Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell drew a whole series of images of John Major during the 1990s with underpants over his other clothes. In one particular cartoon Major – presumably after recycling some dead policy – puts the pants in the dirty washing only for him to don the same pair again without washing them. The same seems to be happening this month in Italy – the recycling of the old guard of Italian politics, with no change or reflection about what has gone before. Prodi was already back as PM for a second time before being kicked out a fortnight ago, and now it looks odds-on that Berlusconi will be back for a third stint as PM after snap elections this spring. Is Italian politics simply incapable of coming up with anyone new? The whole system is pants, and there’s even a strange
odourudeur about the collapse of Prodi’s administration.
One person who might be happy about Berlusconi’s return is Tony Blair. He’s no longer PM in the UK but he might get another invite to Sardinia for some additional outings in a bandana with Silvio, plus the prospective Italian leader might help his campaign to become President of the European Council.
[UPDATE 06.02.2008, 1800]
For some hair raising politics of Berlusconi in Brussels, and no bandana in sight, try this good analysis from the FT’s blog.