Archive for the ‘Italy’ Category
(letter sent to the Editors of the International Herald Tribune)
Say what you will of Italy and its Prime Minister, there remains one powerful counterpoint to Silvio Berlusconi, resolutely bringing him a large amount of support: the intolerable pseudo-intellectualism that makes Frank Bruni and his (selected) Italian sources believe there is any correlation between “having a higher education” and “voting Left” (see Frank Bruni’s “The Affliction of Comfort”, IHT, 19 Sep 2011 ).
It doesn’t take much really to understand the utter inability to govern of a political side (such as the Italian Leftists) incapable for two decades of overcoming Mr Berlusconi and his supporters. To consistently lose against people despised as mentally inferior, it is the best evidence of being even more intellectually challenged than them.
From: Maurizio Morabito
Date: Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 3:01 PM
Subject: Insane Ed’s and Op-Ed’s (IHT, 22 Feb)
To: Letters IHT
it’s difficult to say if your line about the revolts in the Middle East is appalling or just insane. In the same pages (editorials and op-ed‘s, 22 Feb) where you appear at least in theory to support millions yearning for democracy and free and fair elections in the Middle East, you spend considerable ink arguing that the free and fair electoral wishes of millions of people in a major Democracy should be tramped upon.
I am talking about Italy of course.
Are democracies to be supported only when voters follow your advice? Isn’t yours the very same attitude that made murderous dictators rest easily, safe in the knowledge that all it took them in order to get billions in US aid was to present any democratic alternative as not of Washington’s liking?
And so your dislike for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi reveals you yourself as hypocrites, dreaming of getting the World you dream by pretending to care about distant people whose own dreams you wouldn’t think twice to destroy.
As an “ironing and cooking” Italian man “who does not ask my partner to make sure the pasta is cooked “al dente” when I get back home from work“, I am puzzled by Chiara Riffa and Rosa Raffaelli’s exhortation for more respect to be accorded to women in Italy (“Enough Machismo Italian Style“, IHT Printed edition, 19 Feb).
Ms Riffa and Ms Raffaelli’s goals are as laudable as daft and nonsensical are the chosen means of changing the status-quo. For example, as enthusiastically “reported” by IHT Rome-based journalists Rachel Donadio and Elisabetta Povoledo, the “women’s dignity” mass demonstrations of 13 Feb were overwhelmingly focused against Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi. That was a sure-fire way to degrade any “demand” to low-level party-political diatribe.
It is also unclear what yet another demonstration achieved, what if anything has changed or is going to change at least in the participants’ lives, and most of all how could a person, even a Prime Minister, affect the “dignity” of a mass of individuals (unless, perhaps, it’s North Korea we’re talking about). Like for everybody else, my “dignity” is all mine, and for me to nurture, not to abandon to the care of however-politically-powerful strangers. Actually, by associating themselves to the controversies regarding Mr Berlusconi, the “women’s dignity” demonstrators might have ultimately shown how low their self-respect is, and how weak their demands, all too easily manipulated for the sake of provoking a change in Government.
I can’t wait for the day when “machismo” will be an obsolete word, in Italy and everywhere else. Tough chance though, unless and until the problem is dealt with in a practical, truly apolitical way capable of positively affecting the day-to-day behaviour of millions of people; and unless and until the educated, cosmopolitan, financially-liberated victims of machismo will (at least!) start self-respecting themselves.
Well, it looks like I am a mildly-conservative radical libertarian. How does that translate in the world of now?
- In the UK: I am mildly sympathetic to the positions expressed by the former trotskyites of Spiked, even if I find them excessively meldrewsque at times. BNP aside, I can’t stand the UKIP, the only political party whose leaflet I have given back to its startled distributors at my local station, as I find its very existence offensive to a tax-paying foreigner such as myself. As for Lab, Lib/Dem and Tories, well, the jury is still out in the quest of understanding what exactly they different one another from, once they are in power.
- In Italy: I have voted for both centre-left (Prodi) and centre-right (Berlusconi) coalitions. I have been politically active in both coalitions. Funny thing is, I didn’t have to change my political convictions in order to do that. Right now I am politically active in Berlusconi’s “Popolo della Liberta'” political rassemblement, and can’t see any alternative in the sea of interrupted Italian politicians calling themselves “leaders”.
- As if things weren’t complex enough, I am also a Roman Catholic and I strongly disagree with the Church’s involvement in politics, or its teachings about public attitudes to sex. That’s hardly the opinion of a potential candidate for the Presidency of the European’s People’s Party.
If anybody finds anybody of similar political beliefs as myself please do send me name and address, as it will be the second member of the Party!
Anybody wondering how did BBC’s Richard Black manage to post as poorly argued a blog as today’s, wonder no more: a few hours earlier, BBC’s Duncan Kennedy from Rome wrote an article with a gem like this:
In Italy, politics has literally become a contact sport
Looks like Mr Kennedy is reporting despite showing little awareness of his surroundings: between 1947 and 2008, there have been more than 35 political/mafia massacres in Italy. And many more individual assassinations. A “contact sport” indeed.
If that’s the new standard of BBC journalism, expect Richard Black to dive ever lower.
PANEL DISCUSSION IN OXFORD, 21 OCTOBER 5PM
MEDIA AND DEMOCRACY IN ITALY – WHAT FREEDOM? and WHOSE FREEDOM?
Berlusconi and the case of La Repubblica’s ten questions
Taylorian Institute, Room 2
Wednesday 21st October – 5 pm
A panel discussion organised by
Italian Studies at Oxford and the Axess Programme on Journalism and Democracy
In collaboration with the Oxford Italian Society
Chair: John Lloyd
Director of the Axess Programme, Contributing Editor of the Financial
Times and Director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
London Correspondent and London Bureau Chief, La Repubblica
Dr. Daniele Albertazzi
Senior Lecturer in European Media, University of Birmingham
Press Secretary, Freedom Party (PdL), London Circle
Prof. Andrea Biondi
Secretary, Democratic Party (PD) London Circle
for more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eye-opening article by William Ward in Newsweek (of all places!) explaining the “miracle” called Silvio Berlusconi:
[…] As strange as this preference seems to outsiders, there are several very Italian reasons for Berlusconi’s ongoing hold on politics at home […]
Italian voters have, in three general elections, chosen the devil they know over his dull and plodding opponents on the left. It’s not just for his showmanship; Italians also appreciate his hard work as a retail politician and electoral strategist […]
he attempts to muzzle his opponents and highlight his achievements through the media […] But in this he is merely following a well-trodden Italian tradition […]
his frequent complaints that Italy’s magistrates (a highly politicized and overwhelmingly leftist bunch) have it in for him are not entirely unreasonable […]