Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Some items of news from Italy that may be of interest, though not a very merry round-up this evening, I'm afraid!

The Catania stadium is to remain closed for another month whilst police investigations into the football violence of February 2nd continue. A seventeen-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of the policeman and the boy's family are in denial. How on earth, I wonder, would any of us react if a child of ours had done, or was suspected of having done, something like that? It must be such a shock and you would be asking yourself all sorts of questions about where you might have gone wrong, I imagine. Meanwhile opinion here is divided between those who believe that the football season should just be declared over now and those who think that the hooligans will have won if it does not continue. It is a depressing time, indeed, for genuine fans, with the majority of Italy's stadiums being closed to them. "Football isn't football without the spectators" a club manager said on TV today and of course, there are financial implications for the clubs. As ever in these cases, the majority are being penalised for the stupidity and mindless violence of the few.

My heart goes out to Kelly Taylor, whose plight I heard about on Sky last night. I think this is a terribly difficult issue and none of us knows how we would feel if we were in this position. It occurred to me that many readers will not have heard about the Welby case, which is still being debated all over Italy. For me perhaps the saddest aspect of this is the fact that, after so much suffering and begging, agitating and campaigning for the right to die with dignity, the piece of music that Welby requested at the end was not available for him. I'll leave you to read the article and decide for yourselves.

15 Italian nationals were arrested in northern Italy in the early hours of Tuesday on suspicion of planning terrorist activities here. They are believed to belong to a branch of the infamous "Red Brigades". "Oh, no, not this all over again", I hear myself crying inwardly, for I remember the atrocities and tragedies of the eighties only too well. As if Italy, like all western democracies, does not already have enough to worry about...

The government has, just before the deadline for doing so, presented a bill which would allow cohabiting couples, regardless of their sexual orientation, certain rights under the law: these include inheritance and pension rights and employment relations rights. There has been a lot of linguistic work on this, too, the term Dico - diritti e doveri dei conviventi [rights and responsibilities of cohabiting couples] - having been brought into play to replace the originally French and politically charged term of Pacs [patto civile di solidarietĂ  ] . The right-wing opposition of course opposes the bill and the Vatican is preparing a statement declaring that such a law would undermine the family. It is said that if the law is passed the couple would have to go and register with their local comune - I think there would be a charge for this - and then all should be well. But, having dealt with Italian bureaucracy, I very much doubt it would be as simple as that! Good luck to them all, anyway!


Lee said...

I am in favour of an individual's right to die with dignity. When my brother was dying of a most vicious throat cancer (he never smoked a cigarette in his life) I made it clear to the hospital staff that I did not want them to do anything to prolong his pain and agony. He was a proud man and it pained him even more to be in that situation. The medicos, of course, couldn't comment but they knew what I was saying and their eyes agreed with my request. On the day before my brother died, and he had been in a coma for the past two days, I sat by his side all day, reading...when the head nursing sister came in, I said similar to her and she said to me..."no...we're just giving him higher doses of morphine to ease any pain he may be suffering.' She knew as I did. I believe a person has the right to not wish to suffer and/or become a vegetable. It is their personal choice...and it is mine. And no court of law will make up my mind for me.

In the words of Ayn Rand's John Galt in "Atlas Shrugged"..." I swear...by my life and the love of it...that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another to live for mine."

It will come for co-habitating couples whether they are married or not. The Vatican and the 'right-wing' so-called 'do-gooders' will continue jumping up and down...but eventually logical thinking will have its way. It will be a long and difficult journey, for sure.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Lee. It is a decision nobody takes lightly in these cases, his was a touching story. I'm sorry to hear his brother suffered so much, you do wonder why life isn't fair.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Lee, I'm so sorry about your brother and sorry you had to go through this. I empathise because I went through something similar with my mother. You did the right thing; there comes a point when to keep a person alive is a denial of life.


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