The Italian job


SILVIO BERLUSCONI, Italy’s prime minister, leads a scandalous private life at a time when the public believes politicians should be the epitome of virtue, something few of the greatest ever aspired to.  When leaders are genuinely virtuous or, like Blair or Bush, claim to be, they invariably prove to be disastrous leaders who are impelled by personal interpretations of what is right, not what is advisable.




The devil you know…?

By welcoming the fall of Tunisia’s president, Zine Ben-Ali, the West and the US are falling into the same old trap. Ousting a corrupt tyranny does not mean that it will be replaced by a better government that is still West-friendly.  As first Iran and later Iraq have demonstrated, there is every likelihood that Tunisia’s future regimes could eventually be closer to theocracy than democracy.

Not-so-private enterprise

THE outing of police constable Mark Kennedy, a gamekeeper pretending to be a poacher amongst environmental activists, revealed that some sensitive undercover police operations in the UK were controlled by a private company.  So outsourced spying now joins outsourced torture by the US – and who knows what other countries? – as another depressing feature of the globalisation whose wisdom is questioned not only by environmentalist fanatics.



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