July 30, 2003


Silvio Berlusconi has banned spiders. Arachno-Italians are furious.

In other animal news, Oky Pinoky has finally been banished. Berlusconi’s involvement in the Pinoky scandal is unknown.

Posted by Tim Blair at July 30, 2003 05:24 AM

That's the strangest piece of news I've heard in a long time. Even stranger is the objection given in the linked article: 'there's always a conflict of interest where Berlusconi is concerned... even with spiders'!
I like the explanation with which the article concludes:

Berlusconi should beware of the poisonous nature of his allies in government who have no reason to stick together and are turning into dangerous black widows.

Posted by: TimT at July 30, 2003 at 10:52 AM

Bravo! Berlusconi banned spiders beacuse he never wants to see a red back in Italy.

Posted by: ilibcc at July 30, 2003 at 12:57 PM

Geesh! Anything this guy does now is going to be used as an opportunity to not only report whatever (like banning spiders), but to remind everyone that he's a *really bad man*.

If you removed all the commentary about Berlusconi not pertainig to spiders in this article, it would only be about half the size.

" "Whether it's justice, television or even spiders, you always find a conflict of interest where Berlusconi's concerned," said former health minister Rosy Bindi."

Do PETA and similar orgs. cover insects as well as animals? Wondering if we'll see huge demonstrations in Italy over "Spiders' Rights"?

Posted by: Chris Josephson at July 30, 2003 at 01:34 PM

Doesn't this suggest that the heir of Mussolini, an heroic figure in the rise of the right, is an absolute nutter?

Goes hand in hand...

Posted by: sphincter at July 30, 2003 at 02:03 PM

... although I have to say I'm against this bit of legislation myself. Governments have better things to do than make rulings against spiders, who are very nice creatures in their own right.
Come to think of it, the late great Primo Levi would have had a thing or two to say about this. The chemist, poet, historian, and essayist was always fond of species Arachnid, and once even published an 'interview' with a spider...

Posted by: TimT at July 30, 2003 at 02:04 PM

Is the former Health Minister really called Rosy Bindi? Who else is in the former Cabinet: Cuddlepot and Snugglepie ? What about Thomas the Tank Engine?

Posted by: Rob (No1) at July 30, 2003 at 02:22 PM

How about Oky Pinoky for new Health Minister?

Posted by: Fred at July 30, 2003 at 02:24 PM

"The law, which imposes a 10,000-euro fine on anyone caught importing or possessing poisonous arachnids,"

So much for my dreams of being the Funnel Web king of Florence...

"...came amid reports that spiders could have made their way into Berlusconi's private residence near Milan."

Yikes! How James Bondish. Number 3 has done well...

Posted by: mojo at July 30, 2003 at 05:50 PM

That leaves an opening for someone to import a blur-ringed octopus, and drop it down Silvio's shreddies.
Eight legs, poisonous and bad tempered, but not an arachnid; instead, a murderous mollusc, and not subject to the legislation.

Posted by: Habib Bickford at July 30, 2003 at 05:51 PM

Wish the same could be effected in Oz.

'Nature lovers' and, definitely, the greenies have the plot wrong. Going bush is no pleasure; in Oz dwelleth a great majority of the worlds most venomous, therefore evil, repitles spiders and other creepy crawlies.I'm all for shooting every damned snakes and, as an aside,a pal on holidays with his good wife, spotted a six-seven foot monster with a girth wider than Mr.Universe's biceps, in the middle of frigging winter, sauntering along a road.

Pinkoy on the loose. What about feckin possums, just a fatter model of rat as also kangaroo, cats, dogs, seagulls, and other crappers. I prefer the pony.
Sure, Pinkoy shits but, face it folks, pony pat is easier to remove than shit of dog, cat and possum.

Posted by: d at July 30, 2003 at 06:52 PM

I beg to differ- one of our hounds will quite happily scoff richard the thirds produced by possums, cats and horses. Removal is no problem- dealing with said creature's breath is not so easy.

Posted by: Habib Bickford at July 30, 2003 at 07:16 PM

Dmen, trumped by an eco--friendly carpet cleaner, the richard the thirds scoffer.

Perhaps the hound could be encouraged to carry a breath freshener dangled from the collar and taught to use it after each indulgence.The hound can then be left to persue his career as a gourmand, completed when achieving celebrity mega-stardom with t.v. shows, columns,books and interviews.The hound must be encouraged, Habib Bickford, absolutely, think of the moolah by jove.

Posted by: d at July 31, 2003 at 09:27 AM

She also likes eating soap, so the perfume of Imperial Leather negates the waft of digesting turds somewhat.
The hound is fucking nuts.

Posted by: Habib Bickford at July 31, 2003 at 10:46 AM

'Going bush no pleasure.'

What is Australia's greatest killer? Snake? Spider? Crocodile? Dingo? Shark? Blue-ring Octopus?

No. Australia's greatest killer is the kangaroo. More people are killed and injured in motor vehicle collisions with 'roos than deaths from all the other animals put together.

Going bush in Australia is quite safe. It's getting there that's the hazardous part.

Posted by: ilibcc at July 31, 2003 at 11:26 AM

Alfa Romero immediately responded by retro-actively changing the name of their famous cars from Spider to Alpha Romero Puppies. Because who doesn't like puppies.
The North Korean ambassador immediately ordered up 2 dozen of the newly renamed cars.

Posted by: derf at July 31, 2003 at 11:41 AM

Cassowaries have croaked a couple of tourists as well.
Here in Queensland, even the birds are cranky.

Posted by: Habib Bickford at July 31, 2003 at 12:00 PM

Who's Alfa Romero?

Posted by: lanciaflaminia at July 31, 2003 at 01:03 PM

Ceasar's big brother.

Posted by: Habib Bickford at July 31, 2003 at 01:16 PM

Here in Australia, Greens have a similar idea to Berlusconi: let native creatures (like aforementioned blue-ringed octopus, red-back spiders, red-bellied black snake) roam free and happy in the land provided them by Mother Nature (not to mention benevolent Socialist-style Government headed by Bob Brown). Ban all useful creatures like cows and horses, and housepets like 'cats' and 'dogs'. They are not 'indigeneous', so they're not allowed! And don't start thinking about harvesting native creatures, like kangaroos or wombats or koalas or whales, either! That would be a violation of the first item on the green commandments (Thou shalt be a vegetarian, yeah, thou shalt refrain from all meats, even if it killeth you.)
Here endeth the lesson.

Posted by: TimT at July 31, 2003 at 05:23 PM