I said I wouldn't. I said I wouldn't give any more air space to this man. But as Italy descends into election frenzy and the options are haranguing you from posters on every street corner, it's difficult not to be absolutely frightened at the prospect of our ex-Leader cramming in some votes.
I heard him speak on the TV last week. Groomed within an inch of his 76 years, newly engaged to some 'carne fresca' in the form of a booby 26 year old devotee (founding member of the group 'Silvio We Miss You' Goldigger anyone?), Silvio informed the public he would reimburse cash-in-hand a disliked housing tax installed by technocrat Prime Minister Mario Monti to help fill the country's empty coffers. What a piece of work! And where to find the necessary 4billion euro? Of course! By taxing Italians working in Switzerland and reducing funding for political parties…
Whaaat? Apart from being dangerous propaganda for minds dulled by years of Berlusca's sparkling promises and lies (do remember that he started out as a sleazy cruise ship crooner), it's just not possible!
Silvio also promised that there would be no wealth tax, and this month the billionaire also managed to haul in bad-boy striker Mario Balotelli to his AC Milan football team. Rake in the votes!
Anything else in your pocket Silvio? Oh yes there were those minor silly comments praising Mussolini (a Fascist who derailed this country and deported Jews during WWII) during a Holocaust Memorial event. And his harmless comment about 'kickbacks being normal in business'. Brush those under the carpet. Oh yes there are even people who are happy to hear these things.
Italy is going to be a scrambling circus this week. Helpfully, Berlusconi's trial for paid sex with an underage prostitute is on hold as he fights what he calls his last political battle (pulling us all down the sink?). He's had lots of prime time to slam all his opponents on his own television stations, and then pound whoever is left to read the newspapers absolutely witless. His values - grinning hypocrisy, law-breaking pragmatism, soulless devaluation of morals - have so deeply permeated a large portion of Italian society that many who aren't with him are lulled into thinking his showy mockery of a democracy is the safest way to go.
Recent worrying figures have Berlusconi's Rightwing Coalition at 28.7%, just 4.9% behind the creaking Centre Left Party of Pier Luigi Bersani at 33.6%, whom Berlusca suggested might be more suited to a job as ‘sindaco di Bologna’ i.e. Mayor of Bologna.
But I am not alone in feeling revolted, shocked and tired of what this man has created in twenty years of national decline. Do look at the link to documentary trailer Girlfriend in a Coma*, co-directed by ex-Economist editor Bill Emmott, whom Berlusconi called the E-Communist (what a joke) when he and his politics were slammed. Silvio was able to block the screening of this film in Rome until after the election carnival.
Even that tells us so much.
***And if you're worried that I don't have anything positive to say about today's Italy do read my guest post Ten Things I Love About Italy on Cathy Powell's great blog An Italophile