Something remarkable happened yesterday in Italy. Apart from the having yet another election, discovering horsemeat in lasagne and preparing for a new Pope, one quarter of the voting population decided to show their political masters what a bloody nose looks by voting for a protest party set up by a comedian with a healthy disdain for all Politicians.
Politics in Italy has always been a lively affair, packed to the brim with corruption, nepotism and tax evasion – it isn’t a coincidence that a people used to having their hard earned money stolen by gangsters know where to hide it – and yesterday saw the wholesale rejection of all that was on offer from the same tired political parties. Berlusconi – the Bunga Bunga billionaire playboy will no doubt be nursing his shattered ego this morning, shocked that the simple peasants refused to vote for more of the same, Mario Monti, the unelected “technocrat” installed by Brussels to make sure the French and German bank loans remained safe and taxes were raised and Pier Luigi Bersani’s socialist hotch potch of high spending, high borrowing Statists with their promises of anti austerity and free turnips for all – all cast aside and now gesticulating wildly that the votes for a comedian who runs an anti State, anti politics blog cannot be taken seriously.
Except of course, Beppe Grillo’s 5 Star movement is not a political party and is not meant to fit into the niche Elitist club of Italian Politics. Started by the readers of his blog in despair at the endless corruption, power mongering and downright Mafia tactics that prevail, his movement is making only one demand. It will not form a coalition with any other party and actually does not want any power. Grillo himself has declared that the support for his movement, 25% of the vote, is a war of generations, fed up with chaos that the last 25 years of greedy, vain and corrupt politics has spawned.
Could it happen here? We have certainly seen the rise of new political movements, nourished through the freedom of information that can flow through the internet instantly – we have seen how everyone with a smartphone has a voice via Facebook, twitter and internet forums but is it really enough to put a dent in the hallowed Hogwartesque regime of the Glorious 650 MPs at Parliament? Yes – it is. Whilst our politicians squabble over who touched whose knee, millions of us are fed up. We may all have differing opinions but now we have the voice and the power to overrule the pompous vested interests of a few career politicians and their lobbyist cronies. Where once, a government could summon a few newspaper editors and dictate tomorrow’s news, they are powerless to control dissent or manipulate the masses.
It’s time to liven up Politics a little. It’s time for us to show them that we too have had enough of taxes, corruption, intrusion, censorship and theft. All we have to do is vote for the None of the Above Party led by a charismatic anarchist – after all, Italy just did. Now, where’s Jeremy Clarkson when you need him…..