Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Double standards

Baron von Trotta has always been very fond of Italian newspapers.

Many a morning by the beach in il Bel Paese, the taste of a wonderful espresso cup still in his skeptical lips, he approached a newsstand and bought as many as he could read on that day, excluding the time to be devoted to Dylan Dog and Simenon, of course.

Not only every conceivable political belief is well represented in the Italian press but, against all stereotypes, newspapers arrive punctually to the most remote spiaggia and the intelligence, wit and culture displayed are second to none. Pure trifle, a sort of intellectual affogato, a newspaper like Il Foglio could only be born there. If  Italy did not exist, it would have to be invented, and quickly.

Il Corriere & Il Giornale always featured prominently in the Baron's choice, the latter as a tribute to that wonderful journalist and writer, Indro Montanelli, an example of intelligence, style, independence, hard work and integrity. Who does not enjoy his Storia di Roma?

Being reduced these sad days to digital editions only, the Baron found the following news this weekend:

Trying to compare the English version, the Baron sought for it in vain in all major British newspapers. 

Nothing. Is this not racism in their eyes?

Now, the British media that reports even the slightest suspicion of racist chants in football stadia abroad, very rarely has space for xenophobic attacks not targeting the  black or Asian communities. For instance, reports of Eastern European workers being beaten up in small Northern towns abound only in informal social networks.

When the Baron was growing up, he was told by a very victim that, once a year, local British delinquents in seaside resorts gathered to beat up Italians, or Spanish, or French, etc... Those in the know, prevented by some understanding soul, remained indoors that day. One day for each nation: maybe that is true European spirit, albeit a bit distorted.

We will never know the extent of the problem because, when the victim is an EU citizen, and their fellow countrymen seem to be behind it, the British press seems to turn a blind eye.

Why? Where are the EU authorities in this case requesting for this attack to be investigated?

How many commuters decide to sit by an Italian to express solidarity?

It is highly likely that the late Montanelli and/or Revel, another lover of Italy already quoted in these pages, would have written about the reasons behind this mysterious general snub.

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