Tonight Beppe Grillo addresses the Five Star Movement in piazza San Giovanni in Rome. This enormous piazza is the venue of the Left. Here the Left has celebrated every victory, whipped up enthusiasm for every challenge, re-affirmed itself to strains of Bella Ciao and Bandiera Rossa, waved its trades union banners, marched in serried ranks of grim-faced 'workers' for the last 60 years. Tonight it will be packed with those of us who want, at almost any cost, to bury the Left and all it stands for in its own estimation.
Their Left is bad news. Authoritarian, statist, exploitative of the poor, globalist, exponents of managed democracy, it dresses in the grave clothes of the 19th and 20th centuries to give cover for its determination to plan our lives and our hopes while it feasts off our labour, our entrepreneurship, our creativity and, inevitably, our joie de vivre.
They had to hold their rally yesterday, in Naples. Nobody came. 2000 people bussed in from all over Campania huddled in the centre of piazza del Plebiscito (some irony there) waving Party-issue flags on the order of their commissars but even last year's Durham Miners' Gala could have done better on the banners front. A grim-faced Bersani hectored them with his usual vulgar hand gestures. And then they were bussed back to Campania sperduta. Tonight the great Leader will address selected cadres in a tits and bums Rome music hall while the people flock to San Giovanni and those dismissed as comedians. Dario Fo, Adriano Celentano, have joined with Grillo:
"Surrender! You are surrounded by the Italian people! Go home and we will let you pass." they, and we, have told the corrupt political establishment of left and right.
And Mario Monti? Blown away by his own hand. He would not or could not reassure us that he wasn't, in the end, an ally of the proto-communists holding the Democratic party (and, inter alia with every intention of paying off the debts of the Communist Party of Italy and its successor the Democratic Socialists with tax-payers' money - hundreds of millions Bersani will meet with our cash. He even saved the Monti dei Paschi, a story that becomes more disgusting by the hour.)
$2.3 trillion of public debt (ah, remarked Mr HG, it's fallen a bit) and we turn to Dario Fo. And we are right to do so.
Neil Sinhababu (NUS) has a new...
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