Thursday, 29 October 2009

Berlusconi's Bluebird.

Or perhaps it was a Blackbird........

I had been singing in Palermo, the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily and legendary seat of La Mafia....and hunting country.

Palermo is a glorious city with an unrivalled history and the loveliest people.....generous, kind, it is indeed the land of milk, honey and marzipan.

I went on to Rome a year later to sing the same magnificent production and by chance, my friends in the animal world "I Verdi" the Green Party, asked if I would speak in Parliament about my experience of being on a very cruelly derived drug, and why I came off it. I did this on television, sang a little, and then was asked to sing for the birds!

It was a hugely hot day. A thunderstorm had knocked out all the electricity overnight and my hair needed organising as I donned my cobalt blue silk organza dress and hat with long silk gloves and sang for an hour or so in front of the Parliament offices. This was all about discouraging the shooting of migrating birds during the hunting season. The birds fly from Africa, over Italy and up to England. They are small and it is illegal to shoot them, nevertheless this happens.

The traffic and the Parliament offices ground to a halt as all of the windows opened and people hung outside for as long as I kept going.

A close friend who was a journalist had visited me in Sicily, and later became useful to the next government in terms of organising the hunting lobby for the forthcoming elections. I watched with interest as Sicily swung totally in favour of Berlusconi and the new laws which would allow the repatriation of assets, and eliminate inheritance tax.

I also watched, as having relinquished his chair in the Senate my friend lost his promised seat in Europe....... in favour of an MP who, in danger of being convicted by the very courageous judiciary of Palermo, went to Brussels instead and thus...... beyond jurisdiction.

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