Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

'Honourable' Cossiga

During a recent television debate between government spokespersons and students over the much contested educational reform decree, one of the students was briskly interuppted by his governmental interlocutor because he had not addressed her with the customary ‘Honourable’, a title automatically given to members of parliament (much like the British system).

Respect for the institutions of government, and its representatives, is the mark of a civilised society.

Against a backdrop of University sit-ins and widescale protests by students (from across the political spectrum, it’s worth pointing out), former Minister for the Interior and President of the Republic, the ‘honourable’ Francesco Cossiga gave the following advice, via an interview in the Quotidiano Nazionale newspaper, to the current Minister for the Interior:

Maroni should do what I did when I was Minister for the Interior
That is?
Let them [the students] get on with it. Pull back the police forces from the streets and the universities, infiltrate the movement with agent provocateurs ready for anything, and for ten days let the protesters devestate shops, burn cars, and raise havoc in the cities
After which?
After which, with a stong consensus, the sounds of the ambulance sirens should be louder than the police sirens
In what sense?
In the sense that the forces of law and order should have no pity, and should send them all to hospital. Don’t arrest them, as the magistrates will just get them release again, but beat them, and beat the teachers who stir them up
And the Teachers?
In particular the teachers
President, yours is a paradox no?
I’m not saying the old ones, but the young women teachers yes. Do you realize the gravity of what they’re doing? There are teachers indoctrinating the children, and bringing them into the piazzas: it’s criminal behaviou{1]

Days after this interview was given, rioting broke out in Rome’s Piazza Navona when left and right wing students clashed violently. The right-wing government has placed the blame almost exclusively on left-wing students, but has yet to answer how a van very obviously carrying fascist flags and baseball bats could be allowed to provocatively park in Piazza Navona (try and park there with a normal van, and see what kind of reaction the authorities will have).

Full points to the priest from Florence who this morning, along with a number of others, presented a request to the authorities to prosecute Cossiga for incitement to commit crime and apologia for crime.
Speaking about his motivation, the priest said of Cossiga’s declarations “they’re an invite to violence and a reminder, unfortunately, of the strategy of tension”

Honourable me arse.

[1] QN 25-10-2008