We can’t drop our guard against dictators – The Times

 The Times

With the idea of strongman leadership back in fashion, it’s wise to explore the many roads that can lead to despotism

This summer Matteo Salvini, the hard-right Italian deputy prime minister, has taken to the beaches. Not as a holidaymaker but as a campaigner. His wide smile and naked torso have been pictured among sunbathers from Liguria to Sicily.

Mr Salvini is not the first bare-chested Italian populist to be caught on film. In Sabaudia near Rome, he found himself addressing a rally next to a large monument to a former leader. Part of the inscription, which Mr Salvini read out to the crowd, went “Benito Mussolini, head of the government . . . I won’t say any more, they’ll arrest me,” quipped Salvini, adding: “It’s historical testimony.”

Just after I read this account a new book arrived in the post. How to Be a Dictator

Want to read more?

Subscribe now and get unlimited digital access on web and our smartphone and tablet apps, free for your first month.

%d bloggers like this: