I’ve been rather amused watching the Italian elections to see the dismay and confusion among traditional politicians, financial circles and the conventional Italian media in the face of the campaign by the comedian, Beppo Grillo in the lead-up to the Italian elections today, Sunday.
Everything was supposed to nice and smoothly with accepted politicians continuing to rule the roost, only Mr Grillo threw a gigantic spanner in the works. He has refused to deal with the conventional Italian media and instead has used the internet and local networks to spread the world about his campaign.
Good on him!
Because this isn’t just about Italy, it goes way beyond the borders of one single country.
Mr Grillo, his tactics and his manifesto are a sign of the rapidly changing nature of public life in many, many nations at this time of upheaval and sweeping out the old to make way for the new.
In an interview for the British newspaper, The Guardian, (Mr Beppo deals with foreign media not the homegrown variety), the comedian said: “…. we are witnessing a change in civilisation, not just politics,” he told the Observer. “Italy has turned its back on its political class and a new language of community, identity and honesty is filling the gap.”
Mr Beppo is also causing consternation in the ranks of political and financial circles beyond those of Italy because he’s challenging the accepted economic order of the day, economic austerity, which, in layperson’s terms means: “Screw the 99% into the ground while enriching the 1% and making sure the 1% doesn’t suffer”.
The head honchos in the accepted order of things are getting their knickers in a twist because Beppo is talking of “combining pro-environment policies with a crackdown on parliamentary privileges, a living wage for the jobless using cuts from military spending, the slashing of top managers’ wages, broadband for all, bike lanes and the right for priests to have children ‘so they don’t touch other people’s’. “(Guardian, 24/2/13). He is also committed to holding a referendum on leaving the euro and a temporary freeze on interest payments on government bonds.
All of this, of course, is voodoo economics for The Establishment, in Italy and overseas, but it’s one which people are demanding in similar terms in Greece, Spain, the UK and other EC countries where so-called economic austerity is leaving people increasingly impoverished. But it’s not confined to the EC nations. Wherever you look around the world, people are fed up to the eyeballs with cronyism, rampant corruption and greed in political and economic circles which simply can’t come to grips with the rapid changes in all sorts of societies.
We here in North Cyprus watch the BBC World News and every day on the nightly news we see protests and demonstrations in countries around the world at the economic hardship imposed on ordinary folk which the rich get richer and politicians continue to line their pockets and stick their snouts in the trough of public money.
At the moment, astrologically speaking, Pluto is in Capricorn, and Pluto is notorious for blowing up the cellar and throwing into the light of day corruption, decay, all the rotten things which have been stashed out of sight. And Capricorn relates to institutions, plutocracy, the fixed order of things, so Pluto is, you might say, stirring the establishment pot mightily. In the process, people are taking action to protest and demand fundamental changes to the way in which societies operate.
You can see the same here in little ol’ North Cyprus where corruption by politicians and the wealthy in this small nation is rife and well-known. People are sick at the self-interest while the economy stagnates and little is done to further the development of the nation. Turkish-Cypriots don’t put up with this rubbish quietly – every week you see demonstrations and strikes and demands for real action not corrupt activities by those in office and those at the top of the Establishment.
We are in for exciting times and Italy’s Mr Beppo is the tip of the iceberg. As Bob Dylan said, way back when: “The times they are a’changin’ “. And we are privileged to be taking part in such momentous changes in civilisation.