Saturday, April 15, 2006

Compulsory holidays

The latest issue of the Weekly Worker, the newspaper of the Communist Party of Great Britain - Provisional Central Committee (phew! can't they get a shorter name?) gives the lowdown on last week's election in Italy, focusing on the shenanigans of the insufferable Silvio Berlusconi and his even more insufferable far-right political allies. The Weekly Worker's article notes the Berlusconi campaign's unashamed invocation of the legacy of Benito Mussolini:

The actual election campaign itself was characterised by increasingly crazed, desperate and inflammatory comments from Berlusconi and his far rightist coalition partners. So, the ever charming Alessandra Mussolini - granddaughter of Benito and leader of Social Alternative (Alternativa Sociale) - came out with the ditty, “Better fascist than queer”. Similarly, in a base bid to whip up bigotry, Umberto Bossi - insufferable boss of the ultra-nationalist and separatist Northern League - said that those from the Union “smell of Vaseline”, a derogatory reference to the fact the coalition fielded a relatively large number of gay and transvestite candidates.

Then there was the silver-tongue of Berlusconi - no mean hand at insults himself. Apart from regularly - and perhaps unwisely given his catholic constituency - comparing himself to Jesus and Napoleon, Berlusconi came out with a series of pro-Mussolini remarks.

Thus, on one occasion he offered the viewpoint that Benito Mussolini “had been the greatest statesman in Italian history” - and followed this up with the observation Mussolini’s fascist regime “hadn’t killed a single person”, it “just used to send opponents on holiday”.

It's about time Berlusconi was sent on holiday. Read the whole article here.


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