*Actually Coccaglio. See comments for correction, apology, and so on.
Thursday, 19 November 2009
People in Britain are right to be worried about the BNP, but even Griffin and his mean-spirited cronies might think twice before imitating the Northern League council of Colacchio*, a small town near Brescia. As part of their Yuletide festivities they've decided to conduct a door-to-door search for immigrants whose permit to stay has run out and expel any they find forthwith, and certainly by 25 December. This might not sound very Christmassy to you, accustomed to the notion that the festival is a time of good cheer in which a general welcome is extended to all. That's not what Claudio Abiendi, responsible for 'security' in the town, thinks. For Abiendi, one of the original founders of the League, Christmas isn't a time of welcome, but an affirmation of 'the Christian tradition, and of our identity.' It's not clear which Christian tradition they're referring to here, although they could be referring to such high points in the church's past as the Inquisition, Vatican support for Nazism, forced baptisms, witch hunts, and the organisation of pogroms in much of medieval Europe. And to show how deeply rooted the local administration is in the millennial heritage of Catholic Italy, or should I say the decade-long identity of 'Padania', the very sound of which brings a smile to my scoffing lips, they've decided to call the operation 'White Christmas'. That's right, in English.