Coup d’état by TV

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This is a critical moment for democracy in our country and I’m publishing this letter from Norberto Lenzi, a judge in Bologna.

“It can seem ingenuous and like a looser, to practise moralism when acting in the field of politics which is the reign of pragmatism. But anyway I want to present a challenge to the pragmatists to ask them what they have gained on top of what they would have gained simply by respecting the rules, which is only one of the many aspects of ethics.

A President of the Council who loves paradoxes has asked for verification of the legality of the elections. This is something that everyone but him has the right to do.

Because we all know that Berlusconi cannot be elected. This is according to a State Law (n. 361 of the year 1957) that says that anyone who is the owner of public concessions of important economic interest is not eligible to sit in Parliament. We also know that almost no one has lifted a finger to prevent him. On the contrary, no one even talks about it.

And yet up until some time ago the matter was raised every so often. For instance D’Alema, on 15.9.2000 at the “Festa dell’Unità” in Bologna stated: “Berlusconi, as a State concessionary was and is still ineligible because of incompatibility; the decision of the Election Commission was fiction.”

The Centre Left governed at that time and the heart of those who follow the law opened up to hope. But a few months later, when they were asked why the question had not been resolved, their incredible reply was: “We have respected the vote of so many millions of Italians”.

Once I said that when the Election Commission interpreted that law by establishing that the TV concessionary was Confalonieri and not Berlusconi, in that moment this country of Italy based on the rule of law was transformed into the Hospice of Idiots. When D’Alema says that Berlusconi is given legitimacy by the votes of Italians he must be aware that he is ensuring the profit of winning to a swindler.

As Moretti says “If a 100 metre runner starts off 20 metres ahead of the others he is disqualified even if he wins. The same happens if an athlete tests positive for drugs.
Only in this country do we consent to the owner of the conflict of interests saying that he has enacted a law to resolve the issue. Even in Thailand, where Berlusconi’s clone had won, the people surged into the streets to demand his resignation.

There are laws all over the world that establish a limit on who owns TV channels. But, according to Giuliano Ferrara not all countries have laws that say that those who own TV channels are not allowed to have a role in politics. They are not always there because they’re not necessary. Because it just takes a bit of common sense and the rules of democracy.

And we have to listen to this person, who possesses 3 TV channels and has been doing politics abusively for 12 years using his position as a bludgeon against those who oppose him. He evokes the spectre of punitive laws and inadmissible vendettas. And do we really have to discuss among ourselves if it would be enough to take one away from him, perhaps even feeling a little guilty?

But why are we talking about punishment when we are simply talking about finally restoring the country to a lawful situation? I’ve got this question for the pragmatists about what has happened up until now: “Have you been OK in these last few years in Italy? What did you think when the free journalists where thrown out of the TV and Mentana said that he would have chained himself up if they threw out Santoro? Did you hear the rattling of chains while he was interviewing his employer during the election campaign?

When the liberal Berlusconi got rich from the monopoly income from advertising at the same time as the rest of the country got poorer, didn’t you remember how another liberal (Adam Smith) had his blood boiling at the infamy of the privileges allowed by the English Monarchy to the East India Company to conduct business even when it was illegal and yet to go unpunished?

Were you pleased to hear the crescendo of insults launched at the judges in the middle of the passing of “ad personam” laws which culminated in the epithets of “unworthy” and “treacherous”?

If, as I hope, you were not pleased; if you believe that at the end of the day that little part of ethics that is the Rule of Law can in some way be a remedy to put right this disaster, then ignore the offers of collaboration, cut off the outstretched hands that would have strangled you if they had been the winners. Try to increase your credibility. Stop putting the names of those who have been convicted of crimes in your lists of candidates. It is not acceptable that someone who cannot be given a position as a school caretaker can represent us in Parliament.
Since when has the best defence been defence?

What I propose to you on the conflict of interests is as follows:
1) Berlusconi cannot be elected to Parliament according to current law. If anyone maintains that this is exaggerated (and I would like to know what arguments they use) or let’s say, if they say it’s not pragmatic, I’m willing to go on to the next point.
2) The new true law about the conflict of interests must establish that no one can have more than one TV channel.
3) Anyone with even a tiny interest in a TV concession cannot be elected to Parliament.
Bear in mind that points 2) and 3) were part of the 1996 election manifesto of the Ulivo. Coherence means that we have to make up for the incoherence of others.


P.S. I read out this statement in a meeting of some Centre Left parliamentarians. I felt like a mouse that suggests attaching a little bell to the cat’s tail: lots of people in agreement but few who were converted. They told me that: “tonight’s theme is the constitution of the democratic party…”


Posted by Beppe Grillo at 01:10 PM in | Comments (11)
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Comments

Ciao, Giancesare ! - che bel nome (non l'ho sentito prima) ! You're absolutely right about our Oz government; and our PM provides a good comparison with the man with the endlessly new face and the endlessly old goals - although Howard doesn't sing, deo gratias ! I've been moaning via Beppe's blog for a long time; I'm hoping to find something to be positive about, soon. :-|

Posted by: Margaret-Rose STRINGER | April 23, 2006 11:13 AM


Hi Margaret-Rose,
nice to see an australian reading the Blog. I'm italian and I live in Australia, I moved her a few years ago and I love it. It is good to be far away from such a mess, though down under spin doctors are just as bad as the italians ones. It looks like the p.m. here is getting away with AWB metters like Berlusconi got away with many other metters, unfortunatly the majority of the people are so busy trying to get ahead, no metter where they are, and all they hope for is some hope from above. Democracy and the world in general are sick and no one seems to know the exact cure for it. Blogging might help. let's keep it up. HOO ROO

Posted by: Giancesare Moro | April 20, 2006 02:26 PM


Hi all! Hi delfino I'm in Dublin as well! It's a pity to be Italian nowadays! I think the idea of the sit in in front the embassy is wonderful!! Let's do something!!!! let's try organize something I'm tired to be without voice in this big caos!!! elena

Posted by: Elena Lugato | April 20, 2006 01:33 PM


Hi all! Hi delfino I'm in Dublin as well! It's a pity to be Italian nowadays! I think the idea of the sit in in front the embassy is wonderful!! Let's do something!!!! let's try organize something I'm tired to be without voice in this big caos!!! elena

Posted by: Elena Lugato | April 20, 2006 01:32 PM


Hi all! Hi delfino I'm in Dublin as well! It's a pity to be Italian nowadays! I think the idea of the sit in in front the embassy is wonderful!! Let's do something!!!! let's try orhanize something I'm tired to be without voice in this big caos!!! elena

Posted by: Elena Lugato | April 20, 2006 01:31 PM


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Good palace, that i cann't forget it.

Posted by: VideoFuner | April 19, 2006 06:14 PM


it's a definitely a Citizen B. situation.
i just am flabbergasted by the so few comments on this post. i think law should be really a starting point here for people to cry out. (preferably in italy). however, i don't see -inter/national- media talking about the actual 'golpe mollo'...
bests

Posted by: cecile | April 19, 2006 02:57 AM


There is something so fundamentally flawed in the Italian psyche that I doubt it's ever going to be put to rights. I would describe it as being represented by that wonderful, typical Italian shrug, palms up. It means "niente da fare", I think; that's how things are and nothing can be done about it. Of course, this is not the case: MUCH can be done, if only you will stop shrugging and start *thinking*. But who am I, a mere Australian, who loves Italy and wants nothing but the best for your marvellous country ...? - an outsider, and thus a holder of unwanted opinions. Still, as long as there are those of your own people, like dottore Lenzi, to speak up, you have a chance - but it's a thin one; and he is fighting all sorts of establishments that should long since have acted on what they know is right, yet haven't. Things are not good: it's time, Italians, to make them better.

Posted by: Margaret-Rose STRINGER | April 18, 2006 10:19 PM


Ciao all,

PRODI has won the elction, the "puppet" has lost it so he should immediately leave!

I would like to propose to the Italians and not, who live abroad to arrange a sit-in of protest in front of the Italian Ambassy, in each country!

What do you think about? Please let me know

Regards

Posted by: Delfino * Dublino | April 18, 2006 05:40 PM


I fully agree with the fact that in any real democracy, the voices of all citizens should be heard. What I do not accept is the fact that the voices of some are heard over and above those of others because they possess the means and the power of money.

In Maltese there is a saying that goes like this: "With money you can build a road in the sea." I think this proverb explains it all!

I agree that, in the Italian situation, a person who is the owner of 3 TV stations is, definitely, the most advantaged candidate. You get to hear about this person all the time, directly and indirectly. It is quite obvious that, eventually, people's minds are manipulated, shaped or bended by the same media structures that this person possesses.

Yet, what makes me cringe is the fact that no one really seems to give a damn as to WHAT made this man rise to power, WHO gave him all this rope to entwine around the most important means of getting direct contact with people, the MEDIA. Worse still, bear in mind the educational and financial institutions that fall under this same person's possession.

People are not stupid: people can be frail. They tend to get carried away, very much in the same way that people got carried away first with the miracle creams and then with the magic potions and spells of Vanna Marchi and her cartel. And yet, look at the court sentences in these cases... now, isn't that an indication already?

We all want JUSTICE... but Justice should not stop at being merely a Value or a Virtue. Justice has to been seen, to be done, to be felt. Abusers should be punished. Why are there term-laws, or the so-called "prescrizione" in certain cases and for certain laws? Whoever drafted these laws had the interests of certain politicians, magnates and, may I add, some criminals, at heart.

This is the truth, in my opinion, which is why, irrespective of the Government in power, some people win, and win again, and we lose, and lose again.

This is simply called Catch 22.

Posted by: Joselle Camilleri | April 18, 2006 02:35 PM


Just received from a French colleague of mine an info describing Berlusconi, Schroeder and Putin having set up Energy Company for pipeline distribution of Gaz in north and south Europe.
I did not check the reliability and I would like asking if you know about it.
Instead of still talking about the past that we did not want but it happened maybe we should keep an eye on the present and future....
Take care!
sf

Posted by: Stefano Ferri | April 18, 2006 01:49 PM


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