The appearance of his mother and father in a short video on the telly last night reduced the current leader of the Italian Democratic Party to tears. And well it might. Over a picture of the boy Bersani at his first holy communion his mother stated:
Yes he's communist but in those days it was perfectly respectable, like being a Christian Democrat.
No it's not respectable, Signora Bersani, nor was it ever; you should know (and I think you do know) that in most Italian families communism is not thought respectable - not just wrongheaded and incompetent at delivering its ostensible aims but irreligious and deliberately destructive of family and society. More people, millions and millions of people have died at the hands of communists and socialists than you can count. More misery and dishonesty has been brought into the world by people like your son (who regard themselves as 'good' people, occupying the moral high ground, entitled to live at the expense of others, ruin the lives of others because they can deliver 'fairness' and 'equality' denied by 'the rich') than has been brought happiness or a good and fulfilling life for most. Ask the people of the former Soviet Union, of the former German Democratic Republic, of Poland, Hungary, ask the Czechs; ask the peoples of the Balkans whose modern factories and modern workers are now undermining the entire life chances of the working people in Italy upon whose lives your oh-so-respectable son has leached for his entire adult life with the false consciousness and broken economic analyses of workers' power.
Now we are told Bersani is not a communist but a 'proper' social democrat, a European social democrat, a progressive social democrat (what used to be called a eurocommunist till the 1980s) and that he seeks and enables - yes, you've guessed it - fairness, equality, the protection of the weak, the stripping of the rich..... except the rich in the eurocommunist playbook are the people who are making their own way in life, and don't expect the entire state to be slaved to the needs and demands of the entitled and their clients on the 'moral high ground'.
So, cry your eyes out, remembering the millions, and their families, destroyed and still being destroyed by communism. Cry for them Compagno Bersani.