Little aprons and Bandoleers

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Corteo No Gelmini a Milano


Cutting spending on education is much like sawing through the trunk of a tree while sitting on the highest branch. Italy’s future is born in the Universities, the high schools and the nursery schools. If we have rubbish coming out of these places, then this Country will remain little more than a waste disposal site.
When we talk about education, we are also discussing employment, the firing of researchers and the 50,000 teachers with temporary contracts that will be staying at home. However, no one says a word about our young people. Nothing is said about the consequences in terms of their studies. Less funding means a drop in quality, fewer school classrooms, fewer laboratories, fewer Internet connections and fewer PC’s for the students.
In just a few short years, we have gone backwards, from the “Internet and English” touted by the second Berlusconi Government (does anyone still remember the three “I”s) to the little aprons of the third Berlusconi Government's Mrs. Germini. The fourth Berlusconi Government, if there is ever such a thing, will undoubtedly put bandoleers in every classroom.
The psychodwarf is making cuts because he has no more money. Or rather, he has no money for education. That problem does not exist when it comes to money for other things.
Catania, the failed town of former mayor Scapagnini, will soon be receiving some 150 million Euro. And the town won’t even be placed under administration.
The Rome Municipality, destroyed financially as it was by Topo Gigio Veltroni, has received 500 million Euro to help cover part of its deficit. Furthermore, with effect from 2010, this figure (FIVE HUNDRED MILLION) will become an ongoing annual allocation.
Tar Head wont make any cuts to the Provinces (which should be abolished altogether), nor to the Parliamentarians’ salaries (which are the highest in Europe), nor even to the number of Parliamentarians (the highest ratio of parliamentarians to residents, in the whole of Europe). He won’t combine the Municipal districts with less than 5,000 residents and he won’t abolish one of the Chambers.
He cannot afford to fire any of the politicians and their lackeys.
Students at the Milan Polytechnic received a letter concerning the new Academic Year. The letter informs them that:
“Legislative Decree No.112 has been published in the Government Gazette. This Decree provides that extensive funding cuts are to be made throughout the entire University system and particularly as regards staffing and also the Basic Study Assistance Fund, in other words, all of the funds that the Government invests annually in the University. As regards the Milan Polytechnic, this means a significant shortage of staff, which will particularly affect the expectations of all of those research assistants that provide their services on a temporary contract basis while waiting for an opportunity to take part in any future personnel selection exercises. As regards the extent of the funding cuts, it then becomes clear that for this Academy, the estimated 20 to 40 million Euro cut in funding may well affect the institution’s educational, research and development policies.”
The Lega’s brand of fiscal federalism is starting to bear fruit. Funding for the failed Municipalities in the South, University funding cuts in the North. Bloody hell, if that’s all it takes, even I could do their jobs.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:59 PM in | Comments (5)
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Grembiulini = Little aprons?
Pallottoliere = Bandoleer?

Bandoleer = A broad cartridge belt worn over the shoulder by soldiers.

Pallottoliere = Abacus
Grembiulino = Pinafore-style uniform worn by primary school children

Posted by: Adriana Mian | October 21, 2008 12:54 PM


Uno Straniero:

Mother Tongue is still a current term used by linguists to describe the language to which one was born.
Your understanding of the expression is possibly a derivation from the street term "Mother *ucker" where the contraction to "Mother" to describe something or someone in a derogatory manner is commonplace in the USofA. It is less usual elsewhere.

Posted by: Rolly Wheeler | October 19, 2008 02:34 AM


"Jumped-up little Mussolinis, every one of them."
Well said, Peter.
It does, however not only apply to those in higher positions, nor only to Italians.
Examples can be found in all levels of social strata and almost anywhere in the world.
However, Italy does seem to have raised personal perfidy to a fine artform, well studied and practiced from an early age.
As always, there are many notable exceptions to such a generality.

Posted by: Rolly Wheeler | October 18, 2008 02:53 AM


Easier to control the one which asks questions.

Sorry, it should have read:

Easier to control the one which asks no questions.

Posted by: Peter V | October 17, 2008 11:14 PM


Speaking of foreign language teachers (I am a mother tongue English teacher), in Italy we have the pathetic situation of having primary school teachers being made to take the lowest level English exams (like KET) then being expected to teach the language! The Politicians will say to their ignorant voters that the teachers are qualified when in reality many of them can barely string two words together. It's not the teachers' fault because they have been forced into this situation, and it's very difficult for them. Meanwhile I can barely find enough work because the schools have no money.
But apparently we have money for failed and corrupt businesses like Alitalia.
What Berlusconi and his cronies know is that an ignorant, ill-informed population is a malleable one. Easier to control the one which asks questions. In the meantime the vulgar, ignorant, self-aggrandizing thieves you have for Politicians in Italy have their noses in the trough of public money to feather their own nests. Jumped-up little Mussolinis, every one of them.

Posted by: Peter V | October 17, 2008 11:10 PM


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