Saturday, 12 November 2011

We shall not see his like again. Or won't we?

It has taken until today, we hope his last day in office, for me to understand something that had been bothering me about Silvio Berlusconi: something about him seemed strangely familiar, but I couldn't place it. 

What was it that I was reminded of whenever I saw him?

Then this evening, as I watched film of him being driven away from the Parliament in Rome and bestowing on us that smile with all the charm we’ve come to expect from him, it suddenly struck me: he reminded me of Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland.

Judge for yourself.

The Cheshire Cat as seen by John Tenniel

Berlusconi demonstrating his charm.
Spooky, isn't it?
Obviously, the resemblance between the two characters isn’t total. The Cheshire Cat did have a certain air of mystery about him, whereas the only mystery about Berlusconi is how he managed to maintain his hold over the Italian people for so long. And the Cheshire Cat, though he could often be deeply irritating, did have some redeeming features.

The similarities, though, are striking. And one of them is a matter of concern: the Cheshire Cat would gradually disappear with the smile going last, and Berlusconi is doing the same; the Cheshire Cat would then reappear unannounced at inconvenient times, and Berlusconi has shown a tendency to do that too; so the frightening thought is, could he pull the trick off again? 

I find myself looking around for a wooden stake.

Still, let’s stay positive. For now he’s on his way, and for that let us be properly grateful. It’ll be wonderful to see the Cavaliere’s back – if only so that we don’t have to see that smile.

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