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Latorre, please resign! November 19, 2008

Posted by dorigo in news, politics.
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That italian politics stinks from afar, that politicians belonging to apparently belligerent parties befriend each other in their private life, that there are transversal groups, septs, freemasonry, and mafia collusions, is not a secret to anybody who has followed the history of this sorry country for long enough. However, when one sees with one’s own eyes these dirty manouvers, a sense of disgust cannot be avoided. It is the case of today’s news, which bring the proof of the misconduct of Nicola Latorre (right), vice-president of senators of the Democratic Party (PD).

The facts: during a heated debate on the TV studios of “La sette”, a private national network (the biggest not owned by Berlusconi), the politician representing the government, Italo Bocchino, is in straits under the attacks of Massimo Donadi, a member of Italia dei Valori (IdV), Antonio Di Pietro’s party. Donadi accuses Berlusconi’s government of ingerence in the choice of Leoluca Orlando (also IdV) as the head of the commission of vigilance on TV networks. The choice is a privilege of the coalition which opposes the government, for obvious reasons; but Berlusconi has vetoed Orlando’s name, creating a annoying situation.

Bocchino does not know how to reply to Donadi’s accusations, but fortunately he is sitting next to Latorre, who surprisingly comes to his rescue. Latorre is shown by TV footage as he takes Bocchino’s pen from his hand, writes something on the edge of Bocchino’s newspaper (see frame on the left), and offers his note to Bocchino, clearly drawing his attention. The note is a very effective suggestion on how to counter Donadi’s arguments. Next thing you know, Bocchino uses the suggestion, getting out of a very embarassing blank.

There is not just footage to prove Latorre’s misconduct. The bit of paper, which is torn from the newspaper and folded by Latorre after Bocchino has read it (see picture above, where Latorre is on the left), has been collected, and is now in possession of the journalists of La Sette: Latorre’s handwriting is irrefutable proof.

I think this episode should not be forgotten, and I think Nicola Latorre should immediately resign from all representative charges for PD. I would not mind if he resigned his mandate as senator too.

Comments

1. Luboš Motl - November 19, 2008

Dear Tommaso,

“that politicians belonging to apparently belligerent parties befriend each other in their private life” would be spun differently in the U.S. Barack Obama and others would call it the true and creative spirit of bi-partisanship. Similarly, the mafia would be called an NGO which also sounds better!😉 Many things get irrational signs because of a biased choice of language.

Why do you want Latorre to resign? He’s the smarter guy here who knew the right answer. Bocchino was the guy who needed to cheat and use help of his classmates, wasn’t he? At any rate, why are you so shocked by it if you don’t even know what Latorre wrote on the paper? Is it illegal to write anything on newspapers in Italy?

Best
Lubos

2. dorigo - November 19, 2008

Lubos, of course I know what Latorre wrote: he wrote “Io non lo posso dire. E la Corte Costituzionale? E Pecorella?.”

That means “I cannot say it. The constitutional court ? Pecorella ?”. He referred to the election of Gaetano Pecorella (FI, Berlusconi’s party) at the Constitutional Court, which was rejected by the center-left government of Romano Prodi two years ago. A symmetrical circumstance to the boycott of Orlando by the center-right government today.

Cheers,
T.

3. Luboš Motl - November 19, 2008

You see, now you wrote the same thing as Latorre did. Why don’t you resign, too?😉

At any rate, I don’t see what you’re irritated by. Latorre helped to restore the balance of the debate by making someone mention a mirror situation. Bocchino should have known it himself but he needed help. He got it.

Is that bad? Do you really think it is illegal or immoral for politicians to remind each other of events during debates? Latorre probably didn’t want to mention it himself because that would make him unpopular in his party?

Not sure. At any rate, I think it is better that this detail was recalled. But still, it is just one detail surrounded by millions of other details and non-details.

4. Dan Riley - November 20, 2008

I would rather politicians behave as principled opponents than blood enemies. Private friendship could lead to greater understanding and insight, or connivance and corruption, so I don’t see it as intrinsically good or bad. Nor do I understand what was so awful about Latorre’s actions. Perhaps I am missing the context, but the for the moment I find myself mostly agreeing with Lubos.

-dan

5. carlbrannen - November 20, 2008

Suppose this were a debate about constructing a new collider. And someone was asked a question and came up blank. Would anyone object to them being passed a note that reminded them of the answer?

When I was little, I believed that the purpose of logic and debate was to find the truth. As an adult, I realize that actually, truth always takes a back seat to whose ox was gored. What’s more, the same thing happens not only in politics, but also in science and physics. I agree with Lubos that the debate on global warming is a scandal.

6. Dan Riley - November 21, 2008

Based on what I’ve seen on his blog, I don’t see any reason to take anything Lubos says about global warming the least bit seriously.

7. dorigo - November 21, 2008

Dan, well, yes. Lubos in general says meaningful things in his blog, but he is often driven by his biases and his preconceptions.

Cheers,
T.

8. Maurizio Morabito - November 24, 2008

Perhaps Tommaso could explain that in Italian politics it is customary to declare oneself “anthropologically stranger” to one’s opponent, as if there were two or more, mutually-incompatible human subspecies inhabiting Italy.

In that political climate, “passing a suggestion to the other side” is akin to a shepherd deliberately helping the nearby wolves stay fit and numerous.

You can see it from the language used: “belligerent”, “dirty maneuvers”, “misconduct”…

In any case, the Latorre episode is just one of many in the ongoing war among different strains of Leftists, after heavy losses at the April 2008 Parliamentary Elections. Plenty of theatrics are in store for the future, for sure.

ps some readers may wonder why freemasonry would deserves a place between “septs” (I think Tommaso means “sects”) and “mafia”…another very Italian peculiarity!!!


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