Posted by Ian
Why is this bloke looking so pleased with himself?
Because he’s just won a third stint as prime minister of Italy, that’s why. Moreover, he’s won it after a spell spent out of office – in other words, he’s pulled off that increasingly rare political feat, the comeback.
Silvio Berlusconi, for it is he, may or may not be a crook*, but he’s unequivocally a dab hand at triumphing in elections. Can you imagine a similar thing happening in this country? Say, Gordon Brown losing the next election but then going on to win the one after that?
Such Lazarus-like behaviour is highly unlikely, if not implicitly unacceptable, in the UK. It’s just not the done thing. Once you’ve lost once, that’s it for good. No second chances, let alone – as Berlusconi has done – a third. Even our leaders of the opposition nowadays feel obliged to quit if they fight and lose just one general election.
The last time any of our prime ministers did what Silvio’s managed – come back to power after a spell in the wilderness – was over 30 years ago, in the shape of Harold Wilson. Truly another age. But why has that changed? Why should one defeat count as a permanent red card? Why are some countries happy to see old faces back calling the shots, while here there’s an obsession with the searching for the next big thing?
Let’s show a bit of respect for those with experience. Those who’ve been around the block a few times. Those who’ve had to take a few knocks and have learned from their mistakes. I’d rather have a seasoned warrior of 60+ running the country (from whatever party) than a baby face Cameron-esque thirtysomething. Does age count for nothing anymore?
*Other viewpoints are available