Join the "Condomini a 5 stelle" Facebook group.
The Five-star Civic Lists won 23 seats on municipal councils, 6 district Council seats and 4 Group Leader posts in the coalitions formed with other associated Lists. A total of 64 nomination Lists were lodged in as many Municipalities. As the situation NOW stands, about one out of every two Municipal Councils includes a Five Star Civic List representative. The Civic List that received the highest percentage vote was that of Monte San Pietro with 15 votes, or 80%. In some provincial capitals, such as Bologna, Pesaro, Reggio nell’Emilia, Modena, Cesena, Livorno, Ferrara and Empoli, the Five-star Civic Lists took more than 3% of the vote. And that’s without any funding, or television, or newspapers and notwithstanding having to deal with the hostility of the political parties, with the Pdwithoutanel first in line. The list of names of the people elected will be posted in the respective Civic List areas on this Blog, together with their respective e-mail addresses so that you they can be contacted. If there had been a Five-star Civic List for all of the Municipal Councils, perhaps we would have had 3,000 councillors on our side. I will be holding a meeting with these newly elected municipal councillors before the end of this summer, in order to assist them in terms of applying the programme contained in the Florence Bill. Joining me at this meeting will be a number of experts in the fields of communications, Municipal Council finances and renewable energy sources. The Blog will continue to act as a permanent open window overlooking the councillors’ activities and objections. A social network will be created to connect all those people that voted for the Civic List candidates. This is just the beginning of a movement that also managed to get two independent Deputies elected to the European Parliament in Brussels, namely Sonia Alfano and Luigi De Magistris, thanks to hundreds of thousands of votes. We’re getting there, slowly but surely, just like the Web. Next year we will be holding Regional Council elections and, now that we have Five-star Municipal Councils, the next step will hopefully be Five-star Regions. And after the Five-star regions, perhaps a Five –star State. Our State, instead of the one currently usurped by our own employees who now treat us as servants. A Clean Parliament is our right. 350,000 signatures have been deposited with the Constitutional Affairs Committee. Now the proposed law, which stipulates the ineligibility for election of convicted offenders and people that have already served two terms, as well as a return to preferential voting, MUST get to the Senate, and it will get there. They may never give up (is it in their interests?), but neither will we.
Free connectivity for residents in the Municipal District is one of the stars on the 5-star Civic Lists. Maurizio Gotta of Anti Digital Divide delivered an address on the issue of connectivity in Florence on 8 March. Once access to the Internet spreads throughout Italy, it will spell the end of the road for the current political class. They may never give up (is it in their interests?), but neither will we.
Main points of the address:
"I want to talk to you today about the current situation as regards connectivity in Italy. I lived abroad for six years by reason of my work, part of the brain drain if you will, although my heart remained here in Italy. In following my heart, I landed up making what was perhaps the most stupid mistake of my entire life.
What is happening in our Country would be absolutely unthinkable in any Northern European Country. I have worked in Belgium, Holland and France where, during a job interview, no one would dream of asking whether you know how to use a computer because it would be tantamount to asking: “Can you read and write?”. The question is never even asked because if the interviewer should discover that someone is unable to utilise the available electronic tools, he would feel obliged to ask: “Excuse me, but why have you come for the interview?”.
Italy without connectivity
Unfortunately, the situation here in Italy is not the same, for a variety of cultural, technological and infrastructural reasons. We have founded an association in order to prove that not all of the advertising claims made by Telecom Italia and their competitors are consistent with the reality: in our Country, some 25% of the communities, some small and others not so small, have no connectivity other than the partial, 56K-type of connectivity.
The sell-off of Telecom Italia
How is this possible? It is possible simply because we have what is arguably one of the most outdated telephone networks in the world, which began with the former “Sip Tel” and that later became Telecom Italia, the very same Telecom Italia that, as you are no doubt well aware, was privatised in 1999. But how does it happen that a company of such national importance get privatised? It was privatised by selling off the company and its contents, which included the national telephone network. From 1999 to today, virtually no more money has been invested in the maintenance and expansion of this network. What does this mean? It means precisely what anyone who has worked in the telecommunications sector knows very well, namely that, on average, 10% of the network equipment breaks down each year. Since it was privatised, this company has allocated a maximum of 2% of its budget towards maintenance, meaning that a large part of the equipment that breaks down each year is never replaced.
The problem of connectivity is even more evident in a Country such as ours, which is being held to ransom by the television networks and the somewhat biased information provided by the mass media, because I, for example, am someone who watches very little in the line of television news and prefer to get my news predominantly via the Internet. Not everyone is able to do the same as I do, however, because not everyone has access to broadband connectivity. And why has broadband not yet reached these people you ask? Because, as we were saying, our infrastructure is so old and because the powers that be never thought it was worth their while to invest money to update that infrastructure. But why didn’t they think that it was worth their while to invest money in the modernisation of the infrastructure? Well, because Telecom Italia was privatised on the terms that we all know, in essence the company’s debt was absorbed, as Beppe has always explained so well, they absorbed the debt that was necessary in order to purchase the company. And so, financially, they are in no position to expand the network, to extend the reach of broadband services and to improve the service. In recent years, certain agreements have been entered into with some of the regions whereby, using heaven alone knows what mechanisms, the regions provided Telecom Italia with public funds for the company to increase its ADSL coverage. Telecom Italia said thank you very much and provided certain connections, the so-called “mini-ADSL” connections, with which, just to make sure that we are all on the same wavelength, users can’t even view video clips on YouTube, just to quote one example, because instead of travelling on optical-fibre like they do in the large cities, here the signal travels along twin-flex copper cable and, to be clear, these exchanges will never, ever be upgraded. They have simply used obsolete technology in an attempt to provide a new service but, unfortunately, the results come nowhere near meeting the expectations.
Politicians and lobby groups against the Web
The problem we face is one of infrastructure and in some cases we have attempted to overcome the problem by using alternative technologies, such as wireless technology and so, with effect from 2005 it became possible to create wireless Internet access networks, however, while this kind of service was permitted in 2005, suddenly in 2006, I believe that the Pisanu Law that Beppe mentioned earlier prevented the country’s citizens from connecting free of charge to the wireless services by obliging all users to identify themselves by means of an identity document. At the time, we thought that Wi-Max would come to our aid, as Beppe rightly pointed out in a number of his shows. In Reset, for example, I remember seeing Beppe going around with a Wi-Max aerial, so we began to think that perhaps Wi-Max would be the answer. They soon realised that this option posed certain problems with freedom of movement and so they came up with a very simple solution: a technology that could have been the best solution ever in terms of overcoming this problem was simply incorporated into the concept of transmission frequency towers, a concept that had already been adopted successfully for mobile telephone purposes, but in a way that essentially excluded from the tender process some 80 to 90% of the companies in the country that were already involved in the field of wireless communications and instead assigning the frequencies by means of tender to, yes, you guessed it, Telecom Italia and certain other companies, somewhat strange operators that in many ways remind us very much of water provision multinationals, in other words, established specifically for the purpose of submitting bids for these contracts but that have virtually no know-how in this field and are funded by risk capital invested purposely in order to get their hands on the frequencies.
What can you do, those of you whom I hope will soon be holding responsible posts in the town councils? I say this partly because I sincerely hope that I won’t be obliged to emigrate once again and also because, notwithstanding the fact that Beppe doesn’t hold out much hope, I have great faith in all of you. There is something very simple that you could do, namely to use the technology to your advantage and that of the residents for whom you will be responsible as Town Councillors. We spoke earlier about the Town Councillor of Treviso that has done a wonderful job of implementing a communication system for the Municipality and you should be aware that if somehow you manage to get the concept passed that connectivity is one of the essential assets of a modern society, perhaps by latching on to the local mobile telephone transmitters or by any other means that may come to mind, in this way you could, for example, set up municipal networks where the municipality itself provides free connectivity to the town’s inhabitants, to residents and perhaps even to tourists. I live in southern Piedmont, in the Langhe Region to be precise, where we make some very good wine and while we don’t have much connectivity, we do have many tourists. I often see the flabbergasted looks on the faces of certain tourists when they arrive in our area and say: “What, you don’t have Wi-FI and you don’t have ADSL? How on earth do you communicate, by smoke signals? How do we go about sending an e - mail?”. They are told: “No, but you can send a fax”, “A fax? Are you insane? Do you honestly think I take a fax machine on holiday with me?! No, I take a laptop and then look for a Wi–Fi connection”.
All in all, there is a lot that you can do. You can assist in setting up these public networks and you will soon discover that these networks can be used to provide an infinite number of other services too, such as free telephone calls: by loading a simple software package, be it Skype or one of many other telephone software packages, you will enable residents to log on to the public network, free of charge, and speak to each other, also free of charge. I do understand that perhaps my 90-year-old grandmother may find it somewhat difficult to understand the workings of Skype, however, with the technology looking after itself, if you put a telephone handset in her hand then there is no need for her even to know that she is using Skype. My grandmother and her sisters will speak for hours and my grandmother will feel less isolated. Your mothers, your grandmothers and your friends will also feel less isolated and any initial set-up costs will be very easy to defray entirely. Furthermore there are other truly revolutionary ways in which to use these networks. Just think, for example, you could use it to let everyone listen in on what is happening in your Town Council meetings, free of charge, just to mention one thing.
If there is such a communal Wi-Fi network to which everyone has access, irrespective of whether or not it is free and although it would be preferable if it were free because the costs can be defrayed in some other way, you could simply walk into your Town Council meeting carrying your little video camera, connect to the network via your Wi-Fi mobile phone and, hey presto, you will be transmitting the proceedings of your Town Council meeting in real time. There are a myriad of potential applications. Just think, for example, of emergency services. Once you have a wireless network, which costs relatively little to install and maintain and can be installed virtually anywhere, you could also have an emergency services management system. For example, take the little old granny who feels unwell. She could simply press a button instead of having to make the usual phone call, and this perhaps in an area where there are no telephones and perhaps no mobile phone signal, via your Wi-Fi aerial and wireless network you will be able to send help. The only thing you should know up front, is that, as Beppe has already mentioned and as you probably already know, the minute you touch the issue of telecommunications, it will be just like the issues of water provision and refuse collection and you will find yourself running into some very powerful interests, because the people running any Country’s telecommunications sector in fact control that Country, so you must hold on tight, be strong and try to use your head, be informed and remember that, for example, a Wi-Fi transmitter emits twenty times less electromagnetic radiation than the mobile phone that many of us carry around in our pockets, right alongside the family jewels. Therefore, by nature, these types of waves, namely Wi-Fi waves, hyperlan waves and Wi-Max waves that cannot affect you directly even at a distance of just 30cm, are already all around us in nature so, while I would suggest that you don’t sleep with the access point directly above your head, so far they haven’t been proven to pose any health risk. If any proof comes to light at a later stage, the specialists will soon advise us. I want to thank you and express my heartfelt hope that you will be able to bring back some legality into this country!". Maurizio Gotta of Anti Digital Divide
Ps. Tonight at 21h00, this Blog will be broadcasting live from Sonia Alfano and Beppe Grillo’s public meeting in Palermo.
On the 8th March 2009 the Florence Declaration was launched, bearing the 12 essential points for a 5-Star Municipality. Notwithstanding many difficulties, Civic Lists are coming to life throughout Italy. Boycotts are part of the language used by the old parties, the corpses of our Country’s politics.
Padova’s Civic List needs some help, so whoever can, should please help them. Here is the letter they sent me, followed by the text of my address at the event in Florence. The text of the other addresses will follow over the coming days. One for each star. They may never give up (is it in their interests?), but neither will we.
Download and circulate the Florence Declaration.
Here in Padua we have not yet begun gathering supporters’ signatures because no one has yet indicated their availability to act as scrutinizer. The very same town councillors that helped to authenticate hundreds of signatures at the V-Day event, thereby lending their support, are suddenly not prepared to help us this time around. Obviously we are seen as the competition. All of the notaries, judges and chancellors are either fobbing us off or their fees are too high.
Our last hope is that any prospective supporters take the trouble to go to the local municipal registry offices and ask for the applicable so that they can sign it. We are trying this option but we are obviously not very hopeful. We are afraid that, once all has been said and done, this is precisely the problem that will delay the birth of our Civic List.
One thing that could well make a major difference is Beppe Grillo’s appearance at a gathering in Padua and to have a scrutinizer available at the same time. I am certain that in just a couple of hours we could gather a good few hundred signatures.
Hoping beyond hope, we await your response. "Tiziana Michelotto, Maurizio d'Este, Matteo Colognesi
Contact the organisers of the Grillo List for Padua.
Partecipate in the Civic List forum
Text of the interview held in Florence with Beppe Grillo as regards the 5-Star Municipalities.
"We decided to draw up this Florence Declaration in an attempt to spark off another Renaissance in this wonderful city, this “maremma maiala” that they talk about... “maremma maiala”. The Florence Declaration: if you look carefully, you will see that each of the points looks truly fantastic, and they are in fact so, unsurprisingly because they are precisely the opposite of what is being implemented by the current Italian Government. Exactly the opposite in fact. It’s absolutely crazy but true!
These points are simply common sense, yet in this day and age, common sense is a revolutionary concept. You talk about saving and people ask you if you are crazy! They say: “What do mean by saving? What about the debt... you must consume!” They mistakenly equate consumption with development. These are people that are 70 or 80 years of age, with swollen prostate glands, that inject papaverine directly into their dicks just so that they can get laid! They are no better than whoremongers... the whoremongers’ strategies are now being applied in our Parliament: dwarves, dancers, there are all sorts... hooligans, infiltrators. I believe that you have all understood the fact that this Government is illegal, anti-constitutional, elected without any preferential vote. A fake opposition... PD, PDL, Pdwithoutanel...
Two years from now... I have always made predictions and it has not always been easy to get it right: two years from now we will look back, two years at most, and we will ask ourselves: “But how could this have happened???”.
Just look at the points: we are proposing that water be considered a public asset. Water is public property: look at what the left wing and the right wing governments have done. They privatised water provision services almost everywhere in the country. Water must remain a public asset. An asset that must not be allowed to fall into the hands of some or other Pty Ltd. Even little 8-year-old Ciro has understood this and every morning he says to me: “I am drinking some water, it isn’t from a multinational, is it?” and he is concerned. Public water as opposed to privatised water supplied by these zombies. Compulsory purification systems for every home, that cannot be connected up to any plant: I wrote down some feasible points, these are not dreams, we can start immediately, tomorrow morning in fact! Water purification systems, yes, let’s talk about the matter of De Magistris and about money that was destined for the installation of water purification systems. What about the Poseidon case: there were billions of Euro of European Union money meant for Calabria and Sicily, but this money simply disappeared and so these systems were never built! We want everyone whose home is not connected to the municipal sewerage system to have his or her own water purification system, with municipal subsidies.
Expansion of urban parkland: this law was passed two or three days ago. Yesterday, the dwarf with the tar-smeared hair... in this case we must... they are busy drowning us with optimism, optimism... its true! We’re doing this or we’re practicing reverse satire: we mustn’t aggravate things, the situation is serious but we must be optimistic, not harbingers of doom! Things in Italy are not so bad! Berlusconi is a good person! Gasparri is intelligent! Napolitano is wide-awake! Reverse satire...
Just imagine, the expansion is the latest news... after the Americans. We are the world’s biggest cement manufacturer, three times as much as the Germans, while some of our greatest architects, like Renzo Piano whom I know very well, are saying that our cities should be imploded rather than exploded out towards the outskirts, thus creating slums... In this case implosion means drawing a circle in the middle of the city and begin with the re-construction, knocking down anything that is not needed in the centre of town and replacing it with something that is in the interest of the residents.
The only problem is that our demented mayors have used the public money to gamble with, they have acted like croupiers, they have played the stock markets, bought into hedge funds, derivatives and all sorts of other things about which they knew absolutely nothing instead of looking after the people’s money.
Now they obviously don’t have a dime left and they need to lay their hands on some money. How do they do this? By selling off public property, by proposing unfeasible bridges... all sorts of impossible things that cannot stand up to scrutiny, just to get hold of some money. With the kind of Civic Lists we have, should we manage to come to power, all it will take is one of you guys sitting on each of the town councils an their game will be up before it even gets off the ground! Expansion of the parkland. Nursery schools or nuclear power stations? Expansion of the parkland, the exact opposite of this Government that instead wants to see yet more cement.
Building permits granted only for demolition and re-construction projects, that is what I was saying. Precisely what the great architects are saying too, just look at the town centres: there are many memorable things that need doing, such as barracks and old buildings to renovate, marvellous things to be done within our towns.
Plans for environmentally friendly public transport and cycling paths: it seems to me that we need to start understanding that the motorcar is dead! I’m sorry, because we all loved it so much, but the love affair is already over! It ended ten years ago, not just yesterday. It is over, yet here we are, subsidising something that is finished. FIAT needs to mobilise its employees in a different direction: our future mobility will no longer depend on the motorcar. Instead, our future mobility will depend on us travelling as little as possible, in other words, we must travel only when we are going on holiday, or for recreation. I won’t have to travel fifty kilometres by car just to get to work. In the city that we envisage, I won’t have to travel fifty kilometres to get to the office because the office will be in my home. In other words, work-from-home, with all the necessary connections in place. Copying what is happening in Germany and what is happening in Seoul!
The traffic in the major cities will be controlled via GPS, from a central control room manned by ten youngsters that control the movements of 12 million inhabitants. How can this be? Every public transport vehicle will be fitted with a GPS unit that is linked to the control room, from where they will send out more trains to where they are needed, more underground cars where they are needed and more buses where they are needed. If there is some or other game on at the stadium, they will despatch more taxis. They will all be linked.
The Internet is the future of bottom-up democracy, transport systems and everything else too. It is the kind of groundswell democracy that rises up from below: I would like to see people like yourselves getting involved in these things. In Westphalia, they reduced traffic levels by three-quarters, and that without adding any more cement whatsoever. They didn’t build more roads: they put together a simple programme that cost fifteen Euro, which put four people per car to get to work, but even this won’t be enough. What we are talking about are increasingly integrated transport systems: an integrated system of trams and buses and perhaps even motorcars and bicycles. The motorcar can no longer be allowed to take pride of place in terms of ensuring our mobility: the motorcar must remain on the outskirts and we will get around by other means, such as walking, going by bicycle, walking on our hands... flying! Teletransportation! Plan for mobility for the disabled. Maybe this is a problem that doesn’t affect you in the least, but it has always had a major effect on me. Sometimes there are architectural barriers...and this really pisses me off: sometimes the architectural barrier is only two centimetres high. Sometimes you have to think twice about this issue because any city that makes it impossible for a disabled person to get around cannot really be classified as a civilised city.
Free connectivity: now if that isn’t bucking the trend, then what is. The Pisanu Law: with some idiotic anti-terrorism law he has also managed to prohibit WiFi. You cannot log on to the Net, why should you. If you do log on you would have to show your identity card because of some anti-terrorism law. As if there was something like “TERRORIST” printed on your ID card. There you go, we’ve got him!
These are seventy-year-olds with an enlarged prostate gland and a catheter, who don’t even know what WiFi is in the first place. In all major cities around the world, you can go to the city centre and connect to the Internet, as simple as that. Should you get voted onto the town council, I would like you to push this issue: simple, free connectivity for residents, then you will pay for additional services. We should have some sort of digital card: my identity card means nothing to me, I want a digital card: when a child is born, he/she must be issued with their very own e-mail address! Indeed, we must create public work areas. We must move forward: we are on the outskirts, together with the Poles, and we are regressing as regards Internet access numbers. Just think, a small businessman operating in Italy will have to pay three times as much for his bandwidth as does his counterpart in France. For the same amount of bandwidth. If needs to send off a parcel using the Italian postal service, it will cost him twice as much as it would if he used the French postal service. If you send off a parcel in France, you can simply go on the Internet a track where your parcel is and where it’s going. The population over there can track their own business affairs without having to go through any intermediaries.
Try sending off a parcel through the Italian postal service and then give them a call: “Is my parcel perhaps there with you?” “Just a moment please... what colour was it? Luigi!!! – that is the equivalent of Italian WiFi – Luigi!!! Have you seen any parcels???”. We are barbarians! Barbarians I tell you!
Zero refuse: we should be discussing this issue right now. Zero refuse is a winning strategy, the one that Obama talks about and that Schwarzenegger talks about. Schwarzenegger is saying that he refuses to spend one more cent on infrastructure. This is the fourth greatest power on Earth, namely California.
Now they have a different problem, the problem of helping families to survive. Families over there need to survive, just as they do over here. The only difference is that over here they have not yet begun to think through what is about to happen, so they are spending money on unbelievable things. Zero refuse is a winning strategy because, as we all know, where there is refuse there are errors being made. We have been talking about this problem for five years now: there is some sort of construction error or design error. We shouldn’t be able to create something that eventually turns into refuse, because it should become the raw material for another process, in fact they are known as secondary raw materials. Vedelago: a businesswoman from Vedelago, near Treviso, has devised a system that allows her to recycle 100% of all the refuse from one hundred municipalities: she sorts and sells what she can, and what she cant sell as it is she then compacts to create building materials.
Ladies and gentlemen, a young 27-year-old Town Councillor who used to work in a pizza parlour and is a qualified computer technician, has managed to get himself elected onto the Town Council of Treviso. Treviso is a large municipality. Perhaps he is here with us and can tell you himself but, since he began serving on the Council, he has everyone on his side: initially they fought against him but now it is he that puts forward the ideas and he creates social networks via Skype. They never even knew what this meant: the town residents can log on to a Skype chat room from the comfort of his own home and is able to deal directly with the technician that can sort the problem out, instead of having to climb in his car and drive down to City Hall. This young man has managed to link together 98 different schools to recycle their refuse, watched over by the children, and this at zero cost to either the municipality or the schools. This what people are doing, that 27-year-old guys like yourselves are doing. Zero refuse means building a new world: we have a great, indeed a huge opportunity at our disposal, namely the current financial an economic debacle.
This system of ours, which attaches great value to growth and to producing more and more things that nobody needs, has produced people that are no longer needed. The world is full of people that we don’t need, so we need to sit down and review the situation: right back to the basics of how we manufacture a glass, a bottle or a television set. Or how we provide services. The provision of services! I don’t really need a fridge or a boiler. What I really need is cooling and heat, so there will be businessmen that won’t try to sell me a fridge or a boiler, but rather provide me with fridge and boiler services. There will then be little or no refuse to deal with. The companies that approach you will help you to save money and your savings will also be their profits!
Renovate our houses and redesign houses in general! We say that the motorcar is dead, yet the motorcar contains some extraordinary technologies, such as GPS, all the electronics and a five-year guarantee. The technology used to build our houses is much the same as that of eighty years ago! We need to rethink our house design so that the home becomes an energy factory: an real energy network.
Development of renewable energy sources. At the very least, the municipalities should set up their own installations. There are things such wind farms: we don’t need things such as nuclear power stations that generate one million watts of power, indeed, what we do need is one million residents producing one watt of power each! Turn the concepts upside down... but I am stealing these things from you, so you are worse than I am!!! Energy efficiency: efficiency, that is point 10. We can immediately start making things that are twice as efficient and consume half the amount of energy and materials. Half, I tell you, immediately! There are recyclable materials, such as Belland, which is a type of polymer that dissolves in lukewarm water, so we can make the same thing again.
We can make some wonderful things, as long as we have the knowledge and we currently only get that knowledge via the Net, because these people have got to the end of the road, and they know it! They are watching us in amazement because they know that they are shutting down the newspapers and the television. The advertising revenues are disappearing and terrestrial digital television is dead! It was born dead!
They are now realising that there is an Internet generation, but they are only finding this out now! There are millions of us and now an article appears in the newspapers stating that: “we must take note of these people that talk about this environment...”. This is set to be a major turnaround, this crisis will provide a major impetus, and they will all follow us. They will steal our ideas, claiming them as their ideas. Our destiny may be to disappear, but that’s okay, as long as our ideas live on!
Another point: favour local production. A shorter distribution chain rather than making trucks loaded with goods from a thousand kilometres away. It’s over, I tell you! It’s over, let’s have shorter distribution channels and favour local production! In Manhattan, there are 17,000 vegetable gardens on top of skyscrapers, where there used to be fitness centres. They are making vegetable gardens, these Wall Street guru’s with their briefcases which previously held shares and now carry artichokes and endive lettuce! The battle for food and the battle for land: this is happening already. Thailand, formerly one of the major rice exporters of the world is now keeping its rice for itself. China, which consumes 510 million tons of grain, only produces 500 million tons and needs to import 10 million tons. Where do they go to find it? In Africa, where they buy up the land and grow grain for the Chinese! Egypt is busy buying up land in the Ukraine, where they will cultivate food crops for the Egyptians, not for the Ukrainians! In Madagascar they are in the middle of a civil war sparked off by a Korean company that bought up half of Madagascar in order to grow food for the Korean people, not those of Madagascar. That’s what is happening in our world, so we need to cover our own arses somewhat in order to survive. We are certainly not used to the kind of poverty that is heading our way. We need to prepare ourselves mentally for a time of misery that will ultimately perhaps be good for us!" Beppe Grillo
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!”
Turin Council Meeting
In 2006, the blog collected your suggestions for a new development model for the country by means of the “Citizen Primaries”. Tens of thousands of people took part. The proposals were summarised in a document that I personally carried to our former employee Prodi, who was then President of the Council. The text of “Citizen Primaries” is still current for many aspects and in part it can represent the basis for an open discussion for the Five Star towns. The aim is to arrive at the occasion of 8 March in Florence with a Reference programme and an extract of that in “The Charter of Florence”.
The five stars correspond to the five specific areas: Water, Energy, Development, Environment and Transport. Today I am publishing the part that relates to Energy about the production of energy and the heating of the environment. Send in your thoughts on this via the comments.
The average yield of Enel’s thermo-electric generating stations is about 38%. The standard used for the construction of new generation generating stations using combined cycles is 55 to 60%. The widespread cogeneration of electrical energy and heat, with the use of the heat at the location of production and the distance transportation of the electrical energy, allows for the use of the energy potential of the combustible up to 97%. The current inefficiencies and the waste in thermo-electric production are not acceptable, not from a technological viewpoint, nor an economic one, nor a moral one. This is considering the devastating effects on the environment, and because it accelerates the using up of the fossil fuel resources. What’s needed is:
- increase in potential of the existing thermo-electric generating stations and the reduction of their environmental impact
- the provision of incentives for the distributed production of electrical energy with technologies that use fossil fuels in the most efficient ways, like the widespread co-generation of electrical energy and heat, starting from the buildings that devour the most energy: hospitals, shopping centres, industries that use technological energy, sports centres
|Groups 372||Members 76.596|
|Cities 281||Countries 10|