I read today in my Friday copy of The Bangkok Post (the papers take a long time to reach Chiang Rai) that Il Cavaliere had finally been thrown out of parliament after months of so called negotiations and couldn’t not say something about a guy who if nothing else was quite a character and gave me lots to write about on this blog.
In some ways he should have been the darling of the left leaning western press as a cruise ship crooner and song writer that worked his way up to become the 194th most wealthy man in the Forbes list in 2010. But for some reason his so called centre right politics rubbed them up the wrong way. In fact there is nothing right wing about his politics as there is very little right wing in any Italian politics. At each survey well over 80% of Italians when asked who should solve the problems of the country answer the government. They might moan about them but Italians like other Mediterranean countries believe in big government as the solution to their ills. Right wing here means only that they are not as left as the others !
However it was his lovely Italian humour I enjoyed. I watched on TV a couple of years ago him at one of those stuffy photo shoots for the heads of the EU. They had stood the small in stature Berlusconi along side the Swedish guy who was about 6ft 3 ins tall. Berlusconi looked up at him and then took his hand and pulled him along the front of the photo shoot and plonked him elsewhere. He then took little Sarkozy the Frenchman and measured himself against him and pulled him to stand alongside himself laughing all the time. Pure theatre, while Gordon Brown scowled and tried to look statesman like.
Even the bunga bunga scandal was fun. How many men and especially politicians would have been laughing happily when Ruby the so called underage girl ( the Italian age for consent is 18 ) described to the court that they never actually had sex ” he tried very hard to but he is 76 and he fell asleep ” she said.
The guy just looks like he enjoys life and not too much gets him down. It is reported that he often would burst in to song when E.U. meetings got tedious just to try and liven them up. He must have therefore done a great deal of singing at them I would imagine.
Our new leader Letta might be a ” better” European though he is yet to show if he is a better leader in understanding the Italian public but that said parliament lost a character last week.
Mind you never say never with Il Cavaliere. I still might be happily writing about him when I come back from Thailand and Vietnam.
By the way just to let you know it has rained up here near Chiang Rai for 2 days and the temperature is 16C one degree warmer than Puglia today !!