Magazine article The Spectator

Italians Aren't Fascists

Magazine article The Spectator

Italians Aren't Fascists

Article excerpt

They're just angry about immigration


Amid relentless propaganda about Italy being in the grip of fascism, Italians go to the polls on Sunday. It will be an attempt to produce their first elected prime minister since 2008, when Silvio Berlusconi won. Since his resignation in 2011, Italy has had four unelected leaders.

Italy's migrant crisis has dominated these elections, especially after the discovery of the chopped-up remains of an 18-year-old Italian girl in two suitcases by the side of a road in the picturesque hilltop city of Macerata in Le Marche. Three Nigerian migrants are in custody for the murder. And in revenge, a 28-year-old fascist lunatic drove around Macerata opening fire on black people at random, wounding six (none fatally). He then gave himself up to police.

What happened in Macerata transformed Italy's migrant crisis, already a big factor, into la questionenumero uno of the election campaign, despite massive efforts inside and outside Italy to use it instead to talk only about fascists.

The Italian left and a largely supportive global media are doing their best to brainwash Italians into thinking that a vote for the right is a vote for fascism. But neither Italy's right, nor the Italians, are fascists. What they are is fed up with the floods of illegal migrants coming into Italy, where they represent what Berlusconi has described as a 'social bomb about to explode'.

Italians are angry at the failure of successive governments and of the EU to stop NGOs and the navies of EU countries picking up migrants just off the Libyan coast and ferrying them 280 miles to Italy, where they claim asylum or disappear, and are virtually never deported. This is despite the fact that, as the UN admits, the overwhelming majority are not refugees but economic migrants.

One way to understand the mood of Italians as they go to the polls is to imagine Britain with 35 per cent youth unemployment and an overall unemployment rate of roughly 15 per cent, mired for a decade in more or less permanent economic recession, throttled by the fourth highest public debt in the world as a percentage of GDP (132 per cent)costing [euro]70 billion a year to service, unable -- as a prisoner of the single currency -- to do anything meaningful to solve the problem, except austerity and more job cuts.

Imagine if a fleet of NGO and EU vessels was ferrying into such a bleak situation from as far away as Qimper on the French Atlantic coast -- let us say, as the distance is the same -- more than half a million migrants, who are nearly all men and masquerading as refugees, to Southampton. Do we not think, in those circumstances, immigration would be a major election issue in Britain?

Before the Macerata murder, the coalition of the right was already well ahead in the polls on around 37 per cent. The coalition comprises Forza Italia (16 per cent), led by Berlusconi, the populist Lega (14 per cent), led by Matteo Salvini, plus the post-fascist Fratelli d'Italia (5 per cent) and a small centrist party. The coalition's support then went up by 1-2 per cent, until Italy's opinion poll blackout in the last two weeks of election campaigns came into force.

The anti-party, anti-parliament Movimento Cinque Stelle (M5S), which is run like a Scientology sect, was on 27 per cent and remained on 27 per cent. The coalition of the left, which has been in government since 2013 and failed to reboot the economy or solve the migrant crisis, was polling 25 per cent. …

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