Maybe the art of subtlety isn't entirely dead.
Thursday, 28 May 2009
Some are more equal
Remember the ministries in 1984? The Ministry of Peace, responsible for war; the Ministry of Love, responsible for torture? Most governments are more subtle about this sort of thing, but Italy, a country that enjoys subtlety in so many guises, from moral hypocrisy to Andreottian dissimulation, has taken a cruder leaf out of Orwell's book. The Ministry for Equal Opportunities is now explicitly discriminating against gays. During the last government, minister Barbara Pollastrini instituted a web site listing the various groups that suffered discrimination for reasons of religion, health, nationality, sexual orientation and so on. The new minister, ex-calendar girl Mara Carfagna (seen here on government business), has removed all reference to homophobia from the site, presumably on the grounds that, under the wise and caring governance of such gay-friendly politicians as Berlusconi, Bossi, Calderoli etc. the phenomenon no longer exists in Italy. Like racism and sexism and all those other nasty -isms, it's been smoothed away and replaced by a feeling of general wellbeing and love towards one neighbour, ideally a 17-year-old blonde with acquiescent parents. What other reason could there be? To prove my point, she's also got rid of a commission set up by Pollastrini, for LGBT rights. Clearly there's no more need for it. What a wonderful world we live in. And I've just heard some Northern League apparatchik on television say that the fact that the centre for illegal immigrants on Lampedusa is now empty is a clear indication that government policy on immigration is working. This is like claiming that an empty hospital is working by ignoring the dead and dying refused admittance.