Sticks, stones, words, lawyers

That Berlusconi and his associates don’t trust certain magistrates hardly needs repeating. But it’s odd how much faith they put in the due process of law when they’re trying to shut up someone inconvenient. SB’s already brought cases against newspapers in Italy and abroad, so far without success, but that isn’t as important as establishing that acts of criticism will lead to substantial, even crippling lawyers’ fees to prove their legitimacy. Now one of his right-hand men, Renato Schifani, a Sicilian lawyer and the owner of one of the senate’s most splendid comb-overs until the Forza Italia image police got their hands on him, has decided to take Antonio Tabucchi, the author of, among other books, Sostiene Pereira, to court for an article he wrote for L’Unità, the ex-PCI that’s already being sued by his long-time boss, SB. Tabucchi, whose name often pops among Nobel candidates, has been accused of besmirching Schifani’s character, something the man does perfectly well for himself whenever he opens his mouth. Presumably Tabucchi mentioned some of Schifani’s former associates, usurers, Mafiosi and the like, and didn’t stress firmly enough that a man should never be judged by the company he keeps. If that weren’t the case, of course, we’d hardly need to dig into Schifani’s no doubt crystalline past for proof of unwise associations. I’d have thought the hands of a man who lends his professional skills to keeping the half-pint Buffoon out of jail were already quite muddied enough.

PS The word Berlusconi wasn’t recognised by the spell-check of the computer I’m using to write this. It proposed, as an alternative, Lusciousness and an adjective referring to conifers. His old chum, the self-exiled ‘socialist’ crook Bettino Craxi, produced similarly improbable results, including Praxis, Cranium and Craving. There’s a thesis here…
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