Little Green Footballs

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

And the award for Political Analyst of the Year goes to....

.....Charles Johnson. Unlikely I know, especially in light of this fantastic essay written by Chuckles on the topic of the Italian elections. No need to go to LGF this is the entire transcript.

This is not good news, as Italy seems to be taking a big step toward appeasement and Communism: 2 Exit Polls Show Berlusconi Losing.
'A big step towards appeasement and Communism' or a step towards voting out a man who's been accused of embezzlement, tax fraud, bribes (Theresa Jowell's husband comes to mind), false accounting and using his own media companies to spread propaganda? He's also a supporter and admirer of the fascist Alessandra Mussolini (which last time I checked isn't a good thing) and his party has neo-fascist parties as part of their coalition.

If that wasn't enough he's also a full time joker!

Berlusconi has made a number of controversial jokes, often (perhaps inadvertently) causing offence to different groups and individuals, and being seen as embarrassing to his office. The jokes could also be seen, however, as a way of showing that he has not lost touch with the common Italian, as well as providing a stark contrast to the perceived dullness of many contemporary politicians.

On April 4 2000, from his electoral ship, he shared a joke about AIDS; A man with AIDS meets his doctor and asks him: "Doctor, what can I do for my illness?". The doctor answers: "Have a mud bath". "But doc, will that really do me any good?" "Not really, but you'll get used to being buried!".

In February 2002, at a European Union summit of foreign ministers, Berlusconi, present since the replacement of his previous foreign minister, Renato Ruggiero, had not yet been appointed, made a vulgar gesture (the "corna") behind the head of the Spanish foreign minister, Josep Piqué, indicating he (Piqué) was a cuckold, exactly at the time of the taking of the official pictures. This is a common joke among Italian pre-teens, and many felt it was utterly out of place in an international meeting. He later explained that he "was joking", and was trying to create a relaxed climate, that this sort of meeting were meant to "create friendship, cordiality, simpatia and kind relationships" between the participants, and that he wanted to amuse a small group of Boy Scout bystanders. [17]

On July 2, 2003, one day after taking over the rotating presidency of the EU Council of Ministers, he was heavily criticised by the German Member of the European Parliament Martin Schulz (from the SPD) because of his domestic policy. Berlusconi replied:"Signor Schulz, so che in Italia c'è un produttore che sta montando un film sui campi di concentramento nazisti: la suggerirò per il ruolo di kapò. Lei è perfetto!" (Translated: "Mister Schulz, I know a movie-producer in Italy that is making a movie about Nazi concentration camps. I will suggest you to play the role of a Kapo (concentration-camp inmate appointed as supervisor). You are perfect!" Even though Berlusconi insisted that he was only "joking", his comparisons with the Nazis caused a brief diplomatic rift between Italy and Germany.

In mid-May 2005, while opening the European Food Safety Authority in Parma (after the location had previously been preferred over one in Finland and Berlusconi had accused Finns of "not knowing what prosciutto is"), Berlusconi claimed that he had to "dust off my English-language playboy arts" with the Finnish president, Tarja Halonen, to convince her to locate the EFSA in Parma. This caused criticism from both Italy and Finland, with the Italian ambassador in Finland being called by the Finnish foreign minister. [18]. Berlusconi later 'retracted' the comment by saying that anyone who had seen a picture of Halonen must have been aware that he had been joking.

Before that, speaking to a group of Wall Street traders, he listed a series of reasons to invest in Italy. The first of them was that "we have the most beautiful secretaries in the world". This resulted in an uproar back home, where. for a day, female deputies in Parliament took part in a cross-party protest. Sexist jokes are considered bad taste in Nordic countries: however, they are part of a macho image in Italy, and are therefore more accepted, although far from being classy.

In March 2006, Berlusconi defended accusations he made that the "Chinese Communists used to eat children", by responding with claims that " the Black Book of Communism and you will discover that in the China of Mao, they did not eat children, but had them boiled to fertilise the fields". He later admitted "It was questionable irony, I admit it, because this joke is questionable. But I did not know how to restrain myself". His political opponent, Romano Prodi, told the press, "the damage caused to Italy by an insult to 1.3 billion people is by all means a considerable one", and that Berlusconi's comments were "unthinkable".[19]

On April 4, 2006, less than a week before the oncoming Political Elections in Italy, during a speech given at the National Chamber for Trade Silvio Berlusconi stated that he holds "too high esteem of the Italians' intelligence to think that there are so many coglioni around voting against their interest", coglioni being a vulgar term literally meaning 'bollocks', commonly used as an insult towards people considered stupid. Later he apologized for the "rude but effective language".
For these reasons I think it's quite understandbale that there are those in Italy that have had enough of their leader! But of course, all those millions of people are appeasers and Communists according to Chuckles.

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