Last night I was interviewed live on air by the SkyTG24 news service. This is something that hasn’t happened to me in the past fifteen years! Here is an extract of the video text.
Journalist: “So, as we promised, I would like to welcome Beppe Grillo who is joining us live on air on Nightline SkyTg24. Good evening Beppe, thank you for joining us”.
Beppe: “Thank you, Thank you indeed. Finally, after fifteen years, here I am live on the television. You are only the second the second lot of people filming me live, after the Police’s General Investigation and Special Operations Unit, that is. So everything is okay. On top of it all, your TV channel is absolutely extraordinary, you almost feel like family. ‘Gino, have you seen this? Hi Cinzia! How are you? Are you there? Say hi to Davide …’ I don’t know why it is, but I don’t know what to say. There are billions of things that I would like to talk about. I have not given a live interview on television since 1993. But I want to be brief because we are busy putting together something that has been five years in the making and that will maybe come to fruition in Florence on Sunday.
We have spoken about the Civic Lists. Has anyone perhaps heard about the Civic Lists, the Meetups, the Blog… It is something that began five years ago. I was working as a comedian at the time and then I learned about Meetups and Blogs in the United States. I proceeded to set up a blog and, thanks to the participation of thousands of people, of informed citizens, we became the seventh biggest Blog in the world of one billion users worldwide, that is according to Forbes.
The Web is busy changing the world as we know it, with the social networks, with Facebook, with MySpace and with the Blogs. The Internet is changing people’s lives. ”
Journalist: “Because of your attitude regarding the Internet and technology, certain people have labelled you as the Italian Obama. This is certainly not because of your skin colour.”
Beppe: “Obama is copying me. He is copying all of us. I’m not joking. Obama has risen to stardom thanks to the Web. He posts potential new laws on the Web and allows ten days for people to discuss these laws before signing them. He is a man of the people and he is financed by the people. His very first speech was posted on Youtube and his support base is the people. It is a down-up, or upside down democracy. Here in Italy we have a total impasse and we are in the middle of a crisis that will provide a severe beating to these psychodwarfs, dancers, gnomes, elves and friends of friends. We are raving mad. There is a general economic and political madness all around us. The parties have disappeared. When I said that the parties were busy dying, they accused me of practicing anti-politics. Do you remember? Yet now they have all disappeared. They disappeared because they never really existed in the first place. There was no real left wing, there was no real right wing and there was no real opposition. All that there was, was a general taking the piss out of millions of citizens. Elections were held without the voters being able to choose their preferred candidate. We are sitting with 18 sentenced criminals still in our Parliament. The outlaws are making the laws. We have about one hundred more that are already found guilty and awaiting appeals, awaiting trial, statute barred offenders and plea-bargainers. You name them and we have them. Our Parliament has become little more than a rubbish dump.
Journalist: “You have clearly jumped in with both feet and immediately started talking about important political issues.”
Beppe: “No, this is not politics. I’m talking about toxic and hazardous waste. This is not politics. Politics involves overturning the status quo. It means sending the parties home. Informed citizens, with helmets. Informed citizens that draft civic lists. Civic lists, getting into City Hall. That is where the quality of life of the citizens is decided. In the various Municipalities.”
Journalist: “Okay. Let’s start here then. On Sunday, in Florence, you will be presenting you “Civic Lists for a New Renaissance” as you have called them. Many young candidates and, above all, people with certain very precise characteristics required in order to become a part of this project.”
Beppe: “Yes, that is the idea behind these Civic Lists. They grew partly out of the Meetups, which are groups of people that work with me and share my vision, in fact our vision. These are real 5-Star Civic Lists. We are discussing the real issues, real politics. We talk about the recycling of refuse, we talk about door-to-door differentiated refuse collection rather than about incinerators, we talk about WiFi and about free, unlimited connectivity. We talk about. That is the madness of these people, who are spending millions that they don’t have in the first place, on infrastructure that is totally absurd and they will never be built. Because mobility has nothing to with getting some trucks across bridges, corridor five or linking Turkey with the Ukraine. They are going insane. The mobility of the future is all about moving as little as possible. All about circulating ideas. The Internet is mobility. […] There is a 27-year old from Treviso that has developed a huge following thanks to two ideas. He currently earns 250 Euro per month and he lives in the district of Treviso, a pretty large municipality. This young man has done two things: firstly he organised differentiated refuse collection at 90 schools, at no cost to either the municipality or to the schools themselves. Secondly, he devised an open source software programme. Via Skype and with only one call, any resident of Treviso can now make contact with the person that can solve his/her problem, without having to climb in the car and drive anywhere, thus increasing the traffic jams. Via Skype, only one chat on Skype. At no cost to the municipality. We have forty-thousand such ideas. Free access to the Internet …”
Journalist: “Why is it so difficult to get these ideas off the ground when these ideas could be coming from small local councils?”
Beppe: “We start from the other end. We start from the communities. We have launched a “breathe down their necks” campaign. Currently it is like a resident who goes to his own home, where he finds his employees holding a meeting to discuss his life and gamble with his property and his quality of life, yet they don’t even allow him in to the meeting. The residents would like to attend these meetings, film the proceedings and post them on the Web. When these people are filmed and exposed on the information highway that is the Web, then everyone will know what games they have been playing, and that is precisely why they don’t want to be filmed. The answer is simple. Let’s get rid of these seventy year old geriatrics. Away with them. Bring in some new blood. Residents that can start in the town councils and then move from there on to the regional councils and perhaps eventually from there into Parliament. We talk about public water. I would like to know what the right wingers and left wingers think about privatising water and allowing it to be owned by some or other “Pty Ltd”. I want to know what they think about WiFi. Our current law is absolutely unbelievable. One you will only find here in Italy, in Burma and in China. The infamous Pisanu Law. I personally watched that half-pint, Pisanu, go on television and make believe that is a democrat. As a matter of fact, with his anti-terrorism law, he succeeded in blocking free WiFi. Go to Paris or to London and you will find people working on their computers in the libraries and in the parks, like in many other cities around the world. We, instead have some very serious shortcomings […]
To summarise what I have said then, there are a number of young people that have been addressing these issues, namely water, incinerators, energy, WiFi, mobility and transportation, in other words the real issues, for the past five years. We have discussed these ideas, debated these ideas with Nobel Prize winners, because that is what they are being called on the Web and, well, these young people will appear on the civic lists. They are nobodies, they are only youngsters. They don’t have a cent, none of us have any money, we are not being financed by anybody and we receive no subsidies. The media is obviously against us. This is my very first television interview. That is why I am so happy and why I’m trying to be brief so that I can explain what has been happening in my life for the past five years. […] I repeat. There will be civic lists. I believe in them because I have put my life and my profession into them. I have put everything on the line for this project. Just as thousands of youngsters and young adults have done, simply because they want to know that they have some good prospects for the future. The civic list are only the first step and it won’t stop there. The process has been slow because we are having to fight against the media, especially the newspapers. But we are like a virus that attacks from below and they will never get rid of us. You can try, but you won’t get rid of us, ever. Thank you for the interview.[…]
Journalist: “Let me add just one final postscript. The time and place of the appointment in Florence?”
Beppe: “The appointment is at the Saschall Theatre in Florence. I will be there from 10 in the morning until late night and there will also be a number of other people making speeches. There will even be some big names. Riccardo Petrella will be talking about water being a public asset, because he is the world’s greatest philosopher on the topic of water. He is a marvellous person and a professor. There will be a number of professors, doctors and journalists talking on the day. Travaglio will be there, as will a number of economists. There will be a number of fantastic people there, the same ones that attended the Vday event, names that you have not even mentioned. We will be leaving the city with the “Florence Bill” in hand, the famous Florence Bill. I have great faith in this city. The Florence Bill will reflect the twelve things that we want to achieve in all our towns, with every civic list under our control. The names on the list must be youngsters with no criminal record and must not have held public office for longer than one term, must be residents of the town that they will be representing politically.”
Journalist: “We will be reporting back on the event, as proven by this, your first interview since 1993. Thank you Beppe Grillo.”
Beppe: “I thank you. Many thanks to you and, as always, to the General Investigation and Special Operations Unit!”
Posted by Beppe Grillo at 05:13 PM in 5 Star Towns
(8) | Comments in Italian (translated)
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