|Obama steals the show
||[Apr. 1st, 2009|11:41 am]
Just been to the "Barack and Gordon" show, a press conference at the ornate Foreign Office. First name terms all the way, to the Prime Minister's delight. The President is not big on protocol, even sipping water from a bottle. But he was the star of this 50-minute show. His answers to the seven journalists called (who had been chosen in advance) were long and a little rambling at times. But he seemed more relaxed than Brown, whose eyes never left his star guest and who rummaged twice in his pockets for a pencil.
The subject matter -- tomorrow's G20 summit in London-- was dry, so light touches were rare. Obama's jokes were better than Brown's attempted ones, which fell flat. Asked about tonight's football match between England and Ukraine, the President quipped that he hadn't been briefed about it, but he knew it would be a mistake to answer. His soundbites were sharper than Brown's. It was, inevitably a love-in, with both leaders gushing with praise for each other. It was genuine, if a bit over the top. At least this pair were a bit more appealing than the Bush-Blair mutual admiration society at such events.
The Obama-Brown political message was really aimed at Germany and France: the world will get out of recession quicker if those countries who can spend their way out of it do so, rather than rely on America to be the world's "engine." Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, who oppose an immediate further fiscal stimulus, will reply at an unusual joint press conference in London this afternoon -- an event raising alarm bells among British officials. Looks like we have a two-a-side match on our hands ahead of tomorrow's summit, which is tricky for Brown.
Brown is an embarrassment in my opinion!
what about Berlusconi. He's more than an embarrassment.
SHAMED SILVIO MUST QUIT NOW
Just a few questions for you, and for your colleagues and reporters of the independent Press.
How can we speak of legality, when Italy is led by a man like Silvio Berlusconi?
What does legality mean, in your opinion, when G20 leaders accept Mr. Berlusconi’s presence at the G20 meeting?
What does Democracy mean, in your opinion, when normal people have to fight every single day to survive with a small amount of money, while one very wealthy person is allowed, due to Berlusconi’s manipulation of the Italian judicial system, to represent and lead the country despite being implicated in a number of criminal offences? Only through his government’s passing of a number of ad personam laws has Berlusconi been able to avoid being convicted by the Italian courts.
What are politics, and politicians –of course, and judges and journalists teaching the younger generation?
The situation in Italy is not Democracy, but rather a ‘Demo-Crazy’
Sergio Vittorio URISTANI
The Pressfreedom Post
Although he's been democratically elected the fact that he owns 3 TV channels, 1 newspaper plus control over several others, has not created a level-playing field for other political parties
Dear Lella, here is what we wrote on 14 April 2008.
Comment No. 1271492
April 14 23:28
Berlusconi's victory - an unpresentable candidate in an abnormal country - Italy's new prime candidate has benefited from an unacceptable conflict of interests, and an undemocratic electoral system
Following the release of the preliminary results of the Italian general elections on 14 April 2008, the centre-left candidate Walter Veltroni, announced to his supporters that he had telephone the victor Silvio Berlusconi to offer his congratulations 'as is normal in western democracies'. However, there is nothing normal about Italian democracy, and Veltroni was being disingenuous in presenting the political system as such. In a normal Western democracy, Silvio Berlusconi would have been regarded as beyond the pale, un-presentable as a candidate to lead his country. If the strict letter of the law had been applied, he would have been considered un-presentable in Italy too, while the conduct of the electoral campaign and the nature of the electoral system introduced by Berlusconi in 2005 to elect Italian governments are deeply flawed in terms of democratic criteria:
1) The constitution of the Italian Republic sets out the circumstances in which a citizen should not be electable in parliament. In applying this norm, there is a law which forbids the operators of public licenses to stand in general elections. Berlusconi is the owner of the three television networks (representing 100% of private broadcasting coverage)and a publishing empire (Arnoldo Mondadori - the leading Italian publishing group) and the daily newspaper, Il giornale nuovo.
2) In a modern democracy, the majority of the population receives information on politics from television. Television conditions the voting intentions of the population. Thus, whoever has the most resources and power to use television will most likely win elections. In Italy, 92% of viewers are dependent on two broadcasting operations, the three public networks of RAI and the three private networks of Mediaset (owned by Berlusconi). The latter is also linked to 600 private television networks, and is thus the preponderant television empire in Italy. One of the three national Mediaset channels in Rete 4, which since 1999 has illegally occupied a space that the state had granted to another channel Europa 7. In recent weeks, the European Court of Justice condemned Italy for not having removed Rete 4 from this slot and allowed Europa 7 to take its place.
3) An electoral system that automatically gives a majority premium to the party or electoral list that obtains a relative majority, is not an equitable one. This system would theoretically allow an electoral list with 20% of the vote to gain a majority of seats, provided no other list or party received more than this figure. Such a system has a precedent in Italy - the Acerbo law passed by the Mussolini law in 1923, which guaranteed 66% of the seats to the leading party in a general election.
Italian democracy was built in the post-war era on anti-fascist consensus. Berlusconi's winning coalition includes unabashed fascist sympathisers, such as Mussolini's grand-daughter Alessandra, as well as xenophobic populists such as Umberto Bossi. Yet the greatest threat to democracy remains Berlusconi himself.
Sergio Vittorio URISTANI
(Anglo Italian Bertrand Russell Club)
The free independent press should take notice now
not so sure about what you say. Brown was really sharp. fast answers on his home ground of treasury matters. Obama seemed really jet-lagged, lots of er - er - while he struggled to keep his eyes open. But we all know that he has a charisma that Brown can only dream about!
Europe should speak with one voice, instead there are so many different ones
2009-04-02 11:33 am (UTC)
obama steals what ?
i dont want to be critical of the independent (they bump you ) but how could an amerikkkan stealing anything be news? surely they wake up stealing after a nght spent "sleep-stealing" .c'mon if obama hadnt stolen something that would have been news