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In the European Parliament you don't "hang around". You join a parliamentary group or you get hung out to dry. The Non-aligned have much fewer procedural rights in the European Parliament than they do in national parliaments. So, Grillo will have to join somebody.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 30th, 2014 at 07:24:48 AM EST
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Well, depends on why they are there. If the main point isn't to affect EU legislation but to use it as pulpit for a domestic audience, then the symbolic value of group affiliation is more important then practical advantages. And for M5* independence is symbolic.

M5* could also form the core of a new group. For that they need 8 more MEPs from 6 different countries. Like tories and UKIP has done. Perhaps Grillo was taking notes on how a group works and how UKIPs offers to newcomers are structured...

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by A swedish kind of death on Fri May 30th, 2014 at 07:33:20 AM EST
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Hope springs eternal in the human breast, I see.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 30th, 2014 at 07:38:39 AM EST
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And pessimism is always serious.

I don't see anything in the actions of M5* that makes me write them off as a party. Grillo may be their front figure, but so far the party has not followed him when he heads into racist territory.

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by A swedish kind of death on Fri May 30th, 2014 at 08:30:03 AM EST
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You seem to have understood the MV5 movement well, Askod. Probably your experience with the Pirates!

As for Grillo breaking bread with Farage, I don't really get it. The only thing to admire about the latter is his propensity, George Galloway style, to say what the other pols are sometimes thinking but are too whipped to say out loud, otherwise I can see no virtue in the man or his movement. Immigration is a big issue, and Italy is geographically very prone to the exodus from the ME and Africa, but the worst racists in Italy were the last-guard Lega buffoons like Calderoli and Bossi, and if it were not for Matteo Salvini, their new leader, they would be soggy toast. He is savvy enough to frame his anti-immigration rhetoric as proactive, in the sense if it costing less to give the money spent on fishing them out of the sea, treating them for illness, processing their identities and housing/possibly integrating them straight to the countries involved, in theory stemming the flow in that way, setting them up so they don't want to leave in such numbers.

Grillo's take on it is less articulated, though I can say after scrutinising them this last year I have heard nothing to suggest that there's a latent bubble of racism within the ranks, or in blogposts from voters and sympathisers.

Farage seems more a shitstirrer than Beppe is even, and I think they both share some glee at upending some EU sacred cows, but Grillo rejected Le Pen's advances pre-election, so why he's checking out Farage I am not sure. I have seen posts from MV5ers warning him off Farage on the blog.

I'm interested in whether bloggers here see Le Pen or Farage as furthest right. My hunch is that Le Pen is more moderate, but I don't know.

The huge difference I see between UKIP and MV5 is UKIP's lack of coherent positive policies, it's all anti-. Beppe has a lot of that too, but his proposals for a new version of Italy seem a lot more grounded in realism. Another big difference is that Beppe has surrounded himself with intelligent counsel and footsoldiers, whereas take Farage away and one is under-impressed with the calibre of his personnel. He manages to be pretty poisonous but has some charisma of sorts and is quite articulate, especially after listening to the bland, but equally toxic burblings of Clegg, Cameron and Miliband Junior who have left planet Earth long ago. Farage gives voice to racism, Beppe not. Beppe's position is that until you are on firm ground you can't help others, and Italy's unemployment issues cannot only be solved by importing gazillions of hungry economic refugees who then get slavemastered by the Mafia to pick Puglian tomatoes for E2 a day. Mr Fortress Europe he is surely not, and if he does have some racist bone in his body I'm not aware of it, and I think his movement would neither countenance or endorse it in any way, were it really even there. Maybe he's meeting Farage to learn what not to do, maybe he knows it'll rattle some cages back in Italy so it's more a gambit than a ploy, we'll have to wait and see. If he were visiting Wilders I'd be a lot more concerned. It is odd and unexpected though...

'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 Fri May 30th, 2014 at 09:35:49 AM EST
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