Posts Tagged Silvio Berlusconi

State persecution?

State persecution?

It has been a while since my last blog. A good while. I cannot think of any specific reason as even with my busy I have always been able to find a spare five minutes here and there, but hey.

This article in The Guardian however did stick in my craw – yet another wormy diatribe from an ivory tower dweller about our good old friends the Romany people and the rather unfortunate news that the French government has finally started to crack down on their itinerant and criminal behaviour. So Sarko and Co. have finally woken up and realised that something needs to be done – resulting in the usual hysterical bleating from the usual circle of do-gooder scribblers. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Ego and the Idiots

The Ego and the Idiots

Funny. I rehashed a wonderful cartoon featuring Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi last week, and this week they are both featuring heavily in the headlines, albeit for completely different reasons. While Italy’s poor old permatanned PM has been on the end of an unfortunate battering by a mentally unhinged individual, our old friend Blair is back to his worming and squirming best in trying to fend off growing criticism of his motives for invading Iraq.

OK, Berlusconi. Some people don’t like the guy for his politics, while the vast majority simply don’t like him because he’s a slimy old crook. I’ll be honest and say that I have no issue at all with much of Silvio’s politics; there are plenty of good things to be said about his position on a number of things ranging from the European Union through to his country’s position on immigration and in particular the growing number of Balkan gypsies that have been flooding into Italian cities. He has also forged a solid alliance with Umberto Bossi’s Lega Nord per l’Indipendenza della Padania, which is a bastion of political common sense parties in a country riddled with parliamentary comedians.

But come on – Silvio’s an old crook with his fingers in many pies – and everyone in Italy knows it. He has been accused of almost everything from simple fraud and corruption through to collusion with the Mafia, but has so far managed to worm his way out of trouble – usually by seeing charges being mysteriously dropped. He is the master of the misplaced gaffe – leaving even the likes of the Duke of Edinburgh in his wake – and has been plagued with accusations of wild womanising and cavorting with prostitutes. So why do people vote for him? Quite simply, because there is no real alternative for anyone who sits to the right of the political spectrum; unless the Lega Nord can join with other similar parties and build the possibility of a stable coalition, it is a simple choice between a Berlusconi-led coalition and the motley band of socialists, communists and other ne’er-do-wells.

Berlusconi sees himself as a popular guy, someone for whom an obvious gaffe is a friendly witticism; he prides himself on his appearance, strutting around with his nip/tucked permatan, boasting how he is almost as “tanned” as Barack Obama and how the beautiful women of Italy fall spellbound at his feet. He truly believes the Italian people love him as much as he loves himself, and it is this that caused him to become unstuck this week: wading among a crowd of would-be adorers, he failed to realise that there are also many out there who view him with a certain degree of distaste and opprobrium, as well as others that may well be mentally unstable.

Cue his rather painful meeting with a model of Milan’s cathedral – la Duomo – brandish by one such mentally unstable individual. Net result: two broken teeth, facial lacerations and – perhaps more crucially – a severly damaged ego.

Which of course brings us to our very own Tony Blair – who is just as egotistical as Berlusconi but without the Latin charm. In fact, with those crooked teeth and his sinister reptilian eyes, he is a far cry from the self-proclaimed Italian stallion. And when the figures are added up and the death counts calculated, a far greater criminal. Silvio Berlusconi may be a liar, a egotist and skilled in the art of worming out of tight situations, but he pales in comparision to the truly odious Blair; while I might have felt a degree of sympathy for the bleeding Berlusconi after his encounter with the Duomo, I would harbour no such feelings for Blair if someone felt like having a go at him with a scale model of Ben Ben. In fact, I’d be encouraging them to bury it deep into his eye socket.

I’d actually go so far to say that if someone were to introduce Blair and a scale model of Big Ben in such a gruesome fashion, the local economy would receive a helpful boost in that more tourists would want to get one of their own. It certainly seems to have worked as far as sales of replicas of the Milan Duomo are concerned.

We all should know by now that the story concocted by Blair and his assorted minions to justify the invasion of Iraq was based on some student’s essay and the utterings of a Baghdad cabbie. It is so bad that it reads like badly-written spy novel; one could even say that it was comedic were it not for the fact that because of this man’s folly scores of British servicemen and women have been killed in action and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed or displaced.

After years of desperately clinging to the fiction of Iraqi WMDs and displaying a bloody-minded unwillingness to admit that the horrid mess was based on a pack of lies, Blair has truly slipped into worm mode by stating more recently that “he would have invaded Iraq anyway” – suggesting that – if one applies standard Blairian logic – he would have invented a different and possibly more original way of duping the public into going along with it. In an alternative universe, Blair and his mate George W. Bush would have have invaded Iraq not over phantom WMDs, but the fact that there were not enough toilet bowls in Iraq. Or that there were not enough shoes for the natives to throw around. Or something equally ridiculous.

By saying that he would have invaded Iraq regardless, Blair is trying to reinvent himself (as any self-respecting chameleon would, of course) as a man of conviction – simply, he would have invaded Iraq for no other reason than because he thought Saddam Hussein was a very bad man. Well I am sorry Tony, but that simply doesn’t wash; what about all of those other “very bad men” out there? What about Robert Mugabe, the greedy and corrupt leader of a country that is a member of the Commonwealth and which has a far closer relationship with Britain than Iraq? Was it really about chasing about “bad men”, Mr Blair? Or was it about oil? Or was it simply about currying flavour with the United States and crawling up George W. Bush’s arse to boost your own ego and sense of self-worth?

It has become by now fairly clear that Bush administration, cajoled and prodded by the hawks in Washington DC and the creepy-crawly residents of Amen Corner, was after a source of cheap oil; getting rid of Saddam was seen as a beneficial byproduct, a happy coincidence to project the propagandistic notion of America being the global guardian of democracy. This ultimately blew up their faces when they realised that they had opened Pandora’s box and released all manner of political gangsters, terrorists and nasty Islamic extremist fanatics that have successfully turned Iraq into as big a hellhole as Afghanistan. In basic terms, it was a grand plan that went awry.

The same cannot be said of Blair’s position, where there were no tangible gains to be made. The people of this country have gained nothing from these so-called “wars” in both Iraq and Afghanistan, with the possible exception of Government ministers and companies that have specialised in manufacturing bodybags. Over the past seven or so years billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money have been sunk into these projects – and it has taken us to the point where there Ministry of Defence is having having to close down bases because it cannot afford new helicopters to deploy in Afghanistan. Blair was more than happy to send British soldiers to their pointless deaths, but his minions couldn’t afford to make sure they were adequately equipped for the task. If Blair had really felt that strongly about Iraq, perhaps he should have taken Saddam in himself without involving the British public or the Army – an institution that both he and his successor care little or nothing about.

So, we keep asking. Why? In an amazingly candid broadside, the former Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Ken Macdonald has claimed that Blair’s Iraqi folly was driven not wholly by political or moral(!) objectives, but a simple sycophantic desire to please.

“The degree of deceit involved in our decision to go to war on Iraq becomes steadily clearer. This was a foreign policy disgrace of epic proportions and playing footsie on Sunday morning television does nothing to repair the damage. It is now very difficult to avoid the conclusion that Tony Blair engaged in an alarming subterfuge with his partner George Bush and went on to mislead and cajole the British people into a deadly war they had made perfectly clear they didn’t want, and on a basis that it’s increasingly hard to believe even he found truly credible.”

Of course, whether Blair found his reasoning credible or not is beside the point; such thoughts would not even have made a blip on his radar. It is pretty well known that the pathological, egotistical liar has no qualms about covering one lie with another; it is second nature, and any feelings of what can be described as guilt are non-existent. It’s like the rather puerile story of Tiger Woods sending a suggestive text message to one of his lovers whilst in bed with another, or Berlusconi dismissing criticism of his indiscretions with some throwaway one-liner.

McDonald hammers the point home:

“Washington turned his head and he couldn’t resist the stage or the glamour that it gave him. In this sense he was weak and, as we can see, he remains so. Since those sorry days we have frequently heard him repeating the self-regarding mantra that “hand on heart, I only did what I thought was right”. But this is a narcissist’s defence and self-belief is no answer to misjudgment: it is certainly no answer to death. “Yo, Blair”, perhaps, was his truest measure.”

I don’t think I could have put things any better.

While stories are at this moment being written about an old man that has been dragged in front of a court for being in the wrong place (namely, Nazi-occupied Europe) at the wrong time (namely, the Second World War) the real criminals are lording it in front of us, being paid obscene amounts of money for talking in obscure places on topics that they know nothing about. If someone like John Demjanjuk can be dragged from his home and across the world to face what are admittedly sketchy accusations of war crimes, I can see no reason why both Blair and Bush shouldn’t end up in the dock for orchestrating what was clearly a well-documented war of aggression in the Middle East – with additional charges being laid for their obscene campaign of lies and subterfuge.

If the standards set at the Nuremberg Trials mean anything at all, they should also be applied universally and without prejudice – or else the motives behind war crimes legislation is nonsense and little more than theatre masquerading as justice. In short, a show where the real criminals are the ones pulling the strings.

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The Crook and the Colonel

Not much to report today, save the rather hilarious images in The Times of Italy’s playboy PM Silvio “Papa” Berlusconi and Libya’s fashion icon leader Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi. A sight more hilarious even than those of BNP leader Nick Griffin – himself a one-time mate of the oily Colonel – dodging leftists’ attempting to turn him into an walking omelette.

Tripoli’s finest windbreaker looking a little uncomfortable. He’s probably holding one back.

Known for his habit of loudly breaking wind when in the presence of visitors, the Colonel looked like some strange cartoon strip character – one of those oily, villianous tinpot leaders often found in Herge’s Tintin books.

I wonder if crafty old Silvio has a harem all specially prepared?


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