Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Christopher Howse writing in the Telegraph today points out an interesting precedent for Tony Blair's Respect Action Plan.

Bonasera: I believe in America. America has made my fortune. And I raised my daughter in the American fashion. I gave her freedom, but -- I taught her never to dishonor her family. She found a boyfriend; not an Italian. She went to the movies with him; she stayed out late. I didn't protest. Two months ago, he took her for a drive, with another boyfriend. They made her drink whiskey. And then they tried to take advantage of her.

Vito Corleone: I understand. You found paradise in America, had a good trade, made a good living. The police protected you; and there were courts of law. And you didn't need a friend like me. But uh, now you come to me and you say -- "Don Corleone give me justice." -- But you don't ask with respect. You don't offer friendship. You don't even think to call me Godfather. Instead, you come into my house on the day my daughter is to be married, and you uh ask me to do murder, for money.

Bonasera: I ask you for justice.

Vito: That is not justice; your daughter is still alive.

Bonasera: Then they can suffer then, as she suffers... How much shall I pay you?

Vito: Bonasera... Bonasera... What have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? Had you come to me in friendship, then this scum that ruined your daughter would be suffering this very day. And that by chance if an honest man such as yourself should make enemies, then they would become my enemies. And then they would fear you.

Don Blair: We need to accept that what works in practice is a measure of summary power ......... anything else is the theory ....... utterly useless to the ordinary citizen on the street .....we will attempt to create the conditions in which respect can flourish .......... and I believe that, together, we will eradicate the scourge of anti-social behaviour and restore Respect.

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