16 minutes of a rancorous OAP telling us how fabulous he is. Thats what we were treated to last night, a sort of ‘one foot in the mouth’- Made up to look like Lenin’s corpse Silvio regaled us with his thoughts on the world. We have, we are told, had our rights eroded and democracy halved over the last twenty years. Too right, Silvie – and you were the one in government for most of those, so really you’ve only get yourself to blame for that one. The magistracy/left/communists are out to get me but I am innocent. I … AM…. INNOCENT. Of what exactly? Certainly not of telling a little fib, Silvie. LAst night you told us that you had suffered 50 trials, (a bit of a step down from the 100+ you claimed last year), and that you had been acquitted in all but one. Not exactly Silv, You see, Mr Berlusconi has had 18 trials since he came to power 20 years ago. 18 of which he has been fully acquitted of 1. 4 are ongoing (with 2 guilty in the first degree), which leaves 10 with no result because Silvio changed the law meaning they cases were dropped as they were no longer classed as criminal acts, or that the reduction in the statute of limitations by Berlusconi helpfully knocked them on the head. Of the remaining 3, there are 2 in which he was acquitted ‘with doubt’ and 1 where he was definitively and conclusively found guilty as the evidence is overwhelming. And is this last one, that caused the 16 ego trip we were subjected to last evening.
Towards the end, when he had protested his innocence a little too much, we were treated to a catch in the voice and a programmed ‘give me a second’ silence – as we were told that ‘I love Italy – I still love Italy’. That may be because Italy has allowed a man with no connections or money, to build a huge empire with mafia help. To create a national tv network completely against the law, and then to stand for parliament illegally and become PM for 20 years treating the country as his personal courthouse. To salt away billions of dollars overseas, and to give him the right to ‘address the country’ even though he is only an old sad bloke who wants people to do what he says. HE wants to stay a senator, not because his absence record is a measly 99.8% – but because it gives him some protection against the next round of court cases. And so he is relaunching Forza Italia 20 years after he bought the Italian vote the first time. Like most upgrades, itll be a little bit crap. The final image of a 76 year old convicted criminal with his hand on his heart intoning Forza Italia, Forza Italia Forza Italia was just comical. Made me think of Norman Wisdom – not a great start for an election campaign.