe it. Politicians need continual watching, but while major scandals are made out of any scandal with a hint of sex, practises that are blatantly not in the country’s best interests pass by without comment as just not interesting enough. While certain measures, such as state funding of parliament and local action monitoring, would help, it is hard to see politicians too eager about giving up power. And the power is what’s important. They have it, we don’t, so they are going to make the most of it.


NEILL says:

The man’s an absolute fucking crook, whose elevation to the EU presidency massively undermines the credibility of the entire project and has pretty much sent me, a lifelong left-leaning Europe-loving federalist, running into the arms of the ‘keep the pound’ mob.


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