'I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free'
Thursday, 28 February 2013
The Dead Who Speak
The brush-off to Bersani and his faction of the Democratic Party by the Five Star Movement's Beppe Grillo is being widely and wildly misrepresented in the media. Grillo's real politik assessment of Bersani's position - loser of the general election who should by now have resigned and cleared at least one path to reaching agreement for installing a government - is a total no-no for some parts of the proto-communist Democratic Party leadership but recognised as required by another, ie the faction itself has now split. Split on the best course to follow to instal an administration acceptable to the Italian euro-communists, still so very much alive and well, if denied their victory by Bersani's political incompetence and personal lack of leadership qualities.
Grillo's assessment of Bersani is quite correct. He may have had himself "coronated" (to borrow the word used so often of Gordon Brown's ill-fated seizure of the Labour Party) but he's lost the general election, and for very much the same reasons as did Brown when he was finally forced to face the electorate. The Democratic Party is learning the bitter lesson that fake democratic procedures result in exposure when put to the test by the real thing.
Again with parallels to what happened to Brown, Party loyalty almost delivered and there can be heard the obsessive muttering of "It isn't over yet." But it is over, for Bersani and his bullies, and all they are doing is damaging the Party. Berlusconi is being given the opportunity to look positively statesmanlike and the electorate of the largest single party in the Chamber of Deputies is being villified and insulted (many of us for the second time since the Democratic primaries last November by these bully boys.)
Yes, many of the Five Star voters are Democrat voters if the Party is democratically led, and many of us will want to offer confidence to the Democrats when Bersani gives up the Party leadership. But the desperate re-affirmations by his cronies that he is 'the Candidate Premier' only underline the nonsense that he should stay after losing. There's no such thing as a candidate premier outside the horrors of last century's Eastern Europe. In Italy's democracy the Head of State invites the person most likely to command both Houses on the advice of the Speakers of those Houses and after consulting the Parties themselves. The Party cannot impose that choice if it does not coincide with electoral reality. In this we are not the Labour party with its anti-democratic Rule Book of central control.
Bersani must step down in the end. And the Democratic Party and its media needs to display a very different attitude to those who defeated it. Or we may decide we prefer a movement where we can make our voices and choices heard online.