So, Silvio Berlusconi is finally going to court. The abuse of power charge apparently relates to his procuring of prostitutes, some of whom were under-age.
What is amazing about this is that it is his sexual failures that have brought him to book (unless he manages to exert his usual patronage and power to escape once again) and not the big stuff about power.
For example, his massive ownership of media organs in Italy and the way this has enabled him to mediate information to his own benefit. This would be worrying enough were it not for the fact that someone in his position can occupy the position of ultimate political power in Italy. I worry about Murdoch, but at least he isn’t running to be Prime Minister or Queen.
Why does sexual misdemeanour count so heavily when other abuses of power are far more serious? This is not to say that his sexual life is irrelevant – and using power or money to buy teenagers for sex is a massive abuse of power. But, it seems that the value system is not too … er … ‘rightly balanced’ here.
Shouldn’t we be more alarmed by concentrated media ownership and its collusion with political power and patronage than about what Silvio does in bed (or to his remarkable hair)?
Edit 21.09: The point I should have made clearer above is that there is no hierarchy of abuse – his sexual exploitation of girls is damnable. But it is clearly easier to get him nailed on this rather than the other stuff. That’s what is challenging.