Depressing If True Dept. In comments here, Kevin writes:
I was half asleep this morning when it was on Today and heading to the pub tonight when Shahid Malik MP spun the line on Question Time but I think I heard it right: the Labour establishment’s second front is that the Italian legal process is politically motivated, a bit way-hey and not to be trusted.
That’s precisely Berlusconi’s own line on the investigations – and it’s a beguiling blend of truth, half-truth and lies. The idea that the magistrates are gunning for him because they hate his guts is true enough; people investigating major frauds which have gone unpunished for the better part of a decade tend not to be too fond of the perpetrators. It’s half-true that they hate his guts for political reasons; the point here is that, in Italy, integrity in politics is a political cause in itself, and not necessarily one which has anything to do with being on the Left. Much of the Left has kept far too quiet – sometimes to the point of complicity – about Berlusconi’s corruption; some of his fiercest critics would be on the Right, if it were possible to be on the Right and oppose Berlusconi. But it’s utter nonsense – a real insult to the intelligence – to suggest that the charges against Berlusconi are in some way political: they’re not, it’s a simple(!) question of tax-evasion, fraud, perjury, transnational money-laundering, witness suborning, illegitimate political funding and straightforward bribery.
If Labour has bought into this farrago… ugh. If you dine with the Devil long enough, eventually the abyss looks back into you. (I said that.)