Mussolini was a bigoted charlatan who became the dictator of Italy. His arrogance and egoism led his country onto the losing side of World War Two. By the end of that conflict millions were dead, many more were displaced and homeless, Europe was a wasteland and Italy itself was in economic ruin – a situation from which it has never really recovered. Mussolini himself finished his war dangling upside down from a service station roof with a bullet in head, reviled by the public who he had so disastrously mis-led.
This is, of course, history. So why do I mention it now?
Because newsreel footage of Mussolini’s speeches reveals an uncanny resemblance to Donald Trump on the podium. The strutting and preening, the ludicrous facial contortions, the exaggerated hand movements, the alpha-male braggadocio, the ignorance, arrogance, impossible promises, divisive phrases, violent imagery and rabble-rousing xenophobia are characteristics shared by both men, as is the hysterical fanaticism of their supporters.
Let’s hope for all our sakes—including dodgy Donald’s—that the comparisons end there.