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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Gaffes, japes and pranks

It is never wise for any politician to start listing the gaffes of others, however I was intrigued by this article in the Telegraph that may act as a short commentary on the rapidly diminishing career of Silvio Berlusconi.

The paper lists Silvio Berlusconi's top 10 gaffes, japes and pranks, most of which do him little credit as a European leader. Here is a sample:

3. March 2009. The 72-year-old self-made billionaire said his response to the global economic crisis was different to that of President Obama because "I'm paler".

"I'm paler because it's been so long since I went sunbathing. He's more handsome, younger and taller," quipped the media mogul.

Also accused of being racist, or at least gauche, in November 2008 when he hailed then President-elect Obama as "handsome, young and also sun-tanned".

Mr Berlusconi accused his critics of lacking a sense of humour, and a few days later repeated the observation about Mr Obama's mixed-race skin tone.

4. January 2009. Causes outrage by saying that although he was considering deploying 30,000 troops to Italy's cities, there would never be enough soldiers to protect Italy's many "beautiful girls" from rape.

5. At an awards dinner in January 2007, Berlusconi said to a former showgirl and men's magazine model, Mara Carfagna: "I'd go anywhere with you, even to a desert island. If I weren't already married, I would marry you straight away."

His wife, Veronica Lario, reacted by writing a letter published on the front page of La Repubblica newspaper calling for a public apology.

She duly received one. Mr Berlusconi later made Ms Carfagna his equal opportunities minister.

I do not believe that any other European leader would have survived a list of episodes of this nature.
No other European leader has such a stranglehold on a nation's media as Berlusconi. It's as if Murdoch was running the UK. Oh, he used to.
Did he make these comments in English or Italian, it could be a translation issue!
We need someone like him in WAG; he would liven things up no end.
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