Berlusconi Oustered
November 27, 2013 1:02 PM   Subscribe

Silvio Berlusconi ousted from Italian parliament after tax fraud conviction.
Slideshow of his ups and downs. Wiki. Previously on mefi.

From the comments:
....there’s a palpable change in the political climate on the street in Italy. Outside the bribed few still forlornly waving pro-B banners in the piazza, people have woken up (at last). There’s acceptance of just how toxic his legacy really is, both within Italy and outside.
There’s finally recognition that his demagoguery was facilitated by his media control: of Mediaset channels through ownership, and of the press through croneyism and worse. Not everyone was aware that, during his tenure as pm, control of ‘state’ Rai media channels also devolved to him. So for those Italians who have had access only to Italian media, it has been difficult, if not impossible, to appreciate how thoroughly ‘facts’ have been subverted and censored to B’s will. Perspective is an unattainable luxury when you are constrained in an envelope of propaganda.
posted by lalochezia (58 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
You see, Toronto?
posted by Artw at 1:04 PM on November 27, 2013 [27 favorites]


I don't think a comparison between Silvio Berlusconi and Rob Ford is very fair to Rob Ford.
posted by Slothrup at 1:05 PM on November 27, 2013 [38 favorites]


Obviously, this is the prelude to Rob and Silvio starting their own Blues Brothers tribute act.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:06 PM on November 27, 2013 [16 favorites]


The NYT article calls it a "dramatic and humiliating expulsion" which quite aptly makes him sound like a painful diarrhea attack.
posted by elizardbits at 1:13 PM on November 27, 2013 [47 favorites]


Well ... but ... why ... awww... well ... Marion Barry, you guys! MARION BARRY!

/runs from thread in tears
posted by maudlin at 1:14 PM on November 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Bunga
posted by Damienmce at 1:18 PM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, raping young girls, OK; tax fraud, not OK?
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:18 PM on November 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Hey, it's how they finally took down Capone.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:20 PM on November 27, 2013 [27 favorites]


Strange Interlude took the words right out of my mouth.
posted by scody at 1:25 PM on November 27, 2013


A Google search for the word "oustered" shows "about 10,200 results" and has this Metafilter post coming up as the 2nd result.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:27 PM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have a Patek Phillipe Édition 'Bunga Bunga' with Champléve titty dial and Caliber 240 movement with moonphase indication for sale if anyone is interested.
posted by Teakettle at 1:29 PM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


He claims he's being persecuted by "left wing judges".

GO LEFTWING JUDGES!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:29 PM on November 27, 2013 [19 favorites]


*Happy, happy, happy dance*

How nice that this is just in time for a formal holiday to give thanks.
posted by bearwife at 1:31 PM on November 27, 2013


So, raping young girls, OK; tax fraud, not OK?

I'm unfamiliar with Italian attitudes about this, but in France I found people to have a shockingly lax attitude when it came to older men having sex with young girls (note, Berlusconi's crime was just the prostitution of a minor, not the sex with a girl under 18, which is not a crime in Italy by itself). I don't think Italians would've classified this as rape, on the whole. For instance, while studying French in the suburbs of Paris, a fellow student, a 16 year old German girl, made some rather untoward advances to me. A decade older than her, it made me deeply uncomfortable. When I asked a French friend there for advice on dealing with her, she thought it was funny that I found it to be an uncomfortable situation and told me to do whatever I wanted: that nobody would care if I accepted the girl's advances or think I was a weird creepy guy. Since it would've still made me feel like a creep weirdo, I made every effort to be neutral to her. But the whole thing was a bizarre experience of culture clash, and totally unexpected.
posted by dis_integration at 1:32 PM on November 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


flapjax at midnite: "He claims he's being persecuted by "left wing judges"."

You're telling me a corrupt, conservative politician has a persecution complex? Shocking.
posted by brundlefly at 1:32 PM on November 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


#13 from the slideshow, the look on Sarkozy's face as he finds himself in the same position with Berlusconi that Angela Merkel did with George Bush is marvelous.
posted by gladly at 1:38 PM on November 27, 2013


"I don't think a comparison between Silvio Berlusconi and Rob Ford is very fair to Rob Ford."

No, not at all. Ford is just an incompetent. Berlusconi wasn't a very good prime minister, but he's excellent at being evil.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:45 PM on November 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Despite his expulsion, Berlusconi will by no means disappear from the political scene."

Considering how Berlusconi practically owns Italy's media landscape, in many ways he is the political scene. Or at least what the public see of it.
posted by griphus at 1:47 PM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


My barber is Italian and he hates this cocksucker.

On the whole, I like cocksuckers, and it hardly seems fair to lump them in with a walking piece of offal like Berluscumbag.
posted by stenseng at 1:48 PM on November 27, 2013 [23 favorites]


The curious thing is the nature of the crimes they got him for. Inflated invoicing from a company he owned and senator bribing. That is pretty de rigueur for most prominent American politicos.
posted by srboisvert at 1:53 PM on November 27, 2013


Oh, it was going to happen anyhow someday. The man is old and still powerful, but mostly old. T'was time for him to start escaping the law the way most filthy rich people do: buying judges, juries and comptrollers, while doggedly trying to become the next President of the Repulic by first trying to turn the presidency into something more alike the French presidency.

Indeed, as he noted, being a charismatic leader comes with a bonus: a la Grillo, one needn't be in the Parliament to de-facto rule, tho immunity was quite handy. But, the more he stays out of politics the more, for the present time, he'll escape actual prosecution, imho.

That's why I am not waving any flag today, nor drinking tho it would be a proper day for some form of celebration: his leaving does not close an era, 20 years of damages from which a better left party has YET to emerge (nor had the Grillo M5S party enough time to mature politically and to introduce some form of ethics into the public discourse.)

The myth is still pretty much alive: if you are smart you can make it, reach the top, you only need to be superficially pro-freedom and appeal to emotions, while being intimately cynical, exploitative and very corruptable. And for women, you have to be the loyal care taker, pooper scooper of the boss, while bedding the rest of his entourage of course, for leaders come and go and you can only profess to be in love with a myth anyhow.

Yet, there is no harm in rejoycing a little.
posted by elpapacito at 1:54 PM on November 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Berlusconi provided many minutes of excellent comedy to Andy Zaltzman and John Oliver on The Bugle.
posted by JHarris at 1:54 PM on November 27, 2013 [13 favorites]


Italy's one of those countries where members of parliament are immune from prosecution from many crimes, isn't it? I've never understood that. Political power is already attractive to criminally corrupt types; that just makes it even more attractive. I think the Roman republic had a similar deal.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:06 PM on November 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


For instance, while studying French in the suburbs of Paris, a fellow student, a 16 year old German girl, made some rather untoward advances to me. A decade older than her, it made me deeply uncomfortable. When I asked a French friend there for advice on dealing with her, she thought it was funny that I found it to be an uncomfortable situation and told me to do whatever I wanted: that nobody would care if I accepted the girl's advances or think I was a weird creepy guy.

That's an acceptable age difference because you were both young, tho she was technically a kid she was only 2 years shy of 18 AND, more importantly, she was the one initiating the advances. In Berlusconi's case, the age difference was of course much wider and old people (60-70ish) aren't supposed to be bedding kids, that smells of paedophilia or of dirty-old-man.

Tho many would make up excuses such as "it is ok, fucking him blind of any money, it is your chance to settle down for good, you'll get any lover you want anyhow", a perspective that comes from the entirely delusion mindset that if one extremely talented seductress manages to "nail down" a rich man, than the army of young girls who aren't but a distraction have a good probability of making it. And as a moral justification, often used by con artists, the old man isn't supposed to be looking for young girls, so it is not immoral to hit him hard... aka it is ok to steal from a thief.
posted by elpapacito at 2:12 PM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ford is just an incompetent.

He might be a lot darker than just a clown.

He comes from (allegedly) one of the largest crime families in Toronto, who controlled the hash trade in the city for at least a decade. He has unexplained links to one of the present-day major gangs in the city, and may be connected in some way to at least one murder. If the news reports and the evidence collected by the police are to be believed, he's a younger son of a major crime family using the privileges of office as a sheild for the present-day sins of his private life (which include domestic abuse, as revealed in the last couple of days). He's local in scope, rather than national, true, but in their personal lives, I think the two compare in the contempt they have for law or any other bounadies.
posted by bonehead at 2:13 PM on November 27, 2013 [10 favorites]


Italy's one of those countries where members of parliament are immune from prosecution from many crimes, isn't it?

Not immune. For instance, a member of parliament caught in the act (in fragrante delicto) can be arrested without first asking permission to the Parliament. Otherwise, the Parliament needs to authorize prosecutors. The prosecution does not just disappear, but rather the member of parliament is prosecuted at the end of his/her term.
posted by elpapacito at 2:16 PM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


He had an amazing run. Given the depth and breadth of his corruption, it's rather astounding he was able to hold it together as long as he did.
posted by ugly at 2:23 PM on November 27, 2013


Is it to the end of the current term, or is it when they leave parliament? I had thought it was when they leave, so I thought that left an opening for "do all the crime you want, just make sure you stay in parliament".
posted by benito.strauss at 2:24 PM on November 27, 2013


He might be a lot darker than just a clown.

He comes from (allegedly) one of the largest crime families in Toronto, who controlled the hash trade in the city for at least a decade.


So, Ford comes from a family of upmarket retailers? You need to be a real gangster to become a media tycoon.
posted by ennui.bz at 2:29 PM on November 27, 2013


That's an acceptable age difference because you were both young, tho she was technically a kid she was only 2 years shy of 18 AND, more importantly, she was the one initiating the advances.

You don't even have to be young, just look young - it's just fine for a teenager to be romanced by a hundred-year-old guy if he's a sexy sparkly vampire.
posted by XMLicious at 2:34 PM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not immune. For instance, a member of parliament caught in the act (in fragrante delicto)

Fragrante? What does that smell like? Or do I want to know?
posted by stenseng at 2:35 PM on November 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


He might be a lot darker than just a clown.

He comes from (allegedly) one of the largest crime families in Toronto, who controlled the hash trade in the city for at least a decade. He has unexplained links to one of the present-day major gangs in the city, and may be connected in some way to at least one murder. If the news reports and the evidence collected by the police are to be believed, he's a younger son of a major crime family using the privileges of office as a sheild for the present-day sins of his private life (which include domestic abuse, as revealed in the last couple of days). He's local in scope, rather than national, true, but in their personal lives, I think the two compare in the contempt they have for law or any other bounadies.


Any evidence to this? Links? Don't get me wrong, I want to believe, but my understanding is that Ford Sr. was just a run of the mill business magnate/conservative asshole...
posted by stenseng at 2:39 PM on November 27, 2013


I could not imagine a more delightful photo of Berlusconi and Putin than number eleven from the slideshow link.
posted by nicodine at 2:50 PM on November 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Ford family’s history with drug dealing.

I haven't seen Ford Sr. ever connected to this. Doug Ford is named as the kingpin, but all the siblings seem to have been involved somehow.
posted by bonehead at 2:50 PM on November 27, 2013


On the whole, I like cocksuckers, and it hardly seems fair to lump them in with a walking piece of offal like Berluscumbag.

You're misinterpreting my use of the word "cocksucker" on purpose! Have you never even seen Mafiafellows? Because all Italians are in the Mafia, right? Jesus.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:54 PM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mediaset's pro-Berlusca propaganda as of late is simply breathtaking in its obvious distortion of facts to match it's master's message. Dinky ass demonstrations in support of Italy's Biggest Genital Wart in front of Forza Italia headquarters are tightly framed as if there are thousands thronging the streets; if you do not know Rome and the relatively narrow via Plebiscito, you could be forgiven for thinking that the masses are against the evil leftist conspiracy to crucify their balding Jesus.

Then there's his sprog, primed and ready to be Daddy's puppets and successors....
posted by romakimmy at 2:57 PM on November 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


(note, Berlusconi's crime was just the prostitution of a minor, not the sex with a girl under 18,...

Did you intend to put "just" into that sentence?
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:58 PM on November 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Berlusconi provided many minutes of excellent comedy to Andy Zaltzman and John Oliver on The Bugle.

There will be a separate vote on expelling his penis.

Given the depth and breadth of his corruption, it's rather astounding he was able to hold it together as long as he did.

Always helps if you own the commercial broadcasters and can lean on the public ones.
posted by holgate at 2:58 PM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Does "oustered" mean the same as "ousted"? Or is this a joke I'm missing?
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:00 PM on November 27, 2013


er re: thanksgiving typo
posted by lalochezia at 3:10 PM on November 27, 2013


Fragrante? What does that smell like? Or do I want to know?

Opps hungry typo! FLagrante is correct.
posted by elpapacito at 3:34 PM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why, I never thought I'd see the day.... *cracks open Italian wine*
posted by dabitch at 3:43 PM on November 27, 2013


Did you intend to put "just" into that sentence?

Well sure. "Just" as a limiting expression in general. Morally speaking, both acts are reprehensible. But the Italians seem to regard the prostitution as the morally (and criminally) culpable act. Not the sex.
posted by dis_integration at 4:43 PM on November 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


His fuckeulogy in a few years time is going to be awesome.
posted by arcticseal at 4:59 PM on November 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


Such a disgusting little creature, worse than gunk underfoot at a public restroom.
posted by planetesimal at 5:32 PM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


He was sentenced to four years in prison, commuted to one year of community service.

I'll bet his wrist is absolutely killing him, what with the light slap and all.
posted by double block and bleed at 6:20 PM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


What is his skin made of? He appears to be a smallish mound of carrot-coloured plasticine.
posted by scruss at 8:25 PM on November 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


"I am the criminal justice system."
posted by brundlefly at 11:12 PM on November 27, 2013


You know, if this is a tiny preview of what the imminent new year has in store, maybe this year's finally the year when karma kicks back in...
posted by saulgoodman at 11:28 PM on November 27, 2013


So, raping young girls, OK; tax fraud, not OK?

With regards to the justice system, yeah, it was handled very badly. Unfortunately this is not unique to Italy nor facile stereotypes about "hot-blooded Latin countries" when it comes to rape. It does a disservice to rape awareness when entire countries are painted as worse than others based on nothing more than stereotypes confirmed by anecdote. It has little to do with "countries" and everything to do with patriarchy, of which Berlusconi is a stunning example. Casting it as that – a patriarch grasping at everything he thought was his privileged due – helps comprehend it, which helps work towards dismantling that sort of "in power, got mine, suck it" attitude. Saying "[country] is sexist" is not helpful. Doing so ignores and discredits anyone in that country who is working towards equality: hundreds of thousands of public protesters as a direct example for Berlusconi.

With regards to public opinion, Berlusconi has been held in contempt for a very long while now. From that February 2011 article linked above:
"Women are offended. The image of our country that Berlusconi is presenting to the world is just unbearable," said 52-year-old Roberta Nicchiarelli at a rally in Rome.

The protests in more than 200 towns in Italy and even some cities abroad reflect growing anger among women at the prostitution scandal that has engulfed the premier, who has long counted conservative women among his key voters.

"I voted for him in the past, but I am really disappointed. I hope things will change," said former Berlusconi voter Pina.
Glad they finally have changed.
posted by fraula at 12:35 AM on November 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


As I understand it, Italy's politics is characterized by not being able to fire the old patriarch who runs the party. In particular, all the Italian left-wing parties retain their outdated leaders, even the ones that cannot win their own elections. All these left wing patriarchs hate one another, making a left wing coalition impossible.

Italy is very conservative and right-wing by European standards anyways of course. Also Berlusconi's media control makes it more right-wing. Also habits from so many years Berlusconi'e rule. etc.

Grillo's M5S party is more a quasi-libertarian right-wing party, not a pirate party. M5S sounds like more the right-wing's response to not being able to remove Berlusconi.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:39 AM on November 28, 2013


Surely this...
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:00 AM on November 28, 2013


I HAD to laugh at the first suggested fall-back job for Berlusconi here: "Russia's ambassador to the Holy See"
posted by MILNEWSca at 7:00 AM on November 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Quite the oustering
posted by rosswald at 7:31 AM on November 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah, shit. I just realized my last comment was in the wrong thread. Please disregard.

*hides*
posted by brundlefly at 2:37 PM on November 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rob Ford wishes he was as bad a badass as Berlusconi. Rob Ford hangs with nobodies like Alexander Lisi; Berlusconi hangs with Vlad Putin. Rob Ford owns an Escalade and a sticker factory; Berlusconi owns three national TV stations and AC Milan. Rob Ford has people bring him bottles of vodka; Berlusconi has people killed. Rob Ford has more than enough to eat at home; Berlusconi eats underage prostitutes like mexi-fries. Berlusconi owns suits that are more valuable that Rob Ford.

My favorite description of Berlusconi was in one of Tim Parks's books about Italy: he's not a fascist, he's an anti-anti-fascist, which in Italy, uniquely, is a different thing.
posted by Fnarf at 9:48 PM on November 28, 2013


So, raping young girls, OK; tax fraud, not OK?

UPDATE: He isn't yet clear on the Ruby case. In fact, as of just a couple of hours ago, he's in even deeper.

Backstory: The court decided to split off some side-tracking, spinoff issues to speed things up, and dealt quickly with Lele Mora (artists' agent), Emilio Fede (TV host) and Nicole Minetti (regional councillor) for pandering, sentencing them in July to 7, 7 and 5 years respectively for procuring Ruby and all the other girls for Berlusconi. The court has now, as is customary in Italy, just released its detailed, written motivation for those sentences.

Today: What is contained in that motivation is a bombshell for Berlusconi & co., because it has lit the fuse for the prosecution of both of B's lawyers (both are deputies, so their arrest will require parliamentary permission) and a long string of young girls who testified in Berlusconi's defence, for perverting the course of justice. The lawyers called the girls together in January in Berlusconi's Milan residence and obviously briefed them on what to say: in court, they all provided evidence of "elegant soirées", using almost identical wording, but in such techno-legal language that, on questioning, they were themselves unable to explain what they had just said. From then on, they have all received regularly from Berlusconi, for no apparent work or other justification, 2,500 euro a month as well as jewelry, rent-free apartments and other gifts.

Although this (in any other situation) laughably clumsy attempt at evidence-rigging was clear to everybody all through the trial, it has only now become nailed down as official evidence and thus opened the door to a new investigation and new charges. Firstly, these allegations are so substantial that it will be very difficult to deny them; secondly, all the steam seems to have gone out of Berlusconi and his defence team recently; thirdly, I predict mayhem on the streets if he and his two thugs and a gaggle of goldiggers go free. We've taken a lot of shit from B in the past, but I can't see this one going away without a fight.
posted by aqsakal at 7:16 AM on November 29, 2013 [13 favorites]


Silvio Berlusconi paid off witnesses, says Italian court.
I am so looking forward to seeing this scumbag sleeze ball down in the mire where he belongs.
Tainted clown indeed.
For your further edification: The Political use of Fear and News Reporting in Italy...
posted by adamvasco at 7:03 AM on November 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


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