He actually presided his country’s Cabinet little less than nine years over an eighteen years span, but he managed to control the written, spoken and seen information for some twenty years which enabled him to transform a major portion of a once tolerant and peaceful population into a hypnotized horde of “Egoist Unchaste Voyeurs” who are seeking only the superficial merits of the “Appearance” rather than the eternal values of the “Substance”; thanks to the endless avalanche of falsified and fabricated news, lies, sex, and useless reality shows, which shelled the audience for over two decades out from the screen of his TV Nets channels.
He became the living monument for political incompetence and mistrust. He kept trying for long to run the country as he did his web of companies in and off shore; by means of bribes, gifts, career promises, private orgies, defamation, intimidation, threats and extortion.
As a matter of fact, he ventured into politics the moment his political powerful connections [¹] were investigated, tried and convicted for the accounts of office abuse and favouritism, conspiracy with organized crime, corruption, and embezzlement. But he decided not to make his friends mistakes, he will use politics along with his powerful media empire to protect his person and his business interests.
That’s exactly why he devoted over 80% of his time, his successive cabinets’, his newspapers’, his TVs’ and his sponsors’; to buy Senators and Parliament delegates to support his proposed tailor made laws and decrees; all targeted to solve his many problems with the law (see the graphic below), and to provide him with a variety of shields even to allow him future offensive breaching of the law.. He even managed to acquire a staggering majority in both seeds of the Parliament to extort a specially tailored law to disinherit his children, from a second marriage, just because his wife (the mother of their children and later on divorced after being savagely slandered on the front pages of his newspapers and magazines) dared to discuss in public his health problems and his sex scandals.
The remaining 20% of the time he dedicated to the now notorious red lights private orgies he holds almost every night and even use his official capacity to secure such events.
Shields like passing a bill to reduce the time of “Prescription”, and two others to extend the length of legal proceedings, completely overlooking the certainty of their devastating effects over the society by deforming as such the concept of “Justice”. Anything, constitutional or not, is welcome just to protect his person and shield his interests.. He even said it bluntly in an intercepted phone call with one of his investigated subordinates[²]: “…if the parliament vote will not support this one, those bloody magistrates will certainly put me behind bars…”.
But the main problem was his arrogant ego.. Because he continued to offend the law, privately and publicly simply because he never realized that for a public servant in a consolidated democracy, often “Private” and “Public” do overlap.
His personal foggy view mixing the private with the public is the reason why he targeted and persecuted journalists[³], TV programs[⁴], and intellectuals[⁵]. Even General Prosecutors, Magistrates and Honorable Judges, couldn’t escape his “Mud Machine”, by claiming with all the might of his owned newspapers and TV nets, that the entire “..persecutory legal system must be purified from its envious and politicised members who are eager to destroy his person and his image”. He went farther by directly threatening any Judge, who happens to be nominated to preside a trial concerning his wrong doings; using criminal tactics like: stalking, shadowing, spying, recording and publishing the outcome on his TVs and newspapers. In doing so, he maintained the golden rule, much applied successfully in sales, in publicity and as well in “Show Business”! The rule is: “Keep saying and repeating any lie as much as you will, it shall become the truth”!!
It was obvious that he didn’t come to govern, but he came to create a steel bound with a large indifferent electorate, to establish the kind of “Mass” needed to support his doings no matter what.. Just like an Idol and his fans, or even better: like a “Sport Team” and its “Ultras”. In doing so he didn’t spare any effort in exchanging favours with powerful mass controlling lobbies from every business sector, all helmed by the strongest arms, brains and finance of the local and regional Criminal Organisations. Also by promising the impossible like abolishing taxes, increasing pensions, allowing unregistered employment, decriminalising false accounting and tax evasion.. And kept manipulating the hordes of profiteers, that he created, to tighten around him and his system.
Consequently he got his majority; and while his sponsors (business and criminal lobbies) presented the bill, those who voted him and his void promises got nothing in hands but the huge ashy mountains of illusions blown in the air and straight into their faces. Even though they were still not willing to understand that they as well, along with the rest of the population, will foot and honour in full all the “Bills”.
Tons of legal acts, interceptions and testimonies have noted and documented his close ties with the organized crime, reaching far back in the mid eighties, which ensured him the upper hand to defeat any business and political rivalries. While his tireless promotion and facilitating of corruption as a system brought the treasury to an almost declared status of Default.. Bankruptcy.
Even as the remaining breath of democracy enabled the institutions to throw him off the chair, his wealth and his loyal clan of profiteering allies constitute a serious threat not only to his country, but to the entire region.
His name is “Silvio Berlusconi”, and the country is “Italy”, the region is “Europe”, and he failed because he couldn’t understand the difference between a “Salesman” and a “Statesman”.
May this brief account be a Case Study, for us in Egypt, out of which to deduct some lessons.
Pass On The Word.
(*) The two pities are:
1. The absence of democracy’s wings namely transparency and free information.
2. The conflict of interests which cripples any democratic reforms and favours corruption.
[¹] Ex Prime minister Bettino Craxi definitely sentenced for office abuse, favoring and assistance in illegal overtakes against bribes by the companies of Silvio Berlusconi. Craxi fled the country and self exiled in Tunisia where he died and got buried.
[²] Marcello Dell’Utri, his direct and trusted connection to the Mafia. Dell’Utri ideated the plan to form Berlusconi entry in politics forming the “Forza Italia” liberal party. Dell’Utri is condemned to seven years incarceration and a few millions in fines for various charges related mainly to the businesses of Berlusconi.
[³] Journalists like the respectable late Enzo Biagi, Michele Santoro, Mentana and Lutazzi were sacked out of their networks by the order of Berlusconi simply because they were telling the “REAL” truth about his being and doing. An unidentified number of journalists were also driven to fall into the oblivion following Berlusconi’s edicts.
[⁴] Berlusconi ordered the removal of high rated and most successful programs like “Il Fatto”. “Annozero”, “Vieni Via Con Me”.. These titles were projected on his direct competitor the state owned television company “RAI”. He also infiltrated his dependants inside the RAI in high key positions to demolish it from the root.
[⁵] The Nobel Dari Fo, the Oscar winner Roberto Benigni, the supreme court president Gustavo Zagrebelsky, Vauro, Guzzanti, Roberto Saviano… And many others encountered his direct and indirect edicts of expulsion or forbidding to appear anywhere.
· La Repubblica
· Il Fatto Quotidiano