There was a blog, written by an Italian under a pseudonym, called ‘Italy is Falling’. This blog is no more. From the title of the blog, one is left under no illusions as to the writer’s feelings towards contemporary Italy. Others, it seems, may also believe that Italy is falling.
Whilst checking out new BlogfromItaly friends on the @newsfromitaly Twitter channel, I came across an Italian blog which rails against aspects of Italy which are far from perfect. This Italian blog makes grim reading, as its ‘Don’t read this Blog’ title warns.
Well, some people do read the blog they shouldn’t, and one of them is apparently a Carabiniere policeman who wrote the Italian blogger behind ‘Don’t Read this Blog’, Wil, a letter. The police officer is known to Wil by all accounts (I asked Wil), but he was reluctant to reveal his name. While perusing Wil’s blog, I came across the policeman’s letter and found its contents worrying. In order that you can understand why, here is said policeman’s letter which I have translated into English.
If you have a moment, read it. And remember that it was written by a serving Italian policeman.
The Policeman’s Letter
I’m 45 years old, and have served as Carabiniere [policeman] for 25 years. I read your blog [Non Leggere Questo Blog] every day, and every day I shudder with disgust at the disgraceful actions of this government. At work I do not hide what I think of Mr. B. and the havoc he is wreaking in Italy.
I love my country and I dream that one day it will become normal, a place where democracy is real, and where citizens are served by honest politicians. A place where my children can have a proper education and can find work without needing ‘recommendations’. A place where everyone pays taxes, and where justice is respected and valued. For these ideals, my colleagues think I am a sh**ty commie-anarchist.
Some 95% of my colleagues are right wingers / Northern League supporters (and may even be normal). The vast majority of these are fascists (meaning that on their desks or in their lockers or wallets or on their mobile phones they have pictures of Il Duce – Mussolini – or they have his speeches and films or songs popular during the Mussolini period), and when immigrants are mentioned, they are all “non-Europeans” “niggers”, while all left wingers are are “sh**ty communists”, and “f**king environmentalists” whose “arses should be kicked” or who should “all be killed”. The disgraceful actions of Mr. B. are “the lesser evil” and “…just let me get on with my job”. Misinformation dominates [Italy] and the truth interests almost no-one. In the event of a mobilization or “coup” or coup d’etat or civil war (I touch wood in order not to tempt fate) Italy’s Police Forces will line up (quite willingly) with those who initiate the coup.
I think the time has come for those who believe in other values and who do not want the [Italian] Constitution and the country to be definitively destroyed by these people, to standup and make themselves heard, express their dissent, declare loyalty to the Constitution (the original one) and to fight by civil means against this abomination.
It makes quite interesting reading, don’t you think? I think the policeman who wrote it probably thinks Italy is falling.
From a mini-conversation via Twitter with Wil, I ascertained that the policemen concerned; or should that be ‘concerned policeman’; works up in the north of Italy – which explains the reference to Italy’s Northern League party.
In Italy, while the political parties like to give the impression that they are ‘centre’ left and right, the right wingers are not quite as ‘central’ as those on the left of Italy’s centre. For some Italians right is good, whereas other think left is better. It’s a little different to the situation back in the UK where I am from.
The Old Adversaries
In the UK the antagonists of old were the socialists and the conservatives – the working classes versus the ruling classes. Nowadays, what with the socialists having mutated into a funny thing called ‘New Labour’, the battle no longer rages so fiercely. The current conservatives don’t seem too far removed from the (new) Labour party when all is said and done, and I am under the impression that voters in the UK don’t seem to be too sure who stands for what.
Within the Living Museum, though, the warring factions are those traditional antagonists, the fascists (But don’t call them fascists, because a) publicly they hate the label b) they don’t think they are, except some, who secretly carried Mussolini photos in their wallets and handbags.) and the communists (You can call communists communists in Italy, and they won’t become irate! Watch your babies though!).
I think many would admit that the Italian flavours of both communism and fascism were never quite as extreme as the Soviet and Nazi interpretations.
Today’s Italian commies, for example, would probably not go around slapping people in the Italian equivalent of Siberia (not sure there is one in Italy, anyway! – Bolzano?! – only joking!), although you get the impression that the fascist wannabes are a bit more sinister, and would like nothing more than to don black shirts and wander around beating up coloured people, gays and the like. The policeman’s letter above appears to confirm that such people in Italy do exist, unfortunately.
It’s a shame that neither those who want to be fascists, nor those who like the idea of being communists have noted that at their extreme ends, neither of these ‘isms’ is much different. Both fascist and communist regimes tend to round up hoards of people and then either imprison or shoot them. Want a few examples? East Germany, Soviet Russia, China under Mao, Cuba, Cambodia, North Korea, and even Spain.
In many of the countries which have been subjected to extreme regimes, things kicked off with a revolution. This is something which has not escaped the attention of Italians. Indeed, there is a fear amongst some Italians the Berlusconi and Co might be plotting a little take over.
Fear of Coups in Italy
The word ‘coup’ has cropped up a few times in Italy’s press recently. You would be surprised at how many people in Italy still worry about what could be called the Banana republic method of changing governments. I’ve even unearthed an article in English from the socialist daily Morning Star online which uses the word ‘coup’ in the title of this article about recent goings-on in Italy: Rome rages over Berlusconi ‘coup’.
Personally, while I don’t think a coup is that likely, I do think there are one or two people in Italy who might be capable of trying to engineer such an event… In this case, Italy might well fall.
My politics? Let’s call it a variety of ‘Futurism’ – everybody working together today to ensure the world is a better place tomorrow.
With thanks to Wil of Non Leggere Questo Blog for allowing me to republish the policeman’s letter. The original post is here: Anche i Carabinieri, nel loro piccolo, s’incazzano -translation: Even the Carabiniere, in their own little world, get pissed off.
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