Richard Cottrell

Beppe Grillo RIP: King Lear heads for deep space

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By Richard Cottrell

Contributing writer for End the Lie

Beppe Grillo in 2010 (Image credit: 4v4l0n42)

Beppe Grillo in 2010 (Image credit: 4v4l0n42)

Italy’s corrupt political classes may now sleep well in their beds at night. The meteor has passed and even now is heading into the fastness of deep space.

Beppe Grillo, the bright star who was going to change the world, has blown it. In the recent municipal elections his personal political stretch limo, the Five Star Movement, which only three months ago catapulted to Italy’s 3rd largest political movement, sank to a lowly 14%.

Editor’s note: be sure to read Richard’s previous articles “An open question to NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen: why did you try to ban my book on Gladio?” and “Riots in Istanbul: Gladio strikes again

The mainstream media collapsed with laughing at the flop.  In Rome the burglars are back on the premises. The corrupt socialist party, associated with the scandals of the disgraced leader Bettino Craxi of the 1980’s, is back in full charge of the state with the aid of the malignant imp of the brass go-go dancer pole, the octogenarian Lothario, Silvio Berlusconi.

The grand coalition is back to its usual Italian tricks of dispensing favors to cronies, bilking the electorate, peddling false promise and, scratching their mutual backs, the same sickness which has cursed and blighted Italian politics since WWII.

The bright young Grillini who flooded into parliament in the famous and so-recent Roman Spring are out in the cold. For this they have only to blame the hirsute satirist-comedian who simply would not stop shouting with his now exhausted vocal chords. When Grillo first appeared as a serious challenger I wrote here at End the Lie that Grillo was essentially a piazza populist whose depths might not run deep.

The tragedy is that Italians rejoiced when the bright young things with no previous political attachments or liabilities flooded into parliament.  For a moment the tragically backwards Italians political establishment looked as though it was due for a long postponed spring cleaning.

The mood did not last, because Grillo belongs to the ranks of those who will not and cannot let go.

I speculated that Grillo, who chose not run for election because of past problems with a conviction for manslaughter in a car accident, would not resist the role of the constant interferer. This would choke the opportunities for leaders to merge organically from the ranks of the Grillini.

Instead, Grillo charged around Italy, from one piazza to another, until Italians became sick of hearing his constant stream of hectoring invectives.

The attack dog lost his bark and his bite.

Too late, the Grillini launched a resistance movement.  Cowed, Grillo posted some of their concerns at his own blog, but there was no recognition that he understood his own failure to adopt calm habits was both the source and cause of the problem. Fire and enthusiasm is one thing, demagoguery quite another.

Grillo attempted to transplant his decades-long clown prince stadium performances to the ante-room of the parliamentary system, to which he voluntarily consigned himself. An essentially nervous and insecure personality refused to allow a natural parliamentary leadership to arise, for fear he would find himself playing the role of King Lear: dispensable.

His understanding of democracy, which he promised Italians, turned out to be seriously flawed.  He seemed to be yearning for the same kind of reverence formerly accorded Benito Mussolini, the pre-war Blackshirt Dictator. My earlier warnings pointed exactly to this flaw in his make-up and character.

Grillo comes from the north eastern sub-Alpine city of Genova, which was also the home city of Garibaldi, the campaigning primitive socialist general who united Italy. There was never any doubt that Grillo saw himself as a second Garibaldi.

Yet Grillo failed to heed Garibaldi’s fate. He was eventually rejected by his own countrymen who found themselves less than contented with the Risorgimento, the Italian union established just over a century ago.  Garibaldi was a spell-binding orator, but never managed to construct a lasting political edifice. The George Washington of Italy is now a largely forgotten hero.

The Grillini will now fade into yet another tapestry of Italian history. Eager, intelligent, young and attractive, they are compelled to give way to the likes of Berlusconi, whose latest political dream is to impose himself as the head of an entirely new political system based on direct Gaullist-style, presidential rule.

The adventure of the non-party party, a phenomenon which genuinely excited Italy, is over. Of course it was always in so many respects an impossible dream. And yet, here was a flicker, if only for a moment, of a dream that might have been if only the father succored his infants and then left them alone to grow strong, lusty limbs.

Edited by End the Lie

Richard Cottrell is a writer, journalist and former European MP (Conservative). His new book Doctor Who? The Atomic Bomber Beeching and his War on the Railways is available and Gladio: NATO’s Dagger At The Heart Of Europe is now available from Progressive Press. You may order it using the link below (or by clicking here – Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis):

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