Thursday, 26 May 2011

All go in Little Italy

Yes, it really is all go in Little Italy with only three more days to go to go! …. If you haven’t been keeping up with the rollercoaster of political twists and turns let me fill you in.
Many cities, including the big 4, Turin, Milan, Naples and Bologna, voted for their new mayor two weeks ago. In Italy the mayor is a 'Very Important Person' who plays a decisive role in local politics, and it’s the first major election to take place here since the bunga bunga ‘scandals’ broke out. It’s the first real test for Berlusconi and he has put himself heart and soul into the election campaign… Doesn’t take a lot of imagination to picture with what finesse and aplomb he has gone about it!
This particular election has two turns. If you win with 50.1% you’re in first time, if not the two top candidates fight it out two weeks later in the ballotaggio. Both Turin and Bologna voted their candidates in at the first round (Berlu lost but as they are both traditional left wing cities, the outcome was predictable) leaving Milan and Naples to try again.
‘So what??’ you might rightly ask. If you’ve ever been to Milan you can’t have helped noticing how chic and rich it is compared to other cities,  and how terribly ‘milanese’ the people are… it’s a bit like walking the wrong way up a catwalk in fashion week. You bump into the rich, the famous and the beautiful and hurriedly find yourself checking your watch to see what time the next train to Genova is.  
Milan is Berlusconi’s creation, his baby, his life’s project. There is a zone of the city called Milano due. Milan2, which he paid for and built (lots of debate raging still as to where a young tyke like him got the money to do it at such a young age… but that’s another story!!) Berlusconi is Milan and vice versa… so when the left wing candidate got to 48% and his own barely scraped 42% his whole world must have come crashing down. For Berlusconi to lose in Milan is unthinkable, even for those of us who have got the champagne in the fridge just in case.
Nobody (at least that I know) would have complained if B were forced to resign over his sordid life style and corrupt dealings but how much sweeter the victory if it were political and not ethical. Because, as you know, the problem is not so much Berluska as the Italians who vote him. Has he not, after all, achieved what any hot blooded male would love to achieve: extreme money, extreme power, and lots and lots of girls? They vote for him because they want to be him or want a man as rich and as powerful as he is to love them. He represents the Italian dream… the complete lack of dignity, the corruption and the bribery are just by products only to be expected.
So, (and we’ve finally arrived at the crux of the matter) if he loses the election in Milan on Monday it means that even his own people are turning against him. It means that the Berluska style has run its course and that Italy may be heading for a change or heart.
Watch out for the results!