Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Middle of the (rail)road

Ah, the great Italian match-fixing scandal has suddenly got interesting. Legendarily middle-brow film and theatre director - and great admirer of Margaret Thatcher - Franco Zeffirelli has incited fellow fans of Fiorentina to "cut Italy in two" as a protest against their forced relegation to Serie B. And so 300 fans have occupied Santa Maria Novella station in Florence and are sitting on the tracks, refusing to allow any trains to pass.

Il Zeff may have a point about the truly guilty going unpunished in this affair but it is a bit rich seeing a supporter of the 'legitimate' political right being perfectly happy to advocate direct action whenever it suits him. Where was Zeffirelli in Genoa at the time of the WTO protests when Italian police, ahem, overreacted, shooting dead one protestor? And is Franco going to be putting his own tush on the line with the Florentine rabble, or is he too busy creating another petit-bourgeois masterpiece to be marvelled at by English teachers the whole world round?