towards the wall, his hands above his head. He
looked down the black barrel of the handgun that
was being levelled at him by a smartly dressed
Is this a
contact hit? Luigi asked.
replied the stranger, you seem to have
offended the Sicilian Mafia. Theyve put one
hundred thousand dollars on your head, and that
moneys got my name on it. The
stranger gestured with the gun towards a chair.
the point? Why dont you just shoot?
just shoot you, the gunman explained:
Ill have to await the outcome of the
The stranger withdrew some papers from his pocket
and passed then to Luigi. Those documents
explain options in relation to the proposal to
shoot you, and they give you an opportunity to
make any comments and suggestions before final
decisions are made.
Luigi ventured his
opinion. I dont want to be shot.
thats one of the options, although you will
need to complete the consultation form and return
it to me.
the consultation period?
the documents. If I write that I prefer the
not being shot option, will you let
really comment on the outcome of the consultation
process until all submissions have been received.
submissions will there be?
yours, one. I should get writing if I were you,
youre getting close to the consultation
Luigi wrote on the
form that he preferred the not being shot
option, and quickly passed the papers back to the
stranger. Youve already decided youre
going to shoot, havent you? he said,
angrily. This consultation process is just
I can assure
you, the assassin responded, that
your views will be very carefully considered and
fully taken into account. I would also like to
thank you for taking the time to participate in
the debate on this important local issue.
potential assailant lifted his dark glasses and
peered thoughtfully at the consultation paperwork.
There are clearly differences of viewpoint,
he noted, between those favouring the
not being shot option and those
supporting the preferred strategy.
the preferred strategy?
where I shoot you and collect the money.
on the preferred strategy?
always a preferred strategy. Thats
what those with the power have already decided is
going to happen.
consultation process is a sham!
Not at all.
It gives people an opportunity to express their
viewpoints, make suggestions and proposals, and
democratically participate in the decision making
process. No consultation process has ever claimed
that anyone who mattered gave a shit about those
comments even less that they might act on
The tone of the
hit-man changed to one of polite formality.
Many thanks to all those who contributed to
the consultation process on the proposed
assassination of Luigi Napoli. The views
expressed have very much informed the thinking on
this matter. I am now please to be in a position
to let you know the outcome.