Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Man meets small spiky object. Object wins.

Berlusconi's bloodied nose is already an exquisitely political space, populated on the one hand by those who see the Capo's body as sanctified ground and therefore untouchable (i.e. his supporters) and on the other hand by those who see his body as sanctified ground and therefore untouchable (i.e. the opposition). Of course no politician is going to say that small spiky objects should be thrown at one of the caste, and I don't expect them to. But it really shouldn't be that difficult to point out - as so far only two politicians have done - that Berlusconi has devoted the last 25 years of his life to painting his opponents as evil baby-boiling communists, a violence that has been greeted with a Jane-Austenesque meekness by a series of opposition leaders, most notably Walter Veltroni, the man who adopted spinelessness as an ideological stance and lost the last election as a result.

As a man of the 20th century, Berlusconi, and his advisers, know full well that violence can be instigated through the kind of name-calling populism he's based his political career on, and Piazzale Loreto - not to speak of a certain Romanian balcony - is proof that it can, and usually does, backfire on the instigator. And it's odd that, during the act of Berlusconi worship performed by yesterday's main news TG1, no one saw fit to mention the fact that half an hour earlier in Piazza del Duomo he'd been screaming Shame! Shame! to a bunch of hecklers, whipping himself, and his relatively modest audience, into a frenzy of hatred. Chi di spada ferisce, di spada perisce, as they say in Italy.

The two politicians are Antonio Di Pietro (Italia dei Valori) and Rosy Bindi (Partitio Democratico), and I take my hat off to them both. And if a small plaster model of the Colosseum bounced off the head of Daniele Capezzone one of these days I wouldn't be the least bit upset. (How's that for instigating violence?)

4 comments:

hdk said...

La domanda sorge spontanea*: Where were the man's bodyguards? Aren't they supposed to take the slings and arrows for Himself?

*a question arises on its own

Charles Lambert said...

Good question. Over to you, Maroni...

hdk said...

Just curious, really, seeing as we (the people) are paying 25 of them. Who was it who wanted to fire state employees who are caught not doing their jobs...?

Charles Lambert said...

Perhaps they're really there to protect us from him. In which case, they're not doing a very good job.