Tariq Ali has written a good Guardian comment piece on the state of the left and the establishment in Italy - in relation to the unravelling Italian Government. He gives a run down on how the latest dispute has centred on the Government's unpopular support for the war in Afghanistan. The bulk of Italians want their troops removed from the country. Ali writes that 'Increasingly, official politics in the west ignores public opinion at will' and that it is this 'increasing distance between rulers and ruled that threatens the functioning of democracy and leads to desperation.' Politics on both left and right in Italy 'exude the stench of putrefaction'.