Italian Lesson

This supports our earlier post suggesting citizens with corrupt governments have more social coherence than we have in our high-trust societies.

In wonderful but corrupt Italy (CPI score 4.9, worse than Malaysia), the citizens are revolting (my ellipsis);

The Italians…are not reserved people…more than 330,000 of them queued for hours in the hot sun recently to tell their politicians: vaffanculo! (roughly the equivalent of “f*** you”).

Led by Beppe Grillo, a chubby, bearded comic who is Italy’s version of Michael Moore, the masses rallied to protest against corruption and back-slapping. The protest even reached London, with a group of expats forming a V in Piccadilly Circus.

Grillo organised the whole thing through his blog, which is now, improbably, in the world’s top 10 most-read list. The success of V-Day, as it was quickly dubbed, has resulted in a third of Italians supporting Grillo for prime minister, according to a poll by Sky Television.

Grillo and his followers are not making excessive demands. They want to be able to vote for an MP directly, rather than for a party. They want no criminals in parliament (currently one in 10 has a conviction). Lastly, they want a ban on so-called “professional politicians”, who serve a couple of terms to boost their business contacts and win lucrative contracts.

The Italian president’s response was, er, Italian:

Prodi’s response to the vaffanculo! from the public was to stick two fingers up himself. You get the politicians you deserve, he said, pointing out that they are normal people like everyone else in Italy, not some special class of lizard men.

One in ten Italians with a conviction? I don’t think so.

Brits should follow this example to protest the many impositions of their despotic state, including state removal of newborn babies from their mothers and one-hour-notice eviction of old people from nursing homes.



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