Our regular reader certainly won’t be expecting insightful analysis or comment, but one feels obliged to comment on what could be quite a significant event in one’s own bailiwick, so to speak.
It’s pretty obvious that the most important issue is that of uncontrolled immigration of africans who are steadily filling up all the pblic squares of Italy.
Insult has been added to injury by the complete refusal of the (socialist) government to acknowledge concerns by normal people about this issue which has left the right to make the running and as a result they look almost certain to win the most votes in the election.
Not by the way because the Italians are racist – they are a bit (like everybody) – but like most Europeans they are decent and generous. No, the reason is that they are fed up of their government taking the piss.
This bog’s prediction therefore is that the centre right coalition will win – The 5 star movement which looked like the great white hope in the last two elections (under their founder, comic Beppe Grillo, their slogan was “Fuck off”) has joined the mainstream and, horror of horrors, has also talked about firearm control. So bollocks to that.
So we are left with an unholy trinity:
- Berlusconi (the most recent properly elected PM, sacked some 6 years ago), famous mostly for his improbable hair and magnificent orgies. He was PM on and off for at least a decade before that and achieved nothing beyond a few changes in the law to prevent being locked away for his own past indiscretions. Certainly he achieved nothing that would benefit the entrepreneur class, who in Italy is about the most put upon in the world.
- Then there is Matteo Salvini, an unattractive demagogue whose party’s original aim was the seccession of the north from “Roma Ladrona” (“thieving Rome”) actually quite a noble aim! This blog has never really liked Salvini, but also has found it hard to disagree with anything he says. In public at any rate.
- Finally Mrs Meloni’s Brothers of Italy – the nearest to the out-and-out fascists, subject of endless Grauniad, NYT and BBC pearl clutching, but not really at all. Mussolini-esque Fascism is dead in Italy, even the left admit it. The real fascists are Casa Pound with their 1% of support, and far from committing acts of violence it is their supporters who are being beaten up by leftist thugs. Fratelli seem to be anti immigrant, anti-free market, anti Euro. A mixed bag of populist attitudes perhaps broadly comparable with Trump, without the devastatingly skillfu use of social media.
So it is this unlovely bunch who will most likely gain more votes than the even more unattractive PD (pro-Brussels socialists like Renzi) but the really interesting question is what sort of government will be formed aterwards. It is a matter of historical record that in recent years the colour of governments in Italy has bourne precious little resemblance to the votes cast. The most recent PM who had any proper democratic legitimacy was Berlusconi who was forced out after he made some injudicious comments regarding the Euro. He has been followed by a succession of grey men whose names nobody can remember. The most recent one is Gentiloni (we think).
So the evidence is strong that what really counts is not the votes cast by Italians but the votes cast by unelected powercrats in Brussels. Will they manage to finesse things this time to avoid an anti-Brussels administration in Rome? the answer is almost certainly yes, but how they will manage it, and what will be the consequences in terms of ill will and political argy bargy are far from clear. Italy is pretty well ungovernable to start with, but if serious popular discontant took off then it could be interesting.
For example, it is well known that the Italian banks, all on life support are the weak underbelly of the European financial system.
The Euro is killing Italian manufacturing in favour of the Germans – at some point this frustration will be made manifest.
So, there is the overarching question. When peoples are denied their will to determine things peacefully they get determined by violence. The Italians are very far from violent rebellion, obviously. Life is good despite all the shite. But it is a very fine line. Things should be an awful lot better.
And the Italian people know exactly whom to blame.