I’ve been hearing disturbing but well-informed voices about the result of the election in Italy, the Eurozone’s third biggest economy, which if correct will cause the global liberal elite to go ape and try to section Italy. The result which such voices are predicting will have a similarly disturbing effect on global libertarian conservatives. As for the markets, they will go bananas.
Here’s what these voices are saying. The anti-party Movimento Cinque Stelle (M5S) which is run like a Scientology sect and would if it got the chance replace Parliament with direct democracy on the internet will get many more votes than suggested in the last opinion polls before Italy’s poll black-out two weeks before election day. According to those last polls the M5S would get 27 per cent of the vote and be the top party though behind the Coalition of the Right comprising Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right Forza Italia (16 per cent), Matteo Salvini’s populist right Lega (14 per cent) and Giorgia Meloni’s post-fascist Fratelli d’Italia (5 per cent) plus a small centrist party which together were polling 37 per cent.
Matteo Renzi’s post-communist Partito Democratico meanwhile was trailing badly in third place on 22 per cent and its coalition on 25 per cent. So observers and commentators concentrated on whether or not the Coaliton of the Right would achieve the 42 per cent necessary to get a majority in Parliament or if not what kind of typically Italian deal could be struck and with who to achieve the 42 per cent. Now according to the voices I’m hearing today the M5S got 33 per cent of the votes when polls closed at 10pm British time.
And it will agree to form a coalition government with Liberi e Uguali (LEU), a small breakaway party of die-hard ex-communists, who left the post-communist PD when Italy’s Tony Blair Matteo Renzi became its leader, which will get 5 per cent. This party’s leader Pier Luigi Bersani regards Jeremy Corbyn as his soul-mate.
These two will be joined by a tranche of disillusioned PD parliamentarians who cannot abide Renzi especially after he failed to do anything much to sort the economy out and lost an ill-judged referendum on constitutional reform in December 2016 after which he resigned as Prime Minister.
The M5S always used to refuse the idea of coalitions with other parties as it is a movement and not a party and it sees parties as the problem as much as parliament.
This has meant that the M5S founded in 2008 could not form a government as it was unable to get enough votes on its own. Last year, however, the movement’s founder Beppe Grillo – a comedian, demagogue and convicted manslaughterer who is a Latin version of Billy Connolly - took a back seat and the new leader Gigi di Maio who is only 31 and has never really had a job outside politics has softened the line.
Of late, Di Maio has indicated that he might be prepared to form a coalition with parties that shared the M5S’s programme. The M5S has been notably hostile to the EU and the euro and illegal migrants masquerading as refugees but has even back-tracked on both (which would please the hard left). As I say these are only voices. We shall see.
I think that the Lega led by the 44-year-old Salvini will do far better than the last opinion polls before the opinion poll black-out suggested, and that it will get more votes than the 81-year-old Berlusconi’s Forza Italia. Under an agreement between the two leaders whichever party in the Coalition of the Right that gets the most votes will provide the Prime Minister – assuming of course that the coalition gets the 42 per cent of the votes required to guarantee a majority which is a big assumption. If it does- a big if I must admit - then Salvini will be Premier.
This too will spook the global liberal-left and the Brussels eurocracy who define Salvini and the Lega as“far right” – i.e. fascist - and both will do all in their power to stop it happening - though it will not as an M5S victory would displease the world’s libertarian conservatives.
Four-times Prime Minister Berlusconi is banned from standing for public office anyway after his tax fraud conviction in 2013 even though he behaves like a Prime Minister in waiting. And he did not reveal his candidate for Premier Antonio Tajani who is currently President of the EU Parliament until Thursday. And he is very old – dyed transplanted hair, face caked in make-up, and forgetful.
A topless woman ambushed him at the polling station in Milan on Sunday with “Berlusconi Scaduto!”(Berlusconi Past His Sell-By Date!) scrawled across her breasts. The old rogue was highly amused. But the slogan echoes what many many Italians surely feel.
Berlusconi has been playing the moderate pro-EU elder statesman who would guarantee the Holy Grail. Italians are fed up with hundreds of thousands of migrants being ferried 300 miles to Italy from the coast of Libya by NGO and EU vessels (more than half a million since 2014) when even if they were refugees and not economic migrants (the UN for instance says the majority are not refugees) the first safe port is inTunisia.
No. Italians are not fascists as the global media mainstream led by Britain’s Guardian has been telling the world week in week out. Small fascist parties do exist but are not expected to get any seats. Yes Fratelli d’Italia is post-fascist but if that means fascist then Tony Blair’s a commie.
And enough Italians are confident enough to ignore the relentless accusations from the world’s liberal-left media that they are fascists and they see the Lega as the best bet to stop the migrants setting off from Libya and to deport all of the 630,000 migrants estimated to be in Italy of whom only 30,000 are estimated to be genuine refugees.
The Lega is also hostile to the EU and the euro and promises a flat tax of 15 per cent in Italy a country where the official fiscal hit on each Italian family is 43 per cent of each euro earned (the real rate is much higher and more like 48 per cent ). Berlusconi proposes a flat tax of 23 per cent. The Lega also proposes a living wage to stay at home mothers.
I think a hell of a lot of young Italians will have voted for the Lega and its youthful leader Salvini who talks tough but is very practical and molto simpatico. The official youth unemployment rate is down from 45 per cent five years ago but still appallingly high at 35 per cent. And it is young Italians – unlike in Britain – who are most hostile to the EU which has only made Italy’s economic and migrant crises even worse and so their own already bleak prospects even worse.
This of course makes them likely also to vote for the anti-etablishment internet movement M5S which promises “Piazza Pulita!” and “Vaffa! (drain the swamp, and fuck off – roughly speaking) – to the old way of governing the country.
According to those last opinion polls before the black-out two weeks ago around one third of Italians were either undecided or would not vote so disgusted and disillusioned by Italian democracy are they. Of these one third would will vote – they told pollsters - but had yet to decide how. That’s 10 per cent don’t knows. They hold the key.