Saturday, 12 September 2009

The Berlusconi syndrome: digging when you're already in a hole

I had to read the Guardian headline twice. ‘Berlusconi admits suspected pimp brought women to his home, but denies paying them for sex.’ I was so shocked I thought I’d better check an authoritative Italian source.

There’s one Italian newspaper that the Berlusconi set regards as particularly vile, a particularly scurrilous scandal sheet, so you can’t get much more authoritative than that. It’s La Repubblica. I took a look at it on-line, and there it was: ‘I’ve never paid a woman,’ it quoted Berlusconi.

What is he thinking of? Doesn’t he see that he’s just making things worse? I mean you may disapprove of men using prostitutes, or you may tolerate the practice, but either way you must surely feel that a man makes things far worse if he adds rip-off to sexual subjugation, and refuses them their hard-earned fee. It’s like Casablanca, when Humphrey Bogart tells Peter Lorre, ‘I don't mind a parasite. I object to a cut-rate one.’ You may dislike a lecher, but how much more will you object to him if he’s a cheapskate as well?

Pity the poor women who allegedly spent the night at his place. They must have felt completely screwed.

And that’s not a tribute to his manly prowess.

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