A general election has been called in Italy, and there is a real possibility of Silvio Berlusconi returning as prime minister for a fourth time. This is despite the fact that he has recently been convicted of tax fraud and is appealing against a four-year jail sentence. It is also despite the fact that his party, the PdL, is currently scoring only 13.8% in the polls.
Helpfully, Time magazine has published a list of Berlusconi’s ten worst gaffes.
Berlsuconi is notorious, of course, for his voracious sexual appetite, but glamorous young women are not the only people he’s screwed.
You will probably not be interested in the paparazzi photos of goings-on at Berlusconi’s villa in Sardinia, published in 2009 by the Spanish daily El País. In the unlikely event that you are, the mystery gentleman in photo no.5 is in fact Mirek Topolanek, former prime minister of the Czech Republic. Oddly, only Topolanek’s face is pixelated, which reminds me of a story about the Oxford don Maurice Bowra. One day, Bowra was with a group of men bathing naked at Parson’s Pleasure on the River Cherwell, when a female student floated past in a punt. All the bathers hurriedly covered their privates apart from Bowra, who put a flannel over his head. When the punt had passed, Bowra’s companions queried his behaviour. Bowra replied, “I don’t know about you, gentlemen, but in Oxford I, at least, am known by my face.”