Letter and opinions of a colleague of mine to a German friend who wrote being vastly upset at the Italian vote, “for 2 stand-up comedians”. Thank you A.
You know, things here are more complex than what the media say, and have been saying for years. This is also because either politicians or media, here in Italy, never really understood who the people who have voted for Grillo are. Grillo is not a simple comedian: he became an activist many years ago, refusing to show himself on tv due to what he called the corrupt media system in Italy. He created his blog, which is the most visited blog in the world. He has been fighting against things that in the rest of Europe are often normal: sustainability, lack of work due to the élite who would occupy the key jobs in all fields, lack of meritocracy. He fought against this terrible election rules we have in which citizens cannot choose the politician (the lists are made and locked by the parties: this is also at the basis of corruption, since politicians are not afraid anymore not to be re-elected by citizens, as their reference is the secretary of their party and not the voters anymore). He wanted to get internet free and make bureaucracy digitalized, he fought the euro not as a fascist or nationalist but by fighting against the banks’s speculations and the state banks covering the debts of private banks with the money of the citizens.
He has been saying these things traveling all over Italy for more that 7 years, gathering around him and his civic movement honest people, the so-called ‘lost generation’ of 30 and 40 years old brilliant people who have been prevented from finding a job – again, we have a tremendous work law system, that the left wing doesn’t want to change, that forbids any way of firing people, in Italy you cannot fire anyone, so you have the untouchables on one side, public officers mainly, all put there because of political reasons and advantages, never for any quality or skill – and so you have all this crowd of the best Italians who are forced to get stages, or jobs for 3 months in call centers, whereas the worse people or the privileged are occupying key positions.
Grillo is a crazy person, and I didn’t vote him due to his topics on technology and because I don’t like people who insult. Nevertheless, when a country as ours is locked, has been locked into corruption for 30 years, without any perspective (the left wing is so old, conservative and stuck on their privileges too) for anyone, that only a man like this could gather these people around him, he was the only one who went in the street, on the buses, in the markets, at the post office, and understood how miserable the average people’s life is in our country, and when you see that the best ones are literally almost dying, and the worst ones have total power, and the others, just stare and look, remaining like zombies, because they don’t want to change a system that guarantees to the left the power of being at the opposition, well, many of these honest people, old and young, saw in Grillo the only possibility to change everything, because there were no other solutions.
And let me say that I think that this is a great civil non violent citizen event. It’s like if Occupy Wall Street became a real movement, so strong, to be in the position to get to Congress. What other country succeeded into this? Again, I don’t like Grillo, I don’t fully trust him, and I don’t like the guru that stands behind him, a weird man who talks about ‘the new world order’ and things like that. But I have to tell you that people who have voted for Grillo are the most honest ones, it’s just people who want to have a suitable and decent job, and who never had the chance to refer to any honest politician. People who are aware of how the rest of Europe is working and developing, and who refuse to accept for ever that with Italy you can’t do anything, you have to make with what you have.
Some excellent German journalists who are based in Italy, the best foreign journalists, really, they have instead very well understood all this: Udo Gumpel for instance, he was among the ones who said that Grillo’s movement is not populist at all, and that many topics from his program (the media have been saying he doesn’t have a program , which is absolutely not true) are based on what the rest of Europe has achieved already.
What really makes me sad is that the left wing, in my opinion, is the real responsible for all what happened. They had a great young candidate, Matteo Renzi, the mayor of Florence, who would have obtained 1/3 of the votes of Grillo and 1/3 (maybe less) of the ones who voted for Berlusconi: he had a new vision for the work laws system (this unacceptable prevention from firing people that is preventing anyone from having access to decent jobs) that was attracting many from the right wing who had a real contempt towards Berlusconi, he was also someone who was in touch with real people, great speaker and doer, everyone, everyone loved him, the elder, the young ones, many of the right wing (the non corrupted ones, as who has voted for Berlusconi mainly did it just to keep on evading taxes).
Renzi also had a new and more open perspective on fiscal issues, that was attractive for the many entrepreneurs and small or larger industrials, that are the bone of the real Italian economy and who are collapsing due to the lack of any kind of change of economic policies in the last 30 years. But the party, following this pathological Italian mentality for which the best has not the right to thrive because what would then happen to the less-skilled, a system that then has become such that the worse are the ones that are preferred because they prevent all the others from doing better, the left wing party imposed these primary elections (therefore the many non left wing people have not voted Renzi, whereas they would have voted for him in political elections) within the party, and obviously Renzi lost, due to the conservative mentality oh his own party, which was afraid of losing its privileges and the votes of the extreme left wing party and the votes of the main union group, the CGIL.
Many people, including Renzi, are furious today, since everybody knows that Renzi would have been a super winner in these elections, gathering and getting votes from the right wing parties, and from the many disappointed honest people from Grillo (many of them are normal people like lawyers, engineers, searchers, doctors, just normal people! There is here no comparison at all with the extreme right wing movement like in Greece or in Germany or in France). And you know? Even Berlusconi did declare that he decided to take part to these elections again only because Renzi was not there, that, in case Renzi would be the left wing candidate, he would not try to be elected. Can you believe this?
Forgive all these words, but I would like you to know how things really are: we are not the country who has voted for two stand-up comedians. Berlusconi is a corrupted man, who got the votes basically from the ones who don’t want to pay taxes. Grillo is a blogger, and should we state that the web has been the greatest revolution in this century, and then be shocked if a blogger creates a real people movement that affects the Parliament not with bombers or fascists or anarchists, but with normal and decent people who struggle against corruption?
I think this is maybe very good for my country, even more, it may become an example of an absolute new and non violent civil real democratic participation of the people to the institutions. We will see. Personally, I would like so much that Renzi would present himself again in case of new elections, even if I am afraid that he has lost the magic moment, and the party will not let him do it.
Let’s wait and see! Italy always comes up with surprises, and not always bad ones.
I look forward to coming to Berlin, and I will, sooner or later!