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The Italian local elections

Ex-communists win re-election in Turin and Rome, and a Christian Democrat type (allied with the ex-communists) wins re-lection in Naples. Pity about Turin, where Rocco Buttiglione, the candidate for the ‘House of Freedoms’ is an interesting Catholic philosopher (but what can one expect from the city of the Red Brigades – and of that black hole for money, Fiat).

In Sicily the candidate supported by the ex-communists was defeated, although ‘the left’ (I know there is no agreed definition as to what ‘left’ and ‘right’ mean, but it is the term these people use to describe themselves) are claiming that “the friends” had a hand in the re-election of the foe of the ex-communists. Of course few complained when the Mafia supported Anglo American action in Sicily against the totalitarians of the time (the Italian Fascists and the German National Socialists), the Mafia may have their own (corrupt) reasons for opposing totalitarianism – but oppose it they do.

Of course the ex-communists now occupy the positions of President of Italy and of Speaker of at least one of the two houses of the Italian Parliament (the other being occupied by an allied ‘leftist’). Prime Minister Prodi has indeed worked hard to entrench his unholy alliance of European Union linked big business (the small family owned business enterprises in Italy tend to oppose Mr Prodi and his ‘Olive Tree’) and ex-communists into positions of power. Re-imposing inheritance tax (to undermine Italian family owned enterprises and hand the economy over to the state and to the corporations) will be the next move.

However, I more interested in what happened in Milan. The lady standing there for the House of Freedoms Party, Letizia Moratti, was not accused of corruption (the weapon the ‘left’ used against Mr Berlusconi.) nor is she a dodgy ‘National Alliance’ type (if one traces the National Alliance party’s history back one eventually comes to rather nasty collectivist statists – although of the ‘Black’ rather than the ‘Red’ variety). The lady was a moderate economic liberal, of exactly the sort one would think would suit a commercial city like Milan.

More than this, there was the terrible incident at the start of May when Letizia Moratti took her father to an event marking the liberation of Milan from the National Socialist Germans and their Italian ‘Social Republic’ (i.e. fascist) allies at the end of World War II. Although the lady was in the company of her elderly and disabled father (who had been sent to a concentration camp by the Germans), she was insulted, pushed and spat on by various ‘leftists’.

“Yes Paul, but Ms. Moratti won the election”.

Yes the lady won the election (in a city which has tended in recent years to vote against the ‘left’) – but she won it by only 51% to 47% (minor parties making up the rest of the votes). One would have thought that the pushing and insulting and spitting on a lady (especially in front of her elderly and disabled father) would be unacceptable to more than 51% of the population.

To put in bluntly, almost half the population of Milan have shown themselves to be lower than shit.

12 comments to The Italian local elections

  • Tom

    All those who didn’t vote for Ms Moratti are ‘lower than shit’.

    This is a silly thing to say and you know it.

  • rob

    jeez, yeah.

    just because some moron acts in an appauling way doesnt mean that you are complicit with them for voting in the way you think is right. if someone was standing against a libertarian candidate, and they got spat on, it would be ridiculous to accuse you of being “lower than shit” for voting against them.

    chill out.

  • Paul Marks

    No – all those who voted for the left (after the way they had acted) are lower than shit.

    There were other candidates – and there is always the option of not voting (or spoiling the paper).

    No doubt the candidate of the Olive Tree officially opposed what was done to the lady – but I suspect that he (quietly) accepted the support of the activists who had done it.

    He should have said “you scum have no place in Milan”, and acted on this by refusing to cooperate in any way with the organizations they came from.

    Did he do this?

  • Paul Marks

    I should say that there is no such thing as the House of Freedoms “party” – it is an alliance of parties.

    But then as I forgot to even put in the names of the people I was talking about (they were kindly put in for me) I am not surprised that I made that error.

    Indeed I should “chill out” (if that means not write whilst in a rage), but a rather expected a landslide in Milan – out of disgust with how the left had acted.

    To see 47% of the voters back them was rather unexpected news for me (perhaps I should have checked the opinion polls).

    Next move to Mr Prodi.

    No doubt tax increases (apart from, perhaps, for his corporate friends) – inheritance tax is likely.

    Some Italian family manufacturing enterprises have lasted centuries and (in spite of all the regulations and costs they have to face) still prosper.

    Mr Prodi and his mixture of corporates and “ex” communists hate them with a passion.

  • Tom


    I think you’re being unfair to the leftist candidate.

    But I’d be prepared to stipulate that he’s a toad because it wouldn’t affect my point.

    That 47% might have had all sorts of reasons for voting the way that they did, but they are not all ‘lower than shit’.

    When I was at college some of the sillier members of the Conservative Association sang Nazi songs and made Nazi salutes at some function or other. Hague (the Leader of the Opposition at the time) didn’t expel them from the Party, and indeed probably ‘accepted the support of the activists who had done it’ when it came to the next election campaign.

    Does this make all Tory voters ‘lower than shit’?

    Do me a favour.

  • Karl Rove

    Why the hysterical enthusiasm for Mr Burlesconi (sic)?
    Just because he’s not communist doesn’t excuse his monumental corruption; and general infantilism. Life is more complicated than being non-commie.

    It’s up to Italians to come up with a 3rd alliance that’s worth something (que vale).

  • Why the hysterical enthusiasm

    Hysterical enthusiam? Where? You are a bit of a idiot really, don’t you agree?

    Does this make all Tory voters ‘lower than shit’?

    All? No, just most of them.

  • Paul Marks

    Mr B. was not the candidate in Milan – please check your facts Karl (for example Mr B. has not had a sex change).

    Let me repeat what happened at the start of May.

    A lady who is a moderate economic liberal (in the old sense of a free market person – but not a libertarian like some of us here) took her disabled father (who had been sent to a concentration camp by the Germans) to an event marking the liberation of Italy from the German National Socialists and their Italian “social Republic” (i.e. Fascist) allies in 1945.

    The lady was insulted, pushed and spat on by the leftist activists at the event (many of whom came from organisations allied to the Olive Tree).

    I repeat, what did the Olive Tree candidate do to cut off links with these people and with the organizations they represented?

    As for Italian politics generally. Certainly Mr B. was a big spender, however I rather doubt that Mr Prodi is going to lauch a crusde to scale back the Italian Welfare State.

    What Mr Prodi will do is (for example) reintroduce inheritance tax in order to undermine family owned enterprises and hand the economy over to the state and the corporations.

    Remember where his support comes from. It comes from the E.U. linked corps (always after more subsidies) and from the “ex” communists.

    The old unholy alliance of corporate big business and the Marxists.

    As for Mr B.

    Perhaps he did pay bribes to avoid having his business destroyed by taxes and regulations.

    If he did, how is this a wicked thing?

    Surely the wicked thing was introducing those taxes and regulations in the first place.

    Also one must remember what he (rightly) said “these charges are always made at election time”.

    This is exactly how the “ex” communist judges in Italy do proceed.

    Italy is the land of Gramsci – he of the long march through the institutions.

    The communists have not denounced the ideas of Karl Marx (which is why the term “ex communist” is misleading – we are not dealing with people like Max Eastman here, we are dealing with new parties of people who have made tactical shifts), nor have they given up there aim to control civil society.

  • Paul Marks

    Well I did not think that the comment I had just typed was that long, but it has been hit by smite control.

    Hopefully it will appear in due course.

  • J

    Reading all this doesn’t make Italian politics any clearer to me, I’m afraid.

    What is clear, is that if you think you can excuse Mr B’s actions over the last several years by saying his business interests were overregulated and overtaxed, then your frames of referrence regarding politics and morality are so far different from mine as to preclude any kind of useful debate.

    Someone seriously defending Mr B is rather like those people claiming that the US didn’t really lose Vietnam, or that Kmer Rouge did a lot of good really.

    In fact, I never get bored of that ‘different reality’ stuff:

    It’s fascinating.

  • Paul Marks

    Actually I do not think much of Mr B.

    If you had read my comments you were see that I call him a big spender – I had hoped it was obvious that I meant that he was big government spending.

    However, J.

    Can you please name a single owner of a business enterprise in Italy who has not had to pay a bribe at some stage or another?

    Or is your “morality” that everyone should allow their business to be destroyed?

    What would happen to all the people who work for these enterpises J?

    Are there people on the planet Mars who would pay for them?

    Is starvation your “morality”?

    As for Vietnam do you know anything about this war, are you just a “good student” who repeats whatever his teachers tell him?

    Here are some facts for you.

    The bulk of the United States army was removed by Richard Nixon.

    Even in the Easter Invastion (by the N.V.A.) in 1973 almost everyone doing the fighting on the ground was from the A.R.V.N. (although there was U.S. air support).

    By 1975, the date of the American defeat you have been taught about, virtually the only American force in the Republic of Vietnam were the marines at the embassy.

    One can argue over whether “Vietnamization” (leaving the A.R.V.N. [Army of the Republic of Vietnam] to do all the fighting) could ever have worked (and, of course, there are thousands of American troops in the Republic of Korea even today – and the policy was never rerally tired there in the Korean war) or whether the fault lay with Congress for cutting off supplies to the A.R.V.N.

    Althouth it is common to snear at the A.R.V.N. (and some units were weak, and many commanders were corrupt) it did lose 250,000 men, so many of things said about its “yellow streak” and so on are unfair.

    However, this American defeat (if you mean a MILITARY defeat) only exists in the fantasy world that you mention.

    The American army has suffered terrible defeats – but none of them were in Vietnam (hard though it may be for you to understand that).

    There were lots of deaths in Indo China (almost 60 thousand – compared to over 400 thousand in W.W.II. and more than half a million in the Civil War) , but no major defeat – it might have better if there had been one (say a division over run) then the politicians back in the United States might have taken the war seriously. And either pulled out or ended the “limited war” orders.

    Nor was Vietnam entirely an iregular war (as many of my fellow British people seem to think) – “why did the Americans not fight the way we did in Malayia?” – errr because they were facing not just the V.C. (or N.L.F. as it called itself) but the vast structure of the regular N.V.A. (General Giap admitted to losing a million men) which had extensive support from both Red China and the Soviet Union.

    The British force that won in Malayia would have been wiped out in a day in Vietnam.

    Of course there was a political defeat – in that Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia fell to the Marxists (although they later proved to have their own internal divisions – especially between the Vietnamese Communists and the Cambodian Communists reflecting the political divisions between pro Soviet Marxists and pro Mao Marxists) and millions of people were murdered (and not just in Cambodia – although percentage losses were vastly higher there).

    Although millions of other people managed to flee (although many died trying) – no doubt you have heard of the boat people.

    You may also (if you cast your mind back) remember that it was not normal for people to flee NORTH during the war.

    I am certainly not happy about this enemy victory (indeed I suspect that I am rather more upset about it than you are).

    But it was the consequence of political choices. Not choices made by fighting men.

    Any effort to take the enemy H.Q. in the north? No (forbidden).

    Any serious effort to cut enemy supply lines through Laos by the use of regular ground forces (unlike Korea, Vietnam is not covered on both sides by the sea) – No (forbidden). The airforce and the C.I.A. would do the job. What military man believed that? No one did, but the politicans thought they knew better than the silly Generals.

    A “limited war” approach (i.e. treating war is as if it were a blood covered game rather than a serious undertaking).

    The war stopped (in the sense of bombing or even major offensive operations) whenever the enemy agreed to “talks” (thus meaning that whenever the Communists started to lose they could basically call a “time out”).

    I could go on and on – but no doubt, you are young and bored.

    But even with what I have told you so far does this sound like a plan for victory to you?

  • Paul Marks

    Before you came back at me with “you are getting senile…..”

    The April attack was in 1972 (I typed 1973).

    Of course that does not mean that I am not getting senile (I may well be).