This smug bastard is called Sergio De Gregorio. He was elected senator two years ago for one of the smaller parties of Prodi's centre-left coalition. A few weeks after the election he had an epiphany, funded by Berlusconi, and discovered that he was actually centre-right. He defected for a rumoured €300,000, reducing the government's already tragically small majority to three. He then invented a party called Italiani nel Mondo (Italians in the World) and is no doubt collecting all the cash to which Italian political parties have an automatic right. His own personal newspaper for a start; after all he is a qualified journalist. You don't believe me? Visit his hilariously self-serving blog.
The man isn't really worth bothering about but I was walking through the Testaccio quarter in Rome this morning and I saw fifty metres of wall covered with posters, possibly the first of this year's electoral campaign. It's not the most sophisticated advertising: a close up of the politician's porcine features with a slogan plastered across it. It was the slogan that made me stop and laugh out loud. It said Coraggio dei valori (The courage of values). I didn't have a camera with me, so I went to his blog to find the poster. And guess what? Typing coraggio dei valori into the search option I get: "Spiacente, stai cercando qualcosa che non c'è" (Sorry, what you're looking for isn't here).