Not an American political convention

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Saturday post. Off topic but hopefully a fun video. Intro. The Telegraph maps out the broad lines:

In a rare public debate among Mr Berlusconi’s Party of Freedom, lower house speaker Gianfranco Fini, a co-founder of the party in 2009, levelled a raft of criticisms at the style and substance of the prime minister’s leadership…
Mr Berlusconi stepped up to the podium right after Mr Fini’s speech, criticising his ally for making political statements while holding a post that requires him to be impartial and for not participating in the campaign for regional elections last month to thundering applause.

In another life, I lived in Italy, was into the politics, and showed up on TV to comment on American stuff. Most Italian commentators while loud were fun. One I detested was Gianfranco Fini, who came from the old Italian Social Movement (MSI), spawned from lingering post-war fascists. Fini has since refashioned himself into the darling of leftwing papers like La Repubblica mainly because while part of the same alliance as Berlusconi, he’s a thorn in the Premier’s side.

I personally interacted with Fini only twice, the last time while taping a discussion of the Los Angeles riots in 1992. He blathered on about wild materialism and capitalism as causes of the death and looting. My response was, well, blunt: That may be why the fascists attacked communists and capitalists alike, but that’s not what is going on in LA. You’re really an idiot.

Italian news programs were cable TV before we had cable TV.

I’m no fan of Prime Minister Berlusconi’s, but this is a great video — great political theater. And to see Fini (with the pink tie) get dressed down in front of the party congress for the attacks he and his friends are making on the party daily, and for trying to hide his obvious campaigning behind claims of being in a non-political job… priceless.

In the video, Fini gesticulates with his fingers and says, “What are you going to do, chase me out of the House?”

After the tape was finished the Congress voted to prepare to kick out anyone who created subgroups within the party. Sounds like the answer to Fini’s question was yes. Our conventions are really not like this!