Britain and Rome

Ah you parvenue Brits, always ogling the real Old Empire wondering how those dastardly Italians could have build this classicist miracle called the Roman empire, the very root of your own civilization and empire.

Focusing on just the last 20 decades is so wrong too, Italy has been like this since times immemorial. And Italy is part of another world as well, it isn’t just European, it is Mediterranean as well. Where over the last few years countries with problems so far worse than Italy have been shaken to their core by ill conceived policies. Compared to political change in Tunisia or Egypt, things in Italy change in a most orderly fashion. Apples and oranges, yes indeed, my point exactly.

I appreciate the effort though. How can one be North European and not love Italy, the arts, literature, history, the cooking, the hospitality, the passion, the architecture, the landscape, the industrial design. It is all world class and apparently so much bigger than life. But so really is its political reality, it is grand drama in a local vernacular. British, German or other nordic traditions are most different. So we go back to Italy, to warn them with our stern little puritan protestant finger how their greatness is imperiled by their foolish behavior. Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

And yet Italy benefits from having our boring superior northern cold commentary cross the Alps like so many heavy elephants. Especially the Economist is to be commended for being vigilant versus Berlusconi.