Thursday, 19 April 2012

End the Public Funding of Political Parties

Morphing into full vamp-face is as  nothing in effect when compared with the visceral distaste induced by watching Italian political parties justifying their continued drawing upon tax-payer funding.  The last tranche of the more than 2 billion euro payout for this legislature is due.

Without it the Partito Democratico - centre-left, ie. left-over communists and socialists, mixed with triangulating centre opportunists,  will become insolvent.  They seem to have spent their share of our money on travel, hotels, conferences in various more desirable parts of Italy and the world; a steady stream of petty upgradings of their politicians' and apparatchiks' living standards.  The Northern Leagues went for gold ingots, diamonds, villas, central city appartments and supporting the Bossi family and friends with handouts, business start-ups, and jobs all round.  The Partito della Liberta' have a more bunga bunga approach to spending our money.

The Prime Minister now stands accused of running not a 'technical' government backed by a grand coalition in Parliament to straighten out the economy and deal with welfare debt, but a full blown political administration that is taking on the real problems of  the country: an enormous submerged black and grey economy; organised criminality embracing the judiciary and local governance (towns and cities are having their administrations suspended from Ventimiglia to Palermo for mafia involvement); what looks like an entire programme of arrests for clan and family heads of organised criminality - they're hauled up into the daylight from their underground hidey holes at least once a week on the Eight O'Clock News with Carabinieri officers wearing 'at last' expressions and toting submachine guns; bemused-looking diners, shoppers, yacht owners, Ferrari drivers looking for their receipts under the gaze of Financial police (with golden wings on their hats!); and night after night enraged trade union special interest groups join various professional  -well, guilds, I suppose - spitting various kinds of moral high ground venom and demands that their particular interest group's ends and means should continue to deny the rest of the potential workforce a chance of a reasonable job, pension, health service, business start-up.

The population is cheering him on.  He's committed to no more austerity and the use of all his Executive power - which is considerable - to lower taxes once the evaders' revenues are in the kitty, lose the regulations designed to keep economic activity for the privileged and connected, bring Italy's highly-skilled, and largely maintained in functioning groups during the recession, workforce into  productive contact with the European economy (indeed the international economy, given the high propensity to export to the rest of the world).

The trouble is he's determined not to continue past this year.  The disgraced political parties have been warned to clean themselves up and sort out their relationship with the institutions of the state - you know, Parliament, the Judiciary,  the Constitution, the Law, the People - and stop  setting themselves up as all those things if not more.

So now we can see them as they really are, fighting for their kind of Italy; our country that they nearly bankrupted in their incompetence and corruption; their incorrigible, self-seeking pursuit of personal gain.  By next May there will be elections for the new Legislature  and for the new Head of State.  Both the Prime Minister and the President have stated they are not available again.  And we, the people, will not put up with political parties as they were (and still are trying to remain).

It took four months for the present Prime Minister to pull the economy and public finances into some semblance of order, to get the rules of the game sorted out, to vanquish the vicious vested interests.  But the minute the politicians saw a little room for themselves they are rushing to fill it with their usual poison.  In the end their funding must be cut off.  It's the only way to kill them so we can have parties that depend upon public support and answer to our political choices.


dearieme said...

My rules for political funding in Britain:

Only individuals may give money or money's worth to parties - not companies, arms of government, unions, charities, trustees, power-of-attorney holders or anything else.

These individuals may not be recruited through unions, companies etc

Said individuals must be British citizens aged over 18.

I'm not sure that they need be residents: open to argument on that.

hatfield girl said...

That should cover it Dearieme. Residency shouldn't matter as long as there is citizenship. In any case residency is a fairly iffy category.

I was astounded when I saw the sheer amounts of tax-funded bungs handed over to political parties in Italy. And given their rate of merger, collapse, re-birth etc. unsurprisingly millions are being handed over to parties no longer in existence, or on the verge of being so. Parties are founded simply to collect the dosh. There has been an outcry over Monti removing state funding from newspapers. But then there's been an outcry from the parasitic classes over just about everything Monti has done. He forced the fiscal simplification bill through the lower house today. Made them vote one by one, by name, in front of the Speaker. That sharpened their ideas up.

Anonymous said...


Weekend Yachtsman said...

"In the end their funding must be cut off"

Hear! Hear!

Meanwhile, in the UK - which is not yet quite as corrupt - the parties are desperately trying to create a system exactly like that which you decry.

They must not be allowed to do so.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

otoh I still don't approve of Monti, on grounds of principle.

He's an EU apparatchik, a former Goldman Sachs wizard, parachuted in to do the bidding of the Germans. And he presides over a government of which NOT ONE member is elected.

You may like what he is doing (and I know his appointment was dressed up in the appropriate legalities - they always are), but is this really a good thing?

hatfield girl said...

'and I know his appointment was dressed up in the appropriate legalities - they always are'

Yacht, I am unable to gauge the interactions of political, constitutional, straightforward use of force, and all the other goings-on in the middle of the last century in Italy that created the current Italian constitution, sufficiently securely to say 'dressed up'.

I am sure that there was a lot of ill-informed reporting in the English-language media of what was happening during Berlusconi's loss of power and a lot of rushing to a political judgement, dressed up as constitutional judgement, on the democratic status of the Monti administration and on the actions of the President of Italy.

I fear that dislike of Monti's politics, and actions when holding high office in the EU against global interests, was confused with the manner of his taking office. which was unfamiliar to UK and other states democratic notions. But then, some aspects of UK (and of US) democracy are highly questionable viewed through Italy's democratic prism.

We can be certain, though, that had the present Italian administration been improperly imposed the Constitutional court would have been activated at once. Yet it is the Italian political parties that are under legal, constitutional pressure, and criminal investigation, not Senator Monti's administration or the actions of the President of the Republic.

There is the most enormous political (and I stress political not economic)and ethical crisis going on here that cannot, either, be comprehensively or accurately analysed in terms of financial data or economic categories.

Bill Quango MP said...

Mr M. Monti was arrested and accused of Treason by the united States.

That is Martin Monti. A volunteer lieutenant in the Usaaf air force who hitched a ride from the Karachi to Malta in 1944. Then he stole a reconnaissance plane from an airfield in Italy and flew to Milan, where he defected to the Nazis.

He was commissioned into the Waffen SS and began broadcasting propaganda for them.

Seven months later, the war was over. Monti joined the US 5th infantry regiment, claiming to be a POW who was given his SS uniform as his had been burned..
He was later discovered as having deserted and was arrested.

Sentenced to 15 years his sentence was commuted to time served, as long as he enlisted in the US army.

He worked well and was promoted to sergeant, the rank he held when he was arrested by the FBI in 1948. They had discovered he wasn't a POW deserter but a defector and traitor.

He was sentenced to 25 years and also a $10,000 fine.

{the fine was for the P-38 reconnaissance plane he stole.}

So... that shows what can happen when googling M.Monti - just beware.