Thursday, 21 May 2009

Silvio, with all due respect

It has come as a shock to see some of the outrageous reporting in the press recently about a sister European nation, Italy. My native land, as it happens. Some commentators seem to be suggesting that the elected Prime Minister of that great country, with its decades-old tradition of adherence to democratic principle, may have been guilty of inappropriate behaviour.

They reach this conclusion on the flimsiest of evidence: David Mills, estranged or apparently estranged husband of our own fine Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell, has been found guilty of accepting bribes from Mr Berlusconi. In a breathtaking non sequitur, they deduce that Mr Berlusconi must be guilty of paying bribes to Mr Mills.

It is precisely to avoid this kind of preposterous accusation against innocent victims that Berlusconi’s government passed an impunity – sorry, immunity – law last year which will protect him from malicious prosecution during the rest of his reign – sorry, term.

It has to be said that these vicious allegations have been fairly common amongst irresponsible elements such as journalists, opposition politicians or judges. Poor Mr Berlusconi is something of a martyr to them.

Vile insinuations have been made about his visit to the eighteenth birthday party of Noemi Letizia, when he presented her with a 6000 euro piece of jewellery. His wife, Veronica Lario, pointed out that he had not attended the eighteenth birthdays of any of his other children – sorry, any of his children – and announced that she would be seeking divorce as she did not wish to remain associated with a man who frequented minors. And yet it is clear that his interest had nothing improper about it, but only expressed his quasi parental – sorry, avuncular – desire to extend some protection to a vulnerable young woman.

Noemi Letizia: object of nothing but the most disinterested protective instincts

Similarly, vicious rumours have suggested that Mara Carfagna owes her appointment as Minister for Equal Opportunity by Berlusconi – who introduced her to his entourage as the woman he would make his wife had the position not already been occupied – to something other than her supreme qualifications for the job.

Mara Carfagna: eminently qualified to be Italy’s Minister for Equal Opportunity

As a regular and, I hope, highly responsible blogger myself I would like to see an end to this kind of gutter allegations.

Let’s call a halt to this discourtesy towards the leader of another nation and endeavour to treat Mr Berlusconi from now on with all the respect he deserves.

I know that I always do.


Anonymous said...

On a serious note, that was a brilliant piece.

David Beeson said...

Thanks San - I enjoyed writing it - and it gives me a warm glow to know that I've spoken out in defence of a good cause

David Beeson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark Reynolds said...

Hmmm... pictures of attractive young women in provocative clothing? Are you trying to drive up your readership? If this tactic catches on, it could entirely change the Internet!

David Beeson said...

Hold on, hold on - who are you using such disrespectful language about? One's a Minister in the Italian government and the other a close acquaintance of the prime minister you're talking about - those aren't provocative pictures, they're documents of historical importance.

Wash your mouth out. Or your keyboard.