Once upon a time, there was an employee, in fact, two employees

Photo: Trieste

Tonight, I'm going to tell you a story, a lovely story:

"Once upon a time there was, and even today there is, a person hoping to be Mayor of Trieste, Ettore Rosato, and a Mayor who is stepping down, Roberto Dipiazza.
Once upon a time there were, and even today there are 110 young people of the group: "Beppe Grillo di Trieste".
There was even a good bank, la Banca Etica (the Ethical Bank), and an association, that was also good, la Contrada – Teatro Stabile di Trieste, that helped the young people, that is the employers!

Employers of whom?” you’ll ask. Trieste’s Mayor.

This truth was revealed by a post containing a magic word: the word “employee”.

And it transformed simple citizens into employers of politicians, mayors, members of the lower and upper houses of Parliament and so on.
No one had thought about it before.

These people were paid by us, but they did what they wanted. “For what reason?” you’ll ask me again. Because they had forgotten that they were employees. They had fallen prey to a wicked spell and they thought they were owners.

But not because they were above themselves, simply out of ignorance. It was enough to explain to them that they were employees! And the great young people of Trieste did just that.

They met up with the candidates for Lord Mayor, and after a job interview, before giving them any job, they made them sign a document (both Rosato and Dipiazza) in which they declared that they were employees!”

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:18 PM in | Comments (11)
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Hi Diego, little late but hope you can read it.

"Anyway, I believe as well what you said; we need someone very capable and well intentioned to bring politics back to the ‘right track’. And when I say that I don’t mean a Nietzchke superman, but politicians trustful, just and honest."

Sorry, I've just read them!
Only one week ago I would have read in this lines the hope of improving italians BUT after this elections I cannot see any hope in them.
Diego, I think we (let me comprehend you in order not to feel alone) are really a few!

Italians have sold out their vote for the money of ICI, for promises that could never be kept, they still trust him! How is possible that Forza Italia has not been badly hit? Why people have not told him "BASTA"!

Though from a "red" country, I was not borne left... I've become (or this is my actual choice) during this years of Berlusconistan. I've choosen left because I tought it was to do. I feel to be able to move from one side to another choosing every time for what I think to be the better.
I was forgetting a detail...this is not a shared value, probably this is not something valuable at all here!

I considered it dangerous not being able to move. One of the major risk of a country is the "static power" who is never challenged from voters and so never controlled! What is the incentive to improve if I am(as a politician) always choosen notwithstanding what I do or how I behave?

This time we had the real thruth told! Italians are electorally static! They choose the symbol at 18 and then go straight till they are buried!

I feel little tired to write and speak, even to you my friend.
I don't trust this country, I'm really disappointed by Italians. What we are? What happens to our coscience when we have to vote?

Someone could tell me that I have to respect the choice of my people, probably I would do it if I considered it a choice! A secret "X" made in the silence of a voting box is not enough to be a choice.
A choice is something that comes out from a process of comparison and dialogue.
Seems that Forzisti are a secret and silent population. They barely exists in surveys and never say something during "lunch-hour debates" BUT when they are in the box... that "X" appears!
Is that a choice? Not for me!


Posted by: Francesco Girolami | April 16, 2006 11:59 PM

Hi Francesco

Sorry to answer you so late, I have been a bit around and busy.
I have spot some points on the ISTAT doc. It is quite interesting to notice how strikingly high is the black market in the private services and agriculture and low in the industry (compared to the other two). The south is also in bad conditions; I think it is not easy to resolve that situation easily. I was actually looking at a report about the economical situation of Italy. Berlusconi is liberalising the economy and job market with using the word liberal. Of course who pays are the dependent workers as usual. (Sorry if I cannot give you the link I read it a few days ago-I think it was on the EU database)

I don't think you to be wrong at all. You (as me and everyone else) have your prospective of the world (experiences, feelings, etc.) around you, so I cannot see anything wrong in expressing them. I just consider it as I am expected other to do with mine.

To complain is allowed and needed but I believe that complains should suggest alternatives and this is where the hard part comes in. If we (you) would leave in countries with an high degree of ‘democracy’ (which is a very fake term but also the best we can have now), than the government would not only interested to listen to people but would also encourage them to develop and born (such as Non Government Organization NGOs).

Newspaper, as media in general, is very influential and everyone should choose them very carefully. I prefer The Guardian and The Independent because they are clear and unbiased and because the money to sustain their activity come from charities and private donors, which look after reading an equal newspaper. In Italy as fare as I know I would choose between La Repubblica, Il Coriere della Sera and ANSA (which is online only). The central issue of (the majority of) the newspaper, sadly, is that they have to sell in order to get the money. Hence, one of the tactics the ‘most clever’ newspaper use is to sell the news that people want to read. This is way in some newspapers you can see very short articles and written with a very simplistic language just next to a naked women.

"I start really think that we don't need good politicians to replace what we have, we just only need rational people that are able to make that easy and logical things that I think we are really missing now."
I like this phrase although there are many kind of rationalities (e.g. feminism). Logical thinks maybe logical for you but not for someone else. I think normality is ambiguous as the degree of its use, but I don't want to carry on with this because we get to far in theories. Welcome in post-modernism.
This actually rises an interesting point. Do you know when politicians speak about moralities and ethics? I always wander what do they mean by that. They may be ideological thoughts that change in respect of the political parties’ ideas. This is quite crucial because it should be the manifesto to explain in which way politicians are inclined to, although it is also true that manifestos are one of the most ambiguous thing you can read. Therefore politics is about ambiguous-ness and not straightforward-ness (which would be a suicide for a politicians in a free country).

Anyway, I believe as well what you said; we need someone very capable and well intentioned to bring politics back to the ‘right track’. And when I say that I don’t mean a Nietzchke superman, but politicians trustful, just and honest.
Hope to hear from you soon.

Posted by: Diego Canciani | March 4, 2006 01:32 AM

Hi Diego,
nice to hear from you again!
About the part of hidden economy I was referring to was from direct experience, but read this from ISTAT to start thinking to the phenomena http://www.istat.it/salastampa/comunicati/non_calendario/20050922_00/testointegrale.pdf

How many times you have experienced no receipt for something you have paid for? How many times you were obliged to ask for the receipt and you were looked at as you were some kind of bad guy! I'm referring to the sight from the seller that says: "Hey, here no one is paying taxes and you want me to do? What are you going to do with that fucking receipt, clean your bott...?"
I'm in that part of life where people start afford living alone and (possibly) buying a house. Have you ever experienced building sector for private people? It is a real mess!!! Taxes is a concept that doesn't apply to it!! Have you ever had a private medical visit from a specialist in something? I've also found that in some cases the professional not only doesn't want to give you the receipt but is also unable because he is not allowed to make private visits.
I have childrens and once I was in this places for children (like small fun parks) at the entrance I wasn't given any receipt and also for food was the same. When I asked for it THEY REFUSED!! I called the famous 117 and waited more than 2 hours their coming.... I've seen nobody, and the evidence was going away as was going late!
Furthermore, I can tell you that my experience is far more deeper than the average day-by-day described above!
All this to say that there must be much more hidden economy than the figures shown in ISTAT data!

About newspapers, you are right and I agree with you, but just one specification
Have you ever given a serious look at foreign daily newspapers that are accounted for in official statistics? Not speaking about serious one, I’m referring to the most commonly read that are (typically) the ones that are used to be left in your hotel room in the morning. They are a mix between our Oggi, Novella 2000 and Gazzetta dello Sport but issued on a daily basis. And they call them newspapers!! There are serious one, I have no doubt, but statistics not always give a complete picture.

Our politicians? I’ve never been a politicians and my life goals are in a different direction! I was not saying that they are sheep, I was saying that if people don’t care about what politicians do there is no challenge and no need to do the right thing for them!
Though if we speak about what they are (ALL parties), I strongly recommend you “L’ombra del potere” from David Lane (Laterza) You can find there all the evidence and references you are looking for. At the beginning you may think is the ordinary book against Berlusconi but, please, continue reading it because there's much more! I have to vote for them (politicians) so I have judge someway! If I have always had to vote choosing between a “cold shit and a warm one” never being satisfied of my vote… Don’t you think I’m right if I complain a little and if this situation makes a fool out of me?
When we see all those uncompleted public jobs? Hospitals, bridges etc.. Near where I am has been built a huge building supposed to be used by a dept of Treasury Ministry. It was almost finished before 2000 and as of today there is nothing inside and is completely ruining. I would have liked somebody paying for the waste of public money (app. 20bln ITL)Responsabilities cannot be always so unclear to have nobody to fire and suite for it!
This is the image I have of what politicians are useful for: steal your money!
I start really think that we don't need good polititians to replace what we have, we just only need rational people that are able to make that easy and logical things that I think we are really missing now.
Do you think me to go wrong?


Posted by: Francesco Girolami | January 15, 2006 11:14 PM

This is very good. I am getting emotional.

Posted by: bobby | January 14, 2006 11:40 PM

Dear Francesco
I’m very pleased you have answer to my observations and I’m also very happy to say that I agree with your point of view about taxes. About the GDP you are right even if fiscal evasion (which I totally condemn) I don’t think (or hope) contributes much in lowering the rate of the GDP. If you have documentation regarding it I would beg you to write every link or book concerning this.
I must say that, although primary needs are well met in Italy, public services are not badly perceived because Italy doesn’t spend much on it (less expenditure=less services)!! For example in a research of the EU about Social Protection Expenditure ( http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/news/2002/nov/soc_prot_rep_en.pdf ), Italy in 2000 was the country in 4th position (only 3 countries were spending less than Italy in social protection). Tendencies show that Italy has increased expenditure in Family Benefits and allowances and (although only slightly) in Housing Benefits and Pensions (in respect of Purchasing Power Standard). No profit organization (the church I suppose) and the family play a high role in the delivery of social care.

Sorry but I cannot agree with you about stupidity (even if you think you are, and I really think you are not). In Italy there is miss-information. Italy is the country in Europe (EU15) where the newspaper is read least. When people don’t read newspaper, they even don’t know things or watch TV. Who is the owner of the majority of the Italian TVs? Who is the Prime Minister? … This is not the only problem, there are many more included education.

One think I’ve noticed and don’t like of Italian (and honestly some time I also do it) is that people most of the time speak without proving their information with fact, documents and references.
For example: how can you say our politicians are ships? Are you a politician? Have you ever done that job? Have you ever been in their position?
As I’ve said and you agree the situation is very complicated and is not an overnight-matter, it takes time!!
So because it is a complicated and long process I would suggest starting with easy think we know or at list can prove and document about it.
Thank you!

Posted by: Diego Canciani | January 14, 2006 09:39 PM

Dear Diego, I like your mail and passionate!
Just some more words to better explain.
Let's start!
GDP: you are right "..it doesn’t depend from taxes" but in Italy people hide their income so a big portion of GDP is hidden! To pay taxes you have to declare it increasing the accounted GDP. That'why I've said:pay taxes = increase GDP.

People don't pay taxes because don't have money..... COMPLETELY DISAGREEE!! Our tax system is a progressive incidence one not a flat rate: the more you earn the more you pay and viceversa. Pizzo is a completely different matter!

I pay all taxes I have to and, sadly, I'm paying also for the (poor!?) services that Tax-Non-Payers benefit of (school, roads, hospital etc..) but complaining a lot. Is like going to the cinema and pay twice the ticket! Furthermore, public services are not so bad, with big margin of improvement, but not so bad as it is perceived on average!

"The point is not to pay less taxes the point is to spend the money more efficiently!" I COMPLETELY AGREE!

Mid-stupid-italian: I feel really really stupid when I meet everywhere people who share words similar to mine (overall), but when looking to politicians never finding anybody to trust and respect! Really stupid when I deeply feel the shame for the destroyed reputation of our country, the shame that no politician has ever really felt! So stupid in the sense that we seems not able to make our scream heard! So stupid to be not able to do anything! I feel stupid (the most) because I'm really convinced that parliament is the mirror of our society so... Big stupid! I should have met many liars without recognizing them! But, as I like to trust them, I realized that there should be many mid-stupid italian like me in this country!

Why do I think that "WE should do"? Because we have to start rebuilding our morality starting from the most recurrent (and 99% cases, only) offense that big part of Italians do: Not To pay taxes!. If everybody would pay, ALL of us would feel more involved public money managing, would be more active in electorally punishing bad politicians etc. A real challenge for politicians, not sheeps! In this way could really begin a good process of improvement and.... but this is the dream of a stupid, I've just said!

Things never change in an overnight sleep or on a three day trip to Rome! I don't trust in miracles! The process of Italian destruction has to be stopped and reversed but is not a matter of few months.
So, let's continue......the situation is really more complicated!!

Posted by: Francesco Girolami | January 13, 2006 11:05 PM

This is good. This is very good. I am getting emotional.
Great job! Congratulations to you all. An example for us to follow.

Posted by: Luca dellaPenna | January 13, 2006 04:16 PM

This is what they did in Trieste!! Bravi MULI!!!
Beppe is a comedian not a politician.
It’s us that must protest!!!
Many people protest around the world, people go in front of the White House; People go in front of the Parliament in London. In Italy only few can bother to protest! And you know why? Because we don’t believe anymore! We don’t believe we are living in a country where politician listen to their electorate or do thinks to improve Italy.
It is true people don’t pay taxes. Do you know why they don’t pay?
Maybe they don’t pay because they haven’t got the money to pay, because maybe they have to pay the ‘pizzo’ or just because they cannot see the utility to pay them. I cannot blame them…
Change the system!!! I agree!!
It’s all up to us! Not our politicians… sadly!!
GDP is the Gross Domestic Product, it doesn’t depend from taxes!
We pay fewer taxes per capita of the average EU-15 countries. http://epp.eurostat.cec.eu.int/cache/ITY_OFFPUB/KS-DU-05-001/EN/KS-DU-05-001-EN.PDF
The point is not to pay less taxes the point is to spend the money more efficiently! The point is to ‘eliminate’ who steal the taxes!!!
And excuse me?
“…who has little more power than the mid-stupid Italian has no interest in doing it.” Who is stupid? Are you stupid? Who is the mid Italian?
This is bullshit! You haven’t got the right to say that!
Francesco, I honestly don’t want to discourage you but it is easy to say that every one should pay tax every one should do... The situation is more complicated!
The only think we can do is give our opinion (by writing or by shouting to a politician in front of the Camera dei Deputati), which (in part) is what you have and I have done!!
I appreciate that!
Thank you!!

Posted by: Diego Canciani | January 13, 2006 12:55 PM

still here, still shooting everything without doing nothing.
Days are passing, our employees still all there eating Italy. Fazio has gone but was not our moral pressure to reach the goal, Fiorani's words from jail have terminated him.
This, let's call, group is still fragmented and absolutely unable to do anything. Even 5 main ideas to focus on, in order to push forward things in Italy, are impossible to be defined. Our country is now struggling with Berlusconi and will be struggling tomorrow with Prodi. I see very little improvement in this! We have to change italians, our mindset and moral thinking, but substantially everyone who has little more power than the mid-stupid italian hs no interest in doing it. I propose to start from taxes. If ALL italians would pay ALL taxes our GDP could be higher by 40% our debt ratio much lower and, if politicians won't eat each single euro of more income, our tax ratio could be reduced by one third.
Good perspective, but no action by this government has come and won't come from the next for the unpopularity of such an action.
We have to start somewhere I think this could be one idea on five to push.
Beppe, let's start doing something otherwise somebody could begin thinking you are only interested in popularity and DVD/show tickets selling. This are not bad things by itself, but could not be the only goal reached by this famous blog!

P.S Words are powerful but also actions are not to be underestimated! As far as I know results come more likely from the second!

Posted by: Francesco Girolami | January 13, 2006 02:22 AM

:) VEry interesting post! It is essential for these people to remember that they really are employees of ours.


Posted by: Alex Dorph | January 12, 2006 11:13 PM

we need more grillo "s in the world ,to wake-up , i like you with lion head and hart !!! ellen

Posted by: ellenschakenbos | January 12, 2006 09:45 PM

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