Berlusconi. The Entertainer

The clownish politician EU countries deserve
How, ask non-Italians, could anyone vote for such a clown? Silvio Berlusconi is comfortably ahead in the polls, yet his capers would disqualify him in most countries. He compares himself to Jesus, says that Rightists get more sex, and is building himself a Caligulan mausoleum, in which he will eventually be laid to rest surrounded by his retainers and clients.

He once told a German MEP that he would be perfect for the role of a concentration camp capo. Now, he delights audiences by describing how he hides under the bed when his wife is in a strop. But here's the thing. In Italy, as in every other EU state, democracy has been vitiated. The key decisions are made, not by parliamentarians or councillors, but by judges, civil servants and Eurocrats. Brussels passes 80 per cent of legislation in Italy, as in every EU member country. National elections have become a folkloric activity: an enjoyable ritual without meaningful consequence.