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Italy - The wrong way round

It's been a great campaign because we have finally combed out a few knots, we have exposed various lies that Berlusconi has been telling us. The Noemi scandal showed up his lies and confirmed what his wife has been telling us, namely that he is not well in the head, he is completely off-balance, and he goes about with under-age girls. The matter of the State flights gave a lot of electors, from among the survivors of a right-wing that believes in the rule of law, pause for thought - people who had been indignant when Rutelli and Mastella used state flights to go to the Grand Prix [at Monza]. But even more became indignant seeing dwarves, dancing girls, minstrels and leeches being put on state flights by the dozen to the private residence of, and for the amusement of, the prime minister. The lies about the earthquake are coming out, and will probably explode in some kind of demonstration at the up-coming G8 meeting. The lies about rubbish in Naples have led to a new inquiry about deception involving that dangerous bit of nonsense, the incinerator at Acerra. Then there's the explosion of rubbish at Palermo, which Berlusconi has blamed on the previous centre-left governments under Orlando, which have not held power since 2001 - it must be fossilised rubbish by now. Milan has been described by Berlusconi as the new Africa, when Milan is governed by the centre-right practically since 1992 when Formentini came in, followed by Albertini, Moratti, Formigoni who since 1995 has always been the regional governor. Without mentioning that AC Milan seems much more like Africa than the city of Milan, as the team is mainly coloured. One of the few who wasn't, Kaka, has just been sold to Real Madrid, but they will announce it today because up till yesterday it was necessary to con the football fans into voting without letting them know what everyone knew, namely that Kaka had already signed up to Real Madrid.

There were even the lies contradicting the Governor of the Bank, Draghi, who had said something true, namely that there are 1,600,000 Italians who risk finding themselves completely up the creek if they lose their job, because there is no social safety net to soften the blow. Probably the number is even more than 1,600,000, but the fact that the Governor said this was already an interesting fact. Berlusconi, who was evidently asleep during Draghi's speech, as often happens, afterwards said: Draghi made an excellent Berlusconian speech. Later he found out that Draghi had said that there were 1,600,000 people who stood to lose everything while the government was doing nothing, and at that point Berlusconi says: the data are not true. Actually the data are true, and may even be underestimates.

Finally there are the lies about law and order. Two days before the election, two women were victims of rape attempts. One was actually raped and the other was saved by the providential arrival of a passer-by. The Questura covered up the fact for 40 hours, and was only forced to confirm it after a journalist, who came to know about it indirectly, had publicised it on You-Tube. The Questura were probably waiting to announce it after the elections. If they had announced it before, maybe even the Romans would have understood that it was not the case that the rapes were the fault of the previous City Council under Veltroni, and that all rapes had ceased once Alemanno had become mayor. Probably the problem of unpunished crimes is a rather complicated one, involving an impunity that has spread out like an oil stain by this infamous and illegal political class, which, of course in order to save itself, has completely ruined the justice system, and in this way authorised many others to commit crimes, in the near-certainty that they will never be punished. I dare say there would be fewer crimes if, instead of a justice system that is being completely destroyed by the politicians, we had one that was better financed and cared for. But they can't let that happen.

Information has played a decisive role in this election. Information via internet, but also through some newspapers. Why did the newspapers talk so much about the Noemi scandal, about the State flights, about the under-age girls and above all about the Mills case? Because the European press has its eyes on Italy in the run-up to the G8, and when the European press looks at Italy it asks the right questions. Even the Italian papers are obliged, if only by translating articles from the foreign press, to take account of what others think of us - even though we could say it ourselves, given that we ourselves are the protagonists in this drama going on under our noses.

Thank heavens that we have El Pais, the Economist, the Financial Times, the German press, even the Wall Street Journal, an ultra-free-market paper of the right, to tell us what we have learned not to notice. When information works properly, blood flows through the veins of democracy, and the results, as we can see, are that we have had a lucky escape!

Berlusconi was expecting a plebiscite that would give the last blow to the declining democratic forces in Italy, and he only got to 35%. That is still a massive number, but not one that will allow him to have his wicked way unpunished.

go read the rest, please, it's really good.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 07:10:39 AM EST
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