There’s a piece in today’s Repubblica about a holocaust denier. These people aren’t really worth the effort it takes to denounce them (and if you’re in the UK this evening, just don’t watch Nick Griffin on Question Time – he isn’t interesting or ‘thought-provoking’ and I guarantee he won’t be trounced sufficiently to make the programme fun. Trust me on this). But this particular half-wit is interesting on two counts. The first is that he’s employed by Europe’s largest university, La Sapienza in Rome, where he teaches philosophy of law in a European Studies degree course. He’s a researcher (at 59 years of age – this is, unfortunately, not uncommon in Italy’s geriatric academe), although he claims to be a professor: this may reflect a more general problem he has with the truth. The second is that he’s the provincial coordinator of the Forza Italia clubs in Seminara (Reggio Calabria) and the founder of one of these clubs in 2003. I can understand – just – why a university, on the grounds of guaranteeing intellectual freedom, might allow this kind of nonsense to be taught, although it’s pretty tough on any student who might have to sit an exam with the man. But it’s inconceivable to me that such a person should be allowed an administrative role in a political party that isn’t, itself, committed to anti-Semitic revisionism. Does Berlusconi know about this? Or is he too busy selecting candidates for the regional elections in Putin’s bed?

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