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July 31, 2006

The parliamentary illusion

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The parties indicate how to vote. The parliamentarians follow their orders. The election law did not allow us to vote for our own candidates, but just for the party. Thus the parliamentarians were elected by the parties. The lists were drawn up by the secretaries of the parties. Today there is no Parliament in Italy, just the sum of the parties.

I would point out that there were numerous stomach aches before the voting for the pardon law and these were public. The discipline of the parties has worked better than a good laxative and at the end nearly everyone voted “yes”. These parliamentarians are not our employees.

They would be if we had had the chance to vote for them. They are not even parliamentarians. They are party employees. They are particrats.

The job of particrat, aimed at the good of the party, has been handed out to them by Fassino, by Fini, and by Rutelli. A dozen people work out which are the right laws for the Italian people.

If the secretaries of the DS, FI and Margherita make decisions about a law, perhaps round the dinner table, then this is a done thing. That’s how it happened for the pardon with the agreement between Gianni Letta and Dario Franceschini. On the floor of Parliament the game had already been played. The parliament has seen its function taken away and replaced by the restaurants.

However I’m obstinate. I want to give our employees a chance. They are still our employees because it’s us that pay them and not the parties. I want to give them a chance to communicate with their employers. It’s a tiny operation in favour of transparency.

From September, I’m going to insert into the blog an area showing how each parliamentarian has voted on the most important laws of this legislature. As the months pass by, we will learn to get to know the voting spirit of each one and then we can form an opinion.


Postated by Beppe Grillo at 08:56 PM in Politics | Comments (8)
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Who’s afraid of the tiger mosquito?

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It’s hot and the mosquitoes are everywhere just as they are very year.
But there are good pesticides whose “prolonged use can cause serious damage to the immune system, sexual disorders, tumours, sterility, malformation at birth, damage to the nervous system and genetic damage” according to the European Commission.

Pesticides that increase the number of mosquitoes (native and tiger) increase the profits of the companies that produce them and the amount of blood that is sucked by the insects that are made more robust. In fact it’s the usual triumph of the Gross Domestic Product.
Fabrizia Pratesi has sent me this letter with a couple of attachments that you should immediately get your local employee administrators to read.

Dear Beppe,
We would like to tell you about the important battle that we are carrying out against the irresponsible (or criminal?) spraying currently happening in the whole country against mosquitoes and tiger mosquitoes (annoying but innocuous in Europe).

We have got the City of Rome to suspend activity but private citizens are continuing with great energy with the encouragement of the chemical companies who are spreading a terrified approach to the insects. Each administration is encouraging the spraying of poisonous substances like Temephos (also used by the City of Rome) an organophosphate product that causes damage to our nervous system.

The battle is supplementary to the wider issue to regulate all chemical substances (REACH = the European regulation that will have its second reading in Parliament before the end of the year.)

But the spraying of insecticides, that above all increase the number of mosquitoes (because they make them more resistant and because they kill their predators) is the practice in absolute terms that is easiest to eradicate. It is enough not to ask for spraying and to use natural methods (see the website www.infozanzare.info).

It is pure foolishness to protect ourselves from a few bites, to increase the incidence of illnesses like disturbances to the immune system, sexual disorders, tumours, damage to the nervous system, to the genetic system etc.

I’m attaching:
1) Press release from the Associated press on what the European Union is proposing in the way of more strict regulations for pesticides (which include insecticides)

2) A poster about chemical insecticides to be printed and distributed

To protect the health of our children and grandchildren!”
Fabrizia Pratesi - Coordinator of Comitato Scientifico EQUIVITA {Scientific Committee EQUIVITA}.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:34 AM in Health/Medicine | Comments (18)
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July 29, 2006

Tomorrow is another day. We’ll see.

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“Non c’è niente di più triste in momenti come questi...” {There’s nothing sadder in moments like this….”}


There are days when I wake up in the morning and there’s a thought that torments me. At the beginning I can’t get it focused, but almost straight away it’s there, in front of me. It’s like waking up with a stomach pain. For days now, as I sit on the edge of the bed what’s paining me is the pardon for the financial crimes and corruption that has been approved by this Centre Left in the Senate.

A Centre Left that was voted in to eliminate “ad personam” laws. And it’s done that in its own way: with a single law it has resolved the problem for the past and for the future.

In fact, in the words of Gerardo D’Ambrosio, “those who will benefit from the pardon include those whose guilt has not yet been discovered for crimes committed up until 2 May 2006. Anyone tried in the next three years starts off with a bonus of –3 years in their pocket. Unless they have committed really serious crimes, that are punished with more than 6 years, they already know that they won’t finish up in prison, before or after the final sentence.”

There you are, this is probably the key to this UnioneCDL agreement: in the current investigations. We’ll soon know. As soon as the judges have formalised the results of the procedures. If there are excellent names of politicians, industrialists, financiers, bankers then we’ll have a legitimate suspicion.

To free up the prisons from those who have never been there and perhaps could have gone there, is a mission for Rutelli and Fassino. Where does this humanitarian streak come from?
But there’s another thought. It’s not quite really in focus. It’ll be much clearer after the interview of Fausto- brown-Bertinotti to la Stampa.

That this government is already coming to an end. That Prodi has already been given the sack by his allies. That behind the scenes, another government is already ready, a new government of Mess-ups Nazionale, a bit like Merkel’s, a bit like D’Alema’s. Is he the candidate in waiting fro the position of President of the Council?

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:25 PM in Politics | Comments (15)
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Moral linkage

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Daniel C. Robbins

Fausto Bertinotti said that yesterday was a “great day because when the institutions are capable to perform acts of clemency that alleviate even a punishment that was supplementary to that established by the judge, considering the over-crowding of the prisons, it is the demonstration of the nature of the State of rights.”

However, this interior peace has been turned upside down by Di Pietro’s wish to link on his site the names of those who contributed to such a pleasurable day of democracy by voting for the pardon.
The classic reluctance of the communists to see themselves on public display has had the upper hand and Fausto has loudly deplored the linkage.

Even the DL person Dario Franceschini, who had worked so hard undercover with Gianni Letta for the details of the pardon, has not digested the linkage and exploded:

He must ask us to forgive him. It’s not possible to go so far. It is an institutional question, out of respect for Parliament.” Pier Ferdinando Casini has asked for the resignation of Di Pietro. This was supported by the whole of the CDL who cried out in chorus: “Resignation, resignation.” It’s true that linkage is frightening. After the moral question, there could be the moral linkage. This is something that has never been seen in which the citizens know how their employees have voted.

And from one link to another link, the employees should give an account for their choices to all their employers and not only to those who are potentially to be detained for finance and corruption crimes.
Links do not respect Parliament. They are made in their own way. They give you information that some would like to be private even though they are public.

How do you define a link? How can you make it understandable to our employees? Basically if “A kiss is the pink apostrophe in the middle of t’amo {I love you}”, a link is “the brown space between the words Fausto and Bertinotti”.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 08:37 PM in Politics | Comments (2)
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July 28, 2006

Average Italians steal tortoises

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I took my children to a tortoise park near to Massa Marittima. It’s sponsored by the European Community. The first visible sign in this tiny park invites people to leave their bags at the entrance because of thefts of tortoises. The sign is written in the major European languages but we know well that it is addressed to Italians. Only the average ones. The others are excluded.

Average Italians steal tortoises,
Average Italians don’t want problems,
Average Italians prefer to leave their problems to BorsellinoFalconeAmbrosoli who would still be alive if they had minded their own business,
Average Italians want liberalisation when they are clients,
Average Italians want monopolies when they are industrialists,
Average Italians dodge taxes if they can,
Average Italians criticise those who dodge taxes (they do it but because of necessity),
Average Italians love their families and keep their houses clean,
Average Italians want a salary, a university degree and a job with the State,
Average Italians build abusively and want amnesties (always because of necessity) ,
Average Italians become angry, really angry if their money is touched,
Average Italians are good in public and racist in private,
Average Italians wash their bottoms but do not have a purifier,
Average Italians have every right and no duty,
Average Italians double park and if you protest they get cross,
Average Italians are mafia inside,
Average Italians always have a friend who will do them a favour,
Average Italians always owe someone else a favour,
Average Italians choose other average Italians as their representatives,
Average Italians cause a heavy stomach and diarrhoea,
Average Italians consider public property to be private and this is why stealing from the public is not a crime,
Average Italians are an absolute majority in our country,
Average Italians want the intellectuals to be organic in the system,
Average Italians want journalists that are servants,
Average Italians want average politicians,
Average Italians are semi-free. They know it and are happy like that,
Average Italians are poor things who steal from themselves and from their country and they don’t know it.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:50 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (12)
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July 27, 2006

RAI excrement

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Piero Ricca has sent me a letter that he has received from Petruccioli, the one that works (still?) as president of the RAI. Ricca had asked this employee (paid by us) what his intentions were, at the time that a wave of crazy actions were taken in the arrangements of the RAI. He also asked why Vespa cannot be moved.

The reply is virile and explains in simple words that in the RAI there are many unpleasant people. We already knew that, but it’s always good to get confirmation.

Petruccioli ‘s reply to Ricca:

“Please excuse the delay in replying. I’m responding even though I have little trust that you are available or interested to have a reply. I’m saying this because of what I see. For example, in your letter of 6 June you repeat that Meocci was nominated director general even thanks to my abstention.

I maintain that this statement is without foundation. Meocci was elected director general with 5 votes of the directors of the Casa delle libertà. The 3 directors of the centre left voted against and I abstained not from the vote but from voting.

It would have changed nothing if I had abstained from the vote or even if I had voted against because in an organisation made of 9 members, 5 is the majority. Anyway, I wouldn’t have had a contribution as you repeat in the election of Meocci. I just hope in obtuseness even though it seems impossible that a man of your intelligence has not yet understood the banalities that I have reminded you of here of some interests could be, instead, to get to know the motives that I can bring out to explain the motives for my abstention from the vote at least for those that don’t have a primary objective of confirming to the writer to consider him a wicked person, a liar, a hypocrite and so on as you are doing with me. I would explain the motives for my abstention from the vote with the argument that incompatibility could not be absolutely excluded. I would emphasise that even the directors who voted in favour of Meocci didn’t feel that they could declare the absolute unfoundedness and I added that on the basis of what has been said, I would have invested the Authority for guaranteeing communications officially with the problem, That letter of mine formally started the procedures that – after the opinion of the Council of State - meant that the same Authority pronounced itself for the incompatibility of all that. There’s ample and precise documentation and if you ask for it I could send it to you. But I doubt it could be of interest to you because from that it is not easy to derive confirmation that I am – as you are evidently convinced – a great piece of excrement after the declarations of incompatibility regarding Meocci I took on the burden for 50 days of a work with a double end.

We have nominated the new director general in the person of Dr. Claudio Cappon. Just in case you missed it, it was I who sustained with the maximum determination the nomination of Cappon after 15 days from his nomination at the proposal of this person, the Board of Directors unanimously nominated Giancarlo Leone.

Vice director general Giancarlo Leone was proposed by me as director general in August 2005 when the Board of Directors elected Alfredo Meocci with the 5 votes of the directors of the casa delle libertà in that occasion, Leone got, not only my vote but also those of the 3 Centre left directors (4 votes out of 9 and therefore a minority). On the details Michele Santoro resigned from the European Parliament in the middle of November 2005. After 2 days he was back once more in RAI.

He participated with great evidence in the transmission that got the greatest audience and success of the season (Rockpolitik). From the following September he returned with a new programme of in-depth journalism in the early evening on RAI 2 for 13 weeks. And one of the most significant novelties of the autumn schedule that we have presented at Cannes last 22 June You will thus wait uselessly that I recognise that I am a clown and you can always tell me, but not for Santoro.

From October 2005 to May 2006 Enzo Biagi has made 8 appearances on RAI with interviews lasting 10-15 minutes (Primo piano - Che tempo che fa) we are looking into programmes that are more substantial and that are still compatible with Biagi’s availability. On the referendum you could expect a few days we have documents about the tiny details the great quantitative effort and the qualitative equilibrium of our news to respond to superficial and pretextual criticisms of someone who is convinced that there will be a really low participation at the referendum and the “yes” vote could have won after the results – and on the basis of the data supplied (these too I can send you if you are interested) - criticism without foundation have left the step to recognise and appreciate the critics who open their mouths just to take a breath (Sartori in il Corriere to mention the most glorious) have stayed quiet they said: the referendum will be in a mess because of the RAI faced with an opposite result they were careful not to apply the same theorem and to be auto critical in relation to me, I think that our work has been within the environment of the duties of public service that it doesn’t have to claim particular merits but neither does it have to accept unmerited accusations regarding Vespa who I see is informed of the valid contract up until 2010 that I didn’t do to me too the presence of Vespa seems excessive I think it should be redimensioned I am working and I will work still to bring this to levels that are more acceptable.

Anyway there is a reason, just one, that I believe can be adopted to defend the current abundant presence of Vespa on the TV screens: it’s the education value that he can have on irascible and intolerant people like you.

The duty to recognise that people exist who are different from them even very different, even bullshitters, but who have anyway the right to exist.
Happy holidays”.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:53 AM in Information | Comments (9)
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July 25, 2006

Tax dodgers are thieves three times

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Image: nolaj.ca

Tax dodgers are thieves three times.
The first time because they are not supplying resources to the community in which they live. These are resources that can then not be used for schools, hospitals and roads. The second is because other citizens have to pay more because of them. The third is anyway the thrice thief is using the structures of the country for free.

Tax avoidance is like robbery, in fact more so, it’s a robbery without risks. Instead of the lookout there are the politicians. Here’s a letter on this topic.

Dear Beppe,
I too am from Liguria. At the moment I’m in Milan for work but sooner or later I’ll be back. I’ve got a topic that is really fashionable but in fact no one actually seriously faces up to it: tax evasion. This is the prime problem of our country.
All the governments put it on their agenda but for both the right and the left it’s the usual comedy.
In fact resolving tax evasion would mean the immediate loss of votes of whole categories of people.

And I’m sorry to write the usual stock phrases, but in Italy taxes are only paid by employees. How is it possible that 2/3 declare between 6,000 and 15,000 Euro a year? How is it possible that there are only 50,000 people declaring more than 200,000 Euro a year?
And only 150,000 people declare between 100,000 and 200,000 Euro a year? Just count the notaries, dentists, pharmacists, opticians, lawyers, and car salespeople who surely earn this figure.
There are definitely more than the numbers quoted above.
And in fact last year more than 100,000 luxury cars were sold and 70,000 yachts longer than 17 metres.

I’m an employee of a multinational and I’m by no means complaining about my earnings. In fact I believe I have a great salary. I’m in the category earning between 100,000 and 200,000. But looking at these statistics I should feel like one of the few rich Italian people. In reality I am just like everyone else and there are surely many many more people who earn much more than I do and yet they don’t pay anything. And you can see this from the cars, the homes and the life style that they have.

And let me add that the fight against tax evasion is not impossible, as they would like us to believe. It is really simple. It would be sufficient for the Guardia di Finanza to go and check up on all those that declare between 6,000 and 10,000 euro a year. These people will all be residents in public hostels and eating in Caritas soup kitchens or according to the home that they live in or the car that they travel in they are all free lance professionals or business people who are avoiding 99% of the tax due on their earnings.

I remember when I was at university, I paid the highest band of canteen prices. But I travelled by train and tram. In summer I worked on a beach to earn a bit of money. The offspring of working class people were in the band 2 or 3 and there was a whole list of friends who were in the lowest band or who actually ate for free. However these even came to the university in their new coupè or in their suzukino. Guess what their dads did?

Furthermore, using really simple software it is now possible to write programs that can automatically do cross matching on data so as to indicate to the Guardia di Finanza the tax returns to be checked. Some examples could be those who declare 10,000 Euro a year who have 3 homes or cars and pay 1000 Euro a year for ICI {L’ Imposta Comunale sugli Immobili = local tax on housing} or those who have telephone and electricity bills higher than 400 Euro a month.

Or check the tax declarations of those individuals and companies that own boats longer than 10 metres and luxury cars. And check the companies in which the owners systematically earn less than the employees or those companies that have ridiculous profits very year.

In fact there are hundreds of simple criteria that are clear and easy to implement now that tax declarations are computerised. It just needs the will to do it!

Anyway in other European countries there’s a physiological tax evasion that cannot be eliminated. But in Italy the problem is enormous. The motives are various. For our mentality and for the particular situation of Italy, the only country with many many small and medium sized enterprises. Ciao”.

C.R.


Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:45 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (22)
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July 24, 2006

Comrades, you made a mistake

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Certainly the taxi drivers who beat up some journalists were wrong to do that. They should be condemned, as I do from the bottom of my heart. However, however…. I confess, I felt a tiny pin prick of pleasure, really teeny weeny.

As a group I don’t like those journalists, publishers, managers of journalists, directors of newspapers, all or almost all paid with public money.
When they have to make a stand they always make it in favour of those that pay them, in the interests of the publishers and the company of the presumed great signatures is always the same.

Just recently Tronchetti, Della Valle, Montezemolo and others have removed Colao from the top of RCS. Just to be clear, Colao was the boss of Mieli the director of Il Corriere della Sera. There’s a new editiorialindustrial line and no one opens their mouth to say a word.

In this game, the readers are not relevant. The group controlling Il Corriere (the putrid salon) do as they please.. Il Corriere has to go under. It has to close. As it is at the moment it is simply a tool of the economic and financial powers managed by private interests.

And the other newspapers? Those of the great left with a glorious past and a future as capitalists? If it’s possible, those are even worse.

Capitalism does not hide its appetites. It’s as it looks. It doesn’t claim moral firsts. Unlike Previti’s friend, Rifondazione Comunista, it doesn’t claim to re-educate us. Liberazione, the official newspaper of Rifondazione Comunista would not be able to exist without our taxes. And yet using the words of Rina Gagliardi it has condemned without appeal, the position of Antonio Di Pietro, considered to be “the Unione’s real time bomb”.

In fact Di Pietro is the only member of the Unione who does not want the pardon for people who are corrupt, for those who commit financial crimes. But this is not the official position of Rifondazione Comunista and so he has to be attacked. And l’Unità stays quiet. It shows indifference. If this is left-wing news provision I prefer Emilio Fede.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 07:46 PM in Politics | Comments (18)
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A letter from the minister Di Pietro

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photo: lemonde.fr

I’m publishing this letter from the minister Antonio Di Pietro.

Dear Beppe,

It’s only a few months since the elections and I’ve decided to write you a letter that I hope you can publish on your blog. Tomorrow the Unione and the CDL will vote in favour of a law, the law about pardons. It was not in the manifesto of the Unione and I maintain that it is not wanted by the centre left voters.

This law came about with the intention of freeing up the prisons and has been extended to cover crimes like false accounting, corruption, tax and finance crimes and crimes relating to the public administration.

Not even the Berlusconi government arrived at such an extreme. This is a way of throwing in the sponge. And it’s done in the middle of the summer. It’s a serious action and only partial information is reported about it. Often the information provided is deliberately biased when presented by newspapers and the TV. Perhaps your blog can provide widespread coverage that is impartial.

I am decidedly against the fact that the approval of the pardon is based on a political exchange with Forza Italia as it allows for the inclusion of crimes for which members of the Casa delle Libertà are currently subject to trials or have been convicted. Some of these have taken centre stage.

If the pardon law were to be approved as it is, all the facts of illicit administration and illicit company activity would go unpunished. This is talking about those people who are guilty of crimes like Tangentopoli, Calciopoli, and Bancopoli {crimes connected with the bribery scandals of the 1990s, football scandals and bank scandals}.

These are people who have been the centre of attention for the magistrates and for the front pages of the newspapers in recent years.

I have written to the leaders of the parties making up the Unione coalition to ask for a top-level meeting to discuss the pardon law. I have had no reply. In last Friday’s Council of Ministers I emphasised the seriousness of this law, contrary to the interests of the citizens, but useful only to party machinations.

I have threatened to resign as minister and my colleagues have shown complete indifference. Italia dei Valori is the fourth party in the coalition with 25 representatives in the Upper and Lower Houses.
Its exit from the coalition can cause the government to fail, but I don’t feel like going back to the urns and perhaps to deliver the country once more into the hands of Berlusconi.

The Unione has vetoed our amendments to exclude financial crimes, company crimes and corruption from the pardon. Next Monday and Tuesday Italia dei Valori will do everything it can to slow down the approval of the law on pardons by presenting a series of amendments. Italy deserves other politicians, other governments.

It must not be obliged to choose between the worst and the one that is less bad than the worst, as you often say.

Italia dei Valori on its own, cannot change this country. The Italians must make their voices heard loud and clear. They must do this in all possible ways that are legitimate. They must do this to avoid the umpteenth step back from democracy.”

Antonio Di Pietro.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:04 AM in Politics | Comments (25)
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July 23, 2006

Touch Radar and Die

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And so Adamo Bove, aged 43, head of the Radar system of Telecom Italia, threw himself off a bridge in Naples, or they threw him off, or they forced him to throw himself off. He had a fall of 40 metres and there was no doubt about the outcome.

The Radar system is at the centre of the investigation being carried out by the Milan prosecutors’ office into association to commit a crime that is aimed at uncovering reserved information.

Adamo Bove, head of security governance in Telecom, was not himself under investigation. Bove has been collaborating with the procura di Milano for the kidnapping of iman Abu Omar. He has contributed to the setting up of surveillance of Mancini of Sismi (Military Intelligence and Security Service) as well as general Pignero.

He was due to meet with the pubblici ministeri milanesi {Milan prosecutors} to discuss wiretaps and the possible keeping of records about Telecom users.

This same guy who is the protector of privacy had made evident “the low level of security of the data exchanged on mobile phones.” A few weeks ago Tavaroli, former head of security at Telecom and at Pirelli, was thrown out of Telecom. He is under investigation by the Milan prosecutors for association to commit a crime with the intention to violate the secrecy of judicial investigations.

No one can prove this but it is said that there are records of wire taps of people who are powerful and who can be blackmailed. No one can prove this but it is said that half of those who count in Italy are there. One half that can be wiretapped, the other half tapping the wires.

I believe that it’s a good moment, right away, to set up a parliamentary commission of inquiry to ascertain the connections between Sismi and Telecom. That it gets hold of these records of wire taps if they exist. That it operates in complete transparency in relation to the country. Prodi, if you are there, knock once.

To avoid any doubts, I’d like to make clear that I am in good health. I don’t suffer from depression. The idea of committing suicide has never passed through my mind.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 04:29 PM in Information | Comments (9)
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More State and less Livestock Market

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The employee Minister Tommaso Padoa Schioppa has said: “If a company remains public and gives generous dividends, but then makes us pay higher tariffs, it can benefit the accounts of the State but it doesn’t benefit the development of the economy".

Dear employee, you are right. You express yourself better than Catalano. If ENI and ENEL produce profits in a monopoly situation (a bit like stealing sweeties from the children) it should reinvest them (for example in renewable energy) and not distribute them as profits to the shareholders, one of which is the State.

Tommaso Catalano Schioppa also tells us that by privatising even a little bit, there’s the risk of a Public Purchase Offer. In simple words that means that control can pass to the hands of private interests. Something like what happened with Tronchetti. Then the monopoly goes from being public to private and the hole, not only the one in the balance sheet, gets bigger with the blessing of the banks who lend money for the acquisition by using debts. That’s how the celebrated private monopolies are born: autostradebenetton and telecomtronchetti.

Primary services: energy, transport and communications are run by the State because they have been constructed over decades using our taxes, the taxes of our parents, of our grandparents, of our great-grandparents. They are not for sale nor can they be given away. They do not belong to the government nor to Parliament, nor to each individual employee of ours in Rome. The State is us. Those services are ours. And the profits must be reinvested to make them better.

Is it so difficult to say that? Is it something that is too indecent for our full time economists? More State and less Livestock Market. The Telecom backbone must be returned to the State. The motorways must be returned to the State (what have they got to do with a market? You can’t choose between motorway routes). Everyone can play at being an economist at the expense of the citizens.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 03:10 PM in Politics | Comments (1)
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July 20, 2006

The sale of pardons

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Painting: The sale of indulgences

The pardon is today’s theme.

The newspapers are talking about just a little and very reluctantly, even though we may be back with elections in the Spring.
The government wants to extend it to the crimes that are more in vogue among the parliamentarians: corruption, bribes, false accounting.

The only one opposed to it is Di Pietro who has said that he will resign as a Minister if this mess with the Prison House of liberty.

Italy is full of emergencies but our employees have their own. When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. And a beautiful pardon is always better than landing up in prison. As described by the beautiful and pious minds of the government, this law is to free up the prisons. Perhaps. But it’s also a way of not filling them. And it forgives Previti of his sins, that way he can join his colleagues in Parliament and discuss some beautiful laws concerning justice.

9 April seems so far away. The sale of the pardons is open. It’s an ideal continuation of the sale of indulgences of the Church of once upon a time. To get redemption from your sins a wee little pardon is enough, in exchange then you all vote together for the laws ad cdlulivum, laws made to please both the CDL and Ulivo.

If this pardon gets through. Once Di Pietro resigns, Prodi will be transformed into a Zombie with Letta and Casini dictating his homework.
Everything is free or liberalisable in Italy, apart form the citizens.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:11 PM in Politics | Comments (32)
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July 19, 2006

Ménage à trois

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Banks, companies and the media. The threesome that wins big stakes when you play the Italian Lotto. The banks possess the companies or more often their debts. And when the debts are too big, they transform them into bonds for affectionate clients. Banks and companies possess the media that highlights their virtues. The great Italian publishing houses are called Tronchetti, Benetton, De Benedetti, Berlusconi, Luca Cordero. They are personalities emerging from the entrepreneurpublisherbankers. They are individuals with super power. They are ever-present on the Boards of Directors.

In their own bodies, or as ventriloquists using the independent Directors.
It’s a bundle of wool without individual threads. It’s a jumble in which everything is the contrary of everything else. It’s managed by an oligarchy that has debts in the companies and profits in their own bank accounts. The media cannot judge the companies and the banks that own them. The banks have nothing to gain by forcing into bankruptcy the companies that are participants in the control of the banks and are already failed. The companies in difficulty use the banks to transfer debts and they use the media to ensure that the collapse does not emerge.

It’s a Bermuda Triangle. An association of interests. A black hole in which the citizen disappears. The shareholder disappears. The reader disappears. The banks stay on their feet solidly anchored to political power. One after the other, the companies are plundered. The media live from State support, with our taxes and from advertising.

There’s something morbid, sickly, something like a red light film for sado-masochistic managers in these connections. Why can’t a bank just be a bank, a newspaper just be a newspaper, the company just a company? Why do we have to have a system in the place of an economy? Perhaps because the economy no longer exists?

Prodi hit the taxi drivers who hit the journalists. Bersani has equalised and the Italians have lost. If Prodi were to attack the strong powers what would happen? Will he lose 10 to 0? If he imposes a net division between information, finance and companies, how long will his government last? A week? But if he doesn’t do this, how long will Italy last?


Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:06 PM in Economics | Comments (8)
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July 18, 2006

Herod 2006

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Dear Grillo, I'm Nicola Migliorino professor at the Exeter University, attached are some photos sent to me by Hanady Salman, a journalist for As-Safir (Beirut newspaper), with this message:

"Dear friends and colleagues, you will all have to excuse me for sending this. It's pictures of the bodies of babies killed by the israelis in South lebanon. They are all burnt. I need your help. I am almost certain these pictures won't be published in the West, although they are Associated Press pictures.
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I need your help exposing them if you can. The problem is these are people who were asked to leave their village , Ter Hafra , this morning , within two hours , or else. ... So those who were able to flee went to the closer UN base where they were asked to leave. I think that after the Qana massacres in 1996 when civilians were bombed after they took chelter in UN headquarters , the UN does not want to be responssible for the lives of civilians.

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A FEW MINUTES AGO, the Israeli asked the people of Al Bustan village in the south to evacuate their homes. I am afraid massacares will keep happening as long as Israeli actions are uncheked. Please help us if you can
Hanady Salman"

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 05:35 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (72)
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Eni responds to the blog

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Enrico Mattei

Eni has replied to the post “Manager Wanted”.

"Dear signor Grillo,

I’m writing to you to clarify the information that was contained in your blog of 11 July 2006 relating to Eni.
Italy does not have new infrastructure like the regasifiers that can broaden the horizon of suppliers and consequently lower the price of gas. Italy produces slightly more than 10% of the gas that it consumes, and is obliged to depend almost exclusively on imports from abroad. I would like to remind you that just two countries together, Russia and Algeria, supply Italy with almost 70% of the gas that it needs.

The label of monopolist can certainly not be applied to the ones buying this gas. On the other hand, all the main companies operating in the Italian market could buy gas. It’s necessary to understand what advantages would then be seen by the final consumer. In addition to that, the Decreto Legislativo 23 May 2000 n. 164 – better known as the Letta Decree, established among other things, that until the end of 31 December 2010, there are limits to the dimensions of the operators. In other words, this establishes norms for the liberalisation of the domestic market for natural gas with a marked impact on the way that Eni operates. With the levels imposed on our company, this has created in Italy a position of dominant player certainly weaker than the former monopolies of other European countries.

Lastly, the price of gas for the consumers is not fixed by the company, but by the Autorità per l’Energia Elettrica ed il Gas {Gas and Electricity Authority} with the intention to protect the final user as much as possible. As well as being tightly connected to the price of petrol, the price of gas Is subject to a large tax burden. Without taxes, the price of gas in Italy, related to January this year, would have been 373 euro per 1,000 cubic metres, compared to a European average of 433 euro (459 for Germany, 418 for Spain e 399 for France). With taxes however, the prices are 651 euro for 1,000 cubic metres in Italy, 600 euro in Germany, 485 in Spain and 471 in France (543 euro being the European average).
According to a recent Eurostat survey, the price of gas between January 2005 and January 2006, increased by 15.2% for industry and by 7.6% for families and that can be compared to the average increase for the European Union of 33% for industry and by 16% for families.

In absolute terms, the price of gas per gigajoule in Italy for industry is the tenth highest: 7.65 euro compared to 11.58 in Germany, 8.27 in France, 7.24 in Spain, where there are many regasifiers (European Union average 8.20 euro); for the families the price is 16.50 euro (fourth highest) compared to 15.98 euro in Germany, 12.72 in France and 13.63 in Spain. It is to be noted that for the families, the price is higher than the average because Italy has a higher incidence of taxes on the price of gas.

I am sure that you will want to report these concepts to your readers. Greetings.
Gianni Di Giovanni,
Head of external communications Eni.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:32 AM in Economics | Comments (1)
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The Magnificent eighty two

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photo from life.com

Marco Travaglio has sent me a letter updating me on the count of the people in Parliament who have been convicted.

Dear Beppe,
You are not up to date. I mean with the “Clean Up Parliament” campaign. I’ve spent three months with Peter Gomez analysing the criminal records of the 900 plus employees that have been recently elected to the new Parliament. We did this for our new book recently published by Editori Riuniti, “Onorevoli Wanted” {Honourables Wanted}. I am happy to be able to tell you that the number of those convicted of crimes has once more reached 25. This is equal to the record of the previous legislature. Then we considered those in the categories of “differently honest”. These included those under investigation, those on trial, those convicted to the first or second degree, those miracled out by “prescrizione” or by various by-pass laws and we got to 82. This is almost 10% of the whole Parliament. This is a percentage that is not even seen in the Zen of Palermo or in Scampia and Secondigliano in Naples.

To be exact: 25 definitively convicted (including those that have negotiated the sentence), 10 “prescritti”, 8 sentenced in the first degree, 17 on trial in the first degree, 19 under investigation, 1 is a defendant in a preliminary hearing, 1 who was allowed to go because of parliamentary immunity, 1 who was guilty but absolved by law. The hit parade of the parties sees Forza Italia in the top position (with 29 differently honest), this is followed by Alleanza nazionale (14), Udc (10), Lega Nord (8), Movimento per l’autonomia (1), Dc (1), Psi (1), Gruppo Misto (1: Andreotti). The whole of the Centre Right arrives at 65. The Centre Left is trailing at only 17, but they are doing what they can: Margherita (6), Ds (6), Udeur (2), Rifondazione comunista (2), Rosa nel pugno (1).

What’s also interesting is the classification of the crimes preferred by our employees in Parliament: 18 cases of corruption; 16 of illicit financing; 10 of fraud; 9 for abuse of office and false accounting; 8 for associating with the mafia; 7 for fraudulent bankruptcy and disturbing auctions; 6 for associating with others to commit a crime, resisting public officials and false accounting; 5 for attacking the Constitution, attacking the Unity of the State and forming outlawed paramilitary structure; 4 for aiding and abetting, collusion and tax fraud; 3 for defamation, construction of buildings without the necessary permits and for attacking people; 2 for armed bands, corrupting judges, misusing the money of others, extortion, revealing secrets; 1 for homicide, subversive association inciting to commit a crime, favouring the mafia, rigging the market, hitting, violence to a political body. aggravated fire-raising, calumny, false testimony, exchanging votes, embezzlement, violation of privacy, insulting behaviour, making of explosives, violating the rights of an author, fraud in a public competition and the adulteration of wine.

The stories and the sentences of our Magnificent eighty two are to be found in the book. You’ll also find the miracled people of the Parmalat story: you’ll see so many surprises, on the right but above all on the left! I’m concluding with the list of the 25 who have been convicted so that you can up date your count:

1. Berruti Massimo Maria (FI): aiding and abetting.
2. Biondi Alfredo (FI): tax evasion (crime then depenalised).
3. Bonsignore Vito (Udc): corruption.
4. Borghezio Mario (Lega Nord): fire raising
5. Bossi Umberto (Lega Nord): illicit financing and incitement to commit a crime.
6. Cantoni Giampiero (FI): corruption and bankruptcy.
7. Carra Enzo (Margherita): false testimony.
8. Cirino Pomicino Paolo (Dc): corruption and illicit financing.
9. De Angelis Marcello (An): armed band and subversive association.
10. D’Elia Sergio (Rosa nel pugno): armed band and collaborating in homicide.
11. Dell’Utri Marcello (FI): false invoicing, false balance sheets and tax fraud.
12. Del Pennino Antonio (FI): illicit financing.
13. De Michelis Gianni (Psi): corruption and illicit financing.
14. Farina Daniele (Prc):making, holding and abusive carrying of explosive devices, resistance of pubic official, serious injuries to a person, non-observance of the orders of the authorities.
15. Jannuzzi Lino (FI): defamation with extenuating circumstances.
16. La Malfa Giorgio (FI): illicit financing.
17. Maroni Roberto (Lega Nord): resisting a public official.
18. Mauro Giovanni (FI): defamation with extenuating circumstances.
19. Nania Domenico (An): intent to injure a person.
20. Patriciello Aldo (Udc): illicit financing.
21. Previti Cesare (FI): corruption of judges.
22. Sterpa Egidio (FI): illicit financing.
23. Tomassini Antonio (FI): false in public acts.
24. Visco Vincenzo (Ds): construction without building permits.
25. Vito Alfredo (FI): corruption”.
Marco Travaglio

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:26 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (5)
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July 17, 2006

The G8 in the Gobi Desert

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The G8 reminds me of the family photos of long ago. Big gatherings at table, smiles, group photos in lines, declarations, hand shakes for the photographers, The G8 nations represent 65% of the world economy. It’s possibly to calmly say that they are responsible, at least in part, for global warming, for the death of Africa, for economic inequalities, for an imprecise number of wars and warriors and for the interference in the affairs of other States. Let it be really clear: everything (nearly always) in an indirect way, using economic measures, diplomatic pressures and the media. Clean, whiter than white.

In the palace of Konstatinovskij, the Tsar’s summer palace in Saint Petersburg, they were eating Beluga caviar, smoked lobster, and strawberries with black pepper. Meanwhile they were amiably talking about energy, climate, poverty and famine in the world in a peaceful and serene atmosphere. The city is under the control of 200,000 soldiers. A group of demonstrators against the G8 has been provided for by Putin in the Kirov stadium, outside the city, in an area that is surrounded by ancient woodland and military police.

Tramps and homeless people have disappeared from Saint Petersburg and have been sent to Siberia in sealed trains just for the occasion. Bush hasn’t missed the opportunity to say his bit by citing Iraq as an example of the freedom of the press and religious liberty. Putin has responded with another gaff by saying that in Russia they don’t want the type of democracy that exists in Iraq. He prefers his democracy modelled in Chechen style.

All the Heads of State are there with their consorts, apart form the only true man present, Angela Merkel, wearing the skin of Bruno the bear, donated to her by the city of Munich. The G8 are always risking democratic participation. People wound up in the enthusiasm want to have their say. That’s why the future looks bleak for future meetings.

It’s not every time that there’ll be the availability of Putin, the Holy Mother Russia, and the post-soviet army ready to take control of the streets. The summits could take place in the Mariana Trench in a massive submarine, in the Gobi desert dressed up as camel handlers, or on the top of the Himalayas in oxygen tents. In places that are reserved for people who have private discussions about the problems of the world. Without outside influences. In private.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 07:53 PM in Politics | Comments (6)
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Religion, war and petrol

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I’m not interested to know who is right or who is wrong: the hezbollah, the Palestinians or the Israelis. In the Middle East the fuse has been slowly burning down for dozens of years. It could make the explosives depot blow up. A third world war. They say that Israel has atomic bombs, perhaps 100 of them, pointed towards the Arab countries.

If its existence were to be really in danger, they wouldn’t hesitate to use them. Iran will have, or perhaps it already has the atomic bomb. Whoever controls the Persian Gulf controls the flow of petroleum oil and the world economy.

China has a desperate need of oil to sustain its development. China has a benevolent attitude towards Iran that is accused of arming the hezbollah group in Lebanon together with Syria.

Meanwhile Israel is destroying the Palestinian seat of government and is taking a few ministers as hostages. It’s bombing Beirut and is imposing an air and sea blockade. And Italy is here in the middle of the sea, American aircraft carriers ever better armed, as is happening in Vincenza. I’m worried, and you?

If there’s a situation in which the United Nations must intervene this is it. Buffer zones must be created between Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Israel, controlled by blue helmets. Israel will have all the reasons to feel it is in danger, but if every State goes off to bomb a couple of neighbouring States the world would break out into barbarism.

I accept that Israel is more at risk than others, with the Holocaust and all the rest. But now it’s a world problem. We are all in danger. I believe that we need a new Middle East Peace Conference to work out a solution. Standing and watching is just too dangerous.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:00 AM in Information | Comments (36)
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Guantanamo, Italia: the interviews

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Those who make a mistake (and don’t have white collars) pay. For everyone.
This seems to be the moral of the sad story of corso Buenos Aires, Milano.

Do you remember the 25 young people arrested after the disorder of 11 March? The disorder that erupted as a reaction to the fascist demonstration? We have left them behind the bars of San Vittore.

They are still there. They’ve been there for more than 4 months. They are presumed guilty waiting for a judgement.

Next Wednesday the decision is expected. The prosecutor has asked for exemplary sentences: 5 years and 8 months of prison for those who had no previous convictions, that would be 6 years for two of the young people with previous convictions. And what luck that for the shortened procedure the sentence is reduced by a third!
The accusations form an anthology of the penal code: moral and material participation in devastation and fire-raising, resistance and violence to a public official, seditious gathering, injurious activity, abusive carrying of weapons. The catch is hidden in that “moral participation”: precise proof showing the responsibility of individuals, necessary in a State based on rights, is not available, that’s what the lawyers have been saying over and over again.

They have asked for the defendants to be absolved (apart from a couple who prefer to do a plea bargain). They’ve done this after asking in vain for house arrest which was denied on the grounds that there was a risk they would escape or they would repeat the crime (!), perhaps they were afraid the young people would set fire to the settee in the living room.
To complete the picture, the civil plaintiffs, the Milan local authorities and the Ministries of Defence and of the Interior have asked for 290,000 Euro in damages.
In this video, prepared by Piero Ricca, there’s an interview with the lawyer Mirko Mazzali, who is defending most of the defendants and the teacher Tiziana Ferrario who explains how one of the prisoners, Riccardo, aged 19, now in a cell with a kidnapper after a few weeks of being in isolation, has not been allowed to finish the scholastic year of study.

This is naturally a way of honouring to the bitter end, the re-education objective of the punishment. I’ve been thinking: if one of our offspring were to find themselves at a demonstration, if they were arrested without having committed any crime except that of protesting, if they were detained for months without trial and kept in isolation, if they weren’t even allowed to study; what would we, fathers, mothers, what should we be thinking? That Italy is not a State based on rights? That in Italy the law is equal only for Previti?

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:49 AM in Information | Comments (2)
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July 14, 2006

Make Materazzi a saint now!

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Materazzi’s attributes are Italian. The French want to get hold of them, and having already got the Mona Lisa, they want to exhibit them at the Louvre.

Zidane’s insinuating press conference was yesterday. He’s an acclaimed national hero as he has defended the honour of his women. The press conference was really a pathetic show to deprive Italy of a weighty pair of balls. The false declarations attributed to the mother of Zizou (give me his balls on a plate) are reported by the English daily newspaper The Mirror are really veils of the French secret services. Chirac wants a France that is strong and virile. The defeat at the world cup must be vindicated.

Blatter, who cried with Zidane in the French changing rooms and for that didn’t manage to take part in the prize giving, has decided to start honour football when France plays. A lip reading film will allow us to hear the insults towards French mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, and aunts.

For every “son of a bitch” or “that cow that is your wife” there will be a set corporal punishment on the field and this can even go as far as chemical castration. A show within the show. For every insult against French women there will be three penalties to France. Chirac also would like to bring back the Guillotine.

Before playing in the final, Zidane was awarded the “best player of the tournament”. His name will go forward to Time magazine as “the true man of the year”. He’ll also be permanent ambassador to UNICEF as an example to children all over the world.

Many illustrious Italians are running for cover to limit the bad international image. Political and cultural leaders have deplored Materazzi’s provocation even though they don’t have the foggiest idea what he really said and they have excused the accusation of cuckold to Zidane.

Cossiga has presented his apologies to the President of Algeria perhaps getting a bit confused with France. They say that he offered what he holds to be most precious to Chirac in compensation. A patriotic gesture. They also say however that Chirac refused. Allez les bleus!

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 12:01 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (57)
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July 12, 2006

Fantozzi is alive and is fighting with us

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I’ve received this letter from one of the many modern slaves. He worked 56 days (of 8 hours) a month. But this is science fiction, fantawork, fantacapitalism. When I read the email I didn’t want to believe it. I thought it was a joke by Paolo Villaggio. I phoned the guy who confirmed everything and said that I should put his name in full. If Lidl wants to write a reply I will publish it.

“I’d like to present myself: I’m called Emanuele D., I’m Pugliese, 32 years old, graduate in Economics and Commerce and I’ve been living in Bologna since I was one year old. Now I’ve got a problem. Have you ever heard of Lidl? It’s a German company that deals with mass distribution of products that are almost exclusively food. In Italy, it’s famous for its discounts among other things.

In December 2005 I was contacted by the directors of the company to have an interview that was “definitely interesting”. That’s how it all started. They offered me 29,000 Euro a year, company car, luncheon vouchers and all the necessary package to become what was called the Head of the Sector. That means a manager at an intermediate level with the same responsibilities as an area Head but where the area is a province rather than a region.

On 15 December, I left my old job as a regular employee “head of section” in an electronics distribution chain. On 2 January, I started with these Germans! Every morning up at 5:00am. From that day on my life has been turned upside down! My day started with the unloading of the trucks full of goods. Naturally I’m on my own and I have to use the force in my own arms. Then I have to prepare the display for fruit, for bread and the areas for the meat and once more I’m lifting kilo after kilo of goods.

At 9:00am, the shop opens to the public and only then do the first employees arrive. (Of course they are all on a training scheme and they all have a thousand doubts and questions that have to be answered by me.) And up until 9:00pm, I have to turn my hand to every type of activity that is carried out in a supermarket.

Obviously, if I have a bit of time on my hands they offer me the chance to go and clean the shop’s open-air car park. In winter it’s difficult for the clients to park there if there’s snow. If there’s spare time I can even eat something. Obviously that has to be after 3:30pm because another truck to be unloaded arrives at lunchtime.

After the shop closes I put everything in order so that the whole shop (1286 square metres) is ready for opening the next day. The shop that is under my control has the luck to be under-staffed because it has a strong turnover and so after 9:00pm I’m always working alone.

If everything goes well, I finish at 10:30pm. If everything isn’t going well at 10:30pm, when I think I’ve finished my day’s work, the night controller arrives. That’s my colleague whose job is to check on my work. My work is never satisfactory and so I have to keep working on into the night trying to do everything satisfactorily. But I’m thinking that I’m staying on only because of my own negligence.

There are also days when there’s a nighttime inventory when I work from 5:00am in the morning to 3:30am and then start again an hour and a half later. The rest day that is due to me is best not used so that I can have fewer nights to be worked. Sundays are not days for God but the day when the shop is closed and I don’t go to Church but taking advantage of the absence of clients there are other inventories or refurbishments.

In this nightmare situation, I also had a bereavement in the family. For this I was entitled to 5 days since I had to travel to Brindisi. My superiors thought that 3 days would be more than enough and when I got back they accused me of having abandoned my post without having ensured that everything had been prepared and ready for the subsequent 3 days.

I also had an accident and I had to ask permission to leave the shop to go the Accident and Emergency department and get some stitches in my hand. It took 2 hours to get this permission and when I got back I was accused of having abandoned my post without having ensured that everything had been prepared and ready for the time I was away.

This is not only my experience. In fact there were 83 of us who started this training in Italy (13 in Emilia Romagna) and now there are only 24 people (3 including myself in Emilia Romagna). We are the only ones who continue to have the strength to do this every morning. The costs of the products continue to be low because the company does not pay overtime (because if you work more it’s only because it’s your fault), feast days are not taken (because you are being trained and the more you work, the more you learn).

Their policy is one of terror. The employees must be afraid so as to avoid every type of complaint or request. In fact the Trades Unions don’t manage to have any representative in the shops.

Looking on the internet, I have discovered dozens of statements like mine. In fact a “black” book has been published: the Schwarzbuch. It’s even possible to find information about this on WIKIPEDIA. It talks about countless examples of Lidl maltreating its employees.

At the umpteenth unjustified insult, tired of getting calls at every hour of the day, of not even having the time to recover my energy, just 4 days from the end of the probation period I tried to stand up to their behaviour and thus I was obliged to present a letter of resignation. I just managed to not do this thanks to the help of one who, like me, lived through these horrible months and who allowed me not to succumb to their blows.

I have been off sick since then. I need to get back my equilibrium. An equilibrium that they took away from me. I am facing up to the situation with the help of a Trades Union. They are helping me fight something that I was not expecting. A letter telling me I am dismissed. It arrived while I was off sick. Their policy goes beyond every logic of the market. They take advantage of people until they are exhausted and then they throw them away. Anyway with such attractive contracts they’ll find another young person who will think that finally he can build something for his future.

What I’m looking for now is definitely to get over this experience. But I want other people to know. Those who are happy to have found a shop near home where they can make savings. I want them to know where the saving comes from. We aren’t sewing footballs and we are all adults. But we are putting up with abuse and conditions of work that are not worthy of a country that is keen to be part of Europe. The hours worked are 16 hours a day for 28 days which is 448 per month. Making an hourly rate of 3.48 Euro. The contract is for 42 hours a week (elastic) as a manager.

I would like to write a million other things. I would like to get scores of colleagues to talk about this. They too are obliged to cope with the most intolerable situations. I hope at least that I have opened up a route so that everyone can understand all this. I hope this will mean that no one will ever have to find themselves in conditions in which they have to marry the company that they work for and even grant them “conjugal rights” in a passive way obviously.
Thank you for the energy that you dedicate to all that you do for everyone.
Emanuele.

P.S. Tonight I’ll be at Porto Viro: "La scienza in piazza... per salvare il Delta" {Science in the open air … to save the Delta} at 21.30 in the town square.


Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:59 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (32)
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Manager wanted

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The State companies are owned by the citizens. The managers that control them must act in the interests of the country. They must be competent. They must not have been convicted nor must they be currently on trial. They must receive a salary that is equitable in relation to the job they do. Do you think that what I have written is reasonable? These people make decisions about our future. Railways, electricity, energy, information, airlines, public works, and many other things.

Who are these people? Who put them there and on what grounds of merit? We look at the finger that points to the moon and not the moon itself. We look at the politician and not the manager. We take it as a given that he must stay where he is, without worrying whether he is incompetent or a thief. His CV is often unknown to us. His title is often a mystery.

Last year Mincalto was removed from Eni. He was a manager appreciated at the international level with no justification. In his place there’s Scaroni, convicted for corruption.

At the railways Catania has installed himself. He didn’t even know what a sleeper was and now he has given self-congratulatory interviews having relaunched the railways. Cimoli is a joyful mystery, for us, not for him. He’s getting 190,000 euro a month and Alitalia is extra bankrupt. Del Noce, the director of RAI Uno, is remembered only because he broke Staffelli’s nose. He’s more than Zidane. He presents an image of the country.

So far, only one Minister, Di Pietro, has taken action and has thrown out Pozzi from ANAS. He found him with empty coffers. The others haven’t yet acted. ENI and ENEL produce monstrous profits, but the tariffs are rising and this doesn’t make sense to me. In a monopoly situation, if the profits go up the tariffs must come down.

The State managers are people who change our lives. They are very important. That’s the reason why I’ going to draw up a list and publish their CV, their salary, any convictions or judicial proceedings (if there are any) and the Ministry to which they report. A tiny transparency exercise: “manager wanted”.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 12:40 AM in Information | Comments (7)
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July 11, 2006

Stop au racisme

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On 12 July there’s the start of the tenth antiracist world show in the Enza di Montecchio park in the province of Reggio Emilia. The teams taking part are made up of ultras from all over Europe. Finally they can get rid of some energy on the field. They are people from outside Europe and from European youth associations. The organisers haven’t overlooked any detail. They have decided to invite a French football team to the tournament. A team that is rigorously made of whites who are Catholics. It is well known that French racism has now gone beyond all limits. Ribery, one of the few white players, even born in the North of France at Boulogne sur Mer, had to convert to the Islamic faith to get into the team. And even though he did this he was called off the field to the sidelines during the final.

The vision of tens of thousands of white French people in the stands in Berlin’s stadium with emblems and flags and to have a chance of winning, obliged to support an African team is not to be qualified. The Afro-French mafia controls the French national team having conquered the banlieue.

But the French celebrated the defeat of their new masters. So as to avoid risk, they did it in private. In their homes and in their bistros closed for holiday. So that French children can play football, some pharmaceutical companies are about to launch a product that is dark pigment with a permanent effect.

But there’s always one who will not give in in the name of grandeur. The French Minister of the interior, Nicolas Sarkozy, has in fact proposed to expel the scholars who are offspring of undocumented immigrants at the end of the school year. And Chirac, who yesterday after the defeat was celebrating in silence, has stated: “To obtain the French nationality is a fundamental act, and above all an action that needs commitment.” It’s a commitment above all to win in the name of France. That’s enough with racism in France. Sport is to be reassigned to the Aryan race.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:33 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (45)
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July 10, 2006

Gulag Archipelago

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Last night, Massimo left a comment on the blog about the death of his brother.

“Dear Beppe,
I’m writing to tell you about what happened to my brother, Vincenzo, who was a prisoner in the Como jail and then got sick and died in circumstances that have still to be cleared up. My brother was 35 years old when he was arrested in December 2005. He was a drug addict and had committed a crime but he had a serious form of cirrhosis.
As soon as he arrived at San Vittore he became the centre of attention for a group of prisoners who beat him up savagely so that he went into a coma but the prison guards remained indifferent. He was treated at the Policlinico di Milano and his spleen was removed and he needed 130 stitches. But at the Policlinico he was declared to be compatible with prison and he was transferred to Como.

Here, as soon as he came round, he made a request to go into a community to detoxify himself and found a place at a centre in Varese but the giudice di sorveglianza {surveillance magistrate} denied him the community. My brother then attempted suicide but he was stopped in time. After a few days his condition became a lot worse for his liver and for a terrible disease called sepsis. Even though he told the prison personnel a number of times that he was not well, he was not taken to hospital until they found him in a coma with hardly any sign of life.

Thus he went to the Sant'Anna with a diagnosis of hepatic encephalopathy and septic shock that had devastated all his organs. The doctors told us straight away that there was little hope and my brother died 3 days later at only 36 years old. Now finally, the prosecutors of Como have started an investigation because they “suspect” the death was due to the guilt of someone. You see, Grillo, I don’t even know whether you will read this. I know that my brother was no better than many other victims of the justice system and he was also a person who had committed crimes. But he was my brother, my blood, and they left him to die in general indifference. Perhaps because he was not a politician, he was not a past king, or a manager but he was simply an unlucky young man. If there’s something you can do, I’ll be really grateful.”
Massimo De Angelis.


Who killed Vincenzo? The prisoners who beat him to the edge of death? The Policlinico di Milano that declared him fit to go back to prison after he had been massacred? By the surveillance magistrate who denied him the possibility of recovering in the detox community? By the prison personnel who didn’t get him to hospital sooner? By the prison who transforms the prisoners (only the poor ones) into delinquents or relics? The response is on the wind. But the wind can talk. In memory of a young man who paid for his crimes with his life.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 03:33 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (3)
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The banquet of the gods

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The word liberalizzazione {liberalisation} for the duo Prodi-Bersani has the same power as the word perestroika used by Gorbaciov in his time. It represents the new route that will liberate Italy from corporations and all the monopolies. We all feel much lighter. You get the urge to sing "Volare" in the shower.
Gripped by this mental headiness, I have discovered that the leading Italian corporation, the one that never lets go of its doggy bone, the Order of Parliamentarians, has started another liberalisation, the one of the presumed mafia people. The amendment was presented by Orazio Antonio Licandro of the Pdci. Only 21 employees voted in favour, all the others rejected it. They did it in the name of liberty: their own. In a certain sense, they are coherent. Why remove from the Antimafia Committee the experience gained in the area of presumed mafia people? It's a presumed experience, but it's always better than nothing. Competence isn't invented.

The parliamentarians are a corporation. We can't expect them to reform themselves by themselves. Parliament has to be liberalised. An external committee needs to be set up. I would propose as members, a few cococo {temporary workers} two call centre employees, a few manual workers, a couple of mothers of families and a book keeper. And then whiz bang with the mother of all liberalisations. That of Parliament. To send home all the convicts, to line up salaries and expenses with other European Parliamentarians, to remove parliamentary immunity and so on and so on.
The convicts are increasing as we speak. The good Travaglio has just published his new book "Onorevoli Wanted" {Honourables Wanted} and he counted 25, and I had only got up to 20…

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:58 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (1)
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July 08, 2006

Foxes in the henhouse

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The law should be simple and understandable. I believe that no one knows the number of laws that there are in Italy. There are judicial entities of mysterious significance. I've heard people talk about TAR since I was a child. I know that the most important TAR is in Lazio. I've never gone further into it. The famous TAR of Lazio. And the Council of State, does it really exist? Who can ask for advice from it? And about what? And once it has given its advice, then what? Have people got the foggiest idea what are the GIP and the Tribunal of Liberty? The machinery of justice is incomprehensible for citizens. They perceive it to be a threat. The Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura (Csm) {Highest Council of the Magistracy} that I used to think was a home for retired magistrates like Scalfaro, is instead very important: it governs the judiciary and protects its autonomy and independence. On paper it guarantees the interests of the citizens.

The CSM is made up of 27 people of whom 8 were nominated by Parliament last week:
- Gianfranco Anedda (AN)
- Michele Saponara (Forza Italia)
- Nicola Mancino (Margherita)
- Ugo Bergamo (UDC)
- Vincenzo Siniscalchi (DS)
- Celestina Tinelli (Ulivo)
- Mauro Volpi (PRC)
- Letizia Vacca (Pdci).

The election was completely in regular, according to norms in articles laid down by the fathers of the Constitution (that no politician has asked to modify).
But I can't accept that this powerful constitutional body that watches over the justice system has within it, party representatives. I don't trust it much. And perhaps this is the root of parliamentary immunity, of Previti out of prison after 2 days, of convicts in Parliament. It seems to me a trick, like putting the fox to guard the henhouse or Mastella at the Ministry of Justice. Let's at least change its name to Consiglio Superiore per il Controllo della Magistratura, {Supreme Council for the Control of the Magistracy}, that way people would start to understand.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:43 PM in Information | Comments (8)
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July 06, 2006

Taxi driver

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The employee Prodi is pedalling. It's true that he's not going too fast, he's not pedalling every day. But a few dozen metres every so often for his age and for his coalition is a result that merits every respect anyway.

The categories affected are in revolt. They are categories that need help living at the margins of public opinion and of the soup kitchens for those who are poor. Notaries, lawyers, professionals and taxi drivers. The category that are reaping the benefits is made up of all the other Italian citizens apart from brunettaberlusconistoracealemannounitedagainstfiscalchecks, but little is heard of their voice. I understand that to see Mussi at the mercy of robust taxi drivers could be a pleasure and could be better than a red light film. However, however…

If support isn't given to the government this time that a good government has been formed, if not now then when? The categories are starting to get agitated to defend corporate interests? Are they going to block the city and the courts? Managers of enormous success about to cause their companies to go bankrupt to protest about the taxation of stock options?

Well then, let us too start agitating. Let's start the month without a taxi, the month without a notary, the month without a lawyer. And for those managers that have ruined their companies the employees can start a class action. Companies belong to those who work there, and not to those who play with Chinese boxes. These reforms, or rather these tiny reforms, are simply the starter, the hors d'oevres, after that the rest of the meal is to follow: the starter, the main course, the fruit, the dessert, coffee and the brandy.

These liberalisations are affecting just the tip of the iceberg. They are just the tasters to take away the first pangs of hunger.

But there's real hunger in the air. I also want the reform of the Stock Exchange, the liberalisation of energy, electricity, telecommunications; the thinning out of the levels of bureaucracy; the end of bank earnings; a limit on the level of earnings of the managers tied in with the growth of the company; the end of the Chinese boxes; laws about conflict of interests, new TV and radio frequencies, the liberalisation of the "last mile".

The government measures have a single defect. They start off with the details, the small fry, and they make us hungry.
The lunch must continue. We can't stop at the aperitif.

Employee Prodi. We are waiting for the rest of the meal.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 07:17 PM in Politics | Comments (12)
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A message in a bottle

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The pollution of rivers has become normal in Italy, slowly, slowly, year by year. A part of our natural rights, those that we have from birth, to be able to enjoy nature, has been taken from us. The right to bathe in a river, to play with our children there and perhaps even to see a water shrimp. Without picking up an infective disease, without a pong, without rubbish, without scum and without poison.

Heavens it’s our right! It can’t be taken away.
The river follows the usual path. The houses and the factories that let stuff flow into the rivers stay still. The inactive purifiers when they aren’t completely missing are still. The authorities of the towns, provinces, regions, public health, mountain communities, all these good people know or could find out who is polluting. It’s not difficult to check up, to find those responsible and if the river or the stream has become a sewer, to apply the law.

But are the mayors responsible or not?
Last year in the Valle del Sacco, 25 cows died after drinking the water from the river. In Milan, the Lambro dissolves people better than acid. The Tiber contains more bacteria than the Ganges. Is this all normal? Has no one seen anything?

“Living with your neighbours” is the magic catch phrase. I don’t think that the local authorities don’t know or couldn’t know. That the public health authorities cannot intervene. That local people don’t know that the hotel or the next-door neighbour is without a purifier. How many crimes against water courses are committed in Italy?

Because of global warming we have always got less and less water, but even for the theft of water that is becoming normal.
Legambiente and il Corpo Forestale dello Stato have produced a report: “Fiumi e legalità” {rivers and the rule of law} about the state of the rivers. But they cannot see everything.

Describe the story of your river, your stream, your brook that has been polluted, devastated, cementified. Do that on this blog. If you really want to, fill up a bottle with water and send it with a label detailing its origin to the Minister of the Environment Pecoraro Scanio, Viale Cristoforo Colombo, 44 - 00147 ROMA, to keep him informed.

That way, we can all get depressed together with him.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:58 AM in Ecology | Comments (5)
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July 05, 2006

Vaseline words

Journalists live on words, on those that have not been spoken and on those that have been spoken but whose meaning has been changed. Their observation point, which is the same as their main advertisers, transforms the words making them digestible, fluid, better than a laxative.
Journalists fear that their words may disturb the sensibilities of the people, their equilibrium and the market. So they use them delicately dressed up in adjectives. Camomilewords. Words that take you for a ride but sweetly so that they don’t hurt you. Words made of butter and of Vaseline.
To understand the gentle spirit of the journalists that don’t want to hit us with the truth but want to write something so as not to hide the fact, it’s enough to analyse an article.

Article: Salta la quotazione di Pirelli Tyre {Pirelli Tyre fails to get accepted on the stock exchange}
Date: Saturday 1 July 2006
Newspaper: La Repubblica

”The company based in via Negri prefers not to sell off an important asset of the Group”
can be read:
”No one wanted to buy Pirelli Tyre shares at a price that was beyond the market”,

”In Italy there’s increasing awareness about the placement of shares”
can be read:
“Investors no longer want to be taken for a ride by Tronchetti.”

“An operation that would have allowed the Bicocca Group to collect 600 Million Euro needed to repay the exit of the financial partners of Olimpia”
can be read:
”The money requested from the Stock Exchange would not have resulted in greater investment in Pirelli Tyre, but was to pay the debts of another company”

"The current conditions of the financial markets, and in particular, the current activity on the Stock Exchange of the main sector operators in the world do not permit the attribution to Pirelli Tyre a valuation that faithfully and adequately  mirrors the intrinsic value of the company"
can be read:
"We didn’t manage to place the shares at the price we wanted and we’ve got to say something."

"Yesterday even the company called Tim Brasil failed to get accepted on the stock exchange and the article modestly says that to face up to the debts, “Telecom could lower the level of investments in the next three years having already put into action many technological modernization programmes"
can be read:
"Not likely that we will accept the liberalization of the last mile!."

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 02:48 PM in Information | Comments (0)
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July 03, 2006

Work kills

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4 workers a day multiplied by 300 (taking off a few feast days) correspond more or less to 1200 dead workers each year. If you survive the traffic (20 dead each day) and get to the building site you can’t complain. You’ve increased your chances of survival.

But if you are just injured and taken to hospital then the situation gets critical, because a part of the deadly infections are picked up in hospital. It’s a jungle of asphalt and viruses. Twelve years ago the government got a law Dlgs 626/94, about safety and hygiene at work. The role of Rappresentante dei lavoratori per la sicurezza (Rls) {workers’ safety representative} was set up. Anyone in this role is often displeasing to the employer who thinks of costs and at times also by the workers who prefer not to follow the regulations even when they should.

Observe how many on a building site actually wear the safety helmet even when it is provided. The checks are missing. Sanctions are rare and insufficient. The culture of safety and hygiene in the work place is missing. This is a culture that should be taught at school and reinforced in the media with great importance.

The dead at work is a contradiction of terms. They should not exist. Four dead a day for the businessperson removes a few costs (involving safety), but not the coffins. Last week in Pisa a workman was killed when squashed by three plates of glass. Another was killed by an HGV while he was cutting down the grass on the Brennero motorway. A bricklayer died in Frosinone falling from scaffolding.

There are also accidents that don’t end in death, but can cause irreversible damage. There are a million a year, a great round number. Easy to remember. I understand that Iraq is important, that Afghanistan is fundamental, that Kosovo is on the agenda. But slaughter at work, isn’t that more important? Each year we have a hundred Nassiriyas without the accompaniment of sung Masses and summit meetings. To be a good death to get into the TV and newspaper headlines and for the party secretaries, do you need to be in the military?

An association “Rete degli Rls” has been created and is made up of representatives for national safety, to promote safety at work. Ballarò has been asked to discuss the topic, no reply. Similarly for the national dailies. This blog is however available to give daily information about mortal accidents at work for indolence or profit.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 05:57 PM in Information | Comments (1)
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Boiled eggs and boiled brains

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Some researchers have placed an egg in a porcelain eggcup between 2 mobile phones. Then they got them to communicate with each other while switched on.
In the first 15 minutes nothing changed.
After 25 minutes the eggshell started to get hot.
After 40 minutes the white part of the egg was solid.
After 65 minutes the egg was well cooked.

This experiment reveals the real reason for the decadence of Italy. It’s the top country in the world for the use of mobile phones. The radiation has fused our brains.
It’s the second time that we’ve been in mental confusion since the lead poisoning that hit the Roman empire.

The telephone companies deny that there is a connection between brain tumours or even simple head aches and the use of mobile phones. But I believe that anyone that uses one for a few hours in a day can bear witness to some weakening of the thoughts.
There is a definite proof of the really serious damage caused by radiation: Francesco Cossiga. The great Sardinian has in fact got 30 mobile phones and never goes to sleep without having one under the bedclothes. If they can hard-boil an egg, who knows what effect they can have on other parts of the body. After a certain age hope is the last thing to die.

Children should not use mobile phones. Their brains are being formed and even if it’s true that there is no proof to demonstrate brain damage, the opposite is also true and the medium and long-term effects are not known. I use a mobile and it’s a vice that I’ll try to eliminate or at least reduce. When I talk for two or three hours in a day, the following morning I’ve always got a headache.

Politicians are the greatest receivers of radiation from mobiles.
When in the newspapers or on the TV, you see a politician with the expression of a boiled fish (and I’m not thinking of Mastella) now you know why. But not all that’s bad does harm. With two mobile phones we can develop a Viagra effect. And if we run out of gas we can always heat up the water for the pasta.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:07 AM in Health/Medicine | Comments (1)
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July 02, 2006

Infrastructures of the mind

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Our world is dominated by the ethics of movement. The one who doesn’t move is lost. The one who stays still is an ignoble lazy person, a subversive, an enemy of the GDP. There’s much talk of the infrastructures of steel and cement, of rails, motorways, bridges, tunnels. Structures that carry empty trucks and cars with a single person.

The car is an accessory for petrol. It serves to consume petrol and to sell petrol. A box of steel plates full of gadgets with the average speed of a mule.
Infrastructures of the mind, that have no cost, that free up time, that give us the choice whether or not to move or stay where we are. No one bothers about these infrastructures.

Fast connectivity for all Italian families and online services for paying ICI, getting a driving license, an identity card, a document declaring the status of the family. To be able to sign up your child with the health system and to choose a paediatrician, the family doctor, to book an appointment, to attend a university lecture. All this is not a priority.

To give incentives to promote tele-working, to avoid congestion in the cities is not a priority. A different way of organising companies using the Internet is not a priority. The reduction of ADSL costs is not a priority. Nor is it a priority to have 100% coverage of ADSL over the whole territory of Italy. (Gentiloni, to do this it would be enough to liberalise the “last mile”.)

The Internet frees up the movement of intelligence, of ideas. The Internet does not cause traffic accidents and it saves time, masses of time. I want a world dominated by the ethics of time, against the waste of queues, of offices, of elevators.

Man is a made of time. He is a product with a sell-by date. Let’s free up the time we use to move around for the sake of it. It’s only useful to the petrol people, the Ministry of Finance and those who make cars and roads. Less moving around, more time for ourselves, even to do nothing, but without excess as “doing nothing is the hardest work of all.”

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 03:39 PM in Technology/Internet | Comments (15)
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The economics of death

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It’s mathematics: when a road is constructed, they start a new account for the dead who will subsequently be remembered with bunches of flowers, memorials, stones, photos. You can witness this anywhere. Tiny cemeteries on the road. About 7,000 people a year die on our roads, almost 20 a day. And a shocking figure of about 70,000 injured, many with permanent injuries. The provincial newspapers always start off with the accounts of deaths of motorcyclists who hit a pole or who have a full frontal crash on a state road. In the last 30 years, adding up a few figures means that more than 200,000 people have died.

Nobody says a word. The car companies have advertising that always emphasises the cars that are ever more powerful, that invite you to exceed the speed limits. Excess speed is one of the main causes of accidents. They make such a fuss for a couple of joints, and they don’t do any regulation of antisocial and murderous advertising.

We don’t insist that vehicle manufacturers make vehicles with speed limits. The media report this news with placid indifference. The institutions, instead of promoting decentralisation and tele-working, are developing centralisation and mobility. It’s the beauty of the economy. The economy of the car, of petrol with State taxes, of finance to buy a car. Economic deaths that are worth a lot less than war deaths.

Little is said about them. Just superficially. In a way they brought it on themselves. Quantity versus quality. Advertising for cars kills more than anti-personnel mines.

Well then I want the par condicio {equal access rule}. I too want to be able to talk about the national road networks (OUR national networks), with an advertising spot that lets people understand that speed is violence, that it is a myth of the past, of older people, finished, of those that find gratification with a spanner rather than with a vagina. Yes, I want to get back to the TV for 30 seconds, straight after every deadly advertisement, to remind people, especially the young ones that life is something else, somewhere else. Not in rubber tyres, in engine wheels, in 220 an hour, in four wheel drives.
The speed maniacs are poor things, but the real problem is that they don’t know that.

PS. “Speed is the major assassin on the roads and according to the European Union (EU) reducing the average driving speed by 3 km/h would save about 5,000-6,000 lives a year and would avoid about 120,000-140,000 accidents saving € 20,000,000,000 in costs. By increasing the speed in urban centres from 30 km/h to 50 km/h increases the risk of death for pedestrians 8 fold.” From Wikipedia.


Postated by Beppe Grillo at 02:27 PM in Transport/Getting About | Comments (2)
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