Thursday, May 01, 2008

What is going on in Italy?

Firstly the electorate returns corrupt hard-right crook Silvio Berlusconi to power, then the city of Rome elects a neo-fascist mayor (first right wing mayor since 1943, and I don't think you need to look at Wikipedia to recall what kind of political climate there was in Italy in 1943).

From the outside it is really really hard to imagine how anyone could vote for Berlusconi since he's seems so utterly unfit for public office as he's so bent. But someone's whose views I trust absolutely tells me that many people actually vote for him because he's such a crook and yet he's managed to beat the system so often (read: got himself elected so that he can change the system and thus not get convicted by it). And here I think Romania has corruption problems.

(There is of course a Romanian angle to this whole story, since there are half a million Romanians living in Italy and they will of course suffer greatly in such an extremist political climate)

Mind you, this is not just Italy, since it seems completely possible that today London, a city which prides itself on its multicultural character, looks set to elect a racist mayor. Boris Johnson, a man whose main claim to fame is that he behaves like a buffoon on a regular basis (but then uses that cretinous exterior to hide the fact that he's a really hard line right wing wanker, who uses words like "piccaninny" like he's a slave owner). As a friend memorably described him (and you should look away now if bad language offends) he is a cunt in twat's clothing.

The world's going to hell in a handbasket.

1 comment:

ursus arctos said...

I'm afraid this is getting worse rather than better.

Bossi and the other hardliners in Silvio's government (it says a lot that he is a moderate in such company), have stepped up their anti-immigrant rhetoric from the already ridiculous levels of the election campaign, and we now have the first documented evidence of hotheads in Napoli burning a Rom camp to the ground over an alleged attempt by one of its residents to "steal an Italian child" (the local Lega response was "people will take the law into their own hands when the State fails to act"). A recent poll found two thirds of respondents in favour of expelling all Rom, whether here legally or not (some families have been here since the 15th century), and feverish attempts are being made to expel as many people as possible on whatever pretext may be available (the intracacies of Italian regulation when it comes to immigration, right to work, residence and the like mean that pretexts aren't hard to find).

Given the rabid nature of the rhetoric, the distinction between Rom and Romanian has again been lost by many, while the Lega mayor of Verona claimed to be supporting the local "hard working" Romanians by claiming that they too, wanted the Rom expelled.

The debate is now centering on the more than 100,000 Eastern Europeans who serve as home health care aides and companions for the elderly. Some members of Silvio's coalition want them to be exempted from any expulsion, as they are seen as essential in a rapidly aging society that is severely short of state care for the elderly. Others refuse to even recognise the issue.

Profoundly depressing from every possible angle.