Friday, 10 July 2009

Silvio, a model of graceful living

Silvio Berlusconi gives real value for money, doesn’t he? A constant source of entertainment to us all.

Well, perhaps not ‘all’. You need a white skin, really. And it's probably best if you're not from Eastern Europe. While Silvio keeps diverting us with his antics, his government is busily bringing in the most draconian anti-foreigner legislation since the time of Fascism, but hey, that only affects non-Whites and East Europeans.

The rest of us can just sit back, relax and enjoy the show.

The star has to be Mara Carfagna. I notice that she tends to be referred to as a ‘former topless model’ though I think the way she used to deliver pleasure to men is sometimes described in rather more uncompromising terms. We know she gave Silvio great pleasure, because he introduced her to his friends as the person he would make his wife if the position were not already taken. That position wasn’t available, so he made her Minister for Equal Opportunities instead.

Well, the position of wife has now been vacated, since Veronica Lario is suing Berlusconi for divorce. And lo and behold, when it came to entertaining the spouses of the world leaders in Italy for the G8 meeting, who was deputed to look after them and show them round Rome but Mara Carfagna and the Minister for Education, another woman?

In most Western countries Ministers like to pretend they have far too much to do to attend to trivial tasks, like looking after the spouses of visiting dignitaries. But in Italy there is no such hypocrisy. They’re prepared to admit that a Minister, or at least a woman Minister, can always make the time to show a little charm and be the perfect hostess. In fact, the only jarring note was that Carla Bruni, wife of the French president and herself of Italian extraction, refused to attend and be escorted by Carfagna. Instead, she showed up late and took herself round Rome on her own. The French clearly have no concept of savoir vivre.

And isn’t it wonderful that one of the Ministers in question was the one charged with ensuring that women enjoy equal rights in her country? And even more wonderful that she owes her position to the very charm that Berlusconi had her deploy yesterday?

It’s as enviable as it’s admirable to be that impervious to irony.

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